Thursday, March 11, 2010

Gotta Have a Good Foundation

Math is one of those subjects that builds on itself. You gotta know the simple facts to do the more difficult problems.

We have been using Right Start math for a few years now (Levels A-C). I love the fact it stresses mental math. I love its use of manipulatives. I love the games. However, I do not love the way it teaches subtraction. Maybe it's just me, but I don't get it. I have poured over the explanations and still can't get a grasp of it. I tried teaching it to Magnus and he picked up a bit, but if I don't understand their way of doing it and can't adequately teach it, he isn't really going to understand it either. Besides, the past few weeks he has been doing geometry. I don't think he needs to be learning how to use a t-square and a triangle if he can't subtract 15 from 28. So, we're putting it on the shelf for awhile.

In all honesty, my life just got a bit easier. Thane just finished Level B and was moving onto C. I am not going to waste my (or his) time with the beginning of Level C. I am going to teach both he and Magnus together!

I have purchased the Blue Series from Math Mammoth. This series is grouped by topic. We're going to start from ground zero with subtraction and work through the books together. As we are learning the subtraction facts, they'll be getting a great review of their math facts.

We're going to be a little "math heavy" for the last part of this school year. It's a subject that has not been given a place of priority in our school and that needs to change. Along with Math Mammoth, we will also be doing the following:

* Fridays will be set aside for other topics of math such as fractions, telling time, graphing, money, ect. while we are focusing on subtraction. They been introduced to these topics and I want to make sure they retain their skills. Fridays will include games, literature, and "living math".

* Playing more games. We have the Right Start game set already. I just need to take some time to plan some into our week. I have also purchased the Math Noodlers Game, printed off this fun game, and checked out Family Math from the library.

*Reading books about the different topics/skills. We have a pretty good library system and I plan to utilize it by getting books off this list and this list. Magnus especially likes learning this way.

*"Living" out math. As and example, I will have them help me look for the better deal at the grocery store, measure ingredients for recipes, pay for items they buy with their allowance instead of me handing the correct amount of money to the clerk. I will be keeping an eye open for learning opportunities.

**For the record, I still LOVE Right Start!**

1 comment:

Lori C., Texas said...

Love your math ideas. I have not looked into Math Mammoth to much. I might have to take another look. My boys have really taken off with math since we have taken a more relaxed approach to math. Colin says it is his favorite subject. Charles still says he hates it but he doesn't complain nearly as much as he use to!:)