Singapore 1A, Specific Lessons

Julie in MN
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Singapore 1A, Specific Lessons

Unread post by Julie in MN »

1A, Page 66
Kim Schroter wrote:My 2nd grader is using Singapore math this year. Math is not her strength so we started with 1A. She has been doing great and we are so pleased with Singapore.

HOWEVER, we are at the end of chapter 6 and she is in tears and my brain is not comprehending this method. We put it aside for a week and did no math at all. I was talking to our neighbor who is a 1st grade teacher and she asked if we were using a number line for adding and subtracting. We went back through chapter 6 and used a number line instead of their method and my daughter is smiling and flying through the workbook. She said "Mommy, this is how I do it in my brain."

So now I'm left wondering... can she continue in Singapore without using all of their methods? (This was the first thing we encountered that didn't work for her.) Or are those methods the basis for the rest of the program and she'll continue to struggle? Any advice?
How wonderful that you took a break, sought out new ideas, and started again fresh!

I've not done Singapore 1, but to me the strength of Singapore is that it offers many ways to look at a problem. There is no formula to memorize, but instead a broader understanding of the functions of math. So I don't see any problem in using a different way to look at a problem.

I do know we used number lines at the beginning of 4A to illustrate estimation. I believe we used them earlier in Singapore to illustrate subtraction. Number lines are part of the "counting on" method of solving a problem, where to add 7 + 3 you can start with 7 and count on for 3 more (or reverse for subtraction). I'm not sure what level this is introduced at, but it is connected to the bar diagrams that Singapore will use to solve word problems. So don't worry that number lines will confuse your child at all!

However, in general, I believe that there are plateaus in learning math, where all of a sudden it all seems impossible to the child. But the next week, or the next month, once they have gotten past that spot, they laugh at how easy it all really is. It is very difficult to watch, for us moms who feel so responsible in every way. But most of us can't avoid it altogether.

It looks like you are handling this very well!
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002+)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs

Page 66

Unread post by cbollin »

Which pages are you talking about in Chapter 6 of 1A? It wouldn't be around page 66, would it?

There is no problem using a number line. In fact, Singapore already has introduced number lines by this point in 1A. You just didn't call them a number line. p. 34-35 in the textbook is where you are first working with number lines. But, that's not a big deal.

My guess is that you are talking about page 66 of the textbook. This is a part of the Singapore book that needs more explanation. MFW's lesson plan tries to explain it a bit better ---- but one of the biggest weakeness in trying to explain a math problem is that a writer is not in the same room with you. It gets all confusing.

Yes -- I think it is important to learn the method used in this chapter for teaching subtraction. It is a foundation for subtraction WITH regrouping. And believe it or not, it is laying groundwork for algebra.

Yes -- your brain is going to hurt because you are laying foundations for subtraction with regrouping and learning algebra at the same time. YiKES! No wonder those kids in the country of Singapore score so well in international math competitions.

However, I don't use it exactly the way Singapore does and neither does my 7 y.o. My 11 y.o does subtract the Singapore style. So it is ok if it takes some extra time to master the approach, and meanwhile you continue to use flashcards and number lines.

Here is what *I* do. It is the upside down version of what Singapore does. We approach it the same, but start at different ends. A problem like 12-4 becomes in my mind What do I add to the number 4 to get me to the number 10? (6) now how many more to get to 12 (2) therefore 6 +2 =8. so the answer is 8.

I wish I could set up a recording so you could hear this.... it make so much more sense when talking.

Singapore does it this way:
Before starting the lesson on p. 66 in 1A textbook, it will be helpful to
practice number bonds to 10. It may be helpful to also make sure your student knows the "teens" in terms of 10 plus something. (12 is 10 plus 2, 17 is 10+ 7)

With those facts fresh in your student's mind, you are ready to start this
lesson, which covers the foundation for subtraction with regrouping.

12-4 is going to be the same as:
having a group of 10, and a group of 2
take away the 4 from the group of 10 (which equals six)
and add it with the group of 2 and you get 8.

Now, in reality it is much quicker with a problem like 12-4 to just learn the math fact. But, the advantage comes in when you apply the other approach with larger numbers such as 42-14. the idea is that for most of us, it is easier to keep track of groups of numbers as they relate to the number ten or half of ten (5).

So, in terms of a vertical subtraction problem (instead of horizontal) Singapore starts at the top and works down. I start at the bottom and work up. By the way, sometimes this is how a cashier will return your change. The cashier will build it up, instead of subtracting it down. So, play around with money concepts on this part of Singapore to help reinforce the approach. Although --- at this level, it is certainly just fine to use flashcards and number lines to help get the facts down.

talk about your brain hurting from singapore ---- I hope you made it to the end of this post!

It makes a lot more sense when spoken. So, please keep asking about Singapore. I'm right there with you learning as we go!

(who feels like making a Singapore 1A and 1B instructor's video, any help? web cam anyone????)

Page 66, continued

Unread post by cbollin »

So now I'm left wondering... can she continue in Singapore without using all of their methods? (This was the first thing we encountered that didn't work for her.) Or are those methods the basis for the rest of the program and she'll continue to struggle?
I didn't answer that part of the question clearly. My 7.5 yo who is 2nd grade is still able to use most if not all of Singapore even when she is struggling to wrap her brain around the method. Julie said it well --- sometimes it clicks a few weeks later.

My 2nd grader was struggling with the adding 9 to a number trick. I modeled the trick (10 plus one less 9+6 = 10+5) and let it settle in her brain for a week. During that time, we practiced with flashcards and online drills all the while with me just saying it out loud to help her through the process. Then for workbook, we skipped up to chapters 7, 8, and 9 because I knew that she already knew shapes, patterns, etc. It was easy workbook for her, while still learning math facts. And then about 5 days ago --- she all of a sudden understood the trick. It's ok to move on and review while moving forward.

Your daughter might struggle, or she might get it in a few weeks/months. In my opinion, she doesn't have to have the techniques mastered. We're not trying to turn our young children into a calculator, but rather teach them more than one way to learn something.

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Unread post by kellybell »

I would suggest not doing anything that hurts, be it language, math, science, or whatever. That doesn't mean skipping subjects, just reworking (or setting aside) so that it doesn't hurt. One reason we homeschool is to avoid hurts but to face challenges.
Kelly, wife to Jim since 1988, mom to Jamie (a girl, 1994), Mary (1996), Brian (1998) and Stephanie (2001).
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Unread post by tiffany »

We are on our 2nd year of Singapore, and I still really like it. I have 3 children using it on two different levels. So far, we haven't had any major hurdles. In fact, I'm impressed with how well it has worked for my more math challenged child. We have had a lot less math-induced melt-downs.

At this point, I plan to stick with it. It's working much better for us than what we used previously.
Wife to Tim ('88)
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Unread post by Lucy »

I did not read all of the post so if I repeat forgive me.

My son thinks outside the box anyway when it comes to math and although I make him look at the way they are doing it in the book he sometimes uses it, other times he has another way of seeing it, or decides after a while that although he has another way that the Singapore way is faster or he says he already does it like that in his brain. I do not get to hung up on whether he does it the "Singapore" way but I do ask him how he is getting his answer (to test that it will always lead him to the correct answer) and then I have him practice. He gets very few problems wrong. In fact he does much of it mentally(which makes my brain hurt so I always have the answer key in front of me) and when called upon in the workbook to do it in a more traditional manner he sometimes gets messed up. Anyway for the most part he is moving along well. Just for your info. we are half way through 4B.

My daughter is a different animal when it comes to math and sometimes I show her another way not listed in the book but 99% of the time she understands it the way it is being presented in the book. She needs more repition and practice so we always do all of the textbook problems. Not so with my son.

Singapore will continue to emphasis knowing and understanding the value of each digit in a number. This is a must in understanding math for the long hall. This is a more abstract concept but will over time proabably replace the number line. Using a number line is fine though if it is helping her to understand the concepts better at this stage.

wife to Lee and mom to Twila 18 (girl) and Noel 16(boy). Happy MFW user since 2002.
Kim Schroter
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Unread post by Kim Schroter »

Thanks for all of these comments. We're continuing to use Singapore and we're headed out of the subtraction into the shapes chapter. It will be a nice change for her.

(Yes Crystal, it was page 66!!!)

I'm going to continue with Singapore and see how it goes and how she does.
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Idea for teaching weight comparison in Singapore 1A

Unread post by tabby »

We were studying weight comparison today and I did not have a balance scale. I took a metal, plastic-coated pant hanger (with the clips on each side) and had my kids clip different things to it to compare their weight. For bigger items, or ones that would not easily clip on, we placed them inside a gallon-sized ziploc and attached that to the hanger-scale. It worked perfectly and they loved playing with it after the lesson was done.
Tabatha :)
2011-2012: RTR - dd 10, ds 7
Enjoying our 6th year with MFW

Started at 1A -- too easy?

Unread post by cbollin »

Cyndi (WA) wrote:My dd's saying that Singapore 1A is "for babies." What?! "It's like Kindergarten math." I knew it would be easy for her, but I wanted to start at 1A because she's not quite 7yo, and I thought it would be better to start at the beginning. She has never complained about school before, so I was pretty surprised. I'm letting her do more than one lesson a day. But on the "baby" side - she also wants to color every picture in the workbook! We're going to hit cruising altitude soon, right? Any advice?
Keep going at a quicker pace. But tell her at the beginning of the lesson that you'll save the extra coloring time for the end. (I know some pages have some coloring as part of the lesson.) If she likes to color more in the workbook, then let her do that, but it has to be at the end of "school time" so she can spend lots of time having fun doing that.

But she might need to be in 1B or 2A sooner than you were planning. You might end up using 1A for filling in gaps in mental math and concepts and doing reviews instead of doing everything. There's a balance in it when starting 1A in the middle of the year with a child who is almost 7. You could consider some of 1A to be done out loud too.

other ways to engage their brains [like Kelly described] -
How well does she know her math facts in other formats?
what if you say things like "what number do you need to add to 9 to make 18?" "what number do you need to add to 7 to make 10"
How many more cookies is 10 than 7?
How many fewer cookies are 7 cookies than 10 cookies?

Can she do that kind of math drill out loud with you? That might be a way to kick up drill time a notch by adding in the math language vocabulary for her so that she hears it a variety of ways other than 9+9 is ___. 10-7 =___ or 10- ___ = 3

So take a look through the MFW lesson planner for 1A and look for the sections that say "key terms" or something like that and be sure to "add in" the math vocabulary that MFW suggests you give your children at this stage. You don't won't to miss that while zipping through the problems.

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Re: Started at 1A -- too easy?

Unread post by forbothmykids »

My son is 8 and we started in Singapore 1A, too. I started there because I thought it would give both of us a chance to get a handle on how Singapore math works. I'm glad I did, even though, at first he thought I was crazy for giving him such "kiddie" math. He did seventeen lessons the first day!

However, at lesson 48 or so, we needed to slow down to 2-3 lessons a day in order to keep him thinking about the number bond relationships without wearing him out. As it is, he's going to get through 1A in about 4 weeks.

All that to say, I've found that it's easy to pick up the pace with Singapore and then slow down when necessary.

Wife to loving DH of 19 years.
Mom to DD13 and DS10 doing CTG in the fall
Cyndi (AZ)
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Re: Started at 1A -- too easy?

Unread post by Cyndi (AZ) »

Just wanted to thank you again for your responses. I talked it over with my dh while he was home this weekend and showed him our dd's work. He really liked the idea of letting dd do the Singapore orally until she hits something that needs to be covered more thoroughly. He's a big math guy, and didn't want to move her up too fast and end up missing out on some basics. I'm thrilled when she recites a poem, he's thrilled when she recites math facts! :-)
2018/19: US1877
used MFW from K through WHL

Please help with Singapore Math 1A - Page 66

Unread post by TurnOurHearts »

RBS in OH wrote:Hi, we are working on textbook page 66, # 7 and 8. I understand how the book is teaching the subtraction concept, but I can't quite grasp how the lesson plan is teaching it. What's the point in imagining a completely new set of 2 numbers to subtract? Why "14" and especially why "6"? To me, this process just seems to complicate the math problem. Please help me understand this....thanks!
Hi Rachel :)

Being a non-math mom, I struggled with teaching a different way than I was taught in school. I know the "new" way may seem more confusing at first, but the goal really does simplify the thinking process by grouping numbers by 10s (100s, 1000s, etc.).

In the specific problem you mentioned, #7, the 12 is broken into 10 & 2 and then your child should be able to easily (having practiced subtracting numbers in the 10 family) subtract 4 from 10 ("Oh, that's 6, Mommy."). Then we say, "Good! Now, what is 6 plus 2?" And we find our answer of 8. This is the very beginning of what I call "thinking to the 10s." This is foundational for the mental math component of Singapore math ~ learning to re-group in the mind instead of on our fingers, manipulatives, etc. Still, if your child is confused by "adding back" the 2 (from the 12), pull out the manipulatives & talk it out with visual aid.

HTH! :)
Cyndi (AZ)
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Re: Please help with Singapore Math 1A

Unread post by Cyndi (AZ) »

This is my take on it --

The "Imagine the problem is 14-6" in the Lesson Plan is using totally different numbers than the textbook to help you think the process. 14-6 has nothing to do with 12-4. (I was confused by that at first.)

The whole point of the process is to make a number bond out of the larger number that includes a 10. 12 is actually 10 and 2. (It is really going to help in the future to separate out the 10's in your head.) Then subtract 4 from 10 to get 6, add that to the 2 you took out in your number bond, and the answer is 8.

It really does seem to "complicate the math problem" at first, but once your kids get the idea of working with 10's, it becomes far easier to do larger problems in their heads.

I hope that helps and isn't more confusing. I answered because the book was handy . . .
2018/19: US1877
used MFW from K through WHL

Re: Please help with Singapore Math 1A

Unread post by cbollin »


Essentially you are using this lesson in order to help build a foundation for higher mental math. You are taking what they know (from rote drill) and moving it to concepts that will lay a future foundation for doing problems such as 72-8 in their heads and/or on paper with the borrowing and regrouping in a vertical format that we are use to.

This page in 1A p. 66:
Prior to teaching the text, let's take a look at what you and your child have been doing up till now so that this lesson makes more sense

You've covered Number bonds with 10. That should be almost automatic for kids.
So, Take the time to do a quick drill with them on those parts.
Take a moment to drill that numbers between 11-19 are: 10 plus something.

now, as you practice Teens minus single digit..... build the problem.
They have just drilled that Teens are 10 plus something.
They practice number bonds with 10.

now it's time to pull it together and introduce (not master) a new concept with it.
Yes --- with 12-4 it is probably easier to just learn it. But did you know it will help with big problems likes 72-4?

Now for my copy and paste answer from many times of teaching this and talking about this page......
What about Textbook 1A, p. 66? It's a common point to be stuck there.

Do like the book pictures. Before that, practice some out loud drills where the child practices
(make sure they know those very easily)

Now with those facts freshly in her mind....
Count 12 objects. Put them in a group of ten that is close together with 2 pieces on the side but not too far away. So it looks like a group of 10 and a group of 2. Just like the picture on p. 66 with the carrots.

Tell your child, "You did great on 10 minus something. Now let’s practice 12 minus somethings."
(child groans or panics, and you assure them. We'll try together.)
"Ok. 12 minus 0. 12 -1, 12-2, oooh...what about 12-3?" (use number line if needed, or give answer if needed.

"I have an idea for the rest of them. Watch this for 12-4. Just watch this time.
Well, 12 is 10 plus 2. I’ll take my 4 from the group of 10."

Then you show them by taking away (or at least covering them with your hand) 4 blocks from the pile with 10 (and under your breath say 10-4 leaves me 6"
"ah. Now I’m left with 6 and 2"
Now push the piles together while saying "6 and 2 is 8. So, when I started with 12 and took 4 away, I was left with 8. 12 -4 = 8"

Now, it’s the child’s turn to practice the same steps.
"Ok. let's try together with 12 -5"
"(under your breath) 10-5 (while removing or covering 5) gives me 5 and the two over here 5 and 2 leaves me 7. So, 12-5 = 7"

(I always try to end with the full problem so they know what we were doing. That way they are hearing the problem, answer and participating in getting there.)

This time, try it out loud without touching the objects
"Let's try 12-6. we know that 10-6 would leave us 4 and the other 2, that would be 6 left. 12-6=6"

If they don't get it, then use the objects.

Don’t think that mental math means to start with the abstract. Start with the pictures and objects and try to do a few with it. Then try the more abstract. Pull back if they aren't ready for abstract. Try again later in the day, then try again tomorrow.

They do not have to master this mental step in 1a. It is preparing them for down the road with subtraction with regrouping for problems like 72-6. And it is also just one more way to help cement the facts.
so keep that in mind that if they use a number line in 1st or 2nd grade, it’s ok. Just every once in a while demonstrate the “mental technique” above (from p. 66 1A). Singapore does recommend using concrete methods (manipulatives and pictures) prior to the abstract. So, you are not asking your child to mentally do that kind of problem that way at first. Use touchable objects and set it up just like the picture and use the thought bubbles as a quick guide to talk out loud.

I also want to make sure that your child understands that numbers from 11-19 are the same as 10 plus 1, 10 plus 2 etc. That's a more key concept to make sure of right now.

Keep drilling with the facts for teens minus single digit (12-4) and slowly add in the practice with the “trick”. Some kids aren’t as quick to pick up the trick, and that’s ok.

It’s funny. It takes a long time to write out how to do that problem, but it only takes a few seconds to actually do it with your child.

thanks for making it to the end. Like I said, long time to type that script. Short time to do it.

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Re: Please help with Singapore Math 1A

Unread post by RBS in OH »

Well,...I'm feeling a little silly. After I read Paige's sweet response, I realized that I misunderstood the lesson plan example--my dh came home; time for lunch--come back and 2 more helpful, caring responses. I had looked at the example the way Cyndi had at first--as 14-6 being related to 12-4; I'm SO glad that they're completely seperate problems--I was wondering what I had gotten myself into when we switched math this year.

Actually, I am really liking Singapore Math. My ds son is getting it very well and enjoys math this year. And this week I substituted my dd's lessons from the 1B book to the lessons my son is doing in 1A so that she can better understand this basic concept. It really does take some different thinking, especially when this wasn't originally taught--so my brain is being retrained to think of numbers this way too---but I like it!

Crystal, your teaching explanation has already been very helpful here. (A couple of weeks ago, I studied the posts on this math for the earlier books.) Following them has really helped my son go through this so smoothly. This week, I even had both kids explain everything in the process outloud to me as they did the workbook--for 2 or 3 problems, until I was sure they grasped it all. Then we did it again the next day to make sure it stuck...and it did :) :-)

Thank you again for your responses!

O.K. another kind of silly--for Crystal. Understand that my 7 year olds have been listening to their Dad sing the Beattles--and joining this is from them: "With a Toad like that, you know that can't be bad....She loves you, yah, yah, yah....."

ds(14) 8) and dd(14) ;)
We've enjoyed ADV, ECC (2 times), CTG, RTR, EX-1850, 1850-MOD--and now AHL this year!
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More and Less (Math) - Singapore 1A, Lesson 2

Unread post by Yodergoat »

Wonderobyn wrote:I am doing Singapore 1A with my son. On the second lesson he was having difficulty with the concept of more than and less than. Today I skipped the third lesson and just worked on helping him learn less than and more than with blocks and checkers and beads as hands on objects. He started to get it, but is still not confident with it. I just lined up two rows of objects (first the same objects in both rows and later a different object in each row) and had him label them less than and more than. Does anyone have any other hands on ideas to help learn these concepts?
The blocks and such sound great, very hands on. I do something like that with these fish manipulatives that stick to flannel fish bowls... an awesomely fun thing which I got from Rainbow Resource and expect to use for a long time since it has 100 fish! So I will have her put all the blue fish on the bowl, let's say there are 5, and then all 3 of the red fish. Which group of fish has more? Which has less? Take off 3 of the blue fish. Now which group has more? Two yellow fish swim in. Are there more or less yellow fish than red fish? Are there more, less or the same number of blue and yellow fish?

Same concept as your blocks and other hands on things, but the novelty of the fish helped. Is there something you could use that could make it extra fun like that, something he loves like rocks or plastic animals? Gail learned a great deal about more or less than with her Schleich animal figures. Are there more horses than cattle? Less sheep than goats? More okapi than tapirs? (That would be the same as, since she only has one of each!)

We also worked on which number is "bigger," which I think is the same concept. We started with objects (a bigger group) and then once she had her numerals down we did numbers. Is 8 bigger than 5? She'd answer, and I'd reinforce it using the language she'd encounter later. "Yes, 8 is MORE than 5."

Also it became very concrete with foods. I have 6 M&Ms, Gail has 4. She definitely sees that she has LESS than me! ;) Same with portion sizes... such as a chocolate bar. If I broke one in pieces and she got 2/3 and I got 1/3 of the bar, she would quickly see that she had more than me. Food was a huge motivator!

We haven't gotten into the more and less than symbols yet. < > Not sure if that is what he had in the math book?
I'm Shawna...
... a forgiven child of God since 1994 (age 16)
... happily wed to William since 1996
... mother of our long-awaited Gail (3/15/2006)
... missing 6 little ones (4 miscarriages, 2 ectopics)
... starting Rome to the Reformation this fall!

Re: More and Less (Math)

Unread post by cbollin »

I found more and less to be a very difficult language concept for my autistic child too. I did it in multiple ways.

*whenever I would serve her ice cream, I would ask her is this enough, or would you like to have MORE?
*I would put objects in groups and line them up. don't our spectrum children enjoy lining things up, right? ok.. anyway. I would line them up so that the larger number group was more visible.
*I'd draw objects in rows and draw a line from one to other (one to one correspondence) the group that didn't have a friend to hold hands, was the more group.

But I would spend a lot of time giving her the answer about more (or less) before asking her to give me an output of the same. So, in all of those (except the ice cream) examples I would give the answer about 5 times before asking her to try one for herself.

I know everyone has different points of view on computer games and tv shows and all of that. Please preview for suitability in your household. you know how it is on websites.. ads, etc... I use to really like this game when it was on sprout or one of the preschool websites.
here's the Miffy "we have the same" game. That was something my youngest liked. It was a lot of one on one counting and the question was "do character and character have the same number of apples"
anyway, even if you play it and your child doesn't, you'll get the idea of a fun way to teach this.

So, that takes me back a step with your situation. How is your son on understanding Same and Different? If those language concepts are there, use them to help take it the next level.
Are they are the same?
No, they are different numbers?
How are the different?
let's find out..... let's count and put in group.
1 2 3 4 5
1 2 3
oh, this group have MORE apples

Definitely use real objects, or drawings on erase board
line them up
connect them to each other where they are the "same number"

and keep on with the input throughout the books. You might have to help with that. Do you have anything like base ten blocks to use as well? Do you have a 100 chart made? Another idea might be to find a math workbook in a book store (probably at K level instead of 1st level) that has colorful pictures in the book and sections on more/less, same/different and other math language combos.

I know others in homeschooling are probably laughing that we have to teach like that with our kids. I hope others have compassion at all difficult autism is with language barriers and how we have to teach and build so differently.

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Re: More and Less (Math)

Unread post by Wonderobyn »

Thank you Shawna and Crystal!! S- the fish actually sound perfect for my son. He loves fish things (thanks to Finding Nemo). He does not care about typical boy things like cars, rocks, etc. I think I will create my own version of this with some fish pictures that I laminated and used as potty training rewards. C- DS does learn well on the computer, so I will look up that game for sure. He does understand Same an Different. He does understand more and less on some level, but the pictures in the book confused him some how. Since you mentioned food, I tried that with his breakfast today. He had two corn thins (like rice cakes) and 10 sections of a clementine. Even though the corn thins were much bigger, he understood immediately that there were more clementines. After he ate the clementines and still had a corn thin, I asked him again and he completely understood.

I think the exercises yesterday, and the time to think about them helped a lot. I will keep reinforcing it with ideas I got from these two posts! Thanks a lot ladies.
Joy married to Glenn for 20 yrs
DS 6 (autism) PS PK-K Currently MFW 1st
Julie in MN
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Re: More and Less (Math)

Unread post by Julie in MN »

I agree that sometimes it just takes time to sink into the brain.

I just wanted to add one tiny idea. It may seem silly, even. But when my dd was about to start K (in public school, at age 5.5 and I hadn't even started the alphabet with her), I went through a little Unifix kit with her just to cross the border between concrete & abstract. And one thing they did with more & less-than was to physically touch the group that was more. We were working with unifix cubes in the kit, of course ;) , and so we'd have two different sized groups and she was to put her hand on the group that had more.

I sometimes think that the abstract symbols have no where to alight in the brain of a little one, so they fly away. They may get the concepts better than we think, but when looking at the symbolic representation, there is just no connection to the things they know. So I thought it might be helpful to just take all of the abstract out of the conversation for a bit and just make a physical, bodily connection to the words, touching the concrete with the hands and not just the eyes.

Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
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Re: More and Less (Math)

Unread post by SarahP »

Another way to help them figure out the (<) (>) symbols is to tell them that the little symbol is a mouth, a fish or Pac-Man (if your child knows who that is) and the mouth wants to eat the larger number/bigger group of objects.
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Singapore 1A-1B...too much thinking? 1A teen numbers

Unread post by hsm »

Brendainnj wrote:Ok, I went back to parts of 1A that we skipped (because I knew she wouldn't get it) and I don't think it's gonna go this time either. We are just starting addition/subtraction with teen numbers.

According to the textbook, the way to do this is to make a ten first (instead of 9+4, regroup it to 10+3). We worked on her 10 number facts w/flashcards & dominoes a lot prior to the break but other than 5+5 she still cannot remember them. She's "forgotten" place value so doesn't understand why the 1 and 0 cannot both be in the same place. The pictures in the book show multiple thought processes going on & she just really can't wrap her brain around it. Instead of 9+5 think that 9 + (4+1)=14. It's just too much for her, then she just get frustrated & says I don't get it. I try pictures, columns to show place value etc & it just seems like I make it worse. Almost all the other parts of the book were fairly easy for her, since it was broken down into manageable bites. But now...we really can't go on unless we can somehow figure a way to get through this.

Not sure if anyone else has struggled with this or not; I had such high hopes for Singapore since it helps you to really think about the math. I peeked into 1B a bit & nearly freaked when I saw the multiplication pages already! I feel like she is soooo behind. BTW, she is a month shy of her 8th bday. Thanks, hopefully this is somewhat coherent... :(
You are not alone! We struggled as well. I started my daughter in 1A when she was a few months shy of 8 also. She struggled with this same concept and I struggled with how to teach it. Someone on here was kind enough to send me a link of a website that helped explain how to teach this method. I made some manipulatives using plastic easter eggs and egg cartons. I also bought unifix cubes ( or you could use duplo legos if you have, or anything else you have: coins, buttons, beans, etc) The eggs were nice because it looked like the pictures in the book. If you want I can private message you the link to see how to use that method. It did help her somewhat, but she still wasn't quite getting it. It helped me to understand the way of teaching better.

I used the dry erase board and just worked problems over and over until I felt she got it good enough to move on. She seemed to like using the dry erase board more. We paused where we were in the book and worked on the problem areas. I don't think she "mastered" it before we moved on but I needed to move on and figured we would keep reviewing it. Then came summer. We planned to do math in the summer, but life happened and math didn't. When we started back up she was frustrated and struggling again (by now we were in 1B). She was just not understanding this way of thinking and learning just like your daughter. I was very frustrated.

What I did was put Singapore away for about a month. We worked very diligently on math facts. We used a lot of online games and some card games. I also pulled out an old math workbook I happened to have (could even get a cheap one from walmart or print free worksheets online) just so she had some math going on. It helped solidify her facts and helped her get to a place where she was confident again. She was feeling very discouraged with Singapore. After a month long break, I pulled out the Singapore 1B again. I started back a few lessons to review the methods and just went through very quickly until we got to where we left off. Lo and behold, she is getting it now. I was pretty shocked how much the break and hands on work and games had helped in that time. I think when we started Singapore she was ready for that level of thinking. Now, she seems to be. Or at least, the work we did during our break helped her get there.

I guess to summarize my rambling, my advice is to hang on a bit. I think everyone hits a bump (or two or three...) in any math program. She is very young still and it may take a little extra time to develop that thinking. I would use a lot of manipulatives and games. Maybe take a little break to hammer out facts and have some fun to build up that confidence. Then ease back in. Don't stress about not getting through 1B by the end of the year. My oldest daughter started 2B in March of last year (when she was at the end of 5th grade) when we switched to Singapore and is planning to finish 5B by the end of this year. You can speed it up to "catch up" when she is ready. It can be done. With both of my girls when they hit a spot that they are struggling with, we pause and spend a little more time on it before moving on. I hope that something in here helps.
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Julie in MN
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Re: Singapore 1A-1B...too much thinking?

Unread post by Julie in MN »

I haven't used 1A/B, since the youngest child I've homeschooled has been 3rd grade (maybe I'll try those with my after-schooled grandson next year).

However, I wanted to encourage you that your child is still very young. There are some like the Bluedorns, early pioneers in Christian homeschooling, who didn't teach abstract math at all until after age 10 (symbols such as "2" are abstract, but they did plenty of concrete measuring and other hands-on before then). Even an ancient Greek education didn't include math until like high school or something.

I also totally agree with Lori that any math program will have bumps in the road. At these points, my ds was always happy when we stopped and played games, as she has :) You can also just move forward in the math lessons, and perhaps come back to that tough section later, or bring out just one problem every day or so.

As far as Singapore methods such as grouping into 10s, my perspective when using Singapore was always to introduce the "ideas" of solving problems in new ways, and then to let them percolate in the little brain until the student eventually found for himself that these methods might be shortcuts or might finally make sense of something that has been confusing them.

It's like the board games that I've been playing with my grandson for a few years (he's 7 now). I've always showed him how I quickly count the dice by starting with the larger number, or move along the board by counting by twos, or other methods of doing the math more efficiently, based on my understanding of what numbers are actually doing in the situation. However, I've observed him spend years slowly counting, one by one, often starting over multiple times, or counting as he plans his move and then starting over with 1 after he decides where to move his marker. But as he is ready, he does try one of the faster methods, sort-of experimenting without necessarily understanding yet. Then he may go back to his tried-and-true counting from 1. But eventually a method will fully sink in and I realize it's become a part of him. He just needed a stronger base, I think, and I love that I can allow him to build that base. So it is with everything numbers-related - he repeats, he memorizes, he goes back and plods, and after a lot of time, he thoroughly understands.

I also think of these math lessons as teaching you, the teacher, so that you can observe your student, and **remind her of the tools stored in her toolbelt when stuck.** Singapore lessons will keep bringing these ideas into problems for several years to come.

Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
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Re: Singapore 1A-1B...too much thinking?

Unread post by Yodergoat »

I remember a post you had at the beginning of the school year regarding how your daughter struggled with doing multiple steps in oral instructions... I looked up your old post and it mentioned how if you told her to "put up your shoes, put the dirty laundry in the basket and pick the baby dolls up off the floor," she would get the shoes and forget the other instructions that followed afterward.

I see some of these Singapore math problems in a similar way... a student has to do all of these steps in order (often in her head) and then proceed to the next part. See the problem (9+5), realize that it is adding, turn the 9 into 10 by adding 1 (and thus having to recall the math facts for 10), remember that you took 1 away from the 5 so now it's 4 (by doing subtraction), adding the 4 to the 10, remembering place value so you write 14. It has many steps, and it would be easy to do one and then forget what to do next. If she is still struggling with comprehending a list of things, perhaps this is a result of that issue? I can see how it would be!

I think that whatever way you can make each of those processes as "automatic" as possible would be beneficial. Those math facts to get 10 are crucial for this. I played a game with my daughter using coins... she loved using coins. I would call it "let's make 10." She had a dime, two nickels, 10 pennies. I would begin by giving her an amount, 6 for example. I would say, "You have 6. Let's make 10. What will you need to add to the 6?" And she would solve the problem. We did stuff like this over and over until it was automatic. That really helped with the first step of those problems in Singapore that required "making 10." Maybe hang out doing stuff like that for a while and see if it helps.

I know that with my daughter and reading (or rather, her problems with reading), she lost confidence quickly and had a real struggle in believing she could do it. It turned into a heart issue... "I just can't. Maybe I'm dumb. Everybody else is better than me. I just can't do it." Stuff like that. ;( Even when she was doing better, she didn't really believe it because she had lost confidence. Building up her confidence with simple things she could do helped immensely, and she got past it and moved on.

I say, take a break from the book. Work on facts again until she is confident. Play games, make it fun. Let her build up her confidence and let some processes like making 10 and place value become more automatic so each step isn't so daunting. It's okay to hang out a while, even if it might make you feel behind. Better than moving ahead without comprehending, or becoming completely upset with math in general because it feels too hard.

We're in 1B right now, about to hit that multiplication part. I'm a little daunted by it myself, but will see how it goes and if my girl hits a wall we will back off, slow down, work on facts and play games.
I'm Shawna...
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... mother of our long-awaited Gail (3/15/2006)
... missing 6 little ones (4 miscarriages, 2 ectopics)
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Re: Singapore 1A-1B...too much thinking?

Unread post by Brendainnj »

I'd like to thank each of you ladies for helping me to think a little more clearly today :). It is always so helpful to hear different perspectives or even the same one, yet from someone who has already gone through it. Lori, thanks for letting me know I'm NOT alone & my daughter is not the only one who struggles in this area. I will definitely try to incorporate more games/practicing of math facts over the next several weeks. I know that often I am so anxious for her to "get it" that I get as frustrated as she does. My other kids were whizzes in math, so I've never really had to "slow down" before. Julie, you described me to a "T" as I'm inwardly just gritting my teeth as my daughter bypasses all the neat shortcuts I've explained...and sits there & counts on her fingers AGAIN.

Shawna, thanks for remembering my older post & putting the two together...of course she is overwhelmed by the multiple steps--I just don't know how to simplify them enough for her. Then I start beating up on myself for not being a good enough teacher...and the cycle continues :(

We did have a couple of good days...just slowing down a bit--we did one work page orally yesterday, then went back after some more practice & completed the same page today with her actually writing in the answers. And then we STOPPED--rather than press on to complete the assignment. So that is progress! Tomorrow is another day, right? ;)

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