Math Topics - Bar diagrams, teaching tips

Locked
Julie in MN
Posts: 2927
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

Math Topics - Bar diagrams, teaching tips

Unread post by Julie in MN » Wed Mar 28, 2007 12:36 pm

shellie wrote:I'm feeling rather dense. Twice in 3 days, I've hit word problems in my son's 4A Singapore math book that I can't even begin to answer! I have the answer key, so I know what the answer is, but I don't know how to explain to him how to get the answer. I have a degree in English, but I have no head for math... and I'm really getting worried for my future as a good home school teacher if I'm already stuck and we're only on book 4A!!

I've been scouting around for helps, and I did find on the Singapore site that there is a Primary Math Home Instr Guide 4A. I notice that these guides are not sold by MFW, so I was wondering if they are really worth getting or not. I hate to spend $16 just to find the examples for a few word problems in the Reviews, but I'll gladly do it if you guys say, "Oh yes! That guide is the bee's knees and you NEED it!" ^__^

I do have a friend who is good at math and who has helped me a few times over the last month, but I hate to be calling her all the time. And since this is my first year home schooling, I'm not sure if I've already endured the worst of the word problems and now we'll be moving on to other things I can understand and explain, OR if I have just begun this wonderful world of word problems and if I don't get it now, I'll REALLY be lost in another few weeks! haha!

I would really appreciate any suggestions any Singapore users could give me! Thanks!!

Shellie
Shellie,
I do have the Home Instructor Guides & I do use them. They do have the entire problem worked out for *some* of the problems -- probably the ones you need, but not guaranteed.

However, that said, I think the key to figuring out Singapore word problems is learning how to use their bar diagrams to *see* the problem more clearly.

Maybe if you give us one of the problems you are having trouble with, some of us can give you more specific ideas.

I will say that I think you're at a good point to get it figured out, and that it will be worth it!
Julie
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
(http://www.CaringBridge.org/visit/ShaneHansell)
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs

bethben
Posts: 37
Joined: Mon Dec 04, 2006 4:34 pm

Singapore yahoo group

Unread post by bethben » Wed Mar 28, 2007 3:24 pm

There's a singapore yahoo group that could probably help on individual problems. I do have the instructors guides, but haven't really used them yet (we're on 2a and I'm a mathy person). The yahoo group is:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/SingaporeMath/

Beth

shellie
Posts: 16
Joined: Tue Jul 18, 2006 11:34 pm

Unread post by shellie » Wed Mar 28, 2007 3:55 pm

Thank you, Julie and Beth!
I signed up for the Singapore forum you linked, Beth. Thanks!!

And you are so right about the bar chart thingies, Julie. I'm sure that would help me... if I knew where to start! haha! This whole math process has definitely shown me my weaknesses, that's for sure.

And since you asked, here is the problem that has me stumped. (Don't laugh at me if it is hilariously easy!! heee!)

There are 3000 books in 3 piles. The first pile has 10 more books than the second pile. The second pile has twice as many books as the third pile. How many books are in the third pile?

I actually did figure out the answer myself... but it took me 15 minutes of scribbling and guessing and resorting piles to finally get it! I know there must be a for-real, mathy way to do it! If someone here wants to walk me through it so I can explain it to my 11 year old, I'd love it! Until then, I'm off to the Singapore forum to see how deep in over my head I can get!! haha!

Thanks again!
shellie

MJP
Posts: 109
Joined: Sat Sep 11, 2004 9:25 pm

Unread post by MJP » Wed Mar 28, 2007 9:22 pm

I use the help available on the Singapore website. You can post what problem you are working on and the moderator works them out for you--with bars! I have used this option more than once. I needed the guides from 5b up--for sure! At the 4 level I was just using the Singapore board.

I don't know how she does the bar, but I will give this a try.
___ ___ + 10 pile 1
___ ___ pile 2
___ pile 3

The lines are boxes. You had to split the first two boxes into two boxes because all your boxes need to be the same size and the third pile is only half of the second pile. Now subtract the 10 extra from your total.
3000 - 10 = 2990 and then divide by the 5 boxes. Your total (598) is how many books are in each of your piles. Thus the third pile has 598.

I used to tell my husband my brain hurt after Singapore math. Just as an encouragement--I am getting faster at these!
Melissa
Wife of 1 for 18 yrs. Mom of 7--ages 1-15--1st, 2nd, 5th, 8th and 9th grades & (one on the way)
Psalm 16:8
Currently using--1850 to Modern Times
Previously--MFW K , 1st, CtoG, RTR, Exp. to 1850

shellie
Posts: 16
Joined: Tue Jul 18, 2006 11:34 pm

Unread post by shellie » Wed Mar 28, 2007 10:23 pm

You girls are GOOD!! ^_^ Thank you for the very visual example. I'll show that to my son tomorrow so we can both say, "Aaaah! I see now!"

And thank you for the encouragement that I CAN do it. I don't consider myself a dunce, but I've never been confident with my math skills. I really appreciate all the help!

shellie

cbollin

Unread post by cbollin » Thu Mar 29, 2007 5:07 am

Am I understanding this right....
so, in other words, instead of using the letter X for your unknown, all you are doing is using a bar to represent the "unknown" quantity?

It is the same thing as 2x + 10 + 2x + x = 3000

right?

I don't have singapore 4A, so I can't look this up. Are these bar things just supposed to be a replacement for X (or other symbolic version to rep the unknown variable)

just asking?

--crystal

MammaBear
Posts: 11
Joined: Fri Apr 07, 2006 10:12 pm

Unread post by MammaBear » Thu Mar 29, 2007 7:31 am

For help with the whole bar thing I hvae found this site really helpful
www.thinkingblocks.com And Yes I was hung up on that problem too. I REALLY suggest getting the Home Educators guides as alot of the lesson is taught in those guides as well as suggestions for games and helpful hints. I could not do Singapore Math without them.

cbollin

Unread post by cbollin » Thu Mar 29, 2007 9:54 am

I'm thankful for people like Jenny Hoerst who dedicates her time to helping homeschoolers use Singapore Math. She's the one who runs the Q&A forum on the singapore math website (right?).

I'm also thankful for the many ladies on this board who will help us with math, reading, and all sorts of things. it makes it less scary to use Singapore

crystal
Last edited by cbollin on Thu Mar 29, 2007 7:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Julie in MN
Posts: 2927
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

Unread post by Julie in MN » Thu Mar 29, 2007 10:33 am

Crystal,
Yes, basically you are doing "pre" algebra with the bar diagrams... but shhhh don't tell the kids!

The bar diagrams are an easy intro because you can fool around with them. You don't have to read the whole problem & decide what symbols stand for in advance.

For instance, in this case we'd start with, "There are 3000 books in 3 piles."
------ \
------ > total 3,000
------ /

Then we read, "The first pile has 10 more books than the second pile," and add in that info:
------ + 10
------ > total 3,000
------

Now we continue, "The second pile has twice as many books as the third pile."
------ + 10
-----|-----| > total 3,000
-----|

Then we remember that the first pile must be the same as the second, plus ten:
-----|-----| + 10
-----|-----| > total 3,000
-----|

And now the problem, "How many books are in the third pile?" looks really easy to the student!
Julie
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
(http://www.CaringBridge.org/visit/ShaneHansell)
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs

cbollin

Unread post by cbollin » Thu Mar 29, 2007 10:52 am

Ah Ha!!! Just like when we teach them grammar but we don't tell them it is grammar until middle school. got it!

I just drew out that problem and oldest saw it right away. Now she's asking me to go back and get 4A for her. and this is from a kid who yesterday was making me stomp around saying "do your worksheet or you don't get lunch".

:thud:

--crystal

shellie
Posts: 16
Joined: Tue Jul 18, 2006 11:34 pm

Unread post by shellie » Thu Mar 29, 2007 2:01 pm

cbollin wrote: Just like when we teach them grammar but we don't tell them it is grammar until middle school. got it!
hahaha! That is SO true! I did run through this problem with my son this morning... and I made the mistake of saying, "See, we figured it out! Great job! These are the first steps of algebra!!" The wide-eyed look of terror on his face was priceless! haha!

Thanks again, everyone. You've given me some great new websites and strategies for figuring out problems like this down the line! I'm grateful!!

shellie

Locked

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests