Math - Pre-Algebra, longer transition to Algebra?

Issues specific to teaching 6th to 8th graders, including the transition to Saxon math, Apologia science, Progeny Press guides, and grammar lessons
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MJ in IL
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Joined: Sun Jul 17, 2005 5:23 pm

Math - Pre-Algebra, longer transition to Algebra?

Unread post by MJ in IL » Thu Aug 07, 2008 9:54 pm

pjssully wrote:Just wondering if i gave my daughter some time to "mature" and not do the algebra what would i do with her for Math next year?

She is 11 but "technically" in school she would be a 7th grader--she skipped 2nd grade when she was in public school. I don't want to take a break and do something else because i don't want her to forget what she has learned last year in PreAlgebra.
pam
IN a different situation, we took a break from "regular" math for a semester and used a curriculum called "Your Business Math." Each child had a business that they "kept books" for. I paired it with a personal money mgm't book that we read of Larry Burkett's and some 4-H materials.

The kids loved it! (In our case, dd was in pre-algebra and chose to do both...well, not necessarily the pre-algebra;)
Molly
dd14 enjoying AHL; ds12 & ds10 in RtR & dd5 working through K!
have done K (2X), 1 (2X), ECC, CtG, & 1850MT

Julie in MN
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Unread post by Julie in MN » Fri Aug 08, 2008 12:47 am

You've received some good options if you want to hold off on Algebra...

* Saxon 8/7
* Practical math
* Also possibly Singapore 6, if you haven't done it.

Although if you deviate from the "plan," you should also consider the MFW goals of increasing independence & workload in 7th grade... doing that in one way or another. Gotta prepare them for high school, ya know :o)
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

4Truth
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Unread post by 4Truth » Fri Aug 08, 2008 2:23 pm

What if you do another year of PreAlgebra with a different publisher? That way she could "see" it from another way of being taught, and then next year when she does Algebra, it should be really easy for her.
Donna, with two MFW graduates and the "baby" in 9th grade! %| Using MFW since 2004.

cbollin

Singapore Math -- ready for pre-algrebra?

Unread post by cbollin » Wed Sep 19, 2012 3:06 pm

Cyndi (AZ) wrote:I'm very hesitant to post this, but I have some honest questions. My 7th grade niece is living with me and I help her with her math homework from public school. I've been looking through what she is learning, excelling at, struggling with, etc., and wondered when Singapore Math addresses negative numbers. (I was actually considering purchasing the Singapore practice books for her.) I'm a little shell-shocked by some of the reviews that I just read. I know people whom I highly respect that recommend Singapore Math, so I am not questioning it as a whole program, but I'm wondering about some of the mentioned "gaps."

To my understanding, SM does not teach negative numbers in levels 1-6. I find this a little humorous because my 5th grade dd can actually do my 7th grade niece's math homework faster than she can . . . (this is actually not a helpful thing). Maybe my little shopper just has an early grasp of what a negative number is?? My niece can't figure it out at all, and after a meeting with her math teacher yesterday, I discovered that most 7th graders are having difficulty with integers. It is greatly affecting their ability to get correct answers for order of operations, variable equations, etc.

So. Am I panicking that my 5th grade dd is not doing what my 7th grade niece is doing? (Which would be silly, but I've been known to be silly.) The 5th grader also "wins" when it comes to adding, subtracting, multiplying, and simplifying fractions. My dd has to be kicked out of the homework area in order to maintain peace now.

Why doesn't SM teach negative numbers? Absolute value? Square roots? Setting up equations with variables? Are those just pre-algebra skills that come with Saxon Math that I don't need to worry about right now?

I know Crystal's oldest did extremely well going from Singapore to Saxon. Does anyone else have a story to tell me? What level in Singapore did they finish? Was there enough instruction in Saxon 8/7 or Algebra 1/2 to pick up the things that weren't taught in Singapore?

I don't want to open a can of worms and I'm not picking on Singapore, because so far I love, love, love it. I just want to know now if there are some gaps that I should fill along the way in 5th/6th grade or if I'm jumping the gun and need to wait for pre-algebra.
Cyndi,

Those aren't can of worms questions, girlfriend! Those are good stuff.

I don't know why SM didn't address it in elementary. But it could be that it isn't all that needed until pre algebra 7th grade? You know.... kinda like the age old debate of "when is best to teach abstracts of parts of speech?"

All of those so called "gaps" are in the first few lessons in Saxon 87 prealgebra.

Here's the other half of the story that you may not know my family and my Singapore to Saxon experience. Yes.. oldest is math whiz and all of that, in spite of not knowing how to read an analog clock in the middle of the night.. LOL LOL.

My middle gal. dear little sweet middle gal. Not advanced academically. sweet personality.. pretty curls naturally.. but not what you call strong academic kid. She did MFW math all the way.. Kindy 1st, Singapore 1A through only 5B by end of 6th grade. Started Saxon 87 in 7th. Currently in SAxon Algebra 1/2 in 8th. I did not see a need for her to advanced to Alg. I in 8th.. she ain't ready!

She did soooooooooooooooo fine from Singapore 5B to Saxon 87. and yes... all of that negative numbers, and learning to transition from "bar diagrams" to variables... (although guess what? Saxon uses some singapore stuff too) it's all in there in 87. It really is. I think I added in a visual manipulative to see negative numbers with rulers.. to help see the idea with number line... Then the idea of taking bar diagrams and writing a bunch of "cute letters and symbols" was easy... who woulda guessed that with her?

I really see the strength of Singapore (slow and steady with average to slow academic student) going to Saxon.

that's my other story....

I know I taught some of the so called gap stuff to my oldest because after all she has to be the nerd..... but I didnt' do it with middle gal until it showed up. She's on track.

Postby cbollin » Wed Sep 19, 2012 6:07 pm
Maybe some of the vids at khan academy would help for your niece? I'll send link in PM. maybe something there would help? a lot of time to help understand the concept of "negative"... it can be done with "you owe me this much money but you're broke"... or temps below zero?

-crystal

Julie in MN
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Re: Singapore Math -- ready for pre-algrebra?

Unread post by Julie in MN » Wed Sep 19, 2012 3:44 pm

The next level of Singapore covers negative numbers (NEM, DM, or the other Sungapore series). The next level of Singapore is Prealgebra, algebra I/II, and geometry mixed, kind of like Saxon mixes it up, except all 4 years are in there.

Here is my story.
I wanted to allow my son to finish Singapore primary 6, even though he was in 7th grade. I like Singapore, wanted to finish the primary series, and wanted to still have time for my son to do math team and some serious math drill in fractions that year. We had a little extra time, so I threw in a little of the next level of Singapore (NEM-1) -- specifically, some negative number units. I quickly found they weren't necessary -- much longer assignments than the primary series (that transition to 50 problem sets is always an adjustment), no real practical use for negatives yet (just "what if" numberline type scenarios), and the ideas seemed quickly learned and quickly forgotten (kind of like those grammar terms Crystal mentioned). But if you really really want them, they are easy enough to throw into Singapore 6. I'd think you could even find a unit online, rather than purchasing a whole set like I did.

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

TriciaMR
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Re: Singapore Math -- ready for pre-algrebra?

Unread post by TriciaMR » Wed Sep 19, 2012 3:45 pm

Hi Cyndi!

My dd (dyslexic) has been transitioning to Saxon 8/7 this year from Singapore (doing Math-U-See up to half way through, was it Gamma or Delta?, then Singapore 3A-5B). She is doing great! Scoring 80 or 85 on her tests. She already understands 85% or so of what they are covering. Much of it has been review.

One thing, with my dd not always recognizing when to borrow, I taught her about negative numbers last year or the year before. I drew a number line with 0 in the middle, the positives to the right, and the negatives to the left. Then I showed her 4-6=-2, counting hops on the number line. Then telling her that we don't use negative numbers until pre-algebra or algebra. (It still didn't help her see when she needs to borrow. Sigh.) But, when we hit that in Saxon 8/7 she was so excited to be able to put a negative sign on the front of some of her answers. LOL!

Some other things not covered in Singapore: Exponents. But, easy explanation again. And she grasped it. Square roots. We're working on those. Rays, lines, and segments. Circles and the names of the different things on the circle (diameter, circumference, radius, etc). Made flash cards for those, and she gets it (just doesn't always pronounce it right).

And, my dd hates using variables, she just looks at the problems and figures out which math operation she needs to do and does it to solve. And word problems? Heh! We're on lesson 23, and we covered all the word problems so far in Singapore. I don't make her "set them up" like in the Saxon book. She reads the problems and either knows what operation(s) she needs to do, or draws a bar diagram and solves it that way. We go through the text, and I show her on the white board and explain, but let her solve the problems the way that works best for her.

I have friends whose kids go through Saxon, and when the get to 8/7 they really struggle. Toni struggles with speed (and number reversals, still), but she understands the concepts just fine. I think Singapore really lays a very strong foundation for math. I was worried I would have to change to something else (Life of Fred or something), but she is doing just fine so far.

-Trish
Trish - Wife to Phil, Mom to Toni(16), Charlie(12), and Trent(12)
2012-2013 - 1850MOD w/ 2nd/3rd supplement
2013-2014 - ECC w/ 7th/8th supplement
2014-2015 - AHL, CTG
2015-2016 - WHL, RTR
2016-2017 - EXP1850, US1877
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Cyndi (AZ)
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Re: Singapore Math -- ready for pre-algrebra?

Unread post by Cyndi (AZ) » Thu Sep 20, 2012 2:25 pm

*whew* Thank you. I'm a little too challenged right now to quote specific bits, but all three of those replies were very helpful.

I think because I was finding my dd "ahead" enough in some areas that when I dug into the math and discovered certain topics weren't going to be taught at all, I panicked. Just a little. I'm trying to not let her get too far ahead, but she will probably finish 6b before the end of 6th grade next year -- she started young and is moving along fine. Maybe doing a unit like Julie suggested would be good for the end of next year -- I certainly won't want to start a new 7th grade program with her until she's the right age. I like the parts-of-speech analogy, I was wondering if that was the case - why teach it if it's not necessary yet? If Saxon 87 is going to cover all that, I could just get some extra practice workbooks and wait anyway. At least I don't really have to decide until next year!

Now if I could just find a way to get my niece to understand negative numbers! I think I'll go check out that NEM Julie mentioned. And I think I'll make a quick-and-easy balance sheet for her. Start with $50. LOVE that outfit and spend $60. Oops - bank fee, $10 more. Call Gramma and beg for money. Who knows? That might click. I've drawn number lines and football fields til I can't see straight and they're not helping. I think that would be a good intro to negative numbers for my 10yo dd, too. As well as teach some money responsibility. ;)
2016/17: AHL
completed: MFWK, MFW1, ADV, ECC (twice), CTG, RTR, EX1850, 1850MOD

Omma
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Saxon or switch for 8th grade - Algebra I

Unread post by Omma » Thu May 29, 2014 9:09 am

asheslawson wrote:Overall - Saxon is great - it seems thorough and challenging - which I like. However, my 13 year old has always struggled a bit more with math than my younger one does. He just really has to work harder at it. He's maintaining a B average in Saxon 87 & doing ok, but we're having to continue math in summer because it was just too tough to get it finished - he had to spread a few lessons out over 2 days when the topic was tough. We are still on target to start Algebra I - but I'm just curious if there is a better fit for someone struggling with math. He had to really work at Singapore - and now he's struggling with Saxon, but still doing ok.

I pulled up a STAAR test from the TEA website just to see how he would have done - and he missed 12 of 54 - so he passed with a 78. Nothing phenomenal, but he got by. I have looked at Teaching Textbooks, which he likes the way it is presented, but it actually seems too easy. I looked at MUS, but since they only offer one sample lecture online - it's hard to get an idea. I've heard that it may finish a little behind Saxon, which is my primary concern, since if he ever had to go into public school, I would want him where he needs to be (finances are a year to year thing for us, but we have been making it by on God's blessing thus far - every year - some family needs me to watch their child or homeschool their child, which is how I afford to stay home.)

My other concern is that one may be just as difficult to grasp as any other - it just may be that Algebra is tough for him, as math has been tough for him. It may be that it is just always going to be a subject we will have to work harder on (sometimes we spend time researching other avenues, such as Khan academy, or math handbooks for help when he's not grasping a concept). He's a talented writer, enjoys language arts, reading, spelling, science, and loves history and geography, but math is very challenging for him. I'm just curious if anyone switched.
Another idea is to keep using Saxon but go to Algebra 1/2 next year, instead of Algebra 1. And if you want to try a different DVD instructor, you could try Art Reed (if you have already tried DIVE). Art Reed says that if your dc gets 85 or better on the last 5 or 6 tests of Saxon 8/7, then you can go on to Algebra 1. Otherwise, go to Algebra 1/2. I mention this because we are currently using Algebra 1/2 with my 14 ds because he was borderline with an 82 average on his tests for the year (plus he got a lot wrong on a lot of homework assignments). I did start him on Lesson 21 or so, instead of Lesson 1, and hopefully we will finish by November (we just started it this month) and then go on to Saxon Algebra 1. Since your ds is only 13 and will be an 8th grader next year, it sounds like you have plenty of time to do Algebra 1/2 next year (if you wanted) and cement his foundation before going on to Algebra.

Blessings,

Brenda

TriciaMR
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Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2007 11:43 am

Re: Saxon or switch for 8th grade - Algebra I

Unread post by TriciaMR » Fri May 30, 2014 7:49 am

asheslawson wrote:Thank you - good thoughts. And I have been concerned about how he might transition this late in the game to MUS. I have also thought about staying with Algebra 1/2 - however when I spoke to someone at MFW they said it might be too repetitive if he was scoring a mid-B. At that point, his math average was a little higher - on tests. So far we have only gotten through test 17 & he has an 86.23 average on tests. However, his tests have been dropping slightly, his average was 88 through test 12, and now after test 17 his average is 86. I guess I'll see how he pulls through the rest of the lessons this summer and how he does on the final 6 tests before I decide. thanks!
It took my dd (dyslexic) about 1.5 years to do Saxon 8/7. In January we started Saxon 1. After looking at Algebra 1/2 I realized it would be too repetitive. With her dyslexia she can only do about an hour of math a day, so we set a timer and try to work diligently for that hour (I teach her- she didn't like the DIVE CD). Some days she reads the lesson and says she remembers doing the topic from 8/7. She is getting 85 to 95 on the tests. We are only on lesson 40 or 41 at this point and will work through the summer.

Just our experience.
Trish - Wife to Phil, Mom to Toni(16), Charlie(12), and Trent(12)
2012-2013 - 1850MOD w/ 2nd/3rd supplement
2013-2014 - ECC w/ 7th/8th supplement
2014-2015 - AHL, CTG
2015-2016 - WHL, RTR
2016-2017 - EXP1850, US1877
My blog

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