Tracey,
I'm not parenting any teens in Algebra yet...
But, I had to retake 2 algebra classes in college. I took them as "selfpaced" classes (you did have to finish by the end of the semester, but you could go at your own pace). One of the things that was really enforced on us was showing all our steps. Often times on a math exam, I would get partial credit because I showed my work, even if I got the answer wrong. It showed I knew my steps, but had made a dumb mistake (reversing a number, flipping a sign, etc). Or, I'd get the whole problem wrong, because they could see I really didn't understand the steps. My tutor would then be able to see where my misunderstanding was and reteach me based on the mistake.
So, given your current situation and her struggles  I would tell her, "I'm sorry honey, but unless you show me every step in the equation, I can't help you. I need to see the steps so I know where you're thinking is wrong."
But, maybe watching the problems being worked would help her, but I don't know. She needs someone to show her where she is making the mistake, and the only way that can happen is if you see all the steps. I can remember in calculus missing a problem and not understanding why. So, I'd go to the TA and he'd walk me through it and compare my work and then he'd say, "Ahh... You forgot this." And then he'd reteach me the concept in a different way so I would remember what I was missing.
Trish
Saxon Algebra 1  Ideas when stuck
Re: Algebra 1  Teacher CD's  anyone use these?
Trish  Wife to Phil, Mom to Toni(18), Charlie(14), and Trent(14)
20142015  AHL, CTG
20152016  WHL, RTR
20162017  EXP1850, US1877
20172018  DE, 1850MOD
20182019  College, AHL
My blog
20142015  AHL, CTG
20152016  WHL, RTR
20162017  EXP1850, US1877
20172018  DE, 1850MOD
20182019  College, AHL
My blog
Re: Algebra 1  Teacher CD's  anyone use these?
I had to have my oldest show steps and redo problems when she missed it. That was the only way she would know if she made an arithmetic mistake or a concept mistake.
I just learned of this site today
http://www.khanacademy.org/
maybe some of the instructional videos in there on specific topics in algebra would be helpful even if they aren't exact problems in the Saxon textbook? It has concepts and specific worked examples. Maybe that freebie site would be helpful? (and of course, I haven't previewed all of them... so viewer discretion and all of that)
crystal
I just learned of this site today
http://www.khanacademy.org/
maybe some of the instructional videos in there on specific topics in algebra would be helpful even if they aren't exact problems in the Saxon textbook? It has concepts and specific worked examples. Maybe that freebie site would be helpful? (and of course, I haven't previewed all of them... so viewer discretion and all of that)
crystal
Alg. 1 help & credit ???
just brainstorming here.....kelly04 wrote:My 9th grader(boy) has struggled with Alg 1 all year. I thought it was the curriculum(Saxon) and put him back to PreAlg(Saxon). After a few months of still not getting it, I switched again (this is not norm for us, but out of desperation!!) to MathU See, (this is what we used up to this year)....
Now he is in the beginning of learning Alg 1 and really, not grasping this to the point of me being comfortable in his understanding....I am at a loss of what to do with him and Algebra, but also credits for this year in math......Currently I am saying we will just slowly get through this this summer, but honestly it's hard for him to KEEP going....
Any thoughts will be soo helpful! He hasn't struggled with math or school until this year...
Thanks
KElly
I'm guessing on the transcript you could call this Pre Algebra year and give appropriate grade?
or you could take the approach that happened to one of my brothers in law. He had a terrible 9th grade year and transferred from public school to private school which "erased" his 9th grade year on many things and gave him a do over.
I don't know if you've done this or not.... you might call the mfw office for ideas on teaching struggling student in algebra, or call mus for help with their product. I've heard they like to help their customer. both, they's, that is.
Another possibility is to use some videos from Khan Academy (free online stuff) on each topic.
Get a tutor to teach him.?
crystal

 Posts: 2909
 Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
 Location: Minnesota
Re: Alg. 1 help & credit ???
I agree that this year could be called prealgebra. I'd only give it a credit if you feel he earned a credit, though, and if you want him to have the credit even considering the grade he may have earned for that credit.
I'm wondering what it is that you notice he isn't getting. Personally, when my child isn't getting something, I tend to try to identify the exact thing he keeps missing and give him some extra training on that skill.
For instance, I'm not sure why but the idea of "distribution" just would not sink into my ds's head. He would eventually "do it" for a particular chapter, but then it would fly out of his head because he really never absorbed the idea.
So problems like 3(2 + 4), which is 18
for him would always become (3x2) + 4, which is 10
instead of (3x2) + (3x4), which is 18
So I would use the marker board and give really simple examples (like mine using small numbers). I would challenge him to "do it the way he wanted to" and see if it came out right (like it didn't in the example above).
Anyways, that's just an example of how a kid can just get stuck on one small piece of algebra, and then many of his problems can be wrong. I'm not sure that a new program would spend any more time or have any new method (although that's always a possibility). Generally, I try to identify the place he's getting stuck and work on that together for a while.
And I wouldn't worry about giving him extra time in algebra. I was just looking at our local schools, and my school district has "impact 3" (a hodgepodge series that includes algebra), or students can take a series of algebra I, intermediate algebra, and advanced algebra or honors algebra II  so most kids take 3 years to do algebra I & II. Another (more advanced) local school district usually breaks algebra II into three segments, which are done over 1.5 years with statistics for the other 0.5  so most kids here take 2.5 years to do algebra I & II. And based on my oldest son's experience with his unusual public school course names, I can't imagine colleges will be surprised if you have an unusual sequence, as long as it's clearly labeled and matches his testing scores.
Julie
I'm wondering what it is that you notice he isn't getting. Personally, when my child isn't getting something, I tend to try to identify the exact thing he keeps missing and give him some extra training on that skill.
For instance, I'm not sure why but the idea of "distribution" just would not sink into my ds's head. He would eventually "do it" for a particular chapter, but then it would fly out of his head because he really never absorbed the idea.
So problems like 3(2 + 4), which is 18
for him would always become (3x2) + 4, which is 10
instead of (3x2) + (3x4), which is 18
So I would use the marker board and give really simple examples (like mine using small numbers). I would challenge him to "do it the way he wanted to" and see if it came out right (like it didn't in the example above).
Anyways, that's just an example of how a kid can just get stuck on one small piece of algebra, and then many of his problems can be wrong. I'm not sure that a new program would spend any more time or have any new method (although that's always a possibility). Generally, I try to identify the place he's getting stuck and work on that together for a while.
And I wouldn't worry about giving him extra time in algebra. I was just looking at our local schools, and my school district has "impact 3" (a hodgepodge series that includes algebra), or students can take a series of algebra I, intermediate algebra, and advanced algebra or honors algebra II  so most kids take 3 years to do algebra I & II. Another (more advanced) local school district usually breaks algebra II into three segments, which are done over 1.5 years with statistics for the other 0.5  so most kids here take 2.5 years to do algebra I & II. And based on my oldest son's experience with his unusual public school course names, I can't imagine colleges will be surprised if you have an unusual sequence, as long as it's clearly labeled and matches his testing scores.
Julie
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
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Re: Alg. 1 help & credit ???
Thanks for all the feed back ladies, It has put my mind at ease in a sense.
JulieI think the main problem I am dealing with in regards to this is the amount of "new" things daily or several a week. Also I have always seen a bit of dyslexia in him and I think it is really showing up in the algebra...ie..numbers and letters and signs...
I think we will continue to "glide" this summer with the Alg. 1, but will be giving him credit for prealgebra...?he has been diligently working on some sort of math since sept of 2010....I just want to be fair in my reporting,,,
Thanks again
JulieI think the main problem I am dealing with in regards to this is the amount of "new" things daily or several a week. Also I have always seen a bit of dyslexia in him and I think it is really showing up in the algebra...ie..numbers and letters and signs...
I think we will continue to "glide" this summer with the Alg. 1, but will be giving him credit for prealgebra...?he has been diligently working on some sort of math since sept of 2010....I just want to be fair in my reporting,,,
Thanks again
kelly 04mn.

 Posts: 2909
 Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
 Location: Minnesota
Re: Alg. 1 help & credit ???
Also, if he's just switching out the positive & negative signs, that's totally normal and doesn't necessarily mean he doesn't get the math, if he's solving the equation correctly otherwise. I've heard of different attempts to resolve it (have them write the signs in another color, have them copy on graph paper, etc.), but I do think some of it just comes with time.kelly04 wrote:Also I have always seen a bit of dyslexia in him and I think it is really showing up in the algebra...ie..numbers and letters and signs...
Julie
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
(http://www.CaringBridge.org/visit/ShaneHansell)
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd12th grades (20042014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs
(http://www.CaringBridge.org/visit/ShaneHansell)
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd12th grades (20042014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs
Re: Alg. 1 help & credit ???
I have the book Using John Saxon's Math Books by Art Reed and it has some suggestions about this situation.
He suggests doing the Algebra 1 book two times. Not 1/2 the lessons one year and 1/2 lessons the next but the whole book two times. The first time call it Basic Algebra and give a grade based on a 75, 65, 55, 45 scale and the second time call it Algebra 1 and grade it based on a 90, 80, 70, 60 scale.
Just thought that might help with deciding what grade to give to a PreAlgebra credit given for an Algebra textbook.
It was an interesting book. Lot's of ideas on how to use it with struggling learners and what to call things on transcripts etc.
Hope that helps.
He suggests doing the Algebra 1 book two times. Not 1/2 the lessons one year and 1/2 lessons the next but the whole book two times. The first time call it Basic Algebra and give a grade based on a 75, 65, 55, 45 scale and the second time call it Algebra 1 and grade it based on a 90, 80, 70, 60 scale.
Just thought that might help with deciding what grade to give to a PreAlgebra credit given for an Algebra textbook.
It was an interesting book. Lot's of ideas on how to use it with struggling learners and what to call things on transcripts etc.
Hope that helps.
~Charlotte
loving my Hubby and 3 sons 16, 13, 7
Used MFW since 2004
loving my Hubby and 3 sons 16, 13, 7
Used MFW since 2004