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mshelez User
Joined: 03 Feb 2011 Posts: 2

Posted: Thu Feb 03, 2011 5:38 pm Post subject: Need help for a first grader 


Hi there. My daughter is in the first grade and she is having an extremely difficult time with math. She is in a public school but right now, I'm not overly thrilled with the school itself. I know that homeschooling parents know what they are talking about and know where to find things to help their children and that is why I'm turning to you for help. I'm afraid that if she doesn't grasp this now, she is going to be in a lot of trouble with whatever is coming up next.
My daughter is having the worst time grasping that there are different ways to count numbers  by 1s, 2s, 5s and 10s. She can count from 1 to 100 by 1s, 2s, 5s and 10s with ease. But getting her to figure out word problems is proving to be a difficult task. I will tell you that the way that they word the problems in these books is actually confusing me as well.
I'll give you an example. The problem will contain 3 rows of 10 blocks. How many blocks are there? She will say 3. She will look at the rows, not the blocks. When I ask her how many blocks are in a row, she says 10. When I say how many blocks altogether, that's when she gets that it is 30.
If the problem shows three rows of 10 blocks and 4 single blocks, she will say that there are 3 tens and 4 ones but then 3 tens plus 4 ones will equal 7.
She is also not doing well in comprehension testing which could be playing a part in this as well. She doesn't comprehend the questions which could be tricking her up as well.
Last year there were 4 kids that were left back in 1st grade. I really don't want my daughter to be one of this year.
Anything you can tell me, if anyone has kids who have had this kind of mental block, any books you can turn me to  anything is greatly appreciated.
Thanks.
Michele 

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hscoach User
Joined: 10 Feb 2010 Posts: 345


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susanrm User
Joined: 15 Mar 2011 Posts: 5

Posted: Wed Mar 16, 2011 8:39 am Post subject: Poorly designed curriculum 


It sounds like the curriculum is poorly designed. They should be starting with a concrete approach  manipulatives  then moving to pictures when the children understand that, then showing how that connects with numbers on the page. This is how the Singapore Math curriculum is designed. You could get some materials from them to help you, but make sure you get a guide so you understand how to teach it. You could also speak to your child's school to get a trainer in to help them teach math better.
If you're interested, I offer resources, information and training at my website, http://susanmidlarsky.com.
Best of luck to you! 

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Dr. Moti Levi User
Joined: 21 May 2011 Posts: 3

Posted: Sat May 21, 2011 1:49 am Post subject: Two types of problems 


Hi,
What you say indicates she has two different, unrelated, problems going on. The first is not understanding numbers and how they are structured. Indeed, in school they do not really teach it well. They expect students to naturally and intuitively make the jump from counting units to generalizations of such and to understand how numbers work. She shows she does not understand how numbers work  she can count, but she she doesn't understand the place value idea  that you have units of 10, etc.
To solve it you can use the book I wrote "Place Value", which as its name suggests explains the place value system we use. By the end of the book she'll be able to name or write numbers with over 20 digits  easily so.
Another sub problem there is the way she understand the question about rows and blocks. It seems the concept of row vs. block is not separated for her. In general, the above book should help, but you might, for this type of specific exercise, explain to her again (or differently? I'm not sure how you do explain it) the terms and what your questions mean.
The second problem you mention is about Word Problems. I agree with you completely  they do not explain well how to solve word problems! That is why I wrote a whole book "Word Problems" on how to approach those  and the approach is COMPLETELY different than how it is taught everywhere. Of course, how it is taught everywhere seems not to work as most students have a problem with word problems. The book will teach you how to teach her word problems so she never have a problem with such again. It's a method that makes word problems easy to solve.
The books are downloadable and I guarantee money back if they don't help you. It's really about two things for her  1. solid understanding of underlying concepts. 2. a way to approach word problems differently. _________________ AinMath.com
The only math books that guarantee success. 

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