Friday, October 4, 2013

Math-U-See Alpha Update

We have been using Math-U-See with Miss K for about a year. I was watching her do her math today and thinking just how much she is learning and I think Math-U-See gets quite a bit of the credit for that.

Here is just a bit of background information. We began math with Saxon Math K and that worked great as there is no writing. Miss K loved the meeting book. She knows the calendar and will tell you what day and what month it is. I love Saxon especially up to Saxon 3 but as I moved further in Saxon with JP I realized that Saxon was not going to work long term so I began to look at options.

Knowing that hands on things would work best for Miss K. Math-U-See states that they teach for concept, emphasizing memorizing the facts. I knew that Miss K can memorize and I do think that she needs to memorize the facts. Someday we might get to the point that we need to use a calculator but at this point she is able to learn her facts. Math-U-See also teaches to mastery and I felt that was something that she needed. I felt that I needed to make a switch earlier rather than later so last year I made the switch. I am still using Saxon 1 along with Math-U-See except for right now as Saxon is in storage and someday we will be reunited with all our things.

We began with Alpha. Miss K loves watching the DVD. I have found that I really do need to sit with her and watch the DVD so I now what is being taught and some of the terms that are used.

We are moving slow as I want to make sure that she has the concepts down. She has learned the blocks and knows what color each of the numbers are. Of course, she loves 8 which is "chocoeight".

Since we took the summer off, we have been reviewing and going back through some of the facts making sure she has her facts down.

At this time she know her + zero facts and her +1 facts. We are working on +2 and along with that odd and even numbers. She needs more review than the workbook gives so I just write some of the problems on a page for her. This morning she was pulling the blocks out of the bag and lining the numbers up and figuring the problems herself. She got all eight problems correct using the blocks.

We are slowly working our way through Alpha but we are taking it slow to make sure that she understands and knows her facts. I have been impressed with Math-U-See and do think this will be a good fit for her for math.

I do at times wonder about other things. There are two other curriculums out there for special needs. One is TouchMath and another is Numicon. I have looked at these online but the price of TouchMath stopped me from considering that further. I have been interested in Numicon which comes for the UK but at times it has been hard to find here in the US. At this time Math-U-See is working so we will continue with this.

One other resource is the book Teaching Math to People with Down Syndrome and Other Hands-On Learners. It has been quite awhile since I looked through that book. I seem to recall that was a bit beyond where Miss K is at this time. It sits on my shelf as a reference though right now it is in a box.

One of the challenges that I have is reviewing what she knows on a regular basis so she doesn't forget that. Some of the things that she knows at this time include the following:
Telling time on the hour
Counting by 10's
Plus zero facts
Plus one facts

We are working on but have not mastered including the following:
Telling time on the half hour
Counting by 5's
Counting by 2's
Plus two facts

There are a few troublesome areas including the following:
Counting to 100 (yes, I am just going to ignore the fact that she can't do that and wait until it happens)
Getting the teen and -ty numbers confused (17 and 70 or 18 and 80 which I can't decide if that is a math problem or a speech problem)

So that is where we are at this time with math.
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  1. I was contemplating the Math-U-See. We use Horizon but it looked like a good program!! How long are each of the DVD segments?

    1. I think the DVD lessons are about 10 minutes. I will try to time one next week. This is great for hands-on learners.

  2. I honestly think hands-on for math is essential for any young kid. I let my son freely use blocks (or his fingers =) when he does math problems, and I slowly see him being able to do them without the manipulatives. It looks like your daughter is doing great!

    I think getting the teen and -ty numbers confused is very normal and wouldn't worry about it. My son still does that too. He knows the difference, but will often write it wrong and I'll have to point it out.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts about Math-U-See!



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