Thursday, April 22, 2010

An example of my adaptation

I've commented that we use Singapore Math as our math curriculum.  On the whole, I've really liked it.  Today, however, I had to make a change for the next section to make it easier for my dd.  I understand their approach which always leans to how to think mathematically.  I don't disagree, but felt I need to change how it was applied.

I'll discuss the path that let to this point.  First, we worked at moving up and down the number grid by adding or subtracting by 1 or 10.  It started more on the concrete side and then moved on to simple equations such as 45 + 10 and 48 - 1. 

Then we moved on to multiples of 10 & 1.  So, 45 - 10 became 45-30 and 48 + 3.  The book then works more with adding a single digit to a double digit.  23 + 5 and even had practice with it broken down.  For instance, they would have the student add 5 + 2 and then 25 + 2 which is supposed to demonstrate the fact that we are simply adding ones and not changing the tens.

The skill of adding 2 digits proceded the same way.  Initially, it was tens + tens like 10 + 60 quickly followed by  44 + 20 or 42  + 70.  I noticed as this point my dd started to struggle a little.  The workbook does show all this equations horizontally.  She started confusing which numerals were the tens and which were the ones.

This really escalated today when neither of the ones was zero.  No only was there confusion about tens and ones then, but I felt the way they addressed it made it all the more confusing.  They would break the second number down into its tens and ones, so 25 + 14 became 25 + 10 + 4.  I totally see what and why the curriculum did this, but when my dd was already starting to confuse tens and one with two numbers, I knew that the practice of adding three numbers would be too much.

What did I do?  I went back to the old faithful addition method in columns.  That way, she could see the ones in one column  and the tens in another.  So when the text had 76 + 14, I had her write it  as 76
(Sorry, don't see my underline button!)   It took her a minutes to learn to transpose the numbers and some encouragement from me to right smaller make the columns neat, but she soon had it under here belt.  We'll see how much she retains for tomorrow! 

So, here's an example of me adapting.  Now, I will also say that a normal-aged, first-grader probably would not have had such a hard time.  With my dd only being 5 1/2, I think adding double digits verticle made it more concrete since she could see the ones and tens together.

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