I'm not sure what it going on with my 6.5 year old in terms of maths but am concerned that school is putting her off, and she is starting to think she's no good at it. (She is doing fine but not excelling which she thinks means she's not good at something!)
The school follows the numeracy project framework, with a focus at this level on arithmetic (and strategies for solving). As far as I can tell, they can can only move onwards once they've demonstrated mastery at the current task (which makes sense but also seems to have a few risks). DD seems to be progressing much slower than I would have expected and I've started hearing her say she doesn't like maths.
She likes abstract concepts, and particularly enjoyed the perceptual tasks in the WISC-iv assessment. She's not passionately driven about maths related things and her dad didn't expect her to show as "gifted" in the maths area as he doesn't see her looking for patterns etc as he did as a kid (he's a natural mathematician). She tested in the 95th percentile for perceptual reasoning however (99th for verbal, which we were not surprised about).
We have a book at home called the Number Devil, which she has read a couple of times independantly. She isn't "getting" a lot of the maths in it, but is sufficiently interested to perservere with it, and return to it.
What I'd like to find is a website or two (although other media would be fine), that will:
* help her practice basic arithmetic so she can get past the those bits of the framework
* has options for play other than time-controlled (she gets very uptight on timed games and find them very un-fun (surprisingly she didn't mind the timed tasks on the WISC)
* maybe introduces higher level concepts
Grateful for any ideas or suggestions in general too about not losing the interest.
The Number Devil is a marvelous book, I thoroughly enjoyed reading it to my kids a few years ago. My little one did not quite get it at the time, I think I should reread it to her.
There is a CD rom which goes with it, I am not sure it is available in English (we have it in german).
My kids have been doing mathletics (www.mathletics.co.nz) and really enjoy this, even the timed games. Worth the $'s for the year!!
Personally I am not a huge fan of usinf only the numeracy project to teach maths, some good old fashioned maths in between would be good too! My view about maths: you don't have to be good at arithmetic to be good at maths (it helps though :-) ) there is so much more to maths (just as the number devil says)!!!!
How old are your children? I have looked at it in the past and wondered about it. My miss7 hates timed facts so I am in to anything that will help boost her confidence and if it's a computer game it'll be all the better....
One thing that I have noticed with my 8yr old daughter - even more so now that I'm homeschooling, is that she is absolutely useless with remembering basic facts! She is very visual spatial and tends to learn more complex concepts way easier than a basic fact that is normally rote-learned at school. I too did not find that the numeracy project was wonderful for my daughter. My son after only 6mths at school seemed to be on the same level as my daughter after 2 1/2 years! I homeschool now and have found a wonderful maths programme that really suits VS learners. Maybe it's something you could do after school with her to supplement her learning. Maths u See. It's really hands on, I simply let the children watch the dvd lesson, then give them the worksheets. I very rarely have to follow it up myself as the man on the dvd (the creator) teaches them in a way that they understand. If you were interested, I'd probably start right at the beginning (the primer book even teaches the children how to tell time at the end) which is where we started. We have just finished the primer book and we're now ready to move on to the Alpha book. The other great thing about the programme is that you can move ahead as quickly or as slowly as you need. I'd certainly recommend it. I have heard that the mathletics site is really good but it does cost money to join. Good luck!
My kids are nearly 8 and 10, both have been on mathletics for the past 2 years. I have control over the level that they work at, so at the moment my younger daughter works at year 4 (NZ) level, but I should put her up soon to year 5 and my older daughter works at year 8 level (she's year 6 at school).
I think mathletics is about $80 for the year, I think it is money well spent. Number works is about that per term for 1/2 hour (or 1 hour?).
The timed section is optional for mathletics. I find my younger daughter gets kick out of beating college kids at level 1, just because she is faster on the keyboard. They can also choose to play against the computer, which is set a bit slower and they tend to beat it.
The maths u see that Rebecca talks about seems very good too, I have seen the demo DVD. At our school they do use something similar in the classroom and it really good for VS learners.
I found the advice given in Linda Silvermann book (can't remember the title) is excellent for learning by maths rote (times tables.) My older daughter is very VS and was very lucky to have teacher in year 4 who "mapped" out the time tables on the class room floor. As a result my daughter learnt the time tables in an instant!! And they have stuck!
Another question... Is it the one price for more than one child?? My 5 year old would want to join in too, so can they chop and change levels or do you pay per child? I had a bit of a look but couldn't see that obviously stated anywhere?.
I empathise with your situation. I have just had a gifted 11 year old leave a primary school which participated in the numeracy project with an 'I suck at maths attitude" ( which he didn't - was around 8.1 strategy achievement level which was fine, but he obviously felt he wasn't doing well. NB this is a very maths achieving school. way above national averages, and he isn't particularly a maths boy) His issues have come out in discussion since then, as he is back to a non numeracy project framework, and it better suits him. He didn't like the timed nature of the learning and being very VS this was understandable. He still struggled with some times tables last year - mental blank type scenario. One of our ways around this was making it really fun to practise. we did trampoline times tables where the kids would be quizzed while on the tramp - jumping and learning, took the focus away from the maths problem and required rote learning to fire the answers back - kids loved it . mother got a bit tired, - you could do it with any form of physical exercise but doing the 2 together really worked and was fun, kids demanding more practise believe it or not! . He also hated the pressure of having to sit alongside the teacher and explain his strategies, so tended not to 'put himself out there'. I don't think the teachers ever consider that the child may be too nervous to answer well, when they have had them all year, but clearly he felt this way though didn't articulate this until this year. worth exploring whether this is a problem? Then can chat through that it's no big deal etc...
We've joined up to the Mathletics website and it is going well so far. She gets pretty freaked out by the online competitive stuff but that seems to be where the basic facts stuff is, so we've got a white chocolate reward system of our own going on there, and will leave it if it is stressing her.
The rest of it looks great and she loves the reward system. (She's made a couple of errors - accidental slips of the mouse - and has been very upset. so there's a bit of hand-holding needed.)
Hi, My daughter also struggled with the Numeracy framework at primary, and started to think she couldn't do math. I taught her additional techniques at home e.g. algorythms which helped, but she still didn't enjoy math. She is doing much better now she's at secondary and the math has become more theoretical (she loves algebra!).
We used a lot of math games, and really enjoyed ClueFinders Math (the Cluefinders series is great for extension and was reccommended to us by an ed. Psych).
We have had the 'Full Epsilon' series [including the teachers hand book] this year.
Suddenly the teachers handbook has 'disappeared'. [After a family reunion].
Of cause 'NOBODY' knows anything but we NEED the handbook to finalise the course.
Is there anybody out there who can sell us a second-hand Epsilon Teachers manual?