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  1. #1
    KrisM is online now Clean Sweep forum moderator
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    Default 1st grade math - what should I be asking?

    DS1 is in 1st grade. He likes math. A lot. Today, I happened to talk with an aquaintence who subbed for his room last week. She asked the kids to tell her a simple equation to get the number 58. They do this daily with different numbers, so the kids are used to it. DS1 said "2 plus 2 plus 1 times 12 minus 2".

    In the car last week, he was asking me to quiz him on math, so I did. He knows most of the multiplication tables up to 6 really well. I asked him 'what is 64 divided by 8'. He said 8. I asked how he got the answer. He said "I know 5 times 12 is 60 and that leaves 4 left over. So, I made the 12s into 4s and found 16 4s that I turned into 8s and got 8 of them".

    So, he likes math, and is good at it and is logically figuring out answers to things he hasn't learned.

    He is bored with adding and subtracting in 1st. He needs the money part, the telling time part, and other parts, but the actual mathematics part is not challenging at all. I want to talk to his teacher about getting him working on more challenging things, but I don't really know what to ask for. I don't want him doing worksheets at home at a higher level. I could use some ideas before talking to her.

    Thanks.

    ETA: If you think I shouldn't ask for him to be challenged more, please let me know that, too!
    Last edited by KrisM; 03-08-2011 at 10:46 PM.
    Kris

  2. #2
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    Wow. Seriously, I'm proud when La (also in 1st) manages to remember simple addition facts without using manipulatives.

    Definately worth talking to the teacher about it, but no idea about ideas for the teacher!
    --Mimi
    Mom to Lala (2004), Bonus Mom to Big Sis 1 (1991) and Big Sis 2 (1992)
    Grammy to Big Kindy Kid (2011), Big Pre-K Kid (2012),
    Grandbaby Appendage (2014), and New Baby Grandboy (summer 2017)

  3. #3
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    bubbaray is offline Blue Diamond level (20,000+ posts)
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    My DD#1 is like this. We encouraged her to do Sudoku puzzles and the odd Costco workbook (not entirely math focused) on the advice of her Kindy teacher from last year. If she was in English school, she would be getting gifted instruction/pull out in math (and other subjects), but b/c she's in French, there is no such pull out. So, in order to keep her in the program, we've chosen to not encourage advanced stuff other than what she figures out on her own.
    Melissa

    DD#1: April 2004
    DD#2: January 2007

    "My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world." Jack Layton 1950 - 2011

  4. #4
    ehf is offline Silver level (200+ posts)
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    I'm a teacher--8th grade English, not 1st grade math, but I run into the same problem a few times a year, when a student is legitimately ahead in something we're about to spend a lot of time on.

    You don't actually need to show up with suggestions. I've found that parents sometimes sound (I hope accidentally!) condescending when they arrive with what they think I should be teaching instead of what I am teaching. I'm pretty well trained, and I know how to differentiate my curriculum.

    I would instead just let the teacher know that your child is expressing some boredom with the material that he seems, to you, to have mastered already. I'd ask the teacher's opinion of the situation and then see if she has anything to offer your child.

    If the teacher does ask for your suggestions, you could then wonder if there's a possibility of
    - pull out with more advanced students or into a different class
    - an independent project that shows higher-level mastery of the material that he can present to the class at the end of the unit (there are all kinds of math resources out there about applying concepts or cool little math things)
    - a way for the teacher to throw in some "bonus" questions for your child and give him modified seat work/homework that's on the same concepts but with more challenging questions

    I would definitely talk to the teacher about her thoughts on helping your child understand the current unit more deeply versus moving ahead to the next concept. Looking down the road, can he get started on more advanced work, or is every piece of extra work he does now just going to put him back in the same problem next time?

  5. #5
    salsah is offline Emerald level (3000+ posts)
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    i realize that i'm not answering your question (i agree with ehf's response), but i have to mention smath, just in case you haven't heard of it. i heard about it from someone here and although i haven't checked it out yet, it sounds like something your ds might like. it is like scrabble but with math instead of words.

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    Typing on my phone, so I'll be brief. My first grader sounds just like yours. We had him tested, and he now receives pull-out gifted services (just an hour per week). But the gifted teacher also advises the classroom
    teache and provides some supplemental math work. My son loves math/logic challenges at home. His favorite is Ken Ken (think Sudoku with math
    operations). Google it and you can find puzzles to print. Start w/the 4x4 easier puzzles. Also check out the game called "24." There's a primer level but your child may be ready for the later elemetary cards. Other great logic (but not formally math) games include Blokus and Set. Hope that helps.
    Lisa
    Mama to Jack (4/20/01)
    and Joshua (11/16/03)

  7. #7
    KrisM is online now Clean Sweep forum moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by salsah View Post
    i realize that i'm not answering your question (i agree with ehf's response), but i have to mention smath, just in case you haven't heard of it. i heard about it from someone here and although i haven't checked it out yet, it sounds like something your ds might like. it is like scrabble but with math instead of words.
    Good chance that was me! I recommened it in the fall. We love it! But, it makes the school part worse, since he now knows how to do those fancy equations .
    Kris

  8. #8
    KrisM is online now Clean Sweep forum moderator
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    Ehf, thanks for the advice. I'll see if I can set up a meeting and then get rid of my other kids . Hopefully, the teacher will be able to let me know what we can do.

    He does play Soduku, and I'll look into Ken Ken, too.
    Kris

  9. #9
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    Default Extras

    Our two have Workbooks for school when they have free time. My one son is obsessed with numbers and loves Mindware Extreme Dot to Dots. Those rock!

    Mindware has great math workbooks he could work on when not challenged at school.

  10. #10
    KrisM is online now Clean Sweep forum moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jen841 View Post
    Our two have Workbooks for school when they have free time. My one son is obsessed with numbers and loves Mindware Extreme Dot to Dots. Those rock!

    Mindware has great math workbooks he could work on when not challenged at school.
    He has this dot-to-dot: http://www.amazon.com/Greatest-Dot--...9676001&sr=8-1. Big hit!

    I'll have to check the Mindware books. He likes the logical games, like Rush Hour, Solitaire Chess, etc.
    Kris

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