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My daughter is 5 and we are most of the way through level A and are doing well except for the place value thing. I hope I can communicate well enough for you you understand my question. Here it goes:

Starting in lesson 23 you suggest explaining 10 as one ten, pointing at the one when you say one and pointing at the zero when you say ten. Then in lesson 45 when you explain 100, you say one at the one, hun at the first zero and dred at the second zero. This throws my daughter for a loop. I started noticing it a while ago and have spent time trying to explain that when you put 1-ten in the abacas you do not scoot one row of ten over for the one and then another row over when you say ten. I finally reverted back and explained place value (ones place, tens place, hundreds place) and it has made a big difference in her comprehension. I am just curious if you have a theory as to why that is so confusing to her (and me for that matter) and what is the theory behind explaining it that way, instead of place vaule.

Thanks for your time.

Crystal

Feb 26th, 2007 - 6:06 PM

Dear Crystal,

Thanks for your post. Here are some thoughts regarding the teaching of place value. First, when you do "scoot" two rows of 10 beads over say 2 - ten. Then show a 2-ten place value card. Have your daughter tap the card, as in 2 - ten, making sure to have her deliberately pick up her finger as she touches the 0. You may model it for her first and then have her do it. When working with 100 or 200, again model for her 2 hun dred, deliberately picking up your pointer finger and then tapping the card. Have her do this as well. This sets in her mind visually and kinesthetically that there are three place holders in a number in the hundreds. You may also say 200 is 20-ten. You do this by touching the 2, sliding over the 0, lifting your finger and then touching the 0 on the far right. Again, make sure she does this as well. Do not have her depend on only watching you do it. If she's not catching it just take a little time away from it and reintroduce it again the next day or in a couple of days. I know it is easy and easier for all of us to revert to how we have been taught. What we need to remember is that our children do not know other ways of learning these math concepts. What Dr. Cotter has found out from her research is that teaching place value from left to right does work better for young children than teaching from right to left because we read from left to right.

I hope this helps. Please feel free to share more about how you have gone about teaching place value and if any of what I said is helpful.

Sincerely, Rosine

Feb 27th, 2007 - 11:11 PM

Thank you for your response. I appreciate being able to talk to someone who understands the program. I have done all the things you have suggested. That is the stuff that confuses her. Here is an example: When I ask her to put 16 in the abacus, she moves one row of 10 over and says "one", then moves another row over and says "ten", then she moves over the six. Then she has 26 not 16 because the wording mixes her up. She totally understands the "math language" of one-ten, two-ten six, etc. She can count that way, write it when I dictate a number to her, add, etc. It is when she is working with the place value cards or abacus when her confusion sets in. Another example with the place value cards: I ask her to find 2ten six and she wants to lay the six next to the 20 because she points to the two and says "2", the 0 and says "ten" then to the six and says six, in reality she has 206 not 26 because of the way the language is. My other question is, in answer to your resonse, is yes we read from left to right but when you are adding larger numbers you add from right to left. Is it taught the same way here or in a different way? Thanks for your help, hopefully this explains my question better. I am asking for the theory of why you point to the one and say one and the zero and say ten when it is representative of ones, not tens.

Thanks, Crystal

--- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- ---

**Replying to:**

Dear Crystal,

Thanks for your post. Here are some thoughts regarding the teaching of place value. First, when you do "scoot" two rows of 10 beads over say 2 - ten. Then show a 2-ten place value card. Have your daughter tap the card, as in 2 - ten, making sure to have her deliberately pick up her finger as she touches the 0. You may model it for her first and then have her do it. When working with 100 or 200, again model for her 2 hun dred, deliberately picking up your pointer finger and then tapping the card. Have her do this as well. This sets in her mind visually and kinesthetically that there are three place holders in a number in the hundreds. You may also say 200 is 20-ten. You do this by touching the 2, sliding over the 0, lifting your finger and then touching the 0 on the far right. Again, make sure she does this as well. Do not have her depend on only watching you do it. If she's not catching it just take a little time away from it and reintroduce it again the next day or in a couple of days. I know it is easy and easier for all of us to revert to how we have been taught. What we need to remember is that our children do not know other ways of learning these math concepts. What Dr. Cotter has found out from her research is that teaching place value from left to right does work better for young children than teaching from right to left because we read from left to right.

I hope this helps. Please feel free to share more about how you have gone about teaching place value and if any of what I said is helpful.

Sincerely, Rosine

Feb 28th, 2007 - 9:48 PM

This conversation is interesting. My children seem to have a little different problem than Crystal's in that they can read it on place value cards and enter on abacus (generally), but when verbally given a number to write (even after just entering on abacus, etc.)want to write , for example, one ten two as 102 or two hundred sixteen as 20016. I try to explain that if there are two numbers behind the first one (on the left) that we know it's in the hundreds place and don't have to write the two zeros. Not sure my oldest did this as he already understood place value when we started Right Start, but the subsequent three including my second grader and now kindergartener all want to do this. My fifth grader every once in awhile still seems to do this then erase. Any thoughts for better way to explain? Also, my second grader has just recently been doing lesson 51 and 52 in Level B, which is adding 1, 10 and 100 to the same number. She has really struggled with, so I'm concerned she really doesn't get place value as she should. I've decided that maybe as part of our warm-up we'd do a set of these a couple of time a week, using side two of abacus as necessary (which it is and I still don't know that she quite sees even though I ask her what number changes when we add 100 and similar). By this lesson should they really understand place value totally or are there more lessons to build on this??

Thanks,

Catherine

Mar 1st, 2007 - 9:10 PM

Hi Cathrine,

It is interesting to me that someone else is having the same problem. I don't have the answer to your question, that is why I wrote in, hoping someone at Right Start could answer it for me. Sorry. I just noticed today that at the end of Level A they teach regular numbers twenty, thirty, etc. So why do they teach it the one-ten way? Is that to establish the value and grouping of tens? I am curious since you have other older children who use Right Start, do you like it? Have you used other programs and then found satisfaction with this one? As far as the place value thing goes, I just taught her the regular place value method and she seemed to understand things much better. I have another question that came up today. We were adding tens 10+30 for example. Wow did she have a hard time with this since we were just adding 10+3 a couple of lessons ago and with no real place value teaching, and with the equations written horizontally instead of vertically, she got really confused. I wrote a couple of them vertically and taught her to add the ones place, then the tens place and again it seemed to make more sense to her. I am starting to wonder if it is more confusing to her than regular math would be. Any words of wisdom?

Crystal

--- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- ---

**Replying to:**

This conversation is interesting. My children seem to have a little different problem than Crystal's in that they can read it on place value cards and enter on abacus (generally), but when verbally given a number to write (even after just entering on abacus, etc.)want to write , for example, one ten two as 102 or two hundred sixteen as 20016. I try to explain that if there are two numbers behind the first one (on the left) that we know it's in the hundreds place and don't have to write the two zeros. Not sure my oldest did this as he already understood place value when we started Right Start, but the subsequent three including my second grader and now kindergartener all want to do this. My fifth grader every once in awhile still seems to do this then erase. Any thoughts for better way to explain? Also, my second grader has just recently been doing lesson 51 and 52 in Level B, which is adding 1, 10 and 100 to the same number. She has really struggled with, so I'm concerned she really doesn't get place value as she should. I've decided that maybe as part of our warm-up we'd do a set of these a couple of time a week, using side two of abacus as necessary (which it is and I still don't know that she quite sees even though I ask her what number changes when we add 100 and similar). By this lesson should they really understand place value totally or are there more lessons to build on this??

Thanks,

Catherine

Mar 1st, 2007 - 9:59 PM

Thank you for your posts. This is an interesting conversation. Yes you are correct in stating that the reason for naming numbers ten 1, 2ten 3 etc. is for quantity recognition. This way of naming numbers speaks to the patterned way of math and shows deliberately what the pattern of quantities is.

I have also noticed that you are working with very young children, as in a 5 yr. old. There needs to be time to assimilate this information.

With a child making 26 when saying one ten 6 that says there is not a clear understanding of what one ten is. When she does this what does she say when you ask her "how many tens are on your abacus?" Does she still say one? Or does she say two? I would suggest backing up and working on reading quantities on the abacus.

In regard to a child writing 20026 instead of 226. Have the child find the 200 place value card, find the 20 place value card and find the 6 place value card. Then have the child stack the cards, tap them on the right side so they "fall" into place value position, place the cards on the table and then write the numbers.

If the leap from adding 10 + 3 to 10 + 30 seems too great for your child at this time, than, again, back off of the lessons and move into the math card game book and work on the numeration section of the game book. There is a quantity recognition piece that needs more time for assimilation. Also, when showing 10 + 30, make sure there is an abacus available so your child can manipulate these quantities and "see" how they go together. At such a young age there is no expectation for immediate mental math ability. Have you child move 10 beads over and then 30 (3 ten) beads over and then speak the answer to you.

Why horizontally verses vertically? Again, we read from left to right. Two digit math is much quicker mentally than using the paper/pencil model. Often in real life when needing to add two digit numbers there often is no paper of pencil available.

I hope this begins to answer some of your questions. You are always welcome to call our customer service help line to discuss these questions as well as continue to post.

Thank you for giving your children a RightStart in math.

Sincerely, Rosine

Mar 6th, 2007 - 10:20 AM

Thank you Rosine for your response. I have been eagerly awaiting some help.

To answer your questions, when making 16 on the abacus she puts 26. When I ask her how many tens are on the abacus she recognizes her mistake and corrects it with ease. If she can correct her mistake she knows what it is suppose to be, it is just the beats in the terminology that messes her up one-ten (2 beats, 2 rows of ten. When we practice reading quantities in the abacus she does well, it is only with from the one ten to the two ten that she gets confused.

In regard to her writing 20026, it is the same terminology beat issue (two- hun-dred)and a lack of understanding that the 26 really mean two tens and 6 ones. Is this something that will just come with age?

As far as when she adds, she can add anything if she has the abacus. She cannot do them in her head very well. We still struggle, although are improving, with the 2+1, 3+1, etc. Now we have added the 26+1, 38+1, etc. and she is kinda getting this after much explaining. She cannot add tens in her head but does okay with the abacus.

When adding two digits numbers in my head I put them vertically so I can keep the place value straight in my head, I couldn't do it horizontally. Does this program just train their minds differently so that will seem more natural? Do you do anything with place value? It seems that it is an important thing to understand in math. I would be lost without it, but I am no mathmatician.

So what I really hear you saying is that my daughter is young so I need to just be patient and keep plugging along with the program, just stopping to play games when we get stuck. Am I right?

Is this math taught from a spiral perspective and not a mastery perspective?

Will I totally screw her up if she works on other worksheets to get the math she needs more practice with (right now it would be adding 10's)?

I have hesitated to give her any old worksheet because I understand that RightStart tries to form their thinking a totally different way then what I was taught and I don't want to undo or complicate what is being done. Does that make sense? Is it an irrational fear?

Thanks again for all of your help, much appreciated!

Crystal

--- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- ---

**Replying to:**

Thank you for your posts. This is an interesting conversation. Yes you are correct in stating that the reason for naming numbers ten 1, 2ten 3 etc. is for quantity recognition. This way of naming numbers speaks to the patterned way of math and shows deliberately what the pattern of quantities is.

I have also noticed that you are working with very young children, as in a 5 yr. old. There needs to be time to assimilate this information.

With a child making 26 when saying one ten 6 that says there is not a clear understanding of what one ten is. When she does this what does she say when you ask her "how many tens are on your abacus?" Does she still say one? Or does she say two? I would suggest backing up and working on reading quantities on the abacus.

In regard to a child writing 20026 instead of 226. Have the child find the 200 place value card, find the 20 place value card and find the 6 place value card. Then have the child stack the cards, tap them on the right side so they "fall" into place value position, place the cards on the table and then write the numbers.

If the leap from adding 10 + 3 to 10 + 30 seems too great for your child at this time, than, again, back off of the lessons and move into the math card game book and work on the numeration section of the game book. There is a quantity recognition piece that needs more time for assimilation. Also, when showing 10 + 30, make sure there is an abacus available so your child can manipulate these quantities and "see" how they go together. At such a young age there is no expectation for immediate mental math ability. Have you child move 10 beads over and then 30 (3 ten) beads over and then speak the answer to you.

Why horizontally verses vertically? Again, we read from left to right. Two digit math is much quicker mentally than using the paper/pencil model. Often in real life when needing to add two digit numbers there often is no paper of pencil available.

I hope this begins to answer some of your questions. You are always welcome to call our customer service help line to discuss these questions as well as continue to post.

Thank you for giving your children a RightStart in math.

Sincerely, Rosine

Mar 6th, 2007 - 10:11 PM

Rosine,

I know you have graciously answered lots of my question, can you please respond to my previous response to your last email and then I will leave you alone. Thanks, I just need to clarify your last response.

Crystal

--- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- ---

**Replying to:**

Thank you Rosine for your response. I have been eagerly awaiting some help.

To answer your questions, when making 16 on the abacus she puts 26. When I ask her how many tens are on the abacus she recognizes her mistake and corrects it with ease. If she can correct her mistake she knows what it is suppose to be, it is just the beats in the terminology that messes her up one-ten (2 beats, 2 rows of ten. When we practice reading quantities in the abacus she does well, it is only with from the one ten to the two ten that she gets confused.

In regard to her writing 20026, it is the same terminology beat issue (two- hun-dred)and a lack of understanding that the 26 really mean two tens and 6 ones. Is this something that will just come with age?

As far as when she adds, she can add anything if she has the abacus. She cannot do them in her head very well. We still struggle, although are improving, with the 2+1, 3+1, etc. Now we have added the 26+1, 38+1, etc. and she is kinda getting this after much explaining. She cannot add tens in her head but does okay with the abacus.

When adding two digits numbers in my head I put them vertically so I can keep the place value straight in my head, I couldn't do it horizontally. Does this program just train their minds differently so that will seem more natural? Do you do anything with place value? It seems that it is an important thing to understand in math. I would be lost without it, but I am no mathmatician.

So what I really hear you saying is that my daughter is young so I need to just be patient and keep plugging along with the program, just stopping to play games when we get stuck. Am I right?

Is this math taught from a spiral perspective and not a mastery perspective?

Will I totally screw her up if she works on other worksheets to get the math she needs more practice with (right now it would be adding 10's)?

I have hesitated to give her any old worksheet because I understand that RightStart tries to form their thinking a totally different way then what I was taught and I don't want to undo or complicate what is being done. Does that make sense? Is it an irrational fear?

Thanks again for all of your help, much appreciated!

Crystal

--- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- ---

**Replying to:**

Thank you for your posts. This is an interesting conversation. Yes you are correct in stating that the reason for naming numbers ten 1, 2ten 3 etc. is for quantity recognition. This way of naming numbers speaks to the patterned way of math and shows deliberately what the pattern of quantities is.

I have also noticed that you are working with very young children, as in a 5 yr. old. There needs to be time to assimilate this information.

With a child making 26 when saying one ten 6 that says there is not a clear understanding of what one ten is. When she does this what does she say when you ask her "how many tens are on your abacus?" Does she still say one? Or does she say two? I would suggest backing up and working on reading quantities on the abacus.

In regard to a child writing 20026 instead of 226. Have the child find the 200 place value card, find the 20 place value card and find the 6 place value card. Then have the child stack the cards, tap them on the right side so they "fall" into place value position, place the cards on the table and then write the numbers.

If the leap from adding 10 + 3 to 10 + 30 seems too great for your child at this time, than, again, back off of the lessons and move into the math card game book and work on the numeration section of the game book. There is a quantity recognition piece that needs more time for assimilation. Also, when showing 10 + 30, make sure there is an abacus available so your child can manipulate these quantities and "see" how they go together. At such a young age there is no expectation for immediate mental math ability. Have you child move 10 beads over and then 30 (3 ten) beads over and then speak the answer to you.

Why horizontally verses vertically? Again, we read from left to right. Two digit math is much quicker mentally than using the paper/pencil model. Often in real life when needing to add two digit numbers there often is no paper of pencil available.

I hope this begins to answer some of your questions. You are always welcome to call our customer service help line to discuss these questions as well as continue to post.

Thank you for giving your children a RightStart in math.

Sincerely, Rosine

Mar 20th, 2007 - 5:06 PM

Hi Crystal. Please forgive me for not getting to this post earlier. Thank you for reposting. This post came when I was at a convention and must have slipped by when I was checking through emails and posts upon my return. So, good you posted again. Also know for future reference, you may call our customer service line at 888-272-3291 and talk to any customer service person or ask to leave a message for me to call you.

From reading over your post I believe I'm reading a bit of a summation of my last post to you. You are correct in reading what I wrote as saying to take a slower pace and play the math card games. Always have an abacus available for your child. At this age asking if a child can add mentally is good, but certainly not necessary as she develops her understanding of math.

I'm confused about your question regarding "Do you do anything with place value?" Yes, the place value cards are a big piece in teaching place value. RightStart teaches place value from left to right because that is how we read numbers. If you are asking does RightStart teach place value the way many of us were taught in school, from right to left, than no, RightStart does not teach it that way. The main reason is to teach place value from right to left and then ask a child to read a number from left to right is actually quite confusing for the young child and is often why there are so many 5th and 6th grade students who have difficulties with place value.

The tapping of the place value cards sets in for the child the place value of a number. Ex: 100 as one-hun-dred tells a child that the hundred's place takes up three places. 20 as 2 ten tells a child the tens takes up two places, and 3 with one tap shows that the ones place takes only one place. As you have mentioned, I do believe that yes, with age these concepts will come along just fine.

As far as worksheets. At this young age you really don't need any more worksheets because, again we believe that playing the math card games are the best drill and review. The numeration section of the game book is good for helping a child understand place value. However, if you have a child who likes worksheets than I recommend that you consider purchasing the book titled Worksheets for the AL abacus.

This curriculum is taught for understanding using the AL abacus and math card games. Concepts build on each other so there is not an excessive amount of review from one level to the next. Mastery is found by playing the math card games.

I am more than happy to answer any of your questions. Don't hesitate to continue to ask them. Again feel free to email, post or call.

You may also appreciate posting your questions on the yahoo RightStart board which you can connect to through this website under forums. There are many homeschool families who share their thoughts and ideas on that site.

Sincerely, Rosine

Mar 20th, 2007 - 10:17 PM

Thank you again for your reply. This helps a great deal. You answered my question about the place value (using the traditional school way of right to left). I see how it would cause confusion but my daughter was confused as to which place each number represented. She couldn't understand that 21 or two-ten one actually meant two tens and one one because she had no idea that the one represented ones. Anyhow, thank you for your help and we will keep plugging along. She does enjoy the math a great deal.

Crystal

--- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- ---

**Replying to:**

Hi Crystal. Please forgive me for not getting to this post earlier. Thank you for reposting. This post came when I was at a convention and must have slipped by when I was checking through emails and posts upon my return. So, good you posted again. Also know for future reference, you may call our customer service line at 888-272-3291 and talk to any customer service person or ask to leave a message for me to call you.

From reading over your post I believe I'm reading a bit of a summation of my last post to you. You are correct in reading what I wrote as saying to take a slower pace and play the math card games. Always have an abacus available for your child. At this age asking if a child can add mentally is good, but certainly not necessary as she develops her understanding of math.

I'm confused about your question regarding "Do you do anything with place value?" Yes, the place value cards are a big piece in teaching place value. RightStart teaches place value from left to right because that is how we read numbers. If you are asking does RightStart teach place value the way many of us were taught in school, from right to left, than no, RightStart does not teach it that way. The main reason is to teach place value from right to left and then ask a child to read a number from left to right is actually quite confusing for the young child and is often why there are so many 5th and 6th grade students who have difficulties with place value.

The tapping of the place value cards sets in for the child the place value of a number. Ex: 100 as one-hun-dred tells a child that the hundred's place takes up three places. 20 as 2 ten tells a child the tens takes up two places, and 3 with one tap shows that the ones place takes only one place. As you have mentioned, I do believe that yes, with age these concepts will come along just fine.

As far as worksheets. At this young age you really don't need any more worksheets because, again we believe that playing the math card games are the best drill and review. The numeration section of the game book is good for helping a child understand place value. However, if you have a child who likes worksheets than I recommend that you consider purchasing the book titled Worksheets for the AL abacus.

This curriculum is taught for understanding using the AL abacus and math card games. Concepts build on each other so there is not an excessive amount of review from one level to the next. Mastery is found by playing the math card games.

I am more than happy to answer any of your questions. Don't hesitate to continue to ask them. Again feel free to email, post or call.

You may also appreciate posting your questions on the yahoo RightStart board which you can connect to through this website under forums. There are many homeschool families who share their thoughts and ideas on that site.

Sincerely, Rosine

Mar 22nd, 2007 - 5:18 PM