Thursday, July 17, 2008

Crayons' Grade Two: Math

Previous math posts:

Math with Lore (2007)
The Second First Year of Miquon Math (2007)
The Primary Math Cupboard (2007)
Math Stuff (2006)
Cookin' with Math (why they're not Cuisinart Rods) (2006)
Lots of Math Posts

How do you plan a year of Miquon Math when the Lab Sheet Annotations (teacher's manual) is so vague about what you do when?

This is how I planned second-year Miquon both several years ago for Ponytails and then again recently for Crayons. I figured on her getting through the Blue and Green books this year (third and fourth books of six), so I looked at the whole scope and sequence (page 9 in the Annotations) and divided up the topics for those two books among the thirty-six weeks in the school year. When you look at the workbooks, some topics get a lot more worksheet space and/or more emphasis than others--so I give those more school weeks.

No fancy spreadsheet programs here--just a sheet of lined paper. Week 1: Odd and Even. (We could spend more time on that but I know Crayons is pretty solid on Odd/Even.) Week 2: Addition. Week 3: Addition. Week 4: Addition. Week 5: Subtraction. And so on. I make sure that the oddball topics at the ends of the books don't get too squished in at the end of the year (sometimes I redistribute those throughout the year), and I try to make room both for review and for preview.


In the years I've used Miquon, I've noticed that, if you're doing the worksheets pretty much in sequence, you can come up quickly against a sheet that would be much more valuable if your student had a few no-worksheet opportunities to practice that topic before trying it on paper. One quick example: at one point there are some skip-counting dot-to-dot pages. Now obviously those aren't going to be enough for anybody to learn skip counting, and I don't think they were meant to be. It makes more sense to tuck "counting by fours" into several previous lessons, and then--aha! Today you get to count by fours on this puzzle!

And that's why I like to plan Miquon Math ahead for the year, instead of just opening the book. It also helps give a bit more variety to each week's lessons. We can preview a bit on geometric shapes and skip counting, work on the week's addition or subtraction, and review what we did from a couple of weeks ago--repeat a game or activity, or do a worksheet that was skipped over.

I'm not looking at using a lot of supplements for math this year, outside of our normal cache of manipulatives. We'll probably work quite a bit with a hundred chart--I find that's very helpful for learning subtraction and also for "Smart Math." "Smart Math" is using your head about arithmetic and not getting caught up in dumb mistakes kids make when they've been misled or over-taught by some of our teacherish ways to do things. The classic one is being given 100 - 99 on paper and trying to cancel out the zeros because that's what you've been shown how to do when you subtract. "Smart Math" says "100 - 99? I don't care what it looks like, you can't fool me, the answer's 1."

When it comes to putting more detail into the year's math plans--knowing what card games and so on I'm going to use for addition or subtraction--sometimes I plan a lot ahead of time, sometimes it's a night-before flip through the Annotations. This year I got lucky: I found somebody's plans for the first few weeks of the Blue Book. Mine. I forgot I had sent these to the Miquon-Key Yahoo list back when Ponytails was at this level--and there they were in the archives, saving me most of the planning work for this term.

And here they are, with a few edits. The original post only covered weeks 1-6, so I've added somewhat briefer notes for weeks 7-12. I hope maybe this will help somebody get their year started.


I put together some rough plans for my second-grader's first six weeks of math this coming school year, starting with the Blue Book. I know they are somewhat sketchy, but I thought seeing them might help someone else who's at around the same place. They're slanted toward the things I know my daughter still needs to work on, rather
than trying to include every concept that possibly be covered using those Miquon pages. To me, that's a great thing about this program--it is very flexible and you can spend more or less time preparing for, doing, and reviewing a given activity, depending on how fast and how well they "get it" (or not) the first time through. We may not get to everything every week, but I find having the extra suggestions in place helps me plan a variety of activities as well as prepare for upcoming lessons. For instance, E46 includes one problem where it's necessary to read amounts of money such as $3.25; I will make sure she knows how to do that before asking her to do the problem. (In some cases though...I think Mrs. Rasmussen [Lore Rasmussen, author of Miquon Math] might say this's probably okay just to let THEM ask YOU when they need to know. Mom, what's this mean with the funny S and the line through it? Okay, here's how you read money. Right?)

I find I'm drawing a lot on Ruth Beechick's little booklet and her hundred-chart suggestions in planning how I'm going to teach some of these concepts. I think the Lab Sheet Annotations tends to use a number line more on the actual worksheets, but they do suggest using a hundred-chart as well. We have a large poster-size one, and
another one we made with cardboard number disks attached with sticky-back Velcro. You can also find small reproducible ones on many math websites.

Anyway, here are my notes. FGD means the First Grade Diary. The other page references are to the Lab Sheet Annotations. I've avoided including games and so on that we might include outside of the Miquon materials, other than games with cards and dice; I'll probably pencil some of those in after I take a look through what we've got on hand here. The word problems are made up as we go along.

Miquon Blue Book, Weeks 1-6

Week 1
Odd and Even sheets
Play games on p. 38: Make 10, Odd or Even
Review sequence of numbers: take some cards, put them in order from
smallest to largest; play War
Telling time–review with flash cards; see game in FGD p. 171
Which would you rather have? FGD p. 171
FGD p. 186, Making true statements (introduce signs for not greater
than, not less than)
Review skip counting
Guess what number I'm thinking of (FGD p. 200)
Word problems

Week 2
Complete Odd and Even sheets
Chalkboard work related to C26, as suggested in the LSA: adding
strings of single digits, recombining them to make adding easier;
this is also fun to do with piles of Cheerios or raisins, maybe with

See explanation for C28, sequence given (practice some of these
ideas before doing the sheet next week):
1. Find "other names" for numbers such as 5 (make patterns with rods)
2. Oral questions such as "in the problem 15 + 8 = what, what do I
need to add to 15 to make the next 10?" This is not an easy concept;
try doing with money, with a number line. An idea: build 15 with
rods; then add eight white rods, and see how many are left after you
take enough to turn the 15 into 20.
3. Oral practice suggested on p. 49: If I want to add 7 + 5, what
name for 5 would help me most? (Expand to 27 + 5, 77 + 5 if they
don't see the point of doing this to add something "easy" like 7+5.)

Review writing 2-digit numbers, breaking them down into 10s and units
(what's a unit?). Use popsicle sticks, with some bundled into groups
of 10. Use dimes and pennies.

Play the games on p. 38.
Word problems

Week 3

Do addition sheets C26-C-30
C26: Adding strings of single digits
C27: Using doubles to make equivalent trains
C28: is tricky: finding missing addends for 10, then using them to
add things like 7 + 4
C30: tens and units

Practice grid problems such as C32 but with smaller numbers. Maybe
roll dice or draw cards to choose tne numbers.

Oral math questions similar to those listed for Week 4

Word problems?–time, money, measurement

Week 4

Practice writing 3-digit numbers
Practice writing money $3.25
Oral subtraction problems such as 205-200, 380-300, 380-80
Oral addition and subtraction "bridging" questions such as 46+7, 46-7
(Ruth Beechick calls it "bridging" when you are adding or subtracting
something and have to jump to the next line of the 100-chart to find
the answer.)
Oral addition, strings of single digit numbers
Practice adding 10s, 20s and 30s to things (100-chart)
Oral subtraction such as 52-51, 99-99, 30-20, 31-21 (100-chart,
number line)
Oral practice related to making change, see D16–when jumping 10s and
units, first jump the 10s, then the units. Practice with money.

Do addition sheets C31-34
C31 is a grid game, a bit tricky to figure out at first. (You are
making an addition chart.)
C32 and 33, adding numbers in grids
C34, another addition table

Week 5

Do subtraction sheets D13-16
Grid problems on D13
D14–simple subtracting
D16–practice subtracting any number from 100. This is DIFFICULT
unless you jump the 10s first, then the units (see p. 72)–like making

Word problems

Introduce 10 more/10 less activity (p. 98) (jumping by 10s)
Practice writing 3-digit numbers, especially ones with 0's in them

Try game based on E44&45, p. 99
Use playing cards–choose three, make up as many sentences as you can
about the three numbers chosen; can use greater than/less than,
equals/does not equal signs

Practice adding multiples of 10–example, 40+70, 60+40
Count by 20s
Practice adding & subtracting 9's instead of 10s; also 11's

Add any activities previewing week 7

Week 6

Do Addition/Subtraction pages E42-49

Adding 10s, 100s and their inverses (counting forwards and backwards
by 10s, starting at any number, up to any 3-digit number)

E46 is a "diagnostic page" including 2-digit addition and subtraction
and a money problem

Do word problems
Add any activities previewing weeks 7 and 8 (Looking ahead: geometric shapes, parts of a dollar)

Week 7

Multiplication--see the preliminary activities on page 117. Doubling, halving. Worksheets F24-F30. Looking ahead: geometric shapes.

Week 8

Multiplication (activity, The Pattern Book, that creates two booklets of math tables)
--Practice with velcro hundreds chart
Follow instructions for the booklets on page 120
Looking ahead: parts of a dollar

Week 9

Multiplication: continue booklets; follow instructions on page 122.
Worksheets F 41 and 42-- filling out a complete multiplication table; what are prime numbers?

Begin G sheets if there is time, since there are a lot for next week.
Also work on telling time.

Week 10
Addition, subtraction and multiplication together
Worksheets G13-G20 (this is a lot; they may not all get completed)
Distributive law--suggest rod examples. (This is fairly difficult.)
Practice telling time.
Looking ahead: geometric shapes, review basic division ideas from last year.

Week 11
Fractions--review what halves, thirds and quarters are. If this is going well, extend to 5ths through 8ths (sheet H25). Look at H-27 through H-29 along with concrete examples.
Looking ahead: parts of a dollar, review division.

Week 12
H 30, parts of a dollar
H 31, measuring cups
H 32-H-42--varied problems, too many for one week--do at least up to H 36, and save the rest for review or for next term.

Related Posts:
Crayons' Grade Two: Social Studies


MamaGames - Alexa C. said...

Thanks for posting this! It will be a big help.

I'm working with first-grade JediBoy through Math-U-See Alpha at the moment, and he follows it well but the very one-minded, follow-this-path nature sometimes sets him up on a "math is dull" track.

We supplement, of course, with fun things (I say "of course" because my mother was a math teacher who believed that all of life is mathematical, and all of mathematics is FUN, and she passed that belief on to me) - puzzles, games, cooking, etc.

I have all the Miquon student books and the Lab Annotations sitting on my shelf (I picked them up last year on Timberdoodle's swan song sale) and a box of rods too, but I had never seen the First Grade Diary! Now I know what I need to read next. Thanks!

Mama Squirrel said...

I'm a big fan of the FGD, and I can't understand why some catalogues list the Annotations and Notes to Teachers but leave it out. (I hardly ever look at the Notes to Teachers.)

Stephanie said...

Thank you for your Miquon posts! I had only heard of Miquon but never knew any details or what methods it used. It seemed a bit mysterious to me.

Then I stumbled upon your blog last year--and reading 'Math with Lore' made me think that Miquon might be a great match for us. I have been debating between MUS and Miquon, but after securing a copy of FGD and seeing more details of your planning, I think we are going to give Miquon a chance for first grade!

In the future I will be back to pore over your Miquon planning to help me figure out mine (hope that's okay!). For now, I just wanted to let you know how helpful you have been. Thanks again!

Mama Squirrel said...

You're very welcome!