
First Grade Math
Hi,
We are enjoying Time for Learning, this is our first year using the program. Everything is working well except for first grade math. The problem we are encountering is that material that is not taught during the lesson is included on the quizzes and tests. Is there a reason for this? Any possible solutions?
Thanks!

I remember that coming up when my son was in first grade a few times. Fortunately it does not happen very often. It's been a while since I've done first grade though. Could you give me a lesson number or two? I will forward them on and see if I can find out the reasoning for it. It may be just a matter of it being a preview of something they will be learning soon. But I will certainly ask about it for you.
I'm so glad you are liking everything else about the program. My son and I have used it since preK. We still love it.

Thank you, fairylover!
An example of what we're running into is yesterday's lesson, #10119. The lesson taught was addition fact sets, ie 7+1 is the same as 4+4. Good lesson and I liked how it was delivered. Then, however, we come to the quiz. An example of a question of the quiz that was not appropriate is "Find the equal sum" of 7+5. Then is given a list of different addition and subtraction problems which you solve after solving 7+5 to find which answer is the same. This is a different concept than addition fact sets. I think when you introduce a concept it is important to stay put on that idea throughout the lesson. It would be better to work up to the concept of double step equations after the addition concepts have been thoroughly taught and applied. There was little chance to apply what was learned in the lesson before a new concept was thrown into a quiz. In classroom school, this concept is taught for several days and applied to different situations to ensure comprehension before moving on. Logically, subtraction facts would follow, then an opportunity to use both concepts at once. I think someone should review how First Grade math lessons and tests and quizzes handle a concept to completion. Skipping to complex equation solving without proper grounding is a recipe for frustration and confusion.
We are really enjoying the Language arts though! The Language Arts extensions are well done and engaging! Thank you again for interesting yourself in this issue. I would love to hear any further feedback. We are considering buying a math curriculum and continuing with Time for Learning for other subjects.

I can certainly see your concern here. I will pass this information up the line to see what can be done about it.

Is your child doing all the worksheets as well as the animated lessons. I think the program wants to make sure the student understands the reason behind what they are doing, and hasn't just memorized the steps involved in working out one certain kind of problem. One way to do that is to test whether the student can apply what he has learned to a related, but not identical, concept. Things are this are part of the reasons why I sit with my son while he does his work. Sometimes things need a bit of extra teaching to help understand the concepts. I still sit with my fifth grader to help keep him focused on his work.

I had a similar problem with the lesson on whole numbers. The only activity was an "authentic" activity (i.e. worksheet) that gave pictures as the only example of what whole numbers were. It was a good thing I was with my son when he took the lesson quiz. There were no questions with pictures, only numbers with decimals and fractions (neither of which was previously introduced). I had to teach him "on the spot" that whole numbers meant no decimals (the dot) and no fractions (the stacked numbers). It was a little frustrating for him. On the whole, I really like T4L, but these little inconsistencies in math cause some trouble.

I totally understand your frustration with this. I have dealt with it with my son so I know what you mean. Since we lease the program from Compass Learning we can't change the actual lessons, but this has been resented to Compass on numerous occasions as a problem. We are hoping they will correct it soon.
Are you using any worksheets provided, and not just relying on the animated lessons. At several grade levels, there are a lot of worksheets that provide extra practice. Some of these other concepts are explained further in the worksheets. The program wants to make sure the student understands the reason behind what they are doing, and hasn't just memorized the steps involved in working out one certain kind of problem. One way to do that is to test whether the student can apply what he has learned to a related, but not identical, concept. I do think that's the intent of the "trick" quiz questions. This is one reason why I think it is so important that we sit with or are at least near our children while they work. They need that extra support from us at times. I usually sit with my computer doing my own thing while my son is doing his lessons. We have his lessons up on the tv screen. If he has a problem I can look up and see where the problem is and explain it to him.

On the whole, I'm not using the worksheets. My son has an aversion to writing, (read: has major meltdowns if more than 1 page requires writing) so I keep those for the lessons that he seems to struggle with, and even then he usually dictates and I write. The lesson I mentioned has only the "authentic activity" that you print and fill out. Basically, a worksheet. That's it. The test/quiz didn't have any corresponding questions. It wasn't a huge deal for me as math is a good subject for me, but just frustrating to the kid who really wants/tries to get all the questions right and is very literal. We're past it now and he understands the concept. I just wanted to make sure someone knew about the problem. :)

If you can give me the lesson number I can have someone check it out.

Where do I find the lesson number? Since it's an authentic task, a number doesn't show up on my scheduler, nor does one show up for the test/quiz. I can give you the tree: Math 1 > Chapter: Number Sense > Lesson: Whole Numbers