Help with fifth grader
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  1. #1
    prenushi is offline Junior Member Newbie
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    Nov 2009

    Default Help with fifth grader

    My fifth grader has had some issues in school and I feel he is very behind, since he's failing 3 out of 4 subjects. I started T4L today at fifth grade, it is 2 hours on the first math lesson, that's as far as we have gotten. I think I might put him back far enough to do a lot of work with multipulcation. If I put him in third grade math can he jump around in the levels until I see he knows his facts. He may only be struggling with the multipulcation facts and this has put him behind.

    Also some assurance that I have and am doing the right thing would be great. I have mixed feelings and I am unsure of myself. I hope this was the right thing to do, starting home school that is. He is a smart child and he is ADHD/ODD. This worries me.

  2. #2
    hearthstone_academy's Avatar
    hearthstone_academy is offline Administrator
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    Nov 2006
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    Default Re: Help with fifth grader

    You are doing the right thing. The most well-meaning teacher often does not have time to evaluate where a student struggles, pinpoint it, and develop an individual plan for that student. YOU do, because you don't have twenty other kids to worry about.

    At one point, I stopped all math with two of my children and we ONLY studied the multiplication facts. There is a point where it just isn't efficient for a student to proceed until they have memorized these facts. Advanced multiplication, all division, and fractions rely on a thorough knowledge of basic multiplication.

    Two hours on one math activity is too much. It makes me sad that his initiation to Time4Learning wasn't more positive. It sounds as though you have pinpointed the multiplication facts as his stumbling block, so I would stop the T4L math for the present, but continue with the other T4L subjects.

    I would then spend about half an hour a day on math. Print a multiplication table from the Internet, and get a box of flashcards. Separate the flashcards into zero facts, one facts, two facts, etc.

    Begin by flashing all of the zero facts at him. He probably knows them and will be encouraged by the initial success. When he can quickly provide the answer to all of the zero facts, have him take his pencil and shade the zero facts on the multiplication table. Then, move on to the ones, twos, and so forth. Spend as many days as he needs on each fact family. He should be able to provide the answers almost immediately, without having to stop and think about it.

    Between flashcard sessions, use games like Timez Attack for practice. You can do an Internet search for other multiplication games. Funbrain and Funschool have some good ones. Once every few days, flash ALL the cards at him that he's already learned (not just the family he is currently working on), so you know he still remembers. The flashcards are for assessing what he knows, not for practice (because it's a boring way to practice).

    Each time you both agree that he has memorized a family of facts, he gets to shade those rows on the multiplication table. As he shades the table, he will begin to see some patterns that will help him. For instance, when he learns 6x7, he has also learned 7x6. He will actually be shading two rows (a vertical and a horizontal) for each fact family memorized.

    Be sure he knows the tricks for each family.

    Zero: Any number multiplied by zero is zero.
    One: Any number multiplied by one is that number.
    Two: Double the number.
    Three: Three, six, nine, twelve, fifteen, eighteen, twenty-one, twenty-four, twenty-seven, thirty, and we're done (sung to the tune of Jingle Bells).
    Four: Double the double
    Five: Count by fives
    Six: Know the threes facts and then double it. (If the problem is 6x8, think: 3x8 is 24 and double that is 48.)
    Seven: I leave the sevens for last, because most of the facts must be memorized. If they know the rest of the families, they will know the sevens! The hardest one for most people is 7x8 is 56. I made big posters with this fact and posted them all over the house. Or, you can think "5, 6, 7, 8 - fifty-six is seven times eight".
    Eight: Know the fours facts and then double it. (If the problem is 4x6, think: 2x6 is 12 and double that is 24.)
    Nine: The sum of the digits of each nines fact equals nine. To multiply a number by nine, subtract one from that number to get the first digit in your answer. The second digit is a number that equals nine when added to the first digit. For example, to do 7x9, subtract one from seven to get the first digit in your answer: six. You would add a three to six to equal nine, so the second digit in the answe is three. The answer is sixty three.

    Another way is to hold both hands up in front of you with the palms facing out. To do 7x9, start at the pinkie of the left hand and count over seven fingers. Bend the seventh finger down. (This would be the index finger of the right hand.) All of the fingers BEFORE the bent finger are the first digit in the answer and all of the fingers AFTER the bent finger are the second digit in the answer.)

    Tens: Any number times ten is that number with a zero on the end.
    Elevens: Any number times eleven has that number for both digits in the answer (through nine). Example: 11x2=22, 11x3=33, etc.

    Once he knows all of the multiplication facts, get back into Time4Learning at a level below where he is now. I believe self-confidence helps in the learning process, so if you can decrease his level without mentioning it to him, all the better. If he starts flying through it, you can then adjust it UP (which will make him feel good) as opposed to adjusting it DOWN (which he'll consider a bummer). Don't forget to use the printable resources, and don't be in a hurry to "catch up". It's more important for him to thoroughly understand the concept than to just get a lesson checked off. Once he understands the basics, the more difficult concepts will come more easily for him and he'll begin to catch up without so much effort.

    I give this advice based on my experience with several of my children, but especially one daughter, who struggled sooooo much with math and has now graduated from our homeschool high school and is in college doing just fine.

    Please keep us posted on how he is doing.

    Mom of six . . . current students and homeschool graduates. Enjoying using Time4Learning since 2006!

  3. #3
    denimay's Avatar
    denimay is offline Senior Member
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    Jul 2009
    La Ceiba, Honduras, Central America

    Default Re: Help with fifth grader

    Wow! Kelly!! Thanks for all of the neat tricks for multiplication!!........deni...........
    deni may ............
    artist and teacher[email protected]/

  4. #4
    prenushi is offline Junior Member Newbie
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    Nov 2009

    Default Re: Help with fifth grader

    I feel like that will be a great way for him to learn, Thanks. He is in denial right now and it takes 10 min...i feel like.....for him to get an answer, but maybe he will enjoy this way of thinking. I appreciate your help! I'm sure you'll hear from me again inthe near future.


  5. #5
    adria2328 is offline Senior Member
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    Oct 2008

    Default Re: Help with fifth grader

    You sound just like me when I pulled my DD Nov 08. She is currently in 6th grade but is working in the Level 4 Math. I have not a clue how she made it through the PS as far as she did. We struggled/struggle through the tables. At one point we stopped just like Kelly did and studied *just those. We still do not have them perfected but she knew enough to move on comfortably. I dont call the grade levels grades anymore. I just call them levels, so as to not my DD uncomfortable. And I have realized as long as she is learning I am ok. Math is my DD's worst subject so we just move really slow. Don't worry!!!!
    Mommy of 4
    Bryanna 13
    Ralphy 7
    Coleman 5
    GraceAnn 3

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