Changing Improper Fractions into Mixed Numerals: a Book by Lisa C. Jackson

Changing Improper Fractions into Mixed Numerals
I wrote this book because I suspect my child has dyscalculia. I am trying to prepare my child-student for the TABE and GED tests. I am hoping this will help people with dyscalculia and those who teach them. I think this book will be helpful to 5th grade school teachers, homeschool moms, middle school and junior high and high school teachers, adult education teachers and those learning math for the GED test.

This is how this book came to be:

  • My dad always taught us math around the dinner table and everywhere we went. My siblings and I helped him check math papers quite often. I was always reading and hearing maht vocabulary like “whole numbers,” “improper fractions,” and “numerator.” My dad loved teaching math to 5th graders. This is considered 5th grade math in most curricula.
  • When I had a hard time understanding math, I had my school teacher, my dad and my math-loving brother who could explain everything to me. I did not need visual explanations of things because I had so much help.
  • However, I am an artist and visuals like these with very concise explanation of every little detail would have been nice.
  • When I was in elementary school, I visualized how the design of the math textbook could improve. I dreamed of becoming a textbook math designer one day just to make the math book easier for the child to understand by adding better visuals.
  • I became a homeschool mom. I have taught homeschool 5 years and have not yet found all the answers for how to teach math concepts to every child. 
  • For 5 years, I have been eluded as to how to explain certain things which are very easy for me to understand, to children to whom these math concepts do not come so readily.
  • I became determined to figure out how to help children (and all people) understand math concepts better.
  • I love the Montessori method. I want to meet Maria Montessori when I get to heaven. I also love Constance Kamii and her methods for teaching math.
  • I am an eclectic-style homeschool mom. That means I like teaching using multiple methods. 
  • I used my “Your Teacher” app yesterday and wrote down all of the lesson names in all of the chapters in each grade level and math level, with checkboxes nest to each lesson. I made a plan to have my kids watch 5 lessons per day from this app. I knew this would help. It did, because helped me to see which pieces of the puzzle my children were missing for the complete understanding of these math concepts regarding fractions.
  • I googled this morning and found information about dyscalculia from this website which was very helpful.
  • I watched this dyscalculia simulation, which is to help the rest of us understand the struggles of people who have this learning disability.
  • I found a list of curricula for people with dyscalculia. I found Math U See. It is too expensive for me.
  • I then remembered that Maria Montessori made everything multisensory. I searched up and found this video about teaching children about changing improper fractions into mixed numerals using the Montessori method.
  • As you can see in the book below, much of this book is from the video.
  • Some of the book below comes from questions my child-student had this morning after watching the video. 
  • I had some blank board books. What a nice thing to have. I thought, ‘I can plan a book sng then make it.’ I made 3 plans. 
  • I made the book, which is a combination of the 3 plans (a 4th plan, which is silly but true).
  • Since I did graduate with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Art, I illustrated the book myself.
  • Now I need a publisher. More people need this book. I do not want to make lots of handmade copies!

3-D View of Fractions 5th Grade math concept book for people with dyscalculia
Cover Page: Change Improper Fractions to Mixed Numerals
1 Pizza Whole Number, 2/5 a pizza partial number
Improper Fraction
improper fraction, mixed numeral
7 divided by 5 or 7/5
fraction numerator denominator quotient mixed numeral




Unschooling Style Math

     My kids are doubling not by multiplication but by addition. It is what they do for fun. Do they know about calculators? Yeah, but calculators don’t allow this many numerals on a screen anyway. Do they know that someone else has probably already done all this doubling? Maybe not, but if they thought about it, they would probably think it is probable. They do not care. This is something they are crazy over. They love doing it.

     Do they know that multiplying may be faster? Beats me. This is creative, Constance Kamii math. She would say, let them at it and let them figure things out their own way.

     So what does the homeschool mom think? She thinks, “Oh, YEAAAAAHHHH!” I think it is awesome. I bask in it like the emperor penguins bask in the sunlight after a long, cold, windy winter.

     They are on day sixty of doubling the mini m&m’s you’d have to eat if you doubled the number daily. For 60, they have a figure of 1,146,582,183,045,318,976. I do not know if that is accurate, but that is what they have.

Teaching Math in Homeschool

Math with other homeschool moms is a touchy thing. Some believe in taching it. Some do not. I believe in teaching it. For others who also do, here is a safe environment in which to discuss nothing but teaching math in your homeschool! Yay!

Please join this Facebook group Teaching Math in Homeschool

No Slave to a Style or Method

I am in Unschooling groups, eclectic groups, montessori groups, LDS homeschooling groups, TJED groups and regular homeschooling groups on facebook. We do not fit into any style. I decided a few months ago that pretending we fit into a box “we do this style,” was just fruitless. We do what works each day, what I feel like we will do that day, and on some days, what Heavenly afather directs. Ideally, every day would be “we do as Heavenly Father directs,” but in reality, I am not perfect and I just do my best every day. Some days, my best means I took a shower and the kids are alive.

I did purchase the L.I.F.E. School LDS Homeschooling Curriculum

I love it. I won’t say we do it every day, but usually whenever we do anything formal for aademics, we include it. It is what keeps me sane. I used to have to make lesson plans for all those subjects, but now I don’t have to and I know that it is included. I don’t have to worry over what to teach, as everything is right there (every subject is included except dance and math). My kids even have a lot of past workbook material to catch up on in LIFE School, so some days, when I di not have time, ability or desire to teach a formal lesson, I just say, “Do 6 pages of Life School,” and they know that means, from past lessons which I have taught, that they have yet to do work for. It takes them anywhere from one hour to never getting it done, to do that, depending on whether they try or not.

We still use Spelling Workout sometimes, too, because my kids need extra TLC in that area. We also use God’s Design For Science as it fits in with our Science in Life School, as a supplement, because it’s the most awesome Science program ever!!! It is not LDS, but Christian, and I add in LDS stuff because I am the teacher!

For more LDS and Scripture learning, we also use Discover the Old Testament, because that is where we are on the timeline of history in LIFE School, is Old Testament and Ancient Book of Mormon Times, for which we use Discover the Book of Mormon. One uses grades 1-3. The others use grades 4-7. They finished 1-3 in a different homeschool year.

Then there is the math, of course, which is also the best math ever because I am re-inventing the wheel. I have seen homeschool moms say of facebook, things similar to, “Why Reinvent the Wheel?” Well, in my case, because I do not like the wheel that is there. It is broken, so I am fixing it so that it works. The math used in public schools is the math used in homeschool, in most cases. I have heard of lots of homeschool math programs which just do not work for homeschool moms, unless they have just one, or very few, kids. I have 6, though, so it needed to be re-thought. It is a lot of work, but I do not follow a math program. Instead, I am creating a Homeschool math program which is a one room schoolhouse approach like LIFE School, which lets me teach math to all the kids together, and when it is fully ready, we will have math lessons as a family (instead of 5 separate math lessons for 5 separate kids old enough for them).

It is not fully ready yet. It is in the works. I do some of it, but mostly, I still have to teach each child a separate math lesson (which I think is so time-consuming)!

In addition to all that, we go when my husband is off work, on field trips to museums and kids learning places. I think it is easier on me not to try to do it without my husband’s help. We also are in a bunch of facebook groups and now and then, we do things with the others in the homeschool community locally. We used to do this more often, and have even tried the Co-Op thing. The Co-Op thing has not been in the mix of late, but I am trying to start my own LDS Co-Op lately, and we will see. Right now, I just plan a get-together once a month. That is all I can do now.

Here is a related post you will want to check out, too. The Current Mix of Our Homeschool Day

LDS Women Can Make Academic Curriculum!

One really great quote by President Brigham Young on LDS Homeschool Curriculum Writing and Publishing is here below.

“We want to make our own school books. We are paying now from thirty thousand to sixty thousand dollars a year for school books that can be made here just as well as to send and buy them abroad. This is carrying out the plan and principles of building up Zion, whether you know it or not. We may preach until Doomsday, and tell how Zion will look, how wide her streets will be, what kind of dwellings her people will have, what kind of carriages and what fine horses they will have, and what a beautiful looking set of people they will be, but it is all nonsense to talk about what we will never reach if we do not stop our folly and wickedness. We have the privilege of building up and enjoying Zion, and I am telling you how to do it. We want the women, from this time forth, to go to work and save the paper rags, and we will make the paper for them. And they can learn to make type. I can pick hundreds and hundreds of women out of this congregation that could go into a shop and make type just as will as men, it is a trifling thing. And they can learn to set type, and they can learn how to write for our school books. We have plenty of men and women that know how to write books, and how to teach too. We have just as good school teachers here as any in the world.”

President Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 16:17)

He made a great point here, or a few great points. We cannot just talk about Zion. We have to have actions that show sincerity. We have to show faith by our actions. What, in 2015, are people waiting for? Zion is not something that President Monson is going to create for us, then invite us to join in on. Zion is something that united LDS people will create by coming together, having faith and being determined.

Brigham Young is also telling us here, that we LDS members must educate our own kids, that we have those among us talented and able, to write curriculum, design it, get it printed and publish it. We already have much selection in LDS Homeschool Curricula. We have the talent among us to make even more!

I am working on math standards created by piecing togehter the following:

Pre Common Core Utah Math Standards
Constance Kamii math principles, as covered in her Piaget-based research
My own math education (what was taught each year when I was in school)
What I know of my childrens’ abilities at each age
What I know about teaching math at home
What kids need the most in real life, put first
What I want my kids to know at each age
Math divided by topic, then by subtopic, first, and, last, by grade level within the topic and subtopic; Also, math divided by grade level, then by topic and subtopic (so that a parent can teach using one or the other)

If I can do this, why can others who are LDS not also do this? Ehy must we depend on members of other churches making “Christian” curricula? Why should we depend on non-LDS teachers? We can teach our own children. We can! I know, because I can. I know you can, too!

I know many of you who di homeschool ar thinking that the academic strength of LDS Homeschool Curricula is likely not good. I challenge those who think this to go onto the LDS Homeschool Curricula page, click on the links which I have labeled for having academics taught from an LDS Perspective, get samplea of these and try them out with your kids.

For those of you who are not yet homeschooling, I challenge you to contact someone you know personally who home educates and ask them for a tour of their homeschool set-up in their house, with some information on how they do it. I also suggest you join a facebook grouo for local homeschoolers and local LDS homeschoolers, so that you can go to group events and meet these people while you are making this decision about whether to do this yourself.

Please also go with your spouse to the temple, praying before and after about whether it be right to LDS homeschool your kids. I know that Heavenly Father knows what is best for you and yours.

Heavenly Father was involved in our decision to LDS Homeschool. I also recently received personal revelation that I need to unite the local LDS Homeschooling Community, so that we may be one in God’s hands (for if we are not one, we are not his). This blog post is part of that effort. I hope it helps many people!

I share this in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

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LDS Homeschooling Northern Utah fb page

The Current Mix of Our Homeschool Day

We were asked in an Eclectic Homeschooling facebook group about our current (not year-round average, just current) mix.

I have been changing the numbers around and this is my guess, including the “homeschooling hours” Mon.-Fri. between 9 am and 4 pm only.

This is how we learn at our house, in order from the most to the least

Mom:

breastfeeding
cleaning up Vomit and getting more pedialyte
keeping kids dressed and fed
responding to kids and their needs
Teaching and correcting academic work
helping with Hope Haven Events, and preparing presentation and booth for Winter Homeschool Conference
Reading aloud to kids

Kids:

Playing with other siblings
Reading books/ magazines/ news of choice from our home library & internet
Legos and other toys
Self-Directed Learning
Fighting, discussing, negotiating and learning to get along
Playing with the Baby and teaching him to walk
Childcare
Learning about and Discussing our religion (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints)
Learning about and Discussing Current Events and Politics
Housecleaning
Personal Grooming, Health & Nutrition
Early Childhoold Education
Life Skills
L.I.F.E. School Curriculum
math via Utah’s former core curriculum (before common core) via worksheets, iPad math and Constance Kamii math
iPad and YouTube learning by taking turns
Discover the Old Testament
God’s Design for Science
Serving each other, and others
Art and Art History (my own curriculum)

I love that homeschooling is so auto-flex. What we need more and what works best, always naturally becomes what we do more of. What we need least naturally falls off of the bottom and just becomes a memory when it no longer serves us.

Eclectic Homeschooling: A Family- Created Mix

I consider myself an eclectic homeschool mom, and my favorites are 1) religious, 2) unschooling, 3) iPad learning, 4) school at home, 5) TJED Vanguard group, co-ops and field trips, and 5) Montessori. Every eclectic homeschool has a different mix. Every year, my mix has changed. It is called eclectic because it is a mix of styles.

You will find in meeting people who consider themselves eclectic homeschoolers, that every eclectic homeschool has a different mix. Also, you will find that this mix changes, to “roll with the punches.” My mix started out with 1) school at home, 2) religious, 3) Unit studies, and 4) learning games.

My second year, my mix was 1) whole language language arts and Constance Kamii math 2) montessori, 3) religious

I love being an eclectic homeschool mom. This means whatever works best that year, we do. It means I do not shove away something different that I hear about. If it works and we love it, we embrace it!