RightStart Mathematics 2nd Edition

RightStart uses a hands-on approach to help children understand, apply, and enjoy math. Synonymous with quality math, this 2nd edition is no exception. A complete rewrite, this edition employs recent research and includes more manipulatives. Based on studies comparing the differences between Japanese and US first grades, the 2nd edition incorporates certain aspects from Asian programs such as non-counting strategies and alternative number naming. RightStart teaches students to see quantities in groups of fives and tens. When adding 9 + 7, instead of counting 7 up from 9, you would take 1 from 7 to make 10 and 6. This program also uses a unique number naming system. Asian words for numbers 10 and greater implicitly relate the base ten system. Literally translated, eleven is "ten-one," twelve is "ten-two," etc. RightStart students learn to count this "math-way" before learning less intuitive words such as 11 or 19. The AL Abacus is the primary learning tool and helps children visualize numbers in groups of 5 and 10.

RightStart offers an easier-to-teach lesson format. Daily Lessons take 30 to 40 minutes with Objectives and Materials listed in the heading area of each lesson. Below that, the page is divided into two columns. Activities for Teaching are listed in the left column and include the Warm-Up (quick review) and instructions for teaching the lesson and new concept. Background and teacher explanations provide additional information in the right column. This information is accompanied by helpful illustrations where needed. Worksheets provide an opportunity for children to practice the days lesson, and at the lower levels, there may not be a worksheet for every lesson. Lessons are typically done in one day and each level is one complete school year. If you are unsure of the level at which you should begin, a placement questionnaire is available.

The Math Card Games Book is the source for games played within the lessons. Games can be used as many times as needed for proficiency. Special decks of cards are used with the book and both the book and decks are included in the manipulative kit for the 2nd edition. This book and decks are also sold separately and can be used to accompany other math programs. Math games help children learn the basics and increase proficiency.

Each level of the 2nd edition uses most of the same manipulatives used previously, with some additions; however, the sequence and use may change. As a result, there is now one manipulative kit that has everything you need for Levels A-F of the program. The set includes an AL abacus, Math Card Games book, place value cards, AL abacus tiles, folding meter stick, geoboards, colored 1" tiles, Casio calculator, tangrams, base ten picture cards, tally sticks, geared clock, six card decks, two fraction charts, drawing set, 4-in-1 Ruler, Goniometer, coins, geometry reflector, centimeter cubes, math balance, RightStart geometry panels, geometric solids, Yellow is the Sun CD, and dry erase pen. Buy this one kit when you start the program and youre set to go.

If you already have some of the manipulatives found in the 2nd edition kit, items can be purchased separately, or there are add-on kits available for levels A and B. The bridge kits will allow you to get the manipulatives you need without overlap.

Book bundles for levels A and B include a lesson book, worksheets, a Yellow is the Sun book, and appendix pages for that level. Level C includes the lesson book and worksheets. Level D through H bundles include lesson book, worksheets, and appendix pages. Levels B, C, D, E, and F include review lessons for children who are new to the RightStart program. Level G requires no prior work with the RightStart curriculum. Level G of RightStart Math is an applied math that is designed to be more independent than previous levels of RightStart Math. Level G is a middle school curriculum that includes perimeter, area, volume, metric system, decimals, rounding numbers, ratio, proportion, parallel lines, angles, midpoints, triangle congruence, Pythagorean theorem, golden ratio, Fibonacci numbers, tessellations, Pick’s theorem, and fractals. The bundle at this level includes 3 books: worksheets, lessons, and solutions manual. The student worksheets can also be purchased separately. Level H can be done independently and is a continuation of the topics found in Level G. The appendix pages included in the bundle are the same appendix pages found in the back of the lesson book, but they are already copied for your convenience - some printed on heavier cardstock, and some printed multiple times in to meet the requirements of the lessons.

I can't summarize this program better than the creator, so let me quote from the manual:

"There are ten major characteristics.

1. Refers to quantities of up to 5 as a group; discourages counting individually.

2. Avoids counting procedures for finding sums and remainders.

3. Employs games, not flash cards, for practice.

4. Once quantities 1 to 10 are known, proceeds to 10 as a unit. Uses the "math way" of counting; say for example, 1-ten 1 for eleven, 1-ten 2 for twelve, 2-ten for twenty, and 2-ten 5 for twenty-five.

5. Uses expanded notation (overlapping) place-value cards for recording 10s and 1s

6. Proceeds rapidly to hundreds and thousands; uses manipulatives and place-value cards. Provides opportunities for trading between ones and tens, tens and hundreds, and hundreds and thousands with manipulatives.

7. Teaches mental computation and investigates informal solutions before learning procedures.

8. Teaches four-digit addition and subtraction on the abacus; let the children discover the paper and pencil algorithms.

9. Introduces fractions with a linear visual model and includes all fractions from to 1/10.

10. Teaches short division for single-digit divisors, before long division."

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