Using the Math-U-See Skip Counting and Addition Facts CD

We just got our Math-U-See (MUS) music CD for learning the skip counting and addition facts.  The songs are sung by a children’s choir.  I think the music is pleasant to listen to, though it can easily get stuck in your head and drive you nuts.  “Choc-late eight is taking two, not from me, just from you, choc-late eight is taking two, with his vacuum”  (To the tune of London Bridge).  I always say passing it on helps get rid of it, LOL.  I like the fact that they use Bible references in the songs, although the CD also has songs using Science and Literature facts for those that prefer it.  Or for public school classroom use.  My 5 year old is picking up some of the skip counting facts, and we have only had the CD for 4 days.  I like to use it in the car.  We also played games with some of the addition facts songs.  There is a song about building a wall using ten, and you stack the manipulatives.  A ten bar goes on the bottom, then you build each layer using the unit bars.  For example, the second layer of the wall in the song uses the six and four.  I found that once I heard the song enough times I was able to use the included songbook and just sing it without accompaniment.  This allowed me to sing the song slow enough so my son could find the appropriate manipulatives to build the wall.  You have to hold onto the wall as you build it though, or they will fall over easily.  The pieces do not stay together tightly.  We also did this with the song about adding to nine.  It was fun for both of us.

I have two criticisms of MUS Skip Counting and addition facts.  In the songs with the addition facts, sometimes it is hard to understand the children that are singing.  And Steve Demme’s quirk about saying 11 through 19 as ten-ty one, ten-ty two, and so on is included in the songs.  Most of them also say the number as what our English language uses, but I think one or two do not.  And since the children are hard to understand at times, a child listening to this may become confused.  Sometimes it sounds like they are saying twenty-four instead of one-ty four, or thirty-three instead of one-ty three.  So if you aren’t careful, your child may think nine plus five is twenty-four or nine plus four is thirty-three.  But if you sometimes sing acapella with the songbook you could reinforce the correct answers.  All in all, it is good and my child likes listening to it.

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2 Comments

  1. lara said,

    October 28, 2007 at 3:51 pm

    have you seen any good math/number programs for toddlers?

  2. jstevens said,

    October 28, 2007 at 7:22 pm

    With my toddlers I liked to introduce numbers and counting informally. We count as we go up or down stairs, count blocks or other toys, etc. I really like using counting books like Wriggly, Wiggly Caterpillars and Ten Little Ladybugs. When he was about 2 1/2, my oldest would count the bugs on each page and also learned to recognize the numbers. He quickly seemed to understand the connection between the numeral and the quantity. (This is not typical of a 2 1/2 year old.) You can also have your child put spoons on the table and count them, etc. Link the math to everyday life. Enjoy!


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