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Miquon Math Review

The first time I looked at Miquon Math as a resource for teaching math, I dismissed it. The page layout was funky and almost homemade looking, the transitions from one topic to the next didn't always make sense, and many of the pages seemed obscure in regards to what exactly you were supposed to be doing.

Then I got the Lab Sheet Annotations, and it all became much more clear. This is a curriculum that you cannot use without the teacher's guide.

Miquon Math was developed at the Miquon School in (surprise) Miquon, Pennsylvania. The school had a math lab that children went to every day that worked in much the same way a unstructured science lab might work: children were free to explore math concepts of interest in an experimental fashion. The teachers (and sometimes the students) developed exercises in 26 strands from odd-even numbers and computation to fractions and simultaneous equations. Children could move through as many "lab sheets" in a strand as they were interested in or were able to and move between strands and levels as the student and teacher saw fit. The homemade look that at first concerned me is a result of many of the lab sheets being made on the spot to teach a missing concept or a lab sheet being developed by the students to teach others. 

For the purpose of selling the curriculum, the lab sheets were divided into six levels and sold in six books (The Green Book, The Yellow Book, Etc.) Level 1 and 2 (Orange and Red) are roughly first grade, level 3 and 4 (Blue and Green) are roughly second grade, and level 5 and 6 (Yellow and Purple) are roughly third grade. The Lab Sheet Annotations give background for each strand, explanations of each page including extra activities and questions to ask the student. The Notes to Teachers book gives the philosophical background to the development of the curriculum.

Many families and schools who use Miquon Math as a curriculum simply work through each of the books in order. We have had much more success in using a format similar to what the Miquon School did. We purchased and downloaded the six student books from CurrClick, printed all six books, hole punched the pages, and put them in a very large ring binder organzied by strand. In this way, we can follow a strand through all six levels if we wish and move between strands and levels as needed. Many pages are further practice on the same concept and we skip the "repeats" if the concept has been mastered.

Miquon Math is great for children who enjoy a problem solving approach to math. Standard math procedures are "discovered" rather than taught directly. Practice is often novel in approach. Many of the worksheets use Cuisinaire rods but the ones from base ten blocks can be substituted.

Reviewer: Heddi
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