Frequently Asked Questions about Miquon Math
How do you say "Miquon"?
It’s easy! “Mee-kwon.”
How much planning is involved?
It depends on what’s needed. If a child is quickly grasping concepts and moving forward, you may need to plan your days a little further out in advance, or adjust your planning to accommodate a more rapid assimilation of materials. Using the Lab Sheets Annotations book is a crucial resource to help you plan your teaching days effectively.
What about calendar work?
Since calendars don’t directly relate to math concepts, they aren’t included in the Miquon program. This is an area where you have an opportunity to use real life to teach your children the concept as it relates to their lives: include them in planning events on a calendar, have them figure out how many days between holidays, or give them blank calendars of their own to mark with the day names and numbers.
Do I really need the Lab Sheet Annotations book?
Yes, the Lab Sheet Annotations are a crucial part of teaching with Miquon Math Labs Materials. It’s your guide to the workbooks; sometimes the lab sheets aren’t self-explanatory. It’s not a detailed planbook, and you may not use it every day, but you’ll find its wealth of teaching suggestions to be a very welcome part of your experience with Miquon.
Do I really need the First-Grade Diary or Notes to Teachers?
While you’ll definitely find both the First-Grade Diary and Notes to Teachers to be very helpful as you implement ideas from them into your own teaching experience, they aren’t crucial parts of the program as is the Lab Sheet Annotations. The Diary will let you see how another teacher has approached Miquon Math Labs, and the Notes to Teachers will help you understand the complete philosophy behind Miquon.
Will other rod types (like Math-U-See manipulatives) work instead of Cuisenaires?
In a word, no. Cuisenaire rods have specific measurements which the workbooks use; other types of rods generally have different dimensions. You could use other types of rods as a supplement, however.
How long do lessons take?
It depends! As long as your child is actively and willing during a lesson, why stop when he’s ready to learn more? Some people find that at first lessons take less time (10-15 minutes), and tend to increase a bit the further you work through the books (30-45 minutes). The beauty of Miquon Math Labs is that it allows the flexibility that your individual students need.
Does Miquon Math Labs Materials need to be supplemented?
Most people find that they can use Miquon by itself for first through third grade, with no problems. If you’re worried about information gaps or want extra practice on certain topics, you can absolutely add supplemental materials as additional learning resources. Just make sure to keep with the spirit of Miquon by encouraging willing and active-minded learning, no matter what materials you choose to use alongside Miquon Math Labs.
What about drills?
Most people who use Miquon never drill; it’s often unnecessary, since math facts are being learned willingly and in tangible ways instead of by rote memorization. If you’re set on drilling, take a look at this selection of drill books available. If you do drill, remember to keep the focus on willing exploration of math concepts by not utilizing it too often.
Do I have to do all of the suggested activities?
It depends on what you as the teacher like, and what you think your children need. Will you need to do every single one? Probably not. Evaluate how your child is grasping the current concepts, and choose activities accordingly.
Is a Cuisenaire rod starter set enough, or will I need something bigger?
You may find that a starter-sized set of Cuisenaire rods will be enough for beginning. As you move further into the Miquon program, or add more children into the mix, you’ll find that having a bigger set will be much better. Some people have also added Base Ten sets to be used as a supplement to the rods.