Skip to comments.Singapore Math
Posted on 12/19/2008 7:30:16 AM PST by bboop
Does anyone use Singapore Math? I have a 4th grader (I am tutoring) who is floundering in school. He seems to be solid in all his math basics, but cannot grasp the SM. I am ordering the books so I can help him; should I order the Teachers' Books too? Do people like SM? WHY???
I used Saxon, but my daughter uses Singapore with her little girl. Pinged her for you.
I have not seen/used Singapore math, but in general, it’s helpful to have solutions guides for math when you’re tutoring. Now, fourth grade math is pretty easy and you probably don’t need the teacher’s answer key, but it will save you time to look up the answers versus calculating them yourself.
Interested in this discussion as I’ve heard good things about Singapore although I learned with Saxon myself.
You can find textbooks HERE. I'm not personally familiar with SM but, it seems to me, that there's nothing unusual about it and, if you have been tutoring math, you should not need a teacher's book but that's just my opinion!
Pretty traditional approach to math actually, based on Singapore’s lesson plans. you can look it up on Wikipedia.
Singapore math is more like, "ruvee rong time two dollah you!"
What ever happened to Chisolm Bop?
We have used SM and loved it. If your 4th grader is behind, don’t jump into level 4. He’ll be lost.
Singapore math is very solid traditional math instruction, and I would not hesistate to use it. If your child is having problems, you might also consider Math U See, which is manipulative based. That program is excellent and might be an alternative - at least temporarily - to Singapore or Saxon.
Please bear in mind that “understanding in math often DOES NOT precede the ability to do problems. Math facts, for example, can easily be memorized like a game and the understanding can come later.
My approach has been to have our children memorize the math facts through 12’s so well that they can do the flash cards at lightning speed. Then we start Saxon 5/4. We never used calculators through algebra (calculators do not encourage “higher level thinking” as the fraudulent “math educators” claim. Calculators before pre-calculus will tend to make your child a math cripple).
The main problem with math is parents (unless your child in in a government school. Then the problem is the government school and the parents). Parents often aren’t disciplined and don’t realize (this comment is mainly for the non-engineers/nonscientists/nonmathematicians) that the math they were taught (calculators and all) was completely wrong in its approach and that they need to relearn the material with their children. This relearning can actually be very rewarding with the right attitude.
I think he retired to Palm Springs.
I think it was made obsolete by Ebonics. Sounds like it had a groove, though.
Actually, I vaguely remember seeing something that sounded like that but which I wouldn't have dared to try to spell on the Today show back before the media was hardcore toxic insanity like it is, and before I had many better things to do than watch it. I think I was 14.
Do you remember how it worked?
Can you hum a few bars? /sarc
Laugh if you want, but Singapore has a higher standard of living than the U.S., in part because their kids do rings around ours in math.
achilles200 is totally right (except for the govt school hit) - DON’T start at anything but step one. My youngest is in 3rd (in a public school) and the teachers held a “training night” and it is just a different way to do math and will make sense once you do it - I thought it was really cool. It does involve manipulatives - our teachers made their own using 11x17 paper and colored poker chips. I will see if I can get a copy of their handouts and post here.
Thanks. The school has just switched to SM, this child is lost in the transition but seems very solid in math basics. I agree, they do NOT have to understand concepts, just memorize. Understanding must be built on solid memorized facts.
I tutor kids in fancy privates who have used calculators through 7th and 8th grades and can NO LONGER multiply. Disgusting. We did not use a calculator, either, in hs. I agree, it makes them cripples.
You are SO BAD. hardihar.
I used the original Singapore Math (Singapore version) with my son about nine or ten years ago. I know they have a Singapore Math (US version) now. I don't know what the differences are between the programs, but I can tell you about the Singapore version we used.
Unlike any other math program we've used, Singapore Math teaches you how to think mathematically. Most programs use rote learning or various methods and formulas to get answers, Singapore Math teaches children how to use logic and reasoning to arrive at the answer. Singapore teachers do use some memorizing of simple problems, but starting at the fourth grade level, Singapore goes into teaching algebraic problems. The method they use to solve them is different from any teaching method I've seen used, and I have gone through quite a few math programs.
Your student could be having problems because this system is so different. When I used Singapore with my son, I actually sat down and learned their method of teaching these problems. Then I spent extra time making sure my son understood the concept. We even used some of the supplemental books to make sure he really understood what he was doing. After that, he had no problem working through the books on his own.
They were just starting to produce teacher's books when we used the program. So I can't say how much help they are. I do know that many people wanted teacher's books back then. Hopefully, the books have information on how to instruct the various concepts they want you to teach.
While using Singapore Math, my son stayed three to four years ahead in math, and I loved the fact that he was able to learn math reasoning concepts not taught any where else. I used the 4th through 6th grade Singapore Math program. I switched to a different program for 7th and above because the upper level programs had almost no support such as solutions to extensive problems or methods to teach the complex concepts of the higher grades. The 7th through 10th Singapore Math program was equivalent to our 9th through 12th courses. Their 11th through 12th program would be more of a college level program here.
And exactly WHAT is wrong with good old fashion readin’ ritin’ & rithmatic??
Well, Knute, that’s how I think too. I want to just take this kid, homeschool him, and tell him — you are doing just FINE in math. Don’t let your teacher tell you otherwise. My challenge is to help him prove that to his teacher.
You are right. I used it too. It is the way math should be taught, it is the way any intelligent person should learn.
In fact,very quickly, they give you problems which are embedded with many lessons that set the stage for more advanced concepts. It is very well thought out. In fact, it can be called a multilayered concept. You are working on simple arithemetic problems, but they are slipping in bits of algebra and set theory at the same time. So, you are already getting the exposure to the notion without a whole lot of so called pressure to learn it.
Never understood the concept of “new” math, now Saxon & Singapore. Numbers are simple, 1 + 1 is always 2, not weird conditions like I before E, except after C. ;)
If more people learned simple math, the politicians would not be able to run half the scams they do.
In my experience, every kid will hit some concept that will trip him up and that will happen more than once. Sometimes I just have to explain it to them a different way, sometimes 20 different ways and sometimes it seemed like nothing would work.
Sometimes I’d have to completely stop all forward progress in a subject to help them get over their “brick wall”. Sometimes I found that a break from the subject for a week or two helped them get a fresh start and the concept that eluded them just a couple of weeks ago could easily be mastered after taking their minds off it for a bit.
I think the biggest breakthrough I had was with my son. I had to never explain something in words when I could find a way to *show* him. The more I talked, the more I confused him.
Amazing. The biggest chatter-box on the planet couldn’t *listen* to save his life! lol!
“Please bear in mind that understanding in math often DOES NOT precede the ability to do problems. Math facts, for example, can easily be memorized like a game and the understanding can come later.”
Wisdom in a drum.
There are things in life that should be quickly dispensed with in order to develop the ability to use them:
Mathematical tables, multiplication, division, addition and subtraction.
Music: Learning to read musical scores for whatever instrument is most easily done with notecards of notes and intervals these should be written by hand and drilled until able to shout the answer at lightning speed. One technique I have used is to right out multiple cards for each question as the writing out of the q&a is part of the learning process.
Notecards are our friends and every family should have an inexhaustible supply of them on hand, with small cheap boxes in which to store them by subject. Wish I had known this when I was young.
from a bamboo cane.
Oh, never mind.
I totally agree. I love tutoring math, because it is so straight-forward and binary. Once the kids grasp that, at whatever level, look out liberals. You have a clear thinker! It is my ultimate goal, to teach them how to think.
I cannot say much for SM, other than it’s probably really good, given the results of that country.
Like others, I used Saxon with my kids. It worked out great, as they are many years ahead of their age groups and 2 of them started college prior to age 15. The two key words of advice for Saxon: Be sure to ONLY get the hardcover books...the new ones are softcover and I don’t know if they’ve been doctored, as the company was taken over by a big-publisher (get the hardcovers on E-Bay). Second, do EVERY problem in the Saxon books - the people that complain about the program try to short-cut it...doesn’t work.
I also love Saxon. We used Straight-Forward Math, tho, which is paperbacks and goes all the way to Calculus (2 workbooks). They explain it so well.
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