Singapore Math Overview
Primary Mathematics - 1st thru 6th Grade
The quality of the Singapore Math® program is outstanding. All elementary students in the country of Singapore use Singapore Primary Math. Knowing the high academic standards of the country of Singapore tells us that this program has passed the muster of their best thinkers for their whole nation. It is also adaptable to both classroom and home schooling.
Our sister company has developed unique "Home Instructor's Guides" for the Primary Math programs (2A-6B). These guides bridge the gap between textbook and workbook and walk you through them in a logical, step by step fashion. We lay it all out for you: concepts you'll cover in each unit, pages you'll reference, and numerous exercises to reinforce the concepts you're teaching.
Singapore's system is designed to integrate adult supervision with the independent practice by the students. Their goal is to build a foundation of thinking into the students that will position them for more advanced math. The way Singapore does this is by first introducing students to key concepts with concrete examples and pictures. Then, the student is led progressively and logically to understand the abstract concept.
Singapore Math® is a pleasing balance between drill and creative problem solving. Those who have compared SM with other math curriculum report that Singapore Math® moves the students more quickly and rationally toward abstract concepts. Compared to U.S. materials that cover a larger number of topics rather superficially, SM solidly builds the Core math concepts that will best prepare students for higher math. There is an emphasis on homework and practice, and an effective mix of word problems, drills and mental calculation. The workbooks are designed to be completed by the students without adult assistance, but adult interaction will strengthen the process. This style stimulates clarity of thought, communication skill in the language of mathematics, and adaptability to problem solving.
Instruction can be paced to the needs of each individual student. For most students, two to three pages from the textbooks will be sufficient for each day. Then the accompanying section from the workbook should be completed independently by the student.
Secondary Mathematics - 7th Grade thru 10th Grade
Singapore's Secondary Math program is called "elementary" because it focuses on teaching "the basics" of higher math, including algebra, geometry, trigonometry, etc. Therefore, in the Singapore Math® program, the word "elementary" is not to be confused with the Primary grade levels of 1st through 6th. These two terms are not synonymous. In the Singapore system, their "Elementary Mathematics Syllabus" is their Secondary program.
This program is used by 90% of Singapore's secondary students in the academic stream (headed for college). It is a four-year program that consists of 7th, 8th, 9th, and A (10th). It begins with a complete review of arithmetic then moves on to algebra, geometry, trigonometry and pre-calculus. The workbooks contain additional practice exercises, timed exams, and complete answer keys. There is a workbook for each of the four secondary levels. Workbooks do not provide answer keys to Class Activities, Challenger, Problem Solving and Investigation sections (see below). These are available in the Teacher's Guides. Teacher's Guides are available for levels 1 through 4A. There is no Teacher's Guide for 4B. Additional solutions are being created. As these are developed they will be offered online and will be printed later in a solutions manual.
- Singapore 7 Math Program (New Elementary Math 1 Kit) covers introductory algebra and geometry
- Singapore 8 Math Program (New Elementary Math 2 Kit) covers intermediate algebra and geometry
- Singapore 9 Math Program (New Elementary Math 3 Kit) covers advanced algebra and geometry
- Singapore 10 Math Program (New Elementary Math 4 Kit) covers introductory advanced math (trig & pre-calc) as well as review
The Singapore Elementary Mathematics program is designed to thoroughly ground students in the basic math concepts and their applications. Problem solving, mathematical reasoning and higher order thinking are also taught. To accomplish this the program includes the following features:
- Exercises. Many different exercises of varying difficulty are provided for the students to solve. The problems are then graded. More difficult questions are marked with asterisks.
- Chapter Reviews. Each chapter is concluded with concise chapter reviews that cover the material and key concepts taught in the chapter.
- Challenger Sections. Immediately following each Chapter Review is a section that presents interesting and challenging problems that relate to the chapter just covered. This is for the students who want more of a challenge.
- Problem Solving. Various problem-solving exercises are provided to give students the opportunity to sharpen their problem-solving skills.
- Revision (Review) Exercises. Sets of revision (review) exercises are included at appropriate intervals to provide students with the necessary practice and reinforcement. This helps to develop mastery.
- Miscellaneous Exercises. Every so many chapters, exercises are provided that combine concepts learned from various chapters.
- Investigation. These Investigation sections provide opportunities for students to explore, experiment with, and discuss various mathematical ideas.
- Mathstory. One interesting feature of the Singapore Math® materials is the inclusion of sidebars that tell the history of math. Of course these correspond with the material being learned, thus making the information more practical and interesting.