Placement - Re-starting Singapore Math?

Julie in MN
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Placement - Re-starting Singapore Math?

Unread post by Julie in MN »

Math ?
Brie wrote:So my 10 year old started with Singapore math and went through 3A. He was getting frustrated with it so we switched over to Teaching Textbooks and he has gone through 3, 4 and half of 5 so far. He always has done well with TT so I thought great, but he just took his CAT test and scored really low, an 18 :( So now I'm wondering if maybe I should switch back since it has been a while since he has done Singapore math or if you ladies might have some good advice. I did go through the questions and he should of known everything he missed, mostly longer multiplication problems and all the division ones :( He had forgotten what the division bar was though he knows how to do long division. Anyway, just looking for some directions. Thanks in advance :)
Hi Brie,
My first thought when students test poorly is that math facts may not be down pat. Part of standardized testing is based on speed, so the student with math facts mastered will be able to put more energy into concepts. Before switching math programs, I'd evaluate his mastery of math facts.

The next thing that helps with standardized testing in math is the ability to attack random problems in many areas, rather than just the types of problems that were recently laid out in the textbook. In my mind, there are two ways to prepare for this: (1) Teach kids to "think math" the way Singapore does, rather than just students copying what was recently taught. It's not too late to go back to Singapore, if you decide it's best -- I love the skills Singapore teaches. (2) Keep a variety of skills fresh by frequent reviews of past concepts -- not sure if TT elementary does that, but in most math programs it's easy enough to add in some review by spending a day every month or so re-doing past tests or something like that.

It's good you're noticing areas that need strengthening. No program can anticipate where each student needs extra work, so it's not unusual to have to add in some drill or review. My youngest has always been very strong in math, yet I kept up drill through 7th grade (a lot of his operations were done on fractions at that point); it just makes upper math easier.

Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
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Unread post by ruthamelia »

Hi Brie- I had some similarities with my niece, so thought I would share. Singapore wasn't a good fit for her last year, so we did a year of teaching textbooks 3. After establishing some better work habits and a little more confidence, this year I tried Singapore with her again. I tested her for level and started with a quick run through 2A, all of 2B and she's now starting 3A without any problems. She definitely got math basics from TT, but wasn't necessarily able to transfer what she knew to problems that looked slightly different or were worded differently. I purposely gave her other materials (mostly free stuff from the Internet) to force her to see a variety of formats.

So, I would think you could certainly try Singapore again. Make sure to test for the appropriate level, though! To see if it would work before investing in the books, I printed some of the samples from Math Mammoth which has some similarities to Singapore, just to see what her attitude about them would be. That might be something you could try. If you decide to stick with TT, maybe consider using different materials on the same topics periodically to help with transferring knowledge.

Also, as Julie mentioned math facts, we use (free) for fact practice- it's only about 5 minutes a day.

One last thought- if he's 10 now, and has done 2.5 levels of TT, how old was he when 3A was frustrating him? Maybe he just got ahead of his development in Singapore and would do well with it now?

Hope you find something that works well!
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Re: Math ?

Unread post by Brie »

Thank you guys for your insight.
He did Singapore math and finished 2B in the middle of his 2nd grade year. We tried to start 3 but he wasn't ready for that at the time. That is why I let him switch over to TT in the first place and he did level 3 in TT and then we went back to SM at the beginning of his 3rd grade year. He started struggling again at the end of 3A when it hit long division so we switched back to TT and he has done level 4 and 1/2 of 5. He is in 4th grade this year and has just turned 10 last month.
I do need to work more on his division drill. I have neglected that part. I have used xtramath and probably should incorporate that again :)
I do have SM 3B and was thinking of going through that and maybe picking up level 4 and go through it at a faster pace. I admit I have liked TT since I have 3 preschoolers and it makes my life a little easier, but I would rather him know his math and I don't always know what he knows with this program. He is great with longer multiplication and fractions and such, but apparently he has forgotten how to divide :(
Amy & Tony married 14 years and...
Noah 10, Kayla 8, Brianna 5, Tony Jr. 3, & Nicholas 1
Together enjoying Exp-1850