Singapore - MFW Lesson Plans & other teacher helps


Re: Singapore Math - Home Instr. Guide

Unread post by cbollin »

kw4blessings wrote: is: am I going to want the Home Instructor's Guide? Looks like MFW sells the text, wb, and MFW lesson plans. As a "not so fantastic in math" person, will I do alright without some kind of teacher's guide? What about the extra activities/review suggestions in the HIG?
Start without them.
If you see a need for you... you can order those later if you need more helps than is found on forum or in the mfw lesson planner.

In 6A/6B, I tried the HIG. In the end, I used it only as a solutions manual since no one on this forum was using that level then. and it was easier to look over in a book instead of finding some forum somewhere. I had an answer key from MFW, but some of the problems we needed more than an answer

The negatives about the HIG: often there is too much in it and it becomes overkill. That was definitely the case for me in 6A and I had to stop teaching directly from the HIG. The info is more than what was needed and I had to filter for that. I was glad to have HIG as solutions manual to give me a hint once in a while. and I had to not do overkill from them on the extras and too much information. in the lesson I remember from that semester it really was too much in the HIG and it took some of it abstract instead of concrete.

Is there enough in the textbook alone to do Singapore? maybe.. but ask for help along the way. I know when I switched to Singapore with oldest when she was in 5th grade, I had to learn about bar diagrams. someone over here was very helpful with that. (smile). When middle daughter used Singapore from 1A on... I didn't have a need for HIG.

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Re: Singapore Math - Home Instr. Guide

Unread post by kw4blessings »

Thanks for the responses! That's exactly what I needed to know. We'll start without them and see how it goes :)
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Singapore Math -- Teacher's/Home Instructor's Guide

Unread post by albanyaloe »

minnesotagirl wrote:Hi there --
We used Singapore Math 1A and 1B last year, and will be starting 2A this fall. Has anyone purchased the Teacher's/Home Instructor's Guide for Singapore, and if so, do you feel it's necessary? Would I be missing teaching some key concepts a little better if I didn't have the guide? I did not use the Guide last year.

Also, for those of you who have used a guide, is the Teacher's guide better/worse than the home instructor's guide? At least for 2A, the price is significantly different.

Thank you!
Hi Lisa
I am a math challenged Mom, and wondered about this too when we started Singapore with my children. Just to fill you in, they were a bit behind and were struggling a bit. That said, none of us have felt the need to purchase the Home Instructor Manual.

I think what put me off buying it, was asking the question here on the board. I think that one of the replies mentioned that it has LOTS of info in it. I have grown to appreciate how MFW has streamlined our work for us, and really did not feel like sifting through to find the important bits. We have not run into trouble with explanation, and as I say, I am not really mathematically minded at all. Occasionally my children catch what the picture is teaching faster than I do :~ but, they're getting it!

The little MFW Teacher guide, with answers that MFW sells with Singapore is really helpful. It tells you when to teach certain things. I highlighted them, as occasionally they do not stand out obviously, and I did not want to miss them.

I hope this helps. We really enjoy Singapore and wish we had started years ago. At least my 3rd child has the full advantage :-)

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Re: Singapore Math -- Teacher's/Home Instructor's Guide

Unread post by hsm »

I just started Singapore in March of this year. We were new at everything...mfw, Singapore, and homeschooling period. I am not confident in math, especially the Singapore way. I used 1B for my dd8 and 2B/3A for dd11 so far. I did end up purchasing the Home Instructor's guides after asking about it on here. Depending on who responds, some say get it; others say don't.

Was it necessary? Hmmmm maybe not? Am I glad I did? Yes, because I did get some extra ideas and clarifications in the guides that I wasn't sure about. I ended up purchasing the Home instructor's guides for all the levels we will be doing because I can use them again for younger siblings. It was expensive to do that though so if cost is a factor, maybe try without first.

I believe the home instructor's guides are for homeschoolers and the teacher's guides are for schools. But for Singapore US edition that MFW sells, I bought Home Instructor guide not the teacher one.
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Re: Singapore Math -- Teacher's/Home Instructor's Guide

Unread post by Mom2theteam »

The Home Instructor's Guide (HIG) is for home use. The Teacher one is for classroom use.

I'm a fan of them. I'm not confident in teaching math and definitely not this way as I wasn't taught this way and I don't think this way. Personally, I really like all the background info and options for teaching. I don't use all the suggestions all the time, but they are there for me when I need them. But also, I really like knowing the method behind it. So, I like the intro to the units. For me personally, I know I would miss out on properly teaching if I didn't have this. I often don't know what the text book is getting at or the method they are trying to teach before I look at the HIG. I would have missed the mental math aspect. I'm not bad at math, I just don't think this way and I don't find the text self-explanatory like some do.

Anyway, I'm glad I have them and will continue to get them. I suggest that if you are in doubt just get it for one book and see what you think. If you find it useful, get them in the future. If not, don't. Also, if you feel confident in teaching Singapore, then you probably don't even need to try it. It's all about your comfort level teaching this method. I'm not comfortable at all with it. So, I get the guides. :-)
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Questions about Singapore math plans

Unread post by TriciaMR »

Blessedbyfive wrote:Hi,
I'm thinking of switching to MFW, and am wondering about the math plans. Can anyone describe them to me? Thanks for any info you can give!
They tell which pages in the textbook to cover, which pages in the workbook to cover, have the answers to the questions, key terms you may need to know or explain to your children, reminders of when to start math drills, and other helpful hints.

I like them!
Blessedbyfive wrote:Thanks! Are there daily plans?
Yes, sorry. Should have made that more clear. These are the daily lesson plans that MFW sells.
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Singapore math lesson plans?

Unread post by hsm »

Blessedbyfive wrote:Hi,
I see on the website that MFW offers lesson plans for math. We have been using Singapore with HOD's plans, but are doing Adventures in the fall for 2nd grade. Can anyone tell me about these plans? Specifically, can you give me an idea of what a lesson would entail, and your opinion if you think it's worth it to purchase? Thanks!
I don't know anything about HOD's lesson plans so I can't compare for you, but I can tell you about MFW lesson plans.

Basically, the lesson plans are broken down by day and they have you do the lessons according to the textbook instructions. Where the textbook says complete lesson 23 for example, that is what the lesson plans also tell you to do, but they assign the page numbers. From what I have seen, I think that is pretty much how the plans work. The plans also have the answers for the textbook problems and the workbook problems. You could do it without them, but for me it was worth the purchase. I like having the answers laid out for me even if I know how to do the math. It is easier to do a quick grading. There are some helps in the lesson plans as well such as definitions, guiding you on when to introduce certain concepts (skip counting, facts, etc), and for some of the tougher problems in later levels it even showed how to work the problems. I needed it for those specific problems that were tough.

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Singapore Math Home Instructors Guide

Unread post by Julie in MN »

Sallylourn wrote: Mon Apr 18, 2016 11:25 am Hi. I'm Sarah. I'm new here. I have all the curriculum for next year already, and I've been pouring over the TM and the books and researching everything I can about HSing.

Next year, my kids will be in 5th and 2nd grades. They tested into Singapore 3b and 1b. My 5th grader is very strong in math, but it seems his school goes at a much slower pace than he is capable of going, so I'm going to try to get him at least most of the way through 3b this summer. Anyway, I was feeling pretty confident about teaching them, but then I talked to two of my HSing friends who seemed to think that Singapore math is difficult to teach and you need to be some sort of math genius to teach it. I consider myself to be pretty good at math, and my husband is very good at math, but neither of us has ever taught it before. I am wondering if there is a benefit to getting the home instructors guide to give me some strategies for teaching new concepts. Has anyone used one before, and was it helpful? Thanks.
Hi Sarah and welcome!
One of the benefits of using the MFW-recommended math is that you will have support on the board here as well as in the office, if needed. Old conversations about Singapore are saved in the Math archive, as well. Scroll down to "Singapore 1A" and following:

But mostly I want to reassure you that you can teach Singapore. My impression over many years is that because Singapore is a bit different than the way we were taught math, some parents get stuck trying to fit Singapore into the mold they expected, and that doesn't work well. If you relax and just let the Singapore method work, I think kids do well, both strugglers and advanced. Here are a few tips:

1. Don't don't don't !! skip the "textbook." Even if your student is great at math and can fill out the entire workbook in one day (well, as long as he's not been placed too low), he needs to see and absorb the Singapore methods in the textbook. The textbook will often show how something the student already knows, such as adding two numbers, can be looked at another way.

2. Along the same lines, don't skip the "babyish" illustrations, even if your student likes to feel grown-up by going straight to the problems that look like "real math." The illustrations are pulling him into looking at the same problems in multiple ways.

3. One of the ways Singapore will help your students to look at problems is by drawing "bar diagrams." This is particularly strange to those of us used to American math (which hasn't produced as good results). It starts early, with easy problems that don't probably need diagrams, but look at them anyways. I encourage the parent to learn this method with the student, and together to try lots of things that don't work :)

4. Don't force your student to use any particular method in his workbook. The "Singapore way" is to have many tools in your toolbelt, not to memorize formulas. If he is getting problems wrong, suggest he bring out another tool - maybe use a bar diagram to draw what you know. Or, go back through some of the textbook again together.

5. A couple of times during each level, there is a challenge problem. It won't be labeled, but it will be a stumper. Maybe Singapore doesn't label them because they don't want to discourage kids from trying, or maybe they want kids to recognize that real math includes stumpers? Some of those problems are worked out in the Math archives, but try to hold back on feeding the answers until lots of brain power has been used trying to work it out. This prepares the math muscles for upper maths :)

6. Singapore doesn't include math facts drill, which surprises many folks, even though most math programs don't, actually. All my public schooled kids and grandkids were expected to do math drill at home. Students each progress differently in drill, so it's best to tailor it to your child. But don't neglect it. Speed will free up the brain for more advanced concepts and speed up math times, which helps older students from getting discouraged with math class. Speed is also about half of most standardized testing, including college testing. Even a calculator isn't as fast as a student who knows his basic math facts by rote. I like to go up to 12x12 in all 4 operations, and then some fractions after that.

Well, hope that reassures you and doesn't scare you more! My Singapore student was taking math at college by 11th grade, and I give the Singapore foundation a lot of credit for that, even though he probably doesn't recall a lot of what he did in elementary school.
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Re: Singapore Math Home Instructors Guide

Unread post by klewfor3 »

Julie is right! You absolutely CAN teach Singapore math. I don't consider myself great at math and have used Singapore with my oldest from the beginning. We are now finishing the last text and I can look back and see it works really well. I was in a similar situation as you....private school was where we started but it got to be too expensive. But unlike you I was scared to death to homeschool! MFW was recommended to me and I followed TM and recommendations to the last dotted i.

My sis-in-laws homeschool their kids and they balked at Singapore for some reason as well. They've used Math U See and Abeka. Those are great programs but I am SO glad we stuck with Singapore. It is very much to the point and clear. The way the textbook walks you through the concepts is very clear and the amount of practice work included with the lesson is doable....just enough to practice the concept before starting on the workbook.

My only tip (like Julie's) is DON'T SKIP THE TEXTBOOK! I was tempted to, but thankfully stuck it out. It has paid off in spades.

Happy homeschooling!
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Re: Singapore Math Home Instructors Guide

Unread post by TriciaMR »

I have used Singapore and never used the Home Instructors Guide. One thing I have heard about it is that it is too much if you do *everything* in the guide. You do have to be selective and pick and choose.

Julie's recommendations are great. Definitely add in those math drills, and definitely go over the pictures and methods in the textbook, but don't require their use in the workbook. It's funny, because I have twins. And one will use one method for solving certain types of problems, and the other will used a different method. I tell them to use whatever makes the most sense in their heads. It really is an amazing program.

And 3B is really second half of 4th grade, so don't feel behind.
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Re: Singapore Math Home Instructors Guide

Unread post by Sallylourn »

Thanks, ladies, for the advice and encouragement! I can't wait to get started!
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