Supplies - What do I need to start Singapore?


Unread post by cbollin »

TNLisa wrote:what do I need to start Singapore? Once she takes the placement test - what do I need to order?

My poor daughter...I don't know if it's her or me that just can't find a "fit" with math. I'm willing to try Singapore since MFW recommends it...I pray it will be a successful transition/fit.

Yesterday I started a Word document for the next time someone over here asked the question What do I need to start Singapore?!

I'm not done with the file and it doesn't look great. I ended up so sick yesterday I couldn't get anything done. so you other Singapore users need to help me on this... Here is the un-edited Draft #1 of my file.


What do I need to use Singapore Math?

The Textbook -- (must have)non consumable, you teach from this book.

The Workbook -- (must have)consumable book for student.

The lesson plans from MFW (included with purchase from MFW) -- Simple daily lesson plans (do this page today) with important key helps along the way (introduce this term, work on such and such skills, remember your flash cards and manipuluatives). Does not include an overload of extras or ideas from which to choose. Includes guidelines for teaching from the Textbook and general hints for Singapore.

Manipulatives -- Singapore "mental math" does not mean you teach abstractly.

Singapore Answer Keys -- answer key. I think it is a good resource for 4A-6B. Haven’t used it or needed it for earlier levels just yet.

Home Educators Guide (completely optional) -- A detailed lesson plan, extra drill sheets. Contains duplicate of the Singapore Answer key. Some people find it very helpful, but then end up not using it all that much once they understand Singapore. Other people find them to have lots of value.

In the lower levels of Singapore, it is my personal opinion that you get plenty from the MFW lesson plans and the Singapore Answer Keys, and from asking for help from Singapore Users (online communities) when you are stuck. In the upper levels, I'm glad to have a home instructor guide to walk me through the problems so I can teach. This is one that you have to decide based on your teaching style. If you need more teacher help, it couldn’t hurt to get 1 of these and see if it fits your style. The Home Instructor's Guides are for parents.

Singapore Teacher’s Guide (don’t bother with these) -- Save yourself the money. They are a good teachers’s guide, but overkill and overpriced. No --- not even at the 1A 1B level. Has a vague outline for lesson planning – not a day to day schedule. Uses educator lingo. You don’t need these. don't bother

So what extra helps did I need for 1A/1B?

*An understanding of the visual teaching method
*Knowing that it is important to nail down those many ways to make 10 when adding (number bonds with 10) --- becomes a foundation for mental arithmetic.
*Flashcards or other drill
*An Ah Ha moment for how to re-think about subtraction with regrouping before teaching how to “borrow from the tens”
*And a true understanding of “spiral approach” (spiral does not mean jump from topic to topic. Rather it teaches concepts and new application of those same concepts. It is almost like providing a needed break along the way and a change of scenery to help keep you going. Also, new topics will be introduced. Gives your mind a rest to let the harder information settle in place.

Things to work on throughout the year with Singapore 1A/1B:
*making groups of 10’s. 1+9 2+8 3+7 4+6 5+5 9+1 8+2 7+3 6+4 and knowing them as “number bonds”. It becomes a very important element to the mental process of arithmetic, and several of the mental math tricks for learning addition and subtraction with regrouping. Keep up the drills with them, use the number bond style to help lock the bond in your mind.

*Use manipulatives and talk out loud while teaching! That is obvious, but sometimes we forget to do it. Also, let your child use the manipulatives and talk out loud to narrate the lesson to himself. Even though we talk about Singapore’s “mental math” strategies, we still need to teach these lessons in a concrete and visible manner. Using visual aids will be a key strategy when solving “pre-algebra style” word problems in Singapore.

Don’t let the idea of pre-algebra make you nervous --- with Singapore’s bar method you will really see the answer in front of you. You will not have to deal with turning co-efficient of a variable to 1 while balancing an equation. Yikes? No. With Singapore, you and your students will learn to see the process behind the problem.

You don’t need to be scared about teaching math and especially to not be scared about using Singapore Math. I know I have heard from time to time that Singapore is advanced and I get all nervous about it.


Last edited by cbollin on Tue May 08, 2007 7:57 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Posts: 7
Joined: Sat Feb 24, 2007 8:22 am

what do I need for Singapore math?

Unread post by warriormom »

My ds (7 and 5.5) love Singapore's "Primary Mathmatics in Rainbow Rock" computer CD. It has geometry, lots of number bonds, general Singapore style stuff and is like playing a video game for them (yikes).
Hope this helps
Posts: 127
Joined: Thu Dec 21, 2006 10:00 am

Unread post by niki »

I just got back from convention and I am also taking the math PLUNGE - since we took the plunge everywhere else and all has been a great fit! Great discussion with David (thanks a million!) on what to do with my competitive kids...where the younger is upping the older!

Now I'm wondering, my dd and ds placed into 2A, but should we just whiz through 1A/B for the remainder of the year and a little summer practice so we're in the groove of singapore? At least for my dd who struggles a bit more in math...ya know, build a little confidence over the next 2 months? (not to finish, but to get a nice taste of Singapore).

Strong Tower Academy
DD 6th DS 5th DD 3rd
Posts: 440
Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2004 9:37 am

Unread post by Lucy »

There have been a couple of times that I had wished for some more explantion on some of the problems. Maybe MFW will eventually be able to give more instruction on some of those tough problems. Between my husband and I or an occasional call to the MFW office we have been able to work them out. We will be starting 5B by the end of June. Every book does get a little bit harder for me!

I think I will take a look at one of those Home Instructor guides at a convention just to see if they look like they would be helpful for us.

wife to Lee and mom to Twila 18 (girl) and Noel 16(boy). Happy MFW user since 2002.
Julie in MN
Posts: 2902
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

Unread post by Julie in MN »

And don't forget the great resource you have online (as Crystal has mentioned!). Other Singapore users can often clear up the fog and make it all look easy again :o)
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002+)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs

Unread post by cbollin »

ddroberts4 wrote:In response to Crystal's reply about 1A/B:

I thought David said if you did MFW1, you wouldn't need to do Singpore 1A/B. Am I mistaken?


Perhaps you are asking one of these questions here. Let me try to rephrase each way that my brain just interpreted your really good question.

Q1. If you do MFW 1st, do you need extra math such as singapore 1A/1B?

A --- no. math is built in.

Q2.: Hey crystal, didn't you say that your kid did MFW 1st math? Why is she in Singapore 1A and 1B in 2nd grade then? I'm confused.

A: Well, good point. My dd is a special needs child. She was not able to complete ALL goals of 1st grade math during her 1st grade year. At the end of first grade, I gave her placement test in Singapore. She placed in 1B, instead of 2A. This is not a fault of the program. Not her fault. She just needed more time.

Q3: Which Singapore program do most children, who use MFW 1st, place into?

A: Your mileage will vary. Some children will place into 2A with no problem. Others, may end up like mine and that's ok too. It is my opinion that a placement test is helpful to determine if 1A 1B or 2A is the better starting place for your child rather than just saying, "Oh -- they'll be ready for 2A because they did MFW 1st math." If you are very diligent and have an average to above average child, your child may very likely place into 2A.

Now, that's what I'm saying... if it contradicts David, take his advice over mine. hope one of the answers was right :)

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Joined: Tue Aug 29, 2006 5:27 am

Unread post by ddroberts4 »

Thanks, Crystal. I guess the real answer is the placement test, huh? Duh, I should have figured that one out myself. :)
Dianna, wife to Jeff for 12 years
Mom to dd Avrie(10), Bryce(8), Colin(7) and dd Danae(4)
Finishing 1st year of Homeschooling and loving it!
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Joined: Wed Apr 16, 2008 10:30 pm

Reuse workbooks?

Unread post by sarascott7 »

baileymom wrote:Does anyone use just the textbooks and notebook paper without buying the workbooks over and over?
We are beginning our 2nd child in Singapore a get each child his/her own workbook. The cost is pretty minimal and the workbooks include games and puzzles with coloring and matching and not just answering math problems. I think it's best to have a book for each child.

- Sara
Lisa M
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Joined: Mon Feb 11, 2008 11:53 pm

Re: Reuse workbooks?

Unread post by Lisa M »

For me, my time is worth a certain amount. If something very expensive is going to cost me a little time, I may save on the purchase. If something very inexpensive is going to save me time, I often choose it. The workbooks are $17.00 a year, and that is about an hour and a half of my time. I also have only four kids, and not eight or twelve, so the cost of the workbooks is really cheap for me. My kids love working in the workbooks, whereas they really don't like doing the practice problems on paper. Separate paper means tracking it, labeling it, taking extra time to correct it, etc. I also like having the completed workbooks for records. I vote for buying the workbooks and saving a bit of precious time.
DD 8 yrs homeschool; Junior in PS
DD 2017 10 years homeschool; graduated 2 of 70
DS 2015 Homeschool Graduate; Four year college tuition scholarship
DD 2013 Valedictorian of tiny PS; 10 years home school