Special Needs - Will Singapore work? Extra ideas?

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Special Needs - Will Singapore work? Extra ideas?

Unread post by mamaofredheads »

Will Singapore work with child who struggles with Writing?
six meadows wrote:I am needing some advice on math choices for my younger boys.

I have a dyslexic son and I am thinking that writing all the problems out this year will be a big burden for him. We already spend so much time working on the reading stuff that I would like him to have a little break in this area so I am leaning towards Singapore. He is a pretty good math and does not struggle in this subject. Any insight would be helpful.

Posted: Mon Jul 30, 2007 7:12 pm
Hi, Cheri. No matter what math program you choose you could have him give the answers orally. I did this for a time with one of mine who struggled with writing. Then later I had him do half orally and half written until we worked up to doing the whole page in writing.


Re: Will Singapore work with child who struggles with Writin

Unread post by cbollin »

Posted: Wed Aug 01, 2007 4:14 pm
As for the writing, with Singapore you do some of it orally with the student (text book) and then the student pages are not long.

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Unread post by mgardenh »

Posted: Mon Jan 14, 2008 4:00 pm

All of you have probably already thought of this. But particullarly those who have kids who do not like to write. It hit me today while we were doing math and DD was not wanting to write. She loves stickers so I went aha " we have number stickers would you like to use them today". I would not do it everyday but certainly breaks up the monotony and gives something different. She loved it. Just thought I'd share.
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Unread post by shera »

Posted: Mon Jan 14, 2008 5:35 pm

You can also get number stamps and an ink pad my kids love using those as well.

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Unread post by MJP »

Posted: Mon Jan 14, 2008 10:24 pm

We use stamps and stickers here for a change too. It's amazing what a little change can do for the attitude.
Julie in MN
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Singapore math--is it good for struggling learners?

Unread post by Julie in MN »

blessedwith4 wrote:I am wondering if Singapore math is only good for those who are very good at math. I have a struggling learner who needs lots of practice. I've heard some people say they are relieved when they use all of MFW's suggestions, which include Singapore and I've heard those who say they had to use a different math. I don't know what to do. My dd who will be in 5th would start with 2A.
I can't share any personal experience, but I will say that I've read of folks using Singapore Math for special needs kids. I've even read of public schools using it for their special needs classes. I don't know any more than that. It makes sense in my mind that the Singapore approach, which starts out very visually concrete, would work for a lot of types of learners. And even a 5th grader who needs it would benefit from this kind of concrete beginning. I don't know how it would go when you get to levels 5-6, since students are typically doing a lot in their heads by then, but I suppose it depends on the particular special need -- some can be gifted in certain areas.

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
far above rubies
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Re: Singapore math--is it good for struggling learners?

Unread post by far above rubies »

I don't know if I'm a good example or not. I have a son with special needs, but he also has Asperger's/high functioning autism and mental math is his "thing." He did beautifully with Singapore. He struggles with reading and writing, but Singapore has always fit him well.

We're giving it another shot this upcoming year and I'm interested to see how he does. We're giving the first semester a trial run--so, I only bought the books I would need for the first semester. If it doesn't work, we can always go back to our former program.
K (2007-2008, 2011-2012), ADV (2010-2011), ECC (2011-2012)
2012-2013: CtG [dd (5th), ds (3rd), dd (1st), ds (3), and ds (1) ]

Singapore Math with a special needs learner

Unread post by cbollin »

marsha617 wrote:We are a family who has used Saxon since the beginning. I didn't want to quit Saxon, thinking the program would work for us if I kept trucking along. I also thought it was too late to switch. Presently, my boys (including myself) dread math. It's no fun (not that math is supposed to always be fun) and there tend to be lots of tears with some complaining. Well I have definitely decided to make the switch to Singapore. I have already contacted the MFW office. In fact Mr. Hazell called me himself. What a blessing! I am placing my order early this week. BTW I'm switching from Rod and Staff English to PLL and ILL. I think these are all going to be great changes for us.

Anyone used Singapore with a special needs learner? My 10 year old has a speech/language disorder. He has some autistic tendencies although he has never been diagnosed officially. How do most special needs kids do with the mental component of Singapore? How can I expect Singapore to help him be less stressed concerning math? I would like to add I am starting him at 1A. I want him to understand the wording of Singapore since it is very different from Saxon. Initially I was worried about starting him at that level but I am at peace with it now. :-) We will just work on math 1 hr. / 5 days a week. We're already used to 1 1/2- 2 hours on math anyway so that will be a breath of fresh air! LOL As for my 8 yr. old, he is not a special needs learner. Once in a while he displays some dyslexic signs but I am not overly concerned. He can think math out in his brain rather well. He develops his little shortcuts without my help. Singapore will probably be an excellent fit for him. After taking the Singapore placement test he commented on how he would like to do that type of math sheet all the time.

I have two special needs learners. As you know our kids are unique. I can talk about mine and how it worked.

Middle gal, currently age 12, just starting 7th grade. She used MFW K and 1st for math, then in 2nd grade started 1A... she finished 5B a few weeks ago!. yeah! we did it. I want a hi five please?! if y'all only knew... I'm happy dancing!

Her delays and special needs are in the category of language delays, receptive/expressive delays. not on the autism spectrum. (her younger sister is very much on the spectrum and let's just say dh as plenty of aspie related stuff).

Singapore worked well with her because I did not rush the program. We used the bar diagrams a lot. We used hands on teaching. I found a chart to use to help with the language of word problems. She clicked with that because she likes "mysteries" and wanted to find the key clue in the problem. So, we took the time needed with flowcharts (if it says how many more than.... what does that mean? how is than seen? ) We used the language in Singapore "do we know the whole thing? do we know one part? what do we do now?"

so, it was very logically presented in small enough increments that I am just sitting here on the other side looking back from 2006 and thinking.... wow God! how can my child have done this?

She is not quick in Singapore, but is diligent in Singapore. She still gets stuck on some math facts/number bonds and has to think, or count. I'm still doing math drills with her. I'm at the point on some things with it that I'm accepting that part of her brain isn't retaining a fact as fast as needed. So, as she started into SAxon 87 about 3 days ago, I decided that she is allowed to use calculator to make it faster on some calculations. She has not used a calculator to this point. But, a mom older than me with kids older than mine and they are on the autism spectrum told me -- if his brain can't hold that bizarre factoid, why create the stress in his life that shuts him down. So, I'm going to try that for a little while, until I can get my middle gal faster in drills while doing Saxon.

overall, I was really incredibly happy that with Singapore and not rushing her that I saw huge jumps in her ability to think, process, and grow in language skills. Oh yeah, I forgot.. she was in speech/language therapy from age 3-9 when she tested out of the need and it couldn't be justified (or afforded).

so, on the mental math -- I saw over time, that she was doing more in her head (even though it was out loud from her math) and less having to be done on paper. One key element in the mental math process in Singapore -- mental math, means thinking about the problem and process, but does not always mean you never use paper. Mental math with a special learner like mine also means, it is not silent in her head, but comes from her mouth. Over the years, it got faster and quieter. But sometimes her brain is so distracted she writes stuff down.

use manipulatives. draw and trace the geometry figures as needed. talk out loud.....

Youngest gal - age 9, autism (pdd nos side of the spectrum), high functioning. math progression has been a lower priority with us this year as we had more language development in mind, and life skills. Most math was from real life in grocery store (yes, you can this ice cream.. You only have $10 dollars to spend on your special treats this week. You bought cup cakes for $5 and the ice cream is only $3.) Let me tell you. over this past year of what we know call Kroger Math, my little autie learned that you can get cupcakes on the Oops wrack for $2, one brand of ice cream for $3, and get a smaller container of milk with a 99 cent label, and still be able to get a package of muffin mix. and none of it had to go back to the shelf. alright... we have the concepts down now.)

so, surprise surprise surprise to me last night..... She took some base ten blocks and her little 1A singpaore book and was doing single digit addition. Ok.... knowing what I know about the whole singpaore elementary sequence, I do anticipate that as her language and critical thinking continues to develop, she will be able to do some more, not all of the challenge problems. But I think the visual and hands on with Singapore along with the demands of having to grow in higher language skills will be good to use. She has the cognitive ability to progress in higher language (such as how many more than). so using very strong materials, even if I have to tweak and all of that... well... I'm staying with it for a bit more. Granted, it's very embarrassing to have a 9. y.o being called 3rd grade (already a year behind) using 1A and it being a struggle to proceed... but I'll get over it. Now I get to go today to hear the latest eval on this kid and be told how little she changed over the year during speech therapy. wish me happy happy joy joy...

I don't know how it will go for you..... that's just where we are today.

Amy C.
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Re: Singapore Math with a special needs learner

Unread post by Amy C. »

cbollin wrote:she finished 5B a few weeks ago!. yeah! we did it. I want a hi five please?!
I'll give you a high five! WooHoo! Happy Dancing with you!

My oldest is at Boy Scout camp this week so he is taking a break from math, but when he comes back we will be hitting the books again. I talked with David Hazell about a week ago about where we are in math (1/2-3/4 through 5A). He made me feel so much better about it! I actually feel like we can make it.

Anyway, sorry to hijack this thread. I don't have a special needs child (that I know of anyway) doing Singapore, but I do have one that started late with it and is trying to get through 5B before starting Saxon in 7th this next school year. I wanted to congratulate you, Crystal, on your dd's accomplishment!

Amy C.

Re: Singapore Math with a special needs learner

Unread post by cbollin »

marsha617 wrote:Crystal,
Not that I need the charts you mentioned right away, would you please tell me where you bought them? Is it something you made up or available on Singapore website? Thanks!
I used a premade one from
Creative Teacher Press called

Math Graphic Organizers Gr. 3-5 - CTP2574 - Simple and Effective Strategies for Solving Math Word.

However, I can't seem to find it in stock anywhere so I'm assuming it could have been discontinued. that's a bummer because that book was great. maybe we should mount a campaign to bring it back or least make an equivalent!

a search on this
(or on Creative Teaching Press's site search on item number 2573)
I did drop a line of inquiry to their customer service dept....
I heard back from that publisher. yes the one I liked for grades 3-5 was discontinued and currently not sold. they might consider it in the future as an ebook,

so. that means... . try the 1st/2nd grade one. lots of same stuff in it. gives the 1st and 2nd grade version for add/subtraction. that's a good start. :)
marsha617 wrote:I looked up these books on Paperback Swap. I'm the first on the list to get them...we'll see. I'm going to see if Learning Zone in my city can order it for me. E-books would be perfect. Should I just periodically check the website to see if they are available?
I would check when you're ready to order. Nothing in their email to me indicated this specific discontinued book would be an ebook any time soon. Nothing was in the pipeline.


Re: Singapore Math with a special needs learner

Unread post by cbollin »

marsha617 wrote:So now I have another question. :-) I feel I will need an instructor guide. I was taught the American version of math AND I don't do well with mental math myself. I have to write it down to add or subtract. ( I do pray Singapore is a good choice). Do I have to order that through Singapore or will MFW Lesson Plans have any helpful ideas or insight to the math lessons?

I haven't seen the newest version of MFW's singapore plans. I don't think they are a super detailed explain every lesson kind of plan. There will be key vocab and other things. I don't know if they give selected notes to help teach or not these days.

In general, if you see a need for you for the Home Instructor's Guide (such as sold by Rainbow Resource), then get it and give it a try a semester at a time. Understand that it will have more information in it than is needed or expected. Then, you can evaluate if you need it more. I did not need them. I bought the ones for 6A and 6B and rarely used them past about lesson 2 in 6A because I over taught too much from them. I liked the solutions manual part of it though. ;) There were times that I needed a clue or hint and didn't want to devote thinking time to solve it myself. I have these other children to deal with ;)

The textbook is the book from which you teach and have in front of the student as a pre made chalk board. and teach from it. Use real objects. Part of using Singapore is to be Concrete Objects, then Pictorial, then move to the "abstract". That applies to the mental math as well. Don't start with it in your head until your hands get wrapped on it, and you say it out loud and practice. Although Singapore has a "mental math" component to help some people think quicker to solve it, it is taught in very concrete methods before even expecting the abstract of it to sink it. I had no problem proceeding with lessons without the mental part "mastered." Part of the abstract mental math comes only after lots of input with very concrete and pictorial practice.

and of course, on this forum, the archiver had put lots of Singapore specific lesson helps in the math archives for the most common "hard problem" of the unit.

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Re: Singapore Math with a special needs learner

Unread post by TriciaMR »

My dd isn't "special needs" (she is mildly dyslexic, though) but we did switch math mid-stream (started in 3A middle of last year)... and today, working on the last exercise in 4B, she did 2 of the problems in her head... I was amazed! We always do all our math work on paper.

So, I would just work it on paper until it "comes naturally" - draw pictures, use manipulatives and whatever you need until it kind of happens. I think Singapore will lead your child naturally to it. (And my dd has had to work very hard at math facts - she still struggles with some multiplication and division facts.)

Trish - Wife to Phil, Mom to Toni(18), Charlie(14), and Trent(14)
2014-2015 - AHL, CTG
2015-2016 - WHL, RTR
2016-2017 - EXP1850, US1877
2017-2018 - DE, 1850MOD
2018-2019 - College, AHL
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Re: Singapore Math with a special needs learner

Unread post by marsha617 »

There have been too many times lately Saxon introduces a problem that can be solved mentally but doesn't explain how to solve it. Yes, there was one in basic lesson in mental math using problems like 34+50. Easy, yes, add the tens and ones. Some lessons later the kids were asked to figure out regrouping problems horizontally. They were a bit lost because Saxon teaches mostly "stack and add". The pop-ups like these came all too often esp. in word problems. Starting Singapore from the beginning and proceeding at a faster pace is our plan. I appreciate your encouraging words Trish and Crystal. :-)
Andrew 10
Nathan 8
Ryan 5
Josh 2
Yes, we have ALL boys. Life is fun and always interesting!
MFW since 2008; CTG this coming school yr.

singapore math

Unread post by cbollin »

sandi wrote:Thanks for the reply. One more question I forgot to ask. My DD is dyslexic. Do you still think it will work for her. My other thought was Saxon because I know she will move into this later.
no clue. I don't usually hear a lot of stories about a perfect math program for them. I wonder if just about any program would work if specific teaching strategies were used for the learner? I know dyslexia and autism and language delays aren't anything the same, but my middle gal (language delays and just slow..) was great in Singapore. And my autistic child likes 1A singapore. I blush to admit that we are just now really getting started with formal math programs with her. She's worked for years with concepts and practical math.

oh. if you have the money and looking for a facts drill program with special learners, check into something called Little Giant Steps, Rapid Recall. I know it is cha ching for all of the operations as a bundle, but I'm happy so far that we spent it. The pace that my youngest is picking up her addition facts is nice. It does each operation separately, vs. singapore which does them as addition and subtraction together. So, I'm adjusting the pacing in Singapore to work just on addition side of math facts (aka number bonds), before getting into subtraction. Most of her math has come from cooking and grocery store

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Re: singapore math

Unread post by TriciaMR »

My daughter is dyslexic, and switches around, or reverses numbers, when carrying. So far, I've not seen any specific help "out there" for that. What I found is that I have to teach carrying/borrowing EACH time we hit it in addition, multiplication, and then subtraction, division. So, if she was adding 26 + 36, she would write the 1 under the 6's and carry the 2. I had to teach her to write the carry first (the 1) and then write the two underneath, because that's how you write "12". (Most programs teach you to write the ones number first and then the carry number.) Then, when we hit multiplication, I had to teach it to her again. Don't know why, but with a different operation, still had to teach it to her AGAIN.

Also, I occasionally give in and let her use a calculator. For example, we're working on order of operations this week. The point is to do the adding/subtracting/multiplying/dividing in the right order. So, I have her tell me which thing she is going to do first, and then if it isn't a simple math fact that she should have memorized, I let her use the calculator to solve that combo. Otherwise, it would take us 1.5 hours just to do her math problems (after we've already spend 30 minutes in the textbook). I also try to teach her little tricks that I know to help her.

I find with my dyslexics (I have 2), that I have to sit by them while they do their math. If we catch the mistake as it is happening they have a better attitude about fixing it than if I had them do a whole assignment and then went back and found 3/4 of the problems wrong because they reversed numbers, or didn't bring down a number. But, eventually my dd says to me, "Mom, I think I can do this by myself," and she goes off and tries a couple of problems without me walking through it step-by-step with her.

Math and Spelling are my oldest's hardest subjects. (We seem to have broken the reading barrier and writing barrier somewhere along the way!)

Trish - Wife to Phil, Mom to Toni(18), Charlie(14), and Trent(14)
2014-2015 - AHL, CTG
2015-2016 - WHL, RTR
2016-2017 - EXP1850, US1877
2017-2018 - DE, 1850MOD
2018-2019 - College, AHL
My blog