Cyndi (AZ) wrote:I'm very hesitant to post this, but I have some honest questions. My 7th grade niece is living with me and I help her with her math homework from public school. I've been looking through what she is learning, excelling at, struggling with, etc., and wondered when Singapore Math addresses negative numbers. (I was actually considering purchasing the Singapore practice books for her.) I'm a little shell-shocked by some of the reviews that I just read. I know people whom I highly respect that recommend Singapore Math, so I am not questioning it as a whole program, but I'm wondering about some of the mentioned "gaps."

To my understanding, SM does not teach negative numbers in levels 1-6. I find this a little humorous because my 5th grade dd can actually do my 7th grade niece's math homework faster than she can . . . (this is actually not a helpful thing). Maybe my little shopper just has an early grasp of what a negative number is?? My niece can't figure it out at all, and after a meeting with her math teacher yesterday, I discovered that most 7th graders are having difficulty with integers. It is greatly affecting their ability to get correct answers for order of operations, variable equations, etc.

So. Am I panicking that my 5th grade dd is not doing what my 7th grade niece is doing? (Which would be silly, but I've been known to be silly.) The 5th grader also "wins" when it comes to adding, subtracting, multiplying, and simplifying fractions. My dd has to be kicked out of the homework area in order to maintain peace now.

Why doesn't SM teach negative numbers? Absolute value? Square roots? Setting up equations with variables? Are those just pre-algebra skills that come with Saxon Math that I don't need to worry about right now?

I know Crystal's oldest did extremely well going from Singapore to Saxon. Does anyone else have a story to tell me? What level in Singapore did they finish? Was there enough instruction in Saxon 8/7 or Algebra 1/2 to pick up the things that weren't taught in Singapore?

I don't want to open a can of worms and I'm not picking on Singapore, because so far I love, love, love it. I just want to know now if there are some gaps that I should fill along the way in 5th/6th grade or if I'm jumping the gun and need to wait for pre-algebra.

Cyndi,

Those aren't can of worms questions, girlfriend! Those are good stuff.

I don't know why SM didn't address it in elementary. But it could be that it isn't all that needed until pre algebra 7th grade? You know.... kinda like the age old debate of "when is best to teach abstracts of parts of speech?"

All of those so called "gaps" are in the first few lessons in Saxon 87 prealgebra.

Here's the other half of the story that you may not know my family and my Singapore to Saxon experience. Yes.. oldest is math whiz and all of that, in spite of not knowing how to read an analog clock in the middle of the night.. LOL LOL.

My middle gal. dear little sweet middle gal. Not advanced academically. sweet personality.. pretty curls naturally.. but not what you call strong academic kid. She did MFW math all the way.. Kindy 1st, Singapore 1A through only 5B by end of 6th grade. Started Saxon 87 in 7th. Currently in SAxon Algebra 1/2 in 8th. I did not see a need for her to advanced to Alg. I in 8th.. she ain't ready!

She did soooooooooooooooo fine from Singapore 5B to Saxon 87. and yes... all of that negative numbers, and learning to transition from "bar diagrams" to variables... (although guess what? Saxon uses some singapore stuff too) it's all in there in 87. It really is. I think I added in a visual manipulative to see negative numbers with rulers.. to help see the idea with number line... Then the idea of taking bar diagrams and writing a bunch of "cute letters and symbols" was easy... who woulda guessed that with her?

I really see the strength of Singapore (slow and steady with average to slow academic student) going to Saxon.

that's my other story....

I know I taught some of the so called gap stuff to my oldest because after all she has to be the nerd..... but I didnt' do it with middle gal until it showed up. She's on track.

Postby cbollin » Wed Sep 19, 2012 6:07 pm
Maybe some of the vids at khan academy would help for your niece? I'll send link in PM. maybe something there would help? a lot of time to help understand the concept of "negative"... it can be done with "you owe me this much money but you're broke"... or temps below zero?

-crystal