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Old 11-15-2011, 06:11 PM
5,092 posts, read 9,601,657 times
Reputation: 3941


Have heard Singapore Math suggested to me (for my kids ) and others on various forums around here, and am trying to get the big picture on it all.

Am hoping to start a thread about that and boarder Math (and Science) Education -- here is what I have gleaned, so far . . .

(please add whatever else knows or has had experience in)

Our experience is that our kids' school has a (very) weak Math and Science program, and they are presently not wanting us to teach our kids additionally at home, because they are ahead of the slow class. Instead we are seeking to avoid the fight with requesting self-paced.

. . . . .

From an email discussion with the Mrs. about why our 4th grader's Math is so lame


Here is what is going on with [our 4th grader's] Math . . .

This is like a Math Version of Phonics v. Sight-Read thing.

Background on Classical, Mastery, and Singapore Math . . .

Singapore Math Method - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

US xxxxxxx . . .

Math wars - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Spiral approach - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Human level explanation . . .

Spiral Math May Be Causing Trouble for Your Child - Associated Content from Yahoo! - associatedcontent.com

Phil's take.

[our 1st grader] may do okay on Spirals.

A linear snowplow person -- [our 4th grader] -- is (WAY) best on the Singapore/Classical style.

Singapore / Classical lends itself Very Well to Self-Paced.

Spirals -- as they are not focused and non-linear would be chaos in a entire Self-Paced class.

bottom-line . . . [school curriculum director] is a half-baked xxxxxx who read or was taught some crap edu current fad stuff sourced from University of Chicago.

Everyday Mathematics - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Last edited by Philip T; 11-15-2011 at 06:47 PM..
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Old 11-15-2011, 07:18 PM
1,226 posts, read 1,980,070 times
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My favorite topic! I agree, unfortunately our math education is centered around helping those with difficulties, and bringing up everyone to a certain level. It makes remedial math the norm for all. I think the biggest issue with our math education isn't so much that the general population lacks basic math skills (which obviously is a big problem), but rather that we don't nurture the love and challenge of math early in those that express interest and ability.

Unless your child is 2 grade levels above or more, I doubt you will have any success with having the school agree to self paced. I would recommend you do "after schooling" (which is basically math enrichment/self paced curriculum at home) with Singapore math or an online curriculum to supplement what he gets at school. I love Singapore's regular math curriculum, but for enrichment, I really suggest you get their Process Skills/Heuristic Approach workbooks. Once he reaches middle school, there will be much more opportunities at differentiation. Don't be discouraged about them wanting to keep him with the herd... that is what is easier for a mass institution to do, you should expect that. As they should expect you to want to do what is best for your individual child.
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Old 12-20-2011, 09:06 AM
86 posts, read 251,322 times
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My son is in third grade and they just implemented Singapore Math. Above all I think it promotes critical thinking. It has most definitely been a challenge for him-which is a great thing because previously he'd been breezing through his Math assignments and tests. He's doing very well with it but it's not as "easy" to get those excellent grades as before.
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Old 12-22-2011, 05:45 AM
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Wasn't the "spiral" approach a basic idea in the Saxon Math series? Saxon built in repeated review of topics so that from a set of 30 problems, 15-20 were review of material taught in the most immediate days prior to the current lesson.
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Old 12-22-2011, 01:06 PM
15,287 posts, read 16,833,735 times
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Yep, Saxon does use the spiral approach.

Saxon math presents a concept in a lesson, then has a few exercises about it, and the rest of the lesson is review of previous concepts. Ideas and concepts are not presented in a logical sequence either. The lessons jump around.

It is essentially a rule based approach. It is extremely good at promoting procedural accuracy. It has no unified view of mathematics at all. It's an engineering approach, not a mathematician's approach to the subject. It focuses on knowing the facts, but gives no understanding of them.

Lots of students find the program boring and mind-numbing. There are some who really like it though.
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Old 12-25-2011, 11:40 PM
30 posts, read 103,797 times
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Love Singapore math-solid, conceptual, applicable master-skill. Used the US-edition. On a side note they could use more colorers and visuals to improve it, yet I highly recommend it. Good luck with dealing with the communist mentality of the teachers/administration. Your child's future is above all, and you have the absolute right to provide them with the best you can.
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Old 12-26-2011, 01:19 AM
Location: Whoville....
25,393 posts, read 29,702,140 times
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I also love Singapore math. We moved our kids to a charter school that used Singapore math when the local school adopted Everyday mathematics with it's fuzzy spiraling...that makes my head spin...

My kids could not do Everyday mathematics but excelled under Singapore math. Dd#1 tested 1 year behind in math going into the charter school. A year later, she was moved up to the advanced math class and tested a year ahead in math after two years in Singapore math. In the local school, both of my kids could have skipped Algebra I because of Singapore math (Dd#1 transferred to a much more rigorous school and had to take it there. Dd#2 took algebra I in the 7th grade (at our insistance - the school wanted her to just skip algebra I) because the school didn't know what to do with her as a result of having taken Singapore math.)

I can't say enough positive things about Singapore math. It took $4000 in tutoring to bring dd#1 up to grade level in math only to have her fall behind again the next year under Everyday Mathematics. Under Singapore math, she leaped ahead and stayed there. The only hiccup was that the local school let her skip algebra I while her current school needed her to take it because the math track is that much higher.
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