# Math Mammoth vs. Singapore

### #1

Posted 24 March 2010 - 09:56 AM

Can anyone tell me how Math Mammoth relates to Singapore with regard to it's strengths and weaknesses and it's similarities and differences?

### #2

Posted 24 March 2010 - 10:54 AM

### #3

Posted 24 March 2010 - 12:57 PM

*my*opinion, since nothing is great for everyone.

You can get some free samples. My ds took a placement test. Based on the questions asked, I'd prefer to use both, because none of the word problems were better than SM, but they did ask for some different things. I'm thinking that the combination will be fabulous.

But Singapore Math is still hands down my favourite for that level of math. I think it's great to do more than one math program because there isn't a perfect math program out there.

### #4

Posted 24 March 2010 - 01:57 PM

I looked at samples for MM 2 this morning and printed a couple of pages. I'm intrigued, but do the levels really line up? For me, it was hard to tell.

I strongly dislike how tiny the space is for the student to write. My rising 2nd grader is not quite 6.5 and the 2nd grade level has little bitty writing spaces--smaller than most gr 3 books. His fine motor skills are up to it, but many kids would have difficulty with that.

He just finished Singapore 1B--and that was with me dragging it out a bit. Quite a bit. Doing grade 1 just for bigger lines would be out of the question. He can easily add & subtract 2 digit numbers with carrying/borrowing with base ten blocks and pencil & paper. Grade 3 actually looks more like his ability level...

I'm about to get one of the cheaper worksheets collections to try it out. I do have some of their subject specific ones as well (multiplication, time etc).

ETA: Does anyone know if the worksheet collections (gold series) have answer keys?

**Edited by darlasowders, 24 March 2010 - 02:03 PM.**

### #5

Posted 24 March 2010 - 02:40 PM

I have found MM

*much*easier. I hated reading the Singapore HIGs, then teaching the lesson using the textbook, having DS copy out the problems and work them, then do the problems in the workbook. Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

Math Mammoth cuts out the middleman ~ instead of having whoever wrote the HIGs teach me how to teach the lesson, and then me teaching it, Math Mammoth lets Maria Miller teach my kids directly, in a very clear, step-by-step way. It's like having a one-on-one tutor (who has a Masters in Mathematics and a teaching credential) sit there and walk your child through the problems. If my child has a question, it takes me 60 seconds to read the explanation at the top of the page and answer the question. Let me illustrate the difference between teaching a lesson from Singapore 4A versus Math Mammoth 4A:

**One lesson from Singapore:**

(1) Read HIG p. 63 "Fractions of a Set." Skim pp 64-72, so I know where this is going. Get colored counters and teach the lesson as directed in the HIG.

(2) Go over pages 58 & 59 of textbook with child; do problem 1 orally.

(3) Switch to workbook (as directed in text), find exercise 27 in the workbook, and do the 9 problems.

A parent could certainly stop there, but to me, 9 written problems is not enough math for one day, so I would do a second lesson:

(4) Read HIG page 64, decide not to bother with the counters again.

(5) Go back to textbook, do problems 2 & 3 orally.

(6) Switch back to workbook (as directed in text) and do the 6 problems in exercise 28.

**One lesson from Math Mammoth:**

Take one 3-page lesson from binder (I print out 20 or so lessons at a time and keep them in a binder). Spend 60 seconds reading explanation of concept at top of page and give to student. Student does 20-30 written problems. Done!

I'm not knocking Singapore, but for

*me*, Math Mammoth:

(1) is vastly easier to schedule and teach;

(2) is easier for my kids to understand; and

(3) includes more practice and review than Singapore.

And, from looking at both Singapore and MM in depth, I don't feel like I'm giving up anything in terms of rigor or conceptual understanding, in return for MM being so much easier to use.

Singapore was designed for use in classrooms, by teachers who were trained in that method. Math Mammoth was written specifically for homeschooling parents, who may or may not have a background in math, so it's designed to be as easy to use as possible.

Jackie

### #6

Posted 24 March 2010 - 02:46 PM

*Another cut & paste from a previous thread:*

Many parents, though, don't intuitively know how to teach a concept, and the Singapore textbooks don't include the explanations. They just provide example problems (which I assume are what the teacher in a classroom would be demonstrating to the whole class, along with providing the explanation described in the HIG).

For example, when Singapore covers converting improper fractions to mixed numbers, the textbook says:

There is no further explanation of the concept or why the problems are being solved that way. If the parent wants some direction on how to teach this, they need to consult the HIG, which says:An improper fraction is equal to or greater than 1. An improper fraction can be expressed as a whole number or a mixed number. Change the improper fractions to mixed numbers:

7/5 = 5/5 + 2/5 = 1 + 2/5

14/5 = 10/5 + 4/5 = 2 + 4/5

Here is the way Math Mammoth teaches converting improper fractions to mixed numbers ~ this is in the worktext, written directly to the student:Discuss ways to change an improper fraction into a mixed number. Write an improper fraction such as 17/5. Use fraction discs or diagrams to illustrate. Your student can make wholes one at a time, such as:

Use 5 fifths to make a whole, this leaves 17-5 = 12 fifths.

Use another 5 fifths for a whole, this leaves 7 fifths.

Make a third whole leaving only 2 fifths.

We put 3 x 5 fifths = 15 fifths into wholes. 15 is the multiple of 5 closest to 17. So the fraction can be broken into 2 fractions, one with 15 of the fifths, and the other with the remaining 2 fifths:

17/5 = 15/5 + 2/5 = 3 2/5

Your student may see the similarity of this to division with a remainder. 17 divided by 5 = 3 with a remainder of 2.

Although some parents might be able to teach this off the top of their head, others would not. To me, it's much easier to just let Maria explain it to my child, very clearly, rather than me reading the HIG and trying to explain it myself, or just making up my own explanation.To write a fraction, such as 58/7, as a mixed number you need to figure out:

* How many whole "pies" there are, and

* How many "slices" are left over.

In the case of 58/7 each whole "pie" will have 7 sevenths. So we ask:

* How many 7s are there in 58 (these make whole pies)

* After those 7s are gone, how many are left over?

That is solved by division: 58 divided by 7 is 8 with a remainder of 2.

So you get 8 whole "pies," with 2 "slices" or 2 sevenths left over. To write that as a fraction we get 58/7 = 8 2/7.

Think of the fraction bar as a division symbol, then divide. The quotient tells you the whole number part, and the remainder tells you the numerator of the fraction part.

Jackie

### #7

Posted 24 March 2010 - 03:07 PM

*These were responses to questions in another thread:*

(1) I think that Math Mammoth and Singapore have roughly the same amount of material for each year. For example, both SM 5B and MM 5B have about 180 lesson pages in total. However, in Singapore half of those pages are in the textbook, so the student has to copy the problems onto paper and work them. In MM all the problems are in one place and the student works them directly on the worksheets. If a student is not copying out and working all the problems in the SM textbook, then they are not doing as many problems as MM, unless they are making up the difference with IP, CWP, etc.

(2) I feel that the problems in MM are equivalent in difficulty to the regular SM text and workbook, and MM uses the same approach to solve them. The bar diagram is taught and used to solve all word problems, just as in SM. The word problems in MM are good, strong, multi-step problems. They are not as challenging as the "Challenging Problems" in CWP, but they are equivalent to the word problems in the regular SM text & workbook. It would be easy to supplement MM with CWP, if a parent chose to, because concepts are illustrated in the same way and problems are solved the same way.

(3) I think you could accelerate a student in either program just by having them do fewer problems. If DS gets a concept right away, and I feel he doesn't need the arithmetic practice of doing every problem, I just circle the ones I want him to do. Personally, I feel it would be easier to accelerate with MM because in SM the "teaching part" is more of a block at the beginning of the chapter, then it alternates between problems in the text and problems in the workbook for the rest of the chapter. So you would need to be marking which problems to cover in both the text & workbook and making sure you aren't skipping a concept in the text. With MM, each concept is broken down into smaller steps, so each daily lesson includes a small amount of "teaching" at the top, followed by problems that illustrate the concept being taught. So, to me, it's easier to just circle the problems you want the child to do that day on the worktext page, rather than go through the SM text and workbook, line up the practice problems in each, and assign which ones to do in which book.

Jackie

### #8

Posted 25 March 2010 - 12:03 AM

### #9

Posted 25 March 2010 - 08:19 AM

### #10

Posted 25 March 2010 - 11:07 AM

We've been using MM for a couple of months now after stuggling through programs that my dd just didn't get. The printable worksheets in MM are less intimidating to her because she only sees what she will be doing today. So far, so great! If you are a member of the homeschool buyers co-op (membership is free!) they have a discount in place this month for MM.

It's also nicely discounted at currclick right now--and you can have it right away.

I can see this working well for my dd who will be 10 this summer. Going to give it a try (It's cheap) and hang onto my SM materials to see how it progresses for her.

My younger though is another story. He (at age 6.5) blows through SM, and I tend to use the HIG as a reference for any unfamiliar topics--which so far aren't many. If I let him work about 20 minutes a day, he'll be in 3A by Christmas (We school year-round and he works FAST). That's with me teaching from the HIG, using the text and workbook only. (ETA: I naturally tend to explain concepts the Singapore way, so use of the HIG is rare for me. I only pull it put for a few more examples when I'm feeling a little lazy.)

I may use MM at some point to stretch it out a bit for him. It's also nice that it's portable and if older ds takes French at the college 2 days a week this fall (just turned 16 and not driving independently), portable curricula could start to look real appealing.

### #11

Posted 25 March 2010 - 01:48 PM

**Edited by Kennic, 25 March 2010 - 01:54 PM.**

### #12

Posted 25 March 2010 - 02:37 PM

My younger though is another story. He (at age 6.5) blows through SM, and I tend to use the HIG as a reference for any unfamiliar topics--which so far aren't many. If I let him work about 20 minutes a day, he'll be in 3A by Christmas (We school year-round and he works FAST). That's with me teaching from the HIG, using the text and workbook only.

Have you looked at the

*Intensive Practice*book? It is a great way to up the challenge level of Singapore for a bright kid. Some folks with advanced kids use it in lieu of the regular workbook, others in addition to it.

### #13

Posted 25 March 2010 - 02:43 PM

I don't feel that using Math Mammoth means abdicating all responsibility for teaching math. I'm certainly capable of teaching math myself, but Math Mammoth often teaches math concepts in ways I would not have thought of myself.I never liked any program that left it up to someone else to explain something because that person was never right in front of my child and interacting with him.

I never could turn math over to someone else to teach.

For example, if I were to teach DS how to divide by a decimal, I would teach him the way I was taught: move the decimal in the divisor to the right until you have a whole number, then move the decimal in the dividend the same number of places, because you're creating equivalent fractions. Math Mammoth, on the other hand, teaches this by first

*showing*the student why this works. She presents a series of problems like 350/70, 35/7, 3.5/.7, .35/.07, .035/.007 [she uses the division symbol] and has the student work the problems to discover that the answers are all the same. Then she shows, step by step, how you can multiply or divide both digits by 10, 100, 1000, etc., and the answer will always been the same. Then she illustrates it with fractions.

*Then*she shows how it applies to decimals, and why the trick of moving the decimal point works.

I don't feel that using Math Mammoth means I'm "turning math over to someone else to teach;" I feel like I'm adding a very talented and experienced math tutor to our homeschool.

This is true of Math Mammoth as well.Also, a major philosophy of the Primary Mathematics is to start with the concrete. It sometimes can clear up a lot of misunderstanding that comes up later.

Jackie

### #14

Posted 25 March 2010 - 02:53 PM

Have you looked at the

Intensive Practicebook? It is a great way to up the challenge level of Singapore for a bright kid. Some folks with advanced kids use it in lieu of the regular workbook, others in addition to it.

I just bought that for 2A. It really does look great. I also have the extra practice book that is published by the same company as the primary math books. We're going to need it!

He started 2A today, and did the first 3 exercises in about 20 minutes. He is such a nice change of pace after two dawdlers--but he's really going to keep me scrambling! An example: I was all set to explain writing numbers using words and how to use hyphens for numbers twenty-one through ninety-nine etc. and he says "Yes, you told me that before." and proceeds to do it (correctly and neatly).

I've shown him ONCE before, and I

*barely*remember doing it. It could have been months ago. It also could have been something he heard me explaining to an older sibling (the trickle-down effect at work! ) or saw on a Mathtacular dvd. Hmmm....

### #15

Posted 25 March 2010 - 03:01 PM

I

For example, if I were to teach DS how to divide by a decimal, I would teach him the way I was taught: move the decimal in the divisor to the right until you have a whole number, then move the decimal in the dividend the same number of places. Math Mammoth, on the other hand, teaches this by first showing the studentwhythis works. She presents a series of problems like 350/70, 35/7, 3.5/.7, .35/.07, .035/.007 [she uses the division symbol] and has the student work the problems to discover that the answers are all the same. Then she shows, step by step, how you can multiply or divide both digits by 10, 100, 1000, etc., and the answer will always been the same. Then she illustrates it with fractions.Thenshe shows how it applies to decimals, and why the trick of moving the decimal point works.

(I looked through the Singapore books for a comparison, but I couldn't find where this topic is taught; if someone can point me to the correct page, I would appreciate it. I have the US Edition.)

Jackie

This is covered throughout the decimals unit in the 5B HIG (US Edition)

### #16

Posted 25 March 2010 - 03:34 PM

Thanks for pointing me to the 5B HIG ~ I found the topic on p. 17, but it says "This is covered throughout the decimals unit in the 5B HIG (US Edition)

**Primary Mathematics does not teach dividing by a decimal**," which explains why I couldn't find it in any of the texts or workbooks! The 2 pages in the HIG on the topic are listed as "Enrichment," which a teacher can introduce if he/she chooses.

However, the HIG doesn't explain the concept the way MM does. It has the student convert the decimal to a fraction, find the equivalent fraction with whole numbers, and solve it. Then it says to teach the trick of moving the decimal.

This illustrates my point about MM breaking a concept into smaller parts and walking the student through it step by step, so they get the

*why*as well as the

*how*. Some students may not need that level of understanding ~ some may just want to know the "trick" and not care why it works, and I think that's the way many parents (and probably some math programs) would teach it. But I've found that my kids "get" math much better when they understand

*why*as well as

*how*, and it makes it easier for them to approach new types of problems.

Jackie

### #17

Posted 25 March 2010 - 03:56 PM

Thanks for pointing me to the 5B HIG ~ I found the topic on p. 17, but it says "

Primary Mathematics does not teach dividing by a decimal," which explains why I couldn't find it in any of the texts or workbooks! The 2 pages in the HIG on the topic are listed as "Enrichment," which a teacher can introduce if he/she chooses.

However, the HIG doesn't explain the concept the way MM does. It has the student convert the decimal to a fraction, find the equivalent fraction with whole numbers, and solve it. Then it says to teach the trick of moving the decimal.

But the concepts are covered throughout the decimals unit. (That's why I didn't just say that it's covered on p .19) P. 19 also says "However, the principles are the same as dividing by tens, hundreds, or thousands, so you may want to teach it here". I covered p.17-20 with my kids and they understood, as I had covered the earlier HIG concepts with them.

I have no opinion on MM--I've never used it. It sounds like a good math program. You have said in other posts that SM is too difficult for you to implement (using multiple books). Whereas I haven't found this an issue at all, so I just figure...use whatever works best for you.

### #18

Posted 25 March 2010 - 04:13 PM

It has the student convert the decimal to a fraction, find the equivalent fraction with whole numbers, and solve it. Then it says to teach the trick of moving the decimal.

Jackie

Neat.

So basically if one were to divide something 2.5 by .2, you would be dividing 2 1/2 by 1/5? I'll have to make note of that. That's a really nifty way to introduce it. At what level does MM do this? I downloaded grade 4 this morning. I haven't looked it over much yet.

Of course, the other way of just moving the decimal is just playing with place value. Something kids that have been in Singapore math for 5 levels have a pretty good grasp of. So equating dividing 2.5 by .2 to dividing 25 by 2 (and then putting the decimal back into the answer)

*should*make perfect sense to them. (Disclaimer--teaching division of fractions was, until recently, my bugaboo. Singapore actually made that easier for me.)

I do love that fraction thing though. I think I'll go show one of my kids right now. I'm sure they're just terribly interested.

### #19

Posted 25 March 2010 - 05:12 PM

At the beginning of the books that I have there are things to demonstrate (like using the abacus) and games to play. It isn't all "here read this worksheet and figure it out kid". DD fights, fights, fights me on math, so I have tried abdicating teaching math by using Horizons (which has very, very little in the TM so it is mostly "here you go kid" and I have tried having DD watch the MUS videos. Math Mammoth is nothing like either one of those scenarios. (She doesn't fight as much now either. )I don't feel that using Math Mammoth means abdicating all responsibility for teaching math. I'm certainly capable of teaching math myself, but Math Mammoth often teaches math concepts in ways I would not have thought of myself.

### #20

Posted 25 March 2010 - 05:30 PM

I've used both Singapore & Math Mammoth, and definitely prefer Math Mammoth. I'm just going to copy some of my posts from other threads, so I don't have to retype it all:

I have found MMmucheasier. I hated reading the Singapore HIGs, then teaching the lesson using the textbook, having DS copy out the problems and work them, then do the problems in the workbook. Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

Math Mammoth cuts out the middleman ~ instead of having whoever wrote the HIGs teach me how to teach the lesson, and then me teaching it, Math Mammoth lets Maria Miller teach my kids directly, in a very clear, step-by-step way. It's like having a one-on-one tutor (who has a Masters in Mathematics and a teaching credential) sit there and walk your child through the problems. If my child has a question, it takes me 60 seconds to read the explanation at the top of the page and answer the question. Let me illustrate the difference between teaching a lesson from Singapore 4A versus Math Mammoth 4A:One lesson from Singapore:(1) Read HIG p. 63 "Fractions of a Set." Skim pp 64-72, so I know where this is going. Get colored counters and teach the lesson as directed in the HIG.

(2) Go over pages 58 & 59 of textbook with child; do problem 1 orally.

(3) Switch to workbook (as directed in text), find exercise 27 in the workbook, and do the 9 problems.

A parent could certainly stop there, but to me, 9 written problems is not enough math for one day, so I would do a second lesson:

(4) Read HIG page 64, decide not to bother with the counters again.

(5) Go back to textbook, do problems 2 & 3 orally.

(6) Switch back to workbook (as directed in text) and do the 6 problems in exercise 28.One lesson from Math Mammoth:

Take one 3-page lesson from binder (I print out 20 or so lessons at a time and keep them in a binder). Spend 60 seconds reading explanation of concept at top of page and give to student. Student does 20-30 written problems. Done!

I'm not knocking Singapore, but forme, Math Mammoth:

(1) is vastly easier to schedule and teach;

(2) is easier for my kids to understand; and

(3) includes more practice and review than Singapore.

And, from looking at both Singapore and MM in depth, I don't feel like I'm giving up anything in terms of rigor or conceptual understanding, in return for MM being so much easier to use.

Singapore was designed for use in classrooms, by teachers who were trained in that method. Math Mammoth was written specifically for homeschooling parents, who may or may not have a background in math, so it's designed to be as easy to use as possible.

Jackie

Thanks for this great comparison!

### #21

Posted 25 March 2010 - 10:59 PM

### #22

Posted 25 March 2010 - 11:43 PM

My younger though is another story. He (at age 6.5) blows through SM, and I tend to use the HIG as a reference for any unfamiliar topics--which so far aren't many. If I let him work about 20 minutes a day, he'll be in 3A by Christmas (

Have you looked at the

Intensive Practicebook? It is a great way to up the challenge level of Singapore for a bright kid. Some folks with advanced kids use it in lieu of the regular workbook, others in addition to it.

The IP books would be a great partial solution. And they are more fun (and challenging) than the Workbooks. "Standards Edition" users will have to use the US Edition IPs (as there is no SE version yet) but no matter.

Also I'd strongly urge you to look at MEP. It's a wonderful companion program for children who are blowing through Singapore.

Bill

### #23

Posted 26 March 2010 - 11:35 AM

I have found MM

mucheasier. I hated reading the Singapore HIGs, then teaching the lesson using the textbook, having DS copy out the problems and work them, then do the problems in the workbook. Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

Jackie

fwiw, we don't copy out the text problems, but do them orally until our dc get the concept then move to the workbook.

I should add, thought, that most lessons my dc don't need a lot of teaching, so this makes a huge difference for us, and that I don't usually need the HiGs to teach (almost never). This is a great eg of how different programs work better for different people. I find SM relatively intuitive for my kind of thinking.

### #24

Posted 26 March 2010 - 11:36 AM

MEP is great stuff. We use it for summer math.

The IP books would be a great partial solution. And they are more fun (and challenging) than the Workbooks. "Standards Edition" users will have to use the US Edition IPs (as there is no SE version yet) but no matter.

Also I'd strongly urge you to look at MEP. It's a wonderful companion program for children who are blowing through Singapore.

Bill

### #25

Posted 27 March 2010 - 12:29 AM

### #26

Posted 04 April 2010 - 11:52 PM