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Do you use the Singapore math Teacher's guide?


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#1 Baseballmom

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Posted 26 January 2008 - 03:35 PM

Is the teachers guide helpful? Or do you just use the student workbook alone? Does the student workbook give any explainations?

#2 Ali in OR

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Posted 26 January 2008 - 03:44 PM

I use the textbook and workbook. The textbook teaches the material. I actually bought the home instructor's guide and it has ideas for other activities to teach the material, but I've come to realize we don't need other activities. It works fine to go through the textbook and then do the workbook exercises. We are in 2B now.

#3 Alana in Canada

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Posted 26 January 2008 - 03:48 PM

How strong are you in math? How strong is your child? I am NOT good at math--well, aactually, I'm a whole lot better than I used to be before I taught my kids!

So, I strongly recommend the home instructor's guide. Strongly. That is where the concepts are explained so you can teach them to your child. The extra practice materials are essential for renforcing concepts and for some children, that's important. My son didn't need a whole lot--but my daughter does. So, it depends.

It's not a consumable, either. I do plan on re-selling mine when I'm done.

#4 Pilgrim

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Posted 26 January 2008 - 04:07 PM

One of our daughters is in 3A and the other is in 1A. I suppose it does depend on your level of math ability, but we haven't had any need for a teacher's guide yet. I have heard that some find them helpful by the 5a/b level.

Keep in mind that the level of math in levels 1-3 is relatively simple (nothing that a fourth or fifth grade level of math couldn't handle).

One thing we have found helpful, is that periodically our daughters will hit a "roadblock" and tears will soon start falling which are closely followed by loud protestations concerning the difficulty of math in general. On these occasions, we take a break from Singapore for a few weeks, do some workbooks (Schoolzone, Spectrum, that kind of thing) and then come back to Singapore usually with no difficulties.

I do second the point that you need to use both the textbook and the workbook (chiefly because the textbook will show both of you how to do it!)

#5 Guest_Lorna_*

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Posted 26 January 2008 - 04:19 PM

The Sonlight Instructor Guide can be helpful the first time round. It contains the solutions. I found Singapore confusing at first because it appeared to have a lot of problems which could only be solved using algebra. The Sonlight Guide showed the bar diagrams that the pupil was supposed to use and the whole thing became a lot clearer.
Having said that the Singapore textbooks do all the teaching necessary and the workbooks are worked on independently (as far as possible) by the pupil. It is a very complete curriculum in my opinion, and it is as Pilgrim says, helpful occasionally to supplement as a break or for fun.
For New Elementary Math later on, the answers are at the back of the text book and the teachers guide gives answers and guidelines on things that are not in the book. I find these teacher's guides very helpful in dropping hints on how to tackle a problem.

#6 Jules in MI

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Posted 26 January 2008 - 04:42 PM

The Home Instructors Guides are necessary, in my opinion, because it teaches the concepts in the "Singapore way" of learning math. This is what makes it a unique math program. If I would have just bought the text and workbooks and said let's see how we do, we might have been just fine, but again, the CONCEPTS are necessary to be learned early in order to help the student think mathmatically and truly understand how math works.

You'll notice, that if you look for the Home Instructors Guides in the Sonlight or Rainbow Resource Catalogs they don't have them for 1A or 1B. I had to purchase them directly from Singaporemath.com.

Also, be sure you get the Home Instructor Guide, not the Teachers Guide. Hope this helps!

#7 Rhesa

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Posted 26 January 2008 - 07:26 PM

I have been using 1A/1B without a guide. My ds (7) has had no problem. However, I've noticed that my daughter could use a little reinforcement. Math seems to come just a little slower for her.

Wouldn't ya know it- a friend let me look at her manual and I was able to how it could really help. So now I'm really considering buying one- I think she got hers off of the singapore math website.

#8 SheilaZ

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Posted 26 January 2008 - 07:52 PM

I have the IG's for levels 2, 3, and 4 but I never used them. Plus it was hard to actually find the answers to correct the work. So I bought the answer keys instead.

#9 Zelda

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Posted 26 January 2008 - 08:43 PM

...but they make me want to cry sometimes. I'm not mathy. My kids, thanks to my husband, are. Sometimes I want to hand them the teacher's guide and say, "Well, here you go...this is how its done."

I don't know if you *need* it but I think it would enhance the learning experience greatly.

#10 siloam

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Posted 26 January 2008 - 10:23 PM

Is the teachers guide helpful? Or do you just use the student workbook alone? Does the student workbook give any explainations?


The Workbook generally introduces the topics, the methods.

The HIG will have teaching hints, a schedule, all the answers and work the most difficult problems.

Not necessary but makes my life easier.

Heather


#11 skimerinkydo

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Posted 26 January 2008 - 10:34 PM

I have the Teacher instructior guide for 3A. At times I have found it helpful to explain concepts for math in a way I wouldn't have figured out on my own. Sometimes it gives further explainations than the student texbook alone. I did okay in math in school but I don't "think" mathmatically.

#12 Colleen in SEVA

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Posted 26 January 2008 - 11:13 PM

I have only purchased the home instructor guides for 2A/2B, but they were not helpful to us at all. I thought I would like having a schedule to follow and the mental math pages at the back, but the reality is that sometimes we do a weeks worth of what is on their schedule in one day, so the schedule doesn't do us a bit of good. The mental math is just a list of problems you could easily make up yourself, or print off any random website.

I find that I do most of the teaching myself. I look at what is presented in the textbook and explain what they are doing in a way my DS understands. I then have him do the sample problems in the book, and when he can do all of them without error we skip the workbook and go right to the intensive practice.

I do recommend A Handbook for Mathematics Teachers In Primary Schools published my Marshall Cavendish (the company that publishes Singapore Math). It explains the heuristics, shows how to draw models, and provides teaching tips specific to Singapore Math.

Another helpful book was Liping Ma's Knowing and Teaching Mathematics.

I did invest in the answer keys available from RR. While the HIG provided the answers, they were within the teaching text and cumbersome to find since I was not using the script to teach from. The answer keys are $6.50 for 6 levels worth, whereas the HIGs are $16.50 per level.

Bottom line: the textbook is necessary, the workbook OR intensive practice book is necessary, the HIG is not necessary but helpful to some.

#13 Hillary in KS

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Posted 26 January 2008 - 11:29 PM

We've used the textbook and student workbook every year. But I never used the Teacher's Manual until we got to level 5B. Before then, it just wasn't necessary.

#14 Elohcin

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Posted 27 January 2008 - 12:16 AM

We have all of them up to 4A. I think they are useful if you get stuck-otherwise we rarely use them. They are full of good information. For us it is just a time issue.

#15 Suzanne in ABQ

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Posted 27 January 2008 - 12:45 AM

I didn't for levels 1-3. But I got the Home Instructors Guide for levels 4-6. It is helpful at the higher levels, especially for checking answers. The more complex problems just take time to solve, more time than I want to spend. Dd is just finishing 5B (last lesson on Monday -- yay!), and she checks her own answers and corrects them using the HIG.

#16 AudreyTN

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Posted 27 January 2008 - 12:49 AM

I'm only as far as 1B right now...

But, we started with 1A and I didn't have the HIG. I found it hard to teach the "singapore" way. After I bought the HIG I have found it invaluable. I am good at math, but the HIG helps A LOT!! We don't use it all the time, but I do read the pages first and if I need it I use it.

Personally, I'd rather have it and not use it, than not have it and need it.


#17 mamato3 all-boy boys

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Posted 27 January 2008 - 07:22 AM

But I'm beginning to think it depends on your own style. I just had a hard time "seeing" where SM was going with their style of instruction prior to getting the HIG. I'm a very linear thinker, but I want to know "why" SM has me teach things in a different manner from US books. Like using TWTM, I want to see the big pictures so I can feel comfortable with steps we're taking to get to The End.

DS is doing good with math, but it is not something that he "gets" on the first try. Because of that, I've needed to reference their additional teaching resources (games) that they'll include in the HIG, we've used their Mental Math pages (something a veteran hsing mom told me she wished she'd used when her kids were young), and I just put little 3M flags in about 4 places and it helps me find answers when I need 'em.

I actually wanted to give up on SM many, many times, but once I purchased the HIG, I've been much more comfortable sticking with it through the elementary grades. If they had had the 1A and 1B guides when we were going through those levels, I'm sure I would have been less frustrated with math.

I probably should invest in those other SM resources mentioned about to get an idea of the methodology behind SM since I've got many more years of math instruction ahead of me.

#18 Baseballmom

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Posted 27 January 2008 - 07:40 AM

So for those of you who recommend the Home Instuctors Guide, would it be useful for my third grader who is quite bright in Math? He only placed into 3B, scoring 70% (which he figured out on his own, I never taught him percentages) but once I explained what he was supposed to do on those problems he missed (problems he had never seen before) he really seemed to understand. He did all of the word problems (even the multi- step ones) in his head, and the conversions he got right even though I have never taught him those concepts. He begged me to redo the test because he couldn't stand that he only got 70%. I also have taught math through the sixth grade to my older son. So I understand the math concepts in the younger grades. I am just thinking we still need the HIG to understand Singapore's way, but I think my son already thinks that way. One more question, do they teach the Bar diagrams for word problems in 3A or 3B?

#19 Closeacademy

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Posted 27 January 2008 - 07:48 AM

We are in 3a and they start teaching the bar diagrams in that book. I don't have the HIG but have had them in the past. They really didn't fit my style of teaching and kind of stressed me out.

Mainly we use the workbook and refer to the text if it is new material and do the problems in the text if it is something that we need to spend time learning. I am also using ideas from Teaching Mathematics in Rudolf Steiner Schools by Ron Jarmon. He is a British Waldorf teacher of mathematics and his scope and sequence lines up very well with Singapore but he has really neat ideas on review and drill work and making it fun. I thought the stuff in the HIG was sort of dull.

Good Luck.

#20 TMarie

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Posted 27 January 2008 - 09:09 AM

The higher the level, the more useful the HIG become.

I'm not sure about level 3 or 4 (we didn't use the HIG in those levels.)
But, now that we are in level 5 I am glad we have them because they will sometimes show several ways to do a problem. Just this week, my daughter had figured out one way to do a problem, which was great. But then we looked in the book and saw two easier ways to do the same problem. After we had worked through all 3 methods I am sure she had a firm grasp on the concepts!

#21 AudreyTN

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Posted 27 January 2008 - 09:17 AM

I've never done it before, but does Rainbow Resource or Sonlight let you return things? Maybe you could look at the books before you decide to keep them?

#22 Kathy in MD

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Posted 27 January 2008 - 04:18 PM

And even though math comes easily to me, teaching my math-stuggling ds doesn't. The HIG's helped a lot there.

#23 Testimony

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Posted 27 January 2008 - 04:42 PM

My son is in 4A&B for this year. I found the word problems to be very hard. I could teach the regular math stuff, but I used the Teacher's guide from Singapore Math. They do not give explanations for everything, but they gave me a lot of help with the word problems which is what I needed.

I wish you the best.
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#24 EKS

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Posted 29 January 2008 - 09:38 PM

I use the Home Instructor's Guide, but I don't do everything it suggests. I also use the textbook and workbook and will start using the IP and CWP books in a few months.

I own the teacher's guides for IA and B and they are terrible (for home use, that is).

#25 NancyNellen

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Posted 30 January 2008 - 12:54 AM


I'm not sure about level 3 or 4 (we didn't use the HIG in those levels.)
But, now that we are in level 5 I am glad we have them


YES! This has been our experience as well. I felt the need to have them in 5A, but, in hindsight, I would probably have gotten the one that teaches the bar diagrams (3A?) It would have helped my stress level!

#26 nutmeg

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Posted 30 January 2008 - 01:45 AM

We just started 6b yesterday, and have never used the teacher's guide. :cool: But I have posted a few questions on this board or the Singapore board when I needed a little help. Or turned to dh.


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