Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Comparing Math in Focus, Singapore Primary Std., and Math Mammoth

Recommended Posts

Singapore Math in Focus and Primary Math Standard Edition and Math Mammoth

I was able to take a long and (relatively) uninterrupted look at Singapore Math in Focus Grade 1. I had the Teachers Guides, Textbook, and Workbook. I own the Singapore Math Standards edition with HIGs of first grade and Math Mammoth Light Blue 1A and 1B so I compared the programs. Here are my observations.

• Scope and Sequence

MIF and Singapore Primary Standards cover basically the same material. They both start out with counting to 10 and cover addition and subtraction facts to 10, shapes, ordinal numbers and position. They move onto numbers to 20 and addition and subtraction facts to 20. The later half of the year they cover graphs, numbers to 100, and addition and subtraction facts to 100.

Math Mammoth has a more narrow focus and starts at a more advanced place. It covers addition and subtraction facts within 10 in the first book. In 1B it covers place value, skip counting, clocks, measuring, money, and +/- facts within 100.

Some differences are that MIF covers mental math strategies explicitly in a separate chapter while these techniques are folded into the addition and subtraction chapters in Primary Math Standards Edition. Primary math includes capacity while MIF does not. Also, Primary Math covers halves and fourths and I didnâ€™t find that in MIF.

Terminology

They both cover the fundamental concepts of multiplication as repeated addition and division as sharing equally. However, Primary Math actually uses the word multiplication whereas MIF does not. It emphasizes 5 fours =20. It would say 2+2+2= 3 twos = 3 groups of 2 = 6. Also in MIF they compare numbers with words but donâ€™t use >, or < signs that I could find. There is no multiplication or division in Math Mammoth 1 that I could find.

Singapore Primary Math doesnâ€™t include as much terminology as you would see in Math Mammoth or MIF. In Math Mammoth they use terms like addend, minuend and subtrahend in the text. In MIF these terms as well as the properties (like commutative or identity properties) are present in the teachers text but not in the student text or workbook.

One interesting thing I notes was that Primary Math HIGs say renaming, MIF says regrouping, and MM uses terms like making 10s, within 10s, or make 10s.

I grew up with borrowing and carrying so I have no idea what I am going to use. I used regrouping with my older ds and that worked well so I will probably stick with that.

Specifics

I picked the topic of subtraction with 10s to compare how each program presents the lesson.

For MIF the teacher guide has the fundamentals. They start in the TG with emphasizing how subtraction is related to the part-whole concept taught in addition. It goes on the list the strategies they use to teach subtraction â€“ taking away, counting back, counting on, and using number bonds. The chapter planning guide breaks down the chapter into 45 minute instructional blocks(days) and tells you what resources to use each day. Each lesson starts with a 5 minute warm up and then moves to guided practice. Frequent use of manipulatives and/or pictoral representations is provided. They focus on manipulatives that directly assists with the lesson like the 10-frame, linking cubes, and place value charts. One or two games are included in the student text but they would be more fun with more than one kid participating. The lessons proceed logically and clearly and no leaps are made or expected of the student. The concept is taught, reinforced in the text, and finally workbook exercises that coincide directly with what was taught are assigned. Answers are provided to everything in the TG. Problems with missing subtrahends and minuends are provided and a challenging problem or two are presented in the text and workbook for every lesson. The chapter ends with a two page summary of what you have learned explicitly written out to the student in the text and very helpful.

In the Singapore US Standards edition the text isnâ€™t as helpful if you are having problems. There is little explicitly stated and the pictures are large and cartoon like.

The HIG emphasizes taking away and part to whole but other strategies arenâ€™t explored explicitly. Fact families are emphasized as the most important concept. The HIG explicitly states to commit facts to memory and this isnâ€™t found in MIF. The teaching in the HIG is fairly unconnected to the text. That being said, I think Singapore is a strong program and for a math intuitive mom and/or kids this program would be easy to accelerate.

In Math Mammoth 1A subtraction is presented as taking away with pictoral representations emphasizing that. Counting back is presented in the context of a number line an explicit work with jumping back on the number line is illustrated multiple times with many opportunities for the student to practice this. MM works with number before for example ____,55 and ___,___,55. Counting back is taught and missing subtrahend and minuend problems are presented. Fact families are taught and comparing with > and < are explicitly asked of the student. For example 3-2 ____ 5 or compare 8-5___2+1.

Math Mammoth also explicitly teaches the student that you canâ€™t subtract a bigger number from a smaller number without going into debt.

Of the three MIF seems the clearest with the best presentation. It is visually very clean and the TG is excellent. It isnâ€™t as challenging as Math Mammoth and some of the problems seen in the Singapore Editions of IP and CWP are a good deal more difficult to do. Math Mammoth is easy to implement and covers things well but the presentation is more appropriate to a more mature student. The text and pictures are small and there are a lot of problems on the page, which appears very overwhelming. MIF is more thorough and explicit in itsâ€™ instruction and it would be easy to teach from just the text and workbook with a mathy dc in first grade.

I am going to look over the regrouping lessons when I get a chance so I might have more comparisons to post later.

HTH

Share on other sites

Excellent comparison, I'm sure many people will find that very helpful!

Math Mammoth is easy to implement and covers things well but the presentation is more appropriate to a more mature student. The text and pictures are small and there are a lot of problems on the page, which appears very overwhelming.

This wasn't a problem for my DD, but for kids who are bothered by this, some people just use the screen capture feature (or similar) to print half a page at a time, in landscape format. That way the font and the spaces for writing are much larger, and the number of problems on each page is greatly reduced.

Jackie

Share on other sites

Thanks for the tip.

I found my old copy of Saxon 1 - maybe I should compare this one to the other three.

Share on other sites

I am looking at the 1A HIG for Standards edition, and it talks about the meaning of subtraction (missing part or part taken away), then writing the equation, then the next chapter on methods of subtraction explicitly relates it to number bonds, to addition, and has counting back, counting back, and the fourth lesson is counting on. So it seems to cover those ideas, but maybe not as explicitly. It does do other strategies than counting on and back if the number ir difference is greater than 3, because it is easy to keep track of 3 in your head, but to count on or back more than 3 you have to use fingers or something. It does give a lot more information than is in the textbooks, with the textbook just being part of the lesson. I saw some examples of MIF and it did seem more tied to just what is in the textbook.

Share on other sites
Thanks for the tip.

I found my old copy of Saxon 1 - maybe I should compare this one to the other three.

That would be great!

Share on other sites

This was helpful-thanks for writing it out! I've been wondering about MIF. MM is going really well for us, but in my mind I was thinking of MIF as a MM-ish Singapore, which would be nice for younger ds due to the fun graphics in Sing, but it doesn't sound like that's how it is. It was fun to read your comparison!

Share on other sites

Saxon Math 1

The biggest difference between Saxon and the other three is the order in which it presents concepts. Every lesson in Saxon is scripted and it doesnâ€™t present a topic and work sequentially through it like MIF, Singapore Primary Std., or Math Mammoth. So to compare how the program approaches subtraction I would look at Lesson 12,15, and 33 for addition and subtraction stories Lesson 34 covers counting backwards from 10 to 1. Lesson 44 covers subtracting one from a number. Lesson 62 covers subtracting zero and subtracting a number from itself. Lesson 68 covers subtracting half of a number. They move to covering subtraction facts in Lesson 98 with subtracting two from a number. Lesson 105 is subtracting a number from 10. Lesson 119 is subtracting a number from 10. Lesson 125 covers subtracting using the doubles plus one addition facts. Finally in Lesson 128 they cover the â€œleftoverâ€ subtractions facts.

The lessons are presented well and manipulative work always comes before paper and pencil problem solving. This program heavily emphasized procedural methods. It covers the concept of subtraction briefly through manipulative work and then moves quickly into illustrating the patterns that occur and having the child memorize the facts in relationship to these patterns. An obvious example is that subtracting a number from itself is always 0 and subtracting zero from a number is always the number itself.

A specific example from Lesson 44 might help. First the child orders number cards from smallest to largest. Basically they are making a number line. Then they make trains of linking cubes and match them to the number on the number line. When they take a cube away they are led to discover that you move down the number line by 1. The terms take away, minus, and subtract are used throughout the lesson. The child is explicitly taught that subtracting one is like counting backward and then they are led to practice with flash cards. The next lesson is counting by 10s with dimes so subtraction isnâ€™t talked about the next day but there are 4 subtraction by one problems on the worksheet for the next day. The facts practice sheet covers adding one so no subtraction there. The following lesson, however, the facts practice covers subtraction by 1 so it does get spiraled back to relatively quickly.

The program does seem to move in very small increments and the order of the lessons has no easily discernable rhyme or reason. The concepts are covered well in the lesson and they use manipulatives frequently. However, if you skip any of the teaching part much of the strength of the program disappears. This program covers fact memorization thoroughly and the other programs canâ€™t compare with Saxonâ€™s emphasis on facts practice and memorization.

Share on other sites
I am looking at the 1A HIG for Standards edition, and it talks about the meaning of subtraction (missing part or part taken away), then writing the equation, then the next chapter on methods of subtraction explicitly relates it to number bonds, to addition, and has counting back, counting back, and the fourth lesson is counting on. So it seems to cover those ideas, but maybe not as explicitly. It does do other strategies than counting on and back if the number ir difference is greater than 3, because it is easy to keep track of 3 in your head, but to count on or back more than 3 you have to use fingers or something. It does give a lot more information than is in the textbooks, with the textbook just being part of the lesson. I saw some examples of MIF and it did seem more tied to just what is in the textbook.

This is true. In MIF you would start the lesson with a review of previous concepts relevant to the one you are about to cover. Every section of the text that covers a concept is tied to a workbook exercise that cover that concept. Finally, at the end of the chapter in the student text what the student has learned is listed out for them and illustrated pictorally. After the What You Have Learned section in the Text the student is referred to the review in the workbook.

In Singapore these concepts are covered in the HIG only. There are review problems in the text and workbook but it is left up to the instructor to summarize what concepts were covered for the student.

Share on other sites

Thanks so much for these reviews! I have to say that MIF sounds very appealing to me, I also think that Math Mammoth is a bit cluttered for my first grader, but it is A LOT more expensive than MM when the text, workbook and teacher guide are all bought. It sounds like the Teacher Guide is essential, yes?

Share on other sites

I don't think you would require a TG for MIF first grade. The concepts are explicitly stated in the text and it is only first grade math. You would miss some extra problems like the five minute warm up and all the problem solutions are in the TG as well. Also the daily schedule is in the TG. Conceptually, however, it is all in the textbook and workbook.

Hth

Share on other sites

Sounds pretty Americanized. Kind of like the organization you have in any American textbook. My impression of Asian texts is that they are more like books - always moving forward. I think they are more something a student can use to remind them of a lesson than be the lesson. I actually like teaching my kids, and never do follow a textbook just the way it is so prefer having all the background in a guide. Maybe showing more steps and how to do it in the textbook means the kids don't have to think quite so hard. I like talking about math and watching them figure things out on their own. I tried all kinds of US texts with all their equal-length daily lessons and here is how to do it so then practice it, and evertything all spelled out and this is what you just learned which we never looked at. They were boring. Here is how to do it, go forth and practice the same thing and here are the steps again just to make sure you are doing it one way. The Primary Math was fun and a relief. I liked the third editions that I used with my older kids that are not available any more. Here are some basic concepts, now figure out the next step for yourself. I am not sure I would want to go to something that seemed just like what we were doing. Sounds like Singapore Math is getting more and more American math in its presentation.

Share on other sites

I thought I would revive this old thread. I'm looking at MIF for next year. I love the look of it but I can't get over the price. We've tried Primary Mathematics but I have a hard time teaching it. I'm not great at math so I need something that offers more support thanthe HIG.

I like the point Kennic made above. I would love to be able to teach math this way, I'm just not that comfortable doing it. We tried with Miquon but we couldn't make it work. My dc are used to math be taught has problems that need answers rather than exploring concepts.

I would love to hear anyone elses thoughts. And If you have used MIF for awhile, I would love to read your reviews! Thanks!

Share on other sites

You can buy the MIF TMs used on Amazon, if that helps. I got one that is like new for just under \$30.

Kathy

Share on other sites

I thought I would revive this old thread. I'm looking at MIF for next year. I love the look of it but I can't get over the price. We've tried Primary Mathematics but I have a hard time teaching it. I'm not great at math so I need something that offers more support thanthe HIG.

I like the point Kennic made above. I would love to be able to teach math this way, I'm just not that comfortable doing it. We tried with Miquon but we couldn't make it work. My dc are used to math be taught has problems that need answers rather than exploring concepts.

I would love to hear anyone elses thoughts. And If you have used MIF for awhile, I would love to read your reviews! Thanks!

Here is my review. I couldn't teach Singapore Standards even using the HIG. MIF solved that for me.

Share on other sites

You can buy the MIF TMs used on Amazon, if that helps. I got one that is like new for just under \$30.

Kathy

Ok I have a question here....If you buy on Amazon how do you make sure the TM matches the student book you get? Are there different editions such as they printed them different years so they have different problems or page layouts, etc?

I am really wanting MIF but the price is daunting...I've considered just the student books and workbooks but if I can get the TM cheap and make sure it matches their version they will be working from I might be able to justify getting it.

Share on other sites

If I am remembering correctly, they have only recently come out with new editions.  Most likely what you'll find on Amazon will match.  If you are ordering from CBD or RR, check to see what edition they are currently selling.  Last I checked it was still the old ones, but they might have changed it recently.

HTH,

Kathy

Share on other sites

Maybe I missed it but I didn't see where RR listed the edition....I guess I could always call and ask though

Share on other sites

I purchased the 4th grade (student materials only--so far I haven't needed the TM's) from Rainbow a few weeks ago. I purchased grade 3 MIF student materials from CBD last year.

Both the CBD 3rd grade workbooks and the Rainbow 4th grade workbooks say copyright 2009, 2013 edition. They have the common core symbol on the front (CBD workbooks say 2009 edition and don't show the common core symbol on their site; but the ISBN number matches my 2013 workbooks here). Both sets of textbooks say copyright 2009. I'm thinking I have old edition texts and new edition workbooks maybe?   I never noticed it until I just looked! Interesting. The text aligned well to the workbook last year. So far it is doing the same this year (ie, when the text tells us to do workbook lesson 2, pages 2-3 the material covered in that part of our workbook corresponds to the material that was covered in the text). Although I do recall an early lesson referencing odd/even numbers, which weren't mentioned in the text. I never noticed anything last year. There may not be major differences in the two editions.

Share on other sites

OK just want to make sure I understood right sbgrace.....so the books from RR say 2013 and have Common core symbols on them and the ones from CBD say 2009 and do not have common core symbols....so RR carries the newest edition? Am I right in my thinking and understanding of what you were saying?

Share on other sites

Call RR to confirm. I ordered bargain textbooks (used) and regular workbooks, and the textbooks were 2009 while the workbooks were 2013. They are not fully matched up. So call to confirm before you place your order.

RR did refund me for the workbooks and I was told they would send me a recall thingy (?) but I never got anything. I should call back ...

Share on other sites

OK just want to make sure I understood right sbgrace.....so the books from RR say 2013 and have Common core symbols on them and the ones from CBD say 2009 and do not have common core symbols....so RR carries the newest edition? Am I right in my thinking and understanding of what you were saying?

No. The textbooks from Rainbow Resources (purchased a few weeks ago) and from CBD (purchased last year) are 2009 edition. The workbooks purchased from Rainbow Resources (same time) and CBD (last year) are both 2013 (new) editions and have the common core symbol.

And I just got done comparing (some) of my 2009 edition 4A textbook with the online viewable 2013 edition from the publisher's website. Every page I looked at was exactly the same--same content, problems, pictures--everything. I found some older threads here where someone else said the new edition workbooks and old textbooks match up at 1st and 2nd I believe but she thought maybe not K. I can say the 2nd and 3rd grade old texts and new edition workbooks were no problem at all here. I never even noticed.

My point is...I'm not sure it matters/not sure what they changed other than that common core label on the fronts!

Share on other sites

Thank you so much....I will definitely call and make sure they match up especially if I choose to go with the student pack that does not contain the TM....Being new to homeschool I am amazed how expensive the TM's are lol though I know it's normal after all my research. I had thought about switching math programs because of the price but I want the best for my kiddo's.

I did read a review though where it said MIF for K is more designed for a classroom environment and could be hard to use for homeschool with only one child doing it so I have decided to use Earlybird Kindergarten Math for my K dd. From what I read it looks like after that she should have no problems going into MIF 1st grade....if anyone knows differently let me know, but that is what the plan seems to be.

Share on other sites

Call RR to confirm. I ordered bargain textbooks (used) and regular workbooks, and the textbooks were 2009 while the workbooks were 2013. They are not fully matched up. So call to confirm before you place your order.

RR did refund me for the workbooks and I was told they would send me a recall thingy (?) but I never got anything. I should call back ...

Do you remember what didn't match or at what grade level? I really didn't notice a thing in grades 2 through 3 and I don't see any text differences at all from the online 2013 and my 2009 text here.

edited to add: ok, I've looked at the table of contents and material for the 4A textbook I have (2009) and the publisher's online 2013. It's exactly the same--same text, problems, pictures, page numbers...all of it. The only thing that appears to be different is that common core symbol on the front of the 2013 editions. edited to add: I found the difference, which doesn't affect new workbook/old edition textbook usage. I posted the information two posts down. It's a handful of additonal mini-lessons not covered in the 2009 text or the 2013 workbooks, to make sure the MIF aligns to common core standards.

I used 2A-3B with 2009 texts and 2013 workbooks. I didn't even realize it. Everything matched up perfectly between the two. My MIF grade ones were both old edition. I didn't use MIF K.

Share on other sites

Thank you so much....I will definitely call and make sure they match up especially if I choose to go with the student pack that does not contain the TM....Being new to homeschool I am amazed how expensive the TM's are lol though I know it's normal after all my research. I had thought about switching math programs because of the price but I want the best for my kiddo's.

I did read a review though where it said MIF for K is more designed for a classroom environment and could be hard to use for homeschool with only one child doing it so I have decided to use Earlybird Kindergarten Math for my K dd. From what I read it looks like after that she should have no problems going into MIF 1st grade....if anyone knows differently let me know, but that is what the plan seems to be.

I didn't use MIF K and my grade one were both old edition. If I can find my old grade 1 text, I'll check it with the 2013 online. I think I gave it to someone though. I really don't expect there to be any problems with the match up. I'm thinking it's identical. I definitely do not think you need the Teacher's Manuals! It makes it an affordable program compared to many others.

Share on other sites

Me again! Sorry.

Ok. I found the difference! The 2013 text editions are exactly the same as the 2009 texts except they have added "common core focus" pages in the back of the new edition texts.  These will have the common core goal (or whatever it's called) and a mini-lesson. The lesson format is somewhat like the other lessons in the book in that it shows a sample problem and then has a Let's Practice section. There are no workbook pages to go with this material noted in the 2013 texts, and there aren't any in my 2013 workbooks. So it appears to be adding a few things so that the first edition texts align to the Common Core in the 2013 edition.

To be specific--In the 4A text, the 2013 edition has 16 pages as common core instruction in the back (tacked on really and not "pretty" like the regular textbook lessons) that are not in the 2009 edition text. At least in the first chapter, it appears to be material mostly unrelated to what is taught in the text (ie in the textbook chapter they are teaching about identifying place value to the 10,000's I think...the common core lesson in the back for that chapter is about adding and subtracting numbers in the 10,000's. There are 8 of these lessons for the 1st semester of 4th grade.

Just to be clear, the new edition workbooks don't cover the common core additional topics. So the old edition text and new addition workbooks will match. That's why I didn't notice any issues using them mismatched the past two years. But if you get a 2009 text, you won't have the common core aligning additional material that is in the back of the 2013 editions. That doesn't matter to me personally. I just think it sort of weird that they didn't really change the workbooks at all in the 2013's. I guess that's good for me though!

Share on other sites

Yeah, you would have thought if they were going to add in the common core stuff they would have added it to the workbooks too but that just goes to show that textbooks rarely change that much. LOL my husband and I had that discussion today as I was explaining to him that buying curriculum with the books being non-consumable and only the workbook being consumable would save money down the road because our K can use it next year and our 1yr old can eventually use it too....he was worried that a new edition would come out and we would have to buy everything again because of a new edition.

I assume I am right on that thinking at least that both our daughters will be able to use the material when they hit that grade level.....I know our K daughter will as she is only a year behind our son but our 1yr old is the only one that I wonder if I will have to change it.

I've spoken with a friend who his a school teacher and she says to her understanding real changes very rarely happen that the curriculum stays the same but pictures change and some questions/problems may change but not to a point I should have to worry about it any.....now if anyone disagrees with this or knows otherwise please let me know lol  :tongue_smilie: