Jump to content


Singapore...and "showing your work"?


Recommended Posts

So, I am almost 100% sure I am going to start using SM next year with all my kids. I am going to start from the beginning over the summer with DS (8) and then hopefully be up to Level 3A/B this fall. I am also considering using RS A and B. I also have a 7 year old and 5 year old, so I am thinking of doing them all together over the summer. Calling it "math camp"!


Anyway, my concern is if I decide to send any or all of them to private/public school for high school...will they have trouble "showing their work" like so many teachers require.


I am concerned (although a great concern to have) that they will be able to do math in their heads and not show their work?


Any thoughts appreciated!!



Link to comment
Share on other sites

No, it shouldn't be a problem. The only time the work isn't already printed out, just requiring the student to actually do it, is for word problems. The Singapore Challenging Word Problems books have space for them to write their work, at least in grades 1 and 2, and the first part of each section of the grade 1 book even has blank spaces for the child to fill in. For example ______ + _______ = _______ , so kids who use it understand that they're really doing addition, subtraction, etc., and that it can be written down. :) I don't remember if the grade 2 CWP book is like that or not. At any rate, the workbooks have all the normal 2+2= type problems, and the text gives examples of all types of problems worked out.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

No problem because the way "mental math" is taught there are re-grouping strategies that are worked out on paper (and not just done mentally). So a child ought to be able to "show" this process. This is a process (if done properly) that leads to mastery of these re-grouping strategies and is not a way to "instinctively" get answers to math questions out of thin-air.


Students also learn the "standard algoriths" so if they need to show column addition, subtraction or multiplication, and long division, they can do that too.


The word problem method (using bar-diagrams) also clearly shows the work.


A student would almost certainly be able to "show" work in ways that is different (and more sophisticated) than their classmates.



Edited by Spy Car
Link to comment
Share on other sites

In addition to CWP, on weeks where the worksheets (inc. IP & CWP) are light, we give my daughter extra work, sometimes from Mental Math, sometimes we write up ourselves, and make her show her work for her arithmetic drills.


For example, we'll give her several problems of subtracting a single-digit number from a double-digit number, and she has to show the answer using four strategies (covered earlier in 1B, we gave our own codenames for them). For example, for 73-8:


1) 73=70+3; 70-8=62; 62+3=65 (regrouping)

2) 73=60+13; 13-8=5; 60+5=65 (regrouping)

3) 73=63+10; 10-8=2; 63+2=65 (regrouping)

4) 73-8 = 70-5 = 65 (stepwise)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I also think the things that they are learning as mental math should be okay to skip the written out part by high school.


When I was in agebra if I skipped plenty of the arithmetic steps but made sure to write down the maniplulating of numbers that was really the algebra part of the problem, most of my teachers didn't mind. Besides that fact that most people just used thier calculators for those anyway ;)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...