# another SM HIG question...

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DD is just starting SM4A (US Edition). I was planning on only using the TB, IP, and CWP this time through (because those are what I found deals on). Do you think the HIG is useful particularly for 4A? She is solid on place value and already knows 2 digit multiplication/division, but perhaps the HIG has some helpful info for fractions?

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Yes, yes and yes! The HIG is what makes Singapore, Singapore.

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I've heard lots of similar responses, but I'm just not convinced yet. Anything specific about 4A that is essential in the HIG?

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I have come across at least one instance where a concept was taught in the HIG but not in the textbook, yet a textbook practice problem (ie, Practice A/B/etc.) used the concept. There is also a LOT more detail about the "why" in the HIG. The textbook is often a watered down version.

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I've heard lots of similar responses, but I'm just not convinced yet. Anything specific about 4A that is essential in the HIG?

I don't really have time to find and type out a bunch of specifics.

However, I will say that in the HIG, a concept is thoroughly explained the 'Singapore Way.' You child will be able to complete all of the problems in the workbook without you ever opening the HIG, but the 'Singapore' method for solving the problems is completely different that what is found in a traditional textbook.

The explanations in the textbook, to me, are like the outline of what is taught via the HIG. The textbook is fine to remind the student of what was taught by the teacher during the lesson, but it doesn't come anywhere close to explaining the beautiful methods used to teach the concepts in the HIG.

If there is anyway you can afford the HIG, get it. I would buy the HIG before I would buy the textbook or even the workbook. I would rather come up with my own practice problems, than to miss out on the HIG.

As an example, the way you solve an addition problem in Singapore is what makes it Singapore. Addition is taught in every math curriculum on the planet. However, after reading the method for teaching addition in the Singapore HIG, I will never teach addition the same way again. It's so much more than just learning how to combine two values.

Does that make sense?

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It does. However, the wb and tb do teach the Singapore way of math as well, and the way the problems are set up facilitates doing it that way. We are past level 1 and I don't have it in front of me but I remember problems like 6+8 set up where dc had to divide 8 into 4 and 4, add 4 to 6 to make 10, then add 4 more to make 14. Though it's not the way I would do addition, the assignment requires dc to do it this way. Again, everyone says the HIG is essential in teaching math the Singapore way but no one can give a concrete example that is not found in the tb. I'm not trying to say it's not essential, rather just make a realistic decision on whether or not I need the HIG. Dd just finished 3b. Since we were adding in BA we did not use IP as much as usual, so for review I had her complete all of the IP word problems and take the challenge questions for each section. She literally aced every one, missing only a few of the more difficult TTC questions. We did use the HIG once or twice. Again, I'm wondering if the Standards edition is not much more helpful than the US. Maybe I need to switch editions to get better use out of the HIG. But then I think if it's not broke, don't fix it? Oh, I don't know... I suppose the \$20 HIG is worth having just in case.

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It does. However, the wb and tb do teach the Singapore way of math as well, and the way the problems are set up facilitates doing it that way. We are past level 1 and I don't have it in front of me but I remember problems like 6+8 set up where dc had to divide 8 into 4 and 4, add 4 to 6 to make 10, then add 4 more to make 14. Though it's not the way I would do addition, the assignment requires dc to do it this way. Again, everyone says the HIG is essential in teaching math the Singapore way but no one can give a concrete example that is not found in the tb. I'm not trying to say it's not essential, rather just make a realistic decision on whether or not I need the HIG. Dd just finished 3b. Since we were adding in BA we did not use IP as much as usual, so for review I had her complete all of the IP word problems and take the challenge questions for each section. She literally aced every one, missing only a few of the more difficult TTC questions. We did use the HIG once or twice. Again, I'm wondering if the Standards edition is not much more helpful than the US. Maybe I need to switch editions to get better use out of the HIG. But then I think if it's not broke, don't fix it? Oh, I don't know... I suppose the \$20 HIG is worth having just in case.

I see your point(s). But, like I said, I see the textbook as an outline of the HIG. You can still get the idea and likely succeed without the HIG. I'm not trying to convince you one way or the other. Of course, it makes no difference to me. :)

We are using the Standards edition, with the HIG. I think the following problem is an example of why the HIG is helpful. It is in the early part of 4A. This problem is not in the textbook or the workbook. I don't remember having problems this challenging in the tb or wb.

Amy has 3 times as many coins as Zoe. After Amy gave Zoe 24 of her coins to Zoe, she had twice as many coins as Zoe. How many coins do they have altogether.

So, the above problem is not overwhelmingly difficult. However, the HIG goes through each step, using the bar models to show how to solve the problem without algebra. We solved it by drawing pictures. Easy peasy.

Here is a problem on the the 4 operations of whole numbers:

The total length of 4 strings is 100 cm. String A is 9 cm shorter than string B. String B is 3 times as long as string C. String D is 13 cm longer than string C. How long is the longest string.

Again...not a very difficult problem. Your child will learn the 4 operations and learn them well just using the tb and wb, if she doesn't ever solve this problem. However, the HIG shows step-by-step how to solve this problem using the bar model and how the bar model can be extremely helpful in simplifying problems like this. We never used algebra to solve this, just pictures and bar models and the 4 operations of numbers.

My question for you is, have you been able to read through the HIG for the level you are teaching? I ask that because I didn't think it was necessary until I read through it, and realized the depth of teaching that could occur if I did use it.

I'm sure your child's math education will be great, no matter if you use the HIG or not. I'm not trying to convince you one way or the other, but just to explain why I thought it was essential for us.

Again, best wishes to you!

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Thanks for the response. Those questions do sound fun, and though the IP has similar questions, there are no explanations on how to figure them out. Those sound incredibly helpful. These are from Standards, correct? I don't think I've seen anything like that in the US HIGs.

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I purchased the US editions before knowing about the Standards editions, so I have both. The HIGs for the Standards edition are much more helpful than the US editions, with more explanations like Random mentioned.

If you already have the tb and wb for higher levels, they will sync up with the Standards HIG really well through 2b, and pretty well through 3b. There is additional material in the level 3 Standards tb (you can compare the table of contents on the SM site).

When I say "sync up," I am referring to content and not page numbers. For example, if the HIG has an explanation for a set of problems on p. 28 in the Standards edition, they might be on page 25 in the US edition, but the problems will for the most part be identical.

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