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Lining up Beast Academy and Singapore Math


hollyh
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I'm hoping someone has already done the hard work for me… :)  

 

I am in the middle of SM 2b with my dd and looking at the placement for BA 3.  I don't think she would pass it at all!  Part might be the need to extrapolate info that she has learned, but much of it has not been explicitly taught in SM.  Which is making me wonder if we should do SM 3A, or 3A & B before going into Beast?  I had hoped to run the programs somewhat simultaneously.  Has anyone lined up the content and chapters?  Or have your kids successfully gone into Beast from SM2, or did you find it would be better to do SM 3 first?

 

Advice/Experience, please! :)

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I run BA behind SM because I think for the most part it is harder. My DS is in SM 4A and finishing up BA 3C & 3D. I've skipped him around in BA 3 because I'm using it for review/reinforcement as well as extension and so I don't want him to do the chapter in BA too soon after the one in SM. Right now DS is doing SM 4A on M/W, BA on Tu/Th, and then the reviews from SM 3B on F.

 

In a few weeks, I'm planning to shelve SM 4 and focus exclusively on finishing up the BA 3 books (we go through the summer). The reason is that I want him to be totally done with 3rd grade math before I officially promote him to 3rd grade in August. Even though BA is advanced for 3rd grade, DH has this thing about making sure the kids are at least a year accelerated in math. It's not a point I feel like debating with him, so we're going to get the last few chapters of BA 3 done this summer.

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My middle son has done BA 3A and 3B alongside CLE 200. I think we started around CLE 203 maybe? We just do 2 pages per day of BA, so it's slow going, but he enjoys it, learns from it, and understands what we're doing. He passed the pre-assessment easily, even though he hadn't done subtraction with regrouping yet (I took him through the MM2 section on that topic the week we started BA). Prior to CLE 200, he'd done Singapore 1A/1B.

 

I would not bother trying to line up BA with anything. If you're using it alongside another program, just go through each and teach new topics wherever they come up. Sometimes we learn something first in CLE, and sometimes we learn it first in BA. That's ok.

 

Give the pre-assessment. If she bombs it, go through SM 3 first and then try again. BA is hard to pin down level wise. The topics introduced are on the later side (like introducing multiplication in 3rd grade instead of 2nd), but they go sooooo much deeper than typical. So while you might be hitting a topic that's normally taught in 2nd grade, it might go deeper than SM 4 does in that topic. It is just completely different from a standard math text.

 

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I don't try to line them up. My dc uses both and alternates. Sometimes she'll do both on the same day. I have to say that I like how CW schedules the two. Personally, I wouldn't worry about lining up or matching programs, though.

 

I also agree with boscopup about having your dc take BA's assessment test prior to buying any level.

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I agree, trying to line up may be really challenging and not net you much.  We do Beast on Fridays.  And we go slowly, small pieces at a time, with all of us working the problems together.  It is just a very different program.  Go by the assessment test.  If she isn't ready, then wait a bit, give her more time in SM.  Or, you can get Beast and scaffold her through the actual computation while you expose her to the differences in the way the concepts are presented.  Later, she can go back and do them all again more independently when she is more advanced in math through SM.

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I have used both and they cover the same topics over the course of the year. I also wouldn't bother aligning. They are Very Different in approach.

 

I used SM earlybird-6b with my eldest and I have used SM 1-3a with my younger. All of SM was a struggle with my youngest. He found it dry and...I don't know. But we had tears and bitter arguments every single day with SM. I have no idea why, but BA is a life saver with this kid. He loves it. Even when he hates it he loves it, lol. The problems in SM tend to be 'do this thing 12 times in a row' and in BA it is 'solve this tricky little puzzle 12 times in a row, with variations that we won't explain but let you figure it out.' When I have asked him what the difference is he will say that BA "isn't math, it's fun" so make of that what you will.

 

Now, I had done SM 3a before switching to BA out of desperation. It did help that we had done covered some of the topics in SM before starting them in BA. For example, he had done some multiplication but was in no way fluent and was likely to cry when he saw it.

 

We have completed BA 3a & 3b, which is half the year...and we are finishing third grade very soon. I am trying to not let this make me crazy. We are only behind because we didn't start BA until February. I firmly believe if we had started BA in September we would be on track to finish 3d by next month. And if we had stayed with SM we would be about to finish 3b next month.

 

Remember, both SM and BA are common core aligned so they will cover the same general topics in each grade, but the approach and the depth is different. When I have looked at the topics in BA 3c& 3d they roughly align with the topics in SM 3b.  SM 3b is roughly speaking units of measurement and fractions and those are the topics covered in BA 3c & 3d.

 

And if anyone has any insight as to why BA=happy compliant kid and SM=sobbing defiant kid, I would love to hear it, because it is a mystery to me.

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I run BA behind SM because I think for the most part it is harder. My DS is in SM 4A and finishing up BA 3C & 3D. I've skipped him around in BA 3 because I'm using it for review/reinforcement as well as extension and so I don't want him to do the chapter in BA too soon after the one in SM. Right now DS is doing SM 4A on M/W, BA on Tu/Th, and then the reviews from SM 3B on F.

 

In a few weeks, I'm planning to shelve SM 4 and focus exclusively on finishing up the BA 3 books (we go through the summer). The reason is that I want him to be totally done with 3rd grade math before I officially promote him to 3rd grade in August. Even though BA is advanced for 3rd grade, DH has this thing about making sure the kids are at least a year accelerated in math. It's not a point I feel like debating with him, so we're going to get the last few chapters of BA 3 done this summer.

 

 

I think this sounds about right.  SM 3B seems to be covering the same material as BA 3B.  This fall we'll be starting 4A & 3C/D.

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See, I have the sobbing, whining, math hater with SM.  However, I think the way SM teaches is important, so I keep going and haven't seen a program that I believe will teach her better.  I really feel that Beast may be a great change for her though as she is a very story-oriented child.  She has seen the samples and is very interested.  My dilemma is that I don't want to start her in Beast and it be too difficult - don't want to ruin what I am hoping will help instill a love for math in her.  

 

The placement test seems like she should be able to do more than what I believe SM 2b has covered. I guess I'm just wondering if she finishes SM 3A, will she be ready? Will she have then covered the necessary skills…  Or do others believe that coming out of SM2b she should be ABLE to pass the placement exam? 

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And if anyone has any insight as to why BA=happy compliant kid and SM=sobbing defiant kid, I would love to hear it, because it is a mystery to me.

 

Were you using the workbook? I'd have tears if we did that. My kids do the textbook + CWP + IP at the Primary Math level.

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My DD is now in SM2b and I looked at the placement test and think she would be able to do the majority of it (of course we have been using LOF and are at Farming too so some of the work with much bigger numbers may have been covered there). I believe she may struggle with the odd-even concepts in two of the later questions. I may try the test after SM2b with her - I would love to be able to do BA with her, but importing it here may land up cost prohibitive (still need to go and look into this).

 

Of course you could always cover the required sections yourself without a curriculum to do it for you. Which aspects is she struggling with - can't you just teach them? 

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Also, my DS is a bit of an "easy is hard and hard is easy" kid when it comes to math. He can grasp all sorts of advanced concepts in math easily but then he struggles with things that I think are pretty straightforward. For example, today I made him re-do an entire page of 2 digit x 2 digit multiplication problems that he'd gotten wrong on Wednesday (I didn't get a chance to correct them until last night). So it's good to have a mix of harder problems in BA and Singapore IP and just basic crank-'em-out ones from the Singapore textbook.

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See, I have the sobbing, whining, math hater with SM.  However, I think the way SM teaches is important, so I keep going and haven't seen a program that I believe will teach her better.  I really feel that Beast may be a great change for her though as she is a very story-oriented child.  She has seen the samples and is very interested.  My dilemma is that I don't want to start her in Beast and it be too difficult - don't want to ruin what I am hoping will help instill a love for math in her.  

 

The placement test seems like she should be able to do more than what I believe SM 2b has covered. I guess I'm just wondering if she finishes SM 3A, will she be ready? Will she have then covered the necessary skills…  Or do others believe that coming out of SM2b she should be ABLE to pass the placement exam? 

 

I had a SM hater too, so I tried using mostly MM instead.  It was not a hit and there were still tears.   After we finished 2b, I dropped SM and just continued with LOF.  We started BA after Christmas.  He loves it (mostly ;) )  We're finishing up LOF Jellybeans (last book in the elementary series) and we just started BA3b. Over the weekend I pulled SM3 back off the shelf and found that we had covered everything in the first book .  Monday we started 3b (textbook only) because we need to cover the measurement units.  It is dove-tailing nicely with BA3b and Jellybeans.

 

This is my long was of saying that yes.  She'll be more than ready after completing SM 3A.  

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And if anyone has any insight as to why BA=happy compliant kid and SM=sobbing defiant kid, I would love to hear it, because it is a mystery to me.

 

Because they engage really different types of thinking?  My ds who adores Beast loathed the bit of SM that he did.  He's allergic to bar diagrams too.

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Also, can I just say, I would not force a kid to do a math program that left them consistently in tears.  There are lots of good, conceptual programs for elementary math.  Singapore is good, but there's other options out there.

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See, I have the sobbing, whining, math hater with SM.  However, I think the way SM teaches is important, so I keep going and haven't seen a program that I believe will teach her better.  I really feel that Beast may be a great change for her though as she is a very story-oriented child.  She has seen the samples and is very interested.  My dilemma is that I don't want to start her in Beast and it be too difficult - don't want to ruin what I am hoping will help instill a love for math in her.  

 

The placement test seems like she should be able to do more than what I believe SM 2b has covered. I guess I'm just wondering if she finishes SM 3A, will she be ready? Will she have then covered the necessary skills…  Or do others believe that coming out of SM2b she should be ABLE to pass the placement exam? 

 

 

To answer your original question...as others have said, it depends on your kiddo and how she generally feels about math.  My son finished Singapore 2B back in March and has generally flown through, even though we do the WB, the IP, the CWP and Process Skills, as well as additional Logic from another source.  

 

So I started him on Beast...he wanted to start with the Fractions chapter which, of course, is in 3D, lol.  It was hard...but for the first time, he was encountering math that he had the ability to comprehend, but still be challenged by.  Frankly, I think he's perfectly placed with Beast 3.  It's not too easy and its not too hard.  

 

But, he's an accelerated math kid and I'm not sure I would have put him into Beast 3 without first doing Singapore 3, had he been an average math kid.  Beast is hard.  It goes more indepth than other math programs, I think.  There are aspects of it that are not necessary for 3rd grade, but for an accelerated math kid, they add just the right amount of extra challenge.  

 

All of that said...I've been flipping through Singapore 3, getting ready for the Fall, and I'm pretty certain DS will fly through it even faster than he flew through 2, because he's encountered most of Singapore's concepts in Beast.  

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My oldest began Beast after Singapore 2 and has had no trouble really. She's another one who moaned and groaned a out Singapore (which DID work), but loves Beast. She's also an easy-is-hard and hard-is-easy kid. (That polyominoes section? Not a blink or whisp of a problem. Today she freaked because she didn't remember how to do 86-55. :001_huh:)

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Haven't read the other replies but my general impression is that most people run BA a semester behind SM. So a child currently working in SM 3B would be using BA 3A or 3B as a supplement, and a child doing SM 4A would be doing BA 3C and 3D as a supplement. Similar to how, my impression is, most people run IP and CWP a semester behind as well. SM introduces the material and then the supplements circle back and take it deeper.

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The placement test seems like she should be able to do more than what I believe SM 2b has covered. I guess I'm just wondering if she finishes SM 3A, will she be ready? Will she have then covered the necessary skills…  Or do others believe that coming out of SM2b she should be ABLE to pass the placement exam? 

 

What do you think she won't be able to do from the placement test? It's basic adding/subtracting with regrouping (SM taught that), place value (Singapore taught that, though I don't know if they taught to ten-thousands yet... most BA kids have figured out place value higher than what SM is teaching that year anyway), and then some problem solving that involves thinking about odd and even numbers. It's pretty indicative of how BA works. They teach a concept, then expect the child to apply the concept to different problems. AoPS products don't tell a child how to do every single type of problem. That's part of the fun. :D

 

Give her the test. You might be surprised. I know I was! My son got 14 out of 16 correct, after having only finished SM 1A/1B and a few LUs of CLE 200. Totally shocked me, to be honest. :lol: They only need 12 out of 16 to pass the test. So in the problem solving section, they could miss all but 2 and still "pass". My son has done very well with BA. We just take it nice and slow, so he's not overwhelmed by hard problems (and we still do CLE, which is then "easy math").

 

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My oldest was able to go into BA 3A from MIF 2A. None of the scope matched up but the guide was so engaging that he was able to pick up the concepts easily. We just had to do it slowly. He is to the end of MIF 2B now but we are just now at the end of BA 3A and will start 3B next month. So I don't really think it's necessary to match it up and that hasn't been a problem since it is so different.

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