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Roadrunner

SM middle school

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I think it is an excellent program for the right student. My oldest used DM 7A-8A and I thought it was going great- until it turned out that she hadn't actually learned the algebra 1 material. She was doing fine on the problem sets using the textbook as a reference guide. But when it came time to actually do the problems all on her own in a testing situation, she couldn't. I wound up switching her to Lial's Beginning Algebra and starting over.

 

I don't regret using DM and look at it as a rigorous pre-algebra course. She did master the pre-algebra topics.

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I think it is an excellent program for the right student. My oldest used DM 7A-8A and I thought it was going great- until it turned out that she hadn't actually learned the algebra 1 material. She was doing fine on the problem sets using the textbook as a reference guide. But when it came time to actually do the problems all on her own in a testing situation, she couldn't. I wound up switching her to Lial's Beginning Algebra and starting over.

 

I don't regret using DM and look at it as a rigorous pre-algebra course. She did master the pre-algebra topics.

Would you say the explanations were thorough, or did it demand many conceptual leaps from the student?

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I have the 7A book, and we're planning to start soon. I think if the student did well with Singapore previously, this is a logical next step. But, I don't plan to have my son working alone on any math curriculum for pre-A and Algebra I--I plan to be involved. I felt like algebra was taught to me as a set of magic tools and formulas, not as something understandable, so I want my son to have plenty of oversight as he works through any algebra curriculum. When the book came, I went through it page by page, and I'm really excited about starting it.

 

 

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My DD learned well using Singapore 7 & 8. She used Singapore 2-6 and it was a bit of a leap to 7. We moved slowly through some parts and sailed through others. When she became stuck on a topic, she watched some Khan Academy videos for a different explanation. 

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I know you have already seen this, Roadrunner, but I'm copying it here in case anyone else is interested in our experience.

 

 

 

The problem we had with SM7 is that it was too hard without enough time spent on each topic or enough explanation give about each topic. And sometimes there was too much time spent on a topic.  It was just very uneven.  It felt like either a survey book or a review book: like my ds(11) was already supposed to know the information. AoPS moves fast, but there is the whole discovery aspect which develops progressively.  SM just felt like things were thrown at us without proper development.

Ruth in NZ

 

ETA: DS(11) just read this and said "unless I ask you a *ton* of questions, I just won't remember it."

 

 

 

I agree that Singapore 7&8 are challenging. Sorry if my post wasn't clear.  My younger and I just found that they were challenging in a way that assumed too much previous knowledge and had too little in developing ideas and problem solving skills for the level of problems that were given.  So it was like the problem sets were too hard for the level of teaching.  We went to Singapore 7 from Singapore 6, and the jump was too great.  Perhaps now that we have done MEP 8, we can go back to Singapore 7. 

 

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For those folks with children who struggled or who noticed leaps, did you use the Standards edition through 5 or 6 w/Instructor's guide?

 

I ask because I'm taking DD through 5A/B this year and everything that I've seen in 7A/B (which I got yesterday) looks like a fairly easy extension of what we're already doing. The factor tree stuff, for ex, was introduced in the SM4 HIG and the exponent work is introduced in 5A.

 

 

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We used DM7 and then switched to a regular algebra program despite my son's objections.  He loved DM.  I found it VERY challenging (but I am not a mathy person.)  I loved watching him intuit his way thru the program and manipulate problems and I liked that the geometry was integrated.  Because we knew public high school was our goal we did not stay with it but had we gone on to homeschool all the way thru we would have really enjoyed using DM.

We did use SM standards (I think?) 1-6.  Which ever has the HIG and etc.

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^HA! It's funny you should say that because I'm torn about what to do after DM 7 (Dolciani or DM8). I fear that the public high schools will have all switched over to integrated math by the time DD gets there and she will have missed key things by following the traditional Algebra/Geometry/Algebra2 w/Trig/Calculus math sequence.

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I learned that my plan was for naught.  My son repeated alg1 in public school.  SIgh.  I was sort of blessed AND irritated by it.  Our state required alg to be taught in an accredited class.  Too bad he "Wasted" a year but adjusting to high school is hard and he had a 97 in the class.  It was good to have an easy class?  

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I learned that my plan was for naught. My son repeated alg1 in public school. SIgh. I was sort of blessed AND irritated by it. Our state required alg to be taught in an accredited class. Too bad he "Wasted" a year but adjusting to high school is hard and he had a 97 in the class. It was good to have an easy class?

I always assumed PS would do a placement test. Please tell me it wasn't in CA.

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For those folks with children who struggled or who noticed leaps, did you use the Standards edition through 5 or 6 w/Instructor's guide?

 

 

 

I have no idea about the Standards edition.  We used the workbooks and the intensive practice books. We did not use an instructors guide.

 

What I really like about SM7&8 is the complexity of the problems.  I think they are quite challenging and I hope to get back to them.  But we first made a very successful detour to MEP8.  SM7 just made ds want to give up.  I pulled out other books - Jacobs, AoPS preA, DM level 1, MEP.  He just needed to do smaller steps before going into the more complex problems, and those extra steps were not provided in SM7.  Finally, I got tired of supplementing and switched to MEP full time.

 

ETA.  I just remembered that we were using the SM7 *workbook* because it is much harder than just the textbook.  Maybe that was the problem. Gosh, how a year will cause the memory to slide! 

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I think there's an issue here.  Most people are talking about DM- discovering mathematics 7-8, and those books are discontinued.  

 

The new SM 7-8 are called Dimensions Math.

 

Which books is everyone talking about???  

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I have both because I wanted to compare but Discovering math is leveled 1-4 and Dimensions math CC is labeled 7/8 so I assumed people meant the latter. Maybe that was wrong? From what I can see of both series, the CC version seems a better fit (in terms of math vocab). They are very, very similar though.

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I have both because I wanted to compare but Discovering math is leveled 1-4 and Dimensions math CC is labeled 7/8 so I assumed people meant the latter. Maybe that was wrong? From what I can see of both series, the CC version seems a better fit (in terms of math vocab). They are very, very similar though.

It's good to know they didn't change much.

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uh oh.  I was talking about Discovering Mathematics.

 

The Discovering series felt like more of a leap to me because it's not totally aligned with either the Standards or US series PM books. The terminology is different and, overall, the explanations don't seem as clear as they could be.

 

I looked at the scope and sequence for both too and, off the top of my head, I recall that Discovering 1 was missing absolute value (no biggie), the Pythagorean theorem, and some statistics content. I could be wrong about that tho.

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