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What kind of mental math problems are in Singapore HIGs?


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Especially for 2a?


I've been using the Singapore 1a and 1b textbooks to gauge DS' progress since he mostly does Miquon independently. I also want to keep up with a standard scope and sequence. I've only been taking Singapore out about once a month or so and then he flies through several lessons until he gets bored.


While I do sometimes sit with him and work on Miquon or other hands on conceptual math stuff, most of his regular daily math practice is oral and is mostly arithmetic practice. I really liked Mep R for the little story problems but it doesn't look like the rest of Mep continues that. We also just started LoF Apples but it looks pretty easy for him.


I'm wondering if for Singapore 2 the HIG might suit my purposes better? What is the mental math like? Are there drill practice ideas? Is it something I could just read ahead each day then orally do with DS throughout the day? Is it not very useful without also using the textbook?

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Ok, I was thinking about this more. Thank you for bearing with me.


What I really want is a program that I can do mostly orally to keep up with his mental arithmetic abilities (looking at pictures is fine, just no worksheets with lines of problems), that has problems in a systematic sequence for practicing arithmetic, that sometimes has at least a little bit of story elements, that will help with math facts memorization, that does not introduce algorithms or require paper and pencil to work out. This would be for after concepts are introduced and practiced in Miquon.


I only had Singapore 1 because I was curious and I wanted to keep up with a more standard text for when we complete Miquon. I may use the full Singapore program later, but right now he is young and I don't want him to have more than one workbook at a time and he's starting Pentime now already.

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I really like the mental math exercises in Singapore 2A HIG, but it might not be enough for you.


Basically, there are about 30 "exercises".  Each exercise has around 20 or 30 problems to be read orally and done mentally.  It usually takes about 10 minutes to get through an exercise with my daughter.  So if you do one a day, the whole thing will only take a month.


Each exercise has a specific point in the Singapore Math curriculum when you are supposed to do it.  Basically, you cover the general topic in the regular curriculum, and then you do a few mental math exercises on that topic.  Each exercise in each topic is a little harder than the last one.  So when doing the full SM, you don't do a mental math every day.  Just when it comes up.  That being said, I can see a significant improvement in my daughters mental math capabilities when she does them.  There aren't many of them, but they are very good.


I would actually suggest that you try Dreambox.  Dreambox develops mental math abilities very thoroughly.  It is almost everything you described above, except that it isn't something on paper that you read to the child (like SM HIG is), but an online computer program with exercises that the child does.  The child can do Dreambox by themselves or with you, I often have my daughter do Dreambox when sitting on my lap, and she'll tell me the answer and I'll type it in for her.


Dreambox starts very easy, but it automatically assesses your child as they go along, and they can skip sections if they ace a little "pre-test exercise".  It gets challenging very quick.  And it goes though middle school math so it will level up with your child for a good while.  It's expensive, but in my opinion, worth it.

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If you enjoy SM's approach to math and you are really looking at the mental math skills, I would definitely NOT recommend getting the HIG just for that. Don't get me wrong, I like the HIG to teach SM. I think you might want to look at Fan Math Express Speed Math Skills series which was developed as a SM supplement. There is more explicit instruction around the strategies for mental math.

If you are not using the entire SM series, I would suggest looking Fan Math Process Skills in Problem Solving. This is a great alternative to the SM's Challenging Word Problems series. The Fan Math books explicitly teach the methods to solving SM style word problems.


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