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Singapore Math - do I need Teacher's Manual?

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We will be doing pre K, K and 2nd grade math. Do I need the teacher's Manuals? Do I even need the textbook or can I get away with just the workbooks? 

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You don't need the TMs or HIG, per se, but in order to get the best out of the program, you should know how to teach numbers in accordance to the part-whole model, and learn to use bar-models yourself. You should also scaffold in the appropriate amount of drill and mental math practice.

The workbooks are part of a greater whole, so if you use the workbooks like just any old workbooks, and not in accordance to how they are meant to be used, then you might as well use dollar tree workbooks or print worksheets from the internet. You'll want to search for "2 step" word problems, but aside from having 2 step word problems already there is nothing inherently special about any of the Singaporean math workbooks themselves.

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For Singapore 1-3 I use just the textbooks and Process Skills/CWP. The kids answer the textbook problems orally. For grade 1 I use the free worksheets on Greg Tang's website to practice addition/subtraction with number bonds.

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You need to know how to teach the "Singapore way."  This is provided in the Home Instructor's Guides.  You can also get this from reading Elementary Mathematics for Teachers.  If you want the benefit of a Singapore math education for your children, it won't work to teach them the math the way you learned it (unless you learned with a Singapore-style program) and then have them do the Singapore problems.

The textbook and workbook go together.  The problems in the textbook are to work on during instruction, and the workbook is for independent practice.  Both are important.  But if you absolutely must choose one or the other, choose the textbook.  There are usually more problems, and they will include more difficult ones.

(Another thing that I liked about the HIGs was that they had the mental math problems in them so I didn't have to go to an outside source.)

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I didn't find the instructor guide all that useful but I was already familiar and comfortable with Singapore style math and was used to coming up with my own mental math practice by the time I got my hands on an instructor's manual. I imagine the textbook would be frustrating to someone who was not familiar with the teaching and problem solving strategies presented because, at least in the lower levels, there isn't a lot of written explanation in the textbook like many American textbooks have.

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2 hours ago, EKS said:

You need to know how to teach the "Singapore way."  This is provided in the Home Instructor's Guides.  You can also get this from reading Elementary Mathematics for Teachers.  If you want the benefit of a Singapore math education for your children, it won't work to teach them the math the way you learned it (unless you learned with a Singapore-style program) and then have them do the Singapore problems.

The textbook and workbook go together.  The problems in the textbook are to work on during instruction, and the workbook is for independent practice.  Both are important.  But if you absolutely must choose one or the other, choose the textbook.  There are usually more problems, and they will include more difficult ones.

(Another thing that I liked about the HIGs was that they had the mental math problems in them so I didn't have to go to an outside source.)

 

All of this, plus what mom2bee said. If you're going to use just the workbooks, you might as well save money and get something dirt cheap or free. 

It would actually make more sense to have only the HIG  - it will have the methods of teaching, games and activities, and the mental math. Depending on skill levels, you might be able to use one HIG for prek and k, maybe take a look at scope and sequence. I will say that we started with Level 1 and it was fine, we didn't use curricula for prek and k at all (just activities, games, worksheets when they wanted them, etc). 

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I already taught Singapore Math all the way through before I got my hands on a HIG. I did not feel it would have changed anything for me. But I love math and was always looking forward to future lessons and making up my own lessons. I had a lot of fun with it. If you are not that kind of person who likes winging it, sure, the HIG could help. Otherwise, I would not worry about it. What is in the HIG is explained in the textbooks. The HIG sort of scripts out how to explain what is in the textbook.  There is no point of the workbook without the textbook. And the textbook can usually be found used if you are looking to save money. The workbook has no explanations on how to do things, just has practice.

Edited by Janeway

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