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"Stumbling" through Singapore Dimensions - better off with Primary?


Ting Tang
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So far, I seem to be a math hopper.  This last year, we switched to Singapore Dimensions KB, 2a/2b, and 4a/4b.  I purchased the Teacher Guides because the Home Instructor Guides were not all available, and I liked how it had pictures of the student textbook.

I have to admit, I stumbled through teaching some of the concepts the "Singapore way," even with some of the 2nd grade material. Some of the 4th grade challenging word problems were hard for me.  But I got through our experimental year. My 4th grader did well with fractions and decimals, but he failed so many tests, too, throughout the year.  I'm sure it is a combination of shaky teaching on my end from lack of experience with Singapore, the hurried feeling I often feel with four kids,  and the fact he does need more supports (he's still in the learning to read phase at age 9 in my opinion, struggles with multi-step problems, etc).

I like previews of Wisdom Wonder Project videos I've seen to help teach Singapore Primary, and some suggest Primary is "gentler," so maybe that would be a good switch?  

Has anyone compared Dimensions and Primary?  Or would I likely run into the same issues?  

 

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@8filltheheart  sometimes it felt like there was a lot of "showing" without explaining, and the guide didn't always provide those explanations for me.  Discovery is great, unless neither of us can explain the discovery.  I'll check out MIF.  I really haven't liked many math curriculums at all that I've encountered or used.  

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I like Primary Maths, US edition. However, it did take some getting used to the Singapore Way. Once I got used to it, I like it better than anything else.  If this method is not for you, there are so many other great math programs that work well.  Singapore Math is not so beyond the rest that it is worth struggling through when you are not comfortable teaching it. Move on to a different program. 

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3 hours ago, Ting Tang said:

So far, I seem to be a math hopper.  This last year, we switched to Singapore Dimensions KB, 2a/2b, and 4a/4b.  I purchased the Teacher Guides because the Home Instructor Guides were not all available, and I liked how it had pictures of the student textbook.

I have to admit, I stumbled through teaching some of the concepts the "Singapore way," even with some of the 2nd grade material. Some of the 4th grade challenging word problems were hard for me.  But I got through our experimental year. My 4th grader did well with fractions and decimals, but he failed so many tests, too, throughout the year.  I'm sure it is a combination of shaky teaching on my end from lack of experience with Singapore, the hurried feeling I often feel with four kids,  and the fact he does need more supports (he's still in the learning to read phase at age 9 in my opinion, struggles with multi-step problems, etc).

I like previews of Wisdom Wonder Project videos I've seen to help teach Singapore Primary, and some suggest Primary is "gentler," so maybe that would be a good switch?  

Has anyone compared Dimensions and Primary?  Or would I likely run into the same issues?  

 

A friend of mine has been using Wisdom Wonder Project and she really likes it.  

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@Janeway yes, we are trying to figure this one out together.  There are so many I just do not like...lol  @SeaConquest do you know if she watches alongside her student(s), or are they engaging enough all year that they can depend on them for primary teaching?  I think if I outsource a lot of the math, our homeschool experience will be better. I've not really enjoyed teaching it.  lol

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If your child is struggling in reading,  its going to cause some issues with math,  too.  Is there a processing disorder?  

If discovery method is frustrating,  why not try explicit instruction instead?  

Try to look at each kid individually and think about how they learn best.  Do you need manipulatives for them to move?  Do they need drawings on the board?  Do they need a Cheat Sheet laying out each step?  I noticed big leaps in math expectations at that age,  and sometimes my kids needed a little more time.  Multi-step problems may take a lot more 🧠 power!  

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1 hour ago, Ting Tang said:

@Janeway yes, we are trying to figure this one out together.  There are so many I just do not like...lol  @SeaConquest do you know if she watches alongside her student(s), or are they engaging enough all year that they can depend on them for primary teaching?  I think if I outsource a lot of the math, our homeschool experience will be better. I've not really enjoyed teaching it.  lol

This was my friend's response to your query (she was fine with me pasting):

Hi! Sure thing 🙂 We really like WWP. I tend to watch with it near them bc I want to understand what they are learning in case they need help at any point but the video teacher teaches the full class and demonstrates concepts really well a couple different hands on ways usually. The videos are only 10-15 mins each which is great. I think kids could do it on their own if you wanted as long as you set them up with each classes materials ready in advance (different lessons need different materials like counters or printed place value columns etc…) There are usually a couple workbook pages assigned after (you can decide if your kiddo needs the practice or not or just have them do odd problems or whatever feels right to you.) It may not hold their attention as well as a videogame type thing but since the videos are short and look/feel like real life they hold my kiddos attn pretty well and are good quality and our primary math year round. I feel like I’m not selling it well lol but basically the teachers are lovely and warm and it’s a nice Montessori type vibe. I can set the kids up to do it or learn along side them. Takes a lot of pressure off me and it is more fun 🙂

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Thank you all! I’m still waiting for an evaluation for my struggling reader. We watched Mr. D. Math video samples fir an introduction to pre-algebra, and I think that might be a good part for him. Now WWP— thank you for sharing the feedback! This might be great for my younger two. They are strong in math, and they’ll appreciate these videos more than the Dimensions videos. Even if I need to sit through them, it’ll help me! 

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1 hour ago, EKS said:

I strongly recommend getting the book Elementary Mathematics for Teachers and working through it yourself.  Once you do that you won't need a teacher's manual or HIG.

I should’ve done this last year! I looked at it. I just didn’t want to spend the money, but in hindsight, things might have gone better. I have a few books to read, and I’ll put this on my list. Thanks! 

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8 hours ago, Ting Tang said:

I should’ve done this last year!

I came to it after about a year of teaching Singapore math as well.  Using it now will probably be better because you are familiar with the "Singapore Way."  It will likely answer a lot of questions and make everything gel. 

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1 hour ago, EKS said:

I came to it after about a year of teaching Singapore math as well.  Using it now will probably be better because you are familiar with the "Singapore Way."  It will likely answer a lot of questions and make everything gel. 

I get overwhelmed when people suggest books that I should read myself, but in the end, it probably would have saved us all time.  lol  I'm going to grab a copy.  

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On 5/23/2023 at 9:04 AM, Ting Tang said:

I really haven't liked many math curriculums at all that I've encountered or used.  

Not a suggestion on curriculum, but something that might help your decisions. Consider sitting down and writing out what worked and what didn't work for each student per curriculum you've used, and what you liked and didn't like with each curriculum. 

You may never find a perfect math curriculum that out of the box is amazing for you and your kids. The above reflection will help you narrow down a curriculum that you can tweak to be that perfect math curriculum.  Tweaks can look like letting your kid(s) use manipulatives/charts for longer, spreading out the lessons, reducing or increasing the number of practice problems, adding in/taking away review problems, doing a problem orally or as another example instead of written, doing some problems as written instead of as an example, etc. 

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1 hour ago, Nm. said:

Could you state who the author is?  There’s a couple books with that title.

Are you talking about Elementary Mathematics for Teachers?  The authors are Thomas H. Parker and Scott J. Baldridge.

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10 minutes ago, Nm. said:

I’m really liking tgtb math so far, it’s spiral.  Engaging Videos for grade 4 & up.  Never thought I’d love spiral.

I am glad that is working out for you!  We just didn't enjoy the CLE spiral.  I felt like I did very little teaching, and he did a ton of review.  And then the end of the year came, and he didn't even finish it.  But I think TGTB is much different from CLE!  

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Yes I’ve done cle too and it’s very different!!  I’ve done CLE, Singapore, math mammoth, mathusee, eureka/zearn, original tgtb, themeville (not well known), MWC pilot, and probably something else.. lol 😆

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1 hour ago, Nm. said:

Yes I’ve done cle too and it’s very different!!  I’ve done CLE, Singapore, math mammoth, mathusee, eureka/zearn, original tgtb, themeville (not well known), MWC pilot, and probably something else.. lol 😆

I see how this can happen!  lol

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