Singapore Math Programs

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Countries around the world first became interested in Singapore's math curriculum when results of the Third International Math and Science Study (TIMSS) were published in 1995. Conducted by the International Study Center at Boston College, achievement tests in both math and science were administered to students in over 40 countries. Students from Singapore ranked highly in mathematics achievement: 1st in the fourth, seventh, and eighth grade levels and 2nd at the third grade level. Results for the U.S. were disappointing: 10th in the third grade, 11th in the fourth grade, 23rd in the seventh grade, and 27th at the eighth grade level. In a follow-up study in 1999, Singapore again ranked 1st in eighth grade math achievement while U.S. eighth graders ranked 19th. Although a first place ranking does not necessarily imply the best program, something about Singapore's math program seems to be working.

"Singapore Approach Math" is a general term referring to the math curriculum, or syllabus, designed by Singapore's Ministry of Education. The curriculum has been regularly revised over the last two decades, with most recent revisions in 2001. We carry two different lines. From SingaporeMath.com we carry Earlybird Kindergarten Math (PK-K), Primary Math (1-6), and New Elementary Math (7-10). From Great Source Educational we carry Math in Focus (K-6).

Both of these programs are produced by the same company, Marshall Cavendish Education (Singapore). The U.S. Primary Math editions have a 2003 copyright, while the newer, Standards Edition have a 2008 copyright. These are both modifications of the original edition of Singapore math. These programs are distributed in the U.S. by SingaporeMath.com. They are essentially the same, though the Standards Edition has a small amount of added material and some of the sequences have been rearranged to better meet U.S. standards. Math in Focus has a 2009 copyright. It is distributed in the U.S by Great Source, a division of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, and packaged for the homeschool community by Saxon Homeschool. So, the programs have common origins.

Primary Math and New Elementary Math are based on the 1997 mathematics syllabus. New Elementary Math has since been "phased out" of schools in Singapore (probably in favor of texts following the 2001 syllabus). However, Primary Math and New Elementary Math are the series that originally gained Singapore international recognition for excellence in mathematics.

There are now manipulatives especially designed to be used with the Singapore approach. Look for these at the end of this section.

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Math in Focus Grade 5 Enrichment A and B Set Item #: MF5ENR
Grade: 5
Retail: $71.67
Rainbow Price: $41.95

Teaching to Mastery Mathematics: Teaching of Decimals Workbook Item #: 058538
Grades: K-7
Rainbow Price: $29.90

Math in Focus Grade 5 Workbook A and B Set Item #: MIF5WB
Grade: 5
Retail: $25.27
Rainbow Price: $19.95

Math Works 6A Teacher Guide 2ED Item #: 048836
Grade: 6
Retail: $31.50
Rainbow Price: $22.97

Math in Focus Grade 4 Student Book A & B Set Item #: MF4SST
Grade: 4
Retail: $76.87
Rainbow Price: $60.80

Thinking Kids Singapore Math: Grade 4 (Level 3) Item #: 036242
Grade: 4
Retail: $14.99
Rainbow Price: $9.95

Math in Focus Grade 2 Student Book A & B Set Item #: MF2SST
Grade: 2
Retail: $61.40
Rainbow Price: $50.10

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Math in Focus Course 3 Gr 8 Student Book A&B Item #: MFC3ST
Grade: 8
Rainbow Price: $79.60

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Math in Focus Course 3 G8 Extra Practice A&B Item #: MFC3EP
Grade: 8
Retail: $58.60
Rainbow Price: $49.95

Complete Maths Guide P3 Item #: 066043
Grade: 3
Rainbow Price: $12.80

Math in Focus Grade 3 Student Book A & B Set Item #: MF3SST
Grade: 3
Retail: $76.87
Rainbow Price: $60.80

Model Drawing for Challenging Word Problems Item #: 064924
Grades: 6-9
Retail: $25.95
Rainbow Price: $17.50

Complete Maths Guide P5 Item #: 066045
Grade: 5
Rainbow Price: $12.80

Complete Maths Guide P6 Item #: 066046
Grade: 6
Rainbow Price: $12.80

Math in Focus Grade 5 Student Book A & B Set Item #: MF5SST
Grade: 5
Retail: $76.87
Rainbow Price: $60.80

Complete Maths Guide P1 Item #: 066041
Grade: 1
Rainbow Price: $12.80

Complete Maths Guide P2 Item #: 066042
Grade: 2
Rainbow Price: $12.80

Complete Maths Guide P4 Item #: 066044
Grade: 4
Rainbow Price: $12.80

Dimensions Math Textbook 6B Item #: 066822
Grade: 6
Rainbow Price: $22.50

Problem Solved: Bar Model Math Grade 1 Item #: 067818
Grade: 1
Retail: $19.99
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Problem Solved: Bar Model Math Grade 2 Item #: 067819
Grade: 2
Retail: $19.99
Rainbow Price: $14.25

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