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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Dimensions Math Textbook 1B Item #: 074206
Grade: 1
Rainbow Price: $12.00

Shaping Maths Activity Book 4B 3rd Edition Item #: 072560
Grade: 4
Rainbow Price: $8.50

Dimensions Math Textbook 2B Item #: 074208
Grade: 2
Rainbow Price: $12.00

Shaping Maths Activity Book 1B 3rd Edition Item #: 072554
Grade: 1
Rainbow Price: $8.50

Shaping Maths Coursebook 3A 3rd Edition Item #: 072569
Grade: 3
Rainbow Price: $9.90

Shaping Maths Coursebook 5A 3rd Edition Item #: 072573
Grade: 5
Rainbow Price: $9.90

Dimensions Math Workbook PreK B Item #: 074218
Grade: PreK
Rainbow Price: $12.00

Dimensions Math Teacher's Guide KA Item #: 074203
Grade: K
Rainbow Price: $25.00

Dimensions Math Textbook PreK B Item #: 074212
Grade: PreK
Rainbow Price: $12.00

Shaping Maths Activity Book 5B 3rd Edition Item #: 072562
Grade: 5
Rainbow Price: $8.50

Shaping Maths Coursebook 6A 3rd Edition Item #: 072575
Grade: 6
Rainbow Price: $9.90

Shaping Maths Activity Book 5A 3rd Edition Item #: 072561
Grade: 5
Rainbow Price: $8.50

Dimensions Math Teacher's Guide 6B Item #: 073955
Grade: 6
Rainbow Price: $29.00

Shaping Maths Activity Book 3B 3rd Edition Item #: 072558
Grade: 3
Rainbow Price: $8.50

Dimensions Math Workbook 6B Item #: 073957
Grade: 6
Rainbow Price: $12.00

Shaping Maths Coursebook 3B 3rd Edition Item #: 072570
Grade: 3
Rainbow Price: $9.90

Shaping Maths Activity Book 2A 3rd Edition Item #: 072555
Grade: 2
Rainbow Price: $8.50

Shaping Maths Coursebook 1B 3rd Edition Item #: 072566
Grade: 1
Rainbow Price: $9.90

Challenging Maths Problems Made Easy Item #: 062096
Grades: 2-4
Retail: $11.99
Rainbow Price: $10.95

Shaping Maths Coursebook 1A 3rd Edition Item #: 072565
Grade: 1
Rainbow Price: $9.90

Shaping Maths Coursebook 4A 3rd Edition Item #: 072571
Grade: 4
Rainbow Price: $9.90

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