Math Works 5B Activity Book Part 2 2ED
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.
In homeschooling circles, Singapore Math is practically synonymous with the idea of a strong, fast-paced curriculum with an emphasis on mental math, problem solving and thinking skills. This series, along with the Discovering Mathematics series, are examples of a broadening of the Singapore Math courses available to American students. Math Works follows the latest syllabus provided by the Ministry of Education in Singapore (Primary Math, U.S. Edition follows an earlier syllabus). It is designed to meet the learning needs of pupils in the "Foundation Mathematics Programme" which means that it incorporates re-teaching and review of concepts covered at earlier levels of Primary Math. In other words, if you have a student for whom PM is moving too quickly and who needs additional and easier coursework in some areas - particularly fractions, decimals, measurement, and data analysis - before moving on to more advanced concepts of percentage, ratio (both introduced in the PM 5) and algebra (introduced in PM 6), then this series will likely be a good fit.
Coursebooks (full-color) feature simple and clear explanations with numerous worked examples and guided work that provides selected teaching points and questions to help students develop conceptual understanding before moving on to the drill and practice activities found in the Activity Books (black/white). Pictorial concrete illustrations of manipulatives and periodic Game Stations (suggestions for reinforcing games) keep the student actively involved with the instruction. Teacher Guides provide teaching ideas and differentiated instruction along with the guided practice prompts mentioned earlier. Wraparounds with reduced copies of Coursebook pages, these guides have a chapter by chapter organization with lesson plans showing how many sessions to spend on each section and specific pages for integration of the Coursebook with the Activity Books, as well as all answer keys. Blackline masters for Looking Back (self-assessment) worksheets, game templates, manipulatives and visuals, along with bulletin board ideas are provided at the end of the book.
It should be noted that this series has not been adapted to U.S. terminology (I'm not sure I will ever get used to "learnt") and does not include U.S. standard measurement units. It also permits and encourages a much higher degree of calculator usage as allowed by the later Singapore syllabus. Some topics covered in PM - notably ratio and introductory algebra - are not covered in this series and with other topics the coverage involves less difficult problems. Coursebooks vary in length from 100 - 150 pgs; 5A & 5B Activity Books are about 100 pgs (each part); 6A & 6B Activity Books are 60-90 pgs (each part); Teacher's Guides are about 300 pgs (5A/5B) and about 200 pgs (6A/6B); all are pb. ~ Janice