# Primary Math US 2A Set

Item #: | PMUS2A |
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Grades: | 2 |

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**Category Description for Primary Math U.S. Edition (Gr. 1-6):**

I'll admit, my initial reaction to this program was skeptical. The textbooks are thin and have a straightforward, no-nonsense appearance. Texts switch from full-color to two-toned pages after second grade, and all workbooks are printed in black and white. After spending a great deal of time evaluating the program's contents, however, my opinion has improved considerably. Primary Math uses a concrete-to-pictorial-to-abstract approach to teaching. Concrete illustrations are incorporated heavily in the early grades, gradually giving way to more abstract representations so that math is learned meaningfully. The program builds strong problem solving, critical thinking, and computational skills through well-chosen practice problems.

Each grade consists of two semester sets to be completed in one year. For example, the complete first grade curriculum requires the 1A and 1B textbooks (non-consumable) and the 1A and 1B workbooks (consumable). **Workbook** assignments are directly correlated with each textbook. Small arrows, usually located in the lower left hand corner of a page, specify when to pause in the text and what exercise number to complete.

Brief teacher’s instructions are provided in each textbook’s preface, which I highly suggest reading. Although the pace of the course really depends on the individual student, 2-3 pages in the text is usually enough for one day’s lesson. To effectively use the **textbook**, the teacher should study the examples ahead of time in order to determine the best way to verbally explain a concept to the student. Teacher-student or student-student discussions are an important part of this program. Unfortunately, the text doesn’t tell you how to facilitate discussions. Fortunately, there are now Teacher Guides and Home Instructor Guides available for all levels.

Both the **Teacher Guides** and the **Home Instructor Guides** include answers to the textbook and workbook problems. Both of these publications help teachers understand the course material and provide suggestions to help you introduce concepts. As a general rule, the TGs are more oriented to the classroom while the HIGs are more geared to working one-on-one with a student. However, both provide detailed lesson plans. The TGs have daily lesson plans while the HIGs provide teaching segments indicating the number of weeks to spend per unit. A significant difference between the two is that the HIGs have a sidebar column that shows assignments complete with answers and often solutions. Assignments in the TGs are listed within the lesson plans and all answers are in the back of the book. Also included in the appendix of each are mental math worksheets and some teaching helps. Answers (but no solutions) to the U.S. edition textbooks and workbooks are also available in separate answer key booklets. For convenience, we have put together sets for each grade and semester that include the text, workbook and HIG.

TGs and HIGs both include lists of suggested manipulatives and materials. (please see our Singapore Math Manipulative category at the end of the Singapore Math section.

Extra practice sets are included in all textbooks, except first grade. These problem sets are optional and should be done only after the workbook exercises for that section have been completed. Cumulative review sections are also incorporated into the text, although not on a daily basis like Saxon. Review sections are also included in each workbook. Although these problem sets are optional, I would strongly suggest completing the extra practice. Some of the review sets are quite lengthy, and you might want to consider devoting a day’s lesson to review whenever a longer set arises. I suspect a key factor to this program’s success in Singapore is that students are both motivated and expected to practice their math skills through homework and optional problem sets use is strictly up to the teacher, although Primary Math tends to emphasize mental calculations.

While some believe that Primary Math contains “just the right amount of practice”, others believe not enough is provided. For students who feel they need more practice to really “own” a concept or skill, a variety of supplements, specifically designed to complement Primary Math, are available.

Compared to *Saxon Math*, *Primary Math* encompasses a narrower scope. While *Saxon Math* covers coordinate graphing, negative numbers, square roots, and probability, these topics are omitted from *Primary Math* and are not covered until *New Elementary Math*. The smaller scope, however, allows the program to emphasize the basics. *Primary Math* focuses on the four arithmetic operations (using whole numbers, fractions, and decimals), perimeter, area, volume, angles, quadrilaterals, symmetry, time, length, weight, money, graphs, and algebraic expressions (introduced in 6th grade). *Saxon Math*moves a bit slower introducing Algebra in Math 87. * Miquon*, which only covers grades 1-3, correlates very well with *Primary Math.*

**Category Description for Singapore Math Programs:**

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 was working.

“Singapore Approach Math” is a general term referring to a type of mathematical instruction (i.e. curriculum) developed from a syllabus designed by Singapore’s Ministry of Education in the 1980s. There were a number of revisions and the 3rd edition was the last edition used in Singapore. The good test scores were associated with this material and all of our Singapore Approach Math programs are based primarily on the 3rd edition although it is no longer available for sale. Components from different editions are not interchangeable but a student can move between the editions in-between levels.

**Primary Math US (1-6)** is an adaptation of the 3rd edition for use in the U.S. Although a small amount of content (division of fractions) from the 2nd edition was added back into the US edition, it is almost identical to the 3rd edition. The US edition adds sections for U.S. customary measurements and uses U.S. spelling and conventions. We expect this edition to be available indefinitely. ©2003

**Primary Math S/E (Standards Edition) (K-6)** was adapted to meet the pre-Common Core CA math standards. An additional amount of content (probability, data analysis, negative numbers, coordinate graphing) from the 2nd edition was added back in and topics were rearranged but it is similar to the US edition. Cumulative Reviews at the end of each Unit and practice sets within each unit were added. Textbooks are in color. ©2008 This edition includes Earlybird Kindergarten Math.

**Primary Math CC (Common Core) (K-5)** is aligned to the Common Core State Standards and is another adaptation of the 3rd edition. Only minor changes were made to the scope and sequence. Unit Reviews are no longer cumulative and Practices were removed although some of the content was incorporated into the lessons. ©2014 Includes Earlybird Kindergarten Math CC. This edition will be available for the foreseeable future.

**Primary Math 2022 Edition (K-5)** is a completely new revision retaining all the excellent teaching methods of the earlier Primary Math programs. Incorporating both cumulative assessments and challenging problem solving, mastery learning is emphasized. The scope and sequence is similar to previous editions and topics are aligned to state and national standards. ©2021-2022

**New Elementary Math (7-8)** is a no-frills program based on an older Singaporian program and covering integrated algebra and geometry. It’s considered a sequel to the Primary Math programs.

**Math in Focus (K-8)** was developed by Great Source (a division of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) in conjunction with Marshall Cavendish (the original publisher in Singapore). Although the basic instructional sequences are similar and the content is very close to the SE, material added to the most recent editions brings it into alignment with CC. Math in Focus has a more American look and “feel.” ©2010, 2014

View the **Singapore Approach Math Comparison Chart**.

**Category Description for COMPREHENSIVE PROGRAMS - ALL GRADES:**

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I am using Primary Mathematics 2A. I like the emphasis on mental mathematics, word problems and problem solving. Also we enjoy playing the games with cards, dice and counters and these are good learning experiences. I think it does challenge his problem solving abilities. However it requires a lot of my teaching and interaction with him - playing games with cards, dice, counters etc and walking through each lesson with him.

I find the layout very frustrating as it is not logical and consistent. You have to try and track from the Home Instructor's Guide to see which exercise numbers you are following in the Work Book and the Text Book and you are jumping from one book to another trying to figure out what to be doing. The numbers do not correlate and you can do part 1 of 1 exercise one day and part 2 and another entire exercise the next day. So the lesson number, exercise numbers and text book sections do not correlate and are inconsistent. For example I may be on Lesson 31 in the Home Instructor Guide, doing part 2 of exercise 24 and a completely different section and certain examples on one page in the text book - sometimes skipping forwards and backwards. I do not find the layout at all clear or logical we have found mistakes. It took me ages to figure it all out and I still find it very confusing!

It also seems to be very prescriptive in its approach to problem solving / mental math, rather than allowing a child to come up with their own strategies. I also feel its short on practice examples and they expect you to supplement.

Its also helpful to have base ten blocks, counters and place value charts and in future maybe other maths manipulative- I have made my own / bought these when I realized I needed them.

As for Saxon Maths for my older children - we love it. The layout is great and enables them to work really independently. The layout is very logical. They get a lot of practice - with maths facts every day. The repetition, which I was at first a bit skeptical about, does seem to really build their confidence. Even my 4th grader who is a reluctant student and normally needs a lot of coaxing to get his work done does his maths completely independently.

So going forward I am still not sure whether I will do Primary Mathematics 2B or switch to Saxon!

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