Primary Math US 1B Set

Primary Math US 1B Set


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Item #: PMUS1B
Grades: 1

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This kit includes the following items:

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 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 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 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.

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. Teacher's guides are now available for several grades. Also, to help you find the appropriate entry level for your child, printable placement tests and a scoring guide are available at Users of Singapore Math can also seek support with specific problems or general concerns at through the "forum" link. A select number of exercise solutions, made available by other users of the program, as well as answer key and text corrections, are at

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. Calculator 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.

Although we used to carry the original Singapore editions, we now only carry the U.S. editions. In a side-by side comparision of the two, these books are virtually identical. For the most part, the same content is covered and presented in the same order. Exceptions include additional lessons and practice problems on standard measurements such as yards, pounds, and gallons. Also, an additonal unit on fractions was added to the beginning of the 6B U.S edition textbook. Other changes are as follows: American money has replaced Singaporean money, British spellings have been converted to American spellings, and the majority, but not all, foreign sounding names and objects have been changed. The most notable difference between the two versions is that there is only one U.S. edition workbook for each semester (parts one and two have been combined into one book). Also, answers to the U.S. edition textbooks and workbooks are only available in separate answer key booklets.

Compared to Saxon or Exploring Mathematics, Primary Math encompasses a narrower scope. While Saxon and Exploring Mathematics both cover coordinate graphing, negative numbers, square roots, and probability, these topics are omitted from Primary Math. They are not covered until New Elementary Math. The smaller scope, however, allows the program to emphasize the basics. Primary Math focuses on topics that Singapore's Ministry of Education believe to be fundamentally important: the four arithmetic operations (using whole numbers, fractions, and decimals), perimeter, area, volume, angles, quadrilaterals, symmetry, time, length, weight, money, graphs, and algebraic expressions.

In terms of pace and difficulty, Primary Math is similar to Exploring Mathematics. Of course, there are some differences. Primary Math introduces multiplication and division in first grade, but Exploring Mathematics quickly catches up in second grade. Exploring Mathematics introduces a broader range of geometry concepts in earlier grades, but Primary Math includes more complicated geometry exercises. Primary Math introduces algebraic expressions in sixth grade while Exploring Mathematics does not. Saxon moves a bit slower introducing Algebra in Math 87. Miquon, which only covers grades 1-3, correlates very well with Primary Math.



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excellent program
Anna C on Sep 4, 2019
I'm using Singapore Math this year with my Kindergarteners and really like the program, so we're planning to continue the program for this upcoming year as well.
Sarah E on Feb 15, 2019
excellent program
Anna C on Sep 4, 2019
we used this program for kindergarten and want to continue use for first grade.
Molly C on Apr 29, 2019
I'm using Singapore Math this year with my Kindergarteners and really like the program, so we're planning to continue the program for this upcoming year as well.
Sarah E on Feb 15, 2019
After reading dozens of reviews, my husband (a secondary math teacher) was most impressed with Singapore Primary Math's emphasis on higher-ordered thinking.
Anne D on Aug 25, 2018
My son has an engineering mind and loves to fully understand how things work... so this curriculum was recommended to me as a great way for my soon-to-be second grader to fully understand the relationship between numbers in mathematics. We are transitioning from public school so we are starting with the 1B set to cover any gaps between the Singapore Math method and what he learned in first grade last year. If all goes well, once we finish 1B, we will continue on with the 2A and 2B sets.
Kristin L on Aug 22, 2018
Continuing from Singapore Math Essential Math Kindergarten
Anne S on Mar 14, 2018
We tried a different math program for over a year and are coming back to Singapore because it is tried and true for a lot of homeschool families. I like that it will allow my child to work more independently. Our previous program was much more parent-led and she is wanting to take more ownership of her math.
Katherine A on Feb 18, 2018
We are about to finish the US 1A Set and it worked very well for our daughter for her 1st grade homeschooling year.
Caroline P on Jan 23, 2018
I have 1A and we're moving on in the series
Cassandra H on Jan 9, 2018
Used kindergarten when my daughter was in kindergarten.
Ryan O on Nov 16, 2017
Because I have heard this is the best math program out there.
Shannon S on Jun 15, 2017
We switched from another curriculum as math was a daily, tearful battle. This approach has tremendously helped my son AND myself enjoy math and grasp the ideas presented.
Brandi B on Jun 15, 2017
to help supplement my Child's education
Lisa C on Jun 7, 2017
I thought I wanted a change from Saxon Math so we tried Singapore. (We have since switched back to Saxon!)
Sarah H on Feb 20, 2017
We completed 1A and like the curriculum.
Kendra O on Dec 15, 2016
placement test
Kimberly D on Dec 6, 2016
My daughter struggles with mental math and I'm hoping this curriculum will help her.
Katie P on Nov 5, 2016
My five year old is very adept at math already, and knows more arithmetic than a kindergarten graduate. I wanted a math program that would teach her the facts without dragging it out over six years.
Mary H on Aug 12, 2016
part of other curriculum being used
Colleen T on Aug 11, 2016
This product was recommended to me by a math major who homeschooled her 4 kids with it.
Melissa O on May 15, 2016
Singapore math is both challenging and fun for my son. We are purchasing the 1a and b because we are nearing the end of Singapore Kindergarten math.
Megan R on Feb 10, 2016
Heard that this is a good program from a few other homeschooling moms
Adrienne N on Jan 24, 2016
Using 1A and now need to do B.
Susan S on Jan 12, 2016
We are using Singapore Math 1A and really liking it. I think the teacher's book is essential - it is a great resource for lesson plans and scheduling, plus it has several pages of printables and mental math exercises at the back.
Katherine K on Dec 26, 2015
I am going to try Primary Math with my oldest student, to see if we can reinforce the Miquon we've been using!
Pauline P on Dec 7, 2015
I am teaching my 6- and 7-year-old Singapore Math Level 1 this year.
Jennifer M on Nov 2, 2015
the reviews are really good and my children have been learning so much for the workbooks.
Tara B on Oct 6, 2015
we used this program for kindergarten and want to continue use for first grade.
Molly C on Apr 29, 2019
After reading dozens of reviews, my husband (a secondary math teacher) was most impressed with Singapore Primary Math's emphasis on higher-ordered thinking.
Anne D on Aug 25, 2018
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