Which is the best Singapore Math curriculum? This is one of the questions we get asked quite often. The question should be, which is the best Singapore Mathematics curriculum for you? And by that, we mean you being the instructor, the parent, or the student. What are you looking for, what features are important to you?
Age of Curriculum
The first Singapore Mathematics curriculum that became available in the US was the Primary Mathematics US Edition which was based on the 1982 curriculum by the Ministry of Education in Singapore. Some prefer it saying that it was the curriculum that put Singapore on the list of best-performing countries in the Trends in Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS). Singapore has not used Primary Mathematics in decades and it has consistently ranked among the top. The Ministry of Education in Singapore is continually working to stay updated and relevant with the latest pedagogy. That being said, there are also many other factors other than a math curriculum that would contribute to why students in Singapore do so well.
Some parents prefer the older editions of Primary Mathematics due to the availability of home instructor’s guides and also how the textbooks and workbooks are presented for ease of use and teaching. These have also been tried and tested over the years. It’s important especially for homeschoolers to find a curriculum you are comfortable with.
The curriculums that are more recent include Primary Mathematics 2022, Math in Focus 2020, and Dimensions Math (2019).
Currently, only Math in Focus and Dimensions Math go up to Grade 8. The material for Dimensions Math Grades 6 to 8 is of a different presentation than Grades 1 to 5. Some parents felt that there was little continuity as the look, feel, and presentation were different.
The other Singapore Mathematics curriculums stop at either Grade 5 or 6. That isn’t to say you should not look at the curriculums that don’t go to a higher grade. You can transition to a curriculum that goes to Grade 8 if you wish to continue with one of the Singapore Mathematics curriculums.
2-in-1 Student Book
Math in Focus 2020 and Primary Mathematics 2022 offer a student book in color instead of a separate workbook and textbook. Some prefer this for ease of use.
The student book for Math in Focus 2022 and Primary Mathematics 2022 which are both consumables are in color.
For the other curriculums, the textbooks are usually in color but not the workbooks.
Take a look at the different lesson components of each curriculum. Which do you prefer? You can find them as sample pages on most online retailers.
Math in Focus 2020 (Engage, Learn, Hands-On Activity, Try, Independent Practice. Additional Features: Recall your knowledge, Math Talk, Math Sharing, Game, Let’s Explore, Math Journal, Put On Your Thinking Cap, Chapter Wrap Up, Chapter Review, Assessment Prep, Performance Task, STEAM)
Primary Mathematics 2022 (Chapter Opener, Task, Learn, Activity, Learn Together, Practice on your own. Other features: Recall, Math Talk, Chapter Practice, Think, Performance Task, STEAM, Solve! Heuristics)
Dimensions Math (Chapter Opener, Think, Learn, Do, Exercise, Practice, Review)
Teacher and Home Instructor Guides
While all the curriculums have a teacher’s guide, not all the curriculums have a home instructor’s guide. If you are a home instructor and it’s important to you to have a guide, look at a curriculum that has one.
Supporting and Supplementary Material
In the table below, you will see how each curriculum differs in the supporting and supplementary material available (e.g. tests and differentiated material)
Math in Focus 2020 has the most comprehensive and impressive digital resources but its main users are schools where teachers use it with students.
Primary Mathematics 2022 has EdHub with digital resources. The reteach and extensions workbooks are available digitally.
Currently, only Math in Focus is available in both English and Spanish.
Most of the consumables (student books, workbooks, textbooks) for the different curriculums are pretty affordable.
Remember that you need an A and B book for most Textbooks, Workbooks, and Student Books. At the time of this writing, these were the costs we found. This is just to give you a rough idea.
A student Book for Math in Focus 2020 costs roughly between $13 and $16.
A student Book for Primary Mathematics 2022 costs about $13
A textbook for Dimensions Math costs about $14 and a workbook costs $14 as well.
A textbook for Primary Mathematics US Edition ranges from $15 to $16 and a workbook costs about $15-$16 as well.
The teacher’s guide for Math in Focus 2020 is more costly than other curriculums. At the time of this writing, the teacher’s guide for Math in Focus 2020 was $143.85 on Rainbow Resource. The teacher’s guide for Dimensions Math was $31.50. A teacher’s guide for Primary Mathematics 2022 was about $56. As mentioned earlier, Math in Focus 2020 is used more widely in school settings.
You may find second-hand books that might reduce your cost.
Common Core Alignment
Some parents have asked how the Singapore Mathematics curriculums align with the common core.
You can find the common core alignment of some of the curriculums here.
Which is the best Singapore Math Curriculum?
We recommend comparing the different aspects of the curriculum and also looking at sample pages. You can find sample pages on Rainbow Resource or Singapore Math Inc.
Picking the best curriculum would mean picking one that would work best for your child, yourself, or your school.
We hope that this article has helped make your decision-making process a little easier.
Singapore Math Curriculum Comparison Chart
You can find chapter comparisons of the different curriculums here.
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