Numbers are a great joy in my house. I’m not exactly sure how it happened, but my kids love math! About a year ago, my son picked up a calculator and it became his favorite toy. He’d sit for hours typing in numbers and yelling from his room, “Mom, guess what 100 + 77 is??” As his love for numbers grew, we even had to implement a rule in our house, “no math before bed” because he’d get SO excited that he couldn’t fall asleep!
I’ve heard wonderful things about Singapore Math Inc. over the last few years, and was so excited to try it out for myself with the Homeschool Review Crew! We chose to check out level 2B of Dimensions Math PK-5 and have thoroughly enjoyed exploring this curriculum.
Math 2B consists of 8 chapters and covers mental calculations, multiplication and division of 3 and 4, money, fractions, time, capacity, graphs and shapes.
The first chapter on mental calculations caught me off guard. This wasn’t a method of problem solving that we had previously used; but the Teachers Handbook provided a review of what had been addressed in the previous curriculum. Mental math is a cornerstone of the Singapore Math Inc. method which teaches strategies to help students develop a flexibility in thinking about numbers (read more about that here). As we worked through the chapter, I really appreciated that they presented different ways to perform mental math instead of a right and wrong way to come up with the correct answer.
The following chapter on multiplication and division of 3 and 4 seemed to pick up seamlessly from where my son had previously studied, and he enjoyed the workbook pages (especially the challenge questions).
“Through the CPA approach (Concrete, Pictorial, Abstract), students first interact with objects they can relate to that model problem. In the pictorial phase, they make a mental connection between the objects they just handled and visual representations of those objects. For example, real oranges (or counters standing in for oranges) are now represented as drawings of oranges. In the abstract phase, students use symbolic modeling of problems using numbers and math symbols (+, -, x, ÷).”
In our time using it, my numbers-whiz-kid has deepened his understanding of numbers and equations and has gained the ability to mathematically think outside the box.
I found the Dimensions Math Teachers Guide is immensely helpful along our journey. Each lesson has fun activities and games, which required very little prep-work [that’s a huge plus for this tired mama!]. One of our favorite games used a bag of random coins. Each player would reach in and pull out a handful of change, calculate how much they grabbed, and the winner was the player who received the highest sum. In addition to the Teachers Guide, Singapore Math Inc. offers worksheets online through Blackline Masters programs and they even have cute videos for the smallest learners who are just starting their math journey!
I'm looking forward to continuing with this program, and am especially excited to learn about geometry the Singapore way!
Be sure to check out other Crew members reviews to hear their thoughts and learn about other levels of Dimensions Math PK-5!
is a writer & tired homeschooling mom of five.