Thursday, February 28, 2019

Dimensions Math: A Singapore Math Review

Language Art subjects have always come natural to me and just simply made sense.  Math I had to work for.  I did well enough in high school, but it certainly took a lot more time and commitment.  While Mr. Butler (the engineer) is very good at math, I've always worried a bit that I might pass my math 'weakness' onto my kids.  As a result, when my oldest child (J) started 2nd grade I looked for the most thorough and extensive math curriculum I could find and began my first experience with Singapore Math Inc. Singapore's approach is to approach a concept from multiple avenues to ensure complete understanding which was exactly what I was looking for, so that we might avoid learning gaps as much as possible.  Today's review is of Singapore's Dimensions Math PK-5 series that I opted to use with my daughter (5 1/2 miss Z) since she hasn't used any of their curriculum yet.

For this review, we received Dimensions Math Teacher's Guide, Textbook and Workbook Level 1A.

The Teacher's Guide is intended for lesson planning help so it includes introductory notes, key points,  material lists, activity suggestions, and answers to the textbook and workbook problems.  This book covers everything you need to understand the curriculum and to facilitate optimal learning for your students.

The Textbook introduces new concepts with the intent to stimulate discussion and critical thinking through colorful pictures and curious scenarios.  By design, the textbooks are not to be written in, but  to be left blank to entertain various problem solving techniques.

The Workbook, as the name implies, includes exercises and problems for practicing what has been taught, challenging what they have learned and to check for understanding.  The pages in this book are gray-scale printed and intended to be written and colored in.

  There are also online resources available on their website for each level that assist in activities and the needs of the teacher.  These resources include printable activity materials, material lists for each chapter, videos, and book suggestions.

How We Used It:

For the majority of the time, we did one lesson every school day which included 2-4 pages in the textbook and 2-4 pages in the workbook.  Since I only have one student using this level and not a classroom, there wasn't as much opportunity for class activities or discussions, but my older son would periodically chime in when she had trouble with something.  For the various activities (largely from the online resources) we would usually incorporate him too, which they both enjoyed.

The activity seen in the pictures below is the Number Bonds to 10 Flash Cards that they used to test each other's knowledge of numbers combined to make 10.

What We Thought:

Since her older brother had used this brand of books for a while, miss Z was very excited to have her own books (like his).  In addition to that, she is very motivated to learn things, especially when it has to do with numbers.  So in a lot of ways, she makes it easy for me.  That being said, she is only 5 1/2 and because of that wasn't able to just speed through everything.  The procedure of the books was consistent and, even though she didn't always get it right away, the various tools they employed in each lesson helped her really understand what was going on.

From a teaching perspective, they provide everything I need in order to understand why they are doing what they are doing as well as plenty of options to reinforce things.  From a learning perspective, I feel like the way in which every concept builds on the last and the reviews that dip back into already learned material really sets the learner up to develop solid math muscles rather than just memorizing facts.  I feel really confident in this curriculum and will continue to use it with my daughter!

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Over 25 other families used various levels of this curriculum and could have had a different experience.  Follow the link below to see what they thought about it!

Dimensions Math PK-5 {Singapore Math Inc. Reviews}
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