Materials approved by the Oregon State Board of Education for 2009-15
About Singapore Math
go to other mathematics links on this page
State-Adopted Instructional Materials for Mathematics, 2009-2015
Carolina Biological Supply Co., Math Out of the Box, c. 2009
Category 2 Mathematics, Grades K-5/6
HMH Supplemental Publishers, Inc., Saxon Math, c. 2008
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt School Publishers, Math Expressions, c. 2009
Kendall/Hunt Publishing Co. Math Trailblazers, c. 2008
Macmillan/McGraw-Hill, Math Connects, c.2009
Pearson Scott Foresman, Investigations in Number, Data, and Space, c. 2008
Pearson Scott Foresman, enVisionMATH, c. 2009
SingaporeMath.com, Inc. Earlybird Kindergarten Mathematics Standards Edition and Primary Mathematics Standards Edition, c. 2008
The Math Learning Center, Bridges in Mathematics, c. 2007, 2008
Wright Group/McGraw-Hill, Everyday Mathematics, Third Edition, c. 2007, 2008
Category 3 Mathematics Education, Grades 6-8
Glencoe/McGraw-Hill, Math Concepts and MathScape, c. 2009 & 2007
HMH Supplemental Publishers, Inc., Saxon Math, c. 2007
Holt McDougal, Holt Mathematics, Holt Algebra 1, McDougal Littell Pre-Algebra, MathThematics, Algebra Readiness and Math Intervention, c. 2007 & 2008
Pearson Prentice Hall, Connected Mathematics, c. 2009
Pearson Prentice Hall, Prentice Hall Mathematics, c. 2008
SMc Curriculum, Oregon Focus on Math, c. 2008
Wright Group/ McGraw-Hill, The University of Chicago School Mathematics Project, Pre-Transition Mathematics, Grade 6, Transition Mathematics, Grade 7, Algebra, Grade 8, c. 2009 & 2008
NEW With Fractions, Common-Core Training goes beyond "Invert and Multiply" by Liana Heitin for Education Week, August 12, 2014. Blog article links to the presentation M106 in the Maryland College and Career Readiness Conference (below).
Mathematic [sic] Sessions from the College and Career Readiness Conference at the University of Maryland
NEW Alberta Education Shrugs Off Concerns: an article from the Edmonton Journal, February 16, 2014. At the bottom of the story, there is a set of links to earlier stories on the introduction of "conceptual math" curricula into Alberta.
Paul L. Morgan, George Farkas, Steve Maczuga, "Which Instructional Practices Most Help First-Grade Students With and Without Mathematics Difficulties?" Published online first in Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, June 25, 2014
Youtube presentation by co-author Paul L. Morgan: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xCAzLGSZ6aM#t=22
News release: http://www.aera.net/Newsroom/NewsReleasesandStatements/StudyTeachersMoreLikelytoUseIneffectiveInstructionWhenTeachingStudentswithMathematicsDifficulties/tabid/15561/Default.aspx
Full Text: http://epa.sagepub.com/content/early/2014/06/20/0162373714536608.full
"Right and wrong methods for teaching first graders who struggle with math" from the "Education by the Numbers" blog on the Hechinger Report website: http://educationbythenumbers.org/content/kumon-worksheet-style-drilling-might-effective-little-kids-struggle-math_1564/
[From the Blog post]
"First grade teachers facing a class full of students struggling with math were more likely to turn to music, movement, and manipulative toys to get their frustrated kids engaged, finds a new study in the journal Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis. Yet researchers found these techniques did not help—and in some cases hindered—learning for the students having the most difficulty..."
"Skill-based Sorting in an Era of College Prep for All" by Elaine M. Allensworth and Takako Nomi http://ccsr.uchicago.edu/sites/default/files/publications/Sorting%20Brief_0.pdf Recommended. A research review by the University of Chicago Consortium on Chicago School Research, March 2014. This brief summarizes the results of ten separate studies of Chicago's "Algebra for All", Double dose Algebra and College Prep for All. Nor surpisingly, the study finds that results are mixed: the authors found that how schools sort students is as important as the content students are exposed to.
Below are two of the more striking conclusions:
The worst-performing teacher-preparation programs are producing about two-thirds of all American middle-school math teachers. Moreover, If American math teachers were to have the same background as teachers in Taiwan, they would have to be recruited from the top quarter of American 8th. graders. College courses taken by nearly all middle school teachers in the most successful countries included beginning Calculus, Calculus, Multivariate Calculus, Differential Equations, Linear Algebra and Probability.
Achievement Effects of Four Early Elementary School Math Curricula: Findings for First and Second Graders, by Roberto Agodini, Barbara Harris, Melissa Thomas (Mathematica Policy Research, Inc) and Robert Murphy, Lawrence Gallagher (SRI International), Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education October 2010
What's Wrong with the New Math Curriculum? a post by Karen Smith, a parent in Maryland
More Oregon students are getting math class, By Betsy Hammond, The
Oregonian November 07, 2009, 7:50PM
"Oregon math teachers have moved middle schoolers far enough ahead in math that the typical eighth-grader now can do math at nearly the same level as many high school sophomores.
Middle school students in every racial, ethnic and income group show greater mastery of mathematics -- including algebraic reasoning, statistics and geometry -- than they did three years ago.
Educators attribute much of the progress to Oregon's embracing a national recommendation to drastically scale back the number of math topics covered in each grade. ......"
Report of the National Mathematics Advisory Panel
Education Panel Lays Out Truce In Math Wars Effort to Fix 'Broken' System Sets Targets for Each Grade, Avoids Taking Sides on Method By JOHN HECHINGER for the Wall Street Journal March 5, 2008; Page D1
"A presidential panel, warning that a "broken" system of mathematics education threatens U.S. pre-eminence, says it has found the fix A laserlike focus on the essentials. The National Mathematics Advisory Panel, appointed by President Bush in 2006, is expected to urge the nation's teachers to promote "quick and effortless" recall of arithmetic facts in early grades, mastery of fractions in middle school, and rigorous algebra courses in high school or even earlier. Targeting such key elements of math would mark a sharp departure from the diverse priorities that now govern teaching of the subject in U.S. public schools."
Final Report on the National Survey of Algebra Teachers for the National Panel, September 27, 2007. Recommended
Most Algebra teachers felt their students' preparation was "weak" and the skill areas of greatest concern were rational numbers, word problems and study habits. A slight majority of the teachers consider a lack of ability grouping to be a moderate or serious problem--and teachers in schools that did not offer ability grouping were more likely to consider this a serious problem (See Research Question 11)
National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, Focal Points http://www.nctm.org/focalpoints/intro.asp The new grade-based skills recommended by the NCTM
Content Review of CPM mathematics by Wayne Bishop, Department of Mathematics and Computer Sciences, California State University, Los Angeles:
"Much of Volume 1 actually detracts from developing algebraic competence. Almost all of the mathematical content is at the level of the Grade 7 standards or below, e.g., the equations to be solved all are, but the activities are still very time consuming and sometimes frustrating. The worst of all, however, is not teaching the power of algebra itself. Unit 4: 123 is TOOL KIT CHECK UP and it is mandated that it contain Guess and Check tables, and "cups and tiles to model solving equations." This is not algebra and it is not college preparatory math, no matter what it calls itself. Eventually, Volume 2 starts teaching some algebra but it is too little and too late." http://mathematicallycorrect.com/cpmwb.htm
Adding it up: Helping Children Learn Mathematics, Mathematics Learning Study Committee: Jeremy Kilpatrick, Jane Swafford, and Bradford Findell, editors, Center for Education, Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education, National Research Council. Recommended.
"In comparison with the curricula of countries achieving well on international comparisons, the U.S. elementary and middle school mathematics curriculum has been characterized as superficial, “underachieving,” and diffuse in content coverage. ...Students invariably spend considerable time on topics they encountered in the previous grade.26 At the beginning of each year and of each new topic, numerous lessons are devoted to teaching what was not learned or was learned inadequately the year before. Because the curriculum is consequently so crowded, depth is seldom achieved, and mastery is deferred. ... The massive amount of review created by the inadvertent de facto curriculum set by textbooks wastes learning time and may bore those students who have already mastered the content. Such constant review is also counterproductive. It is much easier to help students build correct mathematical methods at the start than to correct errors that have been learned and practiced for a year or more." http://books.nap.edu/books/0309069955/html/R1.html#pagetop
The Brookings Institution released a review of the NAEP tests that concluded American tests are years behind the level of math included in the Singapore texts--partly because all the arithmetic used whole numbers. Tom Loveless, the author of the review also concludes that American students lost ground in the 1990s and many do not have the math skills they need to be successful later.
See his speech Trends in Math Achievement: The Importance of Basic Skills summarizing this work at at http://www.brookings.edu/views/speeches/loveless/20030206.htm
"Youngsters who have not mastered whole number arithmetic by the end of 4th grade are at risk of later becoming remedial students in mathematics. Half of the nation's nine year olds missed the multiplication and division items on the trend NAEP the last time the test was given.
A similar concern can be raised about the performance of thirteen and seventeen year olds. Their level of proficiency on computation skills remains unacceptably low. Look closely at fractions. Proficiency with fractions is critical in preparation for algebra. In 1999, only about half of thirteen and seventeen year olds could compute accurately with fractions on the NAEP. Students who leave eighth grade not knowing how to compute with fractions enter high school as remedial math students. Students who leave high school lacking proficiency with fractions are inadequately prepared for college mathematics. On the most recent trend NAEP, both age groups were less proficient at computing with fractions than in 1982, twenty years ago."
See also http://www.brookings.edu/dybdocroot/views/papers/20040415loveless.pdf on the use of calculators in testing
http://www.brookings.edu/gs/brown/bc_report/2004/2004report.htm on the NAEP/Singapore
Julie E. Riordan and Pendred E. Noyce, The Noyce Foundation: "The Impact of Two Standards-Based Mathematics Curricula on Student Achievement in Massachusetts" http://www.project2061.org/meetings/textbook/policy/papers/noyce.pdf
"Since the passage
of the Education Reform Act in 1993, Massachusetts has developed curriculum
frameworks and a new statewide testing system. As school districts align
curriculum and teaching practices with the frameworks, standards-based
mathematics programs are beginning to replace more traditional curricula.
This paper presents a quasi-experimental study using matched comparison
groups to investigate the impact of one elementary and one middle school
standards-based mathematics program in Massachusetts on student achievement.
The study compares statewide standardized test scores of fourth-grade
students using Everyday Mathematics and eighth-grade students using
Connected Mathematics to test scores of demographically similar students
using a mix of traditional curricula. Results indicate that students in
schools using either of these standards-based programs as their primary
mathematics curriculum performed significantly better on the 1999 statewide
mathematics test than did students in traditional programs attending matched
comparison schools. With minor exceptions, differences in favor of the
standards-based programs remained consistent across mathematical strands,
question types, and student sub-populations.
Journal for Research in Mathematics Education 2001, Vol. 32, No. 4, 368–398
" Flaws in the Evaluation Process" an article by Mark Clayton that appeared in the Christian Science Monitor in 2000, explains that the Department of Education's evaluation of the Connected Math project relied on research on the curriculum's effectiveness that was conducted by the authors of the project or their associates. This is part of a multi-article series in the CSM on American Mathematics instruction. The other articles (listed in the sidebar) are no longer available through the original links, but they were re-printed by NYC Hold and the series can now be found at
The Relationship Between Using Saxon Middle School Math and Student Performance on Texas Statewide Assessments April 2005. A report commissioned by Harcourt Brace from PRES associates. Finds a slight benefit for non-gifted students in the Saxon series.
Conference Summary:" Does Two plus Two Still Equal Four: What should our children know about math?" Sponsored by the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research http://www.aei.org/cs/cs020304.htm
"Some of my ideas about mathematics programs" by W. Stephen Wilson, professor of mathematics at Johns Hopkins University. http://www.math.jhu.edu/~wsw/ED/ Includes his comments on what students must know to be prepared for college mathematics http://www.math.jhu.edu/~wsw/ED/panel
"Basic Skills versus Conceptual Understanding: A Bogus Dichotomy in Mathematics Education" by H. Wu from the American Educator. This article is especially valuable for its discussion of the fundamental concepts embedded in common mathematics algorithms such as performing division of fractions by inversion and multiplication.
"Another Everyday math horror story" http://groups.yahoo.com/group/GTAletters/message/6821
The Fordham Report on State Mathematics Standards: http://www.edexcellence.net/standards/math/math.htm
An Appraisal of Math Standards in 46 States, the District of Columbia, and Japan by Ralph A. Raimi and Lawrence S. Braden. A scathing series of comments on various state mathematics curriculum standards by two well-qualified individuals. Raimi is professor emeritus of mathematics at the University of Rochester and former chairman of the math department (and graduate dean) at that institution. Braden has taught mathematics and science in elementary, middle, and high schools for many years in Hawaii, in Russia, and now in New Hampshire, at St. Paul's school. He is a recipient of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science and Mathematics Teaching. He holds a bachelor's degree in mathematics from the University of California and an M.A.T. in mathematics from Harvard. [from the website]. Oregon received a "D" from these authors.
The report is written in rather formal English and requires some patience but their comments deserve serious consideration by our state and local policymakers. Recommended.
League of Women Voters report on math education in California http://www.hobel.org/lwved/index.htm
The Education Committee of the Los-Altos-Mountain View League of Women voters has prepared a presentation entitled "Algebra And The New California High School Exit Exam: Will Our Children Be Prepared?" It contains numerous links to other reputable sources and seems to be the closest thing available to an unbiased history of the California math conflicts. Recommended.
2+2, Mathematically Correct website maintained by critics of "whole math" http://www.mathematicallycorrect.com/
GTAforum: the entire saga of an attempt by Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) to gain teacher training tied to the Connected Mathematics Program. Includes letters, newspaper articles both for and against. The opposition was led by the Gifted and Talented Association of Montgomery County (GTA). http://groups.yahoo.com/group/GTAletters/files/Mathematics/FUZZYMATH/
Math Forum From Swarthmore, provides a generally positive view of "math reform." also provides a Discussion list and many other links http://forum.swarthmore.edu/
"Math wars" from the McNeil/Lehrer news hour. Contains many references to Oregon. A typical News Hour report, with all sides represented http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/education/jan-june98/math_5-11.html
Parents Skilled at Math protest new Curriculum article from the L.A. times. Despite its title, a relatively balanced discussion of the California "math wars" http://mathematicallycorrect.com/colvin1.htm
The Politics of California School Mathematics: The Anti-Reform of 1997-99 By Jerry P. Becker and Bill Jacob. From the Phi Delta Kappan. A criticism of the views and actions of the "whole math" opponents by two professors of education. http://www.pdkintl.org/kappan/kbec0003.htm
NEW: Where's the Math.com: Washington State advocacy group http://www.wheresthemath.com/
See also: "Middle School Math Comparison for
Singapore Mathematics ......" below
( These are not related to the math wars.)
NEW Abacus: the Art of Counting with Beads http://www.ee.ryerson.ca:8080/~elf/abacus/
NEW Algebasics. A straightforward introduction to Algebra with narrative and examples http://www.algebasics.com/
American Mathematical Society http://www.ams.org/
AMSER Math Links: From the Scout Report's Applied Math and Science Education Repository, the section for Mathematics http://amser.org/SPT--BrowseResources.php?ParentId=972655
Dave's Short Trig Course A Short Course in Trigonometry
Dr. Mike's Math Games http://www.dr-mikes-math-games-for-kids.com/
Euclid's Elements http://aleph0.clarku.edu/~djoyce/java/elements/elements.html
NEW Explore the math twitter blogosphere created, according to the homepage by a "cohesive gaggle of obsessed math teachers"
Harvard Math Circle: website created by a group that started math enrichment classes in Cambridge
Historical Activities for the Calculus Classroom: a set of problems that challenged mathematicians in the past with illustrations and solutions
History of Mathematics website: From Clark University. Not as well organized as it might be, but a storehouse of information, including biographies of over 1,000 mathematicians. http://aleph0.clarku.edu/~djoyce/mathhist/mathhist.html
Hoagies Kids and Teens Math Links http://www.hoagiesgifted.org/math.htm a very entertaining collection of math contests, games, and child-friendly sites from the Hoagies site for gifted children. Recommended
The Integrator http://integrals.wolfram.com/
Internet Resources in Mathematics: From Langara College in British Columbia, a very large, well organized collection of sites that have been reviewed and annotated. Recommended. Note especially the pages for "resources, lists, and catalogues--General" which is a very large set of resources organized by topic. http://www.langara.bc.ca/mathstats/resource/internet.htm
NEW Kathy Shrock's Guide for Educators. Straightforward list of Math websites http://school.discovery.com/schrockguide/math.html
NEW The KnotPlot site http://www.pims.math.ca/knotplot/
NEW Life of Fred: a series of mathematics textbooks popular with home-schooling families. Fred encounters problems in his life and then used mathematics from arithmetic to calculus to solve them. Contains some mild Christian references. http://www.stanleyschmidt.com/FredGauss/index2.html
MacTutor History of Mathematics from St. Andrew's University. Includes an Index of Famous Curves, Birthplace Maps, Biographies, Mathematical Societies, timelines and so on. Well-organized and informative.
Mathcasts: A collection of demonstrations of math operations from elementary school through calculus. Requires the latest version of the Macromedia Flash Player. http://www.mathcasts.org/index.php?title=Main_Page
Mathematical Association of America Classroom Capsules collection of material issued by the MAA in printed form, now online http://mathdl.maa.org/mathDL/20/
Mathematical Fiction compiled by
Alex Kasman, Associate Professor in the College of Charleston Department of
Mathematics, listed by category (e.g. mystery, fantasy, children's books).
Mega-Math: A colorful and entertaining introduction to such topics as knot theory, the four color theorem etc .http://www.c3.lanl.gov/mega-math/
NEW Mathematical Imagery http://www.ams.org/mathimagery/ A great collection of links to math images but the one for the Visual Mathematics Journal (the bottom on the left) is LOADED with objectionable pop-up ads. The others seem fine.
NEW Napier's bones. From the Mathematical Association of America, a site about Napier and a demonstration of how his "bones" functioned .http://mathdl.maa.org/mathDL/3/?pa=content&sa=viewDocument&nodeId=1514
Online Teachers Resource Network in Australia, Math Links http://www.otrnet.com.au/Weblinks/lesson_resources.html
The Opinionator: Entertaining math blog from the New York Times, aimed at the "common reader" (i.e. not math specialists) http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/author/steven-strogatz/
The Pacific Institute for the Mathematical Sciences http://www.pims.math.ca/ at the University of British Columbia offers a host of appealing mathematical webpages. Select "Education" to find copies of their newsletter "Pi in the sky" which offers a wide range of math articles, problems and activities including cartoons http://www.pims.math.ca/education/ Topologists might want to install their Knot Plot.at http://www.pims.math.ca/knotplot/download.html
Plus Magazine From Great Britain. Lively and enjoyable. Don't miss their article on the Parliamentary debate on the quadratic equation in issue 29. http://plus.maths.org/index.html
Sphere Eversion a cool 20 minute video on topology:
Wolfram MathWorld http://mathworld.wolfram.com/ created and edited by Eric W. Weisstein. See also the section called MathWorld Classroom http://mathworld.wolfram.com/classroom/
Zona Land http://id.mind.net/~zona/
About Singapore Math
Singapore (the country) astonished educators by the very high performance of its students in the TIMSS (Third International Math and Science) tests--the international equivalent of NAEP in 1995 and again in 1999. Some people wondered what they were doing right and decided to take a look at the curriculum they were actually using in Singapore schools. Singapore students are taught in English. A company here in Oregon City decided to make these books available to American families and they have become very popular with TAG families and homeschooling families across the country. A few school districts have experimented with the series and have had very good results.
The Singapore Primary Math series is one of many different approaches to math that are on the list of materials approved for adoption by the State of Oregon
It was also approved by California
I am not associated in any way with the Singapore math books--I don't know anyone in the company and have read only one of the books all the way through. If you want to learn more about it, go to the company site at http://www.singaporemath.com/Default.asp
They also offer a very limited set of news articles on the site. My understanding, however, is that Singapore math is not simply a "back to basics" approach but also teaches thinking skills.
It's hard to find unbiased stories about Singapore Math. I have been following the saga of its use in Montgomery County, Maryland because I know someone there. It was adopted on a pilot basis in 2001. An article about the pilot appeared in the Washington Post on October 17, 2001--see
The principal supporters of the
program were TAG parents who were frustrated by the district's slow math
A study by the school district's own evaluation staff found that students in the Singapore pilot program schools significantly outperformed students in control programs after two years
And then....the Superintendent dropped the program on the grounds that it was inadequately aligned with the state curriculum standards
See also the testimony of John Hoven which provides a detailed comparison of the work expected of American students (as evidenced by the questions on the National Assessement of Educational Progres, NAEP) and that routinely expected in Singapore "Testimony of John Hoven On Behalf of The Center for Education Reform" This testimony was given in 2001.
and "Miracle Math" by Barry Garelick, an article on the Montgomery County story
Wikipedia article http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Singapore_Math_Method
For the use of Singapore Math in the Ingenuity program in Baltimore see http://www.ingenuityproject.org/
"Middle School Math Comparison for Singapore Mathematics, Connected Mathematics Program (CMP) and Mathematics in Context, a Summary (Including Comparisons with the NCTM Principles and Standards 2000" A summary of the November 2000 report submitted to the National Science Foundation by the Department of Applied Mathematics University of Washington.
that the best match with the NCTM standards is in the CMP and that the Singapore
series fails to teach "higher order thinking skills" and relies on knowledgeable
teachers. However, it also includes the following comments:
"The Algebra level in CMP and MIC appear to be almost two grade levels lower than in the Singapore materials. ... It is also our prediction that students wishing to take calculus before the end of their 12th grade year are likely not to be on track to do so after completing 8th grade CMP or MIC, but would be ready to do so after completing Singapore s SL2. We are not advocating that calculus in high school should be a goal for all students, but if this is the desired goal for certain students, the proper supplementation of CMP and MIC at an accelerated pace cannot be ignored. Moreover, we are skeptical about the possibility of maintaining the interest of high-end students while progressing at the pace necessitated by the discovery process, if care is not taken to individualize these discoveries for the students" (pp. 43- 49)
...In contrast to the most common math programs in the United States, Singapore math devotes more time to fewer topics, to ensure that children master the material through detailed instruction, questions, problem solving, and visual and hands-on aids like blocks, cards and bar charts. Ideally, they do not move on until they have thoroughly learned a topic. Principals and teachers say that slowing down the learning process gives students a solid math foundation upon which to build increasingly complex skills, and makes it less likely that they will forget and have to be retaught the same thing in later years. And with Singapore math, the pace can accelerate by fourth and fifth grades, putting children as much as a year ahead of students in other math programs as they grasp complex problems more quickly....
Singapore math a success so far in Fayette Co. By Jim Warren, Lexington Kentucky Herald Leader http://www.kentucky.com/142/story/1109176.html
.....Polly Anna Cox taught a calendar math lesson to her fifth-grade class at Liberty Elementary School, one of nine Fayette County schools that instituted a full Singapore math curriculum this year. Cox says she is teaching math at a "much higher level now."... Participating students are using a textbook called Math in Focus, which essentially is identical to the text used by about 80 percent of elementary students in Singapore, a tiny Asian city-state whose kids have been hitting the ball out of the park on international math assessments since the late 1990s. Fayette County is hoping for similar results.
At L.A. school, Singapore math has added value By Mitchell Landsberg Los Angeles Times Staff Writer March 9, 2008
"Here's a little math problem. In 2005, just 45% of the fifth-graders at Ramona Elementary School in Hollywood scored at grade level on a standardized state test. In 2006, that figure rose to 76%. What was the difference?
If you answered 31 percentage points, you are correct. You could also express it as a 69% increase.
But there is another, more intriguing answer The difference between the two years may have been Singapore math.
At the start of the 2005-06 school year, Ramona began using textbooks developed for use in Singapore, a Southeast Asian city-state whose pupils consistently rank No. 1 in international math comparisons. Ramona's math scores soared.
"It's wonderful," said Principal Susan Arcaris. "Seven out of 10 of the students in our school are proficient or better in math, and that's pretty startling when you consider that this is an inner-city, Title 1 school."