Lesson Plans that Simplify Singapore Math

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My husband and I love Singapore Math. It is a fantastic way to teach math, resulting in mastery of mathematical concepts and strong mental math and problem solving skills. It is one of the reasons why students in Singapore are among the top performers in international math exams, why private schools around the U.S. are adopting Singapore Math as their primary math curriculum (see this article) , and why homeschool curriculum providers such as Sonlight and Kolbe promote it. It is also one of Cathy Duffy’s Top 102 Picks.

As wonderful as it is, Singapore Math does have two drawbacks. First, it is up to the parent to co-ordinate assignments between the textbook, workbook, extra practice book, test book, and the mental math exercises. Unlike Saxon, where no planning is needed, Singapore Math requires parents to figure out what they will assign from each book each day. Second, one of the strong points of Saxon is that it provides daily review of previously learned concepts. Singapore focuses on mastery of each topic, but does not have daily review built into its program, something which is extremely beneficial for many students and necessary for some. A lot of review is provided, but only at the end of each chapter.

After having gone through the Primary Math series with my daughter, and with my other children using the program, I have figured out a way to overcome these two drawbacks. Over the years, I have created lesson plans for each level which co-ordinate the teacher’s guide, textbook, workbook, extra practice, test book, and mental math pages. I layered the topics like this (there is some variation depending on the chapter):

Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 5 Day 6 Day 7
Topic A textbook lesson Topic A workbook Topic A extra practice and mental math Topic A Test A Topic A Test B
Topic B textbook lesson Topic B textbook practice Topic B workbook Topic B extra practice and mental math Topic B Test A Topic B Test B
Topic C textbook lesson Topic C workbook
Topic D textbook lesson Topic D textbook practice Topic D workbook and mental math Topic C/D extra practice

I also split up the reviews and cumulative tests to provide for frequent review.

With these lesson plans, my kids start math on their own each day. They do not have to wait for me to give them a lesson, because the lesson for their assignment was given the day before. As soon as I can, I grade their assignments so I can assess how well they have understood the work. I help them with any corrections and then give them the lesson for the next day’s homework.

Using the textbook, workbook, extra-practice book, test book, and mental math pages, my kids get *a lot* of practice and review. All this really does lead to mastery and confidence.

If you want to use them, they are available here:

Free Primary Math lesson plans  for the Standards Ed.

And then, be sure to check out Thoughts and Tips on Teaching Singapore Math for additional help.

I hope you find them helpful and useful, and that your experience with Singapore Math is as rewarding as ours.





4 thoughts on “Lesson Plans that Simplify Singapore Math

  1. Thank you so much for this!!! My sister is a very well trained educator and we spent hours today trying to make heads & tails of the “Weekly Schedule” in the US Ed. Home Instructor’s Guide!! Question, when you say “topics” and “chapter” does that refer to the “Units” and “Parts” or “Parts” and “Sections”?

    [For reference: In the US Ed. 1A there are “Units” with 1-3 “Parts” in each, and each “Part” has 1-6 “Sections” (usually 1-2). Each “Section” assigns textbook and workbook pages, the workbook assignment is usually 1-2 exercises (that are spread over 1-4 pages.)]


    1. Hello! You are so welcome! I am glad you find this useful. Your question is a very good one. “Topics” refer to “sections”, meaning the small lessons that contain the text and workbook lessons. So, within each unit there are chapters, and each chapter has several topics (or sections). I realize that where I wrote “Topic Test A” and “Topic Test B”, I should have written “Chapter Test A” and “Chapter Test B”. That would have made things clearer for you! Hope this helps!


  2. I will be implementing Singapore Math with my daughter this next year – 2nd grade. We will start out with 1B. I have a couple of questions: Will your lesson plans also work for the US edition? Also, where do the Intensive Problems come in? Thank you!


    1. Hi Ava,
      These lesson plans will not work for the US edition; they are specific to the Standards Edition, which have a few more topics added to comply with national standards. The Intensive Problems are probably more aligned with the US Ed. than with the Standards Ed. (at least when I compare the Intensive Math 5B to the table of contents in the Standards 5B teacher’s guide.) We have not used the Intensive Practice, since I find that using all the Standard Ed. books provide enough practice and challenge. I hope all goes well with next year’s math for you!


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