New Mathematics Counts

These have been phased out by the US distibutors of Singapore Math; we can no longer obtain them. recommends instead the Discovering Math series.

Of all the secondary math courses available from Singapore, the New Mathematics Counts series is the least expensive and easiest to use. It is also the most "standard" or "traditional" Singapore text, as it covers those topics American children are typically expected to cover in high school and does so at a more typical pace. These aren't flashy texts and there aren't a bunch of fun (but ultimately not very pertinent) exercises; students are expected to learn math, and the course authors present math and nothing more.

How Do These Work?

Five grade-specific student texts cover grades 7-11. There are no teacher materials, solutions manuals, or workbooks. The student text contains answers to the problem set exercises, but no solutions. There are periodic chapter assessments which are essentially tests with answers in the very back of the book. One of the keys here is review—consistent review of past topics ingrains the ideas in the student's head and instead of forgetting what they already learned when a new idea appears, students learn to retain knowledge while adding new knowledge.

Each chapter begins with a clear introduction of the topic. Concrete examples are presented first, followed by abstract principles. This ordering is intended to more thoroughly cement the easy-to-understand information in the student's thinking so the more difficult material will stick better as well. A chapter overview following the introduction provides learning objectives for that section so students will know what to look for and concentrate on.

Like other secondary Singapore programs, New Mathematics Counts follows a clear progression, moving from arithmetic review in the first book through introductory, intermediate, and advanced algebra and geometry, and finishing with an introduction to advanced math. The pace is fairly relaxed, and most of the problems are less difficult than those found in other Singapore texts.

This is more or less a student-directed course. The student text is self-contained. There are no supplementary or teacher materials, so any actual teaching would have to be done on the instructor's initiative. Since the exercises and general content arc are relatively easy (as far as any good high school math program could be considered "easy"), teacher participation shouldn't be necessary. Again, as with other Singapore titles, if your student struggles with math, you ought to look elsewhere for a secondary program.

Our Honest Opinion:

If you want a solid, largely self-taught high school math program, this is a good choice. Of course, if your child needs help and you don't have a strong math background, the lack of teacher support can be frustrating for you and for him. For those who want the good aspects of a Singapore math course and don't have the time or skills to teach one, New Mathematics Counts may be just what you're looking for. Using the proven method of progressing from concrete examples to abstract reasoning, the course introduces and familiarizes students with all the important elements of mathematicsl study they will need for most jobs and for further math study in college.

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