Comparing Singapore Math Materials: Textbooks

In Part 1, I shared some examples from the Teacher’s Guide from four sets of materials used in Singapore and the United States.

The materials are all from the third grade level:

  1. Primary Mathematics U.S. Edition (2003)  from
  2. Primary Mathematics Standards Edition (2008)  from
  3. My Pals Are Here Maths (2007) obtained in Singapore from Marshall Cavendish
  4. Shaping Maths (2007) obtained in Singapore from Marshall Cavendish

Following are the pages from each textbook unit on addition within 10,000  that introduces regrouping in the hundreds. As before, each thumbnail links to a full-sized file.

There are minimal differences between the U.S. and Standards editions. The Standards edition is in color and there are two additional prompts asking students to estimate their answer first, then check for reasonableness. The first example shows regrouping in the hundreds. Problems 1-5 ask students to recall addition with regrouping the ones or tens or hundreds.

U.S. Edition Textbook 3A:

USp24 USp25 USp26

Standards Edition Textbook 3A:

STp50 STp51 STp52

My Pals Are Here includes two pages of instruction, another page with directions to a game and a final page exploring regrouping in the hundreds. Problem 5b on page 29 is the only problem that demonstrates  regrouping in both the ones and hundreds places,  although students are only asked to find the missing ones value in one addend.

Note the example #2 on page 29 that spells out the concept in words  (5 hundreds + 8 hundreds). This is a great reminder of how teachers can model this concept in a classroom and is included in the Teacher’s Guide for Primary Math both U.S. and Standards editions ( 7 ones + 5 ones = 1 ten 2 ones).

My Pals Are Here Textbook 3A:


The Shaping Maths lesson is two pages of slightly more abstract description than My Pals Are Here. Place value disks are used instead of images of base-10 blocks.

Shaping Maths Coursebook 3A:

SMp32 SMp33

Which materials would you choose for your third grade classroom? Share your opinion in the comments!

Parts in the series:

Part 1 – Teacher’s Guides
Part 2 – Textbooks
Part 3 – Workbooks

About Cassy Turner

Passionate about Singapore Math + Teacher Trainer and Coach + Treasure Hunter + Learner. Answer to the ultimate question? 42.


  1. Tanya McAra says

    Hi, I hope you are well. Thank you for the comparison. Quick question which option would you go for… I am in Mauritius so am looking at My Pals are Here or Primary maths. Was keen on dimesion maths but they dont have grade 5 out yet. My daughter will do level 2 and my son level 5. I tested them on the placement test. I would like something using the metric system and that has a good teacher or home instructors guide. This will be my first year homeschooling. Thank you and have a wonderful day.

    • Hi Tanya! Dimensions Math grade 5 should be available soon. I think you’ll probably find it’s easier to get copies of My Pals are Here in Mauritius. All editions of Primary Math, Dimensions Math, and My Pals are Here have metric measurements. One benefit to Primary Math is that they do have a Homeschool Instructor’s guide, which many people find helpful. Dimensions Math and My Pals are Here have Teacher’s guides only.

      • Thank you so much for your reply. I have now finally narrowed it down to the primary maths standards version as I have been told this home instructors guide is better than the US version. Or dimensions maths, I have read some good things about this one. My son will do 4a and my daughter 1b. Which version would you start on. Also I have read that they start bar modeling in 3a so will my son miss out on this or should I go back to that level. Thank you for your time.

      • Tanya McAra says

        Hi Cassy thank you for your reply. After doing placement tests my son will do level 3 and my daughter level 1. I am now deciding between Standards version and Dimensions. What do you think. It is so hard to decide. I think my children would like the colour. Thank you and have a beautiful day.

        • Hi Tanya! Primary Math Standards Edition was written to meet California State Standards from 2007, pre-dating Common Core. The benefit to Dimensions Math is the enhanced hands-on component, which is where some teachers struggle. As adults, we’ve been doing the standard algorithms forever, so that’s easy to teach. It’s the underlying conceptual understanding that is new to many adults. Let me know what you decide! Enjoy Mauritius – I’ve always dreamed of going. As close as I’ve been is the Kenyan Coast…

  2. Hi,

    I’m torn between Primary Math, My Pals are here and Dimension Math for my Year 1 son. Will start my homeschooling journey in September. Have you made any post comparing these three?
    What is the basic difference between those three?
    What should I consider when choosing one of them?
    Which one is your preference and why?


    • Greetings Arvita,

      Any of the three will work. I suggest purchasing the Teacher’s Guide or, for Primary Math, the Homeschool Instructors Guide. These guides are aimed at adults teaching the materials and provided pedagogy and conceptual understanding that is needed to understand the student materials. I happen to love the new Dimensions books! Of course, I’m a reviewer and author of them, but I truly don’t think you can go wrong with any of the three series you are considering. The Primary Math US is the original edition published in the US in 2001. There is also a Common Core Edition of Primary Math that has assessments. It is slightly pricier. Dimensions Math is the most updated and inexpensive set of materials. The books are also available online. I’m not sure about the online availability of MPAH, as SIngapore tried online books and they did not find them to be very successful.

  3. Greetings Cassy,
    Could you please tell me where to find the solutions for the workbooks for My Pals Math are Here -4b? I just bought the workbooks and it came without solutions. Are the solutions in the Pupil Books? We use the Problem Solving Beyond the Classroom and I love it that detailed solutions are in the back of each book. Thanks, Ed

  4. Hello, I sent an initial comment but I don’t see it now, so I am sending another one.

    Hello, Cassy, could you please tell me where to find the solutions for the workbooks for My Pals are Here? Unlike CWP, Problem Solving Beyond the Classroom and Intensive (which we currently use) the workbook for MPH does not have detailed solutions in the back of the book. Are the solutions in the Pupil books for MPH? Thanks, Ed


  1. […] Part 1 and 2,  I shared examples from the Teacher’s Guides and Textbooks from four sets of materials used in Singapore and the United States. The materials are all from the […]

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