Best Books to Support Singapore Math in the Classroom

Best Books to Support Singapore Math in the ClassroomLooking for materials to supplement your Singapore Math® curriculum?  Here are some ideas along with why I recommend (or don’t recommend) them:


Challenging Word problems Common Core 4Challenging Word Problems US & Standards Edition and Challenging Word Problems Common Core Edition – What’s great about this series is that it includes samples & on-grade level problems PLUS samples & challenge problems.

Intensive Practice books – Great for advanced students. There’s computation practice, problem solving practice and logic problems.


Extra Practice U.S. Edition and Extra Practice Common Core Edition – No instruction, but extra worksheets to use for practice, home enjoyment, etc. I really like the friendly notes in the Common Core Edition to share with parents.


Marshall Cavendish has a couple of new series’ available:

Problem Solving Beyond the ClassroomProblem Solving Beyond the Classroom – More problem solving using multiple heuristics, not just bar modeling. A great addition to the classroom and would probably replace Process Skills in Problem Solving on my classroom bookshelf.


Math Practice the Singapore Way 3Math Practice the Singapore Way – Some schools are using this book as summer review work for students to keep up their math skills. It’s one year’s worth of review in one book.


Math Challenge The Singapore Way 2 Math Challenge the Singapore Way – Haven’t delved too deeply, but this one looks good! I definitely want a copy on my shelf.



Visible Thinking in Mathematicsvisible-thinking-in-mathematics-3bVisible Thinking in Mathematics – I love these as they provide great additional visual examples. I’d buy a set for resource library/room/Special Ed. Dep’t.


And some books straight from Singapore. Expect to find durian fruit or rambutans, but no U.S. measurement or money.

Speed Maths Strategies – Not necessary as they teach the strategies incorporated into the curricular materials, but many grade 4 & up teachers like the level 2 & 3 books to backfill Mental Math strategies. You probably don’t need above level 4. Each strategy includes a week worth of learning & practice:

  • Challenge page (Can you answer 2 problems in 10 seconds?)
  • Two pages of explanation
  • a page of practice problems
  • a page of word problems applying the strategy
  • A speed & accuracy test

Process Skills in Problem Solving level 4 Process Skills in Problem Solving – Replaced my favorite iExcel Heuristic and Model Approach books. Solid content, yet visual formatting makes the books challenging.


Math Works Foundations  – This is a full series designed for grade 5 & 6 students that struggle with the grade level content. It reteaches many concepts from grades 1-4 incorporating them into the grade 5-6 content. I find they’re a great resource for your Resource Room, Spec. Ed (or whatever you’re calling that department.)

i-Excel Heuristic and Model Approach- These are great, but out of print. you might luck out on eBay.



SprintsDifferentiated Math Sprints – The Singapore Math® curriculum stresses the use of mental math. These sprint books are written with that in mind and are useful to all elementary teachers interested in developing mental math fluency in their children. They take the place of Rocket Math or other pencil and paper fluency programs.


Placement tests on Singapore – These are used by homeschoolers to determine which books their student should start in. Most schools use these to locate gaps in students background knowledge.

Carson Dellosa books (available at Barnes & Noble & Costco). If you have nothing better to spend a gift card on, I guess you could buy these.

carson Dellosa Singapore Math Practice 3aSingapore Math Practice – So which level do you buy? 3A for students in Grade 4? or for students in Grade 3? If you’re using a Singapore based curriculum, you’d buy 3A for a 3rd grader. I’d buy the Marshall Cavendish series: Math Practice the Singapore Way instead.


Singapore Mental Math 4Singapore Math Mental Math  – One example, ten problems for 52 weeks. Too much work, not enough focus on a strategy. Buy Speed Maths Strategies  instead.


Step by step problem solving 3

Again, I’d go with the Singapore versions, either Challenging Word Problems or Problem Solving Beyond the Classroom


Free previews of the  series from Frank Schaffer Publications based on the Singapore syllabus are available here.