Christine,

We have discussed many various options off and on, which means no one can truly answer your question right now except me.

For our newest guide that will be out in 2011, we are planning to schedule Discovering Mathematics 1A/1B. This is a Singapore product, which has replaced the New Elementary Math series in Singapore. It is much closer to the Primary Mathematics series that we currently schedule in our guides, and we really like the layout and set-up of it.

This is a new series and one that makes the transition from the Singapore Primary Math series to higher level math much easier than the New Elementary Math did. The steps are clearer, there are more practice problems, yet the higher level problem solving is retained. We would consider the Discovering Mathematics 1A/1B series to be the equivalent of Pre-Algebra (especially when combined with Primary Math 5A/5B and 6A/6B which also includes some pre-algebraic thinking). Discovering Mathematics 1A/1B also includes some Algebra I and Geometry concepts. So, it actually goes beyond a typical Pre-Algebra program.

Our current thinking, which can always change as we go, would be to schedule the entire Discovering Mathematics series. We would consider DM 1A/1B to be Pre-Algebra +. We would consider DM 2A/2B to be worthy of Algebra I credit. It also includes some geometry. We would consider DM 3A/3B to be worthy of Geometry credit, however it would be necessary to have done some of the earlier DM's (or a different program's intro. to geometry) to award a full credit, as geometry is also included in DM 1A/1B and 2A/2B. DM 3A/3B also includes some Algebra II and some Trigonometry. We would consider DM 4A/4B to be worthy of Algebra II credit. It includes some advanced math topics as well and some trigonometry, plus a review of previous concepts. Again to award full Algebra II credit, it would be necessary to have done DM 3A/3B too.

After this point there is an Advanced Math, which has two halves. The first half is mainly Pre-Calculus (including Trigonometry). The second half is mainly Calculus. In Singapore, we understand that the Advanced Math is used at the same time as DM 3A/3B and DM 4A/4B (over two years for those going on to higher education). For U.S. purposes, it seems to fit better to do the AM after DM 4A/4B. Advanced Math can be divided over two years if desired.

There are placement tests in place for DM 1A/1B and DM 2A/2B with tests coming soon for DM 3A/3B and DM 4A/4B. It is not necessary to have come from a Singapore background to use DM, however it would definitely make the transition easier. In order for students to follow the Discovering Mathematics path in middle school/high school, students should begin DM 1A/1B by grade 7 (usually at the earliest) or grade 8. For students who really struggle in math or are not going into a science-related field, beginning DM in grade 9 would be an option. This would be like doing Pre-Algebra in grade 9 though. It's important to remember that certain levels of math are necessary for science purposes in high school, so students need to have completed Algebra I to do Chemistry (meaning completing DM 2A/2B before doing Chemistry). Physics requires students to use Algebra I, Geometry, and basic Trigonometry (meaning completing DM 2A/2B, DM 3A/3B, and working on DM 4A/4B or having completed it by the time Physics is taken.) Advanced science requires Pre-Calc as well (meaning working on or completing AM 1st half by this point or concurrently).

The Discovering Mathematics series does wait on some advanced math topics until the Advanced Math series. So, if you have a strong science student who will need these math concepts to do the science courses, and you are following the Discovering Mathematics path, you'd want to complete DM 1A/1B as a 7th grader and DM 2A/2B as an 8th grader. This would set your science-minded student up on a strong, rigorous math path and would be the equivalent of doing Pre-Algebra and Algebra I before high school (plus some additional topics). Students who wish to do Algebra I as a freshman, would do DM 1A/1B as an 8th grader instead, and then do DM 2A/2B as a freshman. Even though DM waits on some advanced topics (like logs and polynomials) until AM, the program is very strong in problem-solving, mental math, and higher level thinking (while adding other topics like Geometry and some Trig. that aren't typically covered until later), so the program isn't "behind" in its coverage. It is just set up differently. So, here is the breakdown as you ponder your options:

DM 1A/1B = Pre-Algebra, some Algebra I, and some Geometry (equivalent to Pre-Algebra, especially when combined with Primary Math 6A/6B)

DM 2A/2B = Algebra I, some Geometry, (award Algebra I credit)

DM 3A/3B = some Algebra II, Geometry, some Trigonometry (award Geometry credit when combined with prior Geometry work)

DM 4A/4B = some advanced topics, some Trigonometry, some review (award Algebra II credit when combined with DM 3A/3B)

AM (1st and 2nd half) = 1st half mainly Pre-Calculus including Trigonometry; 2nd half mainly Calculus (can be done over two years)

After this, if your student is done and still has a senior year of math left, he/she could do an advanced math course of choice.

At this point, we will schedule DM 1A/1B in our next guide and see how it goes. I just wanted to set forth a potential plan for those who may be wondering how they could stay on the Singapore path and still be prepared for high school level science coursework and award needed math credit.

Blessings,

Carrie