What's the difference between Singapore Math and Japan Math?

We meet a lot of educators that say, "I've heard of Singapore Math, but what's the difference between them and you guys?"

Both Japan Math and Singapore Math are designed to be a focused and cohesive curriculum that the Common Core State Standards emphasize.  

Japan Math’s Primary Math International differs in that the instruction is not a mere cramming or provision of knowledge; but rather, it realizes learning through problem solving that elevates students’ various abilities.  In that sense, Japan Math tends to teach fewer concepts but in greater depth, and focuses on enabling the students’ to solve problems on their own.

Another difference is, Singapore Math offers a “concrete to pictorial to abstract” approach.  Primary Math International moves students from “concrete to semi-concrete to abstract”.  The principles may sound similar, however, a big difference lies in the format/style.  All of the units in Primary Math International are organized into the following steps:

  1. Try
  2. Understand
  3. Apply
  4. Master

Teachers can conduct the problem-solving-style lesson easily and smoothly by following the lessons laid out in the Lesson Book.

In our next blog, we'll break down each step, starting with "Try."


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