The Process Skills in Problem Solving workbooks can be used alongside any math program but they follow along most closely with the various editions of Primary Mathematics (Singapore Math). Because Primary Mathematics is more advanced than many other programs, you might use Level 1 alongside the second grade program from another publisher and similarly use one level lower with third through sixth or seventh grades. For example, Process Skills in Problem Solving Level 2 begins with begins with lessons that assume that students already know how to add and subtract three-digit numbers with borrowing and carrying.
The goal of these books is to help children learn to think mathematically. They use models, charts, diagrams, and word problems to help students organize and visualize mathematical information for solving word problems. Books also include critical thinking type problems that are more like puzzles. All of this works to stretch students’ mathematical thinking skills.
Books vary in their layout from level to level. For example, the first half of the Level 2 book addresses math topics such as “addition within 1000” and “multiplication and division by 4,5 and 10” while the second half is heavily focused on critical thinking and strategies for problem solving. Level 4 arranges all lessons under math topics, incorporating strategies and critical thinking into each lesson.
All lessons in these books begin with two or more examples and solutions before children are given problems to solve on their own. Children should show their work whenever it is appropriate since the process is what is being taught. Parents need to see whether the child understands the process rather than coming up with an alternate way to solve a problem. Answer keys with solutions are at the back of each book.
Process Skills books are probably most useful for enrichment for the child who readily grasps basic math, but they might also prove useful for students who struggle if you take the time to work through lessons together and assist as needed. Parents will probably have to work through at least the examples with all children in the younger grades, but older children might be able to work through them independently.