kitchen table math, the sequel: Japanese math textbooks

Monday, January 15, 2007

Japanese math textbooks


Instructivist links to a video of a presentation on constructivist math by David Klein and James Milgram hosted by Where's the Math.

I haven't seen it yet, but apparently Klein mentions a translated Japanese middle school curriculum he likes.

Instructivist thinks Klein is referring to these books:

[14] Mathematics 2: Japanese Grade 11 - Kunihiko Kodaira, Editor - AMS, 1997, 262 pp., Softcover, ISBN-10: 0-8218-0582-7, ISBN-13: 978-0-8218-0582-4, List: US$32, All AMS Members: US$26, MAWRLD/9

[15] Basic Analysis: Japanese Grade 11 - Kunihiko Kodaira, Editor - AMS, 1996, 184 pp., Softcover, ISBN-10: 0-8218-0580-0, ISBN-13: 978-0-8218-0580-0, List: US$26, All AMS Members: US$21, MAWRLD/11

[16] Algebra and Geometry: Japanese Grade 11 - Kunihiko Kodaira, Editor - AMS, 1996, 174 pp., Softcover, ISBN-10: 0-8218-0581-9, ISBN-13: 978-0-8218-0581-7, List: US$26, All AMS Members: US$21, MAWRLD/10

[17] Mathematics 1: Japanese Grade 10 - Kunihiko Kodaira, Editor - AMS, 1996, 247 pp., Softcover, ISBN-10: 0-8218-0583-5, ISBN-13: 978-0-8218-0583-1, List: US$32, All AMS Members: US$26, MAWRLD/8

I have in my own files this list, which may be the same as Instructivist's books:
Resource Materials available from the UCSMP Director's Office

• Soviet Studies in Mathematics Education, vols. 7-8
• Japanese Grade 7 Mathematics
• Japanese Grade 8 Mathematics
• Japanese Grade 9 Mathematics
• Russian Grade 1 Mathematics
• Russian Grade 2 Mathematics
• Russian Grade 3 Mathematics
• Developments in School Mathematics Education around the World, vols. 1-3

About UCSMP's Translation Series
Translations of Japanese Elementary textbooks are sold here: Global Resources. (Klein didn't mention these, I gather. I have no idea whether he's seen them.)

You can look at sample pages here

Myrtle (hi, Myrtle!) found this link: Japan: A Different Model of Mathematics Education (pdf file)

I still can't do these middle school entrance problems. At least, not the first one. Not in two minutes.

sigh

UPDATE: Yes, I can.

In fact, I may even be able to do this problem in 2 minutes.

Saxon Math to the rescue.

12 comments:

Mark Roulo said...

One of the interesting (and possibly unique) features of the Russian math series is that they introduce two-part word problems in 1st grade (which might be 7 year olds in Russia).

A one-parter is something like:
"John has 3 balloons. Mary has 4 balloons more than John. How many balloons does Mary have?"

A two parter is:
"John has 3 balloons. Mary has 4 balloons more than John. How many balloons do they have all together?"

I like this.

-Mark Roulo

Mark Roulo said...

There is also a Japanese grades 1-6 series that has been translated into English here.

I have copies. Interesting (and superficially quite similar to Singapore Math).

-Mark R.

Anonymous said...

Sweet! That'll give me something to chew on.

Catherine Johnson said...

Mark - is that the same series I linked to?

(maybe I should check before asking...)

Catherine Johnson said...

yup, that's it

that's the link in the post

Mark Roulo said...

The Russian series is the same as in your link (and I got my Russian books from the UCSMP folks). I don't know if the Japanese 7-9 are the same series as the Japanese 1-6 to which I provided a link.

-Mark Roulo

Catherine Johnson said...

I left a link lower in the post - those are the Japanese elementary books.

Anonymous said...

Hi,
I'm interested in homeschooling material and have been reading your posts. It's really hard to tell from the internet sites just how good the material is. Do you recommend it as an add-on to school curricula that are less than excellent? Are they fun to work with for kids? Why is a Math book in 2nd grade (Russian one) 300 pages long??? For those who own the Russian and Japanese 2nd grade books, do you have a preference from the viewpoint of a child who has to work with it?

Anonymous said...

To anonymous,

I can't tell the difference between the Japanese books and the Singpore series. There aren't enough sample pages available on their website.

Generally, the best thing to do is have your child take a placement test (Saxon, Singapore, etc) and start from there. They are available for free and you can print it out and do this at home.

Even if your child tests several grade levels below where he is currently placed in public school just pick up and go with wherever he places and he'll quickly make progress, probably much more than a grade level per year because you can make more progress in a one on one tutorial situation. He will catch up.

Because there is no magic approach in successful programs, it's not advisable to simply try to teach a single topic at a particular grade level. There was long sweaty process of developing the subskills that are needed for any particular topic and those are treated well before whatever particular difficulty that your child may be having.

If you plan on working with your child after school count on a "math session" taking half as long as it does it school. (You don't have to call roll, collect papers, etc.)

The math program I use has many entertaining activities but it is not always fun every day.

Anonymous said...

Hello Myrtle,
thanks for your response.
Based on this timss.bc.edu study we should be using Singapore Math anyway - since they are consistently top in performance.

You are right about taking less time to study material at home than in school! But the motivation factor is different. It's one thing to do something because mom says so and quite another if teacher says so. :-) So mine had better be fun-looking.

Anonymous said...

what is the difference between the middle school Japanese Mathematics by UCSMP translation series and the Singapore NEM?

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