If your child has difficulty with division and fractions, or still hasn’t mastered regrouping in subtraction, then you’ve probably sat shoulder to shoulder at the kitchen table and coached him. If that hasn’t worked, you might wonder if he lacks a math gene (or whether it’s your own grasp of math that’s lacking).
At Eagles Learning center, we teach Singapore Math method. It is a highly effective teaching approach originally developed by Singapore’s Ministry of Education for Singapore public schools. The method has been widely adopted in various forms around the world over the past twenty years following the introduction of the curriculum to the U.S. in 1998.
The Singapore math method is focused on mastery, which is achieved through intentional sequencing of concepts. Some of the key features of the approach include the CPA (Concrete, Pictorial, Abstract) progression, number bonds, bar modeling, and mental math. Instead of pushing through rote memorization, students learn to think mathematically and rely on the depth of knowledge gained in previous lessons.
An attitude that math is important and approachable is also essential. Students perform at a higher level when their potential for understanding and success is assumed.
So how is this different from the way math is widely taught in normal schools?
In typical math programs, students get a worked example, then solve problems that very closely follow that example, repeating all the same steps with different numbers. In Singapore math, students must think through concepts and apply them in new ways from the very start. Since they can’t rely on simple replication, students are pushed to greater engagement and broader thinking.
In U.S. math programs, concepts and skills are more compartmentalized within and across grade levels than in Singapore math, where a strong sense of connectivity to past learning is woven throughout.
Singapore math not only helps students become more successful problem solvers, it helps them gain a sense of confidence and resourcefulness because it insists on conceptual depth. This naturally prepares students to excel in more advanced math.