Sunday, April 3, 2016

What is Singapore Math?

Friends~What is Singapore Math?  I asked the exact same question when my school announced that we would be using Singapore in our elementary classes.  
It took me quite a while to figure out how to make it work in my first grade classroom.  The tricky thing is Singapore is change in thinking.  A change in how we think about numbers.  

What is Singapore Math?

Singapore Math focuses on children not just learning but also truly mastering a limited number of concepts each school year. The goal is for children to perform well because they understand the material on a deeper level; they are not just learning it for the test.

Singapore Math takes the student beyond the basic algorithm.   It is about mastery not memorization.
Students work through a 3 step learning process.

Concrete: Use of manipulatives like base ten blocks, dice, and chips.
Pictorial: Drawing pictures of mathematical concepts.
Abstract: The use of numbers and symbols

 In first grade, we spend a good amount of time working on number sense.  It is the foundation for future math.  Students learn to decompose and compose numbers with ease.  

In first grade we use the Math in Focus program by Singapore.  It has been fantastic to follow and implement in class! Below are some of the beginning skills that my kiddos worked with to build number sense. 

Now this is my 2nd year with Singapore and I will tell you the first year I felt like we were number bonding FOREVER!  I didn't see the benefit and was super worried that we were not teaching other skills. (We were digging deeper!)  

Here is the moment I became a true believer in the Singapore Process!  We moved to double digit numbers and began regrouping.  (I resisted teaching regrouping they way I always had and went with the Singapore way.)  All of a sudden they were regrouping in their heads!  Mental Math!!!!!

Check out this video of my kiddos regrouping on paper.  So incredible in first grade!

This school year math is my students favorite time of the day.  They love our math centers and each day I meet with a group or 2 at their level.  We work a daily word problem and practice our mental math.  

I am so thrilled with how this year has gone!

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