# Why I LOVE Singapore Math

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As you know, I hate Everyday Math. I believe Singapore Math to be a far superior math curriculum.

Singapore Math allows children to master concepts with visual, concrete support. (As opposed to a brief overview in Everyday Math.)

I also love Singapore Math because my nine-year old, the one who hated math, now only sort-of-doesn’t-like-it and readily admits that her math teacher is the best teacher EVER. That’s a huge turn around from last year at this time!

## Singapore Math

I’m not a Singapore Math expert but here’s what I can tell you . . .

## Singapore Math Basics

Singapore Math “focuses on mathematical problem solving and emphasizes conceptual understanding, skills proficiency, learning of process skills, metacognition, and the development of a positive attitude toward mathematics,” writes Miss Seah Jiak Choo, Director-General of Education, Ministry of Education Singapore. (in The Singapore Model Method for Learning Mathematics) Read about the history of Singapore Math here.

Singapore Math Professional Learning Network says that the “authentic Singapore math pedagogy revolves the idea that fewer topics taught in greater depth at each grade level results in better understanding and retention.

[printable] Singapore Maths Primary Syllabus

## REASONING

My daughter’s teacher, Catherine Gozynski says, “Singapore Math develops reasoning. It’s not memorizing; it’s actual understanding. The big thing in fourth grade is, does this make sense?” She explains that in the primary grades, the emphasis is on place value.

## TENS-FRAMES

In Singapore Math, tudents use ten-frames to support concrete and visual understanding of place value, numeracy, mental math, fact families, etc. This is what JJ does in first grade. Go to NCTM for an interactive ten-frame to get the idea. See how cool it is? Concrete to visual to abstract!

## PICTORIAL or BAR MODELS

Students draw bar models to represent problems and concepts. Gorzynski explains, “The visual bar models help kids make sense of a problem. They are a problem solving tool taking the concrete to pictorial to abstract. It’s all about understanding the relationship and reasoning.”

I’ve copied a story problem below. Drawing the model helps a student solve this problem in a concrete-visual way.

Bar Model Apps for the iPad – here’s a screen shot:

## Singapore Math in the United States

Where can you purchase Singapore Math in the U.S.?

1. Math in Focus (MIF) from Houghton Mifflin Hardcourt (This is what my first and fourth grader use.)

3. Singapore Math options from Sonlight

4. We used these workbooks over the summer to get AJ used to Singapore Math.

another example:

## What do you think?

### 41 Responses

1. Right, I have never heard of Singapore Math, but it certainly sounds great. As a mom to a special needs child, the idea of “concrete to visual to abstract” is appealing. Using the tens-frames turns this lesson into a multisensory teaching experience, which is not only beneficial for all kids but often mandatory for special needs kids. Thanks so much for bringing this math program to my attention.

1. You’re welcome — it’s given my kids such solid math understanding! I think you’ll really like it.

2. Math has always been my favorite subject in school.

3. The Mathematics curriculum which is widely taught in Singapore local schools was designed by the Singapore’s Ministry of Education. I personally love the techniques of Singapore maths so much because there is a lot of focus on the thorough understanding of how to solve mathematical problems using different methods and not just learning by sheer memorising or reciting.

4. Jeremiah Swenson says:

Preach! Our school adopted Math in Focus 6 years ago and our MCA results have SKYROCKETED! It took awhile for the staff to adjust to the program but now that it’s sunk in….we are firing on all cylinders! I’d highly recommend Singapore Math to anyone. Thanks for sharing!

5. Jessica L says:

My son used Singapore math two years ago. We found it requires a lot mental thinking without using tools. The drills were very boring for a kid. We quit after 3 months. At the time when we were looking for a good home leaning site for regular US math, my teacher friend recommended Beestar to us.
Now we’ve been using Beestar for more than a year. This site offers many core subject programs. The best thing is, its math program is totally free. It sends weekly practices that including very representative questions. I’ve seen some, the questions cover almost every math skills. They look very interesting. Many have vivid pictures to help students comprehend math words. The reward policy is motivational as well. My son loves using it and I have seen his significant progress during this year.

• ##### WELCOME

Hi! I’m Melissa Taylor, mom, writer, & former elementary teacher & literacy trainer. I love sharing good books & fun learning resources.