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Singapore Maths Method

Discussion in 'Mathematics' started by RonaldMcDonald, Jan 17, 2012.

  1. RonaldMcDonald

    RonaldMcDonald New commenter

    I am doing some research into the Singapore Maths Method. For those of you who haven't heard of it before Singapore Maths is basically a method of teaching Maths that has proven to be very successful, first in Singapore (as you might have guessed) and now in the U.S. The success has been credited to the creative and abstract approach to learning that is very innovative.
    I know some private schools are already learning maths this way in the UK with great success, I am looking into the practicality of teaching this way in mainstream Primary and Secondary schools.
    If you have any experience of this teaching method I would really appreciate your input and if you could find the time to share some of your valuable experience that would be much appreciated too...
  2. Could you be more specific -
    what does a lesson look like?
    What does the curriculum look like?
    How does the abstraction manifest itself?
    How does the abstraction fit in with the latest fashion of functional skills?
  3. PaulDG

    PaulDG Occasional commenter

    Now that Wiki's back, I was able to look it up:


    The idea of structured textbooks with simple steps thoroughly learnt, seems great to me - the complete opposite of our normal spiral curriculum which, I feel, is partly responsible for many difficulties in maths.

    If it's genuinely as described in Wiki (I found a few sample pages of some on-line textbooks around the web too and they look promising), then "bring it on".

    I can see it frightening many who believe the current emperor is actually wearing clothes though - it really does turn things round completely from the way I was taught to teach.

    (And the idea that kids might turn up in secondary school never having been told the name of a 12 sided shape - instead of not remembering it - but actually able to do what they have covered gives me some cause for hope.)
  4. Have you read Liping Ma's Knowing & Teaching Elementary Mathematics?

    There are also some good videos on youtube showing Singapore methodology, including Khan Academy.
  5. Doitforfree

    Doitforfree Star commenter

    I have to say that it sounds like the bleedin' obvious. It's no secret that we remember what we learn thoroughly and practice and that we don't remember what we learn quickly and never practise. It's the same for a musical instrument or anything else. What is amazing is why we moved away from this in the first place. I imagine doing things thoroughly was deemed boring and uncreative. Just a shame it's also effective!
  6. DeborahCarol

    DeborahCarol New commenter

    I've followed a couple of the links from the TES article, and it all looks good to me!
    However, some UK primary teachers would have apoplexy at this:

    The statement of the theorem is: Multiplication of a whole number by 10 results in adding a zero on the right.

    (How on earth do Singapore children cope with such incorrect teaching? Wot no sliders, wot no place value charts? Very well, it seems.)
  7. By having a really solid understanding of place value & why there's a zero on the end.
  8. By having a really solid understanding of place value & why there's a zero on the end.
  9. I was particularly interested that questions are free of 'redundancies' i.e. they don't go in for 'story maths' in the same way that the GCSE 2010 curriculum has encouraged. None of what is written there looks like rocket science and there is much that could be applied here today at very little cost.
  10. i have also been looking in to this method. just looking for some nice resources at the moment, have you found any?
  11. Having taught in South East Asia for nearly two decades, and without seeing the Singapore method, I would confidently predict that most of it will consist of rote learning. Nowadays I teach foreign students the University Foundation course in London. It takes quite a bit of effort to get away from rote to understanding. If you want parrots go for the Singapore method lol.
  12. We use Singapore Maths with our children and it does certainly NOT teach by rote. The whole thinking behind the method is that it teaches children to think mathematically, from a young age. Maths No Problem are a UK supplier. I would highly recommend it.
  13. I am teaching my girls (6 and 8) at home with Singapore Maths, with occasional help from Khan Academy. I'm not sure what sort of input you'd like--it is working very well for us, and I'm happy to share whatever aspect you are interested in hearing about. I have not found any UK schools other than Northwood Prep who are using it, if you have info about this please share! Thank you.
  14. GuidelinesPartnership

    GuidelinesPartnership New commenter

    My company is a long established publishing agency and we are in the process of assembling a team of authors to work on a project involving the Singapore Maths way of teaching being introduced into the UK. We would be very interested to hear from teachers (any level, primary or secondary) who have an interest in, and knowledge of, both the Singapore and UK Maths approaches and who would be interested in joining an author team. Please contact us (preferably attaching a brief cv) at introacctg@gmail.com for further details.
  15. "Please contact us (preferably attaching a brief cv) at introacctg@gmail.com for further details"
    Really? No company details, no website address, a gmail account and you want people to send you their C.V?
  16. RonaldMcDonald

    RonaldMcDonald New commenter

    Yes I agree the questions are accessible and I certainly think its feasible to implement some of the strategies in UK schools. I think its remarkable how throughout the series theoretical learning is blended with activities and problem solving, it seems kind of straight forward as a process of learning (dare I say even logical) but I think with the burden of assessment, administration and box ticking producing your own resources of this standard is often very challenging.
    Also having a group of learners who are getting on wit complex problem solving type questions allows the teacher to actually move around and find out what the thought processes of the group are, I would be really keen to know how this works in the classroom.
    I would be keen to hear reports of this from anyone in the UK who is implementing the Singapore Maths Series in their classroom.

  17. RonaldMcDonald

    RonaldMcDonald New commenter

    Hi, thanks for offering more information on your experience with the Singapore Maths Series.
    Are you using the actual text book?
    My first question is if you are teaching your girls at home and there is an age difference of two years I guess there is a difference in the level of maths they are both working at? If that is the case do you teach them both maths at the same time and how do you find that works, for example are you able to teach one maths lesson on one thing, or is it more of a problem solving exercise where you are engaging with their thought process as each progress?
    Thanks for you response!
  18. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

  19. lardylegs

    lardylegs Occasional commenter

    Since the DFE have published a study bigging up Singapore maths it is pretty clear that the New National Curriculum is going to use it, hence the sudden interest of Tom Dick and Harry from the publishing companies trying to cobble together textbooks, because there is supposed to be an approved 'list' of textbooks which schools can choose from.
    I think it sounds great, if it saves me trawling around making worksheets and it if knocks on the head the mad idea of 'guided groups' for Maths, bring it on!
    Also, I don't think the rote learning thing is really true, when you read all the detail, there is a small element of rote learning, but a lot of kids exploring Maths at their own level, a bit like when you worked through those Scottish Maths books when you were a kid, remember, and the teacher walked around the class helping the thickies who were stuck on the pages with the penguin pictures?
  20. I do not know what the 'Singapore Maths Method' is, but I can only report that large numbers of students from that part of the world attain high grades in IB Higher Level Mathematics.
    Rote learning and 'teaching to the test' can possibly lead to high grades in A-level, with its highly predictable papers. IB HL Maths papers are not like that.

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