Why Singapore Math?

To answer this question, perhaps we need to look at the bigger question of why we teach mathematics in general.  There are essentially five key reasons why we teach math:

  1. To be able to communicate

  2. To be able to visualize

  3. To develop a solid number sense

  4. To be able to make generalizations

  5. To understand metacognition - how we think about thinking

When we teach math concepts, we look for four ways that students can demonstrate understanding.

  1. Can they solve the problem?

  2. Can they explain how they solved the problem?

  3. Can they show multiple methods for solving the problem?

  4. Can they connect the problem to a realistic situation?  

What is Singapore Math?

Finding the answer is just one small piece of the puzzle. In fact, the truth is with advances in technology we don't really even need a human brain to find the answer - most times you can simply ask Siri or Google to help.  What is more important is the ability to think critically and understand the "why" behind the solution.  In that regard, Singapore Math methods are all about teaching the "why" before the "how."  

When we press kids to think more deeply and demonstrate true understanding of the concept or skill we are extending their learning to create mastery, not just the ability to answer the problems on the test.  

Shifting the way we teach to further develop problem solving skills is at the core of Singapore Math. The Framework for Singapore Math states, "Mathematical problem solving is central to mathematics learning. It involves the acquisition and application of mathematics concepts and skills in a wide range of situations, including non-routine, open-ended and real-world problems."

Singapore Math at St. Anne's

Problem solving and mathematical thinking are two big ideas behind Singapore math.  Sarah was able to break down the process and show examples of how we are teaching our kids to think about numbers and solve problems at our recent forums. Our training is ongoing and we are excited to continue to share with you the many exciting ways this new program is helping us to build stronger mathematical thinkers!