Mathematics

We use Singapore math in all classes, from EK-K through 8th grade.

In grades 1-8, Singapore math meets 10 times each week in 35-minute periods. During more extensive COVID-19 restrictions in academic year 2020-21, we changed to 5-6 hour-long blocks in order to reduce student traffic during class changes.  Now, in the 2021-22 year, we have returned to the 35-minute periods. In early kindergarten and kindergarten math is scheduled in numerous intervals. Small class sizes, limited to 11 in this group, enable effective instruction.

Students work at their own level in the Singapore math books.  Teachers Arielle Lane and Lou Ellen Kay work with each student individually to add explanation to that in the book. Young students benefit from an array of manipulatives to grasp arithmetic concepts.

Background: We chose to use Singapore math from the day we opened, 15 August 2009.  Here is a quick overview of the system of teaching:

The pedagogic philosophy and methods of Singapore math are presented in a number of posts on the site for the enterprise .  One such post includes this short discussion:

The fact that problem solving is the central idea in Singapore math can be seen in the pentagon from Singapore’s Mathematics Framework below.

singapore_math_pentagon

The Framework 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. The development of mathematical problem solving ability is dependent on five inter-related components, namely, Concepts, Skills, Processes, Attitudes and Metacognition.

We chose Singapore math over all other options for several key reasons. First, its methods are intellectually satisfying to both teachers of mathematics and power users of mathematics in their careers.  Second, it has proven effective.  The island country of Singapore is consistently a leader in math performance internationally:

From the American Institutes for Research Report, What the United States Can Learn From Singapore’s World-Class Mathematics System (and what Singapore can learn from the United States):

An Exploratory Study. PREPARED FOR: U.S. Department of Education Policy and Program Studies Service (PPSS) (2005)

singapore_report_bookmark_version1_0-94

A critical overview of whole Singapore educational system is also available online.