PJ BLOGGER

One of the four math program finalists is Primary mathematics. This is a Singapore program and is the gold standard for elementary school math.

In BOE, math wars, Ridgewood Schools on March 24, 2009 at 8:05 pm

One of the four math program finalists is Primary mathematics. This is a Singapore program and is the gold standard for elementary school math. A Blog Reader had this to say about the program and what it would mean for Ridgewood elementary students.

This is the Singapore program approved for Oregon and California.

I’ve always thought the right thing for Ridgewood to do is use what California’s been using, and now Oregon as well. However, I’m very concerned now because the Ridgewood parents might not choose it due to its lack of glitz. The parent community may not be savvy enough about math materials to understand why Singapore is superior to the others. I can only hope that the Ridgewood parents who go to look at the books will recognize this f act about themselves, and will do their best to find out the substantive truth, rather than get distracted by the glitz.

Here is some information on the Singapore site about Cavendish Singapore.

http://www.singaporemath.com/articles.asp?id=124

http://www.singaporemath.com/Oregon_Schools_s/171.htm

http://www.singaporemath.com/FAQ_Kindergarten_Math_s/14.htm

Students of Singapore Math are approximately two years ahead of other American students.

For eighteen months I taught all three of my kids daily, using Singapore Math. All of them had had an American education and specifically, some amount of TERC in school. Singapore is divid ed into two half-years.

My grade 2 child tested and placed at Singapore grade two (the equivalent of American grade K) before the lessons. After the eighteen months, he tested as ready for Singapore grade seven (the equivalent of American grade 9).
My grade 5 child tested and placed at Singapore grade three (the equivalent of American grade 1) before the lessons. After the eighteen months, she tested as ready for Singapore grade seven (the equivalent of American grade 9).
My grade 7 child tested and placed marginally at Singapore grade four (the equivalent of American grade 2) before the lessons. After the eighteen months, she tested as ready for Singapore grade seven (the equivalent of American grade 9).

You can see that the older the child, the more catching up they had to do, after years of an American math education.

My kids started out varying a great deal in their ability to learn math. Yet after the 18 months, all of them had become skilled in both mechanics and in problem-solving, and knew the basics of Algebra. In addition, all three had learned weights and measurements, both English and metric.

Ridgewood School District would be making a big mistake to reject Singapore Math, which is quickly becoming the gold standard. Just look at California, a state that’s been through the mill concerning “reform math,” and which now has its own version of Singapore Math. In fact, it’s this version that Ridgewood is considering.

After all, it is universally known among math education experts that Singapore is the top math-achieving country in the world. It’s hard to argue with that. Children don’t need glitz when they can instead feel the deep satisfaction of a lesson learned well. And what’s downright poetic about this is that because Singapore is less glitzy, it’s probably also cheaper than other programs. What a thought.

I do not recommend parents tutoring their kids at home unless they love the idea. It’s not easy. In my case, I have a math teaching license, and got a sick thrill out of teaching my own kids.

But if our district’s elementary schools get Singapore Math, the parents will be able to relax for the first time in years. I’ve heard some people argue that Ridgewood’s teachers are not equipped to teach Singapore Math, as it is more rigorous than American math, but I disagree. I believe Ridgewood’s teachers will take to Singapore Math like a duck to water. It’s organized and has good materials for treating teachers as lifelong learners. In my opinion, it contains the best of what reform math tries, but fails, to do. It is both traditional and progressive. It’s the blend that the board has been talking about, is more proven than Everyday Math, and will cease the uproar

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: