How does Singapore teach math in Schools?

In Singapore, the teachers do not often teach all subjects. In many classes, the children will stay in the same class and their homeroom teacher will teach some subjects but other teachers would take over for certain periods. For example, a literacy teacher may teach for a certain time period, and then the class would be taken over by the Math teacher for mathematics.

In Singapore schools, all the teachers are trained at one university, the National Institute of Education (NIE). Where NIE is a part of Nanyang Technological University and all teachers are trained there, allowing for consistency throughout their educational system.

What does Singapore math look like in the classroom?

The concrete-pictorial-abstract (CPA) method of teaching is one of the best educational teaching methods.

Allowing children to use manipulatives when first learning a mathematical concept is extremely important. Moving on to teaching through pictorial means is the next step, with the final stage being the most abstract and that is the algorithm.

Most teachers all over the world know CPA to be an effective method of teaching, and Singaporean teachers will tell you it is simply a good practice.

Using number bonds, ten frames, and manipulatives for instruction are researched-based strategies that are effective in building students’ understanding of challenging mathematical concepts. Throughout instruction, place value is reinforced with consistency.

Teachers use the “I will do, we shall do, you do” method of teaching as well. For example, teachers model a math equation while students observe. The next step is for them to solve an equation together. The final stage is to have the students work on a math equation independently.

Another principle of how math is taught in Singapore is model drawing. Students must demonstrate how they solve an equation using the bar model method. Their work must be very neat, and many students even have rulers specifically for model drawings that are often sold in school bookstores. Students must be able to explain their methods for solving an equation.

At Math@Singapore, we use very similar techniques to teach our students when it comes to problem-solving.

Maths At Singapore

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