Mathematics

Singapore Math at Ilan Ramon Day School

‘Number Bonds, Mental Math, Counting by Tens, Model Drawing, Math visualization’, all new vocabulary being learned, studied and mastered by the students at Ilan Ramon Day School.  This fall (September 2011) after extensive work by the teachers we introduced the Singapore Math program into our curriculum.  Adopted by our Kindergarten through Second Grade, with components of the program being incorporated into our existing third through fifth grade, this program was developed based upon techniques used in the South-Asian city-state of Singapore.  After the initial year of the program the complete roll-out into our third, fourth and fifth grade will take place one year at a time.

Singapore Math is unique in many ways. The depth of mastery required by students is key. Singapore math places as its focus conceptual understanding rather than procedural, seeking a depth of understanding in every concept taught. The program covers each mathematical concept through 3 different lenses; 1) concrete understanding, 2) pictorial representation, and 3) abstract reasoning. The program also emphasizes understanding concepts through mental representation (mental math), reversal thinking (presenting each concept both forward and backward), and engaging students as active problem solvers by coming up with multiple methods to solve problems.  This program works to help strengthen number sense, increase mathematical confidence, develop memory, improve mental organizational skills, and help students see math as both very relevant and fun.

As the name implies, the program, material, and techniques are based on those used in the South-Asian city-state of Singapore, which consistently ranks highest in global research studies of math and science.  The program first came to be used in the United States in 2000, and 2007 California became one of the first State to include Singapore Math textbooks in its list of state-approved elementary math programs.