Announcing: Jumpstart Your Singapore Math® Instruction Workshops for 2019

Back by popular demand!

We are pleased to announce the return of Jumpstart, an intensive, two-day workshop for current and potential users of Primary Math and Math in Focus, as well as any teacher interested in incorporating these techniques into their own classroom, regardless of current curriculum. If you are:

  • new to the Singapore approach to math instruction…
  • needing a refresher to boost your math teaching skills…
  • wanting to incorporate the best practices from Singapore into your current curriculum…or
  • curious about the reasons for Singapore’s remarkable success…

…then this workshop is for you!

Click here to get all of the details on this exciting program!

https://singaporemathsource.com/jumpstart-your-singapore-math-summer-2019/

Location and dates currently available:

Roanoke, VA | July 8-9, 2019:
Register Now!

Phoenix, AZ | July 18-19, 2019*:
Register Now!

Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN | July 25-26, 2019:
Register Now!

Golden, CO | July 29-30, 2019:
Register Now!

Irvine, CA | August 1-2, 2019:
Register Now!

*Jumpstart AZ does not have a Day 2 Choose your own adventure option. You will cover similar content over 2 days with Cassy!

Do you want to be notified when a Jumpstart Your Singapore Math Instruction is scheduled near you? Fill out the form below:

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The Impact of Singapore Math at MPA

[Note: I’ve enjoyed working with Mounds Park Academy (MPA) in Saint Paul, Minnesota, since 2014. For the last three years, MPA has generously hosted our annual Jumpstart Your Singapore Math Instruction workshops.]
Renee Wright

I was thrilled to read a January 9, 2020, blog post, “The Impact of Singapore Math at MPA,” written by Lower School Director Renee Wright. It is a brief, but thorough, overview that anyone considering a Singapore program should read.

Renee recounts some of the many reasons the school chose to adopt a Singapore program in kindergarten through fifth grade six years ago, including:

Singapore Math meets the needs of all learners, provides extra practice and support for students when necessary, and is inherently challenging for the advanced math student.

To illustrate her point, Renee invites readers to consider a word problem assigned to fourth graders:

Mrs. Wright, Dr. Hudson, and Ms. Tesdahl all wrapped lots of presents over the holidays. Mrs. Wright wrapped four times as many as Dr. Hudson (remember, she has grandchildren!), and Ms. Tesdahl wrapped 3 more than half as many as Mrs. Wright. Together they wrapped 31 presents. How many presents did Dr. Hudson wrap?

She notes that this is a challenging problem for Lower School students and maybe even readers. But:

Believe it or not, fourth-graders at Mounds Park Academy approached this problem with confidence and were successful in finding the solution.

Renee includes data to document student success:

We can carefully examine the longitudinal data and impact of Singapore Math. One way is to review ACT Aspire assessment data collected over the past several years to determine if our students’ scores have shown improvement. Our student data has been compared to national percentiles and independent school benchmarks and it shows that our students have made steady gains in math concepts and usage.

She also includes anecdotal evidence from several teachers, including: Renette Stinson and Shelley Steingraeber (third grade); Deedee Stacy and Yamini Kimmerle (fourth grade); and Chris Peterson (fifth grade). Deedee and Yamini said:

Singapore Math is designed to give students an extremely well developed mathematical foundation, and to challenge them daily to apply mathematical concepts in new situations. Our students at MPA love to learn, and Singapore Math makes that happen!

And what did students say?

…third graders [said] that Singapore Math is challenging, but fun! One student identified the mental math emphasis as something that helps him use math every single day. Another student said she used to hate math but now she loves it because Singapore Math makes sense.

Finally, Renee offers her reflections:

Today, as an administrator looking at the data, hearing from the teachers, and feeling the enthusiasm for math from our students, I know that adopting Singapore Math was the right decision. It has served our students well and is aligned with the college preparatory nature and foundational mission of our school. I am so proud of the time, attention, and effort our teachers have put into teaching the Singapore curriculum. I acknowledge and celebrate the math success our students have had daily in the classroom due to the Singapore Math curriculum and feel confident they are ready for their future journey of higher level math.

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Giving Thanks – 2019 Year in Review

As December brings a break for holidays and the start of a new year, we appreciate the opportunity to spend quality time with friends and family. During this pause, I also reflect on our past year working with schools and teachers and plan for the year ahead.

Reflecting on 2019, I am reminded of my great good fortune to have discovered my calling. Last year, I celebrated my 12th year as a mathematics trainer/coach/consultant and 17th year working with Singapore Mathematics programs. I am so grateful for the opportunity to champion elementary math education AND to be able to spend time so much time in classrooms with teachers and students.  I TRULY LOVE my job.

I say this every year, and it continues to be true: I am humbled and honored that schools seek out our services year after year. We extend our sincere thanks to schools that hired us in 2019 and each of the 200+ clients we have served over the past dozen years.

Before everyone returns to their daily routine, we wanted to share with you some highlights and achievements that Math Champions celebrated in 2019.

Training/Coaching/Consulting

Over the past year, we worked with schools from coast-to-coast (and abroad) in all manner of roles: overseeing new curriculum adoptions, coaching teachers, coaching coaches, advising administration, and more. We also developed hybrid programs, crafted to meet the particular needs of schools seeking a custom solution.

In 2019:

  • 38 schools hired Math Champions to help improve their math instruction.
  • 28 of those schools (more than 73%) were repeat clients.
  • We visited schools in 15 States as well as several schools abroad (more on these below).
  • Language immersion and Singapore Math were a great match! We worked with Mandarin, Spanish, French, German, and Italian immersion schools.

Although we love to visit schools on any occasion, it is especially gratifying when we have the opportunity to observe the significant progress that schools make on return visits!

International Training

We began 2019 in Guam, completing our first teacher training assignment under a multi-year contract with the Department of Education. Collectively, we spent more than a month on the island in January and May helping more than 400 teachers and DOE staff learn about the Singapore approach to math instruction. We look forward to returning in 2020.

Math is Everywhere: With a Tangram at Lianzhuang Metro Station in Hangzhou
Arriving at Ningbo Railway Station!

Twenty-nineteen also featured a training trip to China.  We returned (for a fourth time!) to Hangzhou International School and made our first visit to Georgia School of Ningbo. In China, as a non-Mandarin speaker, getting there is half the fun. It seemed like we spent an hour trying to find the ticket office at Hangzhou East Railway Station. But why worry, as inter-city trains depart every 15 minutes! When finally aboard, the high-speed rail ride between Hangzhou and Ningbo, with speeds exceeding 300 km/h, was thrilling.

In 2019, Math Champions was awarded its second contract in three years to assist the Republic of Palau’s Ministry of Education with its Singapore Math program. In January 2020, we will return to Palau to spend two weeks with more than 200 of the nation’s teachers.

Dimensions Math in the Wild!

In 2018, we celebrated the launch of Dimensions Math, a new Pre-K to Grade 5 series based on the pedagogy and methodology of math education in Singapore.

With Dimensions Math Teacher’s Guides
With Dimensions Math Teacher’s Guides
2019 Singapore Math Inc. NCTM booth featuring students from the series

As the lead author of Dimensions Math Teacher’s Guides for K-5, it was super exciting and gratifying to work with schools using Dimensions in 2019. I look forward to the completion of the Dimensions Math series in 2020.

Jumpstart Your Singapore Math Instruction

Jumpstart is our two-day interactive, introductory workshop on how to best use the Singapore Math approach. In 2019, we finally realized the goal of offering Jumpstart in locations from coast-to-coast. Hundreds of teachers (including several from abroad) attended sessions presented in Virginia, Arizona, Minnesota, Colorado and California.

Attendees at the sold-out (!) Jumpstart Colorado workshop

Presentations at National Educator Conferences

Again in 2019, we were busy attending annual conferences for math educators (our continuing education). In addition, we were honored to present at the following conferences:

At NCEA...
... and NCTM...
... and NCTM...
...and CMC-S
  • National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM)
  • National Council of Supervisors of Mathematics (NCSM)
  • National Catholic Educators Association (NCEA)
  • Minnesota Council of Teachers of Mathematics (MCTM)
  • California Mathematics Council-South (CMC-S)

MILE-stones

According to TripIt, I established a new record with 151,045 miles flown in 2019. In addition, I topped 1 million miles for the period from 2008-present. [OK, I admit that there are some personal trips counted here. Still…].

And I read 60 books while on those flights, too!

Looking ahead

Whew. What a year!

What does 2020 hold in store? Here are some of the things we’re looking forward to in the year ahead:

  • Working with returning and new school clients. Did I say that I LOVE spending time in classrooms with teachers and students?
  • Presenting Jumpstart Your Singapore Math workshops across the USA and (new in 2020) Canada.
  • Presenting at and attending NCTM, NCSM, MCTM, CMC and other educator conferences.

Finally, I want to extend special thanks to our favorite partners/friends:

And thank you to our fabulous Jumpstart 2019 host schools:

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What’s the Word Problem?

I often work with international Schools where the teachers commit to two-three years and then move on to other schools and other countries. I was surprised by an email this week from a former 3rd-grade teacher I worked with at a school in China. She is now teaching in Malaysia.

Hi Cassy, I’ve moved on…but all that bar model training is serving me well at the math PD at my new school!

She included this image:

  • Can you write a word problem for this bar model and the calculations?
  • What grade level might this be from?
  • What do you notice about the manipuative used?
  • What questions can we ask based on the model given?
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Graphing the Holidays

Originally posted 11/27/2018

Teaching between Thanksgiving and the winter break can be a challenge. How do you keep your students engaged in meaningful math learning while embracing the season? Introducing graphing and data analysis might just be the answer.

Imagine starting your day in first grade with a question about favorite holiday treats. Students can answer the question and instantly you have meaningful data that can be organized into a tally chart, picture graph, or bar graph for students to analyze. Or, students can build a bar graph with post-it notes as they make their choices. Then, spend some time analyzing the results.

Ask 5th graders if they traveled over Thanksgiving break. If so, how far? Now use this data to find mean, median, and mode, or to create a histogram for students to analyze. Or, chart the temperatures over the course of a couple of weeks and use this data to create a line graph.

Third and fourth graders could tally the number of candles in their homes for the holidays and use this data to create a line plot. Fourth graders can use their line plots to explore finding the median.

Planning a holiday party? Survey the students on what should be served and what activities should be included. Students can present the findings in a graph and use the results to determine how much and what needs to be donated or purchased to make the party a success.

The holidays are a great time to share family traditions. Why not use that information to meet some graphing and data analysis standards?

For other ideas to keep students engaged in learning read Mental Math Breaks from December 2017.Scridb filter

Who’s doing the talking?

A new school year brings new commitments to improving our practice as teachers of mathematics. One tip I often share with the teachers I coach is, “Ask more and tell less.” Well, that’s easy to say, but what does that look and sound like in the classroom?

Often times, the teacher’s guides are written following a more traditional, lecture-style of teaching. They encourage the teacher to model, or work problems, while the students watch, and then the students are asked to mimic what the teacher did with a similar problem. I challenge you to flip the script and replace the word “show” with “have the students model” and replace “tell” with “ask”. When your teacher’s guide says to show the students the difference or similarities between problems or concepts replace that with, “ask the students what they notice?” It’s these little tweaks that will go a long way toward engaging your students in meaningful discourse and ultimately deepening their understanding.

A fourth-grade teacher from Aurora, Colorado shared her strategies for engaging students in math talk in her classroom.

While this appears to be written for the students to follow, it also suggests some great questions for teachers to ask to generate more discussion.

As students are working through a task ask:

  • How did you solve that?
  • How do you know that’s correct?
  • Can you solve it another way?
  • Can you build a model?
  • Can you use numbers and symbols to explain your model?
  • Is that the best (most efficient) way to solve that?
  • Is your answer reasonable?
  • Do you agree or disagree with your partner’s answer?

So, who’s doing all the talking? Give some of these questions a try and let us know how it goes.

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Come see us in April!

We’ll be presenting at the following conferences in April. Stop by and say “I’m a Math Champion” to get one of our cool buttons!


NCSM Annual Conference 2019 | San Diego
April 3 | 1:45 – 2:45 pm

No More “Menacing Multiplication” and “Laborious Long Division” – Understanding Procedures through Number Sense in Grades 3-5

As a mathematics leader, how many times have you heard teachers ask “My students are struggling, can’t I just teach them a procedure?” Teachers recognize the need for students to develop both procedural fluency and conceptual understanding but are often unsure of how to do so. Explore strategies focused on numeracy, sense-making, and fostering a conceptual understanding that will help even the most struggling student understand the abstract algorithms for multiplication and division


NCTM Annual Meeting 2019 | San Diego

We’ll be presenting regular and exhibitor sessions for Singapore Math, Inc. as they’re releasing their new Singapore Math Series Dimensions Math. Come meet the authors!

#133.4 Empowering Algebraic Thinkers
April 4 | 11:00 am – 12:00 pm
Experience how mental math strategies for grades 4–6 build confidence and understanding for future algebra students. Fill up your teaching toolbox with Singapore math strategies that prepare elementary students for advanced math.

#255 Using Mental Math to Deepen Number Sense
April 4 | 3:15 pm – 4:30 pm Beth made some awesome short videos!

#360.3 Ready, Set, Play: Practicing Number Sense with Games
April 5 | 9:30 am – 10:30 am


NCEA 2019 Convention & Expo

Understanding Procedures through Number Sense: Grades 3-5
April 23 | 1:30 PM – 2:45 PM
Join us as we work with manipulatives to understand and practice multi-digit multiplication and long division algorithms for whole numbers and decimals. Learn how to help all learners master the move from concrete to pictorial representation to the ultimate abstract algorithm with a deep understanding of regrouping and place value.

Strategies First: Teaching Fact Fluency with Hands-on Activities and Games
April 24 | 2:00 pm – 3:00 p.m.
If we can’t teach memorization, then what do we do? Participants will learn how to develop hands-on lessons that promote deep conceptual understanding and strengthen students’ number sense. We will explore strategies for teaching and learning addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division facts to make mathematics accessible to all students. Participants will engage in activities and games that promote automaticity with math facts, leaving with the tools needed to take what they learned and apply it immediately in their classrooms.


MCTM Spring Conference 2019
April 25-26, 2019

Ready, Set, Play: Practicing Number Sense with Games
Day/Time TBA

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Word Problem Wednesday – Marbles

This month’s Word Problem Wednesday problem comes from an article in the Daily Express, a UK newpaper.

The headline teases: This is the maths puzzle that is baffling everyone – but could you solve it?

Yes, we can! So, don’t lose your marbles over this one.

This appears to come from a Maths No Problem! workbook, probably 2A as the article states it is a problem for 7-year-olds. The author interviews a math professor:

Math expert, Dr. James Hind, of Nottingham Trent University, said the confusing question is above the level it was set for and to reach a conclusion it is best to try a number of equations.

Dr. Hind then proceeds to use a guess and check method to solve the problem. Maybe they asked the wrong expert.

Programs based on a Singapore Math approach start bar model drawing in either 2nd or 3rd grade, making this a challenging problem for many 2nd graders, but not a guess and check problem. Visualization of problem-solving actually starts in kindergarten!

See if you can solve this one like a 7-year- old. Submit your solutions by the end of the month!


Our last Word Problem Wednesday problem was from the chapter on the “Model Method and Algebra” from The Singapore Model Method for Learning Mathematics.

We had several correct answers submitted. Here’s a worked example from Shirley Davis:

How did you do?


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Word Problem Wednesday – Ava, Ben, and Carlos

This month’s Word Problem Wednesday problem comes from the chapter on the “Model Method and Algebra” from The Singapore Model Method for Learning Mathematics.

The book models the Unitary Method as well as 3 variations on an algebraic solution. The author’s end this problem with the following commentary

The Model Method is a means, not and end in itself. It helps students formulate an algebraic equation to solve the problem. While more able students can proceed quickly to the absract algebraic method to solve problems without drawing a model, others may still need to rely on drawing the model as a problem-solving heuristic.

-The Singapore Model Method for Learning Mathematics, p. 58

Wise words, indeed! On to the problem:

$120 is shared among 3 friends, Ava, Ben, and Carlos. If Ava receives $20 less than Ben, and Ben receives 3 times as much money as Carlos, how much does Carlos receive?

Submit your solutions by the end of the month!


Last month’s Word Problem Wednesday problem was from the chapter on Real-World Problems Math in Focus 2A:

We had several correct answers submitted. Here’s a worked example from Minnesota math teacher and coach Kris Simonsen:

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Word Problem Wednesday – Comic Books

This month’s Word Problem Wednesday problem comes from the chapter on Real-World Problems Math in Focus 2A: 

Tom has 275 comic books in his collection. Chris sells 82 comic books to Tom. Then Chris has 148 comic books left. How many more comic books does Tom have than Chris now?

Submit your solutions by the end of the month!


Last month’s Word Problem Wednesday problem was from Dimensions Math 4A (available spring of 2019).

We had several correct answers submitted. Here’s a worked example from intrepid reader Shirley Davis:

How did you do?Scridb filter

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