Event Recap: Jumpstart Your Singapore Math Instruction

[Several teachers from Minnehaha Academy in Minneapolis attended Jumpstart. We are stunned and saddened by the news of the explosion at Minnehaha’s Upper School and our thoughts are with the Minnehaha community and families of the victims.]

Beth Curran and I had wonderful time hosting Jumpstart Your Singapore Math Instruction, our recent two-day workshop (and first self-produced event) in Saint Paul, Minnesota.

Our goal: to offer an intensive learning opportunity covering all the essential elements of Singapore’s highly-acclaimed math program, including strategies, number sense, model drawing, and curriculum.

We were thrilled to be surrounded by such an enthusiastic group of co-learners, including teachers from many of the region’s finest schools and some from as far away as California.

What did teachers say about their experience?

I couldn’t imagine teaching this year without this class. It was amazing!

-Joanne Pilon, 6-8 Math, Holy Family Academy

Wonderful experience! Amazing! Thank You!!!

-Sarah Gerlach, 2nd Grade Teacher, St. Raphael Catholic School

OUTSTANDING!! After all of our training, it’s all making sense now. I LOVE IT!!

-Kim Schafer, 4th Grade, Breck School

Amazing and informative CEU that I can apply instantly to my teaching practices.

-Sharleen Blanco, Kindergarten Teacher, Excell Academy

Very informative, fun, and safe space to learn about and practice Singapore Math. Thank you!

-Terri Browne, TA, Minnehaha Academy

Excellent Course. Great crash course in Singapore Math. It was very informative and super fun!

-Anita Juntilla, 4th Grade, St. Raphael Catholic School

Thanks to Kari Kunze, Director of Studies at Mounds Park Academy, for allowing us to use their facilities and her exceptional hospitality. Special thanks to DeeDee Stacy, an MPA 4th grade teacher and long-time fan of Primary Mathematics.

We plan to offer Jumpstart and other workshops for teachers and math aficionados in the future.  If you are interested in attending or hosting one of our programs in the future, please complete the form below:


Announcing: Jumpstart your Singapore Math® instruction

We are pleased to announce 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!

Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN | July 24-25, 2017

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





Previewing 2017 NCTM Conference Singapore Math Sessions

The NCTM (National Council of Teachers of Mathematics) Annual Meeting & Exposition program 2017 is now online and it’s time for my annual review of Singapore Mathematics sessions.

I’ve included sessions on Tape Diagrams and Strip Models because there are no sessions this year citing Singapore Math® strategies. This is because the Common Core progression documents cite many of Singapore’s visual models. My hope is that many of the visual strategies are modeled throughout the conference –  because good math is just good math!

See you in San Antonio!

Email us if you’d like a tour at NCTM through materials or to just talk all things math: Cassy (at) MathChampions.com or Beth (at) MathChampions.com

Thursday, April 6:

11:00 AM – 9:00 AM

#128 Supporting Students as They Work with Bar Models

Lead Speaker: Sue McMillen
Bar models (also called strip or tape diagrams) are a powerful visual tool for representing and solving math problems. But they can be challenging for students. Come to this hands-on session to explore a variety of strategies for scaffolding students as they learn to effectively work with bar models. Familiarity with bar models is assumed.

 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM

#261 Visual Models to Solve Routine Word and Non-Routine Algebraic Problems: Lessons from Singapore

Lead Speaker: Andy Clark
Many students struggle with word problems, whether in elementary grades with a variety of whole number and fraction operations or the middle grades with ratio, proportion, and algebraic problems. This session will demonstrate how visual models help students see mathematical relationships and solve even the most complex problems and applications.

Friday, April 7

11:00 AM – 12:00 PM

#420 Using Tape Diagrams to Solve Ratio/Proportion Problems

Lead Speaker: Connie Laughlin

See how tape diagrams can be used to foster algebraic thinking. We will examine and illustrate how tape diagrams can be used to develop and support proportional and algebraic reasoning. Tape diagram solutions will be compared to traditional solutions to illuminate the usefulness of this tool.

12:30 AM – 1:30 PM

#476.1 Motivating Students through High-Level Problem Solving Using Models in a Collaborative Setting

Lead Speaker: Kelly Barten, Singapore Math, Inc.

Sarah Schaefer will explain how to use models and other strategies to solve challenging word problems from the original Singapore Math® program: Primary Mathematics. Workshop participants will learn how to increase student achievement while persevering and making connections between mathematical content and NCTM’s Mathematics Teaching Practices.

2:00 PM – 3:00 PM

#529.2  Hands-On Operations: Using Manipulatives for Understanding of ALL Four Operations

Lead Speaker: Kelly Barten, Singapore Math, Inc.

I’m delighted to joining Kelly to present this hands-on session at the invitation. I hope you can make it to this one.

Join Cassy Turner and use place-value manipulatives to understand and practice addition, subtraction, multi-digit multiplication, & long division algorithms for whole numbers. Learn how to help all learners master the move from concrete to the representation to the ultimate abstract algorithm with a deep understanding of regrouping and place value.

3:30PM – 4:30 PM

#565 MMMMM (Making Math More Meaningful with Models) in Pre-K–2

Lead Speaker: Duane Habecker

Too often we push our students directly to abstract algorithms without first giving students the prerequisite experience with models such as empty number lines, number bonds, arrow method, area model, etc. Teachers will learn how to use these models to make math meaningful for their students.



Visit us at Upcoming Math Conferences

Beth and Cassy are attending and presenting at the following educational conferences this spring. Please email if you’d like to schedule a time to chat!

Cassy will be attending:

2017 ASCD Annual Conference & Exhibit Show
March 25–26, 2017 | Anaheim, California

Beth and Cassy will be presenting:

2017 NCSM (National Council of Supervisors of Mathematics) Annual Conference
April 2-5, 2017 | San Antonio, Texas
Using Anchor Tasks to Ignite Learners: Coaching Teachers to Facilitate an Inquiry-Based Learning Model
Wednesday, April 5
Session Time: 5 2:15 – 3:15

Cassy will be presenting:

2017 NCTM Annual Conference and Exposition
April 5-8, 2017 | San Antonio, Texas
Hands-On Operations: Using Manipulatives for Understanding
Friday, April 7
Session Time: 2:00pm – 3:00 pm

Beth and Cassy will be presenting:

2017 NCEA Convention & Expo
St. Louis, MO
April 18-20, 2017 | St. Louis, Missouri
Using Anchor Tasks to Ignite Learners: Facilitating Inquiry-Based Math Lessons
Thursday, April 20, 2017
Session Time: 9:30 AM – 10:45 AM

Cassy will be presenting:

SDE’s National Conference on Teaching Math
July 10-14, 2017 | Las Vegas, Nevada
Wednesday, July 12, 2017
9:15 – 10:30 Understanding ALL Operations: A Hands-On Manipulative Tool Kit
11:00 – 12:15 The Best iPad® Apps for Singapore Math!
1:45 – 3:00 Filling in Knowledge Gaps
3:30 – 4:45 Strip Models, Tape Diagrams, Bar Models…Oh My!



Math On-A-Stick: New Favorite at Minnesota State Fair

math-on-a-stickThose who talk to me for any meaningful amount of time usually are quick to detect an accent, and most can attribute it to the Upper Midwest. I’m a native of the Twin Cities, and “How to Speak Minnesotan” is the most widely lent title in my sizable collection of books.

I love to return home anytime (yes, even in winter), but especially at this time of year when the Minnesota State Fair is open for a 12-day run.

Fate or Coincidence

MN State Fair: Cheese CurdsThis year, four Minnesota schools booked training in mid- to late-August, giving me the opportunity to visit “The Great Minnesota Get-together” for the umpteenth time! Yes, I was excited to see Bob’s Snake Zoo (where I worked a long, LONG time ago) and the 4-H displays, the Miracle of Birth barn and Machinery Hill, and to dine on BOTH cheese curds and the fresh, roasted corn on the cob.

But this year, I couldn’t wait to visit a new attraction: Math On-A-Stick*, the brainchild of educator Christopher Danielson. Inspired by the Fair’s literacy-oriented “Alphabet Forest,” Danielson approached the Minnesota State Fair Foundation to ask about hosting a similar experience with a focus on mathematics. The Foundation liked the idea and Math On-A-Stick debuted at the 2015 State Fair. Here’s a short description from the Fair’s website:

The Math On-A-Stick experience is a welcoming space where kids and grown-ups can explore fun math concepts at the fair. Play with geometric and reptile-shaped tiles to create designs and patterns. Sort, count and look for what’s the same and what’s different in groups of colored eggs on captivating cards. Take a break from the hustle and bustle of the fair to enjoy a shapes or numbers book

It was wonderful to spend time at Math On-A-Stick with Christopher, volunteers staffing the exhibit and especially children so engaged by all the hands-on activities available.

Below are some images showing kids (and adults) digging into math.


Math On-A-Stick: Danielson

Cassy with Math On-A-Stick Mastermind, Christopher Danielson

Christopher Danielson is host of the Talking Math With Your Kids website and author of the forthcoming book, Which One Doesn’t Belong? (Of which I have pre-ordered and am anxiously checking the mailbox for.)

*The Minnesota State Fair is famous for the variety of food (and other things) served On-A-Stick: more than 90 vendors [link: http://www.mnstatefair.org/find/food/index.html?category=40&keywords=&-search=Search] offered such items this year.