NCTM 2013 Conference Singapore Math Sessions

It’s conference time again. No not parent conferences, Mathematics conferences!

2013 Annual Meeting and Exposition

The NCTM Conference program book is now online and choosing which workshops and sessions to attend continues to be a challenge.  If you’d like to check out some sessions on Singapore Mathematics, there’s good news and bad.

Good news? There are 10 sessions involving Singapore-style math this year and while there’s plenty of bar modeling, there are two that focus on implementations. (The number of overall choices is down again from the number offered last year)

Bad news? Anything listed below in pink is an overlapping session.  Below are my thoughts on which session to choose, if you have a conflict.

FYI – Three of the ten sessions are Exhibitor’s Workshops:

Exhibitor Workshops (60 minutes) are designed to allow exhibitors more time to showcase their products and services away from the Exhibit Hall.


Thursday, April 18: 9:30 AM-10:30 AM – No conflict

#61 – Getting Number Bonds to Stick Like Glue
Lead Speaker: Catherine Kuhns

Inspired by the highly successful strategies from Singapore, this session will focus on high-interest and engaging concrete, pictorial, and abstract tasks that lead to genuine understanding and recall of the critical number combinations up to ten. These activities are appropriate for whole groups, small groups, and centers—and they are kid approved. Suitable for educators teaching Grades prek-2.

Thursday, April 18: 12:30 PM-1:30 PM – No conflict

#173 – Reasoning in the Elementary Classroom: It’s Easier Than You Think
Lead Speaker: Berinderjeet Kaur
Co-Speaker: Denisse R. Thompson

Mathematical reasoning is not only one of the NCTM Process Standards but also an important practice in the Common Core. We will share several simple strategies from both the Singapore and U.S. perspectives on modifying tasks and questions to bring reasoning to the instructional forefront. Suitable for educators teaching Grades 3-5

Thursday, April 18 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM – No conflict

#301.3 – Math Buddies: The Digital Singapore Math Solution in Action
Exhibitor Workshop: Marshall Cavendish Education

The latest K–5 digital curriculum from Marshall Cavendish Education, Math Buddies aligns with the Common Core State Standards and integrates multimedia with instructional pedagogy from Singapore Math texts.

Friday, April 19 8:00 AM- 9:00AM – Some conflict

#306 – Adopting Singapore Math: A Case Study
Lead Speaker: Kathleen Jalalpour
Co-Speaker: Corrinne Lieu

Six years ago, Keys School in Palo Alto, California (K–8), adopted Singapore Math. We will present data, experiences, and film clips of math classes. We will summarize the overwhelming benefits of Singapore Math, the obstacles we had to overcome, and the best methods of implementing this acclaimed math curriculum. Suitable for educators teaching Grades preK-5.

Friday, April 19 8:00 AM- 9:15AM – Some conflict

#337 – Exploring Reasoning and Communication with Problems from Singapore Classrooms
Lead Speaker: Ban Har Yeap

Experience mathematical reasoning and communication by solving problems taken from Singapore classrooms. Learn three strategies to enhance reasoning and communication: the use of questions, concrete materials, and visuals. We will use geometry and measurement problems across grade levels. Designed for teachers working with grades 3 – 8.

The first session will provide an overview of an implementation at the Keys School in Palo Alto. Dr. Yeap will be using questions, concrete materials and visuals to explore problems across content and grade level.

-> Interested in one school’s experience? Head to the adoption session.
-> The second session has Ban Har Yeap. Enough said.

Friday, April 19 9:30am – 10:30am – Some conflict

#372 – Singapore’s Visual Models to Reason and Make Sense of Problems
Lead Speaker: Andy Clark

We will focus on the visual models and visualization used in the highly successful Singapore curriculum. These aspects offer students entry points to complex problems and develop deep understanding of topics such as operations with fractions, ratio, and algebraic manipulation. We will also discuss examples of their rich problems. Suitable for educators teaching Grades 6-8.

Friday, April 19 9:45 AM – 11:45 AM  – Some conflict

#396 – Bar Modeling, Percent Decrease, and the Common Cold
Lead Speaker: Kathleen Hill
Co-Speaker: Jennifer Luebeck

Lesson using the investigative approach with an interactive computer simulation and the mathematical tool of a bar model to help students make sense of the variables that affect the spread of disease. Suitable for educators teaching Grades 6-8.

Friday, April 19 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM – Some conflict

#425 – Linking Bar Diagrams and the Standards for Mathematical Practice
Lead Speaker: Robin Silbey

This highly interactive presentation teaches bar diagramming, a powerful, visual–logical problem-solving strategy focused on reasoning. You’ll draw bar diagrams to represent and solve several word problems. Through the lens of the Standards for Mathematical Practice, you’ll see how bar diagramming develops mathematical proficiencies. Hands-on session designed for teachers working with grades 3 – 8.

-> Looking for a specific lesson with a little bit of bar modeling? Head to the second session
-> Andy and Robin are always insightful. I’d aim to hit both the first and third sessions!

Friday, April 19 2:30pm – 3:30PM – No conflict

#542.3 – Lessons from Singapore: Developing Number Sense/Problem Solving with Visual Models
Exhibitor Workshop: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

See an American version of Singapore’s highly successful curriculum and its use in the U.S. The session will focus on how Singapore’s visual models and effective pedagogy enable all students to develop number sense and solve complex problems so they are ready for the Common Core State Standards–based assessments.

Satuday, April 20 10:00 AM – 11:00AM – No conflict

#681.3 – Implementing Singapore Math: A Collaborative Effort
Exhibitor Workshop:

Explore how the Primary Mathematics series was used as a tool to build a higher-performing mathematics program in a low-performing school. The presenter will share data, pictures, teacher reflections, successes, and challenges of implementing this focused and coherent curriculum.


Singapore Mathematics 2013 Seminar Dates

Best Strategies from Singapore Math BER Evaluation by Cassy Turner

Hot off the presses, here are the Winter 2013 dates for my BER  seminars “How to Use the Best Strategies from Singapore Math to Strengthen your Math Instruction”  and  “Boost Students’ Math Problem Solving Skills Using Singapore Model Drawing” You can read more about these one-day seminars and register by clicking on the city.

(Click though for specific location and registration info.)

Current 2013 dates – “How to Use the Best Strategies From Singapore Mathematics to Strengthen Your Math Instruction” (BER)

This overview of  Singapore Math® strategies will put your students on the road to success with number sense, computation and problem solving.  (Plus you a get a handy-dandy handbook!)

Current 2013 dates – “Boost Students’ Math Problem Solving Skills Using Singapore Model Drawing” (BER)
A whole day of problem solving PLUS that handbook for your own home enjoyment!

Your city not on the list? Contact me and I can bring my Singapore Math® workshop(s) to your school or district – email


By Math Teachers, For Math Teachers: Helping Students Succeed in Math Conferences

Helping Students Succeed in Math: Conference for Third, Fourth and Fifth Grade Teachers
I’m so excited, I’ve been asked to be a part of a new series of conferences for the Bureau of Education and Research (BER). We will be visiting:

This conference is going to be a doozey.  My sessions during each two-day conference include:

From “Chore” to “More!” – Mastering Complex Problem Solving with Bar Modeling from Singapore (2 hours 40 minutes)
Start solving multi-step word problems with your students tomorrow using the bar model drawing methods popularized in Singapore, the nation that produces the world’s top math students. You’ll see the power of this innovative approach and receive the tools to enable your students – at all skill levels – to see, manipulate and understand how math works.

Unlock the Secret to Mastering Fraction, Ratio and Proportion Concepts with Bar Modeling from Singapore (75 minutes)
The Common Core is loaded with standards that begin, “Solve real world problems involving …” Model drawing from Singapore provides a powerful method to demystify fraction, ratio and percentage problems. In this lively interactive session, you’ll learn to use a signature feature of math from Singapore to help your students work with these higher‑level concepts with ease. Freaked by Teaching Fractions to Third, Fourth and Fifth Graders? Here are the Keys to Success

Using the Best Technology Resources to Enhance Your Math Instruction in Grades 3‑5  (75 minutes)
Looking for some outstanding resources to supplement your math instruction? Cassy cuts through the Web’s clutter and shares some gems – student‑friendly websites that promote math comprehension above all else. You’ll leave this session with more than a dozen time‑tested websites that Cassy enthusiastically recommends for their positive impact on students’ math skills.

Make it Easier to Master Math Concepts with Motivating Math Games for Third, Fourth and Fifth Graders (75 minutes)
Hands‑on activities enhance math comprehension by giving your students visual reinforcement of key concepts. Join Cassy as she shares games that you can easily play with materials you already have in your classroom! You’ll leave this dynamic session with “use them tomorrow” ideas for games and activities to support number sense, place value and mental math with the four operations.

Freaked by Teaching Fractions to Third, Fourth and Fifth Graders? Here are the Keys to Success!  (75 minutes)
The Common Core is loaded with standards that begin, “Solve real world problems involving …” Model drawing from Singapore provides a powerful method to demystify fraction, ratio and percentage problems. In this lively interactive session, you’ll learn to use a signature feature of math from Singapore to help your students work with these higher‑level concepts with ease.

Key Strategies to Empower Your Third, Fourth and Fifth Graders’ Mental Math Abilities  (75 minutes)
In this fast‑paced session, Cassy will share tools you can immediately use to teach students to master mental math. Working with sample addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division problems, you’ll learn methods to enable your students to develop strong mental math skills, number sense and life‑long confidence with these best strategies for manipulating numbers.

Here They Are: The Best iPad Apps for Teaching Math in Third, Fourth and Fifth Grades!  (75 minutes)
More and more people are turning to iPads as motivating teaching tools. With thousands of math applications available, how do you choose the right ones to support and strengthen your classroom teaching? Discover the best, most valuable math apps currently available. Your students will love practicing number sense, fractions and problem solving in an engaging new way, and they’ll love you for introducing them to these outstanding apps.

But that’s not all, my co-presenters Dr. Barbara Blanke, Dr Nicki Newton, and Mary Peterson will also have sessions on the Common Core, Storytelling in Math and more. Better click the nearest city links above to see all the great sessions offered!

Be sure to check out my other seminars for BER



Alii from the Republic of Palau: Singapore Math Training in the South Pacific

I’ve been out of touch for a few weeks, here’s the scoop….

The Republic of Palau is now using Primary Mathematics, U.S. Edition! Earlier this year the Republic’s Ministry of Education (MOE) released a request seeking the services of a Singapore Math Trainer to work with teachers and MOE staff.  I submitted a bid and was honored to be awarded the contract.

The last 2 1/2 weeks found me in Koror, Palau, working with the teachers on the Singapore materials and elementary school content knowledge. One week was focused on Grades 4-6, which will begin using Primary Mathematics this fall. A second week was spent with teachers of Grades 1-3. They used the materials last year, so we spent time analyzing successes and addressing challenges they found.

It was enlightening and so much fun working with them for two weeks on content and the Singapore strategies. Sulang!


Melanie and I are playing Salute! – Squared. A third person is squaring our numbers and adding them together. They give us the sum and based on seeing the other card, we need to figure out what card we are each holding to out foreheads.

Currently, I am attending the International Conference on Mathematics Education (ICME-12) learning about current education research and sharing experiences with educators from around the world.

Included as part of the conference is the Mathematical Carnival with activities for students. How often do you see this in the U.S. –  Math Face Painting!

More on the ICME-12 to come…




Quick thought from NCTM conference


Tweet from the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics conference regarding a discussion of number lines.

Archived twitter conversations from last week’s conference can be found by searching #NCTM12 or #NCTM2012.