Supporting Schools in the Covid-19 Era

We know that teachers learn best when they learn together.

For this reason, over the last dozen years, we’ve primarily offered onsite, in-person training.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, delivering instruction live in schools is currently difficult and it is unclear when we will be able to resume “normal” training.

Given this uncertainty, we have developed creative ways to provide educators with the high-quality training that you have come to expect from Math Champions. We are fully prepared to support you and your teachers with the best training possible in these unusual circumstances.

Here is an overview of training options currently available to schools:

Live Onsite Training Visits

We are fully prepared to visit your school for in-person sessions if it is feasible to learn in a safe environment and follow recommended state and CDC guidelines. Our teacher voices project beyond 6 feet, our manipulatives are sanitized after each use, and our hands are washed.

Live, Remote Training via Video Conference

While we know we cannot replicate the energy and discourse of an onsite training, we can cover most of the content required to get teachers up and running through online sessions.

Delivering instruction in this format is different than in person, and we know that teachers may be “Zoom”ed out. For that reasons, we have planned these with more frequent, shorter breaks to keep teachers fresh and attentive.

Recorded Training Modules

We have created a series of recorded modules that serve as an Introduction to Singapore Math. The series consists of five videos, each approximately one hour in length. If teachers complete the included activities, the program equates to approximately nine hours of professional development.

These videos cover the basics of Singapore Math, including:

  • What is Singapore Math? What are the foundations and pedagogy of the curriculum?
  • Addition and subtraction basics and mental math
  • Multiplication facts and mental math strategies for multiplication and division
  • Using place value discs to teach the four operations
  • An introduction to bar modeling for solving words problems

Recorded Modules cover the bulk of the mathematical content we typically address during onsite Introductory training. To ensure that questions are answered, and teachers are fully prepared to teach, we suggest that live, remote training sessions be included to supplement recorded modules. We can help devise a structure for your school in a variety of ways to maximize learning.

Support for Success

We are committed to giving schools resources and support to ensure success throughout the school year, including:

  • Resource Handbook: The amount of material and content covered in a training can seem overwhelming. Because of this, we provide each teacher with a handbook that serves as a future reference guide
  • Support: We offer email and telephone access as needed for questions from teachers and administration to allow your schools to seek help or advice quickly.
  • Parent Night Presentations: We love to host Parent education events, which can be informational sessions or a variety of hands-on, bootcamp style learning experiences. We have already done introductory parent nights via Zoom!
  • Parent-teachers: If fall finds your school needing parents to teach a good amount at home, we can extend our offer of email support or even online office hours for your parents.

Please reach out if you have questions or want to share information about your school’s situation.

Be well and stay safe.

Singapore Math Online Resources – Free! (For now…)

Since so many teachers and parents are schooling from home, I thought I’d update some of the resources that companies are offering for free, at least through the end of the academic year.

Dimensions Math and Primary Math

For students:  free instructional lesson videos  Grades 1–4.
These are designed for students to use with textbooks and workbooks to complete their school work. Many of these lessons may be used for students using Primary Mathematics as well; PM students should look here to find the corresponding Dimensions Math chapters.

For teachers: free access to ebooks. Fill out the request form here: https://www.singaporemath.com/at-home-learning

Primary Math and Math in Focus

Marshall Cavendish is providing free access through the end of May to Math Buddies, an online learning tool.

Some of my favorite sites and apps

These are challenging times… How can we help?

The Coronavirus pandemic is impacting society across the globe. Efforts to reduce the spread of the virus are forcing unprecedented disruptions, including widespread lockdowns that have closed many of our schools.

Despite the COVID-19 threat, life goes on. Teachers, who thrive on personal interaction with students in their classrooms, are being asked to deliver instruction remotely. And students are being asked to learn independently.

In these challenging times, we want to help.

Free Dimensions Math Lesson Videos

For students, Singapore Math Inc. is currently offering free instructional lesson videos created for Dimensions Math Grades 1–4. These are designed for students to use with textbooks and workbooks to complete their school work. Many of these lessons may be used for students using Primary Mathematics as well; PM students should look here to find the corresponding Dimensions Math chapters.

Live Online Q & A Sessions

With the COVID crisis keeping me at home, I really miss spending time with teachers. Fortunately, tech tools like Zoom offer an alternative. So, beginning next week, I plan to host live, online meetings to address your questions about teaching math using a Singapore approach.

Are you stuck at home and need to teach your students remotely? Just curious about Singapore Math or Model Drawing? 

This is your opportunity to Ask Me Anything about teaching math the Singapore way. Please register here for the Tuesday, March 31 session. This Q & A will begin at 1:00 PM  Mountain Time (US). Attendance is limited, so sign up today! Canceled due to personal emergency. We’ll try again in 2 weeks!

I’d love your input on times or topics for future sessions; share your suggestions here.

Summer Jumpstart Your Singapore Math Workshop Update

The Coronavirus pandemic has escalated significantly since we announced these workshops three weeks ago. We hope the crisis will soon pass and life will return to something more normal.

We know when that happens, teachers will want training for the next school year. It is too early to know whether it will be safe or proper to hold summer training. We will continue to evaluate the situation and provide updates here.  We will also notify those registered of any changes and offer a flexible refund policy.

Please stay safe in these uncertain times.

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.

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.