Throwback Thursday – It can’t all be Singapore Math…

Over the summer, we thought it would be fun to run some of the most popular posts from the past. Here’s a look at some misconceptions around Singapore Math and Common Core Standards. When I re-read a post from the past I always take away something different because I am in a different place with my own experience. Perhaps you are as well!


It can’t all be Singapore Math…

Originally published 12/29/2014

This tweet posted by the National Council on Teacher Quality (@NCTQ) caught my eye:

NCTQ_Tweet

Now, I’ve heard decomposing called “branching” but can’t remember ever seeing this in a Singapore textbook. Where did this problem come from?

It’s nice that NCTQ recognizes Singapore’s Math as “tops in the world.” But it’s discouraging to see methods and terminology that are not a part of the Singapore curriculum attributed to it. Especially in the context of the nasty debate about CCSS. And especially since Singapore’s math curriculum–with its rigor, coherence, and focus–is often cited as a basis for more rigorous standards, including CCSS.

The problem posted is based on the concept of “Number Bonds,” which calls for students to decompose numbers (this is the term used in Singapore and in all major Singapore Math® textbooks distributed in the U.S.). Below, I’ve posted some examples of how this concept is presented in Singapore Math® series available in both the U.S. and Singapore.

This matter points to my BIG concern: As publishers and others adapt Singapore’s Math for the American market, new approaches creep in. These often are not based on the curriculum that helped Singapore’s students go from mediocre to best in the world in a dozen years. I’ve written about this in my comparison of Singapore math textbook series available in the United States.

So my plea to NCTQ: please use examples from an actual Singapore mathematics text when citing the components that make it so successful. And feel free to ask if I can help you find those examples.

Number Bonds problems in Singapore Math® textbooks

Here are some materials covering Number Bonds and “decomposing” numbers from actual Singapore textbooks:

From My Pals are Here, the most-used materials in Singapore:

MPAH 3A Mental Addition

From the U.S. Edition of Primary Mathematics, available in North America since 2003:

PM US 3A Mental Addition

From the Common Core Edition of Primary Mathematics, released in the U.S. market in 2014:

PM CC 3A Mental Addition_0001

And finally, from Math in Focus:

MiF_3a_mental_math

 

UPDATE:

Ugh! One more similar tweet from NCTQ.

NCTQ_tweet_#2

 

 

 

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Word Problem Wednesday – Cynthia’s Money

Summer’s here, but you’re missing your math? Don’t despair – we’ve got you covered. Check the site each week for one whopper of a word problem that’s sure to challenge!


This week’s problem comes from Primary Mathematics Challenging Word Problems 3, published in 2011 by Marshall Cavendish International (Singapore) Private Limited. 

Cynthia had $16.75. She withdrew more cash from an ATM before shopping. After spending $17.50 on a box of cookies and $23.40 on a box of chocolates, she had $35.85 left. How much money did she withdraw from the ATM?

Submit your solutions and we’ll post all interesting strategies next week.


Last week’s problem and solution:
Sheela plans to make 245 bookmarks to sell at the funfair. Each day she will make 5 fewer bookmarks than the previous day. She plans to complete making the bookmarks in 7 days. How many bookmarks does Sheela plan to make on the first day?

Whew! How did you do?

 

Our solution from Shirley Davis!

 

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Word Problem Wednesday – Sheela’s Bookmarks

Summer’s here, but you’re missing your math? Don’t despair – we’ve got you covered. Check the site each week for one whopper of a word problem that’s sure to challenge!


This week’s problem comes from Problem Solving Beyond the Classroom: Primary 6 by Bernice Lau Pui Wah, published in 2013 by Marshall Cavendish International (Singapore) Private Limited. 

Sheela plans to make 245 bookmarks to sell at the funfair. Each day she will make 5 fewer bookmarks than the previous day. She plans to complete making the bookmarks in 7 days. How many bookmarks does Sheela plan to make on the first day?

Submit your solutions and we’ll post all interesting strategies next week.


Last week’s problem and solution:

There are 8 people on committee A and 9 people on committee B. If 5 people serve on both committees, how many people serve on only one of the committees?

Whew! How did you do?

Savvy reader Shirley Davis sent in her solution:

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Word Problem Wednesday – Committees

Summer’s here, but you’re missing your math? Don’t despair – we’ve got you covered. Check the site each week for one whopper of a word problem that’s sure to challenge!


This week’s problem comes from Brain Maths 2 by Tan Thoo Liang, published in 2007 by Panpac Education Private Limited. (For ages 11 and up)

There are 8 people on committee A and 9 people on committee B. If 5 people serve on both committees, how many people serve on only one of the committees?

Submit your solutions and we’ll post all interesting strategies next week.

 


Last week’s problem and solution:

Two plates and 3 bowls weigh 2 1/5 lbs. Five plates and 6 bowls weigh 4 9/10 lbs. Find the weight of one plate.

Whew! How did you do?

Solutions from our fabulous followers:

Kris Simonson:

Shirley Davis:

 

 

 

 

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Word Problem Wednesday – Plates and Bowls

Summer’s here, but you’re missing your math? Don’t despair – we’ve got you covered. Check the site each week for one whopper of a word problem that’s sure to challenge!


This week’s problem comes from Math in Focus Enrichment 4A by Ang Kok Cheng, published in 2015 by Marshall Cavendish International (Singapore) Private Limited.

Two plates and 3 bowls weigh 2 1/5 lbs. Five plates and 6 bowls weigh 4 9/10 lbs. Find the weight of one plate.

Submit your solutions and we’ll post all interesting strategies next week.


Last week’s problem and solution:

A grocer sold a carton of apples to some customers. The first customer tasted one apple and bought half the remaining apples. The second and third customers did the same. The fourth customer also tasted one apple and bought the remaining 23 apples. How many apples were there in the carton at first?

Whew! How did you do?

Once again, reader Shirley Davis submitted a solution:

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