2013 in Review: Celebrating an Amazing Year!

In each of the past few years, I’ve taken some time to reflect on the wonderful opportunities I’ve experienced during the preceding 12 months (Here are Giving Thanks reflections from 2012 and 2011).

I seem to say this every year, but it bears repeating: It is so gratifying to have the opportunity to champion elementary math education and GET PAID to spend time in classrooms with teachers and students. I want to extend heartfelt thanks to everyone who has played a part in making the year so special.

Singapore Math Trainer, Coach and Consultant

Blue=School Training; Yellow=BER Event; Green=School Trainings and BER Event; Red=SDE Conference

Blue=School Trainings; Green=School Trainings and BER Event; Yellow=BER Event; Red=SDE Conference

2013 marked my sixth year working with schools using the Singapore Math curriculum, and it was my busiest year to date! I spent much of the year in classrooms helping teachers and administrators learn about Singapore mathematics so that they can use the curriculum successfully. In 2013, I:

  • visited Ghana, Canada and 21 U.S. states;
  • worked with more than two dozen schools using Math from Singapore. While many of these are in the first year or two of their adoption, others are long-time users. I’m happy and proud to report that almost half of my 2013 schools were repeat clients (thank you!); and
  • entered into and/or continued long-term training, coaching and consulting arrangements with some of the most distinguished schools in North America (and Ghana).

Over the past six years, I’ve had the pleasure of introducing Singapore Mathematics to teachers, administrators and parents in 40 U.S. states plus Canada, Mexico, Ghana and Palau. More than more than 60 schools have asked me to help them implement and/or improve their use of the curriculum. Amazing!

Presenting and Learning

2013 brought some truly amazing opportunities to share information about the Singapore curriculum and what makes it work so well. Last year, I:

  • Singapore Math conference Las Vegas 2013presented at SDE’s National Conference on Singapore Math Strategies, the leading annual event devoted to Singaporean Math strategies;
  • was invited to speak at the 2013 National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) Regional Conference and Exposition in Baltimore (Thanks, Lori!);
  • was invited to present at SDE Conferences on Singapore Math Strategies in Hawaii and Tennessee (the latter is in 2014);
  • ber logopresented at six two-day “Helping Students Succeed in Math” Conferences for grade 3-5 mathematics educators organized by the Bureau of Education & Research (BER);
  • through BER, presented both of my full-day Singapore Mathematics seminars at cities across the United States; and
  • for 5th straight year, attended annual conferences of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) and NCSM.


Despite a travel schedule that is often very hectic, I’m very proud to have found time to devote to several causes that are very important.

  • In June, I completed a three-year term as member of Board of Directors of Liberty Common School, an award-winning K-12 Charter School in Fort Collins, Colorado. In 2013:
    • Liberty celebrated its first class of high school graduates, and
    • for the second consecutive year, Liberty’s juniors earned the highest scores in Colorado on the ACT test (my younger son Cody is a member of this high achieving class of seniors).
  • psd_logo_pmanIn July, I was appointed to the District Accountability Committee (DAC) of Poudre School District (which serves more than 26,000 students). The DAC is a statutory committee that makes recommendations to the School Board on spending priorities, performance and improvement plans, and charter school applications (among other responsibilities).
  • In January, I was appointed to Board of Directors of Middle School Mathematics Institute (MSMI), a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation whose mission is to help teachers, schools and parents ensure that students succeed at algebra.
  • For the 8th year running, I organized an after-school math enrichment club for 3rd & 4th grade students who love playing games while boosting their math skills. Special thanks to several dedicated parent volunteers who helped run the club during my travels.

Singapore Math Source

header_480I’m proud to host SingaporeMathSource.com, which is now in its sixth year providing news, information, resources and more regarding the world’s best elementary math curriculum. 2013 saw some design changes and the introduction of new features, such as a page that lists Singapore Math® teaching and tutoring jobs (admittedly, this is still in Beta). For 2013, the site:

  • logged more than 300,000 page views;
  • attracted nearly 80,000 visits (more than 75% new visitors); and
  • is among most highly ranked sites on the internet for inquiries concerning Singapore Math® news, resources, teaching and training.

What will 2014 bring?

Looking ahead, I’m as excited as ever by the opportunities that the new year promises:

  • 2014 begins with more school training dates booked than ever. I look forward to working with teachers, administrators and parents dedicated who share my goal of making every child in every classroom a competent and confident mathematics student.
  • 2014 will be my sixth year as a featured presenter for BER, with my two workshops scheduled from Coast to Coast (and even a stop in the middle of the Pacific).
  • NCTM_R_LogoandName4C_LIn Feb. 2014, I will be a featured presenter at SDE’s Tennessee Conference on Singapore Math Strategies.
  • In April, I’ll be in New Orleans for my favorite learning opportunity, ncsm logoattending the NCTM and NCSM conferences.

Last year, I was very fortunate to accommodate almost every school that wanted to hire me. That might not be the case in 2014 as demand has grown by 50-100% for the past few years. This leads to two requests:

  • First, I urge schools interested in training to contact me as soon as possible to have the best opportunity for desired dates (submit a training inquiry here).
  • Second, I invite exceptional, experienced teachers who have worked with the curriculum and may have an interest in working as a trainer to contact me. Be forewarned: for consideration, you MUST share my passion for the Singapore Math® program and have experience teaching it successfully in the classroom.

Once again, my sincerest thanks to my clients, colleagues and partners for making 2013 such a wonderful year. If I may be of service at any time, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me.

More passionate than ever about Singapore Mathematics.



Save the Date! Singapore Mathematics 2014 Seminars

BER Eval

Here are the 2014 dates for my BER  seminars “How to Use the Best Strategies from Singapore Mathematics to Strengthen your Math Instruction”  and  “Boost Students’ Math Problem Solving Skills Using Singapore Model Drawing” 

Specific locations and registration information available through March. I’ll update this post when the April and May dates are available. Now available!

Current 2014 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 2014 dates – “Boost Students’ Math Problem Solving Skills Using Singapore Model Drawing” (BER)
A whole day of problem solving with Singapore Bar Modeling 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 Cassy (at) singaporemathsource.com

Summer Singapore Math® Professional Development opportunities

Here are some recommended intensive programs available this summer focusing on Singapore Math. These events are especially helpful if a school is looking to enhance the knowledge of a Math Coach. ( I’ll be presenting on developing a Math Coach at the National Conference for Singapore Math Strategies – See below)

If your school is considering sending more than three or four teachers to one of these programs, you may find it’s more cost-effective and powerful to provide customized professional development for your entire school!


Bolles School 2013 Summer M4thodology Workshop

Grades K-2: June 17-19, 2013
Grades 3-6: June 19-21, 2013
The Bolles School
Jacksonville, FL
$695 per session

Instructors are Dr. Yeap Ban Har and Sarah Schaefer.


Singapore Math – Number and Operations Institute

June 24-27, 2013
Worcester State University
Worcester, MA
$700 (Plus get housing on campus for $25/night)

Course Instructor: Dr. Richard Bisk

The primary goal of this institute is to deepen your understanding of the math you teach, regardless of whether you plan to use the Singapore books as your primary texts.

Singapore Math Summer Institute – Where Content Meets Pedagogy

July 10-12, 2013
Worcester State University
Worcester, MA

Details coming soon.

Singapore Math conference Las Vegas 2013

2013 National Conference on Singapore Math Strategies

July 15-19, 2013
The Venetian/The Palazzo Resort
Las Vegas, NV
$769 for four days with discounts for multiple attendees from the same school. One, two, and three day options available.

Almost three dozen presenters (!), including Dr. Yeap Ban Har, Dan Meyer, Ron Clark, and yours truly, Cassy Turner.

My sessions are aimed at K-6 Administrators and include:

  • You’ve Adopted Singapore Math, Now What?
  • Making Math Assessment Meaningful
  • What Happening Here? What an Administrator Should see in a classroom using Singapore Math
  • Developing an In-House Singapore Math “Go-To” Expert

Singapore Math and Lesson Study Summer Institute

iSingaporeMath (dot) com

August 26 – 29, 2013
Briarciff Manor School District
Briarcliff Manor, NY
$169/per day or $676 for all four

Choose one, two, three, or all four days of this intensive institute with Bill Jackson and Dr. Makoto Yoshida.



Singapore Math in Ghana: Working with Teachers at the Association International School

Association International Teachers gives "thumbs up" on Singapore Math

Sometimes, life throws you the most wonderful curve balls. Late in July, I was contacted by Audrey Doryumu, Head of the Association International School in Accra, Ghana. Six weeks later, I was on my way to spend a week working with her teachers as they prepared to teach Singapore Math.

Association International School (AIS) has a student body that is both local and global; many students attend AIS while their parents are posted in Ghana for work, giving it a wonderful diversity of experience. International teachers provide unique perspectives to the school’s students as well.  The school prides itself on working with the Ghanian, British, and American systems of education and plans to offer an International Baccalaureate Diploma Program when it grows to include 11th &12th grades.

Morning Open House for new students was crowded!

Implementing Singapore Math

Association International School  is so excited to be the first school in Ghana to use Singapore’s Primary Mathematics. Head of School Audrey Doryumu considered starting the Primary Mathematics Standards Edition for the students last school year, but wanted to ensure students had the necessary place value skills to truly be successful and on grade level. The teachers spent last school year backfilling some gaps and hitting place value concepts hard, and feel students are ready to go with Primary Mathematics materials this year.

Delivery to Ghana is a challenge, so the books were delivered first to New Jersey, then sent in shipping containers to Accra. The school is still awaiting some workbooks for new students.

 Always more to learn!

After four invigorating  days of training with Singapore Math concepts and materials, we ended our week with a test. That’s right, each teacher took the “A”-book placement test for the grade level they will be teaching.

The 5th – 7th team tackled the 5A placement test and found much to discuss (and debate!) over this question:

Estimate the value of 492,396 x 7.

Should they be thinking 500,000 x 7 or 500,000 x 10?

The fourth grade team discovered that teaching mental math was going to require some practice on their part. I always mention that we, as teachers are “handicapped by our superior knowledge“. We know algebra and we have certain strategies for computation that we are used to using. The mental math strategies taught in Primary Mathematics are different than many teachers have worked with and it is important to practice to become fluent with them, particularly if teachers are used to relying on pen & paper. (Or mobile phones).

Second Grade was surprised to see students were expected to know the equivalence of pounds and grams.

18. Fill in the blanks with lb or oz.
(a) The apple weighs about 6 _____.
(b) The watermelon weighs about 5 _____.
(c) 28 grams weigh about the same as 1 ______ .

We pulled out the 2A text book and found the only reference to this on a textbook page. There was no additional discussion included in the Teacher’s Guide.

Having teachers new to Primary Mathematics take their placement test was a fabulous learning exercise for the teachers and one I’m sure I’ll be using again.

It was such a pleasure to visit AIS and spend time with their committed, professional teachers and staff. Thank you Audrey Doryumu, for inviting me to Ghana and giving me the opportunity to work with Association International School. I look forward to visiting the school next spring to get an update on their Singapore Math  adoption and to see how far the students and teachers have come.

By the way, Association International is always interested in bringing exceptional teachers to Ghana. If you’re looking for a rewarding teaching experience, contact their Human Resources department.

Last year, former U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan visited the school:




Singapore Math Fall Seminar Dates

Hot off the presses, here are the fall 2012 dates for my BER  seminar “How to Use the Best Strategies from Singapore Math to Strengthen your Math Instruction”  You can read more about these one-day seminars and register by clicking on the city. Whether you’re new to Singapore Math or just interested in learning more about some of the strategies, you’re sure to leave with a new understanding of the curriculum, strategies that you can use tomorrow and renewed energy for teaching math.

(Click though for specific location and registration info.)

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

Your city not on the list? Contact me and I can bring my Singapore Math workshop(s) to your school or district – cassy@singaporemathsource.com [contact-form] [contact-field label=”Name” type=”name” required=”true” /] [contact-field label=”Email” type=”email” required=”true” /] [contact-field label=”Comment” type=”textarea” required=”true” /] [/contact-form]