Thoughts from NCTM session on Singapore Math + Technology

Last week I presented with Lauri Susi at the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) 2012 Annual Conference in Philadelphia.  Here was our session description:

470 – Technology + Singapore Strategies = Number Sense
Lead Speaker: Cassandra Turner
Co-Speaker: Lauri Susi

Visual reasoning is a powerful tool for making sense of mathematics. Learn successful visual strategies and instructional methods from Singapore that allow students to develop a deeper understanding of number concepts using hands-on manipulatives and software. Walk away with strategies for guiding students’ learning that you can use tomorrow.

We displayed the above image of lions on the screen while discussing the Concrete-Pictorial-Abstract progression of understanding. A teacher raised her hand and said something along the lines of:

I don’t like that picture. There are male lions and female lions, they aren’t the same. I can’t add them together and students get confused in upper grades when they think that these can be added.

Which is such a great comment. Why? Because this illustrates one of those interesting points that isn’t always in a student textbook and as the teacher you have to be aware of it : labels matter. Yet it isn’t so obvious at a kindergarten level.

2 male lions and 3 female lions make 5 lions altogether.

Well, they’re all lions and we’re looking at a part-whole understanding of addition. Here’s another image from the kindergarten book:

2 boys and 3 girls make 5 children.

2 daisies and 2 tulips make 4 flowers.

So how does this apply to later, more advanced concepts? Consider:

  • 2 ones and 3 ones make 5 ones.
  • 2 tens and 3 tens make 5 tens.
  • 2 tens and 3 ones make 23 ones.
  • 2 dimes and 3 pennies make 5 coins and they also make 23 cents.
  • 2/5 and 3/5 make 5/5
  • 2/5 and 3/4 make…hmmm, we need some common terminology here.

Thanks kindergarten and first grade teachers for laying this foundation!

Giving Thanks – 2011 has been an outstanding year!

As Thanksgiving approaches, I am reminded of the great good fortune I have enjoyed over the past twelve months. I wanted to share this news and extend my sincere thanks to everyone who has played a part in making the year so special.

Professionally, 2011 was my most successful year as a Singapore Math Trainer and Consultant.

Just last week, I completed my final training sessions of the Summer of 2011 (that’s  right…summer just ended for me!).  I had two lengthy engagements. One was an eye-opening and highly valuable set of sessions devoted to the Common Core Standards on a grade-by-grade basis. The second, serving as an instructional coach, is ongoing; I get to spend time with teachers and students in their classrooms, observing and modeling Singapore Math lessons.

I can’t believe I get paid to do this – Woohoo!

The Numbers
In the past year, I:

  • Hosted trainings and seminars in 15 states plus Mexico and Canada.
  • Conducted teacher training/professional development for 14 schools and one district-wide Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES).
  • Presented 13 Singapore Math workshops for the Bureau of Education & Research (BER).
  • Introduced several thousand people to Singapore Math.

Sadly, I had to turn away invitations from more than a dozen schools seeking on-site Singapore Math training in the busy summer months as my schedule was completely booked for six consecutive weeks.

Among the professional highlights in 2011, I:

Volunteer Projects
In 2011, I was able to devote time to some other projects that I believe are very worthy, including:

  • Serving on the Board of Directors at Liberty Common Schools. Go Eagles!
  • Hosting a Monday math club for more than 50 third and fourth grade students.
  • Advising Poudre High School International Baccalaureate students for their Creativity-Action-Service project. Go Impalas!
  • Reviewing books and articles for National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM).
  • Volunteering at the NCSM and  NCTM 2011 Annual Meetings in Indianapolis.

Personally, 2011 will be difficult to beat. After years of planning, we spent five weeks in Kenya, where we enjoyed a fabulous safari and spent two-and-a-half weeks with my mother and stepfather in Diani Beach. My family visited a Maasai school and I picked up some elementary math texts. I’ll spare readers other personal news (but trust me, it was amazing). Mzuri sana!

Looking ahead to 2012, I’m excited to:

  • Present a session entitled, “Technology  + Singapore Strategies =  Number Sense,” with Lauri Susi of Conceptua Math at the 2012 NCTM Annual Meeting and Exposition in Philadelphia.
  • Attend the Twelfth International Congress on Mathematical Education (ICME-12) in South Korea in July 2012 (hopefully!).
  • Introduce Singapore Math to those attending my BER workshops.
  • Continue to work with visionary schools and their administrators and teachers to bring the world’s leading primary math curriculum to eager students and their parents.

If I may be of service at any time, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me.

Once again, my sincerest thanks to my clients, colleagues and partners for a wonderful year.

As always…Passionate about Singapore Math.

-Cassy

More Singapore Math Strategies Seminar dates

Here are the latest 2012 dates for my Bureau of Education and Research (BER) seminar “How to Use the Best Strategies from Singapore Math to Strengthen your Math Instruction

(Click though for specific location and registration info.)

This in-depth look at 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!)

More dates for “How to Use the Best Strategies from Singapore Math to Strengthen your Math Instruction

Dates for “Boost Students’ Math Problem-Solving Skills Using Singapore Model Drawing”

Singapore Math Seminar Dates and Locations

As promised, here are the first batch of 2012 dates for my BER  seminar “How to Use the Best Strategies from Singapore Math to Strengthen your Math Instruction

(Click though for specific location and registration info.)

This in-depth look at 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!)

More March 2012 dates will be posted soon!

Singapore Math Model Drawing Seminar Dates

Last year, the Bureau of Education & Research asked me to create a seminar focusing on Singapore Math Bar Modeling. Reviews from the try-out seminars were fabulous and I’m pleased to announce that BER will be offering the seminar in select cities in January, 2012.

Boost Students’ Math Problem-Solving Skills Using Singapore Model Drawing
(Click though for specific location and registration info.)

This in-depth look at the Singapore Math Model Drawing method will help your students understand and master the model method of problem solving.  (Plus you a get a handy-dandy handbook!)

I’ll be posting 2012 dates for my popular “How to Use the Best Strategies from Singapore Math to Strengthen your Math Instruction” soon!