Previewing NCTM 2015 Conference Singapore Math Sessions

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The NCTM (National Council of Teachers of Mathematics) Annual Meeting & Exposition program is now online and it’s time for my annual review of Singapore Mathematics sessions.

Due to Common Core and the progressions documents, I’ve included sessions on Tape Diagrams and Strip Models as well as those on traditional Singapore Math® strategies.  The number of overall choices is one more than the number offered last year.

Bad news? Most of the sessions overlap.  Below are my thoughts on which session to choose, if you have a conflict.

Thursday, April 16: 8:00 AM-9:00 AM – Three sessions conflict

#5 A Model Approach to Teaching and Solving Word Problems
Lead Speaker: Greg Tang

Visual models are the key to making word problems easier to solve at every grade level. We’ll explore a strategic progression from discrete, to part-whole, to tape diagrams, and then to double number lines that develops the algebraic skills needed for higher math.

#12 Empowering Students to Deconstruct Word Problems
Lead Speaker: MaryJo Wieland
Co-Speaker: Lisa Watts-Lawton

Solving word problems is not about underlining key words. Just as writers use organizers, mathematicians need specific models to deconstruct the meaning inherent in addition and subtraction word problem types.

#36.1 Teaching Number Sense with Math Buddies, the Singapore Online Resource
Exhibitor Workshop: Marshall Cavendish Education

Research shows that number sense is built on mastery of place value as well as number facts. We’ll discuss place value as a fundamental element of Singapore Math® as well as number bonds and part-whole thinking. We’ll make use of Math Buddies, a K-5 digital resource, to take students through the concrete-pictorial-abstract approach to number sense.

Not familiar with Ms. Wieland, so can’t comment. Math Buddies is a great digital resource for Singapore Math, and it will also be modeled at their booth. I’ll be in Greg Tang’s session, he’s always engaging!

Thursday, April 16: 11:00 AM-12:00 PM – Two sessions conflict

#126 Strip Models, Tape Diagrams, and Bar Models, Oh My!
Lead Speaker: Cassy Turner – Hey that’s me!
Co-Speaker: Lauri Susi

These visual components sit at the intersection of Common Core, Singapore Math, and now technology! Learn why this visual model for word problems is so powerful, try some problems from the simple to the complex, and investigate web-based programs and iPad apps that will help anyone incorporate this effective strategy into their classrooms.

#144.4 Using Technology to Transform Singapore Math® in your Classroom!
Exhibitor Workshop: Marshall Cavendish Education

Join us to learn about Math in Focus® Digi+™. This teaching and learning tool will transform your class: facilitating class instruction, activities, intervention and differentiation solutions, and deepening the school-to-home connections with practice problems, immediate feedback, and parental support in a fun, interactive environment.

Well, my session, of course!

Thursday, April 16: 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM – No conflict

#254.3 Meaningful Math Models and the Common Core
Exhibitor Workshop: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Come learn about math drawings and other math models that can be used in the classroom to show the mathematical aspects of a situation. Students make math drawings on their MathBoards, where parts of a drawing can be used while a student is explaining their solution method.

Friday, April 17: 8:00 AM – 9:00 AM – Three sessions conflict

#312 Models to Solve Word Problems: Visualization to See Mathematical Relationships
Lead Speaker: Andy Clark

Students struggle with word problems whether in elementary grades with a variety of whole number and fraction operations or the middle grades with ratio, proportion, and algebraic problems. This session will demonstrate the power of visual models to help students see mathematical relationships and solve even complex problems and applications

#321 Singapore’s Model Drawing Approach with a “Units” Sentence
Lead Speaker: Michael Winders

The Singapore model drawing approach can be used to solve a variety of word problems, but its true power lies in the way the process provides a bridge to algebraic thinking and techniques. I will show how a “units” sentence can be used to solve problems with diagrams, and how this idea transitions to purely algebraic solutions

#346 Representations with Tape Diagrams? What’s That?
Lead Speaker: Deborah Rutherford Lane

Tape diagrams help children to represent complex problems found in CCSSM testing. Bar models, in particular, work for all learners to make sense of complex word problems. This session will focus on how to lead children from beginning stages of whole number operations through fraction operation modeling from second up through sixth grades.

-> I’ll be checking out Michael Winders’ session on units.
-> Head to see Andy Clark, one of the authors of  the Math in Focus series for a fast paced overview of Models

Friday, April 17: 12:30 PM – 1:30 PM – Two sessions conflict

#470 Concrete-Pictorial-Abstract: Singapore’s Approach to Math Instruction
Lead Speaker: Richard Bisk

Singapore’s students have excelled in international studies of math performance. The concrete-pictorial-abstract approach supports both conceptual understanding and procedural fluency. Abstraction gives math its power, but must be based on understanding. We’ll consider examples from place value, operations, problem solving, and even calculus.

#494.3 Filling Knowledge Gaps with Critical Singapore Math® Approach (Gr. 3-5)
Exhibitor Workshop: Singapore Math, Inc.

During Singapore Math® implementation, gaps in student knowledge can be a challenge. Upper elementary students frequently lack the foundation provided by the 1-3rd grade Singapore Math® Curriculum. In this session, you’ll learn the classroom-tested critical lessons and concepts students must master before jumping into their grade-level content.

-> I’ll be presenting the Singapore Math, Inc. session for them, but I’d love to see Richy Bisk’s examples from Calculus.

Friday, April 17: 2:45 PM – 4:00 PM

#549.6 Developing Strong K-2 Number Sense with Singapore Math® Primary Mathematics
Exhibitor Workshop: Singapore Math, Inc.

Through the use of manipulatives and activities, this interactive workshop gives teachers practical understanding of concrete-pictorial-abstract (CPA) approach. Lean strategies for building strong number sense foundation, composing/decomposing numbers within 10 and regrouping within 20, and formative/summative assessments.

Saturday, April 18: 8:00 AM-9:00 AM – No conflict

#664 Ratio Tables and Tape Diagrams #notjustforRP
Lead Speaker: Melissa Waggoner
Co-Speaker: Lindsay Kelley

Students learn how to use ratio tables and tape diagrams in the Ratios and Proportional Relationships domain of CCSSM. Then what? In this interactive session, we will explore how these tools can be used to build procedural fluency from conceptual understanding in other content domains, including the Number System and Expressions and Equations.

I’m intrigued.

See you in Boston! Email me if you’d like a tour at NCTM through materials or just talk all things math: Cassy (at)

About Cassy

Passionate about Singapore Math + Teacher Trainer and Coach + Treasure Hunter + Learner. Answer to the ultimate question? 42.

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