Tuesday, October 9, 2012

What Do Singapore and South Orange/Maplewood Have in Common?

Kindergarten through 2nd grade students in the South Orange-Maplewood School District (SOMSD) will experience a different approach to learning math this year, as the district implements Math in Focus: Singapore Math. And, according to my Tuscan Elementary School's 5th Grade teacher, 5th graders at Tuscan Elementary will also be using Singapore Math.
          Tuscan Elementary School, photo by Mark Slade

The term “Singapore Math” refers to the coherent progression and specific instructional strategies used by all teachers in Singapore, a country that consistently scores at the top on international math tests.

The district announced the new program to the community last year. It replaces the former curriculum, Everyday Math. Math in Focus will be implemented in grades 3-5 in the 2013-2014 school year.

The program adds concrete or hands-on experiences to the math curriculum, rather than emphasizing only abstract learning using memorization. Students will use hands-on materials and visual models before moving on to abstract symbols. According to the district, this emphasis on visualization -- wherein children "see" math in their minds -- has made students in Singapore highly adept at problem solving.

In an article posted on the SOMSD website, Kimberly Beane, Supervisor of Mathematics and Science for Grades K-5, explained several key differences parents might notice.

Instruction is concentrated on fewer topics and teaches them to a deeper level of understanding. Students will spend a lot of time on topics that are most foundational to future math learning: number sense, place value, and computation. Calculators are gone and replaced by mastery of facts and mental math.

Written computation uses traditional methods. Students are explicitly taught to add and subtract using the traditional right to left columns. They will learn alternate strategies for mental math, but written computation follows traditional procedures.

It starts out slowly but ends with advanced rigor. The beginning of each school year spends a lot of time developing deep understanding of numbers and place value. Have patience! By the end of 1st grade students will be doing 2-digit addition and subtraction that has always been taught in the middle of 2nd grade. That rigor continues in other grades, with each grade learning math that used to be taught in higher grade levels.

Reasoning, problem solving, and mental math are taught explicitly starting in first grade. Bar modeling, a highly versatile and powerful problem solving method, is taught explicitly starting in second grade. Bar models allow young students to solve algebraic situations using a visual diagram instead of abstract symbols. Problem solving in SINGAPORE MATH is significantly more rigorous than traditional U.S. problems.
>br>For more of this article: Maplewood Patch

Mark Slade Keller Williams 917.797.5059 Good Homes

Selling a Maplewood/South Orange/Millburn/Short Hills area home involves many steps and having an experienced Maplewood New Jersey Real Estate Agent and Realtor®, specializing in the Bedroom Communities of New York City in Essex/Union County— Millburn, Short Hills, Montclair, West Orange, South Orange, Livingston, Maplewood, Springfield, Summit, Madison, Chatham, Scotch Plains, Fanwood, Cranford and Westfield--by your side will make the transaction run a lot smoother. I would love to be your Maplewood/South Orange New Jersey Area Real Estate Professional! I assist both buyers and sellers in the Bedroom Communities of New York City, mostly served by NJ Transit’s Mid-Town Direct Train Lines, offering commutes of 45minute or less to NY Penn Station, with either the purchase and or sale of residential real estate.

As an Accredited Buyer’s Agent (ABR), I have received special training to guide and educate you through the entire home buying process. From start to finish, I listen to your needs and desires in what you would like and take the information you give me to find you home. My GO-TO team can provide you the best in Real Estate advice with regard to attorney choices, Home Inspectors and Mortgage Loan Officers

As your Maplewood/South Orange/Millburn/Short Hills/Essex/Union County New Jersey listing agent I am well versed on as your local expert in all things in the Maplewood and South Orange area Real Estate Market. You can expect personalized service that includes a detailed consultation on how to best position your Mid-Town Direct home to be competitive in today’s market with training to provide my clients with an in-depth Advanced Comparative Market analysis, and advice on staging. As my office’s technology officer as well as both a Zillow Platinum Premier and Trulia Premier agent, I use the latest and most up-to-date marketing methods to get your home in front of as many buyers as possible. Being your New Jersey Real Estate Agent and Realtor ® not only involves just finding the home or selling the home, but being your guide, negotiator, advisor and advocate and making sure that your needs and goals are met. Being your New Jersey Essex/Union County area Realtor® (with a little bit of Morris County thrown in for good measure) is one of my truest passions, and “Helping You Find Your Dream Home” is my number one priority.

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