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Why Math in Focus? The Singapore Math Approach

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Why Math in Focus?

The Singapore Math Approach

- After careful review, Rankin teachers
- and administrators felt the Math in
- Focus series was the resource needed
- for our students to achieve the
- curriculum as set forth by the Illinois
- Common Core Math Standards.

- The Common Core Math Standards call for a new level of rigor, depth, and coherence that will prepare our students to compete successfully in college and in the modern workforce.

- Did You Know?
- A student’s attitude and belief he or she can do the math is as important as actual ability.

- •

- Benefits of Math in Focus:
- Students will learn the ‘why’ behind the math concept before they learn the ‘how’.
- This allows teachers to teach to mastery.

- Key Strategies
- CONCRETE PICTORIAL ABSTRACT
- VISUALIZATION
- MATH AS THINKING!

Concepts are introduced through hands-on experiences with manipulatives.

Students visualize the concept and represent it pictorially through models like number bonds and bar models.

- Students only use abstract numbers and symbols when they have enough context to understand what they mean..

- Unit Format
- Chapter Pre test
- Lessons
- Chapter Post test
- Assessments (pre and post tests) are designed to meet the rigor of the Common Core State Standards.
- Therefore routine and non routine problems are included.

- Pre Tests in Math in Focus
- Pre tests in the Math in Focus program are philosophically different.
- In Math in Focus, students doing well on the pretest means that they are READY to learn the topics covered in that chapter. It does not mean the child already knows the material.

- Each lesson follows this format :
- Direct Instruction
- Guided Practice
- Hands-On Activity
- Let’s Practice
- Independent Practice
- One important note:
- Lessons in Math in Focus require multiple days to ensure mastery is being achieved. No longer will there be a new lesson every day.

- Direct Instruction
- Direct instruction revolves around conversations and visualizations of the skill being taught in the lesson.
- Through conversations between teacher and students, a solid foundation is established.
- Direct instruction occurs several times during a lesson.

- Guided Practice Includes:
- Manipulatives
- Teacher questioning
- Cooperative grouping
- This occurs several times throughout the lesson.

- Hands-On Activity
- Allows the students to demonstrate their understanding of a skill.
- Allows the teacher to assess students’ understanding and correct errors.

- Let’s Practice.
- Last step before independent practice.
- Allows the students to demonstrate their understanding of a skill independently in class.
- Allows the teacher to assess students’ understanding and correct errors.

- Independent Practice
- a.k.a. “Homework”
- Students will move to independent practice when understanding has been demonstrated in the classroom.
- Although some independent practice will take place at home, most will be done in school.

- Math in Focus Sequence
- The concepts and skills are intentional, designed to prepare students for success in more advanced mathematics.

- Spiraling in Math in Focus
- Based on the work of Jerome Bruner
- A curriculum as it develops should revisit basic ideas repeatedly.
- Each time a concept is revisited in Math in Focus, it is also extended.
- Students are not just repeating skills, rather practicing the same skill at a higher level.

- Differentiation in Math in Focus:
- On Level Learners have experiences that will solidify their learning.
- Struggling Learners spend more of their experience in the concrete phase, with manipulatives and visuals to aid their learning.
- Advanced Learners have experiences of varying complexity to extend their learning.

- Final Thoughts
- In order to change the way a student learns, teachers must change the way they teach.
- As the nation transfers to the new expectations of the Common Core State Standards, what is taught and how it is taught will evolve to meet those guidelines.

For Further Information please visit:

http://www.hmheducation.com/singsporemath/curriculum.php

http://www.greatsource.com/singaporemath/faq.html

Or Dr.Yeap Ban Har’s blog:

http://www.blogger.com/profile/14995827943531633736