# Singapore Math

At the Lower School, we utilize a math program called Singapore Mathematics after the country where it was first developed and used. Singapore Math doesn’t limit itself to the what and how of Math, although those are important, but focuses also on the why. While getting the right answer is important, Singapore Math helps students “think mathematically” by ensuring they understand the underlying Math concepts and principles at work in a problem.

## Concrete-Pictorial-Abstract Framework

Singapore Math lessons progress through a regular sequence. Each new topic begins with concrete exploration—usually using some kind of Math manipulative such as counters, place value discs, or snap cubes. After students have discovered the principles at work using manipulatives, Singapore Math moves to the pictorial stage, offering students a visual representation of the math principle at play, often taking the form of a number bond or bar model. Only once students have mastered the math concept at the concrete and pictorial stages does Singapore Math move on to introduce a purely abstract algorithm such as stacked addition or subtraction, long division, or cross multiplication.

## Math Facts

In Singapore Mathematics no less than in any other math program, automaticity with basic math facts (2+2=4, 2+3=5, etc.) is crucial. While we devote as much time as we can during the school day to practice with math facts, we strongly encourage all families to reinforce our scholars’ mastery of basic facts through regular practice at home. Good old-fashioned flash cards and timed practice are always helpful.

### Skip Counting

When it comes time for multiplication, “skip counting” by different denominations can be a great way to practice Math facts! For example, you might ask your child to skip count by 2s starting at 14 (14, 16, 18, 20, 22), or you might ask her to skip count by 5s until you get to 40 (5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, 40). When your child is ready, try more difficult numbers like 3s, 4s, 7s, or 9s. Try skip counting by 11s! It’s not as hard as it sounds (at least through 99).

### XtraMath

We have also acquired access to an adaptive, online Math fact fluency program called XtraMath for all Lower School students. Visit greatheartsirving.org/xtramath for details.

### MathFactLab

Recently we are delighted to have also acquired access to MathFactLab for all Lower School students. MathFactLab offers targeted practice with math facts with an emphasis on the same kinds of pictorial representations that students see during the school day and that will help them build strong number sense in addition to fostering automaticity with basic facts. Visit greatheartsirving.org/mathfactlab for more.

## How Parents Can Help at Home

Though it may be different from what parents encountered when they were young, we ask all our parents to support the depth and intentionality of our math instruction by helping their children use strategies and vocabulary taught at school.

### Find the Math in Everyday Life

One of the best ways you can help your child achieve mastery is to seize upon opportunities to build math into your everyday life. Ask your child to help with the measuring when cooking family meals. Pose a “challenge” math question while traveling in the car such as, “If Grandma’s house is 20 miles away and we’ve already traveled 7, how many miles do we have left to travel?” or “If we went into the store and apples cost 50 cents each, how much would we have to pay altogether if we bought 12 apples?” Thinking and talking through real life problems like these together helps students see that Math isn’t just a class in school but is a way of understanding the world. It can also make traveling in the car a time to spend in thoughtful conversation with one another as a family.

### Math Games

During one of her recent visits, our Singapore Math expert and instructional coach Beth Curran provided parents with numerous ideas for games to play at home. Click below for instructions on each:

## More Resources

### Math Fact Flash Cards and More

At SingaporeMath.com, you can download free, printable materials to use for playing math games at home, including:

You can also download and print multiplication and division fact cards for:

### Ken Ken Puzzles

Beth Curran also recommends Ken Ken Puzzles as a great way to practice addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. Find more at kenkenpuzzle.com.

For questions about our math program or anything else in our curriculum, reach out to Thomas.Beyer@greatheartstxschools.org or Mary.Pantin@greatheartstxschools.org. You can learn more about Singapore Mathematics principles and pedagogical methodologies, visit singaporemath.com.