Staff Writer
Columbus Parent

BUZZ TERM: Singapore Math

WHAT IT MEANS: "Singapore math" is a style of instruction that encourages critical thinking and doesn't rely on the constant review and repetition commonly associated with traditional methods. Instead, math is taught by laying a conceptual foundation that persists and can be built upon. Students don't devote time to rote memorization, and teachers linger on some topics (for example, the number one) for what seems like a long time so that later concepts can be more readily understood. Blocks, coins, and other manipulatives supply visual, concrete cues and provide students with a deeper understanding of the meaning behind the lessons. Students do not move forward until they have truly mastered a topic.

WHERE IT COMES FROM: Singapore! In annual studies of math achievement around the world, students in Singapore repeatedly demonstrated leadership. Now, more than 50 countries have adopted Singapore's national math system, including some schools in the United States. For more information, try Why Before How: Singapore Math Computation Strategies by Jana Hazekamp.