Wednesday, September 14, 2011

I have attached a picture of a P3 Maths Question. The answer in blue is the student's answer.

My first thought was that the boy had given the correct answer. However, another parent pointed out that the question could mean having 8 sets of 2 square tables.

We would appreciate your view on this.

A Singapore Parent

I think the boy is correct. The test item would have been clearer if it is phrased this way:

A long table is formed by placing square tables side-by-side. Each side of the square table seats one person.

(This is followed by diagrams of two square tables, three square table and four square tables placed side-by-side.)

How many persons can the long table seat when 8 square tables are placed side-by-side?

I can understand why some adults may think that the answer is 34. They are thinking (because of the diagram) that a table is formed using two square tables and take the question to be asking for the situations when 8 such two-unit tables are used. This issue can be resolved by making the task clearer. One way to do so is suggested.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Graduate Research on Singapore Math

I am a Prep teacher in a school in the Philippines. Our school has adapted Singapore Math for the past four years. I am currently doing a paper on Singapore Math at a university in Manila.

I wish to ask you if there are any materials, readings, or websites that you can recommend?


Ms. Patricia

Dear Patricia

Actually Singapore Math is based on learning theories. If you are doing a paper on Singapore Math you should be reading Bruner's theories on representations and spiral curriculum, also on Piaget's ideas on how children learn, Dienes theory of variability, Skemp's ideas on relational and instrumental understanding, and show how Singapore Math is consistent with learning theories.

If you are doing empirical research, there is a large number of areas you can research on e.g. how concrete materials help Prep children progress to pictorial and symbolic representations.

I will be happy to read your final paper.