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Havasu Teachers prepare for Singapore Math

 Singapore Math Instructional Tools
Singapore Math Instructional Tools

Introducing Singapore Math in Lake Havasu Unified School District schools involves much more than buying new textbooks.

It also involves teaching the teachers.

To that end, a training session in early June took place for all elementary staff. Another session is scheduled for July 18 and 19 for teachers who are new to the district or those who missed the June workshop.

District Superintendent Diana Asseier attended the June event. She shared her worksheets from the training with a visitor. Many of the exercises were word problems. Solving the questions required the drawing of boxes and using mental math.

“What makes (Singapore Math) unique is the way that mathematics is taught,” Asseier said. “The concrete, pictorial, abstract approach is easier for children to understand. They won’t learn isolated skills. We will only teach a few concepts deeply. ”

She noted that Havasu students will spend much more time on fractions.

After the June training, district teachers were asked to gauge their assessment of the instruction.

“Many of them told me they wished they had learned mathematics this way,” Asseier said.

Teachers were also pleased to know that every district school would be using identical resource materials and teachers will pace their students through the instruction at about the same rate. By aligning the math curriculum at each school, elementary students enter middle school with the same set of skills. Previously, student skill levels were inconsistent.

The district’s 2019-2020 school year begins in three weeks, on Aug. 5. Asseier had five specific points of advice for parents to prepare their students for Singapore Math.

1. Math Facts: “Practice, practice, practice,” Asseier said. This includes basic addition, subtraction division and multiplication tables.

2. Telling Time: Practice reading time on an analog clock.

3. Money: Present word problems using money, particularly coins. “This helps kids practice fractions and decimals,” Asseier said.

4. Measurement: Children can practice measuring in the kitchen while cooking or baking, with a tape measure in the home workshop or just walking around the house to measure objects with a ruler. “In school, students will learn the American standards of measurement plus the metric system,” Asseier said.

5. Math Facts: “It is so important, it’s on the list twice,” Asseier said.


by Pam Ashley - Today's News-Herald
Jul 11, 2019

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