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Embracing Singapore Math in America

By Deborah Williams

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The superior performance of math students from Singapore has been reported repeatedly over the last few years.  One can argue that their methods have yielded consistent, outstanding performances on global assessments for several years.  It should be no surprise, then, that some school districts across the country have begun implementing “Singapore Math” into their math programs.   Jake Remaly, writer for the Madison Patch, reports that the Madison, New Jersey elementary schools is the most recent district to announce that it will start the program next school year.

The school board adopted the textbook, Math in Focus: Singapore Math, and approved plans to start the program next year with students in grades K – 2.  Students in grades 3 – 5 will begin using the program the following year.  The board’s decision came about after considering Common Core standards, the new standardized tests, and teacher and parent input.    The program purports to “’feature visual representations and modeling strategies to solve complex programs’ and helps students understand how and why math works.”

View this video featuring Dr. Ban Har Yeap, assistant professor of mathematics and mathematics education at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, on why Singapore leads the world in math [8:06]:

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