Singapore Math, Anyone?

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by applecore, Aug 22, 2015.

  1. applecore

    applecore Devotee

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    Aug 22, 2015

    We've adopted Singapore Math, and quite frankly, after the first lesson, I'm already thinking sing a pour me something to get through the rest of the lessons. :spitwater:

    Please, if anyone is out there listening, reading, commiserating with me, please tell me it's worth the crossed eyes and spinning head moments?:dizzy:

    My students completely and utterly failed their pretest and some finished the benchmark test; and our pacing calendar has absolutely no room to extend to reteach. I'll be "reteaching" while I'm teaching---which is not what I'm supposed to do according to the "plan" and teaching to "fidelity". (If any of that makes sense to you, then I hope you understand my craziness.. :woot:)

    Cheers to making it through one day at a time! :spitwater:
     
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  3. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    Aug 22, 2015

    I used it a couple of years ago when I taught gen ed. I taught 3rd and my students had gotten the program one year before that in 2nd. It was an inner city district with the vast majority of students being significantly below grade level, and I was very surprised with the amount of number sense that they had coming into 3rd. I think parts of the program were really good for them. I liked that it focused on understanding numbers and their uses rather than just teaching them to memorize formulas and things like that. We weren't required to follow it "with fidelity" at all, so that was good because there were some parts that I just thought were way too complicated for them. The lessons would have also been really, really boring had I just taught them right out of the teacher's manual. I also did not like the way the tests were set up. I found that the test often contained all "higher level thinking" questions which asked the students to apply what they learned in the unit to another concept. Scores were generally very low, and it was hard to use test data to inform instruction because I got no information about whether the students simply couldn't do the concept in the lesson at all, or whether they just couldn't apply it to new concepts. I felt the tests should have contained a variety of question types. I will say that my students did very well on the state math test. Historically the school's scores were below 20% proficient in math (like I said, very low performing inner city district) and I had 70% pass. My teammates' scores were similar to mine.
     
  4. Missy

    Missy Aficionado

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    Aug 23, 2015

    I found it much more helpful in fifth (the bar modeling helped so much with fractions), than I do in third. I pick and choose the parts that I believe will be helpful and use other ideas for the rest. Luckily, I am not required to use everything or I would be very unhappy.
     
  5. applecore

    applecore Devotee

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    Aug 23, 2015

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts. It's helpful to know there were successes using the curriculum.

    I'm finding that I'm rebeling against a few things after reading through the curriculum this morning--I'm still attempting to plan out the week. I may quietly rebel on the amount of time I'm using to teach and make sure I'm adding some real-life things that came to mind this morning...like using a pay check to explain why we need to know how to read and write numbers, and the famous Price is Right t.v. show to order numbers. I may have had a bit too much coffee this morning.

    We're trying not to be unhappy and approaching it like it's actually going to work. And, we decided to use the reteach items for intervention times---that might help. We'll see.

    Thanks again.
     
  6. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    Aug 23, 2015

    Funny, the bar modeling was one of my favorite things from Singapore math! I had always had huge problems with kids just looking at a word problem and adding the numbers (regardless of what the problem was asking) and bar modeling really helped with that. Most of my class understood it really well. I know some of my teammates didn't like it. I actually still use it to help my current students with word problems even though my current school doesn't use Singapore math.
     
  7. love2teach

    love2teach Enthusiast

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    Aug 28, 2015

    Give it time.
    I hated it---like cried, yelled, and screamed hated it.
    Now I love it.
    I hope that your district had some PD around it, as it is a totally different way of thinking about and teaching math. There are still some parts of it that make my head scratch....and I choose to skip over them (I'm not missing out on any standards).
    There is a lot to the program that is assumed, especially since America's approach to math is quite different.
    The lessons can be boring and most of them take me more than one day to get through. I def. add "spice" mine, but that took time.....good luck!
     

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