Wednesday, November 30, 2016

The Dilemma (And Depression) of Implementing a New (Singapore) Math Program at Your School

I've had the privilege of working with the Singapore Math Curriculum for over eight years. It was not a curriculum that I found to be very difficult because I have a natural penchant for all things math - especially when it pertains to the foundations of Algebra/Speed Math Strategies and Problem Solving.

As the years pass by and countless students visit me to improve and enhance their math abilities, I've noticed one thing: the more I challenge the student, the better they do. I've seen students walk into my office with their head hanging low and their scores gleaming with an unsatisfactory performance give them a visible inferiority complex that cannot be ignored. I remind them that despite the fact that the initial glance of their abilities may not look good, you need to want to improve.

Parents watch me as I listen in on how students passively answer questions and provide them with the feedback that they do not hear from their teachers. It's not that I am trying to "sell them" on signing up for a gym membership, I simply think that until now - you probably have not come across anyone who knows the constructs of the Singapore Math method as well as I do.

My only guilty pleasure is not revealing to most people that I secretly do love the subject of math (and social sciences). Year after year I work with students who start with "average" math scores and then surprise me with an invitation to be part of an accelerated program that is a result of our combined efforts. Math is a part of life and as an adult, I would hesitate to encourage a student to think that they are not "good" in something because they have had a teacher that has only learned this curriculum for a week during the summer. A teacher that is worth their weight in gold can not only understand the curriculum well enough to teach it, but understand how difficult the concepts may be and forecast a plan of action to ensure that the children will grasp it. My teachers did that with me and for some reason, this type of teaching still works.

If you are having a difficult time with Singapore Math at your school, please feel free to contact Learning Ridge at 404-964-8533. We would love to help your child be the best student they can be.