Established in Singapore in the 1980s and modified many times, this method is a synthesis of several didactic and pedagogical approaches. Inspired by the work of many pedagogues such as Jerome Bruner, Jean Piaget and even Maria Montessori, she favors the manipulation and learning of concrete representations for the teaching of mathematics in children from 5 to 11 years old.
The Singapore Math recommends a 3-step progression: students must tackle mathematical problems in a concrete, then pictorial and finally abstract way so as to give meaning and multiple representations to mathematical equations before attaching formulas to them.
Problem solving at the heart of learning
The E Singapore Math also favors the resolution of problems in consultation through group work, making it possible to verbalize the processes of reflection and to compare their ideas and approaches to resolution with others.
Beyond mathematics, these collaborative exercises also serve to improve the atmosphere within the class, since exchanges between students promote respect for each other’s words and play down errors.
In countries that have already implemented this method, we see better results in all areas. Indeed, one of the major objectives in mathematics is to learn to reason and these reasoning processes are applicable in all disciplines.
What tools are available for teachers?
If the method is debated, school publishers are already getting started: The school bookstore publishes a set of resources on the Singapore Math, and other publishers are gradually integrating its principles into their collections.
But it is also possible to retain the main elements of the method and to draw, from the existing manuals, those which favor manipulation or group work. We offer a selection on the east mezzanine, on the 2nd floor of the library.
How does that change compared to the tools you were using?
Flipping through the first time, I wondered if the exercises are not too “simple”. The method does not resemble the large files typically offered in the other methods. I prefer. It is less discouraging for pupils in difficulty, and less disturbing for parents who collect poorly filled files at the end of the year because they are far too rich even for good pupils. This allows us to refocus on more precise objectives.
For advanced students, just offer more activities. We visualize well what is realistically expected in CP for all students. I’ve been using the file for 4 weeks now, and so far nothing is “too simple”. On the contrary, it fits my class perfectly. Did the weekly rhythm and the kindergarten ESM program in the Math’s with Leonie method.
The summary, with one lesson per week, surprised me! But I like the idea of one lesson a week. This makes us spend a lot of time on notions that are sometimes overlooked, sloppy, or too far apart in the learning phase.
This is the case, for example, at the beginning of the year, with the sequence of numbers and the arrangement that we work on for several days in a row. It can give the impression of not moving forward, of wasting time, but for me it gives me the impression of laying down the basics well, and of not going too fast. I like it.
Another example: I spent a week exclusively on the notion of previous / next . It seemed long, or boring to them, but not at all, it is not a vocabulary, a notion so easy to acquire and fix. In Les Math’s avec Leonie, the representation of addition and subtraction in the form “2 parts and a whole” changes everything. It is extremely interesting, to visualize the concept in its entirety and to transfer it in the resolution of problems. I totally agree.
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