A problem-solving curriculum that has kept Singapore at the top of the Trends in International Math and Science Study (TIMSS) since 1995, Singapore Math is an approach used to teach students mastery of fewer mathematical concepts at greater depth.
At St. Anne’s-Belfield School, we use the Primary Mathematics curriculum for Kindergarten through sixth grade, assisting students in learning concepts and skills through a concrete, pictorial, abstract progression.
The process begins with concepts introduced using manipulative materials, requiring students to engage in activities. They then learn to represent concepts using pictures, with number bonds and bar models used as tools to solve word problems. Finally, when students have developed a deep understanding of concepts, they progress to a more abstract phase in which numbers and symbols are used. It is at this point that algorithms are taught and practiced to mastery. This approach develops a solid foundation in mathematical concepts before students are asked to memorize procedures. Once students achieve mastery, they immediately apply newly acquired skills to problem-solving.
Throughout these early grades, there is a strong emphasis on place value and number sense which prepares our students for content taught in the upper grades.