Skip to comments.Making Math Lessons as Easy as 1, Pause, 2, Pause ... (Singapore Math)
Posted on 10/05/2010 5:20:53 AM PDT by reaganaut1
For decades, efforts to improve math skills have driven schools to embrace one math program after another, abandoning a program when it does not work and moving on to something purportedly better. In the 1960s there was the new math, whose focus on abstract theories spurred a back-to-basics movement, emphasizing rote learning and drills. After that came reform math, whose focus on problem solving and conceptual understanding has been derided by critics as the new new math.
Singapore math may well be a fad, too, but supporters say it seems to address one of the difficulties in teaching math: all children learn differently. In contrast to the most common math programs in the United States, Singapore math devotes more time to fewer topics, to ensure that children master the material through detailed instruction, questions, problem solving, and visual and hands-on aids like blocks, cards and bar charts. Ideally, they do not move on until they have thoroughly learned a topic.
Principals and teachers say that slowing down the learning process gives students a solid math foundation upon which to build increasingly complex skills, and makes it less likely that they will forget and have to be retaught the same thing in later years.
And with Singapore math, the pace can accelerate by fourth and fifth grades, putting children as much as a year ahead of students in other math programs as they grasp complex problems more quickly.
Our old program, Everyday Math, did not do that, said Danielle Santoro, assistant principal of Public School 132 in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, which introduced Singapore math last year for all 700 students in kindergarten through fifth grade. One day it could be money, the next day it could be time, and you would not get back to those concepts until a week later.
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
It's too bad learning requires learning, but it does. Everybody wants an easy way out. There isn't one.
Also note that “collaborative learning”, a twister step sister of “cooperative learning”, group thing, whittles away their INDIVIDUAL self confidence. The GROUP decides the outcome. If problems arise they go to the teacher. The teacher will ANSWER them with another QUESTION. The collborativelearning teacher wants them to THINK their way through NEW concepts.
Needless to say it doesn't work. It only serves to frustrate students and turn them off from the hard sciences. Ones that CARE will work hard. Those that don't get pushed along. It doesn't take kids long to figure out who cares and who doesn't when working in a group.
To ensure the GROUP works nicely together, they tack on the “process” as being all important. The results don't really matter. It's the PROCESS which includes how kids, yes KIDS get along with one another in the “process” of learning. If a student doesn't want to do squat in the GROUP, then there is a problem with the PROCESS. That problem will affect the grades of all of them. So kids have to also learn to pretend the non-performer is contributing while in reality they SIDELINE the kids who don't care so the component of the “process” grade looks good to the teacher.
The focus is now on “process” not knowledge. Another “process” component is for kids to KNOW WHERE TO GET THE “KNOWLEDGE”. So what you'll have is kids who don't know much, look good working together with NO knowledge. I can't think of a worse combination.
Teachers do LESS work. Teach less. Parents see inflated grades because their non-perfomer is ELEVATED with "group think" and the bright kids beginto think, why bother. So within this "method" of learning it accomplishes a dumbing down and demoralizing of those that are performers.
It's already been proven that collaborative learning fails miserably in the hard sciences. That doesn't matter. It's the rage from PreK to 12th grade and college. It is a disaster but you can see how it all works together for the detriment of the student and accomplishes the goals of the LEFT. This is why we sacrifice and private school ours. I also supplement when I see fit at home.
Everyday Math is part of Reform Math, which is a cousin of New Math, and it’s all junk, or so I suspect.
Anyway, here are the four names I see praised by homeschoolers: Saxon, Singapore, Math Mammoth, and MathUSee.
I’ve asked two of these people, why don’t you create something for public schools??? We’ve got to purge Reform Math and now the Core Standards.
For years I thought non-phonics instruction in reading was the worst gimmick devised by our educators. But as I looked at New Math, I thought: this is nuts. no way you’d teach a kid like this. So now there are two “worst” gimmicks.
(Google “36: The Assault on Math” for more of this analysis.)
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