3 Essential Tips for Singapore Math Teachers

If you have decided to become a Singapore Math teacher, be prepared for intensive training and new, interesting challenges. If you have worked as a math teacher before, you will have to develop new skills and adapt to the new situation; if you have no previous teaching experience, you will have to learn everything from scratches. In order to not forget about the most important things, follow our essential tips for all Singapore Math teachers.

3 Essential Tips for Singapore Math Teachers

Image Credit : marycurrandowney


Do it by the book

From the teacher’s point of view, Singapore Math is not the most creative method of teaching math, at least at the early stage, when children have to master basic concepts and rules. It is absolutely mandatory that you follow the teacher’s guide by the book. Any changes and departures from the method explained in the teacher’s guide might lead to future problems with understanding math concepts. You can allow yourself to experiment with the method only when you have at least a few years of experience applying Singapore Math teaching methods to different groups of students. Before that time comes, be scrupulous and methodological. And remember: gaps in your understanding of the method will result in your students having the same problems in the future, therefore, make sure that you have studied the method thoroughly, before you start teaching it to anyone.

Pay as much attention to concrete, pictorial and abstract stage

One of the most vital features of Singapore Math is the transition from concrete examples to pictorial representations and at the last stage, to abstract equations. Every step is equally important for the students’ understanding of math and it cannot be omitted. Singapore Math teachers are often tempted to skip the concrete or pictorial stage, especially when they see that their students are already able to solve the problem using only the abstract symbols. You have to understand that providing explanations of the basic issues is not a redundant activity, but a great opportunity to practice the method using content children already understand. If they can learn the basic rules by practicing on material they already are familiar with, it will be easier for them to apply the same rules to new problems. Even if your students know how to solve certain math problems, they can always benefit from a more thorough approach to the topic.

Be patient and adapt to the pace of your students

Working with Singapore Math book might sometimes feel like a drag. In kindergarten and grade 1 children usually advance quickly from the “A” book to the “B” book, but in grades 2-4 it might take a lot more time. As a teacher, you have to be prepared for that and try not to panic or become impatient. Singapore Math educators are well aware of the problem and the workbooks are usually designed in a way, where it allows teachers to spend more time on teaching those issues, which are most challenging for students. You just try to speed up the process, you will end up with some of your students not being able to understand those issues.

Alex BukaThis article has been written by Alex Buka, he is a writer and Social Media Marketer with 3+ years of experience in math SEO copywriting and social media management.

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