Singapore Math

What is Singapore Mathematics?

Singapore Mathematics is the a program that teaches kids WHY they are doing what they are doing through 3 stages of development.

Concrete » Pictorial » Abstract

In traditional math classrooms, student memorize a method (algorithm) without understanding the "why" behind the method.

Why did we choose Singapore Mathematics?

This program has been proven effective by the country of Singapore's improvement in mathematics on international standardized testing.

In 1995, 1999, and 2003 Singapore's fourth and eighth grade students were the top performers, and in 2007 they were second on the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMMS).

All Singapore students who were tested by TIMMS were taught using the Primary Mathematics series, also known as Singapore Math.

What does a lesson look like?

Mental Calculation - 5 minutes

Teacher-Directed Lesson - 15 minutes

Activity - 15 minutes

Problem-Solving - 15 minutes

Independent Practice - 10 minutes

Total Instructional Time = 60 minutes daily


Singapore’s Primary Mathematics:


How is Singapore’s Primary Mathematics being implemented in the Warren County R-3 School District? 

  • Summer 2012-All elementary classroom teachers and administrators were trained in Singapore Primary Mathematics in a week-long seminar.
  • 2012-2013-Training will continue throughout the year.
  • Summer 2013-Extended training for upper elementary grades.

Why make the change to Primary Mathematics? 

  • Proven effective by the country of Singapore’s mathematics scores on the Trends in International Math and Science Study (T.I.M.S.S.), by ranking first in the world in 1995, 1999, 2003, and second in 2007.
  • Emphasizes key skills of number sense and problem solving.
  • Teaches key mathematical concepts in a depth that is not seen in other series.


What is Primary Mathematics? 

  • Singapore’s Primary Mathematics is the textbook series your child’s teacher will use to implement the program.
  • Children are taught concepts through 3 stages of intellectual development:
    • Concrete learning: Objects are moved to learn new mathematical concepts.
    • Pictorial learning: Drawings or pictures are used to practice previously learned concepts.
    • Abstract learning: Numbers and symbols are employed to find a solution.
  • Primary Mathematics focuses on building number sense and problem solving skills.


Why does my child’s math homework look different than the way I learned math? 

  • Primary Mathematics builds on understandings that are learned through different stages of learning.
  • Students are working on different levels, but learning the same concepts.
  • The final goal is the traditional way of working math problems.


How can I better understand what my child is doing in mathematics? 

  • Attend parent nights throughout the school year.
  • Examine the problems your child has completed from class.
  • Read helpful mathematical tips that will be available on the Warren County R-3 website.
  • Contact your child’s teacher.

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