What is Singapore Math?

Singapore math is a teaching method based on the national math curriculum used for kindergarten through sixth grade in Singapore. It involves teaching students to learn and master few mathematical concepts at greater detail as well as having them learn these concepts using a three-step learning process. These steps are concrete, pictorial and abstract.

In the concrete step, students engage in hands-on learning experiences using concrete objects such as chips, dice, or paper clips. This is followed by drawing pictorial representation of mathematical concepts. Students then solve mathematical problems in an abstract way by using numbers and symbols.

Concrete – Student start by counting familiar things like: beans, blocks, coins or actual objects

Pictorial – Student color pictures, draw boxed around pictures, write numbers inside the pictures. These activities help students understand meaning of counting.

Abstract – Once students are confident with drawing boxes, they transfer to drawing boxes for number of objects and then one box for the total number of objects.


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