“Less May be More with Math Curriculum”

Jamaal Abdul-Alim:

The books are distributed by an Oregon-based company known as SingaporeMath.com, which counts a private school in Madison as the first of its growing number of clients.
The biggest difference between math instruction in Singapore – a city-state with a population of about 4.4 million – and the United States is a simple premise: Less is more.
Students in Singapore are introduced to roughly half the number of new math topics a year as students in the United States are. Experts and policy analysts say Singapore’s emphasis on depth over breadth is a formula for success.
The thicker the textbooks and the greater the volume of math topics introduced a year, the less likely American students and teachers are to achieve similar results, says Alan Ginsburg, director of the policy and program studies service at the U.S. Department of Education.

More on the Connected Math / Singapore Math textbook photos.

Madison Country Day School was the first US school to purchase Singapore Math textbooks, in 1997, according to this article.

2 thoughts on ““Less May be More with Math Curriculum””

  1. I noticed the difference in those stacks about two years ago. And I also noticed how incredibly more thorough an understanding the kids with Singapore Math tend to have of the basic math concepts. It is not just memorizing math facts, contrary to what some people may believe. I nfact, in S.M. there is little direct memorization they just introduce fewer concepts at once with more depth (as pointed out above), and so the kids get a thorough grounding in each concept. Thus it looks like (later) the kids must have memorized a bunch of stuff, since their mental math is much stronger already in third grade, and concepts build on that.

  2. Singapore Math has worked well for my kids, but I wouldn’t say this is a program that is for all kids, just as I wouldn’t say CMP works for all kids. Singapore Math works will for those who catch onto math concepts easily and don’t need a lot of drill and kill. For some, they need to do it different ways, to catch onto the concept and for those, CMP works fine. Mind you, we left the district public schools because the district was forcing all kids to do CMP and it wasn’t a good choice for my kids.

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