kitchen table math, the sequel: where have I been?

Saturday, May 23, 2009

where have I been?

So....yesterday I stumbled across this fantastic blog devoted to Singapore Math.

Then today I was reading the Grade 4 Word Problem on the new blog.

Then....after clicking around some more...I discovered that: the great new blog is written by Cassy T. The way you can tell is: it says so on the top of the blog.

So now I'm praying Cassy's blog hasn't been around for MONTHS.


And I find that: YES!

IT HAS BEEN AROUND FOR MONTHS! Since February 19, 2009 to be precise.

Remind me never to get involved in a school board campaign again.


SteveH said...

Great blog Cassy!

I would love to hear your stories about how teachers and administrators react to Singapore Math. My (limited) experience makes me feel that, deep down, they think it's too hard, not that it's drill and kill, or rote. It's easier for them to "dis" Saxon Math, but Singapore Math is something else. The head of curriculum at my son's previous private school basically said that it was too hard for "their mix of students".

Your Singapore Math bar model problem made me think again about why modern "reform" math curricula don't jump to use that visual learning tool. It seems like a turf issue to me. Everyday Math goes out of it's way to avoid the standard algorithm to push the Lattice Method, even though showing how the partial products method evolves to the standard multiplication method would be much more informative.

I think the turf issue makes it harder for schools to even consider changing to Saxon or Singapore Math. How many remember that very old saying, "You won't get fired for choosing IBM"? That was way back in the mainframe days. You won't get fired for choosing Everyday Math.

Catherine Johnson said...

Here's hoping Irvington will be the second school district in Westchester to adopt Singapore Math.

Cheryl van Tilburg said...

We hear "Singapore Math isn't a good match for our student mix" at our school. I don't really know what that means, but I think "it's too tough" would be a reasonable translation.

We're a private international "American school" with pretty solid ITBS scores and fairly engaged parents. The tuition is about $18,000/year, plus add-ons that add up to an additional few thousand. Most of our ~3,000 students are children of American expatriate parents posted overseas.

Oh yeah, and we're located in SINGAPORE.

If Singapore Math has a hard time gaining traction here, I can only imagine how hard it will be to get a foothold in the United States.

I love Cassy's blog, and her link to Singapore exams is amazing. Thanks so much for highlighting it, Catherine.

CassyT said...

Thanks all for your kind words!

Some comments: I tend to work with admin that has already "drunk the kool aide" in that they have researched and chosen the Primary Mathematics series for their school. I get a mix of teachers; some who love it, others who tell me that their kids can't do it. At a school that had been using the curriculum for a couple of years, I had a 4th grade teacher say to me: "Oh, is that what those boxes are for?"

I have worked with charter and private schools and small, single school public districts. These tend to have an easier time politically taking on a new curriculum.

CassyT said...

Just saw this link coming up and wanted to direct people to my newer site: Singapore Math Source

I would love to hear your stories about how teachers and administrators react to Singapore Math.
For SteveH: Recently, I've been working with a G & T school that is considering Singapore Math along with the M3 project and now they've added Saxon to the mix. I had one teacher ask me "Don't I think Everyday Math is what is best for G & T students?" Another thought Singapore Math looked a lot like Everyday Math, "They both spiral and use manipulatives".

More info on stories about teachers and administrators reactions to Singapore Math will be forthcoming!

Bostonian said...

In Massachusetts, a new private school for gifted children (they hope to become public in the future) called ANOVA will be using Singapore Math .