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Singapore Math

Saturday, September 25, 2010

The Lighter Side of Singapore Math (Part 2)

In Praise of Models

A K-8 Sample of Singapore Math Questions

Grade 1
Use the [Singapore] model method to show that (a) 2 + 3 = 5, (b) 9 – 4 = 5. 

Grade 2
Use a model to show that 3 × 6 = 6 × 3. 

Grade 3 

Use a model to show that ½ × ⅘ = ⅖.

Grade 4
Use a model to show that 2 ÷ ⅖ = 5. 

Grade 5
Use the model method to evaluate the value of 3½ × 4⅚. 

Grade 6
Use a model diagram to show that the infinite series converges to a finite number.

½ + ¼ + ⅛ + ⅟₁₆ + ... = 1 

Grade 7
Use a model to show that (2x)² is not equal to 2

Grade 8
Use a model method to solve these equations.
(a)  – 3x                  (b) x² + 3x + 5 = 0

Singapore World Records 

Most participants in a ribbon-cutting ceremony (3,238)

People wearing balloon hats at one time (1,491) 

Most people caught jumping queues at one time (?)

The first (or fastest) one to board a train at a newly open train station (? sec)

Most number of people solving a word problem using the model method (n!?)

The world's gigantic math model cut on grass (?)

Wittgenstein’s Ghost 

Math educator
: Let one unit represent the number of Singapore Math books.
Homeschooler: But, Dad, suppose one unit doesn’t represent the number of Singapore Math books.  

New math titles in the pipeline

1. The Singapore Model Method for Those with Zero Sight 
[By a Singapore-born blind math educator]

2. A Bluffer’s Guide to the Singapore Model Method
[Pending approval from the Censorship Board of Adult Education]

3. Singapore Math for SENIORS
[A CHRISTmaths gift for grandparents & godparents]

4. China Math vs. Singapore Math: Which is Better?
[Does this include Taiwan Math?]

5. Singaporeanizing Math 
[What on earth is that?]

An Evolution of Grade 5/6 Singapore Math Word Problems

Teaching Math in 1970 (Traditional Math)
Mr. Yan has three cows and eight chickens. How many legs are there altogether? [Ask a next-door neighbor for the answer.]

Teaching Math in 1980 (Model Method)
Mr. Yan has twice as many cows as chickens. If there are 64 legs in all, how many cows are there? [Ask a neighborhood school teacher for the answer.]

Teaching Math in 2000 (Problem Solving)
Mr. Yan has cows and chickens. If there are altogether 28 legs, how many chickens and how many cows are there? [Ask a full-time tutor for the answer.]

Teaching Math in 2010 (Challenging)
Mr. Yan has almost twice as many chickens as cows. The total number of legs and heads is 184. How many cows are there? [Answer a math coach, or a volunteer from the Ask Dr. Math Website.]

The Core of the Singapore Math Student

What the most-disliked subject means for the average or above-average Singapore student (in spite of TIMSS):

K1-K2: Math is a lore.
Grades 1-2: Math is a score.
Grades 3-4: Math is a bore.
Grades 5-6: Math is a chore.
Grades 7-10: Math is a sore.
Grades 11-12: Math is no more. 

© Yan Kow Cheong, September 25, 2010