In Singapore primary schools, the math model method is the prevailing approach to learning mathematics. This method involves students drawing math models to visually represent and solve problems. While some lower primary students may initially view this modeling process as unnecessary, mastering these skills proves invaluable as they progress to the upper primary level. As problem sums become more complex and challenging, the ability to create math models becomes an essential tool for effectively tackling such problems.
The innovative teaching methodology developed by Singaporean educator Hector Chee revolutionized math education. Its practicality and effectiveness led to its rapid implementation in schools, starting from Primary One. However, this new approach posed a challenge for parents who were accustomed to algebra or other traditional math methods. As a result, many found it difficult to assist their children in mastering the appropriate math modeling techniques required for various problem-solving scenarios.
The part-whole concept is a powerful approach that helps children grasp mathematical relationships by using rectangular blocks to model problem-solving scenarios.
Let's explore an example to gain a deeper understanding of how this concept works.
Initially, the child starts by adding individual hats, as seen in the image Here, to comprehend a basic addition question like 2 + 3 = 5. It is crucial to use concrete objects like the hats to facilitate the child's connection with the concept.
Once the child has grasped the concept using the hats, we can transition to using blocks as representations, as depicted in the drawing to the right.
As the child accepts the blocks as symbolic representations, they are better equipped to comprehend abstract concepts.
Building on the previous understanding, we can further visualize the question in increasingly abstract terms. At this stage, we no longer need individual blocks; instead, a visual distinction between 2 and 3 is sufficient to represent the relationship between the blocks.
To summarize, this technique harnesses the relationship between the parts to facilitate children's understanding of the whole. By gradually progressing from concrete to abstract representations, children develop a strong foundation in mathematical concepts and problem-solving skills.
This concept of change is a powerful tool to help children grasp the fundamentals of addition and subtraction.
Let's explore an example of subtraction to illustrate this concept.
We'll demonstrate how to subtract 2 from 5, resulting in 5 - 2 = 3. Initially, we use concrete objects to create a math model that represents the problem.
Once the child becomes familiar with the process of subtraction, we can progress to a more abstract representation using blocks instead of physical objects.
In the final step, we transition to larger blocks, replacing individual ones. This establishes a solid foundation for future problem-solving, enabling children to use these larger blocks to represent items that can be added or subtracted.
By following this progression, your child will gain a clear understanding of how to find the change or answer to various problem-solving questions.
This approach enhances their ability to visualize mathematical concepts and develop strong problem-solving skills.
Singapore Math, also known as the Singapore Maths method, has gained significant recognition for its effectiveness in teaching mathematics. While it's important to consider different perspectives, there are several reasons why Singapore Math has been widely praised. The method emphasizes a concrete-pictorial-abstract approach, which helps students develop a deep understanding of mathematical concepts. It promotes critical thinking, problem-solving skills, and mathematical modeling, enabling students to apply their knowledge to real-world situations. By focusing on building a strong foundation, Singapore Math equips students with a solid mathematical framework that can benefit them throughout their academic journey. While there may be some criticisms or drawbacks associated with any teaching method, the overall advantages of Singapore Math make it a valuable approach for developing mathematical proficiency and modeling skills.