Math Curriculum- What We Use and Why!
Well, you can file this post under “Subjects I never thought in a million years I would ever be concerned about.” But really, since having children that list of subjects has become quite lengthy. You too? Let’s just go ahead and say that math was not (and still isn’t, actually) my strong suit. However, I want my children to have the best education and opportunities possible, so if that means taking a deep dive into the depths of elementary math curricula, so be it.
What is the math curriculum Island Prep uses? Starting with first grade, Island Prep follows the Singapore Math curriculum. This program was originally created in (you guessed it) Singapore, and was introduced to the U.S. in the late 90s. In international math testing, Singapore consistently ranks at the top. Instead of focusing on memorization, the Singapore style emphasizes a thorough understanding of mathematical concepts. This program also encourages the attitude that math is relatable, instead of some abstract idea that only exists in schools…and torture chambers.
Making math relatable sounds ideal, of course, but what does that actually mean? Well, it means that the program has created an approach they call the ‘Concrete, Pictorial, Abstract’ or ‘CPA’ approach.
This highly effective framework introduces concepts in a tangible way and progresses to increasing levels of abstraction.Singaporemath.com
For example, in the Concrete stage, a math problem may be presented by providing physical interaction with concrete objects. Three real baseballs. In the Pictorial stage, the three baseballs would be replaced with drawings of baseballs. And finally in the Abstract phase, numbers would replace the baseballs. But by then the students have made the connection that the three tangible baseballs are equally represented by the number 3.
The CPA approach is only one of the methods utilized in this program. But overall, the emphasis is on helping students master concepts before progressing to the next.
In addition to Singapore Math, Prep also incorporates some elements of the Ready Math curriculum from the Florida public school system. Ready Math is a very data-driven curriculum, which includes online learning and student assessments to determine areas of strengths and weaknesses. While this isn’t the core math curriculum at Prep, we recognize that students may be entering the public school system at some point, and we want them to be well prepared when they encounter this learning style.
If you want to learn more about Singapore Math you can visit their website at www.singaporemath.com. Also, Kate Batzel is a wealth of information and she would love to discuss this with you further! Now tell us, what are your thoughts? Did you enjoy math when you were in school? Pop on over to Instagram and Facebook @islandprep and let’s chat!
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