Singapore Math. Conceptua Math employs a pedagogical approach that is highly compatible with Singapore Math. Singapore Math is widely lauded for developing a strong platform of understanding, and giving both teachers and students enduring confidence in mathematical teaching and knowledge. Our team has consulted with Singapore math leaders and practitioners to guarantee alignment in our product and support materials.
Fractions are the earliest topic in school mathematics where educators agree that students fail and teachers struggle to instruct. This is why we chose fractions as the first area of endeavor for Conceptua Math. “Difficulty with fractions (including decimals and percents) is pervasive and is a major obstacle to further progress in mathematics, including algebra.” (National Math Advisory Panel, 2008.) This challenge is understandable as fractions present major conceptual leaps for students. Consider these factors:
We are firmly aligned with this core tenet of Singapore Math. Every student must master each Conceptua Math lesson in order to progress. Direct research with over 400 students spanning six months has proven that we never have to provide an answer or accelerate a student who has not passed a Skills Check. Instead, we place the burden on ourselves, as product developers, to create lessons that are so instructive that students will succeed even as they learn challenging topics. This is the Singapore Math way. This is our way.
Model-drawing is a problem-solving strategy where students create their own models to represent and solve word problems. Our Premium Subscription places strong emphasis on students manipulating models to solve standard problems. Topic 4 of most Big Ideas includes higher-order, student-centered lessons where students create their own model solutions to divergent problems. The Student Tools are designed for modeling word problems.
As applied to Singapore Math, this means that topics covered previously are reviewed at higher grades with increasing difficulty. We agree, and we consistently have students apply their prior knowledge. For instance, our addition with uncommon denominators models make sense only after mastering equivalent fractions and finding common denominators. We support the rigor of mastery-and-application.
Students must monitor their own thought processes, and consider alternative ways to arrive at answers. We encourage classroom discourse with our Teacher Tools, and we employ multiple models to foster flexible thinking. Our instructional videos and teacher support materials are strongly geared towards encouraging students to be aware of how they arrive at answers, instead of encouraging rote learning.