Math at the FAA: Inside & Out of the Classroom

Inside the Classroom – Singapore Math

This year, the FAA implements the Singapore Math Method. First developed by Singapore’s Ministry of Education in the 1980s, its efficacy has been proven by decades of use in different countries around the world (Trends In International Mathematics And Science Study, 2009). 

Why Singapore Math at the FAA?

Singapore Math is a learning methodology, which allows the French and American teachers to better apply the French national math curriculum and Common Core standards. This method, in addition to being effective, facilitates in our school the synchronization of our 2 mathematical programs: French and American.

What exactly is Singapore Math?

The four principal ideas behind Singapore Math of the following: 

1 –  We need to treat fewer topics, but we need to treat them in more depth.

2 –  Mathematics instruction should follow a CPA approach (Concrete Pictorial Abstract), which emphasizes manipulatives first (which ultimately serve abstraction) instead of first teaching the mathematical theory which remains abstract in the minds of students.

3 – Students must be guided explicitly in their learning and encouraged from preschool on, to reason aloud and share their ideas with others.

4 – Problem solving must be at the heart of mathematics instruction. To be successful, students learn an effective problem-solving method that serves them well into middle school.

 

Source: https://www.singaporemath.com/pages/what-is-singapore-math

Training our Teachers in this Method

During the October break, FAA teachers will undergo training with the world renowned Monica Neagoy. She is an international specialist in Mathematics, and in particular in the Singapore methodology. Among other things, she participated in the writing of the manual “La methode Singapour’’ (edition: La Librairie Des Ecoles), which is used by our students.

To summarize, this new method will allow all children to “think mathematically” and acquire, as Monica Neagoy thinks, “an agility of mind that will be useful in all areas.”  

Outside the Classroom – Math Club

In order to continue developing this mental mathematical agility in a non-competitive and supportive environment, 5th to 8th graders are able to participate in Math Club!

Math Club students will be guided by Meena in English and Dominique in French on alternating weeks.

How did the math club start, and why? 

The math club started with the idea of creating a space for students where they can explore math on their terms and enjoy math as a fun activity rather than as a complex subject. 

What is the math club? 

The math club will follow the project-based pedagogy as students will be deciding on a project and have complete decision-making over their projects. During the club, students will use their problem-solving skills and connect math to real life to see not only the theoretical side of math but also the practical. The math club is meant to challenge and make math fun for the students. 

Example of project-based learning in the math club meeting:

During the 7th and 8th-grade students’ first math club meeting this week, the students met with Meena, the math teacher, and they brainstormed ideas on the various projects they could create during the club meetings. Together, the students decided on a long-term project exploring architecture. They apply ratios and proportions in real life by building floor plans. First, the students will build physical structures out of cardboard, they will then use their computers to visualize floor plans digitally or develop a new way of building the project. Stay tuned to see these young architects in action!

How will the students benefit from the math club?

 The students will take ownership of their learning, which will improve and further retain their understanding of math principles. By doing meaningful projects, the math club is also an excellent opportunity for students to really engage with their projects and deepen their math concepts. 

 

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