Thursday, October 18, 2012

Statement Re Elementary Mathematics

Thank you for telling us your concerns. We will try to address all issues as soon as we can.
With regards some of the points you have raised, we would want to clarify a few things.

1. You have requested that the pace of the lessons in math be slowed down. We would really love to do so, but the current pace we have for grade school math is already slower compared with the pace we had in the previous years. The slowdown in pace is the result of our curriculum adjustment for Grade 7 and the K+12 program. We have spread out the old curriculum and staggered our lessons, resulting in a slower pace for our lessons.

2. Our math teachers do guide their students strictly to get answers to practice exercises during the introduction phase of each lesson. For succeeding exercises, students are encouraged to provide answers, with teachers just correcting errors or providing additional explanations for difficult numbers. We do give our students plenty of worksheets. We will provide more when the situation calls for more.

3. As for seminars for parents regarding the use of the “unitary method” in Singaporean math, we held one only at the time when we began implementing the system. Although many schools have given up on Singaporean math, we can proudly say that we are quite successful at adopting the system. Almost all of our students eventually take to the system quite well, many becoming quite expert at the Singaporean model approach by the time they get to Grade 6.

4. For Grade 5 math, the only test with results that were not so favorable was Quiz 3, a quiz on problem solving. With additional lessons, the students were able to do better in Quiz 4. Quiz 5 was a quiz on a topic different from that of Quiz 4. Quiz 5 was an additional quiz and not a retest. The results of Quiz 4 and 5 were much better than those of Quiz 3.

5. Our math coordinator closely monitors the result of every test. We will take careful note of our students’ performance.

Thank you again for raising your concerns. Let’s continue to work together to help our children be the best they can be.