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Hopefully, parents of elementary-aged students are free next Thursday to attend a free math workshop.

The session starts at 6 p.m. July 18 at the Lake Havasu High School library.

The Lake Havasu Unified School District is hosting the event to introduce parents to their child’s new math curriculum. Known as Singapore Math, the mathematics teaching method is designed to build students’ mathematical fluency.

Singapore Math has been taught in the country of Singapore since 1981. Students in that nation ranked the top in the world on the math portion of the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study. The teaching method has been used in the United States since 2000, reportedly with great success.

Problem-solving is at the heart of the instruction. The program teaches children to think mathematically versus having them memorize the mechanics of problem solving. Students learn problem solving with pictures and diagrams. In the classroom, students focus on fewer topics but in greater depth.

“The U.S. mathematics curriculum is a mile wide but an inch deep. Singapore Math focuses on fewer topics in greater detail,” said the school district’s Superintendent Diana Asseier, explaining why Singapore Math will now be taught in Havasu schools. She made the comment at the district’s governing board meeting on Monday.

At that meeting, the board adopted the K-6 Singapore Math Dimensions Program, textbooks and training materials. The initial purchase will not exceed $250,000 plus an annual amount for student consumable materials of approximately $95,000.

The adoption means that the district’s governing board and directors believe the financial investment is worth the anticipated result of higher math test scores by enabling students to learn mathematics meaningfully. The instruction aligns with Arizona education standards.

Brad Gardner, the district’s Educational Services director, said the new teaching method simplifies how math is taught. He also noted there is quite a bit of data – and thereby evidence – showing that Singapore-style instruction in the primary grades “leads to better understanding of the abstract,” he said.

Gardner encouraged parents to attend the July 18 workshop. Those unable to attend have other options, though.

“We may have Math Night at each school, so parents will have other opportunities to learn more,” he said. “Also, we’ll have a website to help parents.”

Additional information about Singapore Math is on the Singapore Math website at For specifics about the textbook, “Dimensions,” visit

Pam Ashley can be reached at 928-453-4237, ext. 230 or


(2) comments


So? why does our kids have to do everything the way that other country's do> we are the USA and we can do better then anyone else if training was there... First common core then now they are "trying" what other's are doing? this is the most stupid thing I have ever heard of. this is why our kids are getting worse. What works for others will not work for us.... STUPID!!!


I agree dougleonard6. When I see stuff like this if reminds me of my days in U.S. Navy schools. I needed a refresher class in math and learned more in those two weeks than I learned in High School in 4 years. Different method of teaching. The Navy taught problem solving. Anyway I see this education-in-singapore is better things as just so much hogwash but my kids are all grown and have families of their own in college. When I first read this I wondered - What is the culture like [student & adult] in Singapore? Here is a clue from the linked quote. "Another reason the education in Singapore is so excellent is simply the Singaporean culture. Parents play a crucial role in their child’s education. The “talent myth,” which states that some kids are naturally smarter than others, is non-existent in Singapore. A local newspaper, The Straits, reported that 70 percent of parents sign their children up for extra classes outside of their regular school hours. In local bookstores, over half of the store is dedicated to educational material.". Can you see 70% of parents in America signing up their kids of extra classes? And where would they go for these extra classes. Are we prepared to have teachers stay after school to teach math? Not likely since our School District treats teachers with less respect than a janitor received. Teachers are the first to get laid off when reductions are needed while the administrators still keep their job. And do you really think the District is going to control the behavior of students in the classroom when even some of the principles don't discipline the kids. I know several teachers and they are treated like second class citizens and even the school board believes they should be the first to be laid off. IF YOU DON'T HAVE TEACHERS YOU DON'T EVEN NEED A SCHOOL DISTRICT. Here is the link and I can see this as nothing more than just another attempt at trying to find what works. The United States of America and its culture is NOT Singapore NOR do the student even act the same. Oh sure there are some who are fast tracking themselves since they realize the value of a good education but a large number just don't care. That is NOT the culture that exists in Singapore. Here is the link. Enjoy the read.

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