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.”
Pam Ashley can be reached at 928-453-4237, ext. 230 or firstname.lastname@example.org.