Singapore math is working in Fayette County, Kentucky, reports the Lexington Herald-Leader. Nine schools are using textbooks based on the curriculum used in high-scoring Singapore.
So-called “Singapore math” features problems that often are more complex than American textbooks contain. It demands deep mastery of a few math concepts, rather than an overview of many different ideas.
Jessica Alt, a fifth-grade teacher, says some students who were two years below grade level in the fall scored at or above grade level half way through the year.
Singapore math “is expected to fit nicely with new, narrower and deeper math standards that Kentucky education leaders will be adopting soon.”
“Before, we would touch on a math concept, get the kids comfortable with it and then move on to something else,” (teacher Polly Anna) Cox said. “We went so fast that sometimes it could be frustrating. But with Math in Focus, we might spend a couple of months on just one concept. The students really understand it before we move on.”
Teachers are getting nearly 100 hours of training in how to use Singapore math.