Welcome to Singapore Maths!
If you have clicked on this menu, you might have already known something about the Singapore Maths method. For those who are new to this method, Singapore maths is an internationally acclaimed teaching method based on the national mathematics curriculum used for kindergarten through sixth grade in Singapore.
It is an effective method that utilises a step-by-step approach, beginning from handling concrete things, to drawing pictorial representations of them, to eventually understanding and using the mysterious abstract symbols with confidence. This method is now being used successfully in numerous state, private and grammar schools in the UK.
There are various techniques covered by the Singapore Maths method. What I will be focusing in this section is The Singapore Model Method.
If you have used my answer booklets in my 11+ products section, you might have come across a few solutions that I have written using the model method. For example:
So what exactly is this method?
The Singapore Model Method is basically a method that translates a word problem into diagrams or ‘models’. Young children often find equations and abstract calculations difficult to understand. Model drawing helps to convert such complex problem sums into concrete visual images.
Confused? Don’t worry. The best way to explain the model method is, as the method itself indicates, to illustrate it with concrete visual images 🙂
As you can see, I have represented the two books (Book A and Book B) as two ‘models’ (or bars if you like). Since Book A cost 60 pence more, its model is slightly longer. The total price is presented as shown above. In order to find the price of the cheaper book, I have to firstly subtract what is excess (in this case – the 60p) so that I can obtain 2 equal models. After obtaining 2 equal models, I can divide them by 2 to get 1 model which represents the price of the cheaper book.
Here’s another more complex problem sum:
Now, are you ready? This is slightly more challenging so fasten your seat belts and listen up! I shall split this solution into two parts: BEFORE and AFTER.
In BEFORE, I have represented the books Randy and Shawn have as shown above. Note that since Shawn has technically less than half of what Randy has, this has to be reflected in his model which is shown to be slightly less than half of Randy’s.
In AFTER, we are told that when they each bought an unknown equal number of books, the books Randy has become twice more than Shawn’s. As we do not know exactly how many books they each bought, we know at least the number of books they bought are the same. This is represented by the shaded boxes as shown in the diagram above. Note that Randy has 2 units in his model now and Shawn has 1 unit.
When we compare the models in the BEFORE and AFTER, we soon realise we can obtain the third model drawing as shown above. The important part in this is knowing how to identify what remains the same in the BEFORE and AFTER models. This requires an in-depth understanding of this method, lots of practice and a good teacher who knows how to explain this delicately and skilfully.
There are various ways of using this method to solve many complicated problem situations that would have required you or your child to use algebra that might further exacerbate the problem. I have merely scratched the surface here but I hope I have convinced you on the effectiveness of this method.
Here’s another example. Can you understand my solution? 😉
If you or your child would like to know more or learn about Singapore Maths, feel free to contact me for online tuition. As this is a specialised field, I will only be taking a few students at a time. So if you are interested, do contact me as soon as possible!