What are the differences?
First, it’s important to recognize that there is no single “U.S. approach.” In this country, most curriculum decisions are made at the local or state level. In Singapore, the Ministry of Education determines what will be taught nationwide.
That said, certain elements of the Singapore approach are distinctly different from what’s typical in the U.S. Although some of these strategies may be used on their own in U.S. schools, it would be rare to find all of them in an American classroom that is not adopting or supplementing with Singapore Math.
- Model drawing and an emphasis on the concept of part-whole that precedes the teaching of model drawing
- Mental math
- Daily activities to build on teacher-directed lessons
- “Look and talks” to build understanding of mathematical language
- Number bonds, ten frames, and place value charts
- The connection of pictures, words, and numbers