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Year 4 Singapore Maths

The Singapore Math Method promotes an ability to problem-solve to develop mathematical thinking: keys to being a brilliant mathematician.

The focus is switched to be inquiry-based. This idea of Maths Mastery, means that students develop fluency in mathematics without rote learning and are able to solve non-routine maths problems without having to memorise procedures.

One of the main features of the Singapore approach is Bruner’s CPA progression (Concrete, Pictorial, Abstract).  This means that new concepts are introduced using concrete materials that the students use to support their learning and pencils and paper are left to one side until they have a secure understanding – they start with ‘doing’

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Year 4 students are currently looking at fractions and decimals in Year 4. Today we used the Dienes equipment to model hundredths and tenths.  What would normally be a hundred square was repurposed as a whole, the tens became tenths and the ones cubes, hundredths. The students were able to use this equipment to explore the brand-new concept of hundredths and were partitioning and finding equivalence between tenths and hundredths in no time as they had a clear, concrete visual that they could touch and move.

The majority of Year 4 students in this class, already had a solid concrete, pictorial, and abstract understanding of fractions from the rest of the work we have done, but they meshed together the three stages during this lesson, as it is always good to revisit previous stages to reinforce learning. 

The concrete was the Dienes apparatus, the part-whole models were a pictorial representation and work they did in their books at the end was in the abstract (for example: writing the equivalent to 40/100 in tenths).

Number Sense: the ability to manipulate numbers

Another key aspect of Singapore Maths is number bonds and being able to show how numbers can be split or combined.  This reflects the ‘part-part-whole’ relationship of numbers, which is directly reflected in bar models and cherry models. 

The Singapore approach means that all the students start on the same level and no limitations are set as to what each individual student can achieve.  Through the support of the CPA progression, it shows that everyone can do maths and creates resilient learners who can think critically and problem solve. 

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Some of the Year 4 students had to stay home due to the currect covid19 restrictions in Madrid, however that didn’t stop them from experiencing class as usual. They even used an special Singapore maths app to simulate the concrete

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