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North Hills students increase math scores by using Singapore Math

SALISBURY — North Hills Christian School implemented Singapore Math last year as its math curriculum with the hopes of increasing student growth in this area.

One of the core components of Singapore Math is visualization. Students are first taught concretely, with hands on manipulatives, in order to understand why they do the math they do. This is followed by a pictorial representation, in which the students use pictures to help solve equations and word problems. Lastly, they are taught the abstract numerical procedures that are used in solving equations.

Rather than spending only a few days on a concept, teachers at North Hills take time to go deeper with topics, which slows down the pace of learning to make sure there is a mastery of skills. Each grade teaches a foundational layer that the next teacher can build on.

This practice of math takes the student on a journey to understanding the how and why of foundational math through the layering of concepts and skills with the intention of preparing them for more advanced topics.

North Hills has seen growth even with one year of implementation. Executive Director Maria Lowder says, “We are so pleased by the results of changing our math curriculum to Singapore Math. We expected an improvement in our math scores but were quite surprised to see an increase of 52 percent over last year’s results.”

There are gaps in learning, as with any curriculum change; however, there is growth happening. In one instance experienced by instructors Doris Plummer, lower school students were able to help upper school students with algebra.

“I had the fifth grade and a fourth grader in the same room with geometry students who have finished algebra II,” she said. “The elementary students were solving equations using Singapore that the high school students could not understand. They were amazed at the grasp of the elementary students with algebra (at a complex level). It was a beautiful moment for both groups.”

This is just one example of the beauties of Singapore math, which is the confidence it provides students with solving mathematical problems, whether they be equations or word problems.

To learn more about Singapore Math or other programs at North Hills Christian School, contact Katie Campbell, director of recruitment and retention at kcampbell@northhillschristian.com or 704-636-3005, ext. 109.

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