Maths In Singapore: Why You Don’t ALWAYS Want To Start With A Concrete Example

Question: How do you introduce new concepts in Maths?
One Answer: You demonstrate and explore them in a concrete way, then get students to represent the concept pictorially, then record it numerically – from the concrete to the abstract, in other words. So if you were introducing fractions, you’d get students to cut up a cake, then draw or arrange pictures of cakes cut up, then use digits to record the process.
That all makes sense to me, and apparently it’s the main principle behind Singapore Maths, the curriculum and methods that started in Singapore and have been followed by schools around the world attracted by the country’s performance in Maths teaching.

Posted by on 16th February 2015 at 12:00am


Category: Maths

Tags: Maths, Singapore Maths, Andrew day

TAKING ONE FOR THE TEAM: Do as I do.

By Andy Day

INSET day yesterday. Hello teachers, I’m one of those people that come to your school on the first day back from holidays and interrupt your preparation for the coming term with power points of wisdom on how to teach.

I like to start by finding out something about what the teachers want, and what their beliefs about education are. Yesterday, one of the ideas that was mentioned – and generally agreed with – was ‘risk-taking’; the staff wanted their pupils to be willing to experiment and explore, and not to fear making mistakes, particularly in Maths. I agree with this aim, but… it’s ironic to hear it coming from teachers.

Posted by on 6th January 2015 at 12:00am


Category: Education

Tags: Education, Maths, Critical Thinking, philosophy, philosophy in schools, philosophy for children, Andy Day

Socrates, Philosophy & Black Friday

‘Look at all these things I don’t need!’ the philosopher Socrates is said to have declared as he stood before the many stalls filling the marketplace of Ancient Athens.

Posted by on 28th November 2014 at 12:00am


Category: Philosophy

Reasoning & Problem-solving – The New Black? The New Brain Gym? Or Just The New Curriculum?

Reasoning and Problem Solving

When the new Australian curriculum goes live in 2015, teachers across the country are being asked to – among other things – get students thinking mathematically. Two of the four proficiency strands are Problem Solving and Reasoning, (the others being Understanding and Fluency).

Posted by on 27th August 2014 at 12:00am


Category: P4C, Maths

Tags: Maths, philosophy for children, Andrew day, Numberverse, P4C, Problem Solving, Reasoning

What’s Philosophy Got To Do With It? Or… We’re Mates With Maths

When I told people that my work with philosophy for children had moved me into mathematics for children, and how we teach it, a lot of them were surprised. They are still surprised when I insist that philosophy and maths are closely related. For many, those two subjects would seem opposite ends of the spectrum: at one end is cold hard mathematics with its truths set in stone, and the other is philosophy, as vague and elusive as a puff of smoke. But this is to misunderstand them both.

Posted by on 15th August 2014 at 12:00am


Category: Philosophy, P4C, Maths

Tags: Maths, philosophy for children, P4C, Numberverse, Andrew day