Jun 8

Use of technology in education, collectively known as ICT (Information and Computer Technology) has been proven to positively affect student achievement in school most specially when ICT directly complements the teaching methodology and principles (Knowledge Map www.infodev.org).  The same study also supports that the use of ICT greatly contributes to student motivation in learning.  Kids want to learn more when they are having fun.  Moreover, Singapore’s Ministry of Education (2012) says that “ICT tools can help students understand mathematical concepts through visualizations and representations. They can also support exploration and experimentation and extend the range of problems accessible to students.”

See how Mathemagis uses the latest in educational technology to make learning fun and effective.

Jan 22

Here’s an excerpt from a great article on Singapore Math from Education Leadership, a top journal from teaching and learning exerpts in K-12 education (download full article here).

Here is a math problem you can solve easily:

A man sold 230 balloons at a fun fair in the morning. He sold another 86 balloons in the evening. How many balloons did he sell in all?

And here is one you can’t:

Lauren spent 20 percent of her money on a dress. She spent 2/5 of the remainder on a book. She had $72 left. How much money did she have at first?

In Singapore, where 4th and 8th grade students consistently come in first on international math exams, students learn how to solve both problems using the same bar model technique. Students first encounter the technique in 3rd grade, where they apply it to very simple problems like the first one. In grades 4 and 5, they apply the same versatile technique to more difficult, multistep problems. By grade 6, they are ready to solve really hard problems like the second one.

The Mathemagis program follows the same approach and teaches the bar-model method as early as Grade 2.  Students progress to more complex 2 or 3 step word problems in the 3rd grade and do at least 4 to 6 steps by the time they are in Grade 5.  Grade 5 word problems are equivalent to first year high school problems solved in traditional algebra classes. The bar-model allows the students to solve more complex math problems that requires algebra in the traditional curriculum. The foundation of analysis and visualization is laid in the primary grades and eases the transition to high school.

Nov 7

In a recent study in Science, one of the world’s leading journals, they “analyzed data from more than 276,000 children in 40 countries who took the 2003 Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development Programme for International Student Assessment (Pisa) – the internationally standardised test of maths, reading, science and problem-solving ability.”

Globally,  boys do better than girls in math, with boys  scoring 10.5 points higher than girls on average. However, in societies where boys and girls are treated equally, like Iceland, Sweden, and Norway, boys and girls perform equally well in math. This result suggests that any gender difference in math performance can be attributed more to nurture (e.g., education, resources, and opportunities) than to nature (intrinsic ability).

see the article here

Oct 17

In a New York Times article, Sol Garfunkel, the executive director of the Consortium for Mathematics and Its Applications, and David Mumford, an emeritus professor of mathematics at Brown, emphasize the importance of real world problem solving over abstract calculation skills.

In math, what we need is “quantitative literacy,” the ability to make quantitative connections whenever life requires (as when we are confronted with conflicting medical test results but need to decide whether to undergo a further procedure) and “mathematical modeling,” the ability to move practically between everyday problems and mathematical formulations (as when we decide whether it is better to buy or lease a new car).

The Mathemagis program helps your child develop such problem-solving skills by emphasizing word problems and providing real-world context.

Oct 16


Based on internet sources, here’s a short list of schools that have adopted this innovative program: