IN A recent Singapore Straits Times story, ThinkingMath lead panelist Ammiel Wan shared how he wanted his two sons, aged five and seven, to think critically. This provided the inspiration for the 2006 teacher's guide, Challenging Maths Made Easy published by the Ministry of Education's Teacher's Network. Subsequently, in order to benefit students, onSponge collaborated with him and a panel of consultants to develop the ThinkingMath programme that came online in 2009. This programme for primary school students comprises hardcopy books, electronic and interactive learning.
THE Singapore Straits Times (ST) in a 27 June story featured onSponge's ThinkingMath lead panel member Ammiel Wan, dean of curriculum at Catholic High School (Primary) about how he got the idea for the teacher's handbook, Challenging Maths Made Easy.
Published in 2006 by the Ministry of Education's (MOE) Teacher's Network, Challenging Maths Made Easy introduced the cognitive conceptual approach to the teaching of primary mathematics. According to the ST story, the Teacher's Network title has reportedly sold 14,000 copies since its publication three years ago.
Following that, in order to help students to benefit from the concepts in the teacher's reference, onSponge collaborated with Ammiel Wan and a panel of consultants in 2008 to organise the material according to the MOE mathematics syllabus.
Thus was born the student print resource called the Conquer Problem Sums book series for primary schools, published in early 2009 as part of the ThinkingMath@onSponge programme that includes electronic resources and interactive learning.
Besides the print series, certain features of the programme's interactive component are already available:
- online forum that registered users (children, parents, educators and other stakeholders) can access and get further assistance with using the books, and how to solve related problems.
- explanation of how the concepts or Key Constructs (see discussion on constant difference in the forum) are applied using worked examples taken from across the series of books. Besides constant difference, users can check out on the application of other Key Constructs to facilitate the solving of word problems.
onSponge recently organised workshops to increase appreciation of the use of the ThinkingMath student learning approach. More are being planned.