Sunday, July 12, 2009

Las Vegas Lessons

Latest: The slides for the keynote lecture for National Conference for Singapore Math Strategies are already available at Other slides will be available at soon.

Riviera Hotel and Casino will be my classroom for four days. I will be teaching classes at the National Conference on Singapore Math Strategies for Grades K-6 with five other American teacher trainers. Several teachers are also sharing their experiences with the participants. I was told that there are 800+ participants from all but four states in the US with California having more than 100 representatives. There are also about 10 international participants from places as diverse as the Uganda, Mexico and the Philippines.

On Monday, I kicked the conference off with a keynote session with Char Forsten. The session is titled Singapore Math: Where East Meet West. I gave the audience the context in which mathematics is taught in Singapore. In particular, I touched on the emphasis on challenging problems in the PSLE, and the fact that most schools have their own problem-solving programme to supplement textbooks which focus on developing strong basics. I also spoke on high parental expectations and LSP and Foundation Mathematics as safety nets to make sure every student get help so that they do not fall too far behind. Many Singapore teachers conduct remedial programme in one form or another - some schools have structured remedial while others do them as and when the need arises. Finally, I touched on teacher education, before they enter the teaching service and when they are in service. I raised the point that perhaps it is possible for teachers to acquire pedagogical content knowledge and content knowledge by working through the student textbook.

Over the four days, I taught classes on a variety of topics ranging from word problems to visualization to lesson study and more. The participants were enthusiatic and appreciative despite the relatively large class size. On the first day, all the three classes I taught (visualization, questioning technique and challenging word problems) had about 200 people.

I will write about these classes. I will upload the slides for the keynote lecture as well as for the different classes at and at

Other than this blog where I talk about the lessons I teach, you may go to for general discussion on Singapore Math. There is a video gallery here. is where I post responses to questions I receive through e-mails. If you are interested in lesson study, go to