Second grade has been very busy with learning exciting and creative ways to add and subtract. We are using the Singapore Math curriculum which is new to me this year. I spent two days in math training and learned all about strategies that help all students compute and really understand math concepts. Singapore Math focuses on mastery instead of memorization. The small island country of Singapore ranked in the top three in fourth and eighth grade math scores, while the United States ranked ninth and eleventh respectively. The goal is for children to perform well because they have a deeper understanding of the concept instead of studying to pass a test.
In our second grade class, the students are playing with different types of manipulatives each day in order to strengthen their math skills. For instance, this past week they used "VersaTiles" which involve solving problems with puzzle pieces. If their answers are not correct, then the puzzle pieces will not fit and the answers need to be recalculated. They have really enjoyed the challenge and some look for more difficult puzzles immediately after finishing their classwork.