NCA will supplement the Core Knowledge Sequence in mathematics by using the Singapore Math curriculum from grades K-7. The Singapore Math Program provides students with a strong conceptual foundation in basic mathematics. From the earliest grades, this program emphasizes concepts, mental math, and number sense while employing physical and graphical illustrations of underlying mathematical rules and phenomena. The program presents mathematical skill building and problem solving such that students have a better understanding of not simply when to use a particular equation—but why. Moving students on to higher levels of skills before they’re ready is not an option, so the program will be employed at each student’s ability level. Ability-level groups will be determined at the beginning of each school year, and adjustments will be made on an as-needed basis in order to best equip each student with the language of numeracy.
BCSI, in concert with other classical charter schools and the math faculty at Hillsdale College, has found Singapore Math to provide the best curriculum laying a strong foundation in mathematical concepts; furthermore, BCSI has found this combination of Singapore Math resources to be the best arrangement of Singapore resources. The curriculum is the U.S. edition of the English equivalent to the national mathematics curriculum used throughout the country of Singapore, and international math scores show very high student outcomes as a result of using this resource. Singapore is the world leader in mathematics achievement, according to at least two major longitudinal studies. According to the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS), an international comparative study designed to measure achievement at the fourth and eighth grades, Singapore ranked in the top three countries in both 4th and 8th grades in every year the study was conducted (1995, 1999, 2003, 2007, 2011, 2015 and 2018). The Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), a triennial international survey that evaluates OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) countries by testing the skills and knowledge of 15-year-old-students, has also consistently ranked Singapore highest in mathematics. The PISA survey has ranked Singapore in the top two countries for mathematics in 2009, 2012, 2015 and 2018.
Singapore Math was developed in 1981 by the Curriculum Planning and Development Institute of Singapore. Educators in the United States began implementing Singapore Math in 2000. Topics are taught to a mastery level with detail and consistency, and the textbooks are designed to build a deeper understanding of mathematical concepts as opposed to offering simply definitions and formulas. Professional development accompanies Singapore programs so teachers are better prepared to facilitate lessons. Singapore Math has a consistent emphasis on problem solving and model drawing, with a focus on in-depth understanding of the essential math skills recommended in the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics Curriculum Focal Points, the National Mathematics Advisory Panel. Students using Singapore Math learn math concepts thoroughly, but they also master essential math skills more quickly, and it has been reported that by the end of sixth grade, students have mastered multiplication and division of fractions and are able to complete difficult multistep word problems comfortably, ensuring they are well prepared to complete Algebra 1 in middle school (Source: John Hoven and Barry Garelick, “Singapore Math: Simple or Complex?” Educational Leadership 65:3, November 2007).