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Math course

Basic facts about our Math tutoring course

  • School grades: Grade 1 ~ Grade 4
  • Duration of each lesson: 45 minutes
  • Lesson format: online using Zoom, or offline at our centre in Brentwood, Calgary
  • Class size: approx. 10 students
  • Tutoring Materials used: select chapters in Singapore Math US Edition (Primary Math), mapped to Alberta curriculum by certified teachers
  • Pace: 1~2 units of Singapore Math curriculum per lesson
  • Registration: in 6-lesson bundles

Why do we choose Singapore Math?

The latest results from the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS)–an international assessment of 60 participating countries–have been released to prove that once again Singapore’s students dominate both math and science in every tested grade level.

At Braineer Tutoring, we have deliberately chosen to use the Singapore Math textbook, since we agree with the philosophy of the Singapore Math education:

  • Foundational Learning/Deep Mastery: the Singapore Math curriculum teaches them a deep mastery of the subject through carefully calculated foundational learning; each grade level is a building block;
  • Emphasis on Visual Learning: Singapore Math relies on model drawing, which uses units to visually represent a word problem. Students learn to visualize what a word problem is saying so they can understand the meaning and thus how to solve the problem
An example of the intuitive graphics representation used by Singapore Math

How does Alberta Education assess its students?

Alberta Education recently (in February 2020) published the new assessment rubrics (i.e. the Report card stems). The “stems” are categories used to organize Program of Studies outcomes and assessment information for communication to students and families. The mathematics report card stems have changed in order to make the report card more clear to students and families, and to connect report card information directly to the content of the program of studies.

It is crucial that parents and students all gain a good grasp of what is assessed by schools, in order to get ideal grades. Specifically, the following are being assessed based on the new Alberta stems:

Kindergarten to Grade 1

  • Number – Develops number sense and applies strategies for computation and estimation
  • Patterns and Relations – Uses algebraic reasoning to represent patterns and relationships
  • Shape and Space – Applies spatial reasoning and measurement to make sense of the natural world

Grades 2 to 4

  • Number – Develops number sense and applies strategies for computation and estimation
  • Patterns and Relations – Uses algebraic reasoning to represent patterns and relationships
  • Shape and Space – Applies spatial reasoning and measurement to make sense of the natural world
  • Statistics – Uses data to make predictions and answer questions

These above elements are further divided into more granunlar assessment rubrics, and that makes up the rubrics of what your children will get on their report cards. Take Grade 1 math for example, the assessment is further divided (see left screen shot as an illustrative example – this is part of the Grade 1 Math stems).

Our pedagogy: mapping Alberta curriculum to Singapore Math chapters

A convenient fact is that the Singapore Math curriculum matches well with the Alberta curriculum. We are able to closely follow the Alberta curriculum and its stems, while using 100% materials from Singapore Math. We took the following approach:

  1. Breakdown the Alberta stems into specific skills to hone: for each school grade, we dissected the Alberta stems into concrete elements, and articulated the requirements for each level on report card;
  2. Map Singapore Math chapaters to the specific skills: Singapore Math generally follows the same contents and same order as Alberta curriculum. With selection and matching, we are able to assemble the “Alberta version” of Singapore Math.