Math in Focus

Math in Focus: The Singapore Approach is the program used across the Tri-Town elementary schools in grades K-6.

“Singapore math” is the term used to refer to the mathematics curriculum used in Singapore. For over 15 years, Singapore has consistently scored at the top of international mathematics comparison studies. Its unique approach to teaching math — which focuses on problem solving, deep understanding, and model drawing — has helped Singapore students excel. Math in Focus® is the U.S. edition of Singapore’s most widely used program. It teaches the same content as traditional mathematics programs — just in a way that emphasizes understanding and flexible thinking. Math in Focus teaches children both how and why math works. This deep understanding means that they will be better able to use math in real-life situations.

Key Features of Math in Focus

1. A focused and coherent syllabus: Math in Focus introduces fewer topics in each grade, but teaches them to greater depth. Topics are taught to mastery, so they build from year to year across grade levels without repetition.

2. A visual and balanced approach: Math in Focus is highly visual, following a concrete-to-pictorial-to-abstract progression.

3. A focus on number and operations: Math in Focus is sequenced in a way that ensures students develop and maintain strong number sense. Students spend the majority of the first half of the year studying number. This provides the foundation necessary to move on to more complex and abstract thinking.

4. An emphasis on problem solving using model-drawing: Math in Focus utilizes model-drawing strategies that help students solve both routine and non-routine problems.

5. A recognition of the importance of attitudes and metacognition: The Singapore Ministry of Education's mathematics framework emphasizes the importance of attitude and the ability to self-monitor while problem solving to achieve success in math. Math in Focus provides students with the tools they need to break down complex concepts and problems, which in turn develops positive attitudes.