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Preparing for Primary One Mathematics Learning – Model Method

 In my course of teaching preschool children, I have come across many parents expressing their frustration and helplessness in helping their children prepare for primary school mathematics.  The one topic that seems to baffles parents most is the model method.  

The Singapore Model Method for problem solving is an innovative pedagogical method developed by a team of curriculum specialists from MOE in the 1980s to address the issue of students having great difficulty with word problems in the early years of primary school.  By now, the Singapore Model Method has become a distinguishing feature of the Singapore primary mathematics curriculum. 

If I were to break it down into its most basic, the Singapore Model Method basically entails children to draw a visual model to represent mathematical quantities and their relationships given in a problem, and the visual model becomes a tool to help the children solve the word problem.  

It is interesting that so many children struggle with the model method.  In my early childhood learning, my pedagogical methodological framework is very much situated within Vygotsky’s educational theories.  And one key element of Vygotsky’s educational theories is the use of visual models in early childhood teaching.  The ability for children to represent concrete things and abstract concepts using simple models is one of the key emphasis in a Vygotsky’s early childhood classroom.  

Thus, when I compared the various key concepts of the Singapore Model Method, I see a strong direct link between the visual modelling tools I have been teaching preschoolers and the Singapore Model Method.  In this parent workshop, I will be sharing practical ideas on teaching preschoolers the concepts behind visual modelling and how these visual models could be applied to problem solving in Mathematics.

Those parents who are interested to learn more about the Singapore model method and how they can support their children by laying the right foundation for them to master the model method later on, please visit my website at and find out more about the parent workshop I will be conducting on the 17th September 2011 (Saturday) from 2pm to 5pm.


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