The MelonCrates Pedagogy

The MelonCrates pedagogy focuses on 5 pillars of Mathematical competencies developed by Singapore’s Ministry of Education.  

Skills and Concepts

In every MelonCrates class, mathematical concepts are taught through hands-on activities and manipulatives to ensure solid understanding of concepts taught. 

 

After understanding the concepts, concrete skills are taught to students. Students practice applying their skills to different problem sets.

Processes

Logical Reasoning and analytical thinking skills are central to our pedagogy. We start every class with a logical reasoning puzzle and exercise. The Math Model methods taught in class also helps with logical reasoning. These teach students to observe, classify and organize information, and recognize patterns. 

 

Teachers are trained to ask “What” and “Why” and focus on the process of solving problems rather than the answers. 

Attitudes and Metacognition

Through encouragement of effort rather than results, and cute characters, we train kids to have grit, perseverance, and spark interest in Mathematics. 

WHAT EXACTLY IS SINGAPORE MATH?

Understanding the CPA and Model-Drawing Approach, two defining traits of the Singapore Math Curriculum

Art Fun

Since Singapore Math was introduced into schools in the 1990s, Singapore has consistently ranked top in the world in Math. The OECD PISA rankings (a global study of 15 year olds performance in Math, Science, and Reading) has seen Singapore ranking within the top 2 nations for the past decade. In the last TIMSS assessment of Math and Science among 49 countries, Singapore also ranked first for science and second for Math.

What is Singapore's secret to doing well in Math? 

The Magic behind Singapore Math

Singapore Math has two powerful secret sauces to its success in Math education: The Concrete-Pictorial-Abstract (CPA) Approach and the Model Drawing Approach.


These approaches, when combined together, form a solid foundation in understanding Mathematics and developing essential critical thinking skills needed to solve word problems.

THE CONCRETE-PICTORIAL-ABSTRACT (CPA) APPROACH

Students sometimes struggle with Math as it can be very abstract to understand. Think about algebra and advanced mathematics – who cares about what happens when we integrate cosine(x), or string some algebraic expressions together? To appreciate this, we have to understand how it translates to real life.

 

The CPA approach breaks down this abstract thinking process. Students first use concrete materials, before moving on to pictorial representations, and then abstract symbols.

THE CONCRETE-PICTORIAL-ABSTRACT (CPA) APPROACH

Students sometimes struggle with Math as it can be very abstract to understand. Think about algebra and advanced mathematics – who cares about what happens when we integrate cosine(x), or string some algebraic expressions together? To appreciate this, we have to understand how it translates to real life.

 

The CPA approach breaks down this abstract thinking process. Students first use concrete materials, before moving on to pictorial representations, and then abstract symbols.

THE CONCRETE-PICTORIAL-ABSTRACT (CPA) APPROACH

Students sometimes struggle with Math as it can be very abstract to understand. Think about algebra and advanced mathematics – who cares about what happens when we integrate cosine(x), or string some algebraic expressions together? To appreciate this, we have to understand how it translates to real life.

 

The CPA approach breaks down this abstract thinking process. Students first use concrete materials, before moving on to pictorial representations, and then abstract symbols.

The Concrete Stage

Here, manipulatives like counters and chips are used before teaching the abstract concepts. Students will physically move these objects around and see how this translates in real-life.

 

(Fun Fact: The Ministry of Education in Singapore mandates all classrooms to have math manipulatives for all kids in primary school)

 

For example, in teaching addition concepts:

Sarah has 3 sweets. Her best friend, Solis gives her another 2 sweets. How many sweets does she have altogether?

The Pictorial Stage

At this stage, images are used to represent objects. This helps students to make the mental connection between the physical objects that they move and the abstract pictures and models that represent the physical objects.

 

With the same question:

Sarah has 3 sweets. Her best friend, Solis gives her another 2 sweets. How many sweets does she have altogether?

The Abstract Stage

This stage is the ‘symbolic’ stage, where children use abstract symbols to solve math problems.

 

Symbols like numbers, addition and multiplication signs are used in solving problems.

 

With the same question:

Sarah has 3 sweets. Her best friend, Solis gives her another 2 sweets. How many sweets does she have altogether?