Let’s get to know one of SAM Teachers from CDO who said that her greatest achievement as a SAM teacher is when her students develop the attitude of not “GIVING UP”. She was recently awarded as “Best SAM Trainer” for the month of October.
Aloha Nie is an entrepreneur and a mother of 4 wonderful children. She has been teaching SAM Singapore Math at her own center located at Macasandig.
1.What made you decide on teaching at SAM?
My desire to train my own children to love the subject they hated.
2. What do you think is the advantage of Singapore Math vs the traditional Math?
Singapore Math focus on concept. It encourages children to think, discover, and understand word problems by making use of manipulative, drawings, and their imagination in order to solve it and not just depending on formulas given that they can’t understand. It is a multi-sensory approach of teaching Math.
3. Why do you think some students dislike Math?
Most kids hate Math because they are taught in a way that they will just follow the step by step procedure or things spoonfed to them. When the question changes they began to panic simply because from the start they didn’t understand the concept. They hate Math because they can’t see the relevance of it in their daily life. Most of my students can calculate 1/3 plus 1/6 fast but they don’t know where to apply it in real life situations. When I asked them to explain how they got their answer, they can’t explain it anymore. In this scenario, it only shows that they failed to understand the concept.
In one of my class, I told the kids that they need to prove their answer is right by using a cake made of clay. Kids were excited to slice the clay cake and they discover on their own the explanation to their answer.
4. What is your biggest hurdle as a SAM teacher/trainer?
The smart kids who are very good in traditional method (procedural) . They have the tendency to do short cut methods that they don’t understand but can still come up with the correct answers. As a SAM trainer, I have to make sure that they can explain how they got their answers because they have the tendency to become lazy thinkers. These are the kids who excel in math during their primary level up or sometimes even up to high school and then suddenly take a deep dive during college because Math becomes complicated to memorize.
5. What is your biggest achievement as a SAM teacher/trainer?
It is an honor and greatest achievement when my kids and students start to develop the grit/ attitude of not “GIVING UP” on unfamiliar and challenging questions. The big smile on their face, their eureka moments where they empower themselves by discovering the answer on their own is priceless. Math is not just about perfect scores but self discovery of their potentials and giving meaning to the numbers they learn in their classroom through application in their daily activities.
6. How long would does it normally take for a student to fully understand methods and processes of a Singapore Math curriculum?
It varies from one child to another. Learning Singapore Math is a journey where every child is encourage to explore, discover and appreciate the concept through fun and games.
In SAM, numbers becomes tangible and the data given in word problems can be represented through the use of manipulative/toys. Our pre schoolers thought they are just playing during SAM sessions but they are actually learning place value at an early age. While the primary students are encourage to create their own method to come up with the correct answer as long as they can explain the “ whys”and not just the “hows”.
7. What is your advice to parents who are thinking of enrolling their kids at SAM?
SAM teachers/ trainers are not tutors therefore we don’t spoon-feed the kids. It may take awhile for some kids to appreciate or love Math. Therefore we encourage parents to support the journey of their kids by being more patient & loving and to collaborate with SAM trainers to make their kids SAM experience worth every cent they spend.