# Ella

This is the first year for Singapore math in our school. I am a second grade teacher and need some ideas on how to catch these kids up who have not had Singapore math in first grade. We are going very slow in each chapter but I am wondering how much number bond work we should do. The 2nd grade book has 2 pages, that's it!!!! I am about to complete subtraction with regrouping to the hundreds place and have a chapter on bar modeling coming up. What are some ideas others used their first year to come on board? How slow did you go?

**Here's My Answer**

by Zach

(Singapore)

I would say you can go as fast as your kids can cope with. Nobody knows your kids better than yourself. You spent the most amount of time with your kids on a daily basis. You see them learn, make mistakes, correct their mistakes, and then grow from strength to strength.

I advise most grade 2 teachers to use lots of concrete materials (different types you could get hold of) to allow the kids to strengthen their mastery of number bonds. You can use things like counters, buttons, coins, ice-cream sticks, straws, toothpicks, pencils, erasers, bottle caps, paper clips, rubber bands, used parking coupons, toys, lego bricks, name cards, sheets of colored papers, coasters, small cups, etc. The list goes on, use anything and everything you can get hold of that is easy to get and not too messy to be used in class.

I would say the training in the mastery of number bonds will go on as long as the child needs it. However, you cannot devote all your time to it as other chapters are coming up and requires you to devote as much, if not more, attention to. So, keep moving on in the chapters but do slot it 1 or 2 number bond activities as and when you deem fit.

The training of the ability to draw bar models to solve math problems is what you should also devote more attention to as the models they learn at grade 2, namely the comparison and part-whole models will form the foundation in future models they will learn at higher grades.

Hope that helps, let me know if you need further clarifications.