S.A.M (Seriously Addictive Mathematics) - Review done on 18 July 2017
Located in the housing estate of Serangoon Central – walking distance from Nex Mall. Transportation is convenient – MRT is only a 5 minutes’ walk from the centre.
S.A.M (Seriously Addictive Mathematics) is not a tuition centre where the students are drilled with worksheets/ test papers. It is an enrichment centre that that takes the holistic approach towards learning Maths. They focus on skills such as logical reasoning and critical thinking that will help students confidently face the challenges of numbers. These are done through both classroom learning and worksheet practice.
A huge plus for S.A.M (Seriously Addictive Mathematics) is that the teacher: student ratio is kept at a very manageable and effective 1:5-6 maximum. My review is based on a class that I had the opportunity to observe at their Serangoon Branch. It was a small class of 7 students with 2 teachers. It was a mixed group of 5-7 years old.
The 1st teacher had 4 students who were on the same level, in terms of skills and understanding. She got the students engaged in a dialogue on a sum that she wrote on the board. Whiteboards are not usually used as a teaching tool but since she had students on the same understanding level, she used it. She got them really engaged, I could see and hear them responding to her with much enthusiasm. Students also had manipulatives to help them visualize. She asked probing questions, got them to look at the questions again when in doubt and gave encouragement when they did or did not get it correctly. I observed that the teacher gave encouragement to the students to find the solutions rather than telling them what they should or how they should do it.
The 2nd teacher was working with 3 students – all different levels. Each of them had one on one with the teacher. Students were working through the sums diligently while the teacher moved from student to student to explain and guide them.
I can see that the program is catered to individual needs. It helps students to comprehend and understand the concepts instead of just doing it. As I was observing, I was learning as well. Gave me a new perspective on how to approach some of these sums. S.A.M has 10 branches across the island – they do a 20 minutes assessment for 1st-time students, to evaluate their level of knowledge and ability. Parents get progress card/reports so that they are updated with their children progress. Parents can also have for face-to-face meetings before or after classes. There are worksheets that students need to do at home as part of practice. As the saying goes “Practice makes perfect”.
Foundation is important – start early so that children can cultivate a love for numbers. Overall, I would recommend S.A.M (Seriously Addictive Mathematics)
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