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Mathemagis: Making Singapore Math Fun
By Featured Blogger Tina Santiago-Rodriguez Updated Tuesday August 13, 2013 - 4:15pm
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Photo provided by Mathemagis

Earlier this year, my kids were invited to the Mathemagis center at Elizabeth Hall, Katipunan Avenue. They were supposed to be part of a shoot for the TV show "Umagang Kay Ganda," but it was cancelled at the last minute. Nonetheless, they had a really fun time with the Mathemagis teachers.

While waiting for the supposed-shoot and the TV crew, the kids were allowed to use the math manipulatives that the teachers had laid out for the shoot. They really enjoyed themselves, and I enjoyed seeing them learn and have fun at the same time.

Aside from the math manipulatives, the kids were also introduced to the concept of robotics and were even allowed to try putting together a robot on their own. They really had a blast.

That's one of the things I like about Mathemagis - they try to make learning about math fun and not so "taxing" for kids. So I was really excited when Teacher Joanne Sison, one of the founders of Mathemagis, recently told me that they had come up with an iPad app specifically for learning Singapore Math.

The app, called Bondanza, was developed exclusively for Mathemagis, so it's not available in the iTunes store. However, children who are enrolled in the Singapore Math enrichment program of Mathemagis have access to it. It covers the Primary One to Three levels, and aims to develop children's mental calculation skills through the number bonds approach of Singapore Math.

The app is not meant to replace the basics of the enrichment program but instead directly complements it. It will be used on top of the manipulatives of pen and paper work currently used in the program, and the people behind it hope that it can greatly help motivate kids to learn and enjoy math.

The Bondanza app will also allow teachers and parents to monitor each student's progress by keeping track of his/her score and speed. Parents will also receive Facebook and email progress reports from teachers. Cool, huh?

Here's a little bit more information about Bondanza, taken from an e-mail that Teacher Joanne sent to me:

"Bondanza focuses on strengthening mental calculations in addition and subtraction using Singapore Math's signature number bonds approach.  Gaming elements such as levels of increasing difficulty, reward points for correct answers and completion of levels as well as feedback and instructions make the Bondanza experience enjoyable as well as educational for the kids."

Some people may be asking if there are any benefits to using iPads and other gadgets in learning Singapore Math. Well, according to a study released on the Knowledge Map website (www.infodev.org), the use of technology in education, collectively known as ICT (Information and Computer Technology), has been proven to positively affect student achievement in school - most specially when ICT directly complements the teaching methodology and principles espoused by the educational institution.

This means that kids benefit more from the use of technology in Math only when it uses the same approach and is consistent with the way it was taught. Moreover, the same study also supports that the use of ICT greatly contributes to student motivation in learning -kids want to learn more when they are having fun and what can be more fun than sharpening one's mental computation skills using the iPad? 

If you want to try out the Bondanza app for yourself, or have your kids do so, I'm sure Teacher Joanne will be happy to accommodate you. The kids and I haven't been able to try it out ourselves, since we're mostly homebound due to Baby Anne, but do feel free to get in touch with Teacher Joanne or any of the Mathemagis teachers at the different centers. Here are their location details:

Mathemagis Katipunan Branch

Unit 529 Elizabeth Hall Katipunan Avenue QC (across Petron LaVista) || Telephone numbers: 387-6602 / 0932-843-5551

Mathemagis Shaw Branch

3F 500 Shaw Zentrum, Shaw Blvd, Mandaluyong City (near old Wack-Wack and Goldilocks main branch) || Telephone numbers: 209-8128 / 0932-878-5501

Mathemagis Timog Branch

2F ESNA Bldg #30 Timog Avenue, Quezon City || Telephone numbers: 482-1074 / 0932-843-5552

Soon to open in September 2013: Mathemagis Fort Branch

GF Active Fun Building, Bonifacio High Street, 9th Avenue cor. 28th St., Bonifacio Global City, Taguig. (Mezzanine of FunDmentals) || Telephone number: 0925-586-0300

You can also visit their website at www.mathemagis.com.

Do you think learning is more fun when coupled with technology and gadgets like the iPad? Feel free to tweet me at @tinasrodriguez.

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