Friday, February 6

About Unit Transfer Method

Heuristics in Primary Maths Syllabus

Heuristics is a specialised mathematical problem-solving concept. Mastering it facilitates efficiency in solving regular as well as challenging mathematical problems. The Ministry of Education in Singapore has incorporated 11 Problem-Solving Heuristics into all primary-level mathematical syllabus.

Challenges in Learning Heuristics

Instead of containing the 11 Problem-Solving Heuristics neatly into specific chapters though, they have been integrated into the regular curriculum. This not only makes it difficult for students to pick up Heuristics skills, but can also make mathematics confusing for some students. For us parents, it is difficult for us to put aside the regular-syllabus mathematical concepts we were brought up on to re-learn Heuristics, much less teach our own children this new concept.

Take Algebraic Equations, for instance. Primary-level Mathematics Papers these days include questions from the topic even though the topic has never been, and is still not, taught at primary level. Parents, being familiar with the topic, will attempt to teach their children to solve the question using Algebraic Equations, which will only further confuse their children. According to current primary-level mathematical syllabus, Heuristics should be used instead.

Overcoming the Challenges

These and other challenges were what I observed first hand during my years as a mathematics teacher, and what provided me the impetus for my post-graduate studies, mathsHeuristics™ programmes and now this series of books. Indicative of the effectiveness of my methodology, it helped a P6 girl from CHIJ to improve her Mathematics grade from 52% in the First Semestral Assessment to 99% in the Preliminary Examination, to achieve A* in the 2008 PSLE – all within just 20 weeks!

About this Series

This series of books is a culmination of my systematic thinking, supported by professional instructional writing and editing, to facilitate understanding and mastery of Heuristics. Through it, I have neatly packaged Heuristics into logical topics (Series of books) and sub-topics (Chapters within each book). For each sub-topic, I offer many examples, showing how the sub-topic may be applied, and then explaining the application in easy-to-follow steps and visualisations without skipping a beat.

This particular book in the series deals specifically with Unit Transfer Method, the use of ratio to effectively analyse and solve challenging mathematical problems. This simple, logical yet powerful problem-solving technique is an alternative to the model approach and the algebraic framework approach.

The entire series of four books provides a complete and comprehensive guide to Heuristics.
While each book introduces parents to a few Heuristics topics, it gives students the opportunity to see how the specific Heuristics work as well as get in some practice. For students enrolled in mathsHeuristics programmes, each book serves as a great companion, while keeping parents well-informed of what their children are learning.

Sunny Tan,


Anonymous said...

Hi Sunny,

from 52% to 99%... how is is possible? I understand you are doing your research, Is there any ways to train a child to become smarter? or genius!

Mrs Foo

Anonymous said...

There are not many resources or guidbook for teaching problem solving in the market. I came across this book on the internet and was amazed at the way the author categorize the challenging problems. It really live up to its claim of “SIMPLE, LOGICAL AND POWERFUL!"

Mrs Nancy Lim,

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