When Japan Math’s learning methodology was created, it was designed with the values and beliefs of the Japanese educational system in mind. For us, the most important thought was the idea that through their lessons and curriculum, students should be discovering concepts and skills for themselves.
Why does Japanese education place such importance on the idea of the selfpossessed student? ? This specific educational approach fosters a sense of ownership in students as they move through their learning journey. Japan Math’s program heavily emphasizes the idea of students thinking for themselves and strengthening their own problemsolving skills, rather than teachers giving students the solutions too quickly.
What other Japanese education values can you see in our curriculum? Here are just a few:
Japan Math curriculum is designed to get your students excited about learning and problemsolving. We’re not concerned as to whether a student solves a problem correctly on their first try. Instead, our program focuses on encouraging positive attitudes while tackling new, harder problems.
So, what is the Japan Math learning process? It’s a series of steps that your students will go through for each new concept and skill, for every unit. The steps are as follows:
Let’s take a look at each step individually.
The very first step is “Try,” where your student will be given a problem that they may not necessarily have the skills to solve yet. Even though this problem is slightly difficult, it will usually be based on realworld circumstances that are easy for your student to understand.
In this step, your student is encouraged to think back on the skills they have previously learned and see if those concepts can aid them to solve new problems. They are also asked to brainstorm and work together with their fellow classmates. We even provide them with a place to write their ideas and the ideas of their friends in their workbook!
Check out our piece on “Try and the Role of the Teacher” for more information on “Try”
After the students have tried the new problem for the unit, the teacher will review the answers from the class, encouraging discussion of different tactics and approaches. Once this discussion is complete, it’s time for the “Understand” step.
To achieve a solid understanding of a new concept, students must reflect upon the problemsolving process of the “Try” step. This may include reviewing and discussing questions like this:
The teacher’s role during the “Understand” step is to encourage deeper thinking by the students as they reflect on these questions. Then, they will come together as a class and decide which concepts were most important as they solved the “Try” problem and what part of the problem required new skills.
During the “Understand” step, students will solidify their understanding of the newly introduced concepts, with guidance from their teacher.
The ability to choose a helpful, appropriate method for solving a problem, and to be able to execute this with speed and accuracy, are important skills in mathematics. After gaining a thorough understanding of a new concept, the next step in Japan Math’s process, students proceed to “Apply” to refine these skills.
In the “Apply” step, there are several different configurations of problems where students can use the knowledge learned in the “Understand” step. These include problems similar to those seen in the “Try” step, helping students understand that the same concepts and operations can be applied even if the problems seem different. Solving these problems improve students’ speed, accuracy, and confidence.
Sometimes, students get stuck on a particular problem. That’s okay! When this happens, it’s important to take a step back and review the foundation of the new concept. If they’re still stuck, they can return to previous pages in their workbooks to look for clues, to show students that they can apply previously acquired knowledge to almost every problem. They’ll also be able to learn that when they are having trouble with a particular problem, the key to the answer can be found by returning to the basics of their newlylearned concept.
Ideally, once a student has a firm grasp on the new concept, every problem in the “Apply” step will be solved by each student alone, without the help of their teacher or their fellow students. Once this is completed, your students have reached the final and most exciting step of the Japan Math process  “Master!” This should be celebrated before moving on to the next unit, in order to continue fostering a joy for learning and a passion for problemsolving.
This process will be repeated for each lesson, allowing your students to progressively build on the concepts and skills they learned previously, while still tackling new problems with the help of their problemsolving skills and their classmates. By completing these steps in each unit, the curriculum helps your students develop an internal process for problemsolving that will be a foundation for all future mathematic endeavors.
If you’re interested in adding the Japan Math curriculum, contact us here to request a free sample.
]]>The Homeschool Starter’s Pack includes the Lesson Book, Workbook and Japan Math Block Sets. A special 20% discount will be offered to early adopters of the Starter’s Pack until June 30, 2019, and they will also receive the Teacher’s Guide ($10 value) for free.
Primary Math International uses a 4step approach to learning  Try, Understand, Apply, Master  which aims to foster a deep understanding of math concepts. It focuses on problem solving, encouraging students to try problems and find solutions on their own, with support and guidance from the teachers. Priority is placed on developing the student’s ability to think for themselves, while making sure that they have thoroughly understood the fundamental concepts.
Japan has been consistently ranked among the top countries internationally for academic performance in mathematics. Japan Math Corp. has been helping students in Japan excel in mathematics through their proven approach for over 80 years.
To learn more about the Primary Math International curriculum and the Homeschool Starter’s Pack, visit https://japanmath.com/pages/japanmathhomeschoolprogram.
]]>If you're going to any of the 3 regional NCTM conferences this Fall, be sure to stop by our booth or attend one of our one hour workshops. We'd love to see you.



Want to get on the map? Contact us if you would like to see samples of our K  G2 Lesson Books and Workbooks. It's not too late to place an order for this upcoming school year!
]]>Due to popular demand (thank you San Francisco for being so vocal and persistent!), our G2 Lesson Book and Workbook will be available in Spanish, alongside our already available Kindergarten and G1 translations! We are making every effort to have it in time for the start of the new school year. Thank you for your interest and your passion!
Debido a la demanda popular (¡gracias San Francisco por ser tan vocal y persistente!), ¡Nuestro libro de ejercicios y libro de lecciones G2 estará disponible en español, junto con nuestras traducciones de Kínder y G1! Estamos haciendo todo posible para tenerlo a tiempo para el comienzo del nuevo año escolar. ¡Gracias por tu interés y tu apasionamiento!
]]>MyKey is a fun web based math application that supports and supplements inclassroom instruction of Primary Math International. By using MyKey in addition to Primary Math International Lesson Books, students will develop a deeper understanding of mathematical concepts. Using MyKey, students will learn independently at their own pace working through sets of engaging problems based on targeted lessons selected by their teacher. Through problem solving, students can earn coins and trophies to unlock levels of mastery and understanding. The program is adaptive and problems will be adjusted based on an individual student’s learning and level of understanding. Students can quickly and easily keep track of their own progress through the online reporting system. Teachers can see an entire classroom’s progress at a glance and discover which students are having trouble with a concept. If many students are challenged by the same concept, the teacher can spend more time during classroom instruction.
In 2015 Toppan Printing Co., Ltd. launched YaruKey, an online math platform in Japan. MyKey is the US adaptation of YaruKey and as such, takes Common Core State Standards into consideration, following Primary Math International.
Toppan Printing Co., Ltd. was established in Japan in 1900. The Toppan Group has grown beyond its traditional printing business and now offers a broad range of products and services with printing technologies at their core in the Information & Communication, Living & Industry, and Electronics segments.
Japan Math Corp. has been helping students in Japan excel in mathematics through their proven approach for over 80 years. Primary Math International uses a 4step approach to learning  Try, Understand, Apply, Master  which aims to foster a deep understanding of math concepts. It focuses on problem solving, encouraging students to try problems and find solutions on their own, with support and guidance from the teachers. Priority is placed on developing the student’s ability to think for themselves, while making sure that they have thoroughly understood the fundamental concepts.
The full suite of Primary Math International products includes the Lesson Book, Workbook, Japan Math Block Sets, Teacher’s Edition, and Assessment Tests. To learn more, visit japanmath.com.
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]]>Grade 2 Lesson Books follow the same methodology established in Primary Math International Kindergarten and G1 Lesson Books. G2 Lesson Books aim to accomplish the following 3 points: 1) Build a strong foundation for representing and solving problems by emphasizing the use of diagrams and mathematical expressions. Students will be able to explain and justify their strategies using representations learned in the lessons. 2) Develop a deeper understanding of the concept of “base ten” place value, and basic operations by completing carefully aligned problems. Based on a strong conceptual understanding, students will develop fluency in multidigit addition and subtraction by solving carefully selected tasks in the units. 3) Establish a conceptual understanding and acquire basic skills for future learning of geometry and measurements. This is achieved through handson activities including construction of shapes and lines by drawing in the geometry and measurement units in G2.
Japan Math Corp. has been working in collaboration with Dr. Akihiko Takahashi, Associate Professor of Elementary Math Teacher Education at DePaul University, and a select group of partner schools in Chicago to combine this proven approach to mathematics with the learning needs of students in the U.S., with the practices of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) in mind.
Primary Math International uses a 4step approach to learning – Try, Understand, Apply, Master – which aims to foster a deep understanding of math concepts. It focuses on problem solving, encouraging students to try problems and find solutions on their own, with support and guidance from the teachers. Priority is placed on developing the student’s ability to think for themselves, while making sure that they have thoroughly understood the fundamental concepts. The goal of Primary Math International is to develop the student’s Desire and Skills to use Math for Life.
About Japan Math Corp:Japan has been consistently ranked among the top countries internationally for academic performance in mathematics. Japan Math Corp. has been helping students in Japan excel in mathematics through their proven approach for over 80 years. After months of research development and testing, they are confident that the method will be beneficial to both elementary students and educators in the U.S. The full suite of Primary Math International products includes the Lesson Book, Workbook, Japan Math Block Sets, Teacher’s Edition, and Assessment Tests. To learn more, visit japanmath.com.
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Did you know that March 1st is National Peanut Butter Lover's Day? Here are some fun facts about peanut butter:
It takes about 540 peanuts to make a 12ounce jar of peanut butter.
Americans spend almost $1.85 billion a year on peanut butter!
U.S. exports of peanut butter to Mexico amounted to 1,889 metric tons in 2016/2017.
The world’s largest peanut butter and jelly sandwich, made in Grand Saline, T.X., weighed 1,342 pounds.
Are you a peanut butter lover? What's your preferred ratio of peanut butter to jelly on your sandwich? Are you a 50% peanut butter to 50% jelly? Or are you more of a 75% peanut butter to 25% jelly person? Use math to find the right combination!
Celebrate National Peanut Butter Lover's Day with your kids by coming up with new ways to enjoy peanut butter and trying new recipes. Hint: Recipes involve math!
Or play this STEM game that teaches students where peanut butter comes from, courtesy of the American Farm Bureau. http://myamericanfarm.org/classroom/games/?gid=peanut
When learning about Japan Math’s curriculum, it’s essential to understand the importance behind each of the four major steps in our curriculum. We want our educators to feel empowered and to know how to best aid their students during every step of the Japan Math process.
Let’s start by understanding our first step, and the role of the teacher during it: Try!
“Try”
In the first lesson of each unit in our Primary Math International Lesson Book, we ask our students to try. Students are instructed to work on a single problem that utilizes concepts that they have not yet been taught. In other words, they cannot simply apply what they have already learned to solve the problem.
Instead, they are asked to think outside of the box and figure it out on their own, without help from their teacher. Problemsolving in this manner, which asks students to blend old and new concepts, helps them reflect on what they have previously learned. This is where the student's prior learning and new learning meet.
How Hard Are These Problems?
Problems in the "Try" step are related to everyday life. We’re passionate about making learning fun and applicable, so your students will see situations in these problems that are easily identifiable. Through solving problems that they can connect with, they will be more motivated to learn in the future.
These questions have a level of difficulty that is challenging but not nearly so difficult that your students will get frustrated from trying. The “Try” step aims to be the perfect blend of a solution that remains just slightly out of reach, but achievable through brainstorming and group work.
Group Work
The “group work” aspect is very important in the “Try” step. Once students solve a problem on their own, they are encouraged to share their ideas with their peers. The goal here is less about whether or not their answers are correct, but to encourage respectful and productive discussions about the work between the students and their classmates.
Once the students have had a chance to discuss the problem amongst themselves, it’s the teacher’s turn to facilitate discussion about various student solutions in the classrooms. Students will be eager to share their strategies, and it’s best if teachers encourage participation from everyone. Then, the class will work to solve the problem together, learning the new concept for the chapter.
Role of The Teacher in “Try”
In Japan, we have a slightly different understanding of a teacher’s role in a classroom. Japanese teachers sincerely believe in allowing a student to try to solve a problem on their own first, even if this means the student may struggle to find the solution. We believe that struggle is a major part of the learning process and creates a problemsolving muscle that only strengthens the more it is used. At Japan Math, we encourage our students to try and choose from a range of strategies and approaches to solve problems. Students are actively involved in deciding which mathematics tasks make sense to use, justifying solutions, and making connections to prior knowledge and experiences.
Contrary to the popular, "I do, you do, we do" method of teaching, we’re encouraging our Japan Math teachers and students to move away from rote memorization and focus more on strategy application and independent problemsolving. The role of the teacher in our classroom is to facilitate a conversation that moves students toward a shared understanding of mathematics.
“Try” in Action
Here is a sample “Try” lesson from Japan Math Corp's Primary Math International Lesson Book for G1. Students are given space to write their math sentence and also show their work in the "My Idea" section.
With Japan Math's focus on problem solving, your students are free to explore different ways to solve a problem. For example,
This student has written out the math sentence and taken out 9 math blocks from their Student Math Block Kit to begin calculating.
Now, say another student used two sets of blocks and subtracted 1 from the 10 to make the 9 and then added 4 from the second set of blocks. The teacher then can explain why both ideas are correct and lead a continuing discussion with the class to see what other strategies were used, and about which method offered the quickest answer.
Our Goal with “Try”
The “Try” section’s goal is not to frustrate the students by giving them an impossible problem, nor is it for the students to find the correct answer every time. The “Try” section encourages the students to build on their previous skills, work together with their classmates, and find creative solutions to new concepts. If you’re interested in learning more about Japan Math’s style of learning, check out this video discussing how students can take ownership of their learning. If you’re thinking about trying out Japan Math in your own classroom, contact us here!
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]]>NCEA
National Catholic Education Association
Cincinnati, OH
April 3  5, 2018
NCTM
National Council of Teachers of Mathematics Annual Meeting and Exposition
Washington, DC
April 25  28, 2018
Wisconsin Mathematics Council Annual Conference
Green Lake, WI
May 2  4, 2018
ICHE
Illinois Christian Home Educators Annual State Conference
Naperville IL
May 31  June 2, 2018
NAESP
National Association of Elementary School Principals Annual Conference
Orlando, FL
July 9  11, 2018
SDE
Staff Development for Educators National Conference
Las Vegas, NV
July 9  13, 2018
NCTM Regional
National Council Teachers of Mathematics Hartford Regional Conference
Hartford, CT
October 4  6, 2018
NCTM Regional
National Council Teachers of Mathematics Kansas City Regional Conference
Kansas City, MO
November 1  3, 2018
NCTM Regional
National Council Teachers of Mathematics Seattle Regional Conference
Seattle, WA
November 28  30, 2018
We'd love to meet you!
Contrary to the way many of us were taught growing up, there isn’t just one way to learn math. In fact, there are many different math programs and curricula available, especially now that math strategies from other countries are being introduced in the U.S. school system. Since our founding, we’ve met many educators who asked us a similar question:
“What’s the difference between Japan Math and Singapore Math?”
It’s a good question! Many people might not realize just how different these two teaching techniques could be. In this article, we would love to share with you why we believe Japan Math brings something new, different and valuable to the table.
First Things First
Before we jump into the differences, let’s look at the similarities.
As you can see, the two programs are similar in their general principles and standards, which triggers the question asking for the differences.
Here’s a hidden similarity masking as a difference: Singapore Math was first introduced to the U.S. in 1998, which may be why the name sounds familiar. Although Japan Math was founded in the U.S. in 2015, we're actually a subsidiary of a leading provider of learning materials in Japan that was founded in 1933. While we may be new to the U.S., our math program has been proven successful for over 80 years in Japan. We’ve been around a while! That’s why we are so excited to have this trusted program to benefit U.S. students.
What’s Different?
So, what’s the difference between these two programs? Well, it’s a little like comparing apples and oranges. By name, Singapore Math and Japan Math may sound similar, but they’re actually quite different.
Japan Math has a very unique approach to math education that’s not found in other countries. Even though Singapore Math sounds like it would be a curriculum specific to Singapore, it’s actually quite similar to those of China and Korea.
Singapore Math is also more of a brand name, meaning that the content of the program is not closely related to the actual methods used in Singapore. Japan Math’s curriculum is a userfriendly version of the actual curriculum used in Japan, created specifically to allow for a seamless transition for American students.
Now, here’s how Japan Math’s content and curriculum varies greatly from that of its competitors:
The main aspect that makes Japan Math’s curriculum stand out is how we’re asking children to learn. With Japan Math’s technique, we are encouraging classrooms to step away from rote memorization or simply “cramming” information as a way of learning.
Instead, Japan Math focuses on strengthening problemsolving proficiency that gives students the foundational skills to tackle any equation.
In Japan, students are each given their own math book (as opposed to a rented text book) for which they are responsible for the year. Writing their name on the front page, recording their thoughts as they work through the lessons, and having a written record of their successes –creates a sense of ownership for the student, more so than a rented textbook would.
Taking inspiration from this, we have designed our curriculum in a lesson book format, in which students can write in their thought processes and answers. As the student progresses through the year, their lesson book becomes a journal of their learning and accomplishments, which can be kept throughout their academic career as a reference.
The biggest difference we see between Singapore Math and Japan Math is our overall academic approach. The most important of these? Our very first step: Try.
When starting a new unit, Japan Math gives our students a problem that requires concepts that they have not been taught yet. Knowing this, we’re asking our students to see if they can work together with their classmates to find a solution using the skills they have learned previously in a new or different way.
This first step of “Try” encourages students to remember that the concepts they’ve learned are versatile and that they are capable of solving new problems with the skills they already have.
After a student tries a problem, our program moves onto the next steps, “Understand, Apply, and Master,” where they will learn the new unit’s concept, apply it to several different types of problems, and demonstrate their mastery of it. By ensuring a mastery of foundational problemsolving skills in each lesson, this gives students the confidence to once again try a new and harder problem in the next unit.
With Japan Math, your students will not only have a better understanding of mathematical concepts but an enthusiasm for learning and strong problemsolving skills for life.
If you’re interested in learning more about Japan Math and how you can add us to your curriculum, contact us here!
]]>The Primary Math International curriculum aims for students’ progressive mastery of skills by continuing to build upon the knowledge and skills acquired with each lesson. The Assessment Tests have been designed to measure the level of achievement in each unit, in order to give teachers an understanding of their students’ progress.
This is done by testing the students’ fundamental understanding of a concept and measuring their ability to correctly execute a certain procedure. It will also examine their ability to think logically and describe ideas appropriately. By using these tests, educators will be able to track the academic growth of their students over the school year.
Assessment Tests are accompanied by a detailed Answer Key for teachers. The Answer Key outlines the objectives of each problem – what each problem intends to measure in terms of students’ knowledge and skills. Furthermore, it describes how teachers should evaluate students’ answers, or how teachers should interpret students’ level of understanding.
The Assessment Test package includes a test for each unit, as well as midterm and final tests for both Fall and Spring semesters. A readiness test is available for Grade 1, to review concepts learned in Kindergarten.
About Japan Math Corp: Japan Math Corp’s proven approach to teaching mathematics has been helping students in Japan excel in math for over 80 years. The Primary Math International Curriculum uses a 4step approach to learning,  Try, Understand, Apply, Master – which aims to foster a deeper understanding of math concepts. The full suite of Primary Math International products includes the Lesson Book, Workbook, Japan Math Block Sets, Teacher’s Edition, and Assessment Tests. To learn more, visit www.japanmath.com.
]]>Primary Math International uses a 4step approach to learning  Try, Understand, Apply, Master  which aims to foster a deep understanding of math concepts. It focuses on problem solving, encouraging students to try problems and find solutions on their own, with support and guidance from the teachers. Priority is placed on developing the student’s ability to think for themselves, while making sure that they have thoroughly understood the fundamental concepts. The goal of Primary Math International is to develop the student’s Will and Skill to use Math for Life.
Japan Math Corp. has been working in collaboration with Dr. Akihito Takahashi, Associate Professor of Elementary Math Teacher Education at DePaul University, and a select group of partner schools in Chicago to combine this proven approach to mathematics with the learning needs of students in the U.S., with the practices of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) in mind.
“Japan Math has changed the way that we think about math instruction and the common core standards,” said Mr. Joseph Rosen, Assistant Principal of César E. Chávez Multicultural Academic Center in Chicago. “Our teachers are more thoughtful about planning problemsolving based lessons, about encouraging students to defend their answers beginning as early as kindergarten, about planning thoroughly for student misconceptions, and about how to navigate and facilitate math conversations.”
“The curriculum takes a lot of thought and purposeful planning,” said Principal Lorianne Zaimi of Peirce School of International Studies in Chicago. “But that work is well worth the benefits that we are seeing across grade levels over time.”
Japan has been consistently ranked among the top countries internationally for academic performance in mathematics. Japan Math Corp. has been helping students in Japan excel in mathematics through their proven approach for over 80 years. After months of research development and testing, they are confident that the method will be beneficial to both elementary students and educators in the U.S.
The full suite of Primary Math International products includes the Lesson Book, Workbook, Japan Math Block Sets, Teacher’s Edition, and Assessment Tests. To learn more, visit www.japanmath.com .]]>In order to ascertain whether you really understood what you learned, it is a good idea to try teaching what you’ve learned to others as if you became a teacher.
We all tend to "think that we’ve understood" something. It is when we try to explain it to others and fail to properly express it in words that we realize our understanding has been incomplete.
Also, in the process of trying to explain something to others, fragments of knowledge are combined and we can check for ourselves whether our explanation is logically appropriate. This deepens our understanding. Furthermore, putting into words allows feedback from others which can complement or modify our understanding.
For Japanese mathematics textbooks, giving answers to problems is not the absolute goal. Often times, they give instructions that encourage students to "explain" their own ideas about strategies for solving problems. What is more, sometimes there are instructions that require students to understand and compare others' explanations.
During actual math lessons, such explanation activities are carried out numerous times according to the textbooks. In the activities, teachers play the role of a facilitator that helps students to engage actively in discussions and to appropriately summarize what they have discussed.
Have you ever thought about the difference between “understanding” and “knowing?” It’s very easy to assume that these two words have the same meaning, but we believe there is some nuance distinguishing them.
“Understanding” can refer to a state beyond simply “knowing” a concept. Itself, “knowing” a concept implies a familiarity with an idea, but perhaps not a working knowledge of it. For example, we can “know” about airplanes, but we might not have a comprehensive understanding of how they work. It’s very easy to know a concept without truly understanding it.
For Japan Math, this is a very important distinction and one we hope to combat with our programs and teaching methods. We believe our students need to not simply “know” a concept, but have a deep “understanding” that allows them to apply the concepts and skills they’ve learned to even the most unfamiliar problems. Through our curriculum, we are creating a foundation of “understanding” our students that exceeds simply “knowing” a concept.
Try, Understand, Apply, Master
We believe in the importance of “understanding” a concept so much, it’s a core step of our program’s process! Every Japan Math unit takes students through the same process:
Here’s an example:
Say a group of students are using a formula to find the area of a trapezoid. These students may technically know the formula for finding the area of a trapezoid and be able to recite it when the teacher asks them, but this is different from understanding the formula. Memorizing a formula does not demonstrate an understanding of its possible uses.
When a student is asked to apply the formula they simply “know” and don’t understand, they may struggle to do so. For example, if the problem changes the orientation of a trapezoid, a student without a working understanding of the formula may easily mistake the hypotenuse as the base.
Our goal with Japan Math is to ensure that they properly understand the concepts they’re learning and are able to apply these strategies to a variety of different problems.
Continuing with our example, students who sufficiently understand how to find the area of a trapezoid can also respond to the question –
"Why does that formula work?"
In order to explain their answer, they’ll be required to understand the concept. They will have to recall the concept of "parallel" and "height," how to find the area of triangles and squares, and general strategies that they’re previously learned.
It will require a working understanding of other concepts they’ve learned before, which brings us to Japan Math’s ultimate target – to create strong problemsolving and mathematical skills through building on the concepts they’ve learned before.
Understanding and knowing are often used interchangeably in today’s society, but at Japan Math, we believe there is a strong difference between the two, and we will continue aid our students in their mathematical understanding, not just in their knowledge.
When students are actively involved in making sense of mathematics tasks using varied strategies, justifying solutions and making connections to prior knowledge and experiences, they are building on concepts they have already mastered and learning to “understand” instead of simply “know.”
More from our blog:
Try and the Role of the Teacher
What’s the Difference Between Japan Math and Singapore Math?
]]>In Japan with custom of taking off shoes when entering buildings, shoe cupboards are also installed at the entrance of most schools. Students take off their shoes here every day and change to slippers. A small private space provided for each student has helped to acquire the Japanese custom, sense of belonging to school, and skills to manage their possessions, as well as to hide love letters.
]]>This is Mt. Fuji, the highest mountain in Japan.
Mt. Fuji has wellproportioned cone shape, and is so famous that many Japanese children make or draw a mountain in the shape of Mt. Fuji when they are asked to "Create a mountain with clay" or "Draw a picture of a mountain." Therefore, when teachers first introduce a threedimensional figure called the "cone," by simply saying "like Mt. Fuji," students easily visualize the figure.
Once a university in Japan arranged the following math problem for their entrance examination. Try solving this if you like. Only those students who have firmly climbed the long mountain paths of mathematics to the high school level would have had a wonderful view on their answer sheets.

Draw the graph of the following two curves on a coordinate plane.
f(x)= x^4x^2+6 (x<=1), 12/(x+1) (x>1)
g(x)= 1/2*cos(2πx)+7/2 (x<=2)
Source: Shizuoka University, 2000

When referring to "knowledge" in the field of mathematics, two types of knowledge are conceivable.
One is knowledge of facts and concepts. This corresponds to literacy in symbols, rules of operation, definitions and theorems concerning numbers and figures. This type of knowledge is easy to verbalize. That is, it is possible to explain the details of the knownledge to other people both orally and in writing.
The other is knowledge of performing procedures. Put another way, it is "Skill" or "Knowhow." It includes skills such as calculating quickly and accurately. This type of knowledge is difficult to describe in words, but it allows actions in an orderly manner without thinking.
In order to strengthen conceptual knowledge, verbalization or an activity of explaining knowledge in words is effective. On the other hand, repetitive practice is effective for strengthening procedural knowledge. These two types of knowledge support each other and constitute academic achievement in mathematics.
We constantly ask ourselves if the mathematical teaching materials we are creating are a wellbalanced combination of these two types of knowledge and that the teaching materials expand and develop both of them.
In Japan, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology provides guidelines for teaching called the "Gakushu Shido Yoryo." This is a common standard for educational content, and textbooks from each publisher must first undergo examination by the government whether the content complies with this standard. Only those textbooks that have passed this examination and granted certification become candidates for adoption by the schools.
This system underlines what students should learn, so the teachers are set free from the problem of "What to teach." However, teachers must confront the problem of "How to teach." They must make a great effort to ensure that students understand what is written in textbooks.
We are now in the process of developing curriculums that comply with the Common Core State Standards. The Common Core, too, is about content or "What to teach," and does not offer methodology. It does not indicate "How to teach"; the problem must be pursued by the educators themselves.
We believe that teaching materials do not merely show what needs to be learned or taught. They serve a major role in presenting the best methodology for teaching. Good teaching materials are ones that cultivate and inspire not only students but also teachers. We hope that our products help many teachers to become even better at teaching.
Last week, many elementary schools in Japan hold entrance ceremonies.
In Japan, new grade starts from April, and 6 yearold children start elementary school. They meet teachers and new friends, and receive textbooks that they will use for a year.
Just at this time cherry blossoms are in full bloom in Tokyo and elsewhere in Japan. Cherry blossoms add colors to Japan's scenery only for a week in this season. Many Japanese associate the image of cherry blossoms with milestones in life such as entrance into schools or starting careers.
Thank you to everyone who stopped by our booth at NCTM 2017 Annual Meeting & Expo in San Antonio. We are looking forward to seeing you again.
]]>Please visit Japan Math at booth 1137! Stop by for your free gift, while supplies last.
]]>The details of Dr. Takahashi's workshop at the NCTM Annual Conference are as follows. Together, we will explore the essence of mathematics education in Japan!
*****
Friday
April 7, 9:30 – 10:30am
Workshop Theater on the Exhibit Floor
Akihiko Takahashi, Ph.D.
DePaul University
Editor in Chief, Primary Math International
[Japanese Approach for Establishing the Foundation of CCSSM Mathematical Practice in K and 1]
International studies indicate that Japanese curriculum is focused, coherent and rigorous. In this workshop, we will explore selected examples from Japanese curriculum to help the participants gain insight into the features of Japanese curriculum that support students in establishing the foundation for becoming mathematical problem solvers.
We are pleased to announce that Japan Math Corp. will have exhibition booth at the 2017 NCTM Annual Conference which will take place on April 5 to 8, in San Antonio, Texas. The lesson books of "Primary Math International" series and "BCA Math" series as well as Japan Math Block Sets will be on display. So, please stop by. We can’t wait for you to see our wonderful products!
*****
National Council of Teachers of Mathematics
2017 Annual Meeting and Exposition
April 05, 2017  April 08, 2017
Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, San Antonio, TX
Halls 3,4A & 4B
Booth #1137
This week, many elementary schools in Japan held graduation ceremonies.
In Japan, new grade starts from April, and 12 yearold students start junior high school.
By the way, Japanese have different names for "mathematics" in elementary school and in junior high school and above. In elementary school it is "Sansu," and in junior high school and above it is called "Sugaku."
We assume that the different names show that a special meaning is given to students' firm understanding of the basis of arithmetic, figures and measurement in elementary school. "Sansu" serves as essential tools for daily life, not just as a foundation for algebra and geometry to be learned at junior high school and above. Some say that "Sansu" is to understand and practice one plus one is two, and "Sugaku" is to contemplate and explain why one and one is two. This view may be quite true.
We will hold a workshop at the NCTM Annual Conference in April. The speaker is Akihiko Takahashi, Ph.D., from DePaul University.
Doctor Takahashi has had a devoted career to spreading teaching methods based on Japan's mathematics education in the United States. In particular, he is known as a theorist and a practitioner of "learning through problem solving."
The details will be announced later, so don't miss it!
Manipulative tools are crucial for young children in gaining understanding of mathematical concepts. Japan Math block sets serve as a bridge between concrete objects they see in daily life and the abstract concepts used in the world of math.
Come to see these products at the upcoming NCTM Annual Conference in April!
Problem solving means working on a problem that children must find the solution by themselves. In the Primary Math Internationmal lesson books students can find many problem solvings that are effectively tailored to attract their interest and to facilitate their understanding.
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