The Singapore Mathematics Syllabus

We’re working on a long ACARA post, which, hopefully, will be up in a day or so. In the meantime and as a bit of background for the coming post, readers may wish to have a wander through the Singaporean Primary Mathematics Syllabus.* (The syllabus begins with explanatory chapters, and the content description begins on page 34.)(Added 12/10/21 – The Secondary Syllabus 1-4 is here.)

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BiFF: Norm Macdonald and Pie Charts

We already had plans to start a new series of posts: Because it’s Funny. This was to begin with a different comedian, but Norm McDonald‘s dying kind of forced our hand. The characterisation “his cynicism was just a byproduct of his idealism” makes him our kind of guy. Below is a clip from Saturday Night Live. Continue reading “BiFF: Norm Macdonald and Pie Charts”


We’ve sat on this one for a long time. We weren’t sure what to make of it, and we’re still not sure. It seems appropriate to write on it, however, and inappropriate not to.

First, some background. Back in June-July, there was some minor but notable social media activity in the maths ed world; there was encouragement for people to make submissions on the draft curriculum to ACARA before the cut-off date. That’s fine, of course, even if they had been advocating to submit in support of (or in opposition to) the draft, which did not appear to be the case. It felt, however, that there was something coordinated about it all, which if true is still fine, but telling. As well, some such encouragement came from people tied to ACARA, which felt significantly closer to the line.

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NotCH 2: A Digits Puzzle

OK, hands up who thought there was ever gonna be a second NotCH?

We’re not really a puzzle sort of guy, and base ten puzzles in particular tend to bore us. So, this is unlikely to be a regular thing. Still, the following question came up in some non-puzzle reading (upon which we plan to post very soon), and it struck us as interesting, for a couple reasons. And, a request to you smart loudmouths who comment frequently:

Please don’t give the game away until non-regular commenters have had time to think and/or comment. 

Start by writing out a few terms of the standard doubling sequence:

1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, etc.  Continue reading “NotCH 2: A Digits Puzzle”

Discussion of the 2021 NHT Methods Exams

This is our post for discussion of the 2021 NHT Mathematical Methods exams (here and here). See also the accompanying 2021 NHT Specialist exams post, here. See also the relevant Witches: here, here and here.

UPDATE (08/10/21) The exam reports have reappeared, as PDFs, here and here. The exam 2 report has important updates, and important non-updates; see the comments in blue, below.

UPDATE (22/09/21) The exam reports are now out, here and here (VCAA-Word-Stupid). We’ve added a couple comments below, in green.

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Discussion of the 2021 NHT Specialist Exams

This is a brief post, intended as a place for discussion of the 2021 NHT Specialist Mathematics exams, here and here. See also the accompanying 2021 NHT Methods exams post, here.

We’ve made a few remarks, below, on specific questions, and see this WitCH, but we haven’t gone carefully through the exams. We’ll update with further remarks if and when commenters raise substantive issues with the questions, or either exam as a whole.

UPDATE (10/09/21)

The exam reports are out, here and here. We haven’t looked and don’t intend to look, except for Q10 on Exam 1. The suggested solution is, well, rooted. See here.

Continue reading “Discussion of the 2021 NHT Specialist Exams”

A Quick Word to Networking Mathematicians

Dear mathematicians, if you don’t really know about the draft mathematics curriculum, and if you are somehow unaware that the inclusion of new content that you happen to like necessitates the dilution or elimination of other content – content that is more important for everyoneand for a coherent curriculum, and which is already woefully underrepresented – then perhaps you should look beyond your own self interest, shut the hell up and listen to people who have been paying attention. Thank you.