Some time back, a friend helped me get a series of Math kits called “New Math”. I never wrote about them because most of the kit is in Chinese and I had no proper source for them. Recently, I passed by a new branch of UCMAS that had opened near Hercules’ school and noticed that they were carrying a similar series of Math Kits under the name of i-Maths. I’m not sure if the kit is exactly the same but it does look very similar. My experience is with the New Math Kits but if you like what you see, you should check out the i-Maths kits.

**New Math**

The kits are recommended for children ages 3 to 6 years. Each kit comes with 3 booklets – A, B, C – and materials that are to be used in conjunction with the books – strings, tangram pieces, a square nail-board, colour picture cards, colour building blocks, number stickers, colour chained beads, abacus, and geometrical picture stickers.

i-Maths Kits available from UCMAS:

**About i-Maths from UCMAS**

The i-Maths method is unique because it encourages children to use imagination and creativity as well as their thinking skills to solve the problems. The aim is to help preschool children make the shift from “learning by doing” to “learning by thinking”. Regular teaching methods for math employ either the conservative method or the reversible method.

**Conservative Method**

This is the conventional approach for teaching meth. It uses the linear form of teaching.

Example: 1+1= ?

**Reversible Method**

This method adds a higher degree of challenge. It takes the student from question to answer and from answer back to the question.

Example: 1+ ? =2

The i-Maths method takes it further with creative problems designed to develop strong thinking skills as children are forced to think beyond the conventional methods of problem solving and come up with multiple possible solutions:

Example: (?) + (?) = 2

To find out the answers, children need to be familiar with the logic behind the rules of arithmetic. i-Maths strengthens mathematical knowledge by teaching the understanding behind the mathematical rule. It trains critical analysis and creates the awareness that many problems may have more than one solution.

**Mental Arithmetic from UCMAS**

UCMAS also offers a Mental Math Program using Soroban which can be a continuation in mathematical development after the i-Maths program. You can contact them for more information.

**More Math Resources:**

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Published by Shen-Li

SHEN-LI LEE is the author of “Brainchild: Secrets to Unlocking Your Child’s Potential”. She is also the founder of Figur8.net (a website on parenting, education, child development) and RightBrainChild.com (a website on Right Brain Education, cognitive development, and maximising potentials). In her spare time, she blogs on Forty, Fit & Fed, and Back to Basics.
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