Kathleen and Corrinne are The Pi Project.
The two of us have used our combined teaching experience from Singapore, Germany and the US to develop a math curriculum that teaches the way children learn.
Our pedagogical beliefs:
- Math is the symbolic representation of the world around us, and is best understood visually.
- Children learn best in a progression from Concrete to Pictorial to Abstract, and American teachers often skimp on the first two levels.
- Countries that give students “The Gift of Time” are most successful. Deep conceptual understanding is preferable to memorization, and it takes time. The 21st Century needs graduates who can think deliberately.
- Children who “struggle” with math benefit enormously from Concrete>Pictorial>Abstract, but so do the “racers” who find memorization easy, but don’t always build strong conceptual understanding.
- Math – taught with puzzling questions – can be intriguing and enjoyable.
Slow down. Teach visually. Teach children to think.
Kathleen Jalalpour, a veteran and award-winning Math teacher with 40 years of experience, was instrumental in the adoption of Singapore Math at Keys School in Palo Alto, California in 2004, where she has taught all grade levels, Kg – 8. She is also the author of The First Six Weeks, a guide to introducing Singapore Math® to 5th and 6th graders. Before coming to Keys School, Kathleen lived and taught in Berlin, Germany for 15 years.
Kathleen is one of 10 teachers from around the country honored in 2018 as a Sarah D. Barder Fellow by the Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth (CTY) for excellence in teaching students with advanced academic abilities.
Corrinne Khoo-Lieu is an experienced Math teacher from Singapore who taught in Singapore before she moved to the Bay Area in 2001. She trained Keys School teachers in 2004 to ensure a seamless adoption of their Singapore Math® program. She has served as a math coach, Kg – 8th, and now teaches middle school math at Keys, and continues to serve as a mentor for new teachers.
Together with Kathleen, Corrinne has made numerous presentations at conferences nationwide. The Pi Project has also conducted dozens of school trainings in the US, Canada, and Peru. They consult widely in person and online.