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I should apologise for taking so long to get to this. I confess I have been procrastinating because I have been wondering how I’m going to explain this succinctly in a blog post. I still don’t know but I’ll try. This method was taught to me by FZ who learned it from her daughter who was taught the method at a school in Bandar Utama. The details of the school are listed below.

What I will be explaining in this post is the gist of the methodology. For more information, I urge you to contact the school above. You can also read the google translations of the following articles (pretty crappy translations but I guess some translation is better than none if you can’t read the original Chinese printed text):

There is also a new See’s Math blog that you may want to follow for new updates. Unfortunately, it’s also written in Chinese. The link is to the google-translated page. Again, dreadful translation but better than nothing.

Now onto the basics of the methodology:

Firstly, it would help if you download my powerpoint on SEE’s method for counting from 1 to 100. Go through it and pay careful attention to the pattern of the trains. Ideally, you should do this with a set of 100 Mah Jong chips (which are pretty much like Poker Chips). Any small flat object of uniform size would work as long as you have 100 of them. In fact, counting chips are probably a better idea if you can find them since they are generally cheaper – or at least they are on Amazon.

The purpose of the power point is to show you the order you are supposed to lay out the chips in when you count. I created that power point for Aristotle (hence the Thomas trains) since I didn’t have any chips. Although you can show the power point to your child, I’ve been told that it is more effective to use physical chips than an image on the screen or flash cards. I would agree except for the part where Hercules comes careening along and laying waste to any order and method I try to create.

The depictions of one to ten is represented as follows:

These patterns must always been maintained. For instance, whether you are counting 5, 50 or 500, it will always be represented by the same U-shape pattern:

And 7, 70, and 700 would be represented as follows:

When you are adding, the smaller amount will always be added to the bigger pile. So if you had 4+6, you would first depict 4 and 6 in the patterns shown above, then say: “equals ten” and move the chips from the set of 4 to the set of 6. When subtracting, you always remove the number of chips that are being subtracted and rearrange the remaining chips so they follow the pattern. For instance, if you had 6-2, you would remove the top left chip and the top right chip so that the remaining chips form the upside-down t-shape representing 4.

When you a multiplying, say 5×6, you would set up 5 sets of 6. SEE’s Maths helps your child understand the concept of multiplication because he immediately sees why 5×6 equals 30 – because we’re talking about 5 sets of 6 objects. Initially, you would show your child by laying out the chips in order – 5 sets of 6 chips. Once your child understands the pattern, you can write the number “6” on each chip and set up only one set of chips. Division is similar to multiplication except in reverse.

**Is SEE’s Math as effective as the other Math Methods?**

Well, FZ, who showed it to me, also showed me her daughter’s workbook and she can calculate some pretty big equations for her age.

The more I think about it, the more it sounds like a right brain concept of teaching Maths. SEE’s Maths initially teach children by showing them physical counters, however, once they understand the basic Math concepts of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division, they can do any equation in their head by visualising the patterns of chips in their mind. Since the right brain is all about images and imaging, SEE’s Maths fits in with the profile of right brain Maths. It also explains why FZ’s daughter can work out such large Mathematical calculations in her head so quickly.

So which method would I use to teach Aristotle Math? As much as I like the concept of SEE’s Maths, I have still elected to use Soroban purely because I cannot teach Aristotle a subject that would require me to lay out chips in a pattern on the floor without Hercules charging in and flinging the pieces into every corner of the room or trying to eat them. I learned that the hard way when I was attempting to teach Aristotle the concept of fractions using a Fractions Kit I bought from Borders. Not only did Hercules mess up everything I tried to set up, he also managed to tear the book. When I tried to barricade him off, he screamed blue murder even though I left him a cool box of toys to explore. So I guess this is something we can revisit when Hercules is older.

Download See’s Math’s Flashcards.

LM's Mum says

Brilliant, Shen-Li, thank you ever so much for this information, which is not easily available elsewhere. The method does look very right-brain and very visual. Incidentally, I have been collecting milk bottle caps to be used as manipulatives, which may do the job!

cm says

hmm. so would you recommend showing Doman’s red dot card in this pattern?

Shen-Li says

LM’s Mum – you’re welcome. I’m sorry I took so long to get to it! I’ve been meaning to write about it ever since FZ told me about it.

CM – I think if your child is young enough, I would just do the Doman or Shichida Maths program. I would use this method for an older child who has missed the critical period for the red dot cards. I think the reason why they have the pattern is to help older children who have lost the ability to recognise random quantity “see” how many items there are.

Then again, in Shichida’s Math program, they also recommend showing young children quantities from 1-100 in an ordered pattern so there is no reason why you can’t use this pattern.

cm says

SL, i know nothing about shichida mentioning showing young children quantities from 1-100 in “an ordered pattern ” could u explain more? what other patterns than this one (SEE) that is recommended? thanks!

Shen-Li says

By ordered pattern, I mean that the dots are placed in order rather than scattered randomly across the flash card. For instance, 9 could be represented by 9 dots in a grid pattern of three by three.

You can download this series of flashcards to see an example of what I mean:

Math: Pattern Cards – 1 to 100 (https://www.figur8.net/resources/flashcards/math-flashcards/)

There is no mention in the handbook of specific patterns to follow but I presume that as long as there is order to the dots or items that is sufficient.

In Heguru, they do blue dots in grids. Depending on how old the child is. For Gavin’s age group, they show a grid of 5 x 5 squares and they use blue dots to represent 1 to 25 starting at the bottom left hand corner counting upwards. The next grid up is 10 x 10 squares to show up to 100 blue dots following the same pattern – starting at the bottom left hand corner and counting upwards. Hope that makes sense.

pom says

My child 2 years now ,i can still start with Doman or shichida maths program or not.

Shen-Li says

Pom – most advise the cutoff at 3 years, although I know of parents who have successfully done the Math program with older children. So yes, definitely start the program. I personally feel that if you are dedicated and if your child is willing, then it doesn’t matter even if your child is past 3 years – because you have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

El says

Can I knw where can learn this SEE MATH method for mummy??

Fz Teh says

Hi El – I am afraid you won’t see this method anymore cos I was told the school who used this method had stopped using because it took much effort to teacher instead of just using fingers…..See’s method has a registered patent in Singapore…so perhaps you may still find there …having said that, I personally feel it is not difficult to explore, I think this method is very useful to very young children from birth and to do interchangeably with Dots card, reason for this SEE pattern dots, the children can’t do wild guess, can’t count, she has to speak correctly with no clue given by looking at the patterns already taught spontaneously ie when I lay 60 counters, she must say 60, no wild guessing of 61 or 62…..my daughter used this method when she was 3, now she is 5,…..this method has impacted me and her substantially for her “abstract” Maths understanding because the nature of this method is to do mental maths by imaging the dots in the mind instead of physical counters…..

El says

Thx fz teh!

Any idea math centre can teach kids at age4?

Fs Teh says

I am afraid I can’t offer you any infos as to this, but what I can tell is the teacher who taught my daughter since 3 is still teaching her See’s Maths, because Maths needs constant practice, and the practice is usually “oral” practice with 50 q in 10/20/30/40mins depends on levels of difficulty.

Mr See, founder of See’s Maths doesn’t encourage worksheet as he says small kid should learn Maths under a conducive environment ie fun and enjoying. To see results, we parents must help the child by doing the same game with him, that is playing with counters, or sometimes drawing out the patterns to him to enable him to perceive better for initial purpose of simple maths illustration. At end, discard everything.

You may check with Teacher Joyce @ 012 3869508.

Shen-Li says

Hi El – there are also CMA Mental Arithmetic and Global Math (details here: https://figur8.net/baby/2011/02/03/early-childhood-education-mental-math-programs/). There is also Enopi (http://www.enopi.com/Programs/Math/MathOverview.aspx) but I don’t know anything about them.

Of course there is also kumon, but I know they do a lot of worksheets, which, as Fz has pointed out, is not recommended for young children.

Fs Teh says

Hi Shenli & EL- Currently my daughter is also in her 3rd lessons with CMA ( using 2 hands approach), apart from See’s Maths, she have skipped many levels and understood the formulas spontaneous because of understanding of pairing systems derived from See’s Maths, more importantly she could also “image” abacus in her mind without actually seeing the actual abacus by now.

Then as I am also in the class compound with her, notice CMA ( abacus) uses a lot of pairing system and formulas, also a valid approach so long as the kid “understands” the formulas instead of “memorizing” the formulas because the more the formulas the higher the level, that said for a simple fact of their tender age.

Fs Teh says

Hi Shenli- I am sharing my esperience with all mothers here…..in fact I am still doing any “oral” Maths with V almost everyday, a method I learned from See’s Maths, find it useful especially before bedtime and funny thing was sometimes she woke up with murmuring of numbers or piano lessons to herself, 🙂 , I felt she must have learned that in her dreams also because she actually able to accomplish the task I gave after waking up from her dreams.

Shen-Li says

Fz – that’s terrific! Our dreams are the mind’s way of organising the things we have learned so it is important to get sufficient REM sleep every night. It was also said that Thomas Edison used the twilight state before sleep to help him solve problems he encountered in his work.

I also recall from Shichida and Mr Henmi from Heguru that right brain development doesn’t just train memory, it develops creative memory so that they don’t just “memorise” formulas but are able to understand how it works and apply it creatively. Being able to image the abacus in her mind is part of the right brain function so it is terrific to hear that your daughter’s right brain has been engaged!

Jennifer See says

Shen Li,

I only have 01 question for you.

Do you have permission from Mr.See in any kind to post his work on your web side?

His work is protected by pattern rights in 3 countries including Singapore,Malaysia and China.

Who do you think you are to blog about it in your blog side without clearance from the man?

You are not even one of Mr See’s student who learned the whole thing step by step and you have the guts to blog about it as if you know how the whole thing works.

You disrespect the creator and his work and worst of all you disrespect yourself by setting the worst example to your children.

They have a mother who digs around other people’s back yard. An act of thieves.

You will be getting my lawyer’s letter soon enonght for the damage you have created to Mr See and his work.

Shen-Li says

Dear Jennifer,

Firstly, please accept my apologies if you find my article offensive.

Secondly – you are right! I was never a student of Mr See nor do I fully understand his techniques and methodology. This is evidenced by my comments in my article. What I have presented were a vague interpretation of the method as intimated by a mother of a student attending the classes. You may appreciate how this may deviate from the actual teachings in class. I did not realise that my interpretation of the SEE”s Maths Method had infringed on his patent rights. I personally apologise to the patent holder if he feels that his rights were infringed.

My blog focuses primarily on early childhood development. I would like to think that it is an unbiased and impartial forum where interested parents / childhood developers regularly meet, promote and contribute on methods available to develop children’s cognitive abilities. The materials on my blog are a collection of conversations and other interactions (whether verbal or via non verbal media) with other parents and also from personal experiences. I regularly read up and share with my readers when I find interesting articles or methods in further developing a child.

In a nutshell, there are no commercial aspects to my blog. I have not profited from posting any articles (unless as specifically requested by schools / licensed operators) and I make it a common practice to make referrals to the experts and other registered institutions touting expertise in their relevant areas at no charge, referral fee or commission. Of course, I am under no obligation to do so – however, I am obliged to my regular followers to share such and any contact information where necessary. You will see in the article that a referral was made to the school in Bandar Utama teaching SEE’s Maths Method and their relevant contact details.

Which brings me to the topic of thieving! “Thieving” is described in http://www.oxforddictionaries.com as “the action of stealing”. I find it hard to believe that a reasonable person would see that my article would amount to such an act. Perhaps you meant ‘plagiarism” which is defined by the same http://www.oxforddictionaries.com as “the practice of taking someone else’s work and passing off as one’s own”. In the article, I did not say it was MY method. I emphasised the fact that it was my vague understanding of how the method works. If more information was available, you will notice proper annotated bibliographies and references to original authors as in my other articles.

As a responsible participant on the internet, I am fully aware of my responsibilities to avoid infringing intellectual property rights. In most cases, the gray areas are vast but this does not mean I take advantage of them to gain an immoral profit. I reiterate that I have not made any gains, monetary or otherwise, by publishing this article on my blog. It is merely a discussion on the SEE’s Maths Method. I am more than happy to cease and desist in any discussions on the SEE’s Maths Method and to remove all articles relating to this on my blog.

If you would like me to do so, kindly drop me a short note. I do request a little civility and to refrain from further defamatory comments as in your first post.

Thank you.

cm says

Hi Jennifer,

What Shen-Li has posted is only the patterns of the method. These can be easily found from other source on the internet http://moderndad.pixnet.net/blog/post/22003488-%E6%96%BD%E6%B0%8F%E6%95%99%E8%82%B2%E6%95%B8%E5%AD%B8%E8%AE%8A%E6%98%93

It has also been published on the papers which is also available on internet.

What I am saying is that these are commonly available information on the web.If ShenLi has done anything to it, that would only be “helping to promote the SEE’s method.”

I am a “right-brain education minded” mom and after I found out about SEE’s method I do admire how Mr See has created it and wonder why this wonderful method is not commonly known and available. Perhaps it is because people did not spend enough time promoting the method instead they spent their times checking who has INFRINGED the copyrights of Mr See.

LM's Mum says

I am with cm on this one. I am struggling to see the “damage” Shen-Li’s post could have made. She has publicised SEE’s Math describing the pinciple behind the method, and I would think that Mr. See’s method itself is much more than that.

I (and I am sure many other readers from all over the world) became very interested in SEE’s Math after reading the post above, and I would consider taking my daughter to a school where this method is taught, if that was feasible.

I wish Mr See every success with his method and I hope he finds ways to teach it globally. I also hope that he looks at successful and well-respected bloggers like Shen-Li as his partners rather than thieves.

Fz Teh says

Hi Jennifer See,

I think perhaps this is the most discourteous comment I ever seen from a reader.

I have no idea if the “10-dots” was invented” ONLY by Mr SEE and I have no idea too if my illustration to Shenli about that ” 10-dots” was exactly the same as intended by Mr SEE himself.

Well, please be noted too that I respect Mr SEE very much as I personally called him up to ask further questions on this method, sad to say, he shun away because he said he had retired.

Let’s make it clear that Mr SEE didn’t teach me, didn’t illustrate this 10-dots method to me under whatsoever circumstances, to top the worst, I didn’t even posses any products by Mr SEE in relation to this 10-dots method. In reverse, I believe my clever illustration of numbers’ depiction on the counters had given Mr SEE, the principle and the school an idea how to use the 10-dots the right way instead of the periphery way.

So If at all I “stole” anything from Mr SEE, then I think it should be that “10-dots” ONLY and not the illustration for simple reasons as follows :-

(1) the school didn’t even manage to churn out any student who could do more than 50 or perhaps 100. Let me explain WHY !? The moment I saw the ” 10-dots” and understood the teaching method from my daughter, like I mentioned , the school was secretive, and I wasn’t agreed to the method taught to my daughter, because I thought it was WRONG to teach a child that peripheral way….so I observed the 10-dots again and taught her, illustrate to her my OWN WAY, let you be told, parent is the best teacher to her own child, not the teacher, not the system, not the method.

(2) when I called up Mr SEE if he had any idea of how this 10-dots should be enhanced, frankly, my understanding was he had no idea how the 10-dots could be expanded to 100, 1,000, 10,000, 100,000 and even 1,000,000. I remembered he even praised me for using my enhanced method successfully to a young child, so perhaps my inference from that was his illustration was totally different from mine except the 10-dots.

(3) the school who used this 10-dots method also had no idea how this 10-dots method could reach more than 100, let alone 1,000. So, the principle, who attended Mr See’s maths educational course herself too asked how I managed to use 10-dots to teach a 3 year old child, in fact I shared with her my way of perceiving the 10-dots, my illustration of 10-dots and my visualization of 10-dots I learned from Shichida, I think more importantly, my passion to teach came form my daughter, I know best for my daughter.

In fact, Mr See himself even suspicious of a 3 year old child could even understand the visual concept I taught using my own illustration.

(4) in fact no one use this method for any profit gains, but merely out of gratitude to share with Shenli this 10-dots method I knew from my daughter.

(5) today, a lot of invention is based on a basic Einstein’s theory E=MC2, so, my 01 question to you is : does this invention belong to Einstein ?

(6) perhaps you should thank me for promoting this 10-dots method and also the blogger for giving free advertising to this 10-dots method.

Fz Teh says

Hi Shenli,

Wow, you have updated your blog post here quite substantially in terms particularly list of schools.

Hey, it would be great if you could also provide Singaporean family where to learn and teach this method to their children. Some of the parents read your link I left in “kiasu.com” but no confidence to proceed further cause do not want to use the method wrongly.

Shen-Li says

FZ – it’s thanks to CM that I have the link to the listing of schools teaching Shi’s method. She has been very helpful in looking them up and sharing them with me. Aside from your post in the Singaporean forum, I wasn’t able to find any other information on Shi’s Method that is written in English. Unfortunately, the English search on Google isn’t able to find Chinese links which was why I couldn’t find anything on Shi’s Maths before when I first wrote this blog post.

If anyone knows the schools in Singapore that teaches Shi’s method, I’d be happy to update this blog post so others can find them. Thanks!

Papasmuff says

Jennifer,

May I know where can we learn Shi’s method in Singapore?

Shi’s method in Chinese please?

Fatima says

Hi. I would like to know how often to show/do the see method. And how many numbers a day? I have an almost 4 year old child. Thank you so much.

Shen-Li says

I have no guide on how often. I arbitrarily set it, e.g. 1-10, 11-20, etc. I did it once a day as and when my child was happy to do it.