Wednesday, 25 September 2013

2nd Session: Teaching of Whole Numbers

Whole numbers?
Cardinal or ordinal numbers?
Place value?
Uses of numbers?

I was surrounded by these terms last night. I was overwhelmed literally.

In school, I am familiar with teaching whole numbers and place value. But after attending Dr Yeap's class, I wondered whether I had been teaching the children using the correct technique? Did the children really understand what I taught?

Out of all the problems and concepts we discussed, I like what Dr Yeap explained on Rational Counting. Indeed, sometimes in class I did not use the same nouns in doing counting and many of the children were confused. I was so frustrated that I began to doubt my job and hated Mathematics more. I have to agree that using the same nouns/objects would be easier for children to relate and count. I need to be precised in my verbal instructions. E.g. I should count 1 chair, 2 chairs, 3 chairs, 4 chairs instead of 1,2,3,4. This is one of the learning points I picked up.

Another activity that I enjoyed pretty much is the Jack and the Beanstalk video.

The song is catchy and children will definitely like it. Learning Mathematics through songs is also a great way to engage children in.

A question to ponder. There are 51 eggs and I have to share them among Jack, Jill and the mother. How many ways are there that Jack will have more eggs?  If you know the answer, please share with me. It will be a great help for me. ;)

Monday, 23 September 2013

1st Session: Creating a Mathematical Climate in the Classroom

Tonight was a 'shocking' night because the first problem sum was so challenging. I was literally struggling with it. Never did I expect there were more to come. *sweats

Out of the four problems that were given, I enjoyed the Tangram activity most. As a kinesthetic learner, I absorb better when I can explore and play with the materials.

We were given 7 pieces of tangram of different sizes. It is also called 'seven boards of skills' in Chinese. We had to make a rectangle using these pieces. Initially I was totally zonked out because I simply had no idea where to start from. Thanks to my friend, she guided me along and I was enlightened in creating rectangles and squares using the tangram.

This was how I felt when I started the activity. Lost and overwhelmed. 

Thankfully, after many trials and errors and some assistance from my peers, I managed to create a few rectangles and squares of different formations.

The outcomes were surprisingly good. I thought that tangram would be an engaging activity for the K1 and K2 children. This activity requires children to explore, to experiment, reinforce shapes identification and orientation skills. I hope the children will enjoy as much as I do. As what Dr Yeap said, we all learn from social interactions and discussions and I do believe that it plays an important role in the child's learning.

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Teaching Mathematics

Teaching mathematics may seem to be a challenging task to achieve. But in fact with the correct and positive mindset, anyone can be a Mathematics teacher. Yes anyone, including you!

One with a positive attitude and readiness to teach, are always ready to accept challenges regardless in school, at home or anywhere. Learning happens everywhere, anytime! Indeed, there are so many mathematical concepts and skills to learn and teach the young ones. It may be stressful but one with continuous learning, upgrading opportunities and good learning dispositions, will learn new methodologies and concepts which in turn benefits children's learning one way or another.

Never ever stress a child if he or she cannot comprehend the mathematical concept. Give them time and encouragement, including yourself. There are so many implications for teaching mathematics. Let's take baby steps in delivering the information to the children. Remember, one's attitude towards Mathematics plays a big part in child's learning. If you think that you are incapable or in teaching, you will never be able to deliver the skills to the fullest.

We do not wish the children to dislike Mathematics and totally shut off during activity time. To enjoy and adventure in many possibilities is something we would hope for. Provide opportunities and support for them and engage them as they learn and explore the essence of Mathematics. Take errors and mistakes as part and parcel for learning. Scaffold and provide assistance in their learning and I believe with these strategies, the children will excel exceptionally and develop a love for Mathematics.