Day 6

Final class of the module and I will like to sum up the lessons attended thus far and conclude a takeaway which I think is especially applicable not just in learning mathematics but in all other aspects of life

Teach, so that children can develop intellectual capital. Don’t let conventions override and allow creativity. 

More often than not, teachers tend to teach the conventional way. It’s vital to allow children to explore and figure out methods to solve a problem. 

The quiz was unlike the usual kinds and we were asked to come up with words problem with the questions.

  1. 8 divide by 4
  2. 4 divide by 8
  3. 2 thirds divide by 3
  4. 3 divide by 2thirds

The last question got me thinking pretty hard and I still could not figure out the answer. Anyway, the after-quiz discussion had clarified my questions. We have a simple pictorial graph presentation without scale thereafter. 

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And I especially enjoyed the ‘salute’ game, my group-mates and I are trying to hard to win the game by calling out the number first. This game is my favorite as I love mental calculation!

 

Lastly, thank you Dr Yeap for letting us view Math from a totally different perspective. Bet my math results would have been much different if all the teachers are like Dr Yeap. Nonetheless, thanks for the thoughtfully planned lessons in allowing each and every one of us to understand better. Thank you!

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Day 5

Differentiated instruction is crucial for all educators to really help children progress and develop in their learning, to identify the steps necessary to help create the concept or enrich their learning further. I think educators should take this seriously instead of following a structured curriculum as differentiated instruction is vital for learners to grasp, understand and progress on in their learning. 

The class proceeded to do an activity ‘Tangram’ as well, it was fun trying to create the squares of different sizes, we came up with a total of 4 

  1. 2 bigger sized triangles 
  2. 1 smaller square
  3. 1 triangle with 3 other tangrams
  4. finally, 1 that consists of all 7 tangrams (example below)

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This is a great way to differentiate the activity. Children who can form a square using the tangrams can move on to find more possibilities of using the tangrams to form a square (I think I belong to the slower-learning group) but I really like this activity as the children get to explore using concrete materials and to learn at their own pace! 

 

The next most interesting activity is on the triangle and why the triangle always add up to 180degrees. This is seriously intriguing and I finally grapple the reason why. I am still pretty amazed till now, you may try the following method. Cut the triangles up and aligned them in the straight line, it will always form a straight line and a straight line = 180degrees. Try it out and be amazed too!

 

Day 4

I especially enjoy Problem 13 introduced today. It is not just mind-reading, it is indeed mind-boggling. I find it so hard to find out the second digit, but eventually understand the concepts. It was interesting to find out that the answers can be found out through different ways.

Examples:

  1. The no. revealed is often the multiplication number of the first digit
  2. You can use the first digit and times no. 9
  3. You can add no. ‘0’ behind the first digit, minus 4 to get the answer as well.

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Another interesting thing Dr Yeap reinforced today is the utterance of fractions. It is not

  1. 1 out of 4 (unless you are talking about probability or you actually mean it)
  2. 1 over 4
  3. 1 upon 4

But it is said as one-quarter. I think this is the common mistake that always occur. I tend to say 1 out of 4 and people I know tend to say it as 1 upon 4. Now, I understand why it is not meant to be said that way and instead, saying it the right way – one quarter

The other consistent thing I learnt through the past 3 lessons in addition to today’s lessons, is that. Encouraging young children to solve problems through different ways, inspiring creativity and encouraging children to find creative ways for solutions. It has been a norm to use a standard way to solve mathematical problems, but as the world and technology advances, it is now a totally different approach towards enriching a child’s learning and showing the true value of teaching and education.

Day 3

Through this session, I really enjoyed one of the activities we were doing and I felt it will be great for young children to learn. By using pictorial form, children can do this activity to learn the concept of addition, below are some pictures for your understanding (but of course it will be small numbers for young children to work on)

 

 

 

 

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I’ve also learnt that enrichment lessons which early childhood industry commonly uses to incorporate additional programs in the centre is often used inappropriately. 

Enrichment –> Is to enhance understanding; providing depth and breadth to regular teaching according to child’s needs and abilities

Acceleration –> is to introduce new concepts, new contents

Seemingly learning new things everyday!

Day 2

I find it fascinating to use different methods to do or solve a mathematical problem, it has always been instilled within me that there is one method or algebra way to solve a mathematical problem. Thus, it was pretty difficult to think out of the box and it feels rather insecure doing it, unsure whether it is right or not. But, it was interesting to think out of the box knowing there is no right or wrong and it’s all up to your creativity. 

One method which I find it to be interesting and fun to teach young children how to count, will be to use the kidney beans for learning subtraction concepts. I can get the older children to pair up and use this game to learn the concept of subtraction. Children who may have already acquired the concept of subtraction well may be able to identify patterns during the process, just like how we find out that no. 3 and no. 6 are bad numbers to get because you will lose the game!

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Day 1

Mathematics had been the one subject I hated to the core since young, it had been fun thus far during the lessons solving the 3 problems introduced by Dr Yeap. I’ve learnt a few key concepts through the tasks given 

 

  1. Mathematics can be fun, not boring. 
  2. There are more than one way to solving a problem. (I used to do that, and even though my final answer was right, I was marked down due to the different method used in the process of solving. Yes, my subject teacher gives marks for using the method she taught in class and this kind of killed my interest for the subject. Anyway, her methods are mundane and I never get where she is coming from)
  3. The more the merrier! Discussing about the problems, sharing with friends how we achieve the result is fun and enriching. We get to know how others solve their tasks in a different way than us and this provides us more ideas for the next tasks to think creatively (which can be hard)
  4. Hands-on learning adds so much more fun in the process of learning

 

Teaching Mathematics to Preschoolers – Today

Dear Parents,

The first online newsletter for ABC Childcare centre will be on mathematics for preschoolers in the 21st century. This post provides insights on the importance to allow young children be active, independent learners while constructing their own knowledge and understanding in learning mathematics.

As technology evolves and advances, so should the learning for all. It is tempting for parents and educators to provide the solutions for young children when they are struggling to figure out certain mathematical concepts and skills, but by allowing the young learners the time to struggle with the math tasks they are exploring, they are actually actively constructing their own knowledge/ideas.

 

It is crucial to understand that children need an environment that helps support their learning and understanding, where they are actively engaged in solving problems, encouraged to make connections and understand the mathematics they are exploring. An environment that is rich in interaction allows children to be engaged in reflective thinking and learn about new concepts through communications with peers and teachers. To sum it up, learning mathematics is like a lifelong skill. Children should be encouraged to explore, figure out solutions through the struggles and challenges faced and construct their own understanding and knowledge of how it works to be effective learners, not just in mathematics but in all other aspects.

Do check out the video below from MOESpore for more insights and last but not least, another video (just below MOESpore’s video) — to brighten up your day!