Monday, 8 April 2013

Reflections - Day 1

Today’s first session was interesting I must say.  I learned about how children learn mathematics and it was truly exciting. The CPA approach gave me a better understanding on how to teach math to children. I realize that the process of concrete, pictorial and abstract is essential components to know in order to teach math. This gives a math teacher a better idea in knowing how to plan the lesson plan too. In this session today, I also learned that there are many method to do to derive answers to math problem. There is no right or wrong way but it also gives the freedom to explore more in math.

It is very true that a child learning with concrete experiences is way more valuable than anything. With the CPA approach and discussing on how Vygotsky believed in his idea, it further made me to read more about him and his work. In my teaching experience I do believe strongly that children learn way more better with concrete things rather  I was very much amazed by the math concept of nominal and ordinal number and what it means. Nominal as in for the name like labels eg – bus numbers and ordinal numbers represents time. I did not know all these and it was interesting Dr Yap was teaching all these new terms of concepts. I was wondering how can I teach the 4 year olds though. I did try and of course they gave me the “Yes are you talking to me, kind of look”. That moment was definitely memorable.

 The card trick was pretty interesting activity. I found it quite confusing in the beginning but a few attempts with my group, I was able to comprehend. Well as the saying goes, practice makes perfect applies here.

Saturday, 23 March 2013

Readings of chapter 1/2

Mathematics is definitely an essential learning aspect in education. The six principles, the five content standards, the five process standards,the common core standards and the six major components that the first chapter emphasised has made me realised to see and understand mathematics in a different way. Math was not my forte but I must concur that at times when there is a problem solving sum comes along, I enjoy it's challenge and solving it in various ways. When I was reading the Professional Standards for Teaching Mathematics and Mathematics Teaching Today,  I strongly believe and feel that the six major components of the mathematics classroom will greatly guide me to teach maths in a more effective way. It made me understand what is needed to enforce a better learning environment to teach maths. I realised that mathematics is an understanding and students must be encouraged to solve problems with their own ideas and reasoning. Mathematics does not stand alone, it is an integral part of the holistic learning. I agree that a good curriculum that gives immense opportunities to learn maths in depth for the young is essential. It is true that to teach maths one has to change their mind set. When we feel the negativity towards it, it will reflect in our work. After reading 'Becoming a Teacher of Mathematics, it dawned upon me that a teacher encompassing the dispositions of  'Knowledge of mathematics, to be persistence, to have positive attitude, to have readiness for change and to have reflective disposition will make a great impact in teaching mathematics in depth.  
Chapter two was an interesting read. It gave me a depth of understanding the  learning theories of mathematics as in the foundation approach, concepts, benefits, the practise, what it means, what it means to understand mathematics and the relation to it. It was a real eye opener for me. For a person like me who is not a fan of maths has certainly changed the way I looked at mathematics. I truly enjoy teaching my students of 4-6 years of age math but when it comes to the depth of it on the whole, I panic. It was a fascinating discovery to explore what maths can do and what it was all about in chapter 2. I never knew this much of details are put forward to make us understand what mathematics is all about. It made me realise that with theseactivities, ideas and theories, I can simplify it for my students to understand, have fun and explore maths in a fruitful way. I'm eager to start this connecting dots as in to have ideas and connecting the existing ideas to something further. This construction greatly enhances their cognitive development. Using this practise to teach a concept of maths will be challenging and effective.