Sunday, 22 September 2013

The Art of Mathematics (Pre-assignment Readings on Chapt 1 & 2)

(See bottom picture) This is me..and yes, i struggle with math. all the time. from primary school till my secondary days (i am not sure why but i was in a class with e-math and a-math). the only reason why I've got "B"s for my 'O' levels was probably due to the fact that i had an awesome teacher who refused to give up on me even when i was happy with an "E8" grade. You see..this is how i perceive math..(See right picture). While I was growing up, my mum asked, "Why won't you be an accountant?" I replied, "I don't like the idea of counting other peoples' money. Unless, it's MY money."

Nevertheless, I grew up and became a preschool teacher! And now that Math is part of my job, I shiver at the thought of how i can actively teach and shower the children with sufficient assistance to master the art of mathematics.

Anyway, here is my Pre-assignment from what I have read and learnt in Chapter 1 and Chapter 2 readings:

Dear Parents,

In this following write-up, I am going to introduce the following key points to you:

1) The 6 Principals and standards for school mathematics

The 6 principals and standards are: Equity, Curriculum, Teaching, Learning, Assessment and Technology. All factors are inter-connected. Children  given the opportunity for adequate support to learn mathematics, they will require appropriate curriculum and teaching. This result to a much more effective learning. In order to enhance a productive learning, the use of assessments and technology are necessary to gauge and assist the children's learning.

2) The 5 Process standards

How does the children acquire and use their mathematical knowledge?

- Problem solving: Children should be given the opportunity/time to problem solve.
- Reasoning and proof: Children should learn the value of justifying ideas through a logical argument.
- Communication: By actively communicating with their peers, it fosters interaction and exploration of ideas.
- Connections: Children will have to draw connections to see how some ideas/solution are inter-connected and intergate math with other discipline areas.
- Representation: Symbolism in math with visual aids such as charts/graph help to reinforce the understanding of math

3) The wise words of Piaget and Vygotsky

Piaget VS Vygotsky? Who's who? Does your child apply either, both or none?

Piaget - The father of Constructivism. He believed that learners are not blank slates but rather creators (constructors) of their own learning. He also explained how it is linked to Assimilation (new concept fits with prior knowledge) and Accommodation (New knowledge does not "fit" with existing network of knowledge).

Vygotsky - He believes that each and every child has their own zone of proximal development (ZPD) where individual learners learn at different stages and phrases in their life.

Regardless of whichever theorist your child is "practicing", it is vital that maximized opportunities to construct ideas and room for ample discussion is given for children to "wire-in" thoughts and experiences to solve math.

4) Benefits of developing Mathematical Proficiency
With encouragement and endurance to engage in mathematical sums, children will be in a better position of mastering the art of mathematics. The children will experience an effective learning of new concepts and procedures. They will learn to enjoy math as there will be less to remember, it aids an increase in retention and recalling and enhances problem-solving abilities (which they can also relate to problems and source out solutions). Lastly, there will be an improvement in the child's attitudes and beliefs where he/she is positive enough to know how his/her problems can be solved to feel an utter sense of accomplishment.

go forth & may the power of math be imparted to our future ones...

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