Thursday, 31 October 2013

28 Sep 2013 - How big is your box?

Using an A4 size paper, can you make a box as large as you can?
My group folded the sides of the A4 paper as narrow as possible. Below is our work piece:

27 Sep 2013 - "Learning is about making connections" by Jean Piaget

Angles in a Triangle

26 Sep 2013 - Many ways to do it!

I enjoyed this activity, "Polygons with one dot inside". It's very fun to try to think of many ways to form polygons with only one dot in them. My classmates shared the polygons that they have formed during the class. I was impressed by the shapes they were able to form.
Through this activity, I feel that it is really important to know that there are many ways to do an activity or solve a problem. If we inculcate this mindset to the children, they will also have the drive to think of various ways to do things (Creativity/ logical thinking). 

24 Sep 2013 - Rational versus Rote Counting

Today's lesson started with discussing about 'Rational Counting' and 'Rote Counting'. So how do we teach these concepts of counting to young children?

Rational Counting
- one and only one number name is assigned to each object in a group, and the last number name said is understood to name the quantity in the group (eg. 5 apples).

When talking about rational counting, I think of some nursery rhyme songs that can be used to teach the toddlers (e.g. "Ten Little Indian Boys"), "Five Little Ducks", "Five Little Monkeys", "Ten in the Bed", "Ten Green Bottles"). However, the concept taught in the songs, ""Five Little Ducks", "Five  Monkeys", "Ten in the Bed", "Ten Green Bottles" differs from the song taught in "Ten Little Indian Boys" (Counting back from 10 versus counting up to 10).

Using the Bruner's Concept-Pictorial-Abstract (CPA) approach, I will introduce concrete materials (eg. 5 apples, 10 spoons) to teach young children to do rational counting. When they are able to grasp the concept using real objects, I will introduce the below activity sheet(pictorial/abstract). After which, can ask the children "How many are in the group?" and that the total number will be the cardinal number.

Rote Counting
- is the naming of the number words in the correct sequence (eg, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5).

In reference to the CPA approach, counters can be used to teach this concept of rote counting. After which, the below number cards can be used to teach the sequence of numbers.


The attached resources are retrieved from the below link:
This link has good resources to teach children mathematical concepts.

Monday, 28 October 2013

25 Sep 2013 - Bruner's CPA Theory

Bruner's theory on Concrete-pictorial-abstract (CPA) was emphasized in this lesson. I truly agree that the CPA is an effective instructional approach to allow children to explore by using concrete materials. When the child is able to grasp the concept using tools/materials, the educator can then introduces pictorial cues (eg. drawings, graphs) and further enhance the concept by using symbolic representation.

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

23 Sep 2013 - It takes to build a good foundation

This was the first class, topic on 'Creating a Mathematical Climate in the Classroom'. I was introduced to four math story problems and it seemed tough when I tried to do these sums. I feel that if I do not have a good foundation of mathematics, it is tough to make connections to the sums I am doing. I truly agree with what Professor Yeap mentioned that if you do not managed to do the sums using the right idea or method, you will continue to do the wrong way even after umpteen tries or practises.

Monday, 23 September 2013

Learning Mathematics is an essential life skill

Dear Parents,

Do you know...
your interest in math will influence your child's passion in it too?;
our future generation needs to be equipped with mathematical knowledge and skills in order to be competent and successful professionals?

In our curriculum, we believe in
- Ecological System Theory by Uri Bronfenbrenner
- Constructivist Theory by Jean Piaget
- Social cultural theory by Lev Vygotsky
Ecological system theory highlights that a human development is influenced by various environmental system. The classroom environment is one that can provide opportunities for young children to explore, make connections, and problem-solve.

Constructivist theory highlights that young children make sense of the world by using their prior knowledge to construct new knowledge. Educator can use what the child have known about a certain mathematical concept and use that to help the child know that there is more than one way to problem solve.

Social cultural theory talks about zone of proximal development. It is about children learn mathematical concepts or skills from the support of peers or adults.

In conclusion, "Mathematics requires effort, and it is important that students, families and the community acknowledge and honor the fact that effort is what leads to learning mathematics" (National Mathematics Advisory Pane, 2008).