Saturday, April 6, 2013

3/8 divide 1/8..????

Today is the last day of class and I am not missing Maths yet, not at all..  :P But I must say, the course has given me a different concept on how Maths can be taught in preschools. Though I was hoping that the module could and would focus more on the ways and activities we can do and plan for the children rather than what we should not be doing with children.

The Maths quiz, did NOT take me 5 mins, it took me about 40mins I think...  Hahahaha.. It wasn't as easy as I though it would be!!! I could not work out a word problem for 3/4 divide 1/8. I totally blanked out when I saw that question. But the stress of having a quiz made me so tensed, I actually didn't know how to do the tangram..

One interesting thing I learnt was the pie chart which was rather cool. Using a strip of paper, you shade of the portion for each segment and clip the ends together. It is a good way to show children how to consolidate information received and putting it into a chart form to help you compare. Nice~~~

I do hope my blog entries was not offensive in any way and yes, I have changed my impression on Maths but not lovin it yet. Nevertheless, the children need to learn and so the teacher will need to continue to conquer her fears for Maths and keep teaching. :)

Thursday, April 4, 2013

And than Fractions came along.........

Nope, I guess its quite obvious that I am really not a big fan of Maths.. And I believe that Fractions, Probability and Algebra might just be the cause of it! No, I am not blaming them for nothing but I hardly use any of those since I left Secondary school!!!

Fractions wasn't too fun.. It had to kill my brain cells to get certain information through. It was tough because we used the method we were taught to teach the children but that is not the way they are using now! I wonder how it is going to affect my kids in future when they ask me for help but the method I teach them will not make sense to them at all..

Than again, we were reminded that preschool children only work with numbers from one to ten... Phew!!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Four Equal Parts..

We were asked to fold the paper into four equal parts. Well that was easy I thought.. Next, we have to compare the parts to see if it was equal.. WHAT..???? Hahaha!! And so we did and there was so much commotion on which piece was bigger or smaller than the other..

This is another activity that children as young as four can try. They can be given shapes to match and see how many of a certain shape forms another shape. This helps children to build up their visual spatial and logical mathematical skills! By doing it, children can get to explore where each piece should go and how well it fits.

And than I start to realise slowly, that Maths wasn't all about numbers.. That it can get a tiny weeny bit of fun too.. :)

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Shake that bottle!

So Day Two wasn't anyhow inviting and my heart was still heavy.. Well, you cant blame me, numbers do not really make me very happy.. :(

Anyway, we did an activity on guessing the paper clips. Lecturer had paper clips randomly placed in 6 bottles with one bottle with 3 clips inside. It was all about shaking the bottle and comparing the sounds it made. Everyone that crowded round the bottles looked like scientists holding their paper on hand, recording their findings. It was an interesting activity and it was something useful for pre school children. I am pretty sure they love activity that allows them to make lots of noise!! It allows them to make comparison on the volume of the noise each bottle makes and to make predictions n the amount of clips in it!

Monday, April 1, 2013

The 99th letter..??

Today was the first day of class.. Came to class with a heavy hear thinking that I would be flooded with numbers and formulas. Well, I should say I was too against maths to be able to think of anything good of it...

We started of with the activity where we had to find the 99th letter of the lecturer's name. The first thought that came to my mind was 'You're kidding right..?' Apparently he wasn't. I was on my way counting letter by letter hoping I would reach the 99th before dinner break. After awhile, it felt silly to be counting off this way so my classmates and I got together to work a way out and indeed, we found a way!! It did not ring a bell in me immediately when we worked out the formula and so I attempted to try it on other names. And the more I tried, the better I understood the method. So the saying 'practise makes perfect' was finally making sense to me in Maths!

Friday, March 29, 2013

Chapter 2: Exploring What It Means To Know and Do Mathematics

The classroom environment that stimulates children's learning is important. Children need to be engaged, sharing their ideas, reflecting on the mistakes or errors and looking for connections. This means that children needs to be involved in all of the learning process and that the teacher has to be a supporting model that do not just give the correct solutions. There is a lot of scaffolding and opportunities to exposure children to maths. I do feel that having children brain storm together can help lessen the load rather than having each child find the solutions by themselves. There are children which are not good with numbers. If they can work with peers who have a better concept with numbers, this can help them in a less stressful way as comapred to a teacher helping them.

Using materials can help children understand the concept better. But if the teacher does not allow the child to try and figure a way to use and work the materials, it would not keep the child thinking on how to get the solution. The Benefits of Developing Mathematical Proficiency mentioned on page 28 and 29 of the text books summarises what we need to do in order to create an easier way to help children learn Maths. It talks about using big ideas to catergorized big chunks of informations, remembering certain informations, transferring ideas that was learnt from one concept till the other, and again, having a good and positive attitude that makes one feel confident. From what i see, alot of these are more on individual. If the child is not able to feel positive or try to enjoy the learning process, it will be hard to try to remember concepts or using the same method for different concept.

I feel that in order to get to Chapter 2, one must really develop the interest in learning maths and not jump into big concepts or formulas until one feels ready.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Chapter 1: Teaching Mathematics in the 21st Century

Lets start by saying I'm not a fan of Maths and I really hope there wont be a maths test at the end of this! :)

Maths can be a tough nut to crack and it obviously has not been a plesent experience for me but while reading, I realise there are many ways that teachers can make learning maths an interesting activity for young children. In page 7 of the text, it talks about the necessary to allow children to develop a mathematical understanding. It is how the teacher designs the enirvonment, engages the children, assessing them and more. This chapter also talks about how teachers can prepare themselves to teach maths. I find this very important as if the teacher is not confident and clear about what she is going to be doing than the students may have a hard time trying to understand her. And it is especially important for teachers like me who has not interest in maths.

Being persistence and having a good attitude does help in making the process easier for the teacher and her children. This brings me back to the times when I was still in school and how the teachers would bark at us impatiently when we get the answers wrong. It brings up the teacher's frustration and bring down the child's confidence and self esteem. I think it is essential for a teacher to reflect on her lesson to see what she can improve to make her lesson fun and stress free for both herself and her children.

The Five Content Standards sounds familiar to me as it was taught in Secondary school but i often wonder what and where I would use these formulas with? I am still doubtful on how algebra can hep me in life since i have completely forgotten about it since Secondary school.