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.