Thursday, 26 September 2013

Session 4- Measurement & Geometry

Jia Yo! Few more session to go. Little by little we discover the different in teaching strategies and pathagogy of the past education system to now. How much teachers now were bwing emphasize on delivering instruction in a proper way in such that lessen the confusion and increase in understanding.

Unlike the past three session, the opening problem of this session had already confused me. I went, "What are referring to actually!" although at that moment i felt like just giving up, but my body began to twitch. the feeling of uneasy when i do not get to know the reason behind the "so-called" trick. slowly while he was explaining, me and my friend began to to experiement to see the relationship between the number. and with much persistence and peer helping I GOT IT! Pretty slow but nevertheless mission accomplish!

There was a reinforcement on session 2; Fraction. Dr Yeap also emphasize that not all the skills had to be covered within a stipulated time but for the whole lifetime. this is known as spiral approach. This means that the topic Fraction will have many concept embeded  but it will only be introduced yearly. This is to say that for example, this year the children were introduced with the concept fraction and the different noun. The following year this topic will be reinforce but with added skills such as adding fraction etc.

We end the night with geometry. It was fun drawing irregular shape and inventing ways of finding the biggest number of square. We even found out other than calculating the number of square needed to make up the polygon we could calculate the number of dots and divided it into 2. and this method is proven! Mr Georg A. Pick comes with the equation: A= p/2 +i -1.

Hope to learn new things today too!!
Nur Liyana Sim

Session 3- Teaching of Fraction

Session 3, Quiz time!!! and it's over. Phew! We had a reflection or so call analytical session after we had completed our quiz. this session proves to me how words can complicate and imfluence our thinking. most of us get confused by the word 'enrichment'. We do know that enrichment classes are  additional support meant for children learning. As such, i assume it as creating lesson that will enhance their skill which is merely by practicing. But, the lecturer meant it by developing lesson that challenge the child further but still under the same concept and focus.

Fraction has never been good to me. doing the fraction problem yesterday reminded me much of my primary school learning. i got confused each time the phrase, "of the remainder". this could be because of the inexplicit instruction given by the teacher. but no matter what i had past that phase of life.

This is one toy that i find that it could be useful for the younger children when they are learning about fraction. Through visual medium, they will be able to see the clearer picture of the different fraction terminology.

Picture from:  Santoys SP006 Fraction Board

New words learnt: 1 whole (1)
                               1 half (1/2)
                               1 third (1/3)
                               1 quarter (1/4)

We even have a discussion about abacus. The lecturer gave us an opinion that abacus is a good concrete tool that could aid children in counting. however, it may not be suitable for the younger children. This because abacus beads are not or proportionate value. which means that all the beads look alike. The value were not being clearly distinguish. This could caused confusion among the young children. Reflecting back on experience, the different enrichment programme that were provided in centre or even outside allow children as young as 4+ to join for abacus class. As much as i believe that through constant exposure, children will be able to grasp the skill faster. However, is it still consider inappropriate for children as young as 4 to join for abacus enrichment classes?

Nur Liyana Sim

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Session 2- Whole numbers

Seriously, i couldn't believe how complicated and how deep the concept whole numbers!!!! We were taught to see it as mere numbers. Little did we even consider or think them as something meaningful that affect the whole problem. What's more surprising is the alien terminology that i would consider it as chima-logy (to describe words that is hard to understand)!

List of new words learnt: - Functional curriculum 
                                         curriculum meant for special needs children. they need to be equipped with skills 
                                         That is adequate for their daily lives.
                                         rote counting
                                         Rational counting
                                         Cardinal numbers
                                         Ordinal numbers (numbers that indicates position in term of space and time)
                                         Nominal numbers (meant for social convention)
                                         Measurement numbers (indicated with the unit)
                                         Subitize(ability to name the numeral just by looking)

And of course hands-on activity is the best!! we did the counting down beans!!

Qn: How many beans do you need to create the heart?

Nur Liyana Sim

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Session 1- 23 September

Session 1 is OVER!!!! i felt like i have overwork my brain cell... it has been such a long time since i think so much just to do a simple math problem. Little did i realize that even using the simplest concept - counting needs much analytic thinking.

Doing the problem set by Dr Yeap Ban Har, remind me of the time i am attending primary school. Unlike the math problem in secondary school curriculum, focus mainly on equation, primary problem sum needs you to think deeper and often i am lost with the explanation given by the teacher. 

Nevertheless, i had much fun especially when doing the tangram problem. one thing i like about this activity is  because i do not have to think so much. instead i get to explore and get my answer through trial and error. through this session i have really understand i learned the importance of peer learning (listening to others' solution), persistence (keep on trying) and most importantly understanding the problem.

In all, i feel that providing the opportunity and ample time of exploration allow children (adult) to understand the problem deeper and be a more analytic thinking person. :) 

Nur Liyana

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Unlike language, Mathematics skills are more concrete. As such, teacher has to ensure that they are well-verse on the mathematical skill that they are teaching so that they will be able to deliver explicit instruction. Even so, teachers should continually upgrade and be kept updated to improve themselves in teaching Mathematic learning process includes; problem solving, reasoning and proof, communications, connections and representation.

Children would find it difficult for the children to understand the purpose and the skills imparted. Teachers have to understand that children learn and accept new skill as different paces. It is important for the teacher to be persistent as well as patience when teaching the children. Teacher should often reinforce new knowledge and discipline themselves by using the terminology. Through such incidences, children will pick up the mathematical language.

Environment is the next medium which a child has close contact with. As such, the learning environment has to be conducive as well as engaging to promote children learning experiences. It is not easy for children to see the relation of the concept in their daily lives.  By continuing reinforcing of the concept and having print-rich environment, children will be able to see the relation the need of the concept in their daily lives as not as a subject only. It is also essential for teacher to set adequate opportunity for the children to explore.

With the advancement in technology, calculators had aid much in learning mathematics. Through exposure on more than one concept, there is also more than one way of finding the solution. As such, teachers as well as children have to be flexible and analyze other solution. Other than calculator, tools such as manipulative are often used to represent concept and problem. Using symbol representation allows children to translate the problem visually.

 As a whole, it is important for the children to develop understanding of the mathematical concept. This allow to see the relation better and thus children does not have to retain much information. As such, it enhances the child’s problem solving skill. 

Liyana (BSc09)
22 September 2013