## Sunday, 7 April 2013

### Blog Entry 6 Guessing the number

Blog Entry 6

Guessing the number

We watched the second part of the video where children were presented with a guessing game. This is an interesting game which I would like to try with my kindergarten children. The game goes like this, children were asked to guess two digit numbers leaving out the zero. eg. 23 and subtract it by reversing the number. (23 - 32 = 32 – 23 = (the answer must add up to make 9)

By looking at the last digit, children were able to guess what the beginning digit is. This gives children more practice in subtraction. This activity builds children’s interest in mathematics as can be seen in the video. They were excited in being magicians and wanted to try subtracting over and over again.

I will definitely try this activity with my kindergarten children.

Blog Entry 5

Calculators and Technology

We looked at the importance of calculators in schools. The use of calculators helps children to solve difficult sums. Children will have more confidence in doing mathematics when they have access to calculators. Children will have more time to do more calculations and it also saves time.

Children will be also able to do more complex sums with the use of calculators.  I also feel that children become more dependent on calculators and they feel very lost without the use of calculators. I have experienced this with my own son. He needs the calculators to even do simple sum when he was in primary school. There are pros and cons in using calculators in primary school.

Blog Entry 4

Reviewing substraction with renaming.

We watched a video on reviewing subtraction with renaming. It showed us how children were taught mathematics in primary schools. It is so different from the way I was taught when I was in primary schools. Before, we did not have much hands-on experience with numbers. Everything was straight from the text and the classroom structure is different from before.
The lesson on polygrams is very interesting. It is a good idea to introduce area. I learnt something

new. It is interesting to know that all squares are rhombus and squares are special.

Blog Entry 3

10 frame

In today’s lesson, I learnt something new. I learnt about 10 frame which is a must in every kindergarten class. This 10 frame helps children to understand eg. 8 is less than 10 by looking at this frame.

10 frame can be made by using egg cartons and palettes can be used to create 10 frame. Children develop number sense by using the 10 frame to count. By having children experience hands-on activity using the 10 frame, children will be able to understand different ways of making eg. 8 + 6.

We can also create number stories by using this 10 frame. This 10 frame can also be used to teach subtractions.

Blog Entry 2

Fractions

Today we learnt about Fractions. It is a very difficult topic for children to understand. We were given a piece of paper to fold into four equal parts. It’s very interesting to know how many different folds we can make to form four equal parts. I tried folding equal rectangles and equal squares. Some of my classmates came up with other ideas such as cutting the paper to form four equal parts. I also learnt to create four equal parts by folding and overlapping, cutting and overlapping and cut rearrange and overlap. Hope to try more ways creating equal parts.

By giving children a paper to fold, we are providing children with concrete experiences and children can really come up with wonderful ideas. All along I was thinking that apple is a good example to teach fraction. It is today that I was told that apple is a bad example to teach fractions.

Blog Entry 1

Rote counting and Rational Counting

This is the first lesson on Elementary Mathematics. We learnt about theorist such as Vygotsky who believes that children learn in a social situation. Children learn better by communicating and sharing ideas from their peers. Jerome Brunner believes in the use of visuals (concrete – pictorial – abstract) , CPA approach. Number concepts that we learnt is nominal number, rational counting and rote counting.

This is something different from the other modules that I have attended. My mind got refreshed when I was reminded that bus numbers and i/c numbers are nominal numbers and also talked about enrichment and acceleration. Usually, I will just accelerate to a higher level activity. This module tells me that I can use a single concept such as counting and to go on to a higher level thinking. Eg. counting single objects to compositional pictures (enrichment).

## Saturday, 23 March 2013

### Reflections on Readings 1 and 2

I always thought that mathematics was a dry subject. After Reading 1 and 2, I come to understand that teaching mathematics can be interesting after all. I also agree that in order to teach mathematics to children, we must have an interest in Maths .There are a lot of good ideas in the readings which are very interesting.  Mathematics as explained in reading 2 shows that we should really understand the strategies involved in doing Mathematics rather than just knowing the formulas. Children must know how to use these formulas to solve other similar problems.

Children should be given opportunities for “higher-level” thinking instead of just rote learning. Classroom environment plays an important part in enhancing mathematical learning. I would like to set up interesting maths corners in my preschool for children’s to explore and learn mathematics. Children should be given opportunities to converse with their peers so that they could exchange ideas, discuss and come up with a solution to their mathematics problems. The use of technology has also helped children to solve mathematics problems effectively. Calculators is been widely used in schools nowadays.

Reading 2 talked about Jean Piaget’s ‘constructivism’ and Vygotsky’s ‘zone of proximal development’ where children build on their prior knowledge. Children should be given opportunities to use their prior knowledge and  inco-operate it in whatever they are doing now.

Usually when children make mistakes, we immediately correct them by teaching the correct way. We do not actually allow them to reflect on and correct their mistakes. From these readings, I understand that children should be given time to reflect on their mistakes and try to solve the problems by themselves.

In conclusion, every child  thinks differently and their prior knowledge is also based on their cultural background. We should give children ample time to explore and work on their mathematics problems based on their prior knowledge.