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.