23Aug Daily Reflections Session 2

An interesting video clip of a Maths lesson conducted by Dr Yeap to a group of K2 children. Dr Yeap captured the children attention by showing his magical power with the two big dice. He used effective questioning to guide the children to talk and analysis their thinking, discussion, made corrections, discovered patterns and problem solving by themselves. I am amazed by how as a teacher to role modeling and used effective questions to help children to explore the ‘magic’ and problem solved themselves. As a teacher, at times, I am quick to provide answers to the children. It’s a good learning session for me as a teacher to allow children to share their thinking and help them to further analysis their thoughts with effective questioning. It’s a challenge to be able to carry out this process of effective questioning. Through the session, I learned about the five key areas in teaching mathematics – Generalization, Visualization , Communication, Number Sense and Metacognition.

The ‘dice game’ was an eye opener as I am not aware of the two opposite sides make a total of ‘7’. My students use the dice to play board games or simple addition. From the video, I learned other ways to conduct maths lesson using the dice. Most importantly, I must be able to open myself to learn and use materials effectively to teach in a variety of ways.

Playing the ‘Pickup stick’ game with Jaya and Stef was another discovery…the ‘bad number’ after a few rounds of it. This would be another interesting game to teach addition and subtraction through the five key areas in teaching mathematics.

24Aug Daily Reflections Session 3

This session with Ms Peggy Foo, we got to view the video clips of a K2 Teacher having other teaching professionals to observe her lesson, discussion and evaluate on her teaching. As an educator, I always feel that good practices could be shared among each other. In my school, our school principal would make ‘visit’ to observe our teachings and evaluate with the teachers regularly in order to maintain teaching standards in the class. Personally, I find it to be effective as I could see my strength and weaknesses and implement plans for improvement. At times, I carried out these changes immediately with my second session’s students. And I could see the difference in my student’s ability to understand the subject that was taught.

In another lesson, I am amazed that we could fix a great variety of different structures using five unifix cubes. We made comparison within the group so as to make sure each structure is unique, truly an interesting exploration!

Ms Peggy invited us to comment on the 9 areas of mathematical investigation of a video clip about her first teaching experiences with Kindergarten children. Among the 9 areas of the sharing, I identified few areas such as the lesson planning, teacher and pupil’s communications, and differentiation as critical for my reflection. A good lesson plan takes into considerations of the use of the materials effectively and flow of lesson to engage children active participation. Developing good communications encourage students to express and communicate their ideas and thoughts of the subject. It also enhances better classroom management skill and respect for others. Ms Foo commented that she would have take into consideration to engage the special child from the video. The Equity Principal (NCTM, 2000, p.12) strongly states that all students must have the opportunity and adequate support to learn mathematics regardless of personal characteristics, backgrounds, or physical challenges (p.12). This statement help me to think through to provide equal opportunity for every child to learn and if required, to plan Individual Education Program (IEP) to suit the needs of the child.

25Aug Daily Reflections Session 4

This session help me to understand word problems better through e subtraction of 37 and 19. Dr Yeap used the samples from each groups to explain the important of providing different variations of the word problems to children. Through these word problems, I learned about classifying addition and subtraction in the three basic situations of part-whole, change and comparison situations. This would help to provide a clearer and easier way to understand the problem

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Dr Yeap also introduced a renowned mathematician Zoltan Dienes theory of providing variation of the materials or ways would enhance children learning. As children could explore, make comparison and formulate their thinking. I would try to be more ‘creative’ to incorporate other methods rather than fix on to one when teaching the students as this would reinforce their learning and understanding.

The folding of the paper in to four equal parts provided a good way to learn fraction easily. As young children learn better through concrete materials, this would help them to view this ‘new learning’ interesting and attempt to explore the learning. This is what my responsibility is, to encourage children’s seeking spirit to learn.

26Aug Daily Reflections Session 5

I am glad that Dr Yeap continued to give such more sessions on Fraction as its one of my weakest area especially on division of fractions. The visual presentation make it so much easier to understand, I wondered why my days in primary school we were not taught in this way. Nevertheless, this has helped me to be more confidence in teaching simple fraction to my students and I could use it to guide my grandchild who is in his lower primary level.

It’s another eye-opening session to learn about Pick Theorem. We drew many different sizes of squares and polygon on the applets. The area of most of the square is straight forward and easy to calculate, as for the polygon and square that formed diagonally, we used visual estimation by taking parts of the two squares to join as a whole. We had an interesting discovery of calculating the area of the polygon. Taking the total dots within the polygon to minus 3 gives the total area of the polygon, for example, a polygon with total of 6 dots within – 3 gives the area as 3 times and one with total of 8 dots – 3 gives the area of 5 times. This exercises not only fun but I gained more in term of how a teacher would invite students to try a variety of ways on the same topic to explore and discovered the outcome.

31Aug Daily Reflections Session 6

The final session started off with the quiz involving fraction and word problem. I still need more practices to improve on it. Dr Yeap read an stimulating story “How Big is a Foot” is a good way to introduce the concept of standard unit in length. I got to learn to use a more appropriate term “about” as my past experienced I had my students to round off to the nearest number as the answer when they used non-standard units to measure objects.

Taking measurement of the stairs at the MRT station was unusual experienced as I never think of doing that! I was with Wendy, she was measuring the height of the step randomly at each flight and they were all measured as 14.5cm. I joined her to check if both measurements are constant… too bad, I couldn’t read it as I could not see with my eyes! But I and Wendy went down and up the steps to count the total steps twice, it was 62 steps. I checked with some other course mates, some measured the height as 15cm and 15.5cm respectively. I round off the height of the step as 15cm.

My calculation of the height of the one level of the MRT station as :

Total steps X Height of each step

62 X 15cm

= 930cm

The height of the one level is about 930cm.

Learning of the meaning of volume and capacity has helped me to see the difference of the two. Volume is the 3 dimensional space occupied and capacity is the space in the container. The teaching of the clock is relevant for our preschool children and I learned that children would understand time better when associate with an event. For example, it’s lunch time at 12’o’clock. Besides, displaying the clock with the hour and minute hand pointing to2, children could associate better with the event that happen at the time.

The class ended with a butterfly story written on the block by Mr Lim Siong Guan. There are many learning lessons in his chicken soup kind of story. The butterfly survives in a natural environment, as a teacher to be more accommodating that every child has the capability and the right to learn. This mathematics module has enlightened me to set broad goals for the children, getting them to think and problems solve by themselves just like the butterfly! Not only apply in mathematics but all aspect of their lives. It’s important for me to provide the five keys areas in the school environment to foster children with the spirit of life long learning in them as well as myself

22Aug Makeup Lesson Session 1

Different uses of numbers

Ordinal numbers indicate position or order in relation to other such as first, second, third, fourth in the queue or first to the right.

Nominal numbers name or identify something such as telephone number, postal code, car plate.

Cardinal numbers show quantity and are known as “counting numbers” such as five cars, eight apples.

Measurement numbers are numbers use to measure standard and non-standard units

Different strategies to do 5+7

a) use concrete material

b) use word problems an abstract way to increase complexity

c) use symbols such as 5+7

The four pre-requisites to counting are :

1) the ability to classify

2) the ability to do one-to-one correspondence

3) the ability to do rote counting

4) the ability to tell the last number of a group