Learning and Teaching Mathematics to our children

  

My Reflections on Chapter 1 and 2

Hi, since young I did not have good experiences with Mathematics. All I could remember was that I was beaten several times for not been able to write the number ‘2’. As I entered Primary school, Mathematics was no fun either! I never like counting, adding, subtracting, as well as memorizing the timetable.

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I have a change of attitude towards Mathematics as I encountered my Mathematics Teacher, Mr Lee in my Secondary school days. He used simple and daily life analogies to help us to understand and engaged us to practice and explore ways of doing it. It was as if I was solving a mystery!

Through reading this book, I come to know about the National Council of Teachers Mathematics (NCTM) and “Principal and Standard for School Mathematics (2000) provides guidance and direction for educators and leaders in this field.

The Six principals such as:

             ● Equity              ● Teaching          ● Assessment

             ● Curriculum     ●   Learning        ● Technology

 

And the five content standards such as:

              ● Number and Operations           ● Algebra

              ● Geometry                                    ● Measurement      

              ● Data Analysis and Probability

These principals and standards has also help me to reflect and adopt a more serious attitude in teaching my students that no one is left out to learn and acquire mathematical skills. Besides paying attention to their cultural background and characteristics, giving good and strong support to enhance their learning needs such as provide better quality teaching methods. As a teacher, it is to help my students to understand the rationale of learning these concepts and the relations with our life.

Although NCTM has provided the major leadership and vision to reforms in acquiring the standard in mathematics education, besides the support from the government, Mathematics educators should upgrade ones professionalism. As describe in this chapter, “to do mathematics”, one might have the attitude to learn mathematics and learn about how to teach mathematics. To me, a learning attitude is as important, while teaching others, there is something to learn from them as well!

Both Jean Piaget and Lev Vygotsky’s Constructivist Theory of Learning have provided valuable information of how children construct knowledge. Children build understanding through prior knowledge. By providing materials that they could use through their senses such as sight, hear or touch, it could enhance better understanding and would lead to develop more ideas or knowledge.

I have also learned that good classroom practices would maximize children learning behaviour and their development. Tap on their prior knowledge (blue dot) to build new knowledge or ideas (red dot). Creating a classroom environment is inviting, interactive and allows children to share ideas with teachers and peers. Through such an environment, it will encourage the children and me, the teacher to explore different ways or approaches to the issue.

In the opening page of chapter One, as quoted from NCTM (2000),“In this changing world, those who understand and can do mathematics will have significantly enhance opportunities and options for shaping their futures. Mathematical competence opens doors to productive futures.”  Mathematics relates to our lives, be it managing our daily finances, designing a product, planning a event or dealings in the global trade. We could equip with the skill or knowledge to achieve the greatest outcome. The future belong to our children, therefore I would like to see that my students cultivate the joy of learning Mathematics.

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About Liz Chew

I am lousy at using any computer software, hope to create the blog successfully and know how to maintain it.
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