Sunday, 22 July 2012


I remember during my school days, I was allowed to use calculator only in secondary school. Now my daughter is allow to use it when she is in primary 5. She also have to do her holiday homework through computer. This is common in this 21st Century way of learning, technology is a must.

According to Van De Walle, J. (2009,p113), when children are learning counting on, counting by twos or threes, by using calculator can enhance their oral counting or pattern identification.
I agree that calculator is another technology to teach Maths and it is a tool commonly used in our daily life which is one of the rationale for teaching Mathematics.

Learning Points and Question

Learning Points :
1. Use correct language to teach children
2. When doing counting say it with noun
3. A square is a rectangle but a rectangle is not a square
4. Learning content is secondary, how do children learn and direct them to investigation is the primary thing
5. Choice of activity is not random. Everything is construct

Question :
1. Where can I get more ideas to make my Mathematics lessons both interesting and educational for the children?

"Mathematic is a vehicle not destination." Dr Yeap Ban Har


Often, teachers teach the way they were taught by memorizing formulas and equations. Although I am the believer of hands-on activity and reasoning out with children but when come to Maths I thought this formula has made up without knowing the reason behind it. SURPRISE!!! Unlock by Dr Yeap and thanks to him, now I know that it is important to bring variations into the picture.

I remember there was a quiz question which we need to write the word problem for the fraction. I do not know the logic behind when being asked and is unable to explain the word problem. I was thinking and everything became clearer and easy to understand after concrete materials were used to explain the problem.

"Mathematics consists in proving the most obvious thing in the least obvious way." George Polya

"But in the new (math) approach, the important thing is to understand what you're doing, rather than to get the right answer." Tom Lehrer

Chapter 8 Number Sense

I agree with Van De Walle, J. (2009,p29) that he mentioned “Children continue to develop number sense as they begin to use numbers in operations, build an understanding of place value, and devise flexible methods of computing and making estimates involving large numbers, fractions, decimals, and percents.” Now I know why our curriculum taught K2 children up to number 20. Most parent question us why do we stop at 20. Though we know that children will acquire it when they moved on, now I found the evidence and reasons behind it.

As mentioned in the text, soon after children learned number 1-20, it has moved quickly to addition and subtraction instead of  more exposure to other number operations. Hence I am determined to make the children learn mathematics in the proper ways it should - the CPA Approach

Monday, 16 July 2012

Interesting and Inspirational 16 July 2012

The few mathematic lessons today really interesting and inspire me to be a good math teacher. It refreshed my personal understanding of why we teach mathematics. It is not about learning the content but how to direct children when they have a question and move on the investigation process.
The lessons were like simple tricks for us to practice repeatedly and to sharpen our understanding through those trial and error experience which were actually  methods to solve the problem. Having all the skills to process our thoughts are important, and that is mathematics!
It was indeed a mind blowing lesson especially with all the three lessons that I have learnt. I agreed that teaching mathematics today is not just teaching methods alone but to help children with the learning process in experiencing their true understanding.

Monday, 9 July 2012

Chapter 1 and 2

Singapore has become one country where their education system is very comprehensive and many changes to it. Especially Mathematics, it is interesting to know Singapore students perform well in Math to be compared to students in US.

During my primary school that was 30 years ago it is much easier and straight forward than I compare it now.  Currently, children cannot do mathematics without understanding it whereas during my time the problem sums is so straight forward. I can still remember the clue to solve maths problem sum is to find the word “altogether” and “left” to determine whether it is an addition or subtraction problem. Today children learn by trial and error and they need language to understand mathematics. As a teacher of mathematics we need to understand our student as quoted in Chapter 1 page 2, “Effective mathematics teaching requires understanding what students know and need to learn and then challenging and supporting them to learn it well (NCTM,2000,p.16). Thus we need a reflective Mathematic teacher.
I agree with the sentence in chapter 1 page 10, where teacher use different strategy such as asking children, “Did anyone solve it differently”? This is effective teaching as we can learn new things from our children. Learning takes place anywhere, everywhere and with anyone and everyone.

In Chapter 2, the discussion is about children become “doers” of mathematics. Children learn from “making sense” and “figuring out”. They were given opportunities to actively think on the mathematics problem. As I reflect, children do best in hands-on activity they are the “doers” and they understand it better when they experience it by themselves and see it. This learning through hands-on activity has been proved effective.
When students know that struggle is expected as part of the process of doing mathematics, they embrace the struggle and feel success when they reach a solution (Carter, 2008). I fully agree to this quote and it is so true. I experience it myself, whenever I have to tutor my sons and daughter for their maths homework and I manage to solve it I feel the success.
As I read on I began to understand that learning theories might be thought of as tools or lenses for interpreting how a person learns (Simon,2009). For example constructivism might be the best tool, or lens, for thinking about how a student might internalize an idea while the sociocultural theory might be better tool for analyzing influence of the social/cultural aspects of the classroom.

I am looking forward to class to learn more on the mathematics curricula and strategies. Identify socia/cultural influences on learning and teaching mathematics.