Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Reflection - 22 September 2010 (H)

This course has opened my eyes to the other side of Mathematics. It has not only shown me that Mathematics can be fun, but also how it can be fun. Initally, one of the few main activities which I would provide my children is the common practice of using manipulative to teach counting, or the use of commercialised toys. However, after this course, I have learnt many more new fun and inteeresting ways in which I can teach Mathematics to my class. Despite their age leve, which is 3-years-old, I can always attempt to simplify the activities so as to suit their level. Although I have yet to learn more about the different ways in which I can teach Mathematics to children in more interesting and fun ways, I feel that this course has truly benefited me in my line of work as an Early Childhood Educator.

Reflection - 22 September 2010 (G)

In doing the activity of finding the (interior) angles in a pentagon, I was unable to solve the activity initially. Although I knew that the given activity did not require a complicated solution, my first instinct was to remember all that I had learnt during my schooling days, most of which I was unable to fully recall. However, as the class went through and did the activity together, I was slowly able to recall some of the things which I had learnt previously.
In relation to the textbook, even though it may be difficult for one to recall everything which has been learnt previously during their schooling years, once they have learnt the both aspects of geometry, the reasoning and content, it is easier to understand and relate what has been learnt previously to the activity conducted in class.

Reflection - 22 September 2010 (F)

In reading Chapter 8 of the textbook, I realised that it is true that we as teachers, tend to use the word, "more" as compared to the word, "less" with the children. In addition, the word, "more" seems to be one of the first few concepts taught to children most of the time. Thus, children may tend to be more familiar to the concept of "more" and "same". For my class, who are 3-years-old, instead of just introducing the concept of "same", I also attempted to introduce the word, "different". Although only a minority seems to understand the concept fully, at least the class was able to be exposed to the concept of "different" instead of just to the concept of "same". Although the activities given are mainly advanced for my class, I have used a more simplified version of the activity in figure 8.1, where sets of "more", "less" and "same" are made. I have yet to teach my children the concepts of "more" and "less", but when teaching the concepts of "same" and "different", I would invite children to take either the same or different objects, using manipulative.
One of the activities mentioned in the textbook, which has yet to be a common practice in preschool is the use of calculators. The children are mainly invited to use either their fingers or manipulative to calculate a number.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Reflection - 18 September 2010 (E)

One of the things which struck me in Chapter 7, was the use of calculators. Initially, I always thought the calculators were mainly used to help one calculate a complicated problem, which may be difficult to calculate mentally. Sometimes, when one is lazy, the use of a calculator is also used, despite the fact that the given problem may be able to be solved mentally. Calculators are also sometimes used by others to check their work.
However, after reading through Chapter 7, I realized that while some of the benefits which I had about the use of calculators were true, it also has other benefits which I was not aware of. For example, I was not aware that the use of calculators can accommodate students with special needs. According to what I have read in Chapter 7, research has also shown that students who use calculators frequently tend to have a better attitude towards Mathematics, thus showing that the use of a calculator can improve one's attitude and motivation.
After exploring the given links, the activity which I liked was "Developing Geometry Understandings and Spatial Skills, which was under the link, "e-Examples". The activity may be challenging for children, but it is also fun! It allows children to think of the best ways to do the activity, and even I enjoyed doing the activity!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Reflection - 8 September 2010 (D)

1: Place-value Chart
2: Numbers in Tens and Ones
3: Expandaed Notation
4: Numerals
5: Number in Words

I feel that the place-value chart should come first as children is able to understand better on how the number 34 can be broken up through the use of the chart. Upon understanding, the children can then use the chart as a guide to write out the numbers in tens and ones. From there, when shown the expanded notation, children are able to link it to what they have learnt in the first two steps. Once they are able to understand how the number 34 has been broken up, the numerals of number 34 can be shown to the children. Through seeing the numerals, the children can be taught to write the number in words.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Reflection - 6 September 2010 (C)

I was able to relate to some of the main points which were discussed in Chapter 3 of the textbook about problem solving. My centre is currently using one of the suggestions made in the chapter, where Mathematics activities can be taken from storybooks. As my centre is a Literature-based curriculum, we plan our lessons using a chosen book. In addition, more than one subject are usually integrated together during a lesson.
In relation to the group work conducted during class, where my group did the activity on the problem, "12 - 4", I do agree that when designing or selecting a problem-based task or lesson, it has to create meaning for the children. If children are able to relate to the problem given, they may be able to understand better.
For preschool children, one way to ensure that the problem given can be related to children, would be to provide concrete materials while attempting to solve the problem. To make the activity more fun, children can be invited to change the given problem, where instead of using "apples" as the item in the question, the children can include their favourite toys. As the children are recreating their own question to problem solve, they are also expanding their vocabulary, thus involving integration of other subjects.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Reflection - 1 September 2010 (B)

Today's lesson has allowed me to view Mathematics in a different way. Initially, Mathematics to me used to be mainly involving numbers, calculations, problem solving and so on. However, from what I have learnt, with reference to the usefulness and purpose of teaching Mathematics, by the MOE website, I do agree that it does help to enhance one's intelligence. However, it is also important to ensure that children enjoy learning Mathematics.
I thoroughly enjoyed learning about the various tricks which were introduced during class, and feel that they are definitely engaging enough for children. If teachers are able to introduce these tricks to children, especially during Primary school, I am sure that instead of asking the question, "Why Mathematics is so difficult in Primary school?", it will change to, "Why Mathematics is so easy in Primary school?"