Three things that I have learned….
1. I learned that as a teacher, I have to ask myself four critical questions before I plan any activities that promote the learning of mathematics for the children. They are:
- What is it I want the child to learn?
What is the objective behind the activity?
- How do I know if the child has learned it? The teacher needs to use multiple assessment approaches to find out what each child understands, or may misunderstand. Child observation, documentation of children’s talk, collection of children’s work, and open-ended questions are positive approaches to assessing mathematical strengths and needs.
- What do I do if the child is struggling with the activity? Is there something that the teacher has planned to ensure this child stays on the runway? Putting the child through repeated tasks will ensure that she does not veer off. That child will eventually start to take small steps and eventually take off when the time is right.
- What about the activities for an advanced child?
A child may already know how to do the activity. The teacher must remember not to give her the same activity over and over again. Instead, she should plan for an activity that will promote higher order thinking.
2. The use of differentiated instructions from the concrete to pictorial to abstract (CPA) approach is important to cater to the different learning needs of children. Concrete materials allow beginning students to explore new concepts or extend their level of a concept that was learned earlier. Once a student is able to understand a mathematical concept, pictorial representation can take the place of concrete materials. The abstract method is only used after the child is familiar with the earlier two approaches.
3. The three big ideas in Mathematics: patterning, visualisation and number sense
Two questions that I have….
1. How do I get parents involved in their child’s learning of mathematics?
2. Is giving your child one-to-one tuition effective in promoting the learning of mathematics?