Sunday, March 31, 2013

Chapter 2

Mathematics requires effort. One need to generate strategies, apply the approaches, see if it leads to solutions and check it the answers make sense. Somehow, I feel that trial and error method can be applicable too in mathematics.

Jean Piaget believed that learners construct their own learning. And to construct or build something, one requires tools, materials and effort. Here are some concrete mateirals that children can work with when exploring mathematical concepts. Alternatively, teacher can also come up with tteir own teacher made materials.

Listening, copying, memorizing, drilling and compute are lower thinking activities that do not adequately prepare students for real act of doing mathematics. The environment setup plays a very important role. It should be inviting and ample opportunities are provided which allows children to be actively engaged and explore with materials. Teachers also play a role as facilitator to scaffold children’s learning.

Above all, there are benefits of developing mathematical proficiency in children. Some benefits to mathematical proficiency are enhancing problem solving abilities, improved attitudes and beliefs, increased in memory to retrieve information and connect concept to entire web of ideas.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Chapter 1

As educators, we play a very important role in educating young children. Mathematics, is also considered is as important as any other subjects. Because mathematics education has been undergoing a steady change over the years, our knowledge of mathematics and how students learn mathematics are the most important tools we could acquire to be an effective teacher of mathematics. 

Personally, I wasn’t very good in mathematics. And because of this weakness, I learn to hate the subject. But lucky for me, becoming a teacher, I can’t seem to hate that subject for long. I feel that if I  want the children under my care to love mathematics, I as a teacher should love the subject itself first. Only then I will be able to make the lesson interesting so they can understand and grasp the concepts taught.

Out of the Five Content Standards, number and operations is the most heavily emphasized strand from pre-K through grade 5. Only in grade 9-12 then it will be given a lesser emphasis on the content. Therefore, I personally feel that it is important that children have strong foundation knowledge in number and operations.

This is the reason why having a strong foundation knowledge in number and operations is important.

Following that, this chapter also mentions the Five Process Standards, which are:

·         Problem Solving

·         Reasoning and Proof

·         Communication

·         Connections

·         Representation

The standards direct the methods of doing all mathematics. Personally, I feel that problem solving is achievable to adults as well as children. On the other hand, reasoning and proof may be more challenging to acquire. It not only requires one to recognize reasoning but also to develop and evaluate mathematical arguments and proof and investigate mathematical conjectures.

The man ignorant of mathematics will be increasingly limited in his grasp of the main forces of civilization.

 -John Kemeny