Sunday, 7 April 2013


So what should we teach in Kindergarten?
Day 3 (3th April 2013)

After 2 days of class. learning about what we shouldn't be teaching in Kindergarten, I wonder what should we really teach? Have we been really over teaching the children?

According to Dr Yeap, as teachers, what should be teaching children to prepare them for the future.
We should teach children to: -
1. visualization - experience with concrete materials
2. fine motor skills
3. physical development  
    - fine motor skills and physical development    
       includes cutting, folding, tearing
4. comprehension - teaching children to
    understand what is asked and how to answer

Problem solving 
Day 4 (4th April 2013)

Today we learnt how to problem solve a question in fraction form. OMG! I cant seem to remember how to do it. How am I to do it? I can imagine the feeling when children are given a problem and not know what to do. But what I learn was that it is ok to not know how to do the problem, in fact, it is ok if I did it wrongly as that all in the process of learning.

In fact, when teaching children all about fractions, it's good to make use of real concrete materials so that children can see what is happening. Only when given concrete materials would children be about to better 'visualize' what the problem is all about.

As teachers, we need to remember that we should not explain to children everything crystal clear. This would result in children not being able to handle situation that are conflicting. We need to instead, encourage children to solve problems, especially when not told how to do it.

Choosing Materials 
Day 5 (5th April 2013)

Dr Yeap spoke about the importance of  choosing materials when teaching children. We need to consider what is important when teaching children math concept. For example, when we are counting, we should just concentrate counting and not any other things. To teach children counting, this may be a possible lesson plan:-

Lesson plan 1 - teaching counting with same coloured concrete materials
Lesson plan 2 - teaching counting by introducing different coloured of concrete materials
Lesson plan 3 - teaching counting by introducing different shapes of concrete materials

This way of teaching is allowing children to concrete on the counting and that when counting sometimes we can also be counting different objects.

Last day of class
Day 6 (6th April 2013)

Today we learnt the importance of planning for lessons.
* What do you want students to learnt?
* How do I know?
* What if they cannot?
* What if they can?

We need to remember there are many ways to solve a problem, and we should encourage children to find different ways to solve a problem. However, when we realize that children are not able to solve a problem by themselves we need to consider which teaching strategy to go back to.

Teaching strategies
1. model
2. scaffold
3. children do the work themselves
4. provide enrichment

Today was the last day of class, and even though I may have felt a bit upset to learn that there are many things I should not be teaching to the children, Dr Yeap has also make me think of the different ways I can teach children using the same concept.

A big thanks to Dr Yeap and see you in the next module. Hope you like the cookies we gave you :)

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

There are more than one way to answer a math question

Today is the 2nd day of class and we were given problems to solve. We were given time to solve problems and then were asked what are the possible ways to solve a math problem. It was defiantly encouraging to know that there are many ways to solve a math problem, as an adult, thinking of different ways to solve a problem was possible. However, I wonder how we as teachers translate the idea of many solutions to a math problem to children?

I know that we as teacher's need to:
1. model
2. scaffold
3. provide opportunities and 
4. explain 

I am just wondering how does this method translate to when teaching the younger children, e.g. the 4years old? How do we explain to children that there may be many ways to solve a math problem when sometimes they are just fix on just one way? or is it important that children need to know that there are more than one way to solve a problem?

How we use numbers

Last night we had a discussion about how we use numbers and it was very interesting to know that there are so many terms used just for numbers. For example:-
1. Ordinal number are used to describe numbers that are used to determine the position of an object or  
    a person (e.g. the 4th position)
2. Cardinal numbers are used to tell the amount of something (e.g. 4 chairs, 10 children)
     However, when we teach cardinal numbers, we need to ensure that children can do the following
     first: a) need to know how to sort and classify
              b) need to know one-to-one correspondence
              c) need to know sequence (rote count)
              d) need to know how to respond to questions
3. Nominal number are used when we read the numbers instead of saying the
    value. e.g. Telephone numbers

I am teaching my N2s cardinal numbers for now and now I understand why sometimes I ask children a question of "how many shoes there is" some children can answer and some cannot. It was not because they cannot count, but rather they do not understand what I am asking them.

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Pre-course Reading

It’s amazing how technology can be used to teach math in the 21st century. However, we must remember that when we teach math to children, we as teachers need to remember that children need to develop mathematical understanding.
This can be done by:
1.    Creating an environment that offers all children equal opportunity to learn
2.    Focusing on a balance of conceptual understanding and procedure fluency
3.    Ensuring active children engagement in the NCTM process standards
4.    Using technology to enhance understanding
5.    Incorporate multiple assessment aligned with instructional goals and mathematical practices
6.    Helping children recognize the power of sound reasoning and mathematical integrity (NCTM, 2007a)

Why do we need to teach math?
So children learn to generate strategies to solve problems, to apply the strategies, see if the strategies lead to solutions and to check if the answers make any sense. We also need to teach children that there are many ways to solve a problem and understanding how other people solve a problem can develop their own understanding. 

Why do children need to understand math?
Children need to understand math  so that they know what to do and why they are doing it.