Saturday, 3 September 2011

Reflections (Session 6)

LAST math lecture... a cause for celebration or a cause for "fretting"...I actually survived consecutive lectures without Starbucks...Whoa!

There was a short discussion on the bane of my math life... TIME. Somehow telling the time was always a big hurdle for me since young...time is simply not my forte in Math.

During the last lesson when the discussion touched on displacement, brought back memories of secondary days where I had stupidly memorized these definitions by heart without comprehending them.

I also learnt about the different aspects of assessments that could be conducted to assess the children's learning. Additionally, depending on situations, oral assess may be more feasible as compared to written assessment. One example would be asking the children to tell the time rather than asking the children to draw the hands.

In conclusion, during learning, children must be given en-active representation (something that embodies a concept that you are going to teach).

This module is indeed an eye-opener!

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Reflections (Session 5)

In session 5, the lesson on fractions continued... in problem sums...

Closure for fraction:

A fraction is:
  • measurement number (quantity)
  • represent proportion
I learnt that a basic question for a primary 5 child when given to a primary 3 child is known as an application question. There are different levels used by primary schools to assess the children:


After fraction, we finally moved on to something more interesting and visual...


The concept on tessellation was refreshed... Tessellation is all about transformation and fulfill the following conditions:
  • rotate (will not change the shape)
  • reflect (will not change the shape)
  • translate (will not change the shape)
  • stretch (will change the shape)
  • shear (will change the shape)
Additionally, based on George Pick's fixed theorem, "area of figure drawn is related to dots"

A (Area of figure) = i (dots inside) + p (dots in perimeter)

Reflections (Session 4)

Session 4 was about fractions which I had underestimated... I had assumed that solving fractions was merely about converting the division symbol to multiplication symbol when solving the questions. More importantly, in fractions, I learnt that:

all equal parts in fractions can be named

The various questions posed served as an eye-opener about the avoidance of teaching "key-word strategy". I also learnt about the presentation of a word problem only after teaching both addition and subtraction to avoid generalization of operations.

Through this session I could hardly believe that I had actually survived fractions (during school days) without fully comprehending and capturing the essence of fractions.

Reflections (Session 3)

In session 3, we watched videos on the lessons conducted and commented on them. Through the video, we commented on various factors such as classroom disposition, seating arrangement, questioning techniques, communication, etc.

We were also divided into small groups and were given unifix cubes to create models of 5 unifix cubes each. It appeared easy until we were told about having to take note of the angle of placement as well. To make it more challenging, we had to create a model that is unique as compared to the remaining models. Through this activity, it provided an a clearer picture on number conservation.

As a closure, an activity sheet on visualization was given to be completed at home with the use of tangram to support the visualization.

Reflections (Session 2)

In the second session, "subitize" was the new term taught which meant "small numbers". I learnt about differentiated instructions catering to the different learning needs of the preschoolers.

When we came to the topic on multiplication, it was common knowledge that a multiplication table exists... BUT... it did not occur why did an addition table not occur...AND YET... wow... we can all do addition in a blinking of an eye without having to worry about "tables". From this, I gained an understanding that the


Additionally, I also learned an important factor:


Generally, I picked up the main ideas about math:
  1. meta-cognition
  2. communication
  3. number sense
  4. visualization
  5. generalization
However, I am feeling skeptical over a point after session 1 and 2 after having gained an exposure in various math sums and their solutions... it seems to me that almost all solutions to the questions boil to a factor... PATTERNING???

Reflections (Session 1)

The first session started off with looking for the 99th letter in the name. This question rings a bell and brought vivid memories of how I used to skip this question or answer it randomly during school days. such "logic" question was neither my cup of tea or forte. Amazingly, during the lesson, it was "discovered" that there were more than 1 solution to this question... yet, on the contrary, I also learnt that there is no one full-proof method at a single glance. After "finding" the solution, the method adopted still had to be proven to be ensured of its "sure-work method". I learnt that the crux of solving the question is to observe and identify the pattern involved.

In the first session, I also learnt about the different uses of numbers:
  • cardinal
  • nominal
  • identity
  • measurement
I also learnt about the appropriate terms to address the children knowledge on numbers such as "rote counting" and "rationale counting".

In the first session, I also gained a better understanding in the preschoolers' pre-requisites to counting:
  • sort (classify)
  • ability to rote count
  • appreciate that the last number utterance is the answer
  • 1-1 correspondence
On the whole, my favourite activity was the use of poker cards in spelling numerals 1 to 9 in words which I found fascinating and refreshing.

Saturday, 20 August 2011


On frank note, I had assumed that math is all about formulas, formulas and more formulas. In "times of complication", a calculator has to be even whipped out to depict the array displays of numerals and to "prove that the formulas are effective after all". Since young, math had been an interest to me as it is able to distinguish itself from other subjects through its "mind boggling characteristics".

Nonetheless, the textbook serves as an eye-opener for me as it occurred to me through the readings that in the midst of self-proclaiming that I appreciate math, I had in actual fact viewed math superficially as a subject to merely challenge an individual's mental state of alertness (which is definitely needed to "work out the answers").

Through the readings, it reviewed my perspectives on math as the authors shared an in depth knowledge on the different aspects of math. The authors drew a connection between math and the theories (which I had taken for granted and least expect them to be applicable to math) that were introduced and were familiar among early childhood educators. I agree with the authors pertaining to the characteristics that a teacher of math should possess - knowledge of mathematics, persistence, positive attitude, readiness for change and reflective disposition. These are essential traits that must be possessed as these characteristics has an impact on the degree and extend of children learning. They are vital in making or breaking the child's interest in math. I believe that early childhood educators are mirrors for children, thus an educator's attitude and receptiveness towards math will be rubbed off onto the children resulting in either an enjoyment or detestation for math. The text also provided an insight and served as a bridging point for me as I reflected on my prior experiences with math in terms of the process of solving the sums via models, mental calculations or technology. A connection was drawn in aspects of the rationale behind the methods linking theories, proficiency and implications giving rise to "why I did what I have done in math".

I had indeed underestimated the vastness of math.