Saturday, 10 August 2013

Exploring What It Means to Know and Do Mathematics

“Mathematics is more than completing sets of exercises or mimicking processes. Doing mathematics means generating strategies for solving problems, applying those approaches and checking to see if the answers make sense.”

Mathematics and Science go hand-in-hand. While Science is a process of figuring out or making sense, mathematics is the science of concepts and processes that have a pattern of regularity and logical order. It is about finding and exploring the regularity or order and making sense of it.

As an educator of young children, I live by the theories of Jean Piaget and Lev Vygotsky. Both constructivism and sociocultural theories are essential tools when teaching young children. With the theories locked in, another important factor to consider will be ‘The Classroom Environment for Doing Mathematics.’ It is important to note that creating this classroom takes a conscious effort and it is also my personal belief that it comes with experience. With that said, the classroom should provide for:

-         persistence, effort and concentration
-         a place where students can share their ideas
-         a place where students listen to each other
-         a place where errors or strategies that did not work are opportunities for learning
-         a place for students to  look for and discuss connections.

I am really excited to start this module and learn more about how I can teach mathematics and make it fun and meaningful for children. See you in the next entry! 

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