Sunday, 18 August 2013

Of magic tricks, paper art and story time…

We had a very interesting and engaging session with the very energetic Peggy this morning. There were many hands on activities that we had. My favourite activity was the paper art activity. It was an activity that encourages us to think and predict. We used the 3-column method to present out ideas on the outcome of four fold triangle. We wrote down what we see, think and wonder.

One of my biggest takeaways from this lesson was the ‘using stories to teach mathematics’. I learn new activities that could be included in the before reading activity. For example, we could make word cards of the different characters from the story book and get the children to predict the story. The children can create a story by taking turns to come out with a sentence using the character word card. After telling the story, they can also tell the retell the story using the word cards.

From the story, we design a mathematics task. This was when we talked about differentiation. Many times, we always forget the importance of differentiating our lessons for young children. There are three ways in which we can differentiate lessons – by content, by process and by product.

The session ended with Peggy talking about lesson study – professional development process/tool that teachers engage in to systematically examine their processes. I think that this is very important to have in every school. For this to happen successfully, it needs to be teacher-driven/initiated, job-embedded and collaborative learning.

I truly enjoyed all my 6 sessions of elementary mathematics. And like I mentioned in my first session, my entire perspective of mathematics has changed. The sessions reminded me of the implications of the approaches I adopt when teaching mathematics to young children. Out with the old and in with the new! 

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