Monday, 23 July 2012

Questions I have in mind

The questions that I have in mind...

  1. How can I explain to parents (who focus a lot on the content of the subject) about our approach of teaching which focuses a lot more on the children's process of learning and see Mathematics as a vehicle and NOT the destination of learning?
  2. What are the important focus that preschool teachers should be aware of in planning Mathematics lesson (whether its intergrated or not) to provide with a quality and meaningful learning for the children as well as preparing them to not just be ready for the Primary school education but to also to acquire logical thinking and reasoning ability as well. 

My Learning Response

What I learn throughout the course...

I have learnt a lot throughout the whole six days course with Dr Yeap. It has definitely fulfilling for me and it helps me to learn to understand the curriculum better and the demand of the Primary school curriculum in Mathematics. With what I have learnt, it helps me to prepare the children with useful skills to prepare them to fulfill the demands of not just the Primary school curriculum but the process of learning and life skills as well.

I have particularly learnt and understand about the CPA approach of teaching which consist of
  • Concrete
  • Pictorial
  • Abstract
I could not agree more on how this approach will really help children in understanding Mathematical skills and concepts that are being taught to them. When children went through all the three processes, children will be able to master the Mathematical concept with ease. It enriches the children's process of learning and by doing continuous assesment on the children as the lesson is going through the three teaching process, teachers will be more certain in the development of the children in every particular Mathematical skill.

Aside from that, I have learnt about the usage of English Literature to teach Mathematics concepts and how it could be used  to teach not just Mathematical concept but other skills such as problem solving, decision making and language comprehension by just listening to the story.

Lastly, I learn the importance for being explitly precised when asking Mathematical questions to prevent misinterpretations and misunderstandings by the children. The language used should also be carefully used so as there will be no confusion on the children. Example of using and saying out the same noun when doing counting such, "One ball, two balls, three balls..." rather than, "One, two, three..."

I have sure to learn more than these three skills but listed are just three major ones that I have learn throughout the sessions.

Using technology in teaching and learning Mathematics

As children are very technology literate these days, I believe as teachers, we should also use technology to teach and make the lesson as interesting and and engaging as possible. With the use of technology, children will tend to be more interested in the lesson and they will be more engaged and looking forward for the lesson.

As teachers should not only focus on the content of what she wanted to teach, teachers should also focus on the children's process of learning and maximise their learning based on their interest in learning. As technology has become apart of their life, making full use of technology such as the usage of interactive whiteboard, the free online websites for learning Math, and the applications on the IPad and IPhone that are easily available anywhere.

From the usage of the online games that are carefully chosen by teachers and parents for their children, children will not realise that they are actually learning and they will sure to enjoy the process of learning with the guidance of teachers and parents.

Examples of online websites for Mathematics learning are as follows...




Throughout the days I went through the course, I have to admit that there are lots of "Now I know..." moments. To specifically note down what surprises me throughout the lesson is not easy. I supposed most what what was taught by Dr Yeap do surprises me. Firstly, throughout my learning journey, I have never ever thought that Mathematics or numeracy programme actually consists of not just mathematical skills but life skills as well. After some reflections done, I have to agree that students should not only excel in Mathematics assessment, but being able to communicate and think Mathematically as well.

Im suprised that Mathematics curriculum now focus on "teaching children NOT to be helpless" rather than using drilling method to make children "understand" Mathematics concept and excel in their examinations and tests. I learn the difference in usage of the word "rate" and "ratio". I was shocked that both terms have different meanings. However, i was just thinking, why does the term "teacher to child ratio" was used in child care centres and kindergarten rather than "teacher to child rate"?

I have definitely learn a lot and there are lots of learning point throughout the session with Dr Yeap. I feel that it is important for preschool teachers to attend sessions like this to learn a lot more and discover new things about Mathematics that we do know. I am glad that I am able to learn so much in the short six days session even though I really wish that I could spend more time learning Mathematics teaching strategies with Dr Yeap. Dr Yeap has inspired me to learn more interesting strategies that focus on the truly holistic way of teaching and the process of students' learning rather than the Mathematical content.  

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Number Core

I particularly interested on the topic of Number Core - focusing on quantity, counting and knowing how many. As I was reading it, I found a lot of interesting suggestions and how the lesson should be done to maximize children's learning. I would love to try it out on the preschoolers soon.

Aside from that, I was surprised that subitizing is actually an ability in children. Despite seeing it countless of times in children whom I work with, I never thought that it is an ability that should be recognized and children could master it if he/she is exposed to it and keep practicing the skill. Subitizing is a complex skill that needs to be developed and practiced through experiences with patterned sets (Walle, Karp, Bay-Williams, 2010).

I always wanted to know about this subitizing ability even though I did not know the terms used for it previously. I personally find it interesting as it could SAVE TIME from counting!!!  ^___^ I believe having the ability to subitize will definitely help one to solves certain math problem especially problems with diagrams and images much faster. The learning trajectory for counting is something new for me as well. Even though (through experience), I know the different stages of children in learning how to count, Table 8.1 in the book describes it very precisely with the use of the terminology that helps to explain what I know with much clarity. I now know the description of the different stages in detail and their individual ability.

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Interesting.... Inspiring....


It was a fruitful session with Dr Yeap learning about THE REAL FACTS about Math. Dr Yeap is sure to be one of the inspiring lecturer throughout the course. The session has inspired me to be a better Math teacher knowing that I might be the reason children love Math or even hate Math.  The activities that were done throughout the course were really interesting and engaging that we didn't realize the time passes by real fast. I realized that there are lots of different ways to plan an activity not only focusing on the content but on other aspects of their learning as well. The activities that were done in class were really inspiring for me and I wonder if I am up to planning interesting and engaging activities based on what I have learnt in the course.


The activities that Dr Yeap did with us in class were very interesting and we were really engaged in the activities done. Activities like listening to the sound of coins in the bottle was suprisingly involves high level of focus and the ability to predict the number of coins simply by listening to the sound of the coins. I simply find it interesting that through the simple activity, there are actually a lot of learning opportunities for the children.

One more activity that I really find it interesting is teaching Mathematics using English Literature piece. By using a book, we could teach the Mathematics content, the thinking process as well as the comprehension of the story as part of language focus activity. Intergrated lesson like this, is definitely interesting and it could also help the children in not just learning Mathematics OR language, but BOTH at the same time.

Sunday, 15 July 2012

Exploring Math

Exploring Math? Something that I LOVE a lot. I enjoyed reading this chapter better as I get to explore with the different strategies used to solve a certain problem given in the book. There are times when I thought I could not solve the problem as I have not been doing Math problems for very long. After getting my hands on it, it seems interesting afterall. I had the similar feelings and satisfaction that I had before when i was still in school.

As I was reading the whole chapter, I particularly attracted in this phrase: [E]ngaging in productive struggle is what helps students learn mathematics (Walle, Karp & Bay-Williams, 2010). 

I guess I have really agree on facing productive struggle in order to succeed in Math. Aside from that, I believe that teachers never should stop encouraging students whenever students are struggling in learning Math. With constant support and believe that the students will be able to succeed after learning and going through the productive struggle, students will embrace the process despite the hardship that they might have to go through. As for myself, because of this "productive struggle", I am able to embrace the success and the sense of satisfaction after solving every Math problem with deep understanding. I believe that with deep understandings of Math topics, and constant support from teachers and friends, students will be able to solve Math problems without much difficulties.

The topic talks a lot about the process of learning Mathematics, being proficient in it, as well as the benefits of being proficient in Mathematics. To teach for mathematical proficiency requires a lot of effort (Walle, Karp & Bay-Williams, 2010). Teaching the initial understandings in mathmatical concepts is hard - what's more teaching for proficiency in Mathematics! A lot of efforts need to be done by the teachers and the students as well. However, when success is achieved, students will definitely able to embrace it really well - that is the sense of satisfaction that had stayed with me since I was very young and retain the interest in Math till now.