Saturday, 5 October 2013

Fun With Math

Fun With Math
Through these 6 sessions, I enjoyed playing a lot of fun Math activities. Indeed, Math is not about memorizing. Math is also not about tedious computation.
Generally, we solved the Math problems by listening to different methods, finding a pattern in the solutions and articulating our thinking (reflect critically).
Children not only need a lot of hands-on experiences. They also need opportunities and time to articulate their thinking.
Attached here is a counting game that you can play with the child. Have fun!

Make Shapes

Geoboard - “Make Shapes”

When children are able to recognise the shapes, they can try the following activity to reinforce the concept of shapes. They can also explore further by creating pictures with different shapes on the geoboard.

The following activity is called “Make Shapes”.
The child will be given a geoboard and some rubber bands. He or she has to use the rubber band to create many sizes of shapes on the geoboard.
After this experience, the child may explore futher by using the rubber bands and create a picture with different shapes.
Finally, the child can record down his or her creations using coloured pencils and papers for documentation.

Pattern Blocks

“Pattern Blocks”

In session 5, we were told to make different sizes of squares using the tangrams. After some trial and error, we managed to make 4 different sizes of squares.

We can also simplify this game for the children by asking the children to use shape blocks to make a pattern.

The following activity is called “Pattern Blocks”.

The child will be given shape blocks and a task card with a pattern drawn on it. He or she has to fill in the pattern using the shape blocks.

Through this activity, the child will be able to recognize different types of shapes, do matching and foster spatial awareness.

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Count and Shade

Multiplication - “Count and Shade”

In yesterday session, we solved the first problem “Name” through various methods. Generally, these solutions just require rote counting skill.

During my school days, my Math Teacher asked us to memorize the “Timetable of 1 to 12” (1x2=2…2x2=4…3x2=6…4x2=8…5x2=10...). We were able to do the multiplication sums but we just do it for the sake of doing. We did not notice any connection between the numbers.

The following activity is called “Count and Shade”.

The child will be given the activity sheet and coloured pencils. The child has to fill in the number that he or she wants to find out the multiplication of that number.

For example, if the child wants to find out the multiplication of 3, he or she will have to count on 3 and shade every 3rd number up to 100.

Through this activity, the child will be able to recognize the pattern in the multiplies of 3 and make connections between the numbers before multiplication is introduced to them.

Monday, 23 September 2013

Make 10 (Part 2)

Number Bonds - “Make 10” (Part 2)

In “Make 10” (Part 1), the child has grasped the mathematical concept of number bonds within 10. Now, we can introduce problem sums in making 10 to the child.

The following activity is also called “Make 10” but it is the next level of number bonding.

In this activity, the child will be given a place mat (a A4 size scenery picture), a task card and 10 kuti-kuti (animals). The child has to read the task card and understand the instruction written on the task card.

For example, the task card said “Place 5 animals in the pond. How many animals are not in the pond?” The child will have to place the correct amount of animals accordingly and count the amount of animals that are not in the pond.

After counting, the child will have to fill the correct numerals in the blanks and add up the 2 numerals to find out the total number (which is 10).

Through this activity, we can determine that the child is able to read, understand the instruction written on the task card and act according to the instruction. This will help the child in doing simple problem sums within 10.

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Make 10 (Part 1)

Number Bonds - “Make 10” (Part 1)

Once the children are familiarized in counting to 10, they can try to work on number bonds within 10.
The following activity is called “Make 10”.

First, the child will be given 10 “beans” (made of laminated paper, one side is white and the other side is coloured) in a cup. The child has to shake the cup and pour the beans out on the table.

Next, the child will have to count the coloured “beans” and shade the correct amount of “kidney beans” using coloured pencil.

Finally, the child will have to fill the correct numerals in the blanks. For eg: If the result is 5 green and 5 white, then the child will have to write 5 on both blanks.

Soon the child will be able to recognize the number combinations of making 10 and do simple addition sums within 10.

Saturday, 14 September 2013

Hands-on experiences enhance children's mathematical knowledge

Children should be given lots of opportunities to experience and explore. Children learn through concrete materials and learn best through their senses. They learn things based on previous experiences and these experiences will be organize and re-organize in their mind. Human interaction is needed to mediate children’s learning and help them to a higher level of development.


However, psychological environment must work hand in hand with physical environment. Teachers must set up a well-arranged environment to make connection between classroom settings and children’s behaviour, between physical arrangements and intellectual learning.


Teaching mathematical concepts to children is probably as much about the ways we assist them in building the connection between the objects and mathematical concepts as well as foster communication.  Often, the teaching of mathematical concepts is best accompanied by appropriate manipulatives. Manipulation is essential for children to acquire physical knowledge and logicomathematical knowledge.


After introducing the manipulatives, teachers need to describe the calculations or the problem-solving strategies in clear, concrete terms that young children can understand. Use appropriate language could help children to understand the concept and explain their thinking processes as they work on different types of mathematical problems.


Most importantly, mathematical concepts and skills that are introduced to the children need to be done in a hierarchical order – always moving from the simple to the complex and from the concrete to the abstract. Challenges set for the children should be set according to their readiness.


Teachers can do this by introducing new activities and experiences related to one specific concept for the children so that they enhance their previous knowledge and experiences. Teacher should also allow children to revisit certain activities from time to time as a form of ‘revision’ and ensure that concepts are understood and applications are made with confidence and competence.