At the start of the session, Dr Yeap stated the fact that we should not name a Math problem a problem sum (oxymoron). Instead Math problem should be called story problem or simply, word problem.
We revised doing a word problem with 4 ÷ 2/3. An example of a word problem of this equation is:
If Jane shared 4 cakes with her friends and each of her friends received 2/3 of the cakes, how many friends did Jane share the cakes with?
4 ÷ 2/3 = 6
Jane shared the cakes with 6 friends.
Next, we went into assessments (which will form the essential part of our final assignment). Assessments are done to evaluate children’s understanding of Math concepts. Paper and pencil test is often the common method of assessment. Another method of assessment is oral test (interview); in which can be used as simply to assess if children understand the concept of time – instead of drawing the hands of the clock in worksheets. One should always remember that assessment should be valid or in line with the objective of the activity.
The story How Big is a Foot? By Rolf Myller is a simple story that can be introduced to children for the concept of measurement.
Tip of the day: If you want to lose weight, go to the moon.
With this, when teaching preschoolers on weight (focusing on non-standard measurement), teachers are encouraged to question children in this way:
How heavy is the teddy bear? (avoid any mention of weight – kg or mass)
We went to Bras Basah MRT to measure the height of from Ground floor to the basement, just by using a ruler.
** Solution to the MRT steps
16 steps X 4 sections X 13.5cm = 864cm (possibly incorrect!)
Dr Yeap emphasized on Bruner’s theory in teaching Math:
- concrete / enactive representative
We did an activity to make a paper container to hold 15 beans to illustrate capacity. We thought our container could fit the 15 beans; however a group did the container so accurately that the container could exactly fit 15 beans. Hence, we should never underestimate the size of a container, especially when it contains water as there could be a large amount of water in one small container.
Visualization Number Sense Looking for patterns
To conclude this Math module, Dr Yeap read to us the story of a cocoon turning into a butterfly, as a representation on how we should allow children to fix their own Math problem and not spoon-feeding them as this will deter any future development in their growth.
Lastly, thank you Dr Yeap for making complicated MATH simpler!