Thursday, January 8, 2009
DCM202 Mathematics Games
When your friend says Salute, each player draws a card and outs it on his or her forehead. That means you can see everyone's card but not your own. Each player tells the sum of all the numbers he or she can see. The object of the game is to tell what number is on the card on your own forehead! After playing the game, did you realise what this game can do to help your sudents learn? Did you realise the mathematics that students can learn while playing this game? It was good to see the smiles and hear the laughter during this and other games that you played.
Throuhout the week, the students played several other games. I was hoping that they can abstract for themselves what roles games can play in the learning process. There was this game where they had to piece together 9 squares to form a larger square in such a way that the adjacent numbers are equal.
There was also this game of I Have... Who Has? where players have cards that read I Have 40. Who has 10% of 280? and another player who has it will continue I Have 28? Who has 5% of 280?. Once you have read from the card, you can get rid of it. The aim of the game is to lose all your cards.
The approach I adopted was to let the student teachers play the game so that they can abstract for themselves the importance of games in the learning process. Is it necessary for me to put in some structures so that this abstraction has a higher chance of happening. I decided on this approach as opposed to giving them a lecture to describe the different ways to use games - for drills, for developing concepts, for problem solving, for motivation and so on - and illustrated by specific examples because I want them to engage in the games so that they will remember the games and think of using them when they are in schools.