We dealt with recent initiatives in primary mathematics. Today I used two case studies to get students to think how to bring to life words in initiative documents such as the curriculum document. The first case study was a problem that is different yet connect to a pattern that is taught in the curriculum. In the curriculum, children deal with patterns such as ABCDABCDABCD... type patterns where they are expected to be able to find the n th letter in the pattern. In this lesson, we did a very different pattern. Students were asked to propose solution methods and evaluate if the methods are generalizable or not. The second case study was on teaching area through problem solving, using a method that is commen in the textbooks. The students looked at the curriculum document and were asked to think about the rationale for teaching mathematics. Students were asked to make tetrominoes and compare them. Along the way, the basic concept of area and deeper concepts of area emerged. I was excited because the students were giving their views and opinions and asking questions on issues we discussed. I am looking forward to the next lesson. The students were asked to think about what is mathematics teaching all about according to the official documents and according to their own views - what it is and what it should be.
Friday, August 14, 2009
Teaching of Area. I tried to show how teaching through problem solving can be done for students in Primary 3. We did Tetrominoes (Make different shapes using exactly four square tiles.), Quadrilaterals (Make different quadrilaterals using exactly three square tiles and two half-square tiles), Area is Five Problems (Use the geoboard to make quadrilaterals of area 5 square units.). We ended by exploring the Pick's Theorem using the findings of the last problem. I wished I had more time for the students to explore the relationship between area and number of 'dots'.