Monday, October 14, 2013

Session 1: Creating a mathematical climate in the classroom

Welcome to a new module, fellow classmates! 

Reflecting back, I was a bit apprehensive at first when I knew it was going to be a math module as I was never good at math in primary and secondary school. My math journey spiraled downwards when application of complex formulas didn't make sense to me after Primary Four and I rarely had Math teachers who had the time to explain and be patient with me. Most just hurried me along to find the answer and got impatient. Scoldings were common, sad to say. Tuition didn't help and math was a ever growing nightmare. I was relieved that after Sec 4, I didn't have to sit for another math paper again though failing it at O levels caused a big ? for future studies. So the problem didn't end there.

Then when I became an early childhood educator, I knew I had to face my fears or my students would be just like me and it would plague them throughout their academic years. Attitude changed, time to solve the problems! Head on, let's go!

Dr Yeap's introduction and explanations throughout the night created a better understanding of why we can see math differently instead of being afraid of it. Perspectives can change, and methods should be taught differently to enable everyone to understand math and have the confidence to solve the math problem. It takes a light to brighten that dark room. In this case, mine! Thanks Dr Yeap!

My groupmates and I started off by tackling a math problem with our own names. 


How would I reach 99 when I write my own name out? Hence starting with 1,2,3,4 counting from right to left...

1 2 3 4

METHOD 1: Count all the way to 99 (tedious..)
METHOD 2: Count in 10s each time you see 10s in the "A" column
METHOD 3: Count all the numbers with the digit 9 in the ones place
METHOD 4: Count in multiples of 10

What we also discovered: "A" column can be counted in multiples of 6 which ends up with 96 at the end, and adding a 3, you'll get 99 in the "N" column which is the answer. 

Then we figured out that 99 appears to be common in the 3rd letters of names with 6,5,9,7 and 4 letters. Wow! Level up... 



We did the card trick, with some poker cards, and here's how we solved it:

Drawing out number words for each number (one, two, three... and so on) and drawing boxes to help with the counting... 

O N E, T W O, T H R E E

which led us to the answer after some time of counting:


We then double confirmed this by trying out the cards. SUCCESS! 


We had fun trying out the different shapes of the tangram to form rectangles...

First with four shapes...

 Then with five...

Then with 7!

First night ended with renewed confidence to tackle more math problems. I am starting to see the puzzles fit together :)

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