Sunday, July 22, 2012

Bond, Number bond.

Ahhh, number bonds.
These two words that often get parents scratching their head as to why their children need to learn the number bond for.
In short, number bonds are ..
Number bonds are, in short, pairs of numbers that combine to make a third. Number bonds help show that every whole number larger than one is made up of other whole numbers. 2 & 4, 1 & 5 both make six. They are the number bonds of six. Number bonds are important for children to mentally count the numbers.  
I like to implement number bonds are it is easier for the children to mentally help them add and also help them in other maths concepts such as money, 5cents, 10 cents = 5 and 10 makes 15, those kind of stuff. 
This helps them, of course, in their adding up of their numbers and they don't have to use their fingers and toes (they will eventually run out of toes and fingers to count, i want to tell the parents. ;P)
I should share this image below to my kids parents.
Number Bonds
The name's Bond, Number Bond (Image:Wikipedia)

Questions, questioned and still questioning..

It is certainly an understatement to say that my system was once again shocked by the amount of things (namely .. MATHEMATICS) i learnt over the one week module.
I'll try my best to organise my brain..

ER-HMM. let's start.

3 things that I learnt.


WE HAVE BEEN TEACHING CHILDREN THE WRONG THINGS!!! Oh well, not really the wrong things, but rather we are phrasing it wrongly for the children. Who would ever thought that the simple question of ..
"What is your weight?" could bring about such a lengthy answer. I use to think a one word answer would suffice, like 40kg (which is not my weight unfortunately.). Mathematically correct question would be, how much do you weigh? I have learnt the clear distinction between cardinal, ordinal and nominal. Believe me, for a maths-impaired person like me, that was a lot to take in. It certainly cleared the air for me to plan my maths lesson properly for the children so as not to confuse them.


The very infamous CPA approach which every child has to learn in their Primary School years and how it is being used to further children's thinking. This also brings me to the point where first we have to start with concrete objects when we teach maths to younger children. It is also an interesting point when I learnt that there is no 1 specific way to solve a problem and as long as there is a way shown, points will be awarded. Interesting.


4 critical questions that I can ask myself as a pre-school teacher;
1) How to make children learn?
2) How do i know he had learnt it?
3) What if i have children who can and some who can't?
4)Vice versa to number 3.

These questions are very useful in my self reflection and evaluations and it can prompt me to look into my lesson and see the neccessary modification i can make so that children can LEARN more and how to make my lesson more engaging to the children, for the slower learners and for the advanced ones. I am very sure that I will ask these questions many times.


1) Why does some Primary school stress the children some, particularly those who is graduating over from Pre-school? Isn't there such a thing a over-teaching? When they stress the children, the parents gets stressed, when the parents gets stressed, the teacher gets stressed and when the teacher gets stressed, the children gets stressed. Vicious cycle it certainly is. So how do we combat this?

2) Is there a reason for the change in the syllabus for the children this year? Would that affect the preschool maths learning outcomes?

And this is my reflection. I shall try (note the word TRY) to nurture a hate-hate  love-hate  love-love relationship with this long time enemy i call Mathematics.

I take my hats off to you guys who love Maths. Bravo.

I quote Dr Yeap's words ; "Children must leave preschool knowing what can be counted and what cannot be counted".

i shall bear that in mind.

Technology in Mathematics.

Technology it seems, is a treasured teaching tool in the classroom, no matter for which learning domain it is for.

One of the maths lessons that i had planned for the children included the use of technology. I had used used my Ipad to encourage children to explore shapes. It was something different for them as they found that they could manipulate the shapes into another shapes just by dragging certain points of the shape. They were so fascinated that a rectangle could become a square ( and this was before i found out that a square is a rectangle!) and that a triangle could be diamond. It opened up a whole new perspective for them, learning through the computer.
However, although technology is useful in many ways to encourage and to reinforce the children's learning, i still favor the old school method of having concrete objects in front of them. But hey, who am i to say that they don't learn as well with technology.

This calls for another Mathematics lesson ..

Something interesting.

I have to admit, I do not like Maths at all. I hate this hate-hate relationship with Maths since I was like,7? I managed to get an A tho for my Maths PSLE though I do not know how. However, everything went downhill from there. I won't even bring up my grades for my O's. The feeling remains even up till this module where i tried my best to be interested as this would be beneficial for me as well as the children that i am teaching. :)

On the first day, it was quite mind boggling to find out the mistakes that we teachers commit unwittingly, which is a simple and common question being asked, "What is your weight?". That was a woah moment that got me stumped. And it got me to thinking of the many minds that i have "corrupted" with the common mistake. Thus, i went to school the next day and hurriedly announce to my fellow colleagues of this mistake. And surprise, surprise, I am not the only one.

Ahh, i hereby welcome myself to the world of Mathematics.

Whoopee. I shall do my best.


Sunday, July 15, 2012

Reflection of Chapter 1 and 2

       Even before I opened the textbook, I was feeling inadequate as Mathematics is not one of my strong points. Even during my lessons, I mostly intergrate my maths lessons with a few other domains, like art and crafts, literacy or even during science. However, when I start to read to read, I realised there are more to  teaching maths than just the basic additions and subtractions. There are actually, principles and standards when it comes to teaching maths. There are content and process standards as well. 
        As I read, I reflected on what I have read. If there are any components that are more significant to me that the others and whether there are areas that I wish to develop, what would it be? I thought back on my class lessons and came to a conclusion that curriculum and teaching are the most important to me. No doubt, the other 4 are important in their way and it is true that, these principles must be “deeply interwined with school mathematics programs:. ( NCTM, 2000, p. 12). Curriculum because I agree with the notion that “mathematical ideas can be considered “important” if they help develop other ideas, link one idea to another, or serve to illustrate the discipline of mathematics as a human endeavour.” (pg. 2) 
       The other is the Teaching principle where prior knowledge is needed in letting the children learn and then scaffolding their learning. However, in order to let the children learn, teacher must first understand the concept of the mathematics skills that they are teaching, knowing the limits and the development of the children who are learning and providing meaningful and functional tasks and strategies. Teacher’s play a big part in the children’s learning and an even bigger part of taking their ideas and turning it into a learning point.
        In chapter 2, I read about what it means to do mathematics and it seems to me, the concept is timeless. It is always about having strategies, applying it and then see if it has solutions and then back-tracking to see if the answers make sense in relations to the question. It has also concepts and processes that is regular and is logical and apply to the act of doing mathematics in the real world. Even with the younger children, mostly the 3 and 4 year olds, I started them on a pattern. For example, AB pattern (red, white, red, white ..). However, to me, how each individual learn is definitely different. One child might get the concept faster than the other and now the challenge in the classroom is to how to cater to individual learning disposition and hopefully, through this intensive 6 days course, I will be able to take away something that is useful for me to implement in my classroom and also for the benefit of the children.