Thursday, September 19, 2013

a note to parents

Dear parents,

Wondered how to make your children love mathematics?
Wondered what else you can do to teach mathematics to your young ones?

Guilty of making your child do this?

Well, Mathematics is not about studying and memorizing formulas, it is much more than that.
It is about understanding concepts, connecting it to previous experiences and applying knowledge.

Here are six learning principles:
-Equity: high expectation and strong support
-Curriculum: importance of building instruction around big ideas
-Teaching: understanding what students know and need to learn and then challenging and supporting them to learn it well
-Learning: students to evaluate own ideas, make mathematical conjectures and test them
-Assessment: gather date about students' understanding of concepts and growth in reasoning
-Technology: essential in teaching and enhance learning of mathematics (example: calculators)

Jean Piaget mentioned that at the heart of constructivism is the notion that learners are not blank slates but rather creators of their own learning.

So dear parents, let go of the thought to provide everything for your child, which include solution.
Just allow your children to explore, discover and find their own solutions, trust them, they are capable of that.

In fact, engaging in PRODUCTIVE STRUGGLE is important in learning.
MISTAKES are opportunities for learning.

When students know that struggle is expected as part of the process of doing mathematics, they embrace the struggle and feel success when they reach a solution.

Across pre-K up till Primary 6, these are the common set of five content standards:
1) Number and operations
2) Algebra
3) Geometry
4) Measurement
5) Data analysis and probability

These are five process standards which children acquire and use:
1) Problem solving
2) Reasoning and proof
3) Communication
4) Connections
5) Representation

When children are engaged in the process standards, they are picking up life skills; perseverance, reasoning, making sense.
When they have a problem; they need to figure out how they will solve it. If at first they don't succeed, try, try, try again.

I believe that all parents have their children's interest at heart.
So, what more important thing can we instill in students than a "can do" attitude?

In the real world of problems solving outside the classroom, there are no teachers with answers and no answer books.
Doing mathematics includes using justification as a mean of determining whether an answer is correct. The answers lie in your own reasoning and justification.

It all begins with an open mind and positive attitude!

Signing off,
Teacher Hui Min

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