Monday, August 19, 2013

Last Class.

17 August 2013

Today’s lesson was very enriching and interesting. I had lots of fun. It was worth it to come to class on a SATURDAY morning. We did 2 interesting activities.

1. Card Trick

I had seen this trick before and is always curious to know how to do it. When Ms. Peggy told us to find out the trick behind the card trick, I was very keen. After much trial and error and trying to ways on how the trick works, finally, my partner and I unveil the “secret” behind this trick.

Well, it was not something amazing and “magical” though but the satisfaction that I gained was great. All I can say is that the trick is all about MATH.


2. Paper Cutting

This is another interesting activity. I didn’t expect a simple cutting activity can also be a math problem solving exercise. This activity is a group one. We had to predict and guess on what the paper will look like after being folded for the 4th and 5th time and cut at its right angle corner. The results look intricate if the paper is folded more times. However, there is a “trick” to it.

All you need to learn is to VISUALISE AND FIND THE PATTERN.

If you can visualize and see the pattern, you can easily predict and guess the pattern that will surface after cutting the paper which had been folded many times without having to have the concrete materials.

Ms. Peggy also touched on differentiating instructions. Instructions can be differentiated by

-          Content

-          Process

-          Product

This is differentiation in instructions are to cater to children’s individual needs. It helps in enhancing each child’s fullest potential without pressurizing them. This is because the instructions and activities are planned according to their level of understanding.

All in all, the 6 sessions on Elementary Mathematics with Dr. Yeap and Ms. Peggy were very fruitful and meaningful. I gained many useful knowledge from them and it was very refreshing to be learning math again – in different yet interesting ways.


Saturday, August 17, 2013

Geometry and whatever that comes with it....

16 August 2013

Today we had to go to a nearby art museum to look for art work. No, we are not learning about the elements of drawing, paintings etc. But we are looking for art pieces that can be used to inspire us to create lessons that incorporate all the different subject areas especially Math.

In class, we did geometry. One of the few topics in secondary school that I find interesting and paid attention to in class.

We learnt to find angles in parallelograms and triangles using various methods like, algebra, using protractor (if the diagram are drawn to scale), elimination and substation using the rules in geometry and of course, our common sense. Ok, what I meant was visualization.

Then, we wrote our 5th journal entry in class. We had to write two story problems to show the difference between 1/2 divided by 4 and 1/2 divided by 1/4.

All went well. Am looking forward to attend tomorrow’s class by Ms. Peggy.

I wonder… what are we going to touch on…

With that...

Friday, August 16, 2013

Semantics and Fractions

15 August 2013

In order to solve a math problem, we need to understand the meaning of the problem and the what the is it asking for.

Three general semantic categories of addition and subtraction word problems 
  1. Before and After
  2. Part and Whole Situation
  3. Comparison

Children need to be given a variation of semantics to learn better. This is to provide them with many versions of problems to solve rather than having only one dimension of a problem and when there is a change or twist in a problem, they get stuck.

Variation is important, repetition is pointless.

For the lesson on fractions, we did 2/3 divided by 5.
We came out with 2 methods to solve it.

  1. Drawing a model and divide it into 15 equal parts so that the whole portion is easier to be divided by 5.
  2. To invert 5 into 1/5. This is because if we are sharing a portion of something into 5 people, it means that each person will get 1/5 of the portion.

We also learnt that 2/3 x 1/5 carries a different meaning compared to 1/5 x 2/3 even though both sums gave the same answer.

1/5 x 2/3 – we are interested in 1/5 out of 2/3
2/3 x 1/5 – we are interested in 2/3 of 1/5

Math is all about understanding.

And I agree!