Saturday, September 28, 2013

28/09/2013 Last Lesson but Not The Last of Math

On our last lesson, we had a quiz. We were asked to formulate math word problems using the following equations:

1) 8 ÷ 4
2) 4 ÷ 8
3) 2/3 ÷ 3
4) 3 ÷ 2/3

It was quite challenging as I had to consider if it was appropriate for the children and if they would get confused. After we submitted our answers, we had a discussion about this. I realized that what we deem as simple word problems may actually confuse the children. For struggling learners, the numbers must appear on the word problems so that they do not confuse themselves. When we use fractions, it is not logical to formulate word problems like " sharing 3 fruits among 2/3 friends". We need to keep in mind that living things are all counted in 1s. We can use things that can be measured in fractions such as liquid and pizza.
I find myself trying to read my word problems and do the math at the same time to check if it is really workable and if it is logical. 

These past few days have been very rewarding for me. I have always done badly in math and I think it all started when I was young. I was able to do the math during classes, yet I could never do it when I was given similar word problems or during exams. I lacked the practice and also did not care about finding other possibilities. I did not find a logical reason or find patterns in the problems. I am very enlightened and definitely learned a lot during the past few days. These basic problem solving skills are essential for the children as math is a progressive route. I find myself very eager to find the patterns and try to find logical solutions. This is also the attitude in learning that we as teachers need to cultivate in young children.
This method is not logical and will confuse children.

These are two methods which are logical and workable for children.

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