I would just like to take some time to look back on the past three months of this module, reflecting on how my opinions on maths has changed, and how I will moved forward with the experience that I have gained.
Beginning this module back in September, I didn’t fully know what to expect from this module. How much maths was I going to have to do? Would it help my worries about maths and improve the way I thought about it? Would it be beneficial to me as a teacher? There were so many questions that I was thinking.
Overall, I have to say my views about maths has changed dramatically over the past three months. I have gone from thinking that maths is nothing but sums and equations, to believing that maths can be truly fun across a variety of different subjects. As I mentioned in my first blog post about maths anxiety, I always enjoyed maths all the way through primary school, and only lost the excitement for it when I advanced into high school. This was the time when my view on maths changed, believing the myths that you were either good or bad at maths (me believing that I was the latter) and that you could not improve. You were either born with the ability to understand it or not. This took all joy out of maths when I was only learning formulas just to pass tests and exams, but this is not how maths should be.
Leading on from my own experiences of maths, I have always been apprehensive teaching maths in the classroom. If I did not fully understand a mathematical concept, then how can I explain it to learners and make sure they understand it fully? I do not want to be teaching maths the way that I was taught it, using textbooks and doing sums over and over until I ‘understood’ it. Maths should be fun, and not considered as the ‘boring’ subject that may children love to hate. During my placement, I did a lot of maths lessons, as I wanted to push myself to teach a subject I wasn’t 100% comfortable with. Although yes, I did use textbooks and worksheets sometimes, I tried to make many of my lessons practical, to get the children involved in their own learning. I found that the interactive, ‘fun’ lessons were the ones that produced the best engagement.
From this module I have learnt a variety of things. One being that maths is not a singular subject that stands alone. It interconnects with every subject on the curriculum, and there are countless cross-curricular lessons that could be planned and executed linking maths with other subjects. My eyes have been opened to the fact that maths is in our lives every day, but not how we might expect it. The most interesting topic that has been covered in this module is the Fibonacci sequence and golden ratio. I find it hard to comprehend the fact that this sequence and number (phi) can be found everywhere: music, art, nature, the human body, even the galaxy that we live in. It was so fascinating to learn about and I would definitely love to take time out to learn more about it.
Overall, I feel that my confidence with maths has greatly improved as a result of this module. Seeing the fun side of maths and the many different applications of it has definitely lifted the barrier between maths and I. I will take all I have learnt in the past two months forward with me into practice and hope to use my new-found confidence to dispel the myths that many children believe about maths and show them in fact it can be fun!