Have I discovered maths?

Today was our last input for discovering mathematics. Throughout this module I have discovered a few things including mathematics. This journey of discovery hasn’t been easy but I can officially say I understand fully the fundamental ideas of mathematics.

Essentially, I have discovered: what the fundamental ideas of mathematics is, different aspects of mathematics within the classroom and how a teacher can accomdate this in the classroom.

At the beginning of this module I believed maths to be counting, equations, sums and dread. The idea of maths always brought fear and anexity to me, however this module has changed the way I think about maths and consequentially the way I will teach in the future.

Essentially, Liping Ma (2010) devised an idea to teach children mathematics through the idea of profound understanding of fundamentals mathematics. This is essentially through four main ideas: basic ideas and principles, interconnectedness, longitudinal coherence and multiple perspectives. To achieve success in primary and secondary mathematics these four ideas must be applied. The idea of basic ideas and principles suggests that all stages of maths should be broken down and applied in a simpler way and then built up into a more complicated way, without this children may get confused and begin to disengage resulting in poor mathematical skills. With this scaffolding children can link ideas and find easier ways to complete a question/sum. Furthermore, children should appreciate interconnectedness throughout their learning. Linking ideas together can make problems easier and can allow children to break things down. By showing children interconnectedness in their learning this will allow them to begin to appreciate the links between real life and maths, for example my previous blog on statistics. Showing children this link can help promote engagement and motivation within the classroom. The idea of longitudinal coherence refers more to the teacher to track progression throughout learning to show children improvements and things to work on, by doing so children can work on their progress points and track improvements. As well as know where they are within the class – doing well or not. Finally, children must have the ability to have multiple perspectives. This relates to the way the teacher teach the class, providing them with different ways to reach the same result, by doing so children can opt for the way they find easiest and guide their learning on their own preferences. By applying all four ideas children have the ability to progress within their learning journey and find their own personal success, however none of this will be done without the scaffolding of the classroom teacher this is something I have learnt throughout my discovery of mathematics.

Within the classroom children have all different ways to learn mathematics which the teacher must accomodate for this is to optimise the attainment within the classroom, throughout this discovery I have learnt that learning can be fun and active a few ways that I have learnt is;

  • art to teach thirds
  • outside work to optimise distance
  • science to incorporate maths

Without this module I would be more hesitant to deliver a maths lesson and this has made me so much more confident in my maths skills. I believe that I have fully discovered maths and I will be taking my knowledge into my future teaching, applying these fundamental mathematics and showing children an easy way to approach a difficult problem. This module has opened my eyes and enlightened me with ways to teach maths.

References:

Ma, L., (2010) Knowing and teaching elementary mathematics New York: Routledge.

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