Monthly Archives: October 2017

What is Mathematics? Why teach it?

According to Galileo (1564-1642), “the language with which God has written the universe”. A fact that I loved learning in today’s class is that Mathematics is a universal language. Knowing that it’s the same in every country across the world fascinates me. Something which I didn’t realise was that maths isn’t just in the classroom, it is all around us! For example, mathematics relates to everyday situations, such as, bills, cooking, weather, stock markets, travelling and baking.

An important factor in teaching maths is the attitude of the students learning it. How people feel about maths has an impact on their ability to do and interest in learning maths. Something which needs to be addressed is maths anxiety.

Here are examples of both physical and psychological anxiety symptoms related to mathematics:

As a teacher, my aim is to to spark the student’s enthusiasm towards the subject of maths by teaching the subject in a motivating and interesting way.

Maths, creative? No way!

Today’s class was all about mathematical shape involvement in visual illusions, symmetry and the importance of active learning. I learnt how to make and augment regular polygons in order to create an Escher-inspired tessellation or Islamic art-inspired tiling. We explored the relationship between art and mathematics and how throughout history, artists have used the properties of symmetry, tessellation and proportion to create artistic masterpieces.

Maths is a subject feared by majority of children and this class has made me determined to try and change the way children view maths. I learnt the importance in involving students in the learning process of maths. By making children do fun activities related to the maths topic it keeps them involved and being productive in the topic. It helps children get excited over maths, keep interest, and enjoy what they’re learning.

Today we learnt how to make our own tessellations. A tessellation (or tiling) is a repeating pattern of shapes that fit perfectly together without any gaps or overlaps. Regular tessellations are made up of only one regular shape repeated, whilst semi – regular tessellations are made up of two or more regular shapes tiled to create a repeating pattern.

Here is the beginning of my own tessellation. I have used three different shapes. However, as you can see there are gaps so it isn’t finished yet!

My feelings towards maths…

Personally, maths was never one of my strongest subjects at school as I found it very  challenging and difficult. After dropping it as a subject in school I rarely ever needed to use the  mathematic skills I had learnt, therefore, leading to me forgetting what I had learnt. As I’ve gotten older my anxiety towards maths has grown and from placement last year I noticed that it was a subject I felt very nervous about teaching. I’m hoping this module will help build my confidence in mathematics and I’m excited to discover more about the subject.