My understanding of teaching maths.
Recently at university we have been looking into teaching mathematics more in-depth and how ways in which mathematics may be taught in the classroom. Prior to these inputs, my knowledge of teaching mathematics in the classroom was basic and I had a basic understanding of what was expected of a primary teacher in relation to teaching mathematics and aiding children’s development to help them progress to the next level.
Semester two of second year, however, completely changed my overview of this. It showed me that there are more complex ways to teach mathematics to aid better understanding of mathematics for children, particularly in the early years. Things such as the inclusion of a digital clock to aid the understanding of hours and minutes on an analogue clock when teaching time (Duncan,1993) and making mathematics fun and practical to engage the learners.
I was perplexed by the importance of teaching scientific language to aid children’s development, not only in mathematics but also in daily life for things such as ‘I’ll be a minute’ or ‘Share the sweets evenly’. This was something I had never really taken into consideration, therefore making me think carefully about word choice and ways of easing children into the use of scientific language, particularly in the early years.
Mathematics progressional stages from early to fourth (although third and fourth stages are more directed towards secondary mathematics) are fundamentally important for primary teachers insurance of each child’s development in relation to expected level of work Sadler-Smith and Evans, 2006) . In the early years is is essential for teachers to explain and visually describe new concepts (concrete experiences) to children. Moving through the primary school will allow children to become more independent in their own. Some children may take to this quickly whilst others may not adapt to so quickly (Morin, 2014). This was something which I had always expected as due to prior experiences children in the early years are always very dependent on the aid of the classroom teacher whereas the older children prefer to work on their own or with their peers.
Duncan, A. (1993) What Primary Teachers Should Know About Maths. London: Hodder & Stoughton.
Morin, A. (2014) Ways to help grade schoolers work independently.
Available at: https://www.understood.org/en/school-learning/learning-at-home/homework-study-skills/at-a-glance-6-ways-to-help-grade-schoolers-work-independently
Sadler-Smith, E. and Evans, C. (2006) Learning Styles in Education and Training. Bradford. Emerald Group Pub.