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The MRT Stair case at Bras Basah 31 August 2011

Sunday, 4 September 2011 @ 10:27

The experience was fun as we work as a team with some members walking up and down the staircase, some doing the measurement of the height of the steps and some is the 'walking calculator'.

We came up with 3 sets of 16 steps and 1 set of 14 steps.
The height of the steps is approximately 14.5cm

Therefore 16 +16 +16 + 13= 62 steps X 14.5cm  height
                                          =  930cm
                                          = 9.3 mtres

The height of the staircase  is 9.30 metre.


My Reflection Wednesday 31 August 2011

@ 09:48

Dr Yap Talked about Richard Skempe learning theory:- Procedural
                                                                                   - Conceptual (Concrete Materials)
                                                                                   -conventional Knowledge

Again the 4 divide 2/3; he explained with the model, and its a straight forward solution. but when it came to the quiz...I am lost!  As mentioned  by Dr Yap as he recapped on how we had been doing in our school days.We laughed at ourselves but really old habit die hard.  Honestly, I could not even remember about this type of math problem....oops.

But I am glad that Dr Yap talked about the assessment which I could apply with my preschoolers. I would consider to use the pen and pencil test for the K2s.

I have always enjoy teachings to be taken outdoor as children could relate and see the connection between what they have learnt and applied. I remembered my 9 years daughter who went on a Math trail..I think they visited places around NIE to solve some mathematical concept. I like that approach and would continue to apply to my preschoolers with small projects that would cover all domains of EC.

Dr Yap went to talk about "Time" and how we could teach to children. I realised that I have taught it the way I was in school. Thanks to Dr Yap , his explaination makes lots of sense that 'Time is a Moment' and to associate time with the event (physical quantity). I will take effort to teach children about time daily and observed the children ( for assessment purposes)

Actually I am not bothered if I have not absorbed some of mathematical concepts taught through out this course but Dr Yap delivery of his lectures inspired me to be dilligent, well informed and seeked out information. He has made efforts using his 'barang' to show us how we could manipulate math.

Thanks a million.

I will start with reading up spiral...MOE...???


My Reflection Friday 26 August 2011

@ 09:43

Quiz Already...I tried.

After going through finding out how many quarters in  1 and with all the models drawn, I am still not getting it. I have to ponder, visualize and talk to myself again and again to see  'it'. I was thinking for a while going through the models and drawing it out.. so for my K2s, I would continue using concrete and assess the understanding of each child.

Dr Yap explained about the level  in assessment: knowledge - comprehension - application (KCA). I agree that as educators we have to avoid being the external stimulus for children to verify that they are correct therefore we have to relearn to question them, be neutral and support them. Throughout the week's lecture, Dr Yap has modeled ways to stimulate our thinking by asking questions "Are you sure? Can you explain"....for a very long time! But its all worth it!!

Then came lesson 19, we did the joining of dots to create triangles and squares. I could use this activity as a tuning in prior to lesson to find polygons of many sides. I reflected on Peggy's activity to using the cubelinks to create formations using  5 cubes, that I could use to tap on the children's creativity and assessing them (KCA).

I would want to do more readings on the types of assessment for Mathematics for young children.


My Reflection Thursday 25 August 2011

@ 09:36

Another Math trivia and this time its fun ...I am converted towards enjoying math so far. Thanks Dr Yap.
Anyway, I have a glimpse of what is happening in MOE especially about SRT which I had experienced with my three daughters. As a parent, I am saddened to see my daughter struggle with the test papers..well, is it not that preschool education is not compulsory?

It is important that an educator be knowledgable about the standards of the Singapore curriculum as to prepare our children and all stakeholders including parents and community. The saying goes "It takes the whole village to nurture child". With Dr Yap thorough explaination and clarification of the MOE's spiral curriculum  that I felt, I have not seek information of my own child's learning especially after the age of 7 years old. I am aware of the  preschool standards though. You have inspired me to seek information and be more knowledgable and more equipped to tackle future endevours. You are so well versed in mathematics - not only about Singapore but other countries too.

With that siad, I am anxious to know if there is a primary one readiness checklist handed out by MOE?

One learning theory by Zoltan Dienes about  Variations - variant of the same theory which Dr Yap gave example through the Fractions and Problem Sums. The use of coloured paper folded to create fourths as he explained that being equal doesn't mean identical-Variations.

But I am so glad we did not linger on the problem sums or I would have brain freeze. Looking forward for the next lesson.


My Reflection on Wednesday 24 August 2011

@ 09:32

Peggy on Board...

As the days gone by and looking forward,  I am very worried about the quiz..its the first thing that we have to do.!!!But Peggy said we would do it before the end of the lecture...Thanks Peggy. 

Peggy started off with a discussion on "lesson study"...sounds familiar but afraid not. So what is Lesson Study? I understand that it is a process for teachers to bring forward enquiries that would help in their professional development in order to have a collaborative, supportive and challenging environment.

We watched a video showing a teacher  carrying out her lesson on more and less. By showing us the video, it is a wonderful approached to make us understand clearly what is lesson study. It help me reflect on my needs to improve in my delivery especially when its customized. KUDOS to this wonderful teacher and because of her we have learnt much more today than a few minutes ago! In the two case studies, we have observed that we could improve and improvise the many aspects of teaching. Yes! mentioned again that there is no perfect lesson but we can plan a lesson that is workable and most beneficial to the children. In lesson study, is the discussion and reflection done with the peers too..just like we did or we leave it to the professionals?  

Teachers play an important role in every child's learning experience. By providing  the right teaching aids plus teachers' enthusiam and disaposition, the classroom mangement would be improved thus maximising quality teachings. Furthermore,  the communication between teacher-pupil and pupil-pupil could be observed and improved further with questions that encourage independent thinking.With the right questioning techniques and the types of questions, children could benefit and extend their thinking skills. Therefore while planning a  lesson, I would include the differentation learning to scaffold the children of mixed ability. Examples: Addition: 5 is more than 3 or a word problem.

I strongly believed that a teacher resonated of enthusiasm and a positive attitude towards the subject is the key to the success of a child's learnings. I could not look back but I would look forward and be THAT teacher.

I could not stop talking about Lesson is wonderful and helpful for teachers or new teachers. I strongly encouraged that lesson study should  be made available once a month in a preschool as it would definitely boost new teachers immersion in the school setting or as a refresher and sharing for the experience ones.

The mention of SPARK (QRIS) reminded us that teachers professional development has its place and like it or not we all have to go through it...Definitely a fan for Lesson Study.So glad Peggy brought it up.

By the way, I am done with tangram.


My Reflection Tuesday 23 August 2011

@ 09:31

Today’s learning has broaden my knowledge on what to expect in Math. As usual, Dr Yap started us off with a game to look out for bad numbers by playing the pick-up sticks game...another warm up games for the children especially my K2s. I believed that it is important to prepare a lesson well but of course there was never a perfect lesson. As an educator, we planned lesson to provide children with what they want to learn, what if they cant (remediation) and what they already know. There are different types of learners eg with the higher ability children, we planned ahead an extended version of the activity so that they could be supported and their thinking  skills sharpened.
We moved on to another activity which was my favourite so far and it was easily adaptable and workable for the K2s and also my own 9 year old daughter. I noted the title   “ Make the biggest even number from a four digit number”.  My daughter enjoyed this game tremendously ..No counting! Afterall learning must be fun! As she learnt to read the numbers accordingly yet practised on her even and odd numbers!
The mentioned of constructivist Jerome Brunner reminded us of CPA acronym for Concrete Experience,Pictorial and Abstract. It reminded me of my 9 year old daughter who struggle with mathematics and she has shown no interest at all with the subject...I wonder if her teachers have failed to follow the CPA approach....I hope after this course I am more equipped to help her.

The way that we used another approach to solve 51 divide by 3 using number bond is good when the math foundation for a child is in placed..?  Nonetheless I found it interesting and easy for me to understand and I am a convert to pursue with number bonds.

Finally Math is about thinking, problem solving and decision making  which are crucial life skills in the 21st century. Teaching children to be figuring things out...


My Reflection on Monday, 22 August 2011

@ 09:29

My Reflection on Monday, 22 August 2011

I sat in  class and did not know what to expect...but Dr Yap started off the evening with us  deciphering the letters in our names to the 99th position. It was some sort like a warm up to get us going with mathematics. I felt that it was a technique and could be a practise to inject excitement to learning the subject. I knew that there were not one way to solving a math question..finally. I realised that after we chipped in our two cents worth and I noticed that we could see patterns in the numbers.
Today, I learnt that numbers could be use differently and with purpose. We discussed on rationale counting which is into cardinal, ordinal, nominal numbers and measurement in weights. Dr Yap pointed out that it was crucial that young children be taught Mathematics as when they have interactions with materials. I realised that we have to use identical materials to show the quantity or making a comparison eg: How many squares? Yet we show the different sizes of squares...even counting the pencils need be in the same length. I learnt new things everyday...
Jun Jun and Lasane were introduced in order for us to understand the use of ten frames to show addition and number facts. We discussed on counting all, count on and also communicative property of addition meaning 5+7 is the same as 7+5. Remembering Jun Jun and Lasane reminded me of ten frames..! I must inject creativity in the simplest ...starting with names in story.
The prerequisites for one to learnt mathematics are the ability to:
1)      Sort
2)      Rote Count
3)      Appreciation of the number you say is the total in the group
Eg: How many are there?
4)      One to one correspondence
After a brief introduction on the spiral curriculum, I realised and more confident now that it is important and crucial to teach the 4 basic foundation to children. The mentioned of developing visualisation meaning to see the invisible which is one that I would continue to pursue helping my children to apprehend. I hope this topic could be one that I could be addressed daily throughout this course.
We continued to decipher the mathematical games with Dr Yap asking questions continuously and patiently to have us to see the pattern. He was focus and patient but I was restless and drained...therefore what about my preschoolers!! But I agree that the question has helped me to tap on my prior knowledge on some mathematical concepts that I have learnt in my school days but it had got me thinking. I must say that, I have a good start to the brain workout. In my teachings, I would want to apply the questioning method but how would start for my K1s and K2s? Also, I would want to know more on how to tackle parents questions on mathematics and be able to answer constructively.



Noorlinda Buang

class: bsc05