Thursday, October 14, 2010

Games, Games and more Games

Reflection 5
13th October
After a four week break, it was back to class for more excitement. Dr Yeap started the day by presenting a visually- friendly outline of the activities for the day. One would not help but notice that he had listed some of the games we would be playing through the course of the day on the board. As usual, we had loads of fun playing the games. The first game was called Salute. It is actually a game to test multiplication facts. Although it was truly a drill and practice kind of activity, I believe children will have a lot of fun practising it as it does not come with the “ another worksheet again” syndrome. He then moved on to the next game: a spelling game where he would throw a card with the corresponding number after spelling out the number. That caught our attention and we were tasked to find out how to arrange the cards such that the “magic” works. Take I, Take 2 was also interesting as we had to strategise in order to win. Dr Yeap made us analyse what the winning strategy would be and we tested our conjecture. The last game was stimulating. We formed multiplication facts using the digits from 0 to 9. Some ground rules were laid, such as no digit can be utilised twice and the resultant should not be a three digit number. We then looked for patterns and came to a certain understanding to explain our conjectures. Through the activity, we were encouraged to dwell deeper into the content by re-examining the nature of the questions. Eg, What is the largest possible answer? What is the smallest possible answer? To get the largest possible answer, what digits would you use and how would you arrange it? The buzz word for all the activities was problem solving skills and along with it came the issue of managing confusion.. Interestingly enough ,Joe brought up the concept of multiplying using the Lattice Approach. That was the first time I ever saw such a method. We were truly immersed in a great deal of meta cognition which is pivotal in thinking. The key takeaway from today’s lesson would be “It is not what we teach that matters, but how we teach it” By getting the pupils to work on the games, and then leading them to investigate certain conjectures we would definitely pique their curiosity. Fun and Thinking is so closely woven into the lesson that pupils will remember this experience as a meaningful and engaging one. Phew! Too much work for my grey matter. Eventually, we re-looked at the rationale for the teaching of Mathematics and is it true that the teaching of Maths is a excellent vehicle for the development and improvement of one’s intellectual competencies. Through the experiences we provide for our pupils they will really appreciate and enjoy Maths in any situation.

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