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FOUNDATION DEGREE FOR TEACHING ASSISTANTS MODULE 9 LEARNING MATHEMATICS

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Student Number 03920910 FOUNDATION DEGREE FOR TEACHING ASSISTANTS MODULE 9 LEARNING MATHEMATICS Part One The Ways in Which Mathematical Learning Takes Place "Mathematics equips pupils with a uniquely powerful set of tools to understand and change the world. These tools include logical reasoning, problem solving skills, and the ability to think in abstract ways. Mathematics is important in everyday life, many forms of employment, science and technology, medicine, the economy, the environment and development, and in public decision making." (The National Curriculum - Handbook for Primary Teachers 1999 p60) Mathematics is relevant and is useful in the real world around us, it can be found in practical tasks and it can be applied in order to tackle real-life problems. It can be used to explore and to investigate within itself, thereby creating new mathematics (National Numeracy Strategy). The Open University states that children learn mathematics if their attitude towards the subject is positive and they regard it as an interesting and attractive subject. Children are far more likely to remember the innovative rather than the mundane, so a teacher's imagination can be vital if pupils are expected to engage well with a subject. They need an awareness of the uses of mathematics in the world beyond the classroom and that mathematics will frequently help them to solve problems they meet in everyday life or understand better many of the things they see. According to Fruedenthal (1997), mathematics must be connected to reality, stay close to children and be relevant to society in order to be of human value "Pupils should choose and make use of knowledge, skills and understanding outlined in the Programme of Study in practical tasks, in real-life problems and to investigate within mathematics itself." (NCC, 1991 p2) Student Number 03920910 Investigational work as a way of involving pupils in using and applying their mathematics encourages children to involve themselves in mathematical thinking. ...read more.

Middle

I asked the class to sit on the carpet for the introduction of the lesson and drew their attention to the number square on the board. I explained that to take away 11, we needed to jump back ten and one more, I asked some children to come up individually and show how to do 25 take away 11 and 45 take away 11. I targeted my questions at specific individuals and asked the lower ability children to start by taking away 10 to begin with. This gave them an opportunity to come up to the front and 'have a go' We then went on to talk about doing the same sums using a number line and I told the less able children that they could use a number line or a 100 square when completing their worksheets. Once the children were seated and groups supported where necessary, I sat down with the Helicopter group which are a group of children with English as a second language. I explained that we would first be playing a little game using the number square. Playing games with children helps to develop decision making and mental maths skills I asked them to put a counter on number 35 jump back 10 to 25 and then one more. To motivate then further, I asked who could be the first to give me the correct answer, Once I was confident they were able to do this, we moved onto the worksheet which had been differentiated so that they started off by Student Number 03920910 taking away 10 initially and those who had mastered that concept went on to take away 11. By planning the work this way, it gave all the children in the group an opportunity to complete a piece of work, therefore giving them a sense of achievement. One little boy however, was still struggling with the concept of taking away 10, I noted this as feedback for the teacher as this child was not meeting his age related expectations at level 2 of the National Curriculum. ...read more.

Conclusion

ICT is recognised as an important resource within the Numeracy Strategy. Not only does the Strategy outline its importance within its introductory section, but it also acknowledges ICT as a factor, which promotes a high standard of numeracy. In Maths ICT can enhance teaching and learning by enabling pupils to: * explore, describe and explain number patterns: for example, by watching a counting 'meter' with sequences of numbers shown * slowly one at a time, or experimenting with patterns of multiples highlighted on different number grids; * practise and consolidate their number skills: for example, by using software designed to 'teach' or practise a particular skill and give rapid assessment feedback to you and them; * explore and explain patterns in data: for example, by accessing, displaying and interpreting ready-made sets of data, displaying quickly a bar chart or pictogram showing the outcome of a class * vote, or using a sensor connected to a computer to measure, display and show trends in room temperature; * estimate and compare measures of length or distance, angle, time, and so on: for example, by devising a sequence of instructions to move a floor robot or screen 'turtle' along a path, then modifying their instructions in the light of the robot's response; * experiment with and discuss properties of patterns in shape and space: for example, by using software to transform shapes and create geometric patterns, or watching a film of a square being halved in different ways; * develop their mathematical vocabulary, logical thinking and problem-solving skills: for example, by using a 'branching tree' computer program to sort shapes or numbers, or exploring a simple simulation to discover the mathematical relationship that underpins it. This extract was taken from the National Numeracy Strategy pg 31. It shows how the use of ICT can relate mathematics to the world around us and therefore stimulate children's enthusiasm for the subject Student Number 03920910 In summary, I feel that mathematics should be a continuous encounter throughout the day and children should be provided with as many opportunities for learning as possible. ...read more.

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