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Justify and evaluate the effectiveness of your mathematical resource in supporting children's learning.

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Introduction

Justify and evaluate the effectiveness of your mathematical resource in supporting children's learning. Introduction to the report For this report I will be justifying and evaluating the effectiveness of the mathematical resource which was designed to support children's learning of Standard Metric Units. There will be relevant references to the appendices throughout the report as evidence to support the justification of the 'follow me' cards that were designed to support children's mathematical learning. Introduction to mathematics Mathematics has a special significance in the lives of children. It is recognised that mathematics, just as any other subject , has its origins in human activity, and as a subject, it grows and changes as a result of problem-solving, trial and error and the interpersonal exchange of ideas (Nickson 2000). Bruce and Meggit state that, Mathematics is based on direct, everyday experience, which leads to an understanding of the relationships between things. (Bruce and Meggit pg 306 1999) if what Bruce and Meggit (1999) state is so, teachers need to plan and make use of practical and appropriate resources, that children can relate and link to the wider world so that they can develop an understanding of the connections and relationships between things. Justification of the choice and topic of the resource The children have had previous experience of using follow me cards and there was always a positive atmosphere when I observed the children using them with their class teacher and so the idea of follow me cards to create a mathematical resource was straight forward. ...read more.

Middle

Information about the National Numeracy Strategy links and appropriate links to the National Curriculum are all included in appendix 1, parts 4 and 5. Justification of the value of the resource to mathematical teaching and learning Experiential education is based on the idea that active involvement enhances children's learning. This idea however is difficult applying it to mathematics, as mathematics it is so 'abstract'. One practical method for introducing experience to children's mathematical understanding is the use of resources. Using mathematical resources in teaching has come to be taken for granted as a method that will help to promote children's learning of mathematics in a more meaningful way. Though, teachers now in the primary classroom have generally accepted the importance of their use. Some resources in the mathematical classroom are seen as useless or 'junk' where as the resource that has been designed, has been structured into the plenary part of the lesson to reinforce and assess children's understanding of Standard Metric Units (appendix 2). The values of the use of structured resources and materials in mathematical learning have been questioned. Gravemeijer (1997) suggested that the use of materials alone does not equate with making mathematical sense of a topic. Therefore this means that a resource should not be used alone, but along side written or mental activities to promote a mathematical topic. Both Pestalozzi, in the 19th century, and Montessori, in the early 20th century, supported the active involvement of children in the learning process. ...read more.

Conclusion

It allows children to think mentally, as the resource acquires them to convert one standard Metric Unit into another Standard Metric Unit with out the aid of any written calculations. Resources also act as a successfully stimuli after a demanding lesson and also evidence from a questionnaire contained in appendix 3, provides sound knowledge that the 'follow me' cards are a successful way for children to wined down after a lesson. The role of the teacher in making effective use of mathematical resources My role as a teacher was first to structure and plan the use of the resource appropriately into the plenary part of the session, as the evidence shows in the lesson plan in appendix 2. When using the 'follow me' cards my role was to, stimulate questions and prompts if a child was unsure about the answer(appendix 4). Even though the role of successful teaching entails teachers to carefully select their resources, Sowell suggested that this happens "on the understanding of the context in which they will be used, research suggests that teachers should use mathematical resources on a regularly basis, in order to give children hands-on experience that assists them to be able to construct useful meanings, for the mathematical ideas that they are learning." (Sowell 1989 pg.36) By taking into consideration what Sowell (1980) explains, to enable successful teaching, resources in the classroom setting, where they have apprioatrate meaning of the mathematical learning that is being taught, should always be structured and linked to the topic and used frequently to aid children's understanding of mathematics. ...read more.

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