EDU 330 Session 2 -13 August 2013

Whole Numbers -Ten Frame

Tonight take away is about using the the Ten Frame.

Concrete learning experience for children. Even as adult, the exploration of the concrete materials gave meaningful experience.

Being a kinesthetic learner, manipulation of concrete materials is learning at its best. It is easier to conceptualise ideas, otherwise mental visualisation would be challenging. Doing math as we see number all the time, using symbols representing quantity and with manipulation of concrete material at an early stage of learning will be hard and often leads to frustrations.

Early learning experiences require interaction and exploration of the physical environment. Providing concrete objects help in development of concepts and ideas, that build upon cognitive abilities. It makes every sense in making learning meaningful and purposeful.

Using story as a platform to teach math helps to integrate different area of learning to make it relevant to develop children’s environmental and social awareness. Learning becomes holistic.


EDU330 Session 5 – 16 August 2013

Word problem

Story sums? LESSON 13…

I made an assumption with mental calculations of the given sums and derived at the correct answer!

All mathematical sums are heuristic (Dr Yap) and with this, I summed it up that with the learnt mathematical concepts I’ve already acquired,  it will come easily when the time arise to apply it….only when I know which one to apply.

Learning mathematics is also about putting your thinking and problem solving skills to task. I need to retrieve it from some compartment in my brain and use it, if one skill or concept does not work, take another and apply.

Fascinatingly our brains works faster than we think… as we always says it makes common sense.

EDU330 Session4 – 15 August 2013


Exploration of shapes at the same time learning of concepts of area and perimeters…

It is looking at the creation of shapes on the geoboard and discovering measuring of shapes in the most basic form by counting squares!

Sadly, learning to measure area of shapes, bring unpleasant experiences during my school days (some 18 years ago), where rote learning and memorisation of formulas is the order of the day…or else you can’t pass your math paper. If only this was done then, I would have not dread mathematics.

EDU330 Session 3 – 14 August 2013


Again the focus is on the approach to learning math.

How do children learn math?
What can we do to help a child who can’t count?

Children learnt that counting starts from 1….. and that may just be saying the name of the number. If they can’t tell the difference between the symbol and quantity, it means that child has not concept of numbers.
It’s a basic concept of understanding number sense.
At advance level, should be able to subitize when they see objects, then identify the quantity without physically counting by ones.

Jerome Bruner’s CPA approach of concrete-pictorial-abstract approach helps young children to learn mathematical concepts at stages.
I see that as a child able to visualise and mentally makes count of math concept have achieved the abstract stage. This aligned with Piaget’s theory of Constructivism, as assimilation of concrete learning experiences further develop and build upon abstract thinking abilities. 

In the die activity, the dots on the dice represents quantity. It bring about use of concrete objects with use of the dots as representative of quantity. Use of 2 dice to do whole number sums. It’s a fun approach for young children to focus on use of concrete materials,  yet building on abstract-thinking as children interpret (subitize) by the dots to sum the total quantity.

Interactions between child with materials and adult facilitation in such activity brings interest and enjoyment rather than a chore. Learning experiences become purposeful.

EDU330 Session 1 – 12 August 2013


I see shapes of triangles, square and rhombus….

Challenge: to create rectangle with 3, 4…7 pieces of the tangram.

As the activity moved with addition of the pieces, the mind got excited as it picks the challenge. “How to do this? How more pieces can be used to create a rectangle?…more pieces, bigger rectangle..?”
I felt like a kid again, and imaging how my preschoolers would be feeling excited too!! A good extension for the Kindergarten level and change them to the different way or stategies that the may apply/adopt as they pursue to solve the challenge.

Note to Parents

Preschoolers and Math

How do young children learn math?

Young children learn through their interactions with the environment. Through their sense of touch, sight, smell and sound, they go through the process of learning and building knowledge of concepts.

Mathematical concepts has five process standard extracted from Elementary and middle school mathematics: teaching developmentally, 8th Edition, 2013:

  1. Problem solving – apply and adapt strategies build new mathematical concept
  2. Reasoning and proof – make and investigate mathematical conjectures
  3. Communication –  relate, thinking and express their understanding of mathematical ideas
  4. Connections – understands mathematical ideas interconnect and relate to environment
  5. Representation – make observation, record, analyze and communicate in the physical and social environment

Learning math is an integral part of growing up where young children makes connections to their physical interactions and develop their cognitive abilities. They are able to relate and make connections of their newly found ideas to the existing environment.

What are the opportunities for young children to learn mathematical concept in their daily learning journey?

My role as a teacher would be planning and implementing the ‘opportunities’ for children to discover mathematical concepts. As young children are sensorial learners, I have to ensure plenty of materials and resources available in the environment for their learning discovery. Setting a non-threatning atmosphere to cultivate the love of learning and to inspire them to ask questions and seek answers in their discoveries. I would adapt and make modifications for to support their learning.In every sense of word making learning math meaningful and joyful.

When children see learning math is every day’s play it becomes purposeful.

Only then learning Math is just as easy as 1-2-3!