Pure mathematics is, in its way, the poetry of logical ideas ~ Albert Einstein

Thursday, 4 April 2013

Session Three

          Today I learnt an interesting way to teach fractions. Fractions is not an easy concept to comprehend, yet Dr Yeap demonstrated how easy it was to explain to children the concept of fractions.
          Just by folding a rectangular piece of paper into four equal parts, and finding out if it was equal made a lot of sense. Folding the paper seemed like play but it was truly purposeful play. Folding the paper or cutting it and placing it on each other to find out if they were equal in size embodied the idea of equals. 
          Dr Yeap made it clear through this activity that it is important to remember that the mere use of objects or manipulatives does not teach a certain concept. Children must be given concrete objects that help them encounter the concept.
          In learning about numerators and denominators, I was intrigued about how reading them correctly actually made a great difference in understanding the fraction. E.g.  3/4 is read as three fourths and not as three over four. The three in 3/4 is the number and the four in 3/4 is the noun. The four is not a cardinal number.
          Another thing I will take away with me is that when partitioning a whole into fractional parts, children need to be made aware that the fractional parts have to be the same size but not necessarily the same shape. 
          I learnt that as an Early Childhood teacher, I must be careful with the Mathematics language I use. It greatly affects how children perceive and understand a concept.

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