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

Monday, 8 April 2013

Session Five

          We learnt how to find the area of a shape on a geoboard. Dr Yeap asked us to draw as many polygons as we possibly could by connecting only four dots. It was challenging yet interesting. He indirectly showed us how we could challenge young children in thinking of the various possibilities of drawing a four-dot polygon.We came up with a few shapes. Then he asked us to find the area of the polygon. I found cutting and pasting to find an area was easy to do but it can also be done by finding half of a rectangle and subtracting. Again we discovered that there was no one right way. This was a fun and an engaging activity. Definitely a very concrete way for children to learn the concept of area. Click here for more geoboard fun.
Creating 4-dot polygons 
          I am convinced that as teachers, it is important to always consider the process of thinking and finding an answer instead of insisting that students follow only one way of solving a problem.
          Dr Yeap always goes, "Is that so?" or "Do you think so?". I could never understand why he never gave an answer but having come to the end of the fifth session, I realised that Dr Yeap was modelling to us how to question children even though they had the right answer. This was how children can be given opportunities to rationalize their answers and understand how they came about in deriving the answers or solving a problem. I learnt that it is essential to not only question children when they have made a mistake but also when they have the right answer.
          Thank You Dr Yeap, for enlightening us with this undeniable fact.

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