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

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Session Four

          Bruner's Concrete-Pictorial-Abstract (CPA) approach is undeniably a basis that all early childhood educators follow. The concept of using concrete materials to build concrete experiences, is a long established  approach in working with young children. Today Dr Yeap covered the concepts of area, division and multiplication. The division activity was a challenge as I had forgotten how to do division with fractions. But as always I recollected what I had learnt when I was in school through the hands-on activity and explanation given by Dr Yeap.
          I enjoyed trying to figure out how shapes fit together to form larger shapes and how larger shapes are made of smaller shapes using the mosaic puzzle. The use of mosaic puzzle is very concrete and it allows for students to visualize the concept of area without even having to talk about area.

          As an adult, we often tend to overlook the fact that 'spoon-feeding' can be a stumbling block in a child's learning process. When everything is given to a child without an opportunity for exploration, the child will not be able to form modify an existing schema or form new schemas. Intelligence is defined by refined schema or schema creation.          Another thing Dr Yeap brought to my attention was the importance of Jean Piaget's theory on assimilation and accommodation. As physical experience accumulates, accommodation is increased. A child will begin to think abstractly and conceptualize, creating logical structures that are meaningful to his or her experiences.

7 piece mosaic puzzle
Can you tell if shape 1 and shape 2 are equal in size?
What about shape 3? How many of shape 2 will fit into shape 3?
Try and find out how many pieces of shape 1 and shape 2 fit into shape 7.

I learnt of Van Hiele' s theory of geometric thought. Each level describes the thinking processes used in geometric contexts. Need to read up more to understand more about Van Hiele's theory.

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