More Problem Solving……. how should a teacher teach?

25 September 2013 (Wednesday)



My mind has not been trained to be stretched in that way……….a brain which I would describe as long being “stagnant” for any kind of numeracy work.




A negative habitual tendency resurfaced as I begun to shut off to yet another problem solving experience today.  I waited for answers to be provided.  I looked around the classroom and my classmates were busily engaged in problem solving.   I recollected myself and continued to confront the challenge ahead.   In my mind, I saw a child…. just like me….got stuck….still trying to work hard but not knowing how to proceed.  What was that stumbling block?





3 different types of Mathematics:

Dr Yeap shares that children habitually copy steps demonstrated by their teacher at the level of procedural understanding and not gain a conceptual understanding when they learnt Mathematics.  When teaching, teachers need to be aware of the 3 different types of Mathematics:

1. Conceptual (e.g. understanding cardinality).

2. Procedural (able to do something in steps to show the working of a sum for

example, as in a division sum)

3. Conventional (e.g. if a we don’t rote count in Thai, it is not an issue about our

cognition development because Thai is a foreign language to us).





How should a teacher teach Math?

Understand and follow what theories say – do not skip steps when teaching children.


What does theory say? 

–  Help young children input knowledge through songs, music and movement, etc.

–  Counting is nothing innate about it.  It’s about interacting with the society-

   interacting with supportive peers and adults.

–  Allow children’s constant practice by allowing them to interact with their

environment to  make sense and meaning to what they learn to help build a

strong foundation for future higher learning.

–  Provide children with manipulatives.



Here is a video to demonstrate it.


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