Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Strategies in Teaching Mathematics

This is one of the math posters I have inside my classroom. Perhaps later I could post the rest of the posters I personally made which are actually intended to motivate and boost my students' confidence in math.
      For the information of everybody (if there is everybody..hehe), I have been a Math teacher ever since I became a permanent teacher in my school. I really love teaching the subject because not only that it is challenging but I find it cool teaching a subject that even some experienced teachers would refuse to teach. Most of all, what I love about teaching math is that it is humbling. Humbling in a sense that most teachers sometimes feel that since they have been teaching a subject for almost forever, they tend to feel that they are the masters of their own subject. However in math, I find it very humbling because I love learning and solving math problems because it gives you a sense of competence and fulfillment if you solve a certain problem. But, no matter how "good" you are in math, there will always and will always be a certain problem that you will find difficult solving. This makes me humble that never will I be complacent about my ability. That to improve myself as a teacher, I also need not cease learning.
     I also reflected that math teachers aren't necessarily mathematicians. What makes a mathematician differ from a math teacher is that mathematicians can solve problems for themselves, but math teachers help others solve math problems. I know that mathematicians are super smart that they can actually solve problems themselves and for their own benefit. However, math teachers are those people who know math but has to relay this knowledge in way that others can comprehend so that others too can solve problems themselves.
    This is a lengthy introduction to my post about strategies in teaching math. I actually have shared these with my fellow teachers when I was assigned to be a resource speaker in my district. I hope you find these useful.

Concept Attainment Strategy
This strategy allows pupils to discover the essential attributes of a concept. It can enhance students’ skills in separating important from unimportant information; searching for patterns and making generalizations; and defining and explaining concepts.

Concept Formation Strategy
This strategy is used when you want the students to make connections between and among essential elements of the concept.

Graphic Organizers
These are pictorial ways of constructing knowledge and organizing information. They help the pupils convert and compress a lot of seemingly disjointed information into a structured, simple-to-read graphic display.

STAR Strategy
STAR is an example of an empirically validated (Maccini & Hughes, 2000; Maccini & Ruhl, 2000) first-letter mnemonic that can help students recall the sequential steps from familiar words used to help solve word problems involving integer numbers.
The steps for STAR include:
Search the word problem;
Translate the problem;
Answer the problem; and
Review the solution

Mnemonic Device
This is any learning technique that aids information retention. Mnemonics aim to translate information into a form that the human brain can retain better and even the process of applying this conversion might already aid the transfer of information to long-term memory.
E.g. A corner is 90-degree angle and a Corner is Complementary. A straight angle is 180 degrees and Supplementary angles are Straight angles.

Physical Response Task
Pupils answer/give correct response physically or through the use of body movements. This can also be used to explain geometrical figures and memorizing formulas.

Found Figures/Shape Hunt
Pupils identify different figures found in the environment. If possible, pupils themselves shot pictures of these figures found in their surroundings.

Pupils play BINGO using math concepts printed/written on the cards.

Picture Puzzles
Pupils form pictures by answering series of math problems/questions.

Pupils form trivial words by answering series of math problems/questions.

These help not only in understanding and remembering math concepts but make learning more fun.

Pupils act or do a simulated scenario just as in the real world. This promotes real-life application of math concepts and skills.

Actually these are just some of the limitless ways in teaching math. I didn't even include block model approach here. But nevertheless, I hope you can find these applicable in your own classroom setting.

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