Saturday, May 2, 2015

Enriching Mathematics Teaching through Problem Solving and Mathematical Investigation in the K-12 Mathematics Curriculum


   Last week, I attended a seminar entitled, "Enriching Mathematics Teaching through Problem Solving and Mathematical Investigation in the K-12 Mathematics Curriculum". I think this was conducted by our division and MTAP (Mathematics Teachers Association of the Philippines). I actually didn't know that I suppose to attend this seminar not until a coteacher of mine texted me that I was one of the participants. I was at the PRC to renew my license so I ended up rushing to the venue. Of course, renewing my license can be done in some other time, but I didn't want to lose the opportunity to learn.
   On the first two days of our seminar, we focused more on the problem solving. We solved a bunch of problems as a group and most of them were challenging. To be honest, it is a bit of shame that I forgot some of the Math topics that were in fact taught to me in college and that I tutored with my high school tutees before. I questioned myself if I got duller now that I became a teacher. hahaha...Anyway, I attended the seminar to learn and perhaps to refresh my stagnant brain. It also made me affirm my love for the subject because it is humbling. As I said before, I love math because I found the subject difficult, and that no matter how good you are there will always and always be a problem that you could not solve. That there are always a lot to learn and to never be complacent of one's self. That there is always a room for improvement.
   The rest of the days, we were taught about mathematical investigation, how it is different from just problem solving. Mathematical investigation is a divergent way of developing to our students their mathematical skills. It is more of giving the students the freedom to explore, to investigate, to examine questions they themselves formulated. It develops the higher order thinking skills of the students, letting them connect what they have learned, create meaning on their own and communicate these with others.

Teachers extracting their brain juices....yumyumyum...I'm a zombie you know...hahaha
   Of course, we were also given the chance to do a mathematical investigation as a group. My coteachers and I who belong to the same district formed as a group and we were assigned to investigate a certain mathematical situation. After all the "intellectual discussions", we have at least come up with our own conjectures and presented this to our the rest of the participants.
   To sum up my experience, I have enjoyed and learned a lot in this 4-day seminar. I also got the chance to rub elbows with teachers from other districts. The challenge for me is how I can implement these to my students whom mathematical skills are quite challenged. As always, I am positive that I can do this. Hopefully my students would be amazed on how math can be easy and fun just by finding patterns and hidden secrets that lie beneath the numbers through problem solving and mathematical investigation. I am looking forward to apply what I learned for the opening of the school year.

image source: courtesy of Ma'am Belleza of SPED-ISEC and Sir Renan of NJ Ingore ES, Iloilo City


1 comment:

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