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Philosophy of Teaching Mathematics

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Philosophy of Teaching Mathematics 3 Discussion Board: “Share your philosophy of teaching maths” – what are the most important issues for you? “Share your philosophy of teaching maths” – what are the most important issues for you?

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Philosophy of Teaching Mathematics 4 Philosophy of Teaching Maths n A maths classroom is not all about numbers and proofs, equations and rules. It is a place where students should be given the opportunity to go beyond these things to explore, discuss, and imagine new ideas, expand their minds and grow as young people. Teaching to both the strengths and weaknesses of the students will encourage personal growth in and out of the classroom. One student’s strengths can be used to help improve another student’s weaknesses. It is important to get students to work together in a maths class. Students tend to have greater comprehension when they exchange ideas and learn from each other. This gives all students a greater opportunity to succeed and feel comfortable in their mathematical abilities.

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Philosophy of Teaching Mathematics 5 n The active participation of students in discussions or lessons will keep them both involved and interested in the mathematical topic being covered. Understanding a new mathematical concept will be easier when examples are made relevant to the students and connections between old and new maths concepts are made. It seems easy for some students to become bored and uninterested during maths lessons. By posing questions, allowing students to ask questions, giving problems to be done on the board, and asking students to talk through the steps of a problem, they will be more focused on the lesson and thus more apt to take something valuable away from it. Students like to know that the maths that they are learning will be useful to them at some point. The trick is to make the maths relevant to things that the students know and deal with on a daily basis. The more connections that can be made between mathematics and the students’ lives, the better the chance that they will not only be willing, but will be interested in learning the new material.

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Philosophy of Teaching Mathematics 6 Philosophy of Teaching Maths n The use of technology in the mathematics classroom will further enhance learning through integration and application. Numerous software programs, graphing calculators, CBL’s and the Internet can all be incorporated into today’s maths classes. These technological advances enable students to see and visually understand the material being presented. They can also be used to explore complicated or abstract topics otherwise impossible in the classroom.

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Philosophy of Teaching Mathematics 7 Philosophy of Teaching Maths n “Oh man. It’s time for lunch, just when maths was getting fun.” A child in my fourth grade classroom sighed loudly after the lunch bell rang in the midst of a particularly invigorating mathematics lesson. That one simple sentence uttered by a student in passing sums up my philosophy and goals. I want maths to be educational and fun. n “Oh man. It’s time for lunch, just when maths was getting fun.” A child in my fourth grade classroom sighed loudly after the lunch bell rang in the midst of a particularly invigorating mathematics lesson. That one simple sentence uttered by a student in passing sums up my philosophy and goals. I want maths to be educational and fun.

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Philosophy of Teaching Mathematics 8 Philosophy of Teaching Maths n Maths should be inclusive for all students. A good teacher can match his or her lessons to the level of each student. If there is an exceptionally bright child in the classroom, they should be given more advanced assignments to challenge their mind. Similarly, if there are students who are lesson adapt at mathematics, lessons should be adjusted for them as well. In this way, all students can proceed together, but at a level that is best for them. n Maths should be inclusive for all students. A good teacher can match his or her lessons to the level of each student. If there is an exceptionally bright child in the classroom, they should be given more advanced assignments to challenge their mind. Similarly, if there are students who are lesson adapt at mathematics, lessons should be adjusted for them as well. In this way, all students can proceed together, but at a level that is best for them.

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Philosophy of Teaching Mathematics 9 Philosophy of Teaching Maths n Maths is a very important element of everyday life. Children should be able to see it as such. They need to apply it to the world around them. Instead of just doing problems that have no relevance to life, make real connections for them. For example, when working with the metric system, bring in objects that weigh a kilogram or are a metre long. In this way, they will be able to see the importance of learning maths skills rather than just doing them on paper. n Maths is a very important element of everyday life. Children should be able to see it as such. They need to apply it to the world around them. Instead of just doing problems that have no relevance to life, make real connections for them. For example, when working with the metric system, bring in objects that weigh a kilogram or are a metre long. In this way, they will be able to see the importance of learning maths skills rather than just doing them on paper.

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Philosophy of Teaching Mathematics 10 Philosophy of Teaching Maths n Maths is also an active learning process. Students need hands-on activities as well as skill practices. Manipulatives that pertain to the lesson are especially helpful for children to visualise the concepts that they are talking about. When working with fractions, fraction circles help students imprint the value of pieces in their minds. This most certainly involves the idea of proper order of teaching a new concept. You begin with the concrete, hands-on ideas, and then move to a bridging activity, which leads to the final abstract concepts. If a teacher proceeds in this order, the students are more likely to succeed and follow the natural method of learning. n Maths is also an active learning process. Students need hands-on activities as well as skill practices. Manipulatives that pertain to the lesson are especially helpful for children to visualise the concepts that they are talking about. When working with fractions, fraction circles help students imprint the value of pieces in their minds. This most certainly involves the idea of proper order of teaching a new concept. You begin with the concrete, hands-on ideas, and then move to a bridging activity, which leads to the final abstract concepts. If a teacher proceeds in this order, the students are more likely to succeed and follow the natural method of learning.

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Philosophy of Teaching Mathematics 11 Philosophy of Teaching Maths n A maths teacher needs to be especially engaging. Capturing the children’s attention is essential for comprehension. The teacher needs to feel comfortable and enthusiastic about teaching maths in order for the students to feel comfortable and enthusiastic about learning maths. If a teacher complains about how he or she hates math and then tries teaching it with the same attitude, the students will adopt that same feeling. Teach the joys and excitement of maths by encouraging discovery and providing fun worksheets and games to use along with regular instruction. n A maths teacher needs to be especially engaging. Capturing the children’s attention is essential for comprehension. The teacher needs to feel comfortable and enthusiastic about teaching maths in order for the students to feel comfortable and enthusiastic about learning maths. If a teacher complains about how he or she hates math and then tries teaching it with the same attitude, the students will adopt that same feeling. Teach the joys and excitement of maths by encouraging discovery and providing fun worksheets and games to use along with regular instruction.

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Philosophy of Teaching Mathematics 12 Philosophy of Teaching Maths n Maths has three different components: curriculum, instruction, and assessment. A good maths teacher needs to incorporate all of these together in the right proportions. Without one, the others fail. But together they provide a wonderful network for a teacher to spring from. n Maths has three different components: curriculum, instruction, and assessment. A good maths teacher needs to incorporate all of these together in the right proportions. Without one, the others fail. But together they provide a wonderful network for a teacher to spring from.

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Philosophy of Teaching Mathematics 13 Philosophy of Teaching Maths n Curriculum involves the knowledge of the subject matter, what to teach the children and when. Using pacing guides or the Curriculum Framework, the best teacher can decide on the correct use of curriculum for that particular group of students. Simple knowledge of how children develop maths concepts is important to understand. Students need to learn addition before they learn subtraction. The best teachers can make connections between ongoing curriculum, past ideas, and future concepts. n Curriculum involves the knowledge of the subject matter, what to teach the children and when. Using pacing guides or the Curriculum Framework, the best teacher can decide on the correct use of curriculum for that particular group of students. Simple knowledge of how children develop maths concepts is important to understand. Students need to learn addition before they learn subtraction. The best teachers can make connections between ongoing curriculum, past ideas, and future concepts.

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Philosophy of Teaching Mathematics 14 Philosophy of Teaching Maths n Instruction is the actual teaching of the subject matter. This again involves the concrete, bridging, and abstract order of instruction that best promotes student understanding. Being able to explain a new idea in several different ways is a wonderful asset. But, a good teacher lets the students help explain mathematical notions to each other. Discussions are more beneficial for the children to teach each other than recitations. As a teacher using discussion benefits and promotes good instruction.

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Philosophy of Teaching Mathematics 15 Philosophy of Teaching Maths n Assessment is an essential component as well. By using proper testing techniques a teacher can gauge how much students already know, how much they need to know, and what they learned. A teacher can therefore match curriculum and instruction to the classroom he or she is in. For example before teaching a lesson about money, a teacher can create a worksheet that tests several different concepts related to money. Then after correcting the papers, the teacher can determine how much time should be spent on a particular subsection of the lesson on money. Then concluding should be a test-like worksheet that measures how much the children learned and which ideas might need to be re-taught.

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Philosophy of Teaching Mathematics 16 Philosophy of Teaching Maths n Overall, the main idea a teacher should convey is that maths is and can be fun and exciting. It does not have to be pages and pages of drills or recitations of facts and numbers. Students should be able to groan and say, “Awww. I don’t want to stop doing maths, it is too fun.” n Overall, the main idea a teacher should convey is that maths is and can be fun and exciting. It does not have to be pages and pages of drills or recitations of facts and numbers. Students should be able to groan and say, “Awww. I don’t want to stop doing maths, it is too fun.”

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Philosophy of Teaching Mathematics 17 Workshop activity: “My philosophy of teaching maths” What I aim to do as a teacher Why? 1.. 2.. 3.. 4.. 5.. 6.. 7.. 8.. 9.. 10..

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Philosophy of Teaching Mathematics 18 References: n http://www.msu.edu/%7Ewalshra1/mathphilosophy.htm http://www.msu.edu/%7Ewalshra1/mathphilosophy.htm n http://filebox.vt.edu/users/jlay/math/philosophy/math_philosophy.htm http://filebox.vt.edu/users/jlay/math/philosophy/math_philosophy.htm n http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EAv4wrZZqPg http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EAv4wrZZqPg

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