Tuesday, 9 April 2013

5th Class Session

Fifth Class Session

In this session, Dr Yeap spoke about Dienes's theory on perceptual variability principle.

Perceptual Variability or Multiple Embodiment Principle: In order to allow as much scope as possible for individual variations in concept-formation and to induce children to gather the mathematical essence of an abstraction, the same conceptual structure should be presented in the form of as many perceptual equivalents as possible.

(Adapted from Dienes, Z.P, 1971 Building up Mathematics,4th ed.)

Also, for younger children, it is better to provide them with proportionate materials to manipulate with rather than non-proportionate materials. In addition, the materials must be natural, for instance when we teach children counting, we use eggs, then later move on to unnatural materials such as teddy bear counters.


In order to help children learn maths, teachers have to

1. Provide opportunities for children to count, sort/classify and match to develop number sense.

2. Provide opportunities for children to work with patterns - number patterns, colour patterns, shape patterns.


3. Provide opportunities for children to develop visualisation skills - concrete experiences, playing with lego blocks, movement activities and drawing. 


4. Provide opportunities for children to communicate - talk and listen to how others solve a problem (children will learn new strategies when talking to one another)

When do we teach shapes to children?
I guess most of our answers would be in nursery (4 years old). Surprise, surprise, surprise! It should be taught in K2 (6 years old) and only the names of the shapes should be taught. Our group (Fiona, Dawn and I) got to know this when we asked him about our group assignment. We were very surprised by it as we introduced shapes to the children when they are in nursery. Most of the children came to us with the prior knowledge of identifying and naming shapes. The question of the day - "Are we over teaching the children?"

No comments:

Post a Comment