We always aim to teach children to figure out using money, line up in twos or form groups of fives, think logically when there is an issue and to work out their problems on their own. We term it as independence, but really, isn’t it simply Mathematics?
Children come in contact with mathematics all the time. Like when mummy says, “Five more minutes and off to bed!” or as simple as having a game of hide and seek, counting up to twenty. It is so evident that mathematics is intertwined in our lives and as much as one may dislike it, we really can’t live our lives without it.
Before we jump into teaching children mathematics, we have to take a step back and understand how exactly children LEARN mathematics. There are of course two commonly used theories and that is the,
Where new knowledge is constructed upon prior knowledge. In simple terms, just like building a tower with blocks, starting with the foundation.
Where peers and more knowledgeable people play an important role in supporting the learner to reach and access a range of knowledge, which may not have been possible on his own. Also know as the Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD).
Besides theories, most importantly, learning and teaching mathematics comes together hand in hand and what better place to start is at home or in the classroom. As in one of The Six Principles of Principles and Standards for School Mathematics, The Teaching Principle helps us to understand the important role the teacher plays in the classroom. Plenty of what the students learn in mathematics depends a lot on the experiences that the teacher provides in her classroom or better, if parents can carry on the experiences at home.
Here’s to learning together and counting together.