Do resources matter in primary Mathematics teaching & learning?

“Tell me and I will forget, show me and I may remember, involve me and I will understand” By: Jerry Machikopa

 
maths
Keeping learners engaged and excited about a Mathematics class can be a tall order. However, with many advances in technology it is much easier to make Maths lessons fun. Young children learn about their world through exploration, play and hands-on experiences with objects. By manipulating objects children build visual images of mathematical ideas such as number, shape, pattern and size which helps them deal with increasingly abstract ideas in later years of schooling.

Singapore is routinely ranked at or near the top in global comparisons of Mathematics ability and boasts one of the most admired education systems in the world. But what is it about Singapore’s system that enables its learners to outperform their international peers? They have their own approach called “Singapore method”. This method states that people learn in 3 stages: First they make use of real objects, then pictures and finally by means of symbols (abstract). Their teaching resources is therefore the major contributor to their success.  Keeping learners engaged and excited about a Mathematics class can be a tall order. However, with many advances in technology it is much easier to make Maths lessons fun. Young children learn about their world through exploration, play and hands-on experiences with objects. By manipulating objects children build visual images of mathematical ideas such as number, shape, pattern and size which helps them deal with increasingly abstract ideas in later years of schooling.

To put the above to the test Penreach conducted a case study on the usefulness of resources in the teaching and learning of primary Mathematics in one of their partner schools.

Various resources which includes 3D objects, fraction of whole objects and charts, abacus and many more were distributed to Somcuba primary school whilst a control group was established at another partner school namely Enkokhokweni primary. According to Mr Mjaji deputy principal at Somcuba learners immediately became more engaged with learning the moment they were introduced to physical objects and he indicated that learning was all of a sudden more fun.

Both schools participated in the National Maths Challenge competition and a total of 22 learners from Somcuba qualified for the finals whilst only 3 learners from the control group qualified to participate in the finals. Furthermore Somcuba primary school performed on par with Penryn College, students from an independent school which is well resourced.  Both schools having 22 learners who qualified for the finals

“By making use of resources, teaching and learning become more learner-centred and hands on as learners make use of the materials to discover answers themselves. This enhances deeper understanding and precipitates a positive attitude towards the subject, Mr Jerry Machikopa, Penreach Mathematics coordinator, explains.

By including physical objects in the teaching and learning that learners can easily identify with, it is much easier for them to make sense of abstract concepts. “You basically ‘transport’ them from the known to the unknown; from concrete to abstract”.

 

Examples of their Mathematics teaching resources include the following:

mATHS 2

Sources:

https://www.ft.com/content/2e4c61f2-4ec8-11e6-8172-e39ecd3b86fc?exe=16q3beacon&segmentId=091afcc7-3e95-b2b3-508e-157b96259192 .

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s