Reflection - Chapter 2

Exploring What It Means to Know and Do Mathematics

I learn better when I understand the rational behind the knowledge shared. Thus in my classroom, I would often explain to the children the 'Why', followed by the 'How'. Here in chapter 2 of the book Elementary and Middle School Mathematics, the 'How' is addressed first, followed by the 'Why' and finally the 'What'. I totally agree that it is necessary for students to learn mathematics with understanding. Just as how I would teach other subject matters with the intention for the children to understand why we learn over the fact that they will be assessed on their knowledge.

Why do we learn algebra? Those numbers being replaced by words don't seem to make sense. I could solve those equations when I was in secondary school, but it did not make any sense to solve it other then having a sense of achievement of solving the problem and getting a tick. When the problems became more complicated, I became intimidated and struggled to solve the problem without much understanding. As much as I like math, it took me this course, to search about algebra and come to understand the use of algebra. All it took was a drawing to give me some understanding.

It is important to connect the dots of new knowledge and old knowledge with practice and with understanding. As an educator, it is my responsibility to plan instructions which respects the diversity in the class from the various needs of the children, different learning styles to the different social and cultural backgrounds.

This is a reminder to reflect on my teaching instructions when I plan. Do I teach with the motive that the child has to believe that everything I teach is the good for them or do I teach that they will come to the understand of the knowledge and strategies shared with them will be relevant to their lives?