Thursday, October 21, 2010

Initiatives in Teaching and Learning 2

Week 7, 19th Oct 2010, 7.00pm.
What was on for this week:
  • Tiles Problem
  • Structure Problem
  • Circle Problem
We used green 3-cm triangular tiles for the first activity. The task was to find out the number of tiles needed to form a figure of 93cm. We not only had to solve the problem but also explain how we got it. Bee Hong, Lydia and Jeanette gave slightly different explanations. Again, Dr Yeap never gave us answers but encouraged us to delve deeper into our thought processes.
The structure problem was a bit more baffling for me. I am used to looking at 'vertical' patterns but when it involved both 'vertical' and 'horizontal' ones, it was difficult for me initially. However, after the explanations given by my peers, I am better able to bridge the gap in my learning, narrowing my zone of proximal development.
I found the Circle Problem interesting as well as it allowed us to have hands-on  to think of a simple way of working out the area of a circle, given that we know how to find the circumference of a circle.
Dr Yeap's excellent questioning technique, encouragement and non-threatening environment in the classroom enabled us to look deeper into the myriad shapes formed from a circle to a square or rectangle and finally the formula for the area of a circle which was indeed a fun learning process for me. I think he has managed to bring the 'fun' element into the learning of Mathematics for me, as like many of my pupils, I am somewhat intimidated by the seriousness of Mathematics and how I am always concentrating on the end product of a question - the answer. I am certainly learning a lot. And enjoying it!

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