Reflection 2- First FACE TO FACE

15 September 2010
Thanks for Anom's welcoming hospitality, the first face-to face discussion was at her place at 8 pm. After a hearty dinner, Anom, Zubaidah and I shared the resources that we have gathered prior to the meeting. We drew a timeline and wrote down the major initiatives that we have known and read about.

We used JIGSAW and Round Robin as our cooperative learning strategy as we formed our individual pieces onto the big timeline cum mind-map. Later as we discussed, we googled on-line a lot and added in other initiatives in between the already listed ones. I am so appreciative that I am living in this high-tech era where it is just a few clicks away to a host of information and resources. Gathering information this way has indeed sped up our discoveries effectively and we learnt and uncovered many other initiatives. Thanks to the miracles of technology. 

We were all motivated and warmed up in our new discoveries but time was running very late. Sadly, we quickly wrapped up by deciding on the platforms where we will share our findings (PowerPoints, Mind maps etc) via email and GoogleDocs. We shared the workload amongst the 3 of us i.e; 1) TSLN, I & E
                         2) TLLM, SEED &
                         3) PERI, SBB 

With the framework and philosophy of Mathematics in mind, it clearly reads out that Singapore is gearing up the young ones to meet to the demands of the ever changing world and preparing them for the 21st century and more years to come. It was indeed a fruitful gathering and I am looking forward for the next brainstorm session!

Reflection on AKM 101-Current Initiatives in Primary Mathematics Education

My first baby steps to AKM101...
8 September 2010
Entering NIE last night is like a dejavu. Looking for the tutorial rooms, meeting up fellow classmates and wondering what the lecturer has in store for his students are so refreshingly exciting. I never had imagined that my first lesson in this degree programme is going to be with Dr Yeap Ban Har. Knowing Dr Yeap’s innovative, mind-provoking and cool teaching ideas is so flattering for me to be his student.

Tangrams and Area...
The lesson began with tangrams manipulative with lots of questions thrown, to get us to figure out our answers, finding the different ways to form a square given the number of tangrams and later to find out the square unit area of the formed squares. Dr Yeap also kept encouraging us to discuss what we know and not know with our friends. Initially I was wondering why tangrams (and Area topic) and what could all these lead to. Then, during the open-discussions, I realised that his scaffolding method is a strategy that teachers should always enforce when leading the pupils to formulate their learning. Peer interacting and sharing are equally important for self-checking and reflecting. As teachers, these interactions will help to know whether our pupils are reasoning out their learning in the right directions.

Dr Yeap went into the discussion of the more theoretical part of the MOE Mathematical Problem Solving Framework model which encompasses the 5 (SCAMP) inter-related components, 4 aspects of learning (MACS), 3 rationales for the Math framework... Then he dropped us the big SURPRISE of the night... ASSIGNMENT- Focus of assignment is for teachers to know and understand current initiative in MOE Math education and how these correlates with national needs and international trends. Unexpected indeed, but well-planned.
Loads of reading to be done. Thank God, I still keep the Elementary and Middle School Mathematics by Van de Walle (3rd edition, will compare it with the current). Looks like it pays to be a ‘karung guni’ man plus I always find the contents of that book very precious.

Pedagogies that Apply Across Subjects
Dr Yeap also briefed on the 5 Learning Aspects, which I recalled Dr Berinderjeet Kaur giving a lecture in a conference. The learning aspects focus on the professional development of mathematics teachers in the area of pedagogy for engaged learning.

Woohoo! What a night! I am really inspired to be a student again! (Except for the part that I felt dizzy due to the Fast.)