Saturday, July 18, 2009

Two Questions

May I know your stand on these issues, "Stop Teaching by Telling'' and "The Principle of Equity (in mathematics classes)."

Jenny, a teacher in the Philippines
Often teachers teach by one of these methods: telling, coaching, modelling and providing. There is probably a place for each technique. Generally, I would urged teachers to help students develop conceptual meaning of procedures they learn. For example, to lean 3 divided by 1/2, I would suggest teachers use pattern blocks or pictorial representations and ask students questions such as "How many halves are there in 1 whole? So, how many halves are there in 3 wholes?" From there students can see that the answers are 2 and 2 x 3, respectively. They understand why 3 divided 1/2 is the same as 3 x 2.
By using differentiated instruction, teachers are able to provide every child with equal opportunity to learn. For example, in practising multiplication, teachers may allow struggling students to use concrete materials to derive multiplication facts while challenge able students to spot patterns in the multiplication tasks or to use basic multiplication facts 7 x 7 and 7 x 5 to do say 7 x12.

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