Chapters 1 & 2
The text provided me with good insight on ways to build my instructional skills that are significant to effective teaching. I learnt that the most important tools needed to be an effective Math teacher are : the teacher’s knowledge on Mathematics and the ways students learn the subject. I agree to the fact that what it means to know and do mathematics and about how students make sense of mathematics will affect the teacher’s instructional approach. Thus, teachers play an important role in shaping mathematic for the students.
According to NCTM, “Learning mathematics is maximized when teachers focus on mathematical thinking and reasoning”
(NCTM, 2009, n.d.)
Curriculum documents (standards) have a significant influence on what is taught, and even how it is taught. I too believe that curriculum should not only seek to complete many topics but also to sustain students to learn the math concepts in depth and with understanding.
The classroom environment in which children are doing Mathematics should be one in which they are allowed to be risk takers, sharing and defending mathematics ideas. The students are seen to be active learners in solving problems and the teacher facilitates by asking questions to ensure that students are making the connections and understand the task that they are exploring.
Moreover the verbs as quoted in the text book such as compare, explain, construct, explore, describe, solve, are said to provide opportunities for higher level thinking and encompass “making sense” and “figuring out.” It engages students in doing Mathematics.
I agree that engaging students in “positive struggle” is what help students learn Mathematics. The focus is on students applying their prior knowledge, testing ideas, making ideas, making connections and comparisons, and conjectures. Thus, students must have the tools and prior knowledge to solve a problem that is slightly beyond the capabilities of the students, It makes learning goals feel attainable and efforts seem worthwhile.