Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Language of Mathematics

Recently I went for a 'Parent-Teacher meeting' in my child's school. Teacher was telling me about all the details of developmental steps she have noticed in her learning curve in the last term. Topics like Music, Drama, Games, Art and Craft, Leadership quality, Sharing with others, Politeness, Ability to make friends does have equal imapact in their report card along with the more conventional literacy and numeracy. I like a very conventional mother was more interested about her reading, writing and mathematical skills. She reminded me that only able to write and count properly is not enough for being a responsible and successful citizen later on. I must say that this is very important comment and I completely agree with this. On asking the teacher about how I can help my child in making her learning easy I got a very nice idea from the teacher. She told me that I don't need to sit with her with pen and notebook all the time but I can use language of mathematics more and more in the regular chores we do together. Like, can you please give me 10 more pencils (addition) or look that mouse has taken away three pieces of cheese (subtraction) or normally we need to eat 5 times a day (multiplication) or can you please distribute two breads to each of your three friends (divide). She gave me many other examples where we can introduce patterns, problem solving, concept of measurement, time, 2 and 3 dimensional shapes and money through everyday language. This approach will in general help her both in language and mathematics. She also mentioned that parents can help children develop the art of noticing and observing things happening around them, like how does plant grows? How does we get water droplets over leaf every morning? She added that these qualitative and quantitative observation will prepare them for learning other subjects like Geography and Science later on.

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