Overview of Mathematics in Jing Shan Primary
Every JingShanite a Mathematical Problem Solver.
Guided by the Singapore Mathematics Curriculum Framework, lessons in the Jing Shan mathematics classroom is designed to provide learning experiences which would allow for the mastery of mathematical concepts and skills, inculcate positive attitudes towards learning and the development of metacognitive, reasoning and communicative skills which are essential for problem solving. This is in line with the school vision of ‘Thriving Explorers, Mindful Leaders’ which aims to develop unique individuals who are critical thinkers and reflective problem solvers and empathetic leaders who are collaborative, confident and active contributors.
Mathematics Learning within the
Through the use of varied teaching resources such as hands-on manipulative, teachers encourage learning math concepts through exploration which lead to the development of deeper relational understanding. The provision of authentic learning experiences in the classroom and purposefully engineered tasks develop the proficiency required by the learners in carrying out skills such as visualizing space and use of mathematical tools such as measuring and reading data on a weighing scale.
Mathematical processes are important for solving problems and building knowledge. Therefore, there is increased emphasis on reasoning and communication. Mathematical reasoning refers to the ability to analyse mathematical situations and construct logical arguments so as to apply concepts in different contexts. Communication refers to the ability to use mathematical language to express mathematical ideas and arguments precisely, concisely and logically. Therefore, platforms and opportunities such as the use of open tasks and problem solving are provided in mathematics lessons for students to visibly communicate their mathematical thinking and logical reasoning.
As part of thoughtful pedagogy, math teachers explicitly teach about problem solving. Polya’s 4 stages of problem solving which is a structuredproblem solving model benefits learners of mathematics. Teaching about problem-solving involves the explicit instructions of the use of a problem-solving model (Leong, et al., 2016) and can be the first step to properly introduce problem-solving process to the students. The use of a problem solving model allows proficient math learners to expand on their solution and explore generalization while providing a structured process to regulate students’ thinking and develop metacognition while solving problems. Every Jingshanite a Resilient Problem Solver! Solving fun and interesting problems as part of daily Math lessons!
Formative Assessment in the Math
In order to play an active role in their learning, students need to understand where they are, where they are going and how to get there. Formative assessment strategies employed by Math teachers in class allow for students to take greater ownership of their learning in mathematics and to be active learners in the class. A classroom culture that normalizes and celebrates error can invite opportunities for feedback, realize connections and become a by product of active learning. Getting students to first think through the errors they made allows for slips to be sorted out and opportunities are provided to encourage self-corrections and discussions on misconceptions. Use of All Students Response System such as mini whiteboards allow teachers to quickly affirm and also pick out misconceptions for prompt intervention.
Learning mathematics concepts on Area and Perimeter through hands-on activities to develop spatial awareness.
There are also many opportunities for students to use ICT tools to explore and understand math concepts through simulations and a variety of representations.
Developing Positive Learning Attitudes through Alternative Assessment and Differentiated Programmes
A positive attitude towards mathematics contributes to one’s learning disposition and the inclination towards using math to solve problems. Attitudes include the belief, appreciation, confidence, motivation, interest and perseverance to solving problems using mathematics.
Alternative assessments such as math journaling with content and process prompts allow teachers to have a better understanding of their students’ learning and also allow them to provide a more holistic report of a student’s progress in their mathematics learning rather than just a grade. Mathematical journaling as part of mathematics learning provides platforms for communication of mathematical ideas and concepts to their teachers and peers. It allows students to use mathematical language to express mathematical ideas to make their thinking visible.
Tiered programmes which cater to different segments of the student population allow for greater customisation towards learning. Support programme such as LSM and ICAN for low progress students will vary according to the level needs. The focus is on mastery of basic concepts and skills through factual fluency at each level (lower & middle schs) and on process skills such as reasoning for upper school students.
The Level-Up Programme for Primary 6 students is targeted to provide more support for selected graduating students in the school. With a 1-to-4 maximum teacher-student ratio, twice weekly half- an- hour sessions are conducted in the school canteen.
For the higher progress students, mathematical learning at the middle and upper school will be enriched through the E2K programme at P4 level for High Progress students and targeted math Olympiad training for P5 and P6 high progress students. Selected groups of students will also participate in external Math competitions and Olympiads.
Learning beyond the Mathematics classroom
To leverage students’ mathematical knowledge and skills in an authentic context and to develop resilience and mindfulness, learning of mathematics go beyond the four walls of the classroom. An example of contextualisation of math activities in the real-world which allows students to give back to the society is the VIA project done at Primary 4. The project titled ‘The Care Force’ replicates real-world situations that would allow for authenticity in the learning of mathematics. Such experiences which combines non-routine and multi-stage tasks require students to apply and combine mathematical concepts and skills learnt in their math lessons. It not only allows for transference of such knowledge and skills, it also helps consolidate students’ learning through co construction of new knowledge and develops real-world skills such as collaboration and communication. It also develops in students, empathy for others.
Cluster Math Online Quizzes trails for our LSM students
Home-based Learning in Action
With the recent school closure, Mathematics learning continues at home through a variety of math tasks and activities. Besides the use of online learning videos created by the teachers themselves, students continue to do hands-on learning through the use of items easily available at home to further engage themselves!
Through the use of different online platforms, mathematical learning is a fun-filled one with games such as escape rooms and lots of quizzes to assess understanding!
Mathematics can be found everywhere! Our JingShanites explored the tiered activities carried out in each class, bringing joy of learning to enhance the understanding of mathematical concepts. Mathematics was integrated with origami, music, art and maker activities (just to name a few!) – bringing much delight to students who get to see real life application of mathematics！