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Mathematics classes - Essay Example

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Mathematics in elementary school, especially for the students and pupils who don't speak English as their native language, appears to be the subject of contradiction - on the one hand, mathematics as it is does not represent any difficulties, on the other hand, language problems make this subject too difficult for understanding…
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Download file to see previous pages Teachers, who study mathematics for the foreign speaking students, should be aware of the fact, that the knowledge they try to give, must be combined with clear explanation and patience. Various strategies exist for those who have to teach mathematics to the students in combination with the language problems. Thus, it would be interesting to observe the two different strategies, which two teachers have in this relation.
The use of various strategies for teaching children mathematics is essential; it often appears at present that the knowledge and idea of mathematics are wrong between people, and thus the role of the teacher is to make the mathematical knowledge full, sufficient and clear. The strategies to use in teaching mathematics directly depend on the knowledge teachers have themselves, and the studies conducted in this connection, proved that the way the teachers were teaching their pupils mathematics, their structural and instructional decisions were directly dependent on the knowledge in mathematics they had themselves. In relation to foreign speaking students, it is even more important to have a closer look at the use of not only mathematics' teaching strategies, but also the use of LEP and ESOL. 'The current debate concerning what students should learn in mathematics seems to set proponents of teaching computational skills against the advocates of fostering conceptual understanding and reflects the wide range of beliefs about what aspects of mathematics are important to know'. (Liping, 1999)
For example, Mrs L was teaching mathematics with a special accent on the multidigit multiplication. One of her strategies was to create the series of lectures (lessons), and the group which she taught was absolutely heterogeneous in relation to the level of skills and knowledge. She paid special attention to the children with exceptionalities, as there were two pupils who were able to perform this computation without any difficult and displayed exceptional abilities towards computation. These children, attending lessons together with the rest of the group, also acquired special tasks separately from the other pupils. The creation of this strategy has been caused by her deep knowledge of the structures in multidigit computation, as well as the wide range of combinations and the special approach towards problem-solving. She was able not only to teach students the necessary skills, but to teach them the general knowledge of problem-solving, giving them the basis for the further development.
Mrs B was able to create her own strategy of teaching children mathematics through the special accent on the negative numbers understanding. Making the foreign-speaking pupils understand negative numbers is a challenge, and she was successful in creating her own strategy. Her aim was not only to develop the knowledge of negative numbers, but to make her pupils successful mathematical thinkers. She was able to understand the ways of representing the key mathematical ideas to her pupils, through clear language and descriptive meanings. Her associations of negative numbers with magic peanuts and a frog on the number line, gave her own ideas for connecting negative numbers with the association of money and the similar building model. The choice of the models themselves was complex, ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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