Monday, August 19, 2013

Card Tricks

Try this activity!

Rearrange poker cards (1-10) and using a card for one alphabet, make sure that the next card shown will be the number which you had just spelled and continue spelling the number until you reaches 10!

I had an interesting activity in class which requires us to perform magic using poker cards. The rule of the magic is to shuffle up the card and arrange them such that when you recite the spelling of the number, the next card shown will be the number which you had just spelled and you have to start from number one.

The solution of the game:

1st  2nd  3rd  4th  5th  6th  7th  8th  9th  10th
O   N      E      1     T    W    O    2     T      H
R    E      E             3     F     O          U       R
4    F       I                     V    E           5       S
      I       X                    6     S                     E
     V      E                            N                    7
      E      I                             G          
      H     T                            8
      N     I
      N     E
4    9     10      1     3    6      8     2     5       7

The game is fairly easy once you are able to see the pattern and rearranging the cards are easy and you can trick everybody with this simple trick! This game can help children in developing their patterning skills and as it is interesting but challenging at the same time, children will be strive on in finding out the answer to this trick!

Finding the angles

Its time for Geometry!
Try solving this question.

How do you prove that the angles of a triangle adds up to 180o?

There's a few way in which this problem can be solved.
1) By using a protractor and measuring all the angles and adding up the angles to prove that the angles of a triangle adds up to 180o
2) As 180o forms a straight line, another way to prove it is to tear out the angles of a triangle and put them together. If they are able to form a straight line, it will prove that the angles of a triangle adds up to 180o.

3) According to angles of properties, angle XBC= angle BAC (alternate angles). angle YBC= angle BCA (alternate angles). Therefore, angle XBA + angles ABC + angle YBC= 180o, which also means that angle ABC + angle BAC + angle ACB= 180o.


No idea how you can use geoboard to teach your child? Read on to find some interesting ideas on how you can use it to teach!

Before we move on to how we can use geoboard to help your child learn, we have to first find out what are the uses of geoboard.

A geoboard is a mathematical manipulative used to explore basic concepts in plane geometry such as perimeter, area and the characteristics of triangles and other polygons. It consists of a physical board with a certain number of nails half driven in, around which are wrapped rubber bands. Below is a picture of how a geoboard look like:

Look at the video below for some interesting ideas on the things you can use geoboard to teach your child!

Sunday, August 18, 2013


Having trouble teaching fractions to your child? Read on to find ways in which you can teach your child fractions!

Let's look at the hexagon below. One hexagon is break into six equal parts.

If we just had one of the pieces,

whole hexagon and hexagon cut into 6 equal pieces

one triangle of hexagon that's cut into 6 equal pieces

It will be one out of the six pieces, and thus we name it one sixth and below is how we write it in fractions.

1/6 - the top number is called the numerator and the bottom number is called the denominator

That's how we come up with fractions. Below is a simple question on fractions, try it with your child and see if they are able to get it right!

How much of this hexagon is red?

hexagon cut into 6 equal triangles

Friday, August 16, 2013

Whole Numbers

Many parents and teachers will wonder, what are numbers and what do they mean to us? some wil, ponder about the best ways to teach whole numbers. Today, I'm going to share with you my knowledge on numbers.

Numbers are classified into different types, mainly, 1) Cardinal Numbers, 2) Ordinal Numbers, 3) Norminal Numbers and last but not least, 4) Numbers used in measurement.

 Cardinal Numbers are numbers used in counting. For example, there are 5 cups on the table. The number, 5, is a cardinal number. Whilst Ordinal Number are number to tell the time order. 1st, 2nd, 3rd are examples of ordinal number. Norminal numbers are used as a name for the numbers. Our Identification number is an example of Norminal number as it is used to name and identify us if we were not given names by our parents. Numbers are also used in measurement to tell us the length, breath or even the width of an object. It can also be used to tell us the area or volume of an object.

Now comes the interesting part, what are some of the best way to teach numbers?
One of the best and easy way to teach numbers is to use ten frame. Some of you might wonder, what are ten frames? Below is a picture of how ten frame looks like:
The black dots are the counters which can aid the children in their counting. With frequent use of the ten frame, children will be able to pick up counting of the numbers easily. Not only that, ten frames also teaches number bonds. From the last ten frame in the picture, the children can learn that 3 and 5 make up 8. The children can also learn that 8 is 2 less than 10. Ten frame is really an useful tool when comes to teaching of numbers, counting and even addition and subtraction of numbers! Below is a video whereby you can used ten frame as a flash game for your child to pick up counting! Try playing them!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Lecture 1 Reflections

On Monday, we had lessons on tangram and we did activities where we need to use the tangrams to form rectangle. There are different shapes in tangrams and children will be able to develop knowledge on the different shapes, such as the name of the shapes. The activities we did in class are also essential in teaching children that there are more than one way to solve a problem. Rectangle can be form using just 2 pieces, 3 pieces, 4 pieces and even up to 7pieces of the tangrams.

In our second activity, we had to count the alphabet in the 99th position in our lecturer's name. I was able to get to the solution easily once I have spotted a pattern in the counting of the alphabets. I realised that 1,11, 21, 31 etc all falls in the first letter of the name and I just had to counted another 8times to get to the solution. The activity was pretty fun and it can help children develop the concept of looking for patterns.

The third and last activity we did in class were dividing a piece of rectangular paper into four equal parts. This activity were slightly challenging as we had to try different ways to divide the paper into for equal parts. And we learnt that one way to check if the parts are equal is to check if the parts overlap into each other perfectly. However, paper do not have to just overlap each other to be perfect.  I found one way in which I can check that the parts are equal parts and that is to find the area of the parts. We had a kind of folding whereby the paper were folded diagonally on both side of the paper to form four parts. We had a debate whether the parts were equal sizes as they looked different. I decided to find out the area of the different parts of the paper and found out that they were actually equal sizes!

From the activities, we developed knowledge on how children learn best. The first is to provide only scaffolding for the children, the second is to provide materials for the children and to prompt them only when necessary and the third one is to be a role model for the children.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Chapter 1 & 2 Reflections

"Not everything that counts can be counted. Not everything that can be counted counts."
-Albert Einstein

 Mathematics is not just about counting. Mathematics is not just about adding and subtracting. There are more than all these that Mathematics can provide. Children needs to be able to understand mathematics, think and reason mathematically to solve new problems and learn new ideas. Doing mathematics help children to develop problem solving skills. 

Our teachers’ job in a classroom is to provide children with endless opportunities to explore mathematics, making sure children are actively engaged in solving problems, making connections and understanding the mathematics they are exploring.

Some ways in which parents can help children to develop mathematics skills includes, building new knowledge from prior knowledge, providing children with opportunities to talk about mathematics, scaffolding new content and last but not least, treating errors as opportunities for learning.

Mathematics is the Science of Patterning and Ordering. Mathematics is the science of concepts and processes that have a pattern of regularity and logical order. Finding and exploring patterns and orders, understanding them, is what mathematics is all about. Below is a picture that is related to Mathematics in the form of ordering and how children will be able to solve the problem if they are able to understand the concept behind it.