Saturday, 17 August 2013

Lesson 5 : Trigonometry

Today, we touched on the topic of Trigonometry, as we study the relationship of a triangle's sides and angles between the sides. This topic was one of the topic I was weak at during my school days and upon confronting it today challenges me. As I realized that I am poor in visualizing a certain angle is the same as another angle of a the shapes of different length, and found it challenging to tackle the math problem. No matter how I look at the figure and tried hard to understand, I still could not get it. I realized the importance of visualizing and hope to not history repeats itself by enhancing the children under my care, abilities to visualize. 

We tried the math problem that is a primary 5 test paper, and was amazed of the complexity of the sums that would require much visualizing in order to solve the problem. With the topic of Trigonometry in mind, how does 5 years old children do, so by the time they reach 11, they are able to solve this math problem. One key word is to enhance the children's visualization ability.

i have also found out that with a triangle, by cutting out the angles, we can find out if it is 180 degrees by lining up the cut out angles in a row to see if it aligns.  This is helpful for me as it allowed me to have the hands on experiences to find out if the sum of the angles is 180 degrees in which I find it rather interesting. This is another aspect of visualizing.  

Through exploring objects and things around children, is one way to improve on visualization. As they observe the details of the object, such as the colors  lines, shapes. Mathematics learning enhance curiosity and enthusiasm of children as they grows naturally from their experiences of exploring with concrete materials. Preschoolers would learn to make mental images in their mind to refer to. While slightly older children learn to form shapes that they can move or change. However, children often have limited ideas about shapes as they lack the capability to think abstractly. Through this, the more children work on the geometric concepts, the more they can learn to explore spatial relationships. This would allow them to make and use simple maps as they describe the location in space.

Throughout this course, I have to learn the 5 ways to teach children mathematics through visualization, generalizing, number sense, metacognition and communication. Journal writing is one way to present the children's ideas of the concept as it is open ended and unlike worksheets, it is either right or wrong. 

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