Friday, December 9, 2011

The world is our classroom

Fantastic Friday Morning to all of you!

Jenn and I are already in full swing preparing for the upcoming Maths workshop on 17 December. We are really excited.
We will be closing the registration soon for not only is there a limited seating capacity but Jenn and I also want a small enough number to allow for personalised attention and assistance.

It has always been a pleasure working with Jenn. She is an extremely intelligent and witty person. On top of that, she is very efficient too. I think you all should get to know this amazing sista of mine better so I've invited her to be my guest blogger! Over to you Jenn! :)


I’m a dreamer (so is Nura, I suspect) and Mathematics, a left-brain function primarily concerned with the logical, unromantic pragmatism of life, is at constant war with the right brainers that we both are. In our natural state, it gives us migraines. Causes hormonal imbalance and sudden outbursts that are, contrary to doctor’s (mis)diagnosis, NOT a monthly occurrence. There should be medication for the clinical condition: Mathematiphobia or Mathematoporosis, depending on the severity of one’s condition. To be honest, as a child, I loved Mathematics. On the condition that it gets delivered, once a year, in the form of a modest red packet during Chinese New Year. My Math improved further when my Malay neighbours and friends in school invited me to their house during Hari Raya. For reasons unbeknownst to me then, Mathematoporosis in the guise of a red or green packet wasn’t so bad after all.

And that, my friends, is incidental learning and what was to be my first lesson in financial literacy. In what proved to be a shotgun marriage of Mathematics and festivity highlights, I learnt the art (cue right brain music: “ke-ching”) of counting moolah. Ok, not really, but you get the drift. Children these days are way luckier. Parents and teachers are more informed and willing to engage in real world experiences to rouse the textbook sleepy heads from their mid-day siestas in the classrooms. The best Mathematics formula is one that uses the right brain to tune in to the left brain. The best Mathematics lesson takes place in the absence of worksheets. Or at least, momentarily without.

Teachers use the CPA approach, which has proven to work wonders in the classroom. The lower primary Math teacher subscribes religiously to the CPA, injecting fun, laughter and buckets of joy into the lesson and everybody emerges from the classroom a beaming Einstein. Ok, that’s in Utopia. Here’s reality. Increasingly, due to the large class size with different cognitive levels and time constraints, many a time, in trying to bridge the cognitive gaps of a class of, say, 30 children, teachers are left bereft of choices but to conduct remediation at the expense of CPA. This is made just a tad more complicated in considering the different learning styles of children. Different strokes for different folks. Is your child a spatial-visual learner, a kinetic learner, a language-oriented learner or a logical learner? If you’re scratching your head, dear parent, I feel you.

In the sharing session on the 17th of December, we’ll cover the spectrum of children’s learning styles and the activities you can harness to address these styles, the CPA method, as well as cross-disciplinary learning (Nura and my personal favourite. We share tips on how you can infuse Art/English/Mother tongue lessons at home with Mathematics). The M.O.E.’s curriculum structure functions in the form of a spiral. What this means is in primary one, your child learns the foundation to more complex concepts of THE SAME TOPIC as he/she progresses through the primary, and subsequently, secondary school life. Let’s help our teachers to help our children spiral their way up their learning curve, and in the process, inject a little more fun, meaning and bonding with them. In addition, we will share with you a host of games and strategies you can carry out with your little ones at home to develop concentration, memory, processing speed and visualization skills. These skills do not apply to learning Mathematics per se. They will improve the general learning curve of your child, and since they involve using mathematical symbols and numbers, it makes learning come alive as your child sees Mathematics as a means to an end, and not an end in itself.

It’s not about us, really. Neither is it about how noble parents are. It’s about acting in the best interest of our children. So, whether or not we see you on the 17th, dear parents, we hope you’ll continue to coach your children, and help them soar to greater heights. Cheers!

Thanks Jenn. :)

Ok mommies and daddies, if you have children aged between 4-8, this Maths Workshop will be very enriching for you. Any enquiries, do email me at ya.

Have an awesome weekend!

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