Teacher workshop- ‘Learning Difficulties and Misconceptions in Early Years Mathematics

Posted by on Nov 27, 2019 in School News | Comments Off

A conference on the topic ‘Learning Difficulties and Misconceptions in Early Years Mathematics’ was organised by the Mathematics Research Department of Bluebells School International on 21 November 2019. The Conference was attended by the teachers of the Primary wing at prominent schools of Delhi. The resource person was MrSanjay Raghav, Mathematics Consultant at Bluebells School International and founder of Arc Math. Two teachers of The Indian School, Ms Sargam Sharma and Ms Asha Lakshmi S., attended the conference.
The objective of the conference was to reach a more refined understanding of mathematical concepts involved in early and primary years and to understand the misconceptions and challenges that children face while learning the subject. The conclave also sought to train
the teachers to deal with those misconceptions.

At the onset, the resource person asked each participant to express his/ her views on the understnding of the word ‘Mathematics’. He summed up the responses and explained that Mathematics means not just computation or calculation, but encompasses visualisation, estimation, reasoning, problem solving, approximation and representation. He further said that teachers as well as parents tend to give more importance to computation, whichmakes up for only 14 per cent of what constitutes Mathematics! The remaining 86 per cent stands neglected in most of the cases.

Mr Raghav talked about the pre requisites for the understanding of mathematical concepts and principles. He discussed the principles of learning and counting numbers. He emphasised upon the linguistic aspect of teachingMath and the importance of framing questions in the most appropriate language. He stated that every concept should be taught with a maximum number of examples and with as many variations as possible. He further dwelledon the importance of visualisation while teaching Mathematics.

A few examples of common misconceptions while learning Mathematics at early stages were also discussed. Some of the examples dealt with wrong notions of addition and subtraction of numbers and misconceptions associated with Place Value.

The teachers from The Indian School presented papers in which misconceptions and errors in the children’s understanding of Math, sources of misconceptions such as insufficient and ineffective teaching methods, lack of motivation, lapse in concentration and incompatible language/medium of instruction were covered. Some common misconceptions such as misconceptions associated with Place Value, decimals and arithmetic operations were also explained with the help of examples.

The resource person as well as the organisers of the conclave appreciated the teachers of The Indian School for being the only participants who submitted the papers and assured that the same would be published in the newsletter of the host school, Bluebells School International.

The teachers left the conclave feeling enriched and better equipped to teach the subject in ways that were more easily understood by their students.

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