The South Africa Symposium of Singapore Maths Strategies 2016 PRE-PRIMARY SCHOOL PRESENTER MS PEGGY ZEE

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1 The South Africa Symposium of Singapore Maths Strategies 2016 THEME: GO BEYOND THE BASICS USING SINGAPORE MATHS STRATEGIES DATES: JULY 2016, VENUE: EDUPLEX PRIMARY SCHOOL, SOUTH AFRICA PRESENTERS BIO AND SYNOPSES PRE-PRIMARY SCHOOL PRESENTER MS PEGGY ZEE Peggy Zee, a leader in Early Childhood and a specialist in this field since 1983, completed her Degree in Early Childhood in the USA. She is renowned for her successful and innovative ways of teaching young children Mathematics. She also conducts in-house training courses and talks for kindergartens, child care centres, primary schools, special schools, and government agencies. Known for her enthusiasm and passion in early childhood education, she finds great joy in sharing her interesting methods and ideas she developed over the past two decades with teachers and parents. Her expertise is in teaching children English, Reading, Thinking Skills and Mathematics to children between 1 to 8 years old. Peggy is a well-liked lecturer, known for her lively methods of delivering curriculum content and innovative ideas to the participants, bringing meaning and enjoyment to understand the topics. Her goal is to share her passion for teaching and working effectively with children, constantly striving to find new ideas and teaching methods to make learning fun and helping children learn. Keynote Taking The First Steps - Eyeing The Mathematical Horizon Early mathematics competency is a powerful predictor of later learning. This impacts the time and effort training institutions and schools need to carve out to develop a well-planned mathematics curriculum with clear pedagogical underpinnings together with an extensive teacher training programme. When children are engaged in a well-orchestrated math programme, the rewards reaped by schools and districts could be so significant that this might be the change factor needed to ensure school success. We will briefly identify the key components of a successful early mathematics programme from the professional training and development perspective.

2 Spotlight Sessions Early Mathematics Content Knowledge Participants will be exposed to broad mathematic content knowledge that are organised in the specific domains and their relations to other concepts. A firm grasp of math concepts ensures that teachers will provide mathematically sound activities to support children s learning experiences Effective Teaching Learning Practices Participants will learn to step up to the teaching challenges of building a supportive mathematical learning and teaching environment. Children need explicit experiences that support specific learning goals. Teachers need to provide meaningful learning experience that shape children s deeper understanding of mathematical concepts. Developing Numeracy Skills: Moving Beyond Counting Within a rich environment, children are invited to engage in mathematizing in a variety of ways. Honoring children s attempts and challeging them to reason, teachers support and challenge children to reason, communicate and represent their ideas. Participants will learn how to help children develop and use their special math eyes to see the world of maths with. A new look at number concept and experience going beyond just reciting number facts. In this session, participants are guided through skills required for successful thinking in Mathematics. Educators will learn new ways of helping their children to be more nimble and efficient when dealing with numbers.

3 PRIMARY SCHOOL PRESENTER DR LIM-TEO SUAT KHOH Dr Lim-Teo Suat Khoh was an Associate Professor in the Mathematics and Mathematics Education Academic Group of the National Institute of Education, Singapore. She has been a mathematics teacher educator for more than 25 years, teaching various mathematics pedagogy and content courses and has also carried various leadership appointments at NIE such as Academic Group Head, Associate Dean for pre-service programs and Dean of faculty affairs. While her earlier research interests were in various aspects of mathematics learning, her recent research interests are in the area of mathematics teacher education. Keynote The Primary Mathematics Curriculum in Singapore This lecture will present an introduction to Singapore s Mathematics Curriculum at the Primary Level. It will show how the curriculum is based on the central theme of Problem Solving with a framework comprising five components: Concepts, Skills, Processes, Attitude and Metacognition. How the learning of these components take place through a spiral curriculum and a concrete-pictorial-abstract approach through the six years of primary school will be illustrated with examples from topics in the curriculum. High expectations of the Singapore Mathematics Curriculum may not be obvious from the curriculum topics themselves but will be seen in the difficulty levels of the problems which children encounter from Primary 3 level onwards. The lecture will provide examples of such mathematics problems which are taught in the schools and encountered by the children in the national examination taken at the end of their primary education at age twelve. Spotlight Sessions Problem Solving in Primary Mathematics: Using Heuristics and the Model Method At the primary level in Singapore, children are taught to solve mathematics problems through the use of various heuristics, one of which is the Model Method which allows problem situations to be to be modelled using blocks instead of abstract algebraic equations. This session will provide an overview of the various heuristics used in different types of problems and will focus mainly on the use of the model method. The essential features of the model method will be shared and how the method can be used to solve fairly challenging mathematics questions will be shown.

4 Fractions are Abstract: Teaching for Understanding The learning of fractions is not easy for children due to the abstract nature of fractions as compared to counting numbers. Operations on fractions are also seen as a new language disconnected to operations of whole numbers. This session will discuss the various concepts of fractions encountered at the primary level, the connections of fractions to whole numbers in the universe of real numbers, as well as the different manipulatives used to teach fractions. The session will also share teaching ideas of how to make the topic of fractions and operations on them better understood by children. Spatial Understanding at the Primary Level This session examines the wide range of concepts and skills in geometry as required at primary grade levels. It will discuss how geometry topics at these basic levels can be taught with two guiding principles: a) The teaching should build strong connections between topics learnt so as to provide understanding of each topic as well as the self-consistent nature of mathematics b) The teaching and learning should develop in children the foundation for higher order mathematical skills such as logical thinking and reasoning, making generalisations and justifying them.

5 HIGH SCHOOL PRESENTER DR LIONEL MENDOZA Dr Lionel Mendoza spent 11 years working at the National Institute of Education, Singapore. During this period he was in the Mathematics Education Academic Group where he was involved in all aspects of teacher training. However, he was also involved supervising trainee teachers in school, teaching graduate courses and supervising graduate students undertaking their thesis as well as conducting in-service training. Because of his experience with both schools and academia, schools and teachers have found Dr Mendoza helpful in their school research and in action research. Since leaving NIE, Dr Mendoza has been involved in various consultancies in Singapore as well as South East Asia and China. Dr Mendoza has an undergraduate degree and master s degree in Mathematics from Southampton University, a doctorate in Mathematics Education from the University of British Columbia and a teaching certificate. He also has over 60 publications. Keynote Why Singapore Math Works: How you can adapt it to your situation. Many places in the world want to or say they are using Singapore Math. What this often means in adopting Singapore textbooks. Some places just take the textbooks developed in Singapore, introduce them to their schools and expect Singapore results. But there is far more to Singapore Math than textbooks. What are the strengths of Singapore Math and why it is successful? It is important to stress that one cannot just take a curriculum/textbook developed in one culture and transplant it to a new situation. What I will try to do in this keynote is discuss the strengths and focus on how one can adapt the approach to your situation. I will discuss how it differs operationally in the approach in many other countries. For example, the Singapore Math curriculum is very focused on developing concepts with understanding, practice plays a key role, etc. The presentation will include examples of how the approach to teaching can reflect the overall goals of the curriculum. The key question in not adopting Singapore Math, it is adopting and adapting to your situation. Success is not because of the textbook, per se, but rather the way it is implemented in the classroom. By utilising the textbook, approach pedagogy teachers can have a real impact on the performance of their students. This address will provide a rationale for the approach taking in my workshops.

6 Spotlight Sessions Geometry This session will focus on the teaching of geometry. It will discuss activities that can be used to develop specific topics within the geometry component of the curriculum. The approach will be to show how these can be developed in such a way to promote some of the key overarching processes of the Singapore curriculum such as reasoning, communication, problem solving etc. They will be approached in such a way that your students will find them fun and get fully involved in the learning process. Through this approach students will develop a positive attitude towards mathematics. Statistics This session will focus on the teaching of Statistics. It will discuss activities that can be used to develop specific topics within this component of the curriculum. Students often comment that much of what they learn does not seem to be related to their real-world experience. They do not see the value. While they do not come across many of the topics in the mathematics curriculum in their everyday life that is not true of statistics. This strand provides a particularly good opportunity to relate the ideas to the real world. In discussing activities that can be used, in addition to relating the ideas to their experience, it will also encourage communication and critical analysis. Language and Mathematics Mathematics can be considered a language. The way terms are used in mathematics is often different from the way the terms are used in the real world. We talk about the bigger half, similar is used differently is everyday language than its very specific use in mathematics, etc. Other terms really only occur within a mathematical context. In mathematics it is important that students use mathematical terminology correctly and fully understand the concepts. This session will use activities from different components of the curriculum and show how they can be developed in such a way as to ensure that they fully comprehend the concept/skill so they can apply them in problem solving.

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