Learning math today is different from the past.
In the past and in my own growing years, learning math was sitting on the floor or at my desk, listening to the teacher go on and on about concepts that I hardly understand. Today, learning math is about being interactive and actual application of the concepts taught.
Looking at the readings, there are six principles, five content standards and five process standards in what children learn in math today.
As for the teacher who teaches math, she needs to equipped with seven standards and be able to create six components in a mathematics classroom.
Out of the seven standards, persistence is what I feel is greatly needed in every early childhood educator when teaching math to children. Personally, I do feel the frustration sometimes when trying to deliver a concept to a child. However, as what is suggested, persistence is the "very skill that your students must have to conduct mathematical investigations (Van de Walle, Karp & Bay-Williams, 2013, p. 10). It is essential that we display such quality to children when dealing with the subject of math.
Next, we talk about conducting math lessons in the classroom. It is important that we do math as it is in the real world and not as a form of accomplishing a stack of worksheets. Children should be allowed to participate in math actively when they experience the process of reaching a solution and not just drilled to know the answer to a question.
One interesting fact is the use of tools and manipulatives. I must admit that I teach children the use of such tools by asking them to mimick my actions when dealing with a certain form of questions, for example, addition. However, by doing so, I am not teaching children math at all. I am only teaching them to follow my actions; drilling them to know the answer to a question. I am not allowing children to participate actively in the process. I can show them how I solve a problem with the help of the tools or manipulatives. If I explained well, children will be able to use the tools to solve their own math problems based on their understanding and not by the steps that I make them follow.
Overall, I did learn something by reading the first two chapters of the book, "Elementary and Middle School Mathematics: Teaching Developmentally (8th Ed.)". Parents, if you are interested, you might want to read the book as well as we embark on this learning journey of teaching children math together.
Van de Walle, J. A., Karp, K. S., & Bay-Williams, J. M. (2013). Elementary and middle school mathematics: Teaching developmentally. (8th ed.). Pearson: New Jersey.