Dear Parents,

“How should
children begin to learn and enjoy Math?”

Often,
mathematics is seen as a subject that involves a lot of rote learning and the
memorizing of formulas. Contrastingly, the mathematical concepts learnt should
make sense to children as they learn to reason and solve math problems
logically.

Learning mathematics
in the 21

^{st}Century is about understanding how mathematical concepts are interconnected with one another and how mathematics is related to the real world. All these can be progressively learnt in conducive classroom environments that allow children to explore, problem-solve, make mistakes, ask questions and learn from teachers and peers.
When children
are in an environment where they can exchange ideas and discuss about
mathematical concepts freely, they have opportunities to reflect upon their
findings, listen to their peers and learn much more than they would as
individuals.

Richard Skemp, an educational psychologist, developed five aspects of mathematical proficiency, which can serve as guidelines for teachers to facilitate math learning more effectively. They are; conceptual understanding, strategic competence, adaptive reasoning, procedural fluency and productive disposition. (pp. 26-28)

With
the awareness of these five aspects, teachers can intentionally plan purposeful
math activities for children with the goal of having them attain these
gradually. Beneficially, children have a
richer understanding of concepts when they understand the relations between
concepts, allowing them to remember and recall strands of information with more
ease. Furthermore, the relational understanding in children will allow them to
apply problem-solving skills in different situations that they encounter too.

Without a doubt, children will
grow to have a positive attitude towards learning mathematics. They will
develop persistence in attempting math problems and confidence in their ability
to understand mathematics.

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