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Parents Math Resources on the Internet

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This collection of commonly asked questions (FAQ) provides quick solutions to a variety of frequently asked questions about current subjects in Primary Mathematics.

Generic topics pertaining to Mathematics

Q1: How should I prepare my child for Primary 1 in the field of mathematics? Should I enroll him in any Mathematics enrichment lessons before he begins Primary 1?
The Primary 1 curriculum is intended to be accessible to all students, regardless of prior understanding of the subject matter. Because the curriculum starts with the most basic abilities and concepts, such as counting from 1 to 10, children with no prior knowledge will not be disadvantaged. The fundamentals of multiplication and division will be taught in the context of grouping and sharing.

Q2: Can my youngster use algebra to answer word problems?
Your youngster can solve word problems using any strategy as long as it is properly presented and mathematically sound. At this level, however, children are not obliged to utilize algebra to solve word problems.

Q3: Is it necessary to learn the model method?
Model drawing is an effective problem-solving technique. A child depicts mathematical relationships in a problem in a visual way using the bar model. The visual format aids him in comprehending the challenge and formulating a solution strategy. This method is developmentally appropriate for young children and is well recognized as an effective way for children to acquire mathematical principles and problem-solving at an early age. Model sketching helps students understand fractions, ratios, and percentages in addition to solving problems. When solving issues involving these concepts in upper elementary, children will benefit from using the model approach. Here’s a word problem that was solved utilizing the model method. The concept of fractions and ratios are used in the word problem.

Q4: The terminology in word problems is becoming increasingly difficult to understand, and the contexts provided are not accurate. Can we just concentrate on fundamental principles at the primary level and leave word problems to the secondary level?
We agree that children’s capacity to comprehend and solve word problems can be harmed by linguistic challenges. However, it is difficult to avoid the use of language in mathematics, and word problems constitute an important part of the curriculum. They aid in the development of problem-solving abilities in children. What we can do is make a conscious effort to employ basic words and key phrases on a regular basis. This will assist children in understanding the word difficulties. Students are also taught how to break larger sentences down into manageable chunks to aid comprehension. These abilities are useful in a variety of subjects, not only mathematics. We can argue that some of the situations in word puzzles are manufactured, but they are nonetheless instructive. At the beginning of Secondary 1, there may be fewer word problems. This is due to the fact that many more new concepts (such as negative numbers) are introduced. Word difficulties or application problems as they are sometimes referred as are gradually introduced.

Q5: Primary 6 mathematics is more difficult than Secondary 1 mathematics. Is it possible to make mathematics easier in Primary 6?
This view, we believe, stems from the word problems that elementary pupils practice in school. The secondary curriculum builds on what was taught at the primary level in terms of concepts and abilities. The topic of angle properties, for example, is taught at a lower level in Primary 6. This topic is taught at a more complicated level in Secondary 1, including properties of parallel lines and polygons. In Number, Mensuration, Algebra, and Geometry, students are also introduced to new and more abstract ideas. To summarise, mathematics in Primary 6 is not conceptually more difficult than maths in Secondary 1. The Secondary 1 syllabus is more comprehensive and comprehensive than the primary syllabus.

Q6: Mathematics is a dry and abstract topic. If the subject is not adequately taught, children will quickly lose interest.
Mathematics is an abstract discipline, to be sure. It does not, however, have to be dry. We can make mathematics learning fun for pupils and ensure that they master basic numeracy abilities in the lower elementary grades. We’ve been offering schools instructional resources like manipulatives in recent years. These manipulatives have been taught to teachers. Schools have told us that the manipulatives help children learn better and that they look forward to utilizing them in class. We also urge students to learn mathematics through real-life events. This makes Primary Mathematics more interesting, relevant, and hopefully not boring!

Q7: We believe that the revised Primary Mathematics Syllabus will be used by Primary 1 students in 2013. What has changed? When and where will the syllabus be available?
Beginning in 2013, there will be minimal adjustments to the Primary 1 curriculum. The changes include the removal of non-standard units and 3D shapes from mass measurement and comparison, as well as the addition of “orientation” (the directions an object faces, such as left, right, pointing up, pointing down, and so on) as an extra property of objects. These little adjustments help to improve the order in which the topics are taught.

Q8: At the age of five, our youngsters begin to use calculators. Is it too early to begin using it? Will using calculators at an early age cause them to lose their mental computation skills?
Before using calculators in Primary 5, our students must gain skills in written and mental calculations. Primary 1 students should master mental addition and subtraction within 20 minutes, while Primary 3 students should master mental multiplication and division within the multiplication tables. From Primary 1 to 4, mastery of basic skills includes standard written algorithms for whole integers, decimals, and fractions. These are valuable life skills that should not be overlooked simply because calculators are readily available. The primary goal of calculator use is for youngsters to use them as a tool for learning and problem-solving as well as for computation. As part of the modifications in the updated 2007 Primary Mathematics syllabus, the usage of calculators is introduced in Primary 5 and Primary 6. We recognize that children may lack the motivation to memorize number knowledge and learn to calculate using their hands.

Q9: What do you mean by heuristics?
When the solution to a problem is not evident, students might utilize heuristics to help them solve it. The following are some instances of heuristics, which are divided into four groups based on how they are used: Draw a graphic, build a list, or use equations to depict anything. To make a calculated estimate, such as a guess and check, looking for trends, or making suppositions Act out the procedure, work backward, do a before-and-after comparison, etc. To alter the problem, such as restarting it, simplifying it, or resolving a portion of it Here’s an example of a guess-and-check exercise: A rectangle’s perimeter is 42 cm. It has a surface area of 108 cm2. Find out how long it is and how wide it is. Because the rectangle’s circumference is 42 cm, the total of its length and width is 21 cm. Make a list of all the lengths and widths that are possible.

Q10: Instead of heuristics, children should be taught solely the fundamental mathematical concepts and skills. Is it necessary for my youngster to understand heuristics like Guess and Check? What role does learning such heuristics have in our everyday lives?
We agree that children should have a solid understanding of basic mathematical concepts and skills. We also believe that problem-solving abilities are essential. One of the problem-solving skills we teach our kids is “guess and check.” As they make and improve their estimates, it enables them to think logically. We expect that by solving mathematics problems, children will build thinking abilities and habits that will help them become better learners.

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