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Mathematics is one of the most apprehensive subjects for our students. They find it difficult and sometimes irrelevant. Some learners would also prefer not to gain knowledge of it. They find the subject boring, thus losing their interest to learn. This matter is a challenge for us educators, especially in basic education system that we must find a way to motivate and bring about the enthusiasm of every student to discover the subject and develop skills in mathematics.
Trends in education evolved across time. We started teaching using the traditional chalkboard and then exists the colourful and creative visual aids that exercise the minds of our students. At some period, audio visuals and overhead projector were also used in teaching - learning process. And in the present moment, the utilization of calculators and computers were introduced for ease in computations. Teachers already used Microsoft Excel for calculations and graphical illustrations. They also utilized Microsoft PowerPoint in presenting lesson as demonstration of Computer - Aided Instruction.
Nowadays, one of the latest trends in our education is the use of internet. Although internet has been introduced to our students, on the other hand, it also became a hindrance on their study because they prefer using internet in terms of gaming and social networking. The challenge for us teachers is how we use this trend to improve students' interest to learn mathematics, especially in public schools where we are lacking of facilities and resources. It is our task as teachers to introduce the use of internet as an aid in education not just a mere instrument for enjoyment and recreation. In relation to this, we, educators may introduce a lot of mathematical sites which provide relevant and applicable learning materials and activities for our students. There are websites that present mathematical concepts in a fun and challenging way like games and puzzles. Other sites provide assistance in solving a problem in a step by step manner. You can also explore every subject matter from different year levels by on - line tutoring and discussion. Aside from the different websites you can also teach your students to use "youtube" in watching videos with topics related in mathematics and let them write down a reflection on every viewed video. Even though internet materials and tools are readily available, inadequacy of resources and supplies in public schools are always present. Thus it is teacher's accountability to present his lesson in the most attention-grabbing and motivating way using the above mentioned tools to increase students' interest to learn mathematics. It is also essential for teachers to attend trainings and seminar - workshops to familiarize and educate themselves with the latest trends in mathematics education, that maybe in one way or another, teachers affect lives of every student "to love the subject and at the same time admire their teacher".
BUILDING BLOCKS OF MATHEMATICS EDUCATION
(By: Jenny Luz R. Batalla)
The foundation of our educational system definitely lies on learning competencies set by academic curriculum on every subject matter. Basic learning competencies in the early year of our educational system must be acquired and mastered by our students in order to grab hold of the upgrading skills to be achieved in the higher level of our educational system.
As I mentioned building blocks of mathematics in our educational system, I really want to talk about the foundation of learning competencies in the subject. In my seven years of teaching high school students, I have observed that a rising percentage of present learners are having a hard time performing basic mathematical operations, as well as, difficulty in understanding, comprehending and analyzing mathematical word problems. Since higher number of students show poor performance in the said subject, it also affect their general point average. These situations have becoming the root of fearful attitude of students towards the subject. I realized it must be the teachers' responsibility to make his students master the basic mathematical competencies in the first few years of elementary education in order to meet the challenges they will encounter in secondary mathematics or even in tertiary level.
If the building blocks of mathematics education have deteriorated in the past, it's about time that we, educators, help each other to rebuild a strong foundation of mathematical skills in the mind of our students by providing them relevant and appropriate activities which will stimulate and arouse their mind to develop mathematical competencies especially on four fundamental operations. I believed that if basic mathematical skills have been inculcated in the minds of our young learners, it would be easy for them to acquire the competencies and skills set in the future and in higher mathematics. I believed that it is also essential to enhance understanding of different mathematical concepts and principles needed for retention of important mathematical ideas. It is also significant to prepare a systematic process of skill - building and assessment of students' progress to know the point and give a room for improvement. We must also consider putting up salient points for recuperating logical reasoning and versatility of our students. We, teachers must boosts our energy and resources in teaching. Let us leave the traditional way of discussion, we ought to awaken and enlighten our students mind with relevant illustrations, charts, figures and graphs. Let us prepare games, puzzles and other school activities upon presenting and organizing our lesson. Be lively. Be creative. Be flexible. Be positive. And most of all be a change.
Together, let us aim for an effective and enjoyable mathematics education for every student and let us reconstruct a strong block as foundation of the subject. Let us open the minds of our students that "mathematics has no harm, instead it is full of fun"