Scitech – Solving the Math Mystery!

Thank you to Shyam Drury from Scitech for orchestrating the fun-filled evening!  So pleased that the residence of Calculia, Mathlandia can now sleep peacefully knowing that the Addition Assasin has been identified!  It was wonderful to see the level of engagement and excitement around mathematics!  The children were having a great time and I think perhaps some of the parents an even better time!

It was good to see the harnessing of valuable problem solving strategies:

– Discussing the key elements of the problem (What is it we have to find out?)
– Using objects to represent the problem
– Physically acting it out by moving objects around or using gesture
– The use of diagrams or pictures
– The use of tables or lists

These strategies are all based around REPRESENTING a problem….it was here that the adults in the room played a very important role in either suggesting or modelling a particular strategy or moving from one mode of representation to another (“let’s draw it…”) Children need lots of practice in both developing, selecting and shifting between representational strategies-  “What’s another way we could do it?” ;  “Let’s try it this way…”; “A table will help us here…”

Also present on the night were cognitive strategies or ways of THINKING about a problem such as the use of :

– Logical reasoning (  If… then….)
– Looking for patterns
– Having a guess and working backwards…

Having multiple ways to both represent a problem and think about a problem, be it mathematical or not, is key becoming a successful problem solver…. or in this case crime solver!

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“Stand aside for a while and leave room for learning, observe carefully what children do, and then, if you have understood well, perhaps teaching will be different from before.

Creativity becomes more visible when adults try to be more attentive to the cognitive processes of children than to the results they achieve in various fields of doing and understanding.”

Loris Malaguzzi

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