How to deal with the “new” mathematics?

Eurocolegio Casvi > In the class > How to deal with the “new” mathematics?
alumno coge una pelota en clase de matemáticas.

Teaching mathematics requires a broad knowledge of the subject, but also an adequate planning of the activities that we will carry out with our students. Because the way we teach the class will determine whether the student’s learning is meaningful. This is why innovation in the classroom is so important. By the term “new” mathematics, we do not mean that mathematics has changed, but that the teaching model must be innovative and different.

The aim of the “new” mathematics is for children to enjoy it and at the same time to acquire knowledge for life, which will serve them in the future. Therefore, at our school we work in a transdisciplinary way, as mathematics is present in a multitude of actions in our daily lives. With the International Baccalaureate we do not only work on the subject of mathematics, but mathematics is learnt transversally through English, geography, technology, sciences, etc.

“The essence of mathematics is not to make simple things complicated, but to make complicated things simple”.

S. Gudder

How do you teach mathematics to children?

Children usually reject maths because they don’t understand it. Our aim is for pupils to enjoy mathematics and at the same time acquire knowledge that lasts over time. For this reason, our students learn according to the following guidelines.

We work on real-life situations

It is important to pose problems and calculations related to real-life actions. For example, we work on calculus by making a shopping list or calculating the distances of a journey and the estimated time at a certain speed.

If we fail, we learn

Mistakes are necessary to learn. So, the student has to learn from it and use it to expand their knowledge.

Working with real objects

Mathematics is sometimes too abstract for children, so we need to bring it closer to objects that they can see and touch. For example, if we want them to learn the formula for measuring the area and perimeter of a rectangle, we can ask them to do it with the classroom door.

We encourage collaborative work 

With group activities, students share strategies to solve the problems they are asked to solve.

Different paths to the same solution

If different processes can be used to arrive at the same result, we must allow students to explore and investigate those paths.

We learn through play

The “new” mathematics is worked on in three parts: calculation, problems and finally a game of provocation. Logical and numerical thinking can be developed playing games such as the one shown in the video above. And finally, the pupils can then put this knowledge into practice by doing exercises in the notebook. In this way, learning is lifelong.