Learning Mathematics from available resources

Date and Time  : 31-05-2020, 10:00 am – 11:00 am

Facilitator : Shaila Thakur (Chikhle Ashram School, Chikhle, Panvel)

Title of the talk was उपलब्ध साहित्यातून गणित अध्ययन आणि अध्यापन which translates as ‘teaching and learning mathematics through available (teaching learning) material’. In this talk she described how she uses different TLM to teach different concepts of mathematics.She argued that if we make math teaching joyful with help of TLM then students show interest in learning math.She underlines the fact that most of the times teachers are unaware about use and making of TLM and because of that students do not get a chance to learn math with help of TLM. Then she is describing how one can use available material as a TLM. And how her students started liking the Mathematics subject because of TLM. Below is the list and description of the material she showed in her presentation:

  1. Multipurpose frame: This activity was originally Design and technology activity. Which was taught to teachers during a workshop at HBCSE. The teacher extended that activity to math. She is using that activity to teach concepts of square numbers, prime numbers, triangular numbers, formulas of algebra and geometry.
  2. Geoboard: Teachers learnt to use geoboard for understanding concept of area. They also made a geoboard for their schools and took it with them. Shaila ma’am explained how she uses that board with her students. She mentioned how this TLM is robust and can be used many times and many students can handle that. And how this TLM can be used for students of multiple gradesShe mentioned the concepts angles and type of angles, types of triangle, finding area and perimeter, and graphs. Here she extended the use of TLM, at HBCSE she learnt about finding areas with help of Geoboard. But then she extended its use for other mathematical concepts too.
  3. 3-D Shapes: Here she explained how she uses different different things used in day to day life to teach 3 D objects which is one topic in 6th std. For eg. using matchbox for cuboid, using joker cap for cone etc. She also added how to make shapes which are not much common with the help of Youtube videos. She argued how students learn more by handling those shapes instead of just reading about them in textbooks. She mentioned some activities like counting surfaces, edges and vertices of shape, calculating volume and area of shape etc.
  4. Number cards (अंक कार्ड): Here she showed number cards made of cardboard (single digit numbers). She added how any teacher can make these cards and how one does not require any artistic skill to do so. Even students can make them using an old calendar. These cards can be used for the activity of making different numbers, writing those numbers, writing expanded forms of those numbers, identifying position of numbers, etc. Also students can play these types of games within themselves. She added how this TLM is very low cost to make.
  5. Different types of boxes: Here she showed different boxes of different sizes (box of colgate, medicine, etc). She uses these boxes for teaching measuring length, breadth of box to 5th grade students. She mentioned how this can also be useful for 7th grade students. She also told how her students collect different boxes for measuring activity.
  6. Number cards (संख्या कार्ड): These cards are structure wise similar to number cards mentioned above but the difference here is these cards have multi digit numbers on them. These cards can be used for activities like identifying a number, writing it in words, addition and subtraction of numbers, arranging them according to increasing and decreasing order.
  7. Matchsticks: She mentioned activities which she learnt in a workshop at HBCSE with use of match sticks. She added how she uses those match sticks for more activities like making shapes and calculating their area and perimeter. She also used those matchsticks to make puzzles which were shown to teachers during a workshop at HBCSE under the topic ‘Introduction to algebra’.
  8. Clock: Here she showed a clock made of cardboard, but in her talk she also mentioned the usual clock. This TLM can be used to learn time and also angles.
  9. Currency notes: She mentioned how currency notes are favorite things of many people and how currency notes made in classrooms using cardboard or paper can be used for the concept of addition, subtraction, multiplication, division and proportion. She also mentioned even if one student doesn’t understand the concept of addition or other operations does maths with notes. She also says how this can be made easily with sketch pens, paper etc.
  10. Tangram: Shaila ma’am mentioned how she learnt tangrams at HBCSE and how they are exploring more activities with the help of tangrams. She mentioned finding area and perimeter. And how that can be a good activity for students.

After presenting the session was open for discussion. Where few teachers from Pen ashram school mentioned how useful these activities will be for them and their students. Some teachers of the SSRD project asked to share the slides with them in the comment section. One of the teachers (who works in govt. Ashram school) mentioned about Ganit Peti (Mathematics box) which contains TLM and which they received from the government then Shaila ma’am told everyone how aided ashram schools do not receive something like this.

Then people from HBCSE added their comments. All people liked how Shaila ma’am presented the topic and how she invented new activities through Teaching learning materials. Aaloka suggested how tangrams can be extended to the activity of ratio and proportion. Sugra ma’am asked Shaila ma’am if possible then to share videos which she has recorded of students doing activities with help of these TLMs.

Report prepared by: Mr. Sushant Pawar.