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The Development of Arithmetic Concepts and Skills Essay

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Updated: Jun 21st, 2021

The designed lesson integrated mathematics and the English language and had the objectives of developing students’ skills in both knowledge areas. It tied such mathematical concepts as numbers and geometrical shapes with listening, perception, and speaking practices. The lesson was administered in a Pre-Kindergarten classroom and, overall, its outcomes may be regarded as positive because the content and activities were placed in an appropriate subject context, which met the learning needs, interests, and capabilities of children. However, some minor deficiencies were observed by the mentor, and they were primarily related to student engagement and motivation.

Based on the received feedback, it is possible to say that the main strength of the carried out lesson was in the integration of two domains of knowledge. The given observation is verified by research evidence. It is considered that traditional instructional methods in mathematics such as workbooks and worksheets help children learn to perform various mathematical tasks through relevant procedures, yet they usually fail to assist learners in acquiring the conceptual knowledge, namely, the comprehension of links between skills (Baroody & Dowker, 2013). The integration of mathematics with meaningful language practices allows eliminating the given barrier, increasing the positive academic outcomes. For instance, by asking children to analyze the situations in which the characters of the book introduced in the class found themselves counting and sorting the buttons provided them with an illustration to the significance of calculating and categorizing different objects outside the classroom context. Based on this, the major growth opportunity is in finding more ways to integrate various learning domains and broader contexts into the math instruction.

The needs of students with different learning styles were met through the diversification of instructional practices. According to Tzu-Chi, Gwo-Jen, and Jen-Hwa Yang (2013), learning styles are activity-centered and depend on the personal and psychological traits of learners. Thus, the implementation of multiple types of practices such as reading and listening, crafting, group discussions, and collaborative students’ work was of tremendous use. Nevertheless, the emphasis was made on the whole-class activities because, according to Clements, Agodini, and Harris (2013), the given kind of mathematics instruction is correlated with increased student achievement in the given subject. The students responded rather positively to all of the performed activities and appreciated the creative part with lacing more, yet not every group managed to finish the task independently.

The identified learning tasks provided plenty of chances for students to master the content. The class demonstrated excellent skills in categorizing objects according to their different attributes including shape, size, and color. Some minor mistakes were observed during the counting, and some learners were reluctant to engage in the whole-class discussion of the book and ongoing tasks. However, all of them showed a perfect understanding of the lesson purposes and its significance during the evaluation phase.

Considering the identified flaws in students’ responses and outcomes, some changes during the design of the new lesson plan should be made. For instance, scaffolding materials for learners with less developed counting skills can be introduced. Such materials may include the guiding calculation prompts, which some learners with poorer performance would be able to utilize throughout the lesson. Additionally, distinct differentiated activities for greater student engagement in whole-class discussions could be selected. They may be primarily associated with grouping strategies. For example, the pairs can be formed based on the level of students’ readiness to talk. The learners will then discuss the topic in dialogues, and one of them will present the discussion results in front of the class. These and similar activities will allow increasing the lesson success.

References

Baroody, A. J., & Dowker, A. (2013). The development of arithmetic concepts and skills: Constructive adaptive expertise. London, UK: Routledge.

Clements, D. H., Agodini, R., & Harris, B. (2013). Web.

Tzu-Chi, Y., Gwo-Jen, H., & Jen-Hwa Yang, S. (2013). Development of an adaptive learning system with multiple perspectives based on students’ learning styles and cognitive styles. Journal of Educational Technology & Society, 16(4), 185-200.

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IvyPanda. 2021. "The Development of Arithmetic Concepts and Skills." June 21, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-development-of-arithmetic-concepts-and-skills/.

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IvyPanda. (2021) 'The Development of Arithmetic Concepts and Skills'. 21 June.

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