Tuesday, January 6, 2009

DCM202 The first lesson was on the roles of calculators in the upper primary classroom. The students were given two (or three) tasks to complete to set them thinking about the role of calculators in the learning process. In particular, I want them to ask themselves if those activities can be done without calculator. I also want them to see different ways calculator is used in the classroom.

One of the activities was to find a pair of two-digit numbers such that AB x CD = BA x DC, i.e. the products of the numbers do not change the digits in each number is reversed. Let's call this the Reverse problem.

As expected, solutions such as 11 x 22 and 23 x 32 came quickly. The others (see the photo) came later. I was pleased that students could see interesting patterns including expected ones.

Questions for the students: How is calculator used differently in this activity compared to the Sleepless in Singapore activity? Are you able to design another activity for upper primary students where the calculator is used in the same way as it was used for the Reverse problem?

Friday, January 2, 2009

Life Lessons: High School Reunion

It has been 22 years since some of us met, yet for a few hours, we all chatted easily and excitedly of our common past and shared our different present. As I start preparing Lessons for my students in the new year, I was glad I was reminded of the Life Lessons I had received as a teenager from this group of people, my friends from the hostel, secondary school and junior college.

Some among us lived together at the old NTI campus. Blocks 7 and 11, where many of us lived for four years, today, is walking distance from my office at the NIE. They are still there. Some of us lived in the dilapidated HDB flats at Ho Ching Road. Block 115, where we survived for two years, today, is no more there although I can see the spot it used to stand from my kitchen and bathroom windows. It is now a multi-storey carpark.

These are places we interacted and learnt Life Lessons.

Photographs by Kwangs http://pix.kwanghuiseto.com/gallery/6986803_zYV5Z