Children´s Book: Understanding Children´s Mathematics

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Understanding children’s mathematics involves more than understanding the relevant mathematical concepts from teacher’s point view. It also involves knowing about how children develop the concepts and how they get engaged when having a maths lesson. Some children dislike mathematics because they couldn’t understand the right way to solve a problem, leading them to lose interest and thinking that ‘I’m not going to do it because I just don’t know how to do it’. It is believed that when children’s literature and mathematics are integrated in a meaningful and interactive way, students will understand the mathematics concepts efficiently and will sustain the knowledge. David Whitin says, "Using math related children's literature can help children realize the variety of situations in which people use mathematics for real purposes" (1994)

Children’s book can illustrate mathematical concepts, pose problems, suggest investigations and provide models for children’s own writing. Inputting literature into classroom can change the communication mode. Children on a discovery may combine speaking with visual information such as diagram, read from notes they have written, and may use demonstration as a part of their explanations. Factual books on topics can also provide both starting points and the mathematical information needed for projects and investigations. Adventure book may allow children to thick kinaesthetically so that they can act out ideas before write or explain about the concepts. Picture books not only help students to make mathematical ideas but also largely provide visualizations of mathematical concepts through many illustrations. They found that when the teacher asked questions the books were effective in prompting mathematic...

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...t values achieving the outcome. Although using literature may not always be a best strategy to teach mathematical concepts, it is a way to engage student in learning rather than working on worksheets every day.

When parents and teachers offer children opportunities to share and discuss the books they read, children are motivated to read even more and, therefore, learn more (Gambrell, 2009). This shows that the integration of curriculum strongly promote and enhance mathematic understanding and ideas. Mathematics is not only formulas, numbers and a set of rules which should be memorized, tested and limited within the boundaries of the mathematics classroom. Mathematics can be realistic and enjoyable when literature creates a different experience for children. As a conclusion, Children literature provide a meaningful context for maths and motivate students to learn.
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