In the implementation of the 2007 revised mathematics syllabus, one of the significant change is the introduction of calculators at the primary mathematics at P5 in 2008 and at P6 in 2009. Let me share with you on the rationale for its introduction, some research findings, the impact on teaching and learning, the change in the PSLE examination format, the types of calculators for use as well as financial schemes available.
The introduction of calculators at P5 and P6 aims to :
Achieve a better balance between emphasis on computational skills and problem solving skills in teaching and learning and in assessment ;
Widen the repertoire of teaching and learning approaches to facilitate the use of investigations
and problems in authentic situations; and
Help students, particularly those with difficulty learning mathematics, develop greater confidence in doing mathematics.
RATIONALE Use of Calculators in Primary Mathematics
3.
CALCULATOR ACTIVITY - Example Use of Calculators in Primary Mathematics Your family is planning for a holiday. Look at the different packages offered in the newspaper and work out a budget for your family. To solve real-life problem – Budget Tour
4.
CALCULATOR ACTIVITY - Example Use of Calculators in Primary Mathematics Your calculator has a broken key. How do you show 55 on your calculator without using the broken key? Find as many ways as you can of showing the number 55 on your calculator. 5 To explore – Broken key on calculator
5.
CALCULATOR ACTIVITY - Example Use of Calculators in Primary Mathematics
Draw a circle (or use real objects such as a CD or a plate) and measure its diameter (D) and its circumference (C) using a piece of string.
Divide the circumference of the circle (C) by its diameter (D).
Compare your answer with their friends’. Do you notice that this value is about the same for any circle? Let’s call it π .
To investigation the approximate value of π
6.
IMPLEMENTATION SCHEDULE Use of Calculators in Primary Mathematics P6 Mathematics P6 Foundation mathematics 2009 P5 Mathematics P5 Foundation Mathematics 2008 Level of implementation Year of implementation
The use of calculators created a computational advantage and more often resulted in the selection of a proper approach to a solution in
problem solving.
Students in elementary schools who used
calculators possessed better attitudes and had
better self-concepts in mathematics .
There were significant differences in problem solving , computation , and conceptual understanding , favouring students who used calculators to those who did not.
RESEARCH FINDINGS Use of Calculators in Primary Mathematics
The four operations will continue to receive emphasis at all levels. This will ensure that students develop basic numeracy skills and acquire a strong foundation in arithmetic.
Estimation and mental calculation skills will continue to be part of the syllabus, as these skills are required to check the reasonableness of answers obtained from calculators.
teachers with the knowledge and skills to integrate
and make effective use of calculators in the
teaching and learning of mathematics.
Resource materials such as textbooks and teaching and learning guide have been updated in time for the implementation of the revised syllabus .
Use of Calculators in Primary Mathematics
10.
CALCULATORS IN PSLE To align the assessment with the curriculum, calculators will be allowed in one part of the Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) Mathematics and Foundation Mathematics examinations from 2009 . Use of Calculators in Primary Mathematics
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