Name of School: Raffles InstitutionAddress: 1 Raffles Institution Lane, Singapore 575954School leader: Mrs Lim Lai ChengStory title: Unleash the potential for Mathematics in You!Tel: 84279351 Email: email@example.comMentor Teacher: Mrs Heriyanti SuhaimySTUDENT INFORMATION 1) Name: Senthil Kumar Soorya Age: 14 Grade: Secondary 2 2) Name: Muthiah Chockalingam Age: 14 Grade: Secondary 2 3) Name: Haseef Age: 14 Grade: Secondary 2 4) Name: Jackie Tan Age: 14 Grade: Secondary 2
Unleash the potential for Mathematics in You! 21st – 29th July 2011
1. A child in Singapore undergoes six years of primary education, comprising a four-year foundation stage from Primary 1 to 4 and a two-year orientation stage from Primary 5 to 6. At the end of Primary 6, students sit for the Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE). It was noticed that students struggled during the PSLE Mathematics Examination and this was very disturbing. There were pupils who could not finish the paper on time and they were crying in disappointment after the paper. So we decided to change the situation of the students by improving them in Mathematics so that they are prepared for the PSLE standard of questions.2. A few solutions were derived after the team brainstorm for ideas and getting feedback from teachers. The first solution was to teach the students in a fun way by incorporating games during the Mathematics lessons to motivate students. The team believed that engaging students in this manner during lessons would motivate them to do better. Students tend to remember things better when they have fun and are more engaged. The second solution was to ask students in groups to take turn to make a presentation of the lesson taught. The teacher will teach the students in the normal way. However, instead of the normal way of assessing their learning through tests and exams, they are tested in a creative way. They would be required to make a presentation on the lesson that was taught. The presentation would be just a short one and would include whatever the students had learnt during the lesson. From their presentation, the teacher would be able to know if they students had understood the lessons. Prior to the presentation, the students would be asked to read up on the topic. This method would enable students to have a chance to revise the topic and they would remember the topic better. The last solution was to break the complicated Mathematics word problem into simpler concepts and manageable parts. By breaking the word problem into simpler concepts and having a question on each concept, the students would be able to finally complete the complex word problems. A pre-test and a post-test consisting 5 very complex word problems would be used to measure the effectiveness on this method.
3. The participants were 39 primary five students aged between 10 and 11 years. These students were chosen because of the mix ability nature of the group as their Mathematics marks ranges from 50 to 91 in their Semestral Assessment 1 examination. They have also gone through 5 years of Mathematics lessons in school and their opinions on the method of teaching of Mathematics would be invaluable. Even though the number of students we chose was small, our efficient method might be used by more schools, hence impacting a large group of students. The modified teaching method basically breaks down multi-steps or complex word problems into basic steps/concepts that help scaffold students’ understanding so that eventually they will be able to handle the word problems in the complex form. Pupils were given a pre-test which consist 5 complex word problems on topics students have difficulties in under exam condition prior to the implementation of the project. The main aim of this pre-test is to gauge the students’ ability in solving complex word problems before the implementation of the modified teaching approach. The pre-test was not given and none of the questions were discussed with the students. The modified teaching approach was implemented over a period of two weeks. Students were given five worksheets consisting 4 questions where the last question in every worksheet is similar to one question in the pre-test worksheet. The first 3 questions in all the five worksheet were scaffolding questions to help pupils break down the fourth question into simpler steps and concepts. For example, if question1 of the pre-test tested the concept of changing fraction, balancing ratio and changing percentage, then the worksheet 1 would have a question testing each concept and the last question will be similar to the question 1 of the pre-test. Students were given only one worksheet per day and a time frame of 30 minutes to complete the 4 questions. This is to simulate exam conditions. After students had completed the worksheet, the team split the class into groups of 8 and along with the teacher’s help; we taught each group on how to avoid
careless mistakes and explain the concepts that the students were not very clearwith as well as the answers. This was to ensure that the pupils understand howto break the complex problems into simpler steps and concepts. The splitting ofthe class enabled better monitoring of the students’ learning. We could focus oneach student and hence maximize learning.After students had completed the five worksheets, a post-test was administered.The post-test had exactly the same questions as the pre-test to ensure thevalidity and reliability of the instrument used to measure the effectiveness of themethod.