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“Pure mathematics is, in its way, the poetry of logical ideas.” Albert Einstein
For many, this statement can be difficult to believe. But almost everyone who has ever studied or been taught Mathematics will have encountered that special and unique moment when a concept or idea just made sense. Now whether that moment was brief or whether it lingered on, nevertheless in that instant each person will have seen a glimpse of the wonderful thing this is Mathematics.
Application of Mathematics in our Daily life
The trouble for most students, past and present, is that the all-important “correct answer” has been their major (and sometimes only) objective when answering a mathematical question. It is not just the answer itself but the thinking processes acquired in problem solving and investigation that can be applied to unfamiliar situations in other fields. It is so important for students to see the relevance outside the workplace in everyday life to understand and interpret certain events and news reports so as not to be deceived or swayed by others’ opinions.
Developing Mathematical Minds
In the Mathematics Department at the Kelso High Campus, our aim is to encourage our students to explore, search and question. We seek to develop each student’s ability to communicate mathematically. To communicate does not refer to common association to basic numbers but to order, orientation, exactness, repetition and manipulation of objects, all lead to communicate mathematically. We want them to be able to explain why their solution is true and justify the steps they took to arrive at their answers. Mathematics in their own words is just some of the methods which can be used to open up a student’s mathematical awareness.
Using Technology to Teach Mathematics
The use of technology cannot replace conceptual understanding, computational fluency, or problem-solving skills. In a balanced mathematics program, the strategic use of technology enhances mathematics teaching and learning. Technological tools, such as computer algebra systems, interactive geometry software, applets, spreadsheets, and interactive presentation devices, are vital components of a high-quality mathematics education. In a well-articulated mathematics program, students learn to us these tools for computation, construction, and representation as they explore problems. The use of technology contributes to mathematical reflection, problem identification, and decision making.
Quick Smart Numeracy
This is an additional support provided to the students by the Mathematics staff of the school. Students entering Year 7 display a range of numeracy skills as established by NAPLAN and information supplied by feeder primary schools. The QuickSmart program focuses on improving students’ understanding and recall of basic number facts, performance of elementary calculations, and problem solving skills. Pairs of students from Year 7 participated in 30 minute lessons, three times a week, for 30 weeks. A regular computer-based assessment is used to provide immediate feedback to students and to track performance over the 30 week program.