Teaching Mathematics Through Educational Projects

Arshak Martirosyan

The 2018-2019 school-year can be considered a new phase in my life. I became a teacher of Mathematics at the Educomplex. When I was invited to the interview I didn`t think I would work as a teacher having in mind at a traditional general school where lessons are conducted with old traditional methods without applying the picked up knowledge in real life, without experimenting. The knowledge acquired in this way is very uncertain, and there comes a time when everything is forgotten. But when they introduced the peculiarities of the author educational program to me:project and blog based teaching-learning process, the child developing educational environment, frequently organized educational trips to the historical cultural monuments of Armenia, i expressed my wish to work as a teacher without hesitating. It is such an activity that helps the learners to consolidate the acquired knowledge.

I passed the trial period and began working. In parallel with the teaching material included in the mathematics syllabus we began realizing projects of applying the acquired knowledge in real life. I'd like to mention that the learners do such projects with inspiration and interest. In the course of such project work the learners realise that mathematics exists in every sphere of life. It is everywhere.                

Here is the structure of my mathematical projects: 

  • the aim of the project
  • learner's wish to do the project
  • project discussion with the learners
  • introduction of the theoretical part of the theme
  • appropriate site selection
  • practical application of knowledge 
  • discussion of results
  • conclusion
  • publishing the results on the learners' and teacher's blogs.   

Aim 

The aim of Mathematics project is to develop learners skills of applying knowledge in everyday life. 

Developing skills of finding ways of the solution to the given problem

It is easier to gain experience and knowledge by practicing team work. Each learner is given a chance to feel capable and useful. 

Introduction of the theoretical part of the theme

Theory is also important. Before realizing some activities the learners should be informed of the mathematical phenomenon they are going to use in their project.

Discussing the project with the learners

WE find out what we will need while carrying out the project:

  • required knowledge on the theme
  • necessary accessories

 In case we have problems we make corrections and go ahead. Then we do the following preparatory work: 

  • dividing the class into working groups
  • dividing the problem into subproblems (If the project is large we divide it into several parts)

Selection of an appropriate site for project

Depending on weather conditions and the nature of the project, the environment can change.

  • School yard (the project of speed, time and distance)
  • classroom (the project of school layout)
  • kitchen (fractions)
  • field trip 

Practical application of mathematical 

The main and important part of the project is included here and necessary activities are done.

Discussion of results

  • collection of data by each group 
  • discussion
  • double calculations in case of disagreements
  • uniting the results

Conclusion

We try to find out what the completed project has given to us. What have we learned? Which was the challenge while carrying out the project and how did we overcome all the difficulties?

Blog entries about the project

The aim of such blog entries is:

  • the learner learns to narrate his/her thoughts and finds out what he has gained by doing the project
  • the project result is made accessible and open to other learners. 

Here are examples of our projects which are already completed

In Grade 4 we did the project on speed, distance and time. We also did the project layout. While doing this project the learners used measuring instruments, and developed their skills in measuring the length and width of a room, then they designed the layout of the school yard and their classroom. They did these activities with great interest and inspiration. It was no longer the school subject "dry mathematics". I also consider the project of calculating school monthly  expenditures. We also calculated the utility charges of the Southern School for March.          

Such a school is an infinite platform of great opportunities where teachers can do everything which is necessary for children's comprehensive development. 
 

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