Hands up, who is having a difficult time with primary school mathematics?
Almost all of you have heard of Marshall Cavendish Education , and if you have not heard of them, just take a look in your primary school child’s bag and you’re bound to see one or two of their publications. Apart from developing text books, Marshall Cavendish Education also conduct workshops for both parents and children. Recently they have been conducting many PSLE related workshops. I was approached by Marshall Cavendish Education to attend one of their Maths workshops called Stretching Your Child’s Mathematical Abilities (a little bit of a mouthful), which was conducted by Miss Peggy Foo. I’d previously attended a workshop by Peggy when my eldest was in K2 (I think?) and she covered how to prepare children for primary school mathematics. I found her to be a very engaging facilitator and enjoyed her previous class so I readily signed up for this one.
If you don’t already know, I am not a kiasu mum, nor am I a tiger mum. I am just a mum who would like their children to do the best that they can while leading normal lives, and I touched on this on my reflections of the P2 exams. I am also not a mum who is completely hands off, and I do like to know what is going on in the schools. I’m also terrible at maths, and think my kids have a far better potential to outdo me in maths, so I thought that it would be a good workshop to attend.
The workshop covered:
- What is the definition of “advanced learners”
- Strategies to extend learning for advanced learners
- Deepening learning and understanding for advanced learners
- How to strengthen mathematical reasoning and communication.
Firstly we started with the overall Ministry of Education maths framework. I think that it is important to have a view of the bigger picture, otherwise for us parents who have not had any “training”, we might just glance over the maths problems that they are tasked to do, and think that they are too complicated or unnecessary. In fact when I read this ST editorial, although the author does raise some good points, I think he might have benefited from understanding more about the maths curriculum.
Then we went on to the 21st century competencies. One of my previous posts was about the P1 Prep Camp at The Little Executive, which echos very similar things that Miss Peggy shared. One of the interesting items was the Characteristics of Advanced Learners, and I found a similar one online:You can download it here and here.
We also had a lot of hands on problems sums (boy did that stretch MY mathematical abilities!!) as well as some suggestions for making things fun and different, and some tips on how to make the most out of the My Pals Are Here maths textbooks.
I was actually surprised that this class was small, because Peggy is a great speaker so I was expecting a larger audience. However, it was a nice cosy group. I was also surprised that around 2/3rds of the 10-12 attendants had already attended another one of Peggy’s workshops and were keen on signing up for more MCE workshops! I think that itself shows how good some of the workshops are.
So even though my child is not a mathematical genius, I found the workshop very valuable and would encourage all parents to attend such workshops to deepen YOUR understanding of your child’s education. 😀
Marshall Cavendish will be organising more workshops coming up soon and I wish I could attend them all! For more information, do check these links and sign up from the 2 links below to enjoy 20% discounted rate (you will need to use the link to enjoy the discount).
There is another Stretching Your Child’s Mathematical Abilities workshop on 24 June 2017 and 25 November 2017, so do sign up soon!
Parent Workshops: http://bit.ly/2kqahrDStudent Workshops: http://bit.ly/2juRefW
Apart from textbooks and workshops, Marshall Cavendish also have several interesting apps that help kids in school. Their latest app is Brainy Arkies which is based on the MOE maths syllabus and helps to deepen their conceptual understandingof maths principles. So far the kids have loved it! I would love it even more if I could prepare separate profiles since I have one child in P1 and one child in P3!
Another app that isn’t maths related that the kids love to play is called Chiro Heroes, that is developed by Delta Duck Studios together with Marshall Cavendish. Kids need to write out the Chinese words in its correct order to fulfill missions. The words are all taken from the Primary 1 Chinese textbooks (yes, MOE ones) so it’s great reinforcement for them. I really suck at this game, I don’t know why I can’t seem to complete any levels! But as long as the kids can and enjoy it, that’s what matters the most 🙂
The kids love Brainy Arkies and Chiro Heroes so much that I use it as a bribe to get them to do homework or a task, or anything. And the amazing thing is that they are actually revising school work! Shh, don’t let them on 😉