Modules for MATH - a reasonable approach to learning the foundations of math
Modules for Math targets basic math skills and includes training programs that are expected to improve them. The conceptual framework of this manual is not of course the only one that may be valid. Drills and exercises in addition & subtraction are usual parts of beginning curriculum within the first two years of school. Multiplication tables and rules of division may be taught a bit later. However, the emphasis is on learning facts.
Modules for Math — created by J.P. Das — have a different approach. Their aim is not to provide drills and rote-learning. The aim is to build on the mathematical knowledge that is already seen even in babies . ‘Facts’ come later, building on that knowledge. An example is size - an infant looks longer at a big pile of objects such as toys or coloured blocks than at small pile. When the baby can crawl, goes towards the bigger pile of toys. The baby can estimate the approximate size. Accurate value of the number of objects ,and later, of numbers is instructed.
Similarly, other foundational skills are ‘number-line’, counting ,and working memory. Early in life, babies have a certain sense of these concepts (see Dehaene’s Number Sense ).
More on Modules for Math
Consider Modules for Math as a reasonable approach to learning the foundations of math. It is integrated with a rational base for remedial programs.
There are Two components of Math Proficiency: (1)computing and (2)word problems.
In doing math, children are asked to learn calculations – to add ,subtract, multiply and divide.
First, children beginning to learn math must understand problems, and then learn calculations or computing. The cognitive abilities required for each kind are somewhat different, although the two sets of abilities shown in the figure below are separate, but they depend on each other to some extent.
The MATH Manual further describes these abilities.
Math Proficiency or Ability is essentially a specific group of skills.
There are mainly five Math Skills in this Manual that are learned in beginning math.
- Size and Value
- Verbal & Nonverbal Simultaneous processing
- Working Memory
Each Module includes:
- Introduction and background discussion specific to the central focus of the module.
- Several tasks for training the cognitive operations required for the module.
The objective of the activities is to reveal and build the cognitive foundation for these specific skills and computations. In other words, to make the procedures and concepts understood rather than learned by heart.