Workshops - Secondary

Theme: Mathematical and Computational Thinking

S1: Developing Computational Thinking with Flowgorithm!

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Professor Choy Ban Heng

Mathematics and Mathematics Education AG
National Institute of Education
Nanyang Technological University
Singapore


Biography. Dr Choy Ban Heng, is an Assistant Professor with the Mathematics and Mathematics Education Academic Group at the National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University. His research interests lie in the area of developing expertise in mathematics teaching. In particular, he is an expert on mathematics teacher noticing—a central construct of teaching expertise mathematics teaching—and works with teachers in different professional learning settings, such as lesson study, to develop their knowledge and competencies for ambitious mathematics teaching.


Abstract. Computational thinking seems like a new buzz word in the context of Industry 4.0. Although coding is not required in the 2020 syllabus, mathematics teachers are encouraged to seek opportunities within their mathematics lessons to introduce elements of computational thinking. But what exactly is computational thinking? How can we, as mathematics teachers (who might not know much about programming), introduce elements of computational thinking to our students? In this hands-on workshop, we shall explore different notions of computational thinking through examples, and experiment how elements of computational thinking can be introduced through the use of Flowgorithm. Participants are strongly encouraged to bring along their Windows-based laptops with Flowgorithm installed.


Target audience. Secondary Mathematics Teachers


Specific requirements for workshop. Participants are strongly encouraged to bring a Windows based laptop to the workshop installed with Flowgorithm.

S2: Using graphic organizers to improve Mathematical and Computational Thinking

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Mdm Low Leng & Wong Lai Fong

Academy of Singapore Teachers
School of Science & Technology
Singapore


Biography.
Low Leng is a Master Teacher at the Academy of Singapore Teachers. She works with, and mentors teachers and teacher leaders in professional learning that focuses on pedagogical approaches to teaching and learning. She is involved with Networked Learning Communities in areas such as differentiated instruction, metacognition, mathematical tasks, misconceptions and the use of comics for low progress learners. She helps the teachers to draw relevance to what they are teaching, to be passionate in the content that they teach and to foster good teaching practices to develop the students’ conceptual understanding of mathematics.

Wong Lai Fong has been a mathematics teacher almost 30 years and is known for her efforts in engaging students in the learning of Mathematics. She is active in the professional learning of mathematics teachers and constantly seeks opportunities to learn and exchange ideas that help students learn Mathematics better. She is currently teaching in the School of Science and Technology, Singapore.


Abstract. A graphic organizer is an instructional tool students can use to organize and structure information and concepts, and to promote thinking about relationships between concepts and making connections. Furthermore, the spatial arrangement of a graphic organizer allows the student, and the teacher, to identify missing information or gaps in one’s thinking (Ellis, 2004). Graphic organizers help students organize and then clarify their thoughts, infer solutions to problems, and communicate their thinking strategies. Thus, in addition to structuring information, graphic organizers can improve students' abilities to comprehend and process information, thus aiding in their mathematical and computational thinking. Over time, graphic organizers help learners become strategic problem solvers.

In this workshop, we will share how teachers have used graphic organizers (such as concept maps, flow charts, checklists) in the mathematics classrooms to develop students’ mathematical mindset, and how these tools help students to be metacognitive and self-directed in their learning. Participants will experience a hands-on activity to use graphic organizers to design tasks that promote mathematical and computational thinking.


Target audience. Secondary Mathematics Teachers

S3: Designing and Facilitating Inquiry-Based Learning Experiences for Mathematical and Computational Thinking

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Dr Tan Liang Soon

Principal Master Teacher
Academy of Singapore Teachers, Ministry of Education
Singapore


Biography. Dr Tan Liang Soon is a Principal Master Teacher in Mathematics at the Academy of Singapore Teachers, leading, mentoring and inspiring teachers to be caring, competent and passionate educators who live out the ethos of the profession and provide quality education experience for students. He is interested in mathematical modelling, cognitive psychology, and professional learning of teachers, and regularly engages in professional development and computational thinking programmes, and research projects involving mathematical applications and modelling. He is part of the management committee for Singapore Mathematical Society and Singapore representative for the International Mathematical Modeling Challenge.


Abstract. To be adaptive and productive problem solvers for the future workplace would require our students to have the critical and inventive thinking skills, as well as communication, collaboration, and information skills to establish and sustain competent team performance in complex problem situations. Fostering mathematical and computational thinking through Inquiry-Based Learning experience can contribute to the development of these 21CC and deepen the learning of mathematics.

In this workshop, participants will be engaged in some Inquiry-Based learning experiences that span across the secondary school levels. The design and pedagogical considerations for these learning experiences will be elicited to learn how students can be productively engaged in the mathematical and computational thinking process. Implications on teachers’ practice in the mathematics classroom will also be discussed.


Target audience. Secondary Mathematics Teachers


Specific requirements for workshop. Participants are strongly encouraged to bring a Windows based laptop to the workshop installed with Flowgorithm and Microsoft Excel.

S4/JC2: Yabasic Programming for Mathematics Teachers

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Dr Paul Shutler

Mathematics and Mathematics Education AG
National Institute of Education
Nanyang Technological University
Singapore


Biography. Dr Paul Shutler holds a BA in Mathematics from the University of Cambridge, and a DPhil in Mathematics from the University of Oxford. Upon graduation he joined the National Institute of Education, Singapore. His research interests include discrete and combinatorial systems, especially those arising in the fields Operations Research, Statistical Physics, and Computational Imaging. He is also interested in the History of Mathematics, especially its implications for Mathematics Education. He teaches courses in Operations Research, Computational Mathematics, the History of Mathematics, and courses in fundamental concepts of mathematics for Primary School teachers. Every year he teaches Yabasic programming to large groups of non-math major undergraduates.


Abstract. Yabasic is a thoroughly updated and modernised version of the traditional BASIC programming language, which runs on all versions of Windows, and on Mac and UNIX based systems. Yabasic is excellent for beginners, since it inherits all of the learner-friendly features that were built into the original BASIC while eliminating most of its weaknesses. By allowing novices to acquire computational thinking skills in a benign environment, Yabasic dramatically lowers the barriers to learning other modern programming languages such as Python, C++, and Java, which are optimized for professional use and not for beginners.

The aim of this workshop is to investigate how the Yabasic programming language can be used in the mathematics classroom, both for teaching computational thinking skills, and for learning mathematics. Examples will be drawn from number theory, graph plotting, solutions of equations, Monte Carlo integration and even fractals. Technical issues, such as ease of installation, and comparison with other more popular programming languages such as Python, will also be covered during the workshop.


Target audience. Secondary & Junior College Mathematics Teachers


Specific requirements for workshop. Participants are strongly encouraged to bring a Windows based laptop to the workshop so that they can install and run Yabasic on their own device during the workshop. Mac users are also welcome to attend, and full instructions on how to install Yabasic on a Mac are available at <<< https://math.nie.edu.sg/shutler/crashcourse.zip >>> The process is not difficult, but the additional time required compared to installation on a Windows based system means that this should be done before the start of the workshop.


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