Sunday, December 01, 2013

Neuromath Junior - learning and understanding Number Sequence

A typical number chart.

Simple numbers as it may seemed to you but do you know to acquire the skill to understand and interpret these symbols require a child to understand concepts and put meanings in these symbols?

Let me explain in this way.

Numbers sequence is something that will require the skill to understand concepts and interpreting these symbols. Lastly applying this symbols to represent concrete objects. This is also the topic that I will talk more about in this particular post. This is also the topic I had struggled teaching Isa on. A topic in disguise definitely. Before attending SIPO, Isa was threading on thin ice while handling this topic. His understanding was inconsistent, so were his answers. He often like to guess answers (read: imagine me had those hair pulling days).

In this post, you will clearly see how important concepts are as this is a milestone that Isa had achieved (rather, a milestone in which both of us achieve) and in fact he had a breakthrough in his understanding in this particular topic while undergoing lessons under the Step Into Primary One (SIPO) programme. Me, on the other hand can rest assured that my crowning glory will reinstate its glory days.

And of course, you can also see how Neuromath Junior (NJR) has intelligently weaved a series of activities that uses the Concrete-Pictorial-Abstract concept to prove that numbers are not just symbolic representation.

The Concrete Stage

In the first lesson, we were intrigued by the pictures that Teacher Nana had placed on the whiteboard.
It was already fun to hear when she said "the animals were going for a party". No pressure or expectations was said as they proceeded with the game. All Isa had to do was to focus on the names and order of the animals and we were quickly introduced to the "guests" who went for the "party". 

Tortoise reached first, followed by Elephant then Giraffe. Ah, ok I'm being redundant here. I know you can see the order. I love this part when incidental learning of ordinal numbers was also introduced!

See how easy the concept of "before and after" were introduced. So obviously Tortoise came "before" Elephant and Giraffe came "after" Elephant.

The technical objective of the above activity is not just for children to actually arrange numbers 1 to 100 in order and also understanding the terms  of “more than” and “less than”.

She soon linked this same concept to the number chart.
And she asked Isa to "see that grid X is where Elephant stands.
She thus easily created a relationship between the positions of the animals to the numbers on the number chart.

Ah ha! Isa got it immediately!
And I (uhm) took (God knows how long) to teach Isa this and yet he just didn't get it.

Did someone say Math is difficult? Ok I did. And obviously it is not.

Teacher Nana then moved her finger to another grid on the number chart at random and asked what is the number before and what is the number after.
My dear Isa answers swiftly and confidently.

As a reinforcement, unifix cubes was introduced as another concrete way of applying the meaning of "before" and "after".

The pictorial stage

Here Teacher Nana introduced a way to help Isa understand the concept on Number Sequence.

Remembering Isa looked lost back then?

This was what he was doing.

So after applying what he understood about the concepts that was taught,
he attempted this activity with confidence.

This also shows that he understood and is able to identify patterns in number grid. When children can identify patterns, this skill actually encourage them to develop flexible thinking even when they are given complex number pattern.

He soon attempted to complete the number sequence chart exercise with ease.

From this..
(see how Isa applies his understanding of 
the "before" and "after" concept here)

The abstract stage

To this.

This short activity totally impressed and convinced me.
How the activities encourage children to develop flexible thinking skills when given complex number patterns.

All in a mere period of 2 lessons, Isa was taught the concept about number sequence, and clearly he had understood. Not only he remembers the concept clearly, he also attempted this activity sheet independently, accurately and was unfazed by this abstract exercise. 

What an interesting way to intrigue little learners like Isa. To me, to keep Isa consistently engage is very important but the way to introduce and understand concept is also very crucial. A correct way will not only motivate him, it can also push his learning to a higher level!

Now I know I can really sit back and relax with my cuppa. And if you want to be on the same side of the shore with me, do come back again to see my sharing on how Neuromath Junior's SIPO had helped to close up the (immeasurable) gap of preschool math and Primary 1 math.

This is part two of a three-part series in this review of Neuromath Junior's SIPO Programme. Read more of Neuromath here in my first post. The third post will be a highlight topic of the SIPO programme in which I can share my personal experience on a highlight of SIPO.

Neuromath Junior @ Parkway Parade
80 Marine Parade Road #17-02 Parkway Parade S(449269)

Tel: 6440 0809 Email:
Facebook at

Isa and I are invited to participate and review Neuromath Junior's SIPO Programme. These opinions I have given are mine and may differ from others but were not influenced by the company or the complimentary classes given.

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