Friday, 4 August 2017

Mathematical Theory - Teaching ESOL students

When learning a new number in class, I do not give them the number by itself, I use that number in a problem. I believe that I do not have to spend 15 minutes on learning about number 5, for example, just because my children do not know number 5. 

This is what I did. I used 5 in a problem such as : Kolo has 5 soft toys and Marii has 2 soft toys. How many soft toys altogether that they have?

Children are learning number 5 better when it is used in a context. It was hard at the beginning but I have realised that children enjoyed exploring using familiar contexts; and they learned to know and identify numbers faster in this way rather than learning the number in isolation.


  1. Hi Viena

    I liked your reasoning for your inquiry. It is absolutely true that our ESOL students better understand when they actually experience the problems and later come up with solutions.
    It is an interesting and enjoyable way to learn mathematics and also teaches general problem solving skills.

  2. Hi Sandhya

    Thank you for your comment. I will post up some of my students' work around this topic once they are ready. It was hard for me to believe this theory but now my students can relate numbers easily to problems. They are learning to create their own problem about any numbers they see.