Today’s activities (pictures above) discussed variations of getting a solution or solving a problem which was insightful and mentally stimulating. Having a number sense – flexibility to compute numbers helps children to decipher better when they think of possible answers to questions. Knowledge of number bonds, whether or not, with manipulation of concrete materials, is a required arithmetic concept for children to grasp for further extension of mathematical skills.
Tasks with specific constrains/requirements (e.g. only using certain digits, no repetitions of numerals, etc.) challenges students to think and develops their metacognition. Consequently, the appropriate use of math language/terms, is crucial for teachers to ensure understanding instead of causing confusion.
On a separate note, I do strongly believe in incidental learning – telling time, graph, patterning, etc. Such mathematics topics ought to be introduced on a daily basis as children go about doing other activities and it need not be enforced in a structured manner within the confines of a curriculum.
“How you teach is more important than what you teach.” ~Anonymous