Let’s Play Math (Colourful Necklace for Learning Number Pattern/ A Paper Based Applet)

This paper-based applet adopts the Java version entitled ‘Beads on Chain’. To access this, you may visit: http://www.fisme.science.uu.nl/toepassingen/00747/

Number pattern, or commonly known as ‘bilangan loncat’ by the lower grade students in Indonesian primary school, is first taught in the third grade.

The ‘beads on chain’ applet is actually a very good manipulative to stimulate students’ understanding on this concept. However, internet connection which does not support most Indonesian elementary schools has been an undeniable challenge. Therefore, preserving the paper-based version could be an alternative.

I have tried out the ‘Colourful Necklace’ to learn number pattern with a number of Grade III-D students of SD Pusri Palembang.

At first, I invited 2 students to play during the breaktime. Hearing that I would play with them, some other students came closer and got involved. Foto0355 It shows how this tool first impressed and be positively responded by the students.

To begin with, I told them the way to make a colourful necklace. Here, I emphasized that a similar pattern is important to make the necklace more beautiful. So, we first placed two yellow beads, then one brown, then yellow, and then blue again. Next, I tested them for the following sequence to ensure that they understood the problem. Finally, we got the first two sequences of alternating beads colour.

I, then, told them that I would love to use 32 beads for my necklace and I was worried about the colour of the last bead will be. The students were mostly confused and tried to gamble the answers. After a little repeating with emphasis to the questions, several students tried to think.

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Let’s Play Math (Using Applet)

Anxiety toward mathematics has been found commonly in our students. To deal with the problem, a joyful way of learning the math is necessary, that is, to condition the students not to afraid to get involved in mathematical activities. Applet, a java based application, seems to be able to fulfill the need of the students of interesting and fun math learning. Such kind of application could help students understand mathematical concepts and processes, increase thinking flexibility, provide tools for problem-solving, and can reduce math anxiety for some students.

Using this way, the students might not realize that they have learned a crucial concept of math. In addition to that, the tool could also be employed to assess students’ thinking, procedural understanding, and build their awareness of the existence of math all around them.

The application is java-based and could only be accessed on line only. However, the idea could then be represented (adapted) into a paper-based task or games if the internet connection does not really support.

Example of applets provided freely in the internet

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