Mastering the different systems of measurement and their practical application through the use of weights, lengths or volumes is tremendously useful to teachers working with pupils to develop mathematical competence.
Fundamentally, when students are presented with exercises and challenges that make use of these variables, it makes it easier for them to gain experience in problem solving and also motivates them to work these strategies into personal situations based on their learning experience which leads to better computational thinking too.
ProFuturo Maths Resource for Teachers
Ordering Numbers, Comparing Numbers and Performing Operations
ProFuturo has developed a specific resource, “Ordering numbers, comparing numbers and performing operations”, as a guide for educators to help them further explore, with their students, the uses and possibilities presented by numbers.
The unit represents an entertaining and motivating journey. And along the way, students will discover measurements of capacity and learn how and when to use them, in order to respond to simple challenges that involve addition or subtraction, as well as to easily compare and order numbers.
A Mathematical Thinking Approach in Order to Understand Computational Thinking
The resource is based on the mathematics curriculum for children between the ages of 6 and 8. However, its educational value is even greater, because it establishes a tremendously productive synergy between mathematical thinking and computational thinking.
The interrelation between these two thought processes is complex, but each one provides tools and solutions that enable the children to learn how to:
- Solve problems
- Reason and test
- Establish connections between concepts and realities
- Communicate and represent
In other words, children working on this unit will not only benefit mathematically, but will develop other life skills that help enhance computational thinking too.
Understanding the Relationship Between Computational Thinking and Mathematical Thinking
Let’s delve a bit into the similarities between computational thinking (CT) and mathematical thinking (MT):
- Both methodologies aim to solve problems: their objective is to recognise structural patterns in the way in which problems are posed.
- Both involve decomposition processes, such as dividing problems into simpler stages or steps. And, equally, they permit the extraction of general principles and the creation of new algorithms, as well as model thinking, in order to translate everyday objects and realities into mathematical equations (MT) and computational concepts (CT).
- When presented with challenges or problems, people engaged in these two types of thinking will tend to also employ heuristic strategies, metacognition, the application of the trial and error method, the interpretation of ambiguous situations and the development of flexible and adaptive strategies.
- Computational thinking and mathematical thinking can be learned and developed at any age. And, of course, they can also be exercised both by an individual student and by groups of students working together in class.
It is also important to note that, beyond what these two types of thinking have in common, they differ in a number of aspects, and being familiar with these differences leads to greater productivity.
MT is noteworthy for focusing on solving mathematical problems using purely mathematical elements; on the other hand, CT also proves useful for work in other fields, such as the sciences or the arts.
Learn How to Better Order and Compare Numbers Today in Order to Learn Computational Thinking Tomorrow
As you explore computational thinking, you discover ways to capitalise on it within the mathematics curricula. If students already know something about one of the two methodologies, this will make it easier for them to learn about the other. Mainly, because they will more easily recognise and break down patterns or extract algorithms and model them, in addition to solving computational problems by applying mathematical techniques, or vice versa.
The ‘Ordering numbers, comparing numbers and performing operations’ resource represents a step forward in the early stages of mathematics learning by children. Before taking this step, children should have some basic knowledge of how the numbering system works, as well as some experience in solving problems of an additive nature through the use of personal strategies. All this, so that they can handle mathematical concepts that are not very complex.
ProFuturo understand that the approach of this mathematical syllabus will provide younger students with very useful skills that allow them, later on, to tackle more demanding challenges involving computational thinking.
And so, as we have just seen, the synergy between these two methodologies will allow students to more easily achieve the objectives that have been set, and, at the same time, they will acquire the skills they need to learn on their own. Which is why we recommend the inclusion of our unit within the study programs corresponding to their age, as well as within a broader curricular framework that also takes into account the learning of computational thinking itself.