By: Jena Marie Ann V. Gamez, PhD, Master Teacher II
Calangay Integrated High School
Santa Maria Sub-Office
After more than two years of remote learning due to COVID-19 pandemic, our learners were again back in school as per DepEd Order No. 34, Series of 2022, which states that all public and private schools in the country shall transition to five-day face-to-face classes, November 2, 2022.
With no teacher to guide them during remote learning, most students were not able to grasp the knowledge, ideas and skills taught to them by themselves or even by their parent/ guardian. Subjects related to numeracy and literacy was somehow left behind as there was no one to teach them the basics, along with low motivation, learners somehow were lost.
As a Mathematics teacher, our learners being back inside the classroom gives us the opportunity to create new math experiences to become a positive force of learning inside the classroom. To be able to teach this subject with genuine enthusiasm impacts on student engagement supports authentic learning that could bridge the learning gaps in numeracy.
Having General Mathematics as Grade 11 students’ subject which deals with learners’ understanding of concepts and techniques drawn from number and algebra, trigonometry and world geometry, sequences, finance, networks and decision mathematics and statistics, in order to solve applied problems, students really do need to take in a lot. Gen Math includes types of functions such as piecewise, rational, exponential, and logarithmic functions. Related topics such as solving equations and inequalities, as well as identifying the domain, range, intercepts, and asymptotes are also included. As educators, we need to think of ways on how we can bridge these learning gaps caused by school closures during pandemic. A cycle of attitudes and achievement will be able to feed a positive spark to students’ attitude in learning.
Kele & Sharma, 2014, defined learning Mathematics to not only involve thinking and reasoning. It is dependent on the attitudes consist of cognitive, affective, and behavioral reactions that individuals display towards an object, or the surrounding based on their feelings or interest. Many studies have identified that teaching Mathematics in real life contexts enhance students ‘enjoyment of Mathematics lessons.
While a number of studies shows that knowledge of basic Math is essential for students to acquire Mathematics skills better, using this knowledge regularly is one of the best ways to develop numeracy. From applying it in authentic situations like counting their allowance, or even just mere computing of their expenses, these activities would develop more of their interest and learn why it is important to become good at Math.
Still, a number of reasons can be enumerated why our learners are having problems with Math aside from the more than two-year hiatus in education. What we need to do as educators is to further improve on these areas to properly contribute to the greater learning abilities and educational outcomes.
Nevertheless, we also need to aim to create a positive class aura for our students to learn the topics we are teaching. Specially with subjects that most of our students find it difficult to deal with – like algebraic expressions– we need to instill in them the positive attituded and growth mindset that learning these subjects and its topic as early as they can is important for it to contribute to their success in the future. Let us create a learning environment where they can become literate and numerate at the same time.