I’m working with a group of Year 7 mathematics teachers doing Lesson Study for the first time. The teachers chose to do a lesson study for what they believe to be the most difficult topic in this year level – integers. Part of my preparation as facilitator is to draw a map of what I know about teaching the topic. This map is more than a concept map because it includes not just related big ideas or concepts but also how these are taught and learned. Hence, I call this pedagogical content knowledge map (PCK map). It is a product of my own readings and my own experiences of teaching the topic. This means that it may not be the same as other teachers especially the ‘teaching part’ of the map, the ones in orange colors. For example, experience and research results back my claim that the number line is a very good way of representing the set of integers but not in teaching operations. Click here for my post about this. Notice that I gave emphasis on students knowing when a negative, a positive or a zero result rather than the rules for operation. I believe that without this, a conceptual understanding of the operation involving integers will be weak. Also, experience has taught me that although integers are numbers, the teaching of it must be algebraic. The instructions should be so designed so that students are learning algebraic thinking as well. I have noted this in the PCK map.
The map is not yet complete. I intend to include descriptions of effective activities and students’ learning trajectory of the concept after my research with the teachers. Please feel free to give your comments and share experiences for teaching integers that I could look into in my study.
Please click the link to see my PCK map for Algebraic Expressions.