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Abstract of the Working Seminar (10-12 years old)

How to Create Tasks in Mathematics Based on the Thematic Approach?
Ineta Helmane,

Dr.paed., associate professor
University of Latvia, Faculty of Education, Psychology and Arts

Participants of the workshop will get acquainted with and will analyze materials about the nature of the thematic approach as well as aspects of the thematic choice in the acquisition of mathematics content using the thematic approach in primary school. Teaching mathematics thematically emphasises the application of mathematics around a central theme whereas teaching in topics predominantly focuses on the mathematical content. Mathematics content in the framework of the thematic approach is associated with the development of skills in practical activities, the so called ‘hands on’, the correlation of the acquired knowledge based on the theme or a concept; also, skills that can be applied in lifetime actions as well as the development of a sound personal attitude, values and goals. The topicality should be linked with happenings in one’s personal life as well as the latest developments in the community life, socio-economic processes or a scientific context. Applying the thematic approach in mathematics content, we must use such thematic aspects which pupils could encounter in real life associating them with happenings in the private or community life, socio-economic processes or with a scientific context, for example: pupils’ personal experience and situations, socio-economic processes, calendar time, scientific and technological processes, topics related to the content of other school subjects.
The thematic approach has to be implemented in levels: the 1st or object level, the 2nd or information and event level, the 3rd or topic level, the 4th or thematic level. The levels of the implementation of the thematic approach are closely connected with the content of the chosen thematic aspect. It is characteristic that the level of implementation of the thematic approach is lower if pupils master new skills and knowledge in mathematics. The mathematics content, which has to be acquired, dominates in the process of obtaining new skills. However, in the process of developing and strengthening the mastered mathematics content, the level of implementation of the thematic approach is higher.
Participants will have the opportunity to create tasks and activities for acquiring mathematics applying the thematic approach.

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