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Using curiosities and math games in the classroom


Claudia Lisete Oliveira Groenwald
Ursula Tatiana Timm

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This article was the result of research conducted at the Lutheran University of Brazil in the Mathematics Degree course. Emphasizes the importance of games and challenges as a teaching methodology in mathematics classes that need, in order to play them, the use of mathematical knowledge. Emphasizes that when properly prepared, they are an effective pedagogical resource for the construction of mathematical knowledge.

Curiosities and mathematical games as a didactic resource

Teaching math is developing logical thinking, stimulating independent thinking, creativity, and problem-solving skills. We, as mathematical educators, should look for alternatives to increase motivation for learning, develop self-confidence, organization, concentration, attention, logical-deductive reasoning and cooperative sense, developing socialization and enhancing one's interactions with others.

Games, if properly designed, are an effective pedagogical resource for building mathematical knowledge. We refer to those that imply mathematical knowledge.

Vygotsky stated that through play the child learns to act in a cognitive sphere, being free to determine his own actions. According to him, the toy stimulates curiosity and self-confidence, providing development of language, thinking, concentration and attention.

The use of games and curiosities in the teaching of mathematics aims to make teenagers enjoy learning this subject, changing the routine of the class and arousing the interest of the student involved. Learning through games such as dominoes, crossword puzzles, memory and more allows the student to make learning an interesting and even fun process. For this, they should be used occasionally to remedy the gaps that occur in daily school activity. In this sense we find that there are three aspects that justify the incorporation of the game in the classes. These are: the playfulness, the development of intellectual techniques and the formation of social relations.

Playing is neither studying nor working, because by playing, the student learns, above all, to know and understand the social world that surrounds her.

Games are educational, and therefore require an action plan that allows learning of mathematical and cultural concepts in general. Since classroom games are important, we should occupy a schedule within our planning to allow the teacher to explore the full potential of games, solving processes, records, and discussions of possible paths that may arise.

The games can be used to introduce, mature content and prepare the student to deepen the items already worked. They must be carefully chosen and prepared to lead the student to acquire important mathematical concepts.

We should use them not as recreational tools in learning, but as facilitators, helping to work out the blocks that students present in relation to some mathematical content.

"Another reason for introducing games in math classes is the possibility of easing the blockages presented by many of our students who fear math and are unable to learn it. Within the game situation where a passive attitude is impossible and the motivation is great, we note that while these students speak mathematics, they also perform better and have more positive attitudes towards their learning processes. "

(Borin, 1996,9)

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According to Malba Tahan, 1968, "in order for games to produce the desired effects, they must be directed in some way by educators." Assuming that children think differently from adults and that our goal is not to teach them to play, we should follow the way children play, being keen observers, interfering to ask interesting questions (without disturbing group dynamics). ) to help them build rules and think so that they understand.

Moura, 1991, states that "the game approaches mathematics via the development of problem solving skills."

We must choose games that encourage problem solving, especially when the content to be studied is abstract, difficult, and detached from daily practice, while keeping in mind the conditions of each community and the wishes of each student. These activities should not be too easy or too difficult and should be tested prior to their application in order to enrich the experiences by proposing new activities, providing more than one situation.