IGNITING THE LOVE OF MATHS
Nathalene Williams is a Maths and Reading Coach at Kruisfontein Primary School and is enjoying the challenge of helping young Primary School learners develop positive attitudes towards Mathematics, which she believes is the best way to motivate children in this subject.
“As a maths coach, I try to motivate the learners by using games, which allows them to operate on different levels of thinking, whilst learning from each other and reducing the fear of failure and error,” explains Nathalene.
As a maths coach, Nathalene works with small groups of children across Grades 1 to 3, in close partnership with the teachers, to ensure that lesson plans are co-ordinated and each child’s progress is supported. She has a mentor in addition to the teacher support and supplementary resources.
As a qualified ECD practitioner, who is currently studying towards obtaining her Grade R Teaching Diploma, this school is blessed to have her on their team. She believes that maths is an imperative part of development as it teaches children to use number concepts and skills to explore as well as developing confidence in their ability to think things through.
“I love working with children and especially enjoy seeing how they develop holistically in the areas of literacy and numeracy, which plays such an important part of a learner’s life,” she added.
Nathalene has been working at the school since 2016 as a Reading Coach and also began to teach Maths this year, as part of the Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm’s Foundation Phase Programme. She is one of the [x number] of maths and reading coaches, which aims to help improve numeracy understanding at foundation phase and to create a critical awareness of how mathematics relationships are used in social, environmental, cultural and economic relations across schools in Hankey, Patensie, Sea Vista and Jeffreys Bay.
She says that she finds the biggest challenges faced by the children in this subject includes abstract concepts of time; ordering numbers; remembering concepts and rules; mathematical word problems and the inability to visualize numbers, amongst other areas.
“The importance of acquiring maths and literacy skills during the early years is well known, if a strong foundation is to be built and children are to be successful in learning mathematics at higher grades,” explained Hlengiwe Radebe, Economic Development Director for Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm.