Japan, December 2006

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On Decenber 1st, 2006, David flew to Tokyo at the invitation of Masami Isoda to give a talk in the APEC Conference on Innovative Teaching Mathematics Focusing on Mathematical Thinking.

Masami Isoda and David Tall.

ceremonial cleansing before entering the temple

On Saturday afternoon we all went to the Elementary School of Tsukuba University to see two lessons carried out in a special lecture theatre. The children were taught in Japanese with an excellent simultaneous English translation relayed to the audience.

The audience front row listen eagerly ....

... as the children from Grade 2 say “Konichiwa".

and take it in turn to say what they will do at Christmas.

Teacher Takao Seiyama explains the problem.

The children respond with suggestions.

Then they work on the task ...

as the audience moves in for a closer look ...

The children demonstrate their solutions ready for a class discussion led by the teacher.

Afterwards, a panel reflects on the lesson.

David Tall watches
the second lesson with a grade 5 class.

Yasuhiro Hozomizu leads the lesson which follows the same pattern as the first, with the children investigating, producing different ideas that are brought together by the teacher at the end.

On Sunday December 5th the Symposium on Innovative Mathematics Teaching began.

Some of the delegates.

A Keynote Speech. (The paper is here.)

Peter Gould and Kaye Stacey.

Having a laugh with Marsigit from Indonesia.

Masami Isoda and his three wise speakers Fou Lai-Lin, David Tall, Kaye Stacey.
Point your mouse at this picture to see what happens.

Representatives of APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) countries, local organisers and keynote speakers at the conference.
On Monday the participants flew from Tokyo to the northern island of Hokkaido to study more mathematics lessons in schools in the city of Sapporo.

Welcome to Hokuto Elementary School, Sapporo.

Meeting the children. (Click triangle to play.)

A Grade 6 lesson with teacher Alsutomo Morii solving a problem buying 10 items for 460 yen, made up of pens at 70 yen and pencils at 40 yen.

The children write their work on the board to make a table with each column showing pens, pencils and price.

In Sapporo we broke into four smaller groups to discuss our observations. One group consisted of Masami Isoda (Japan), Somkiat Kamolpun (Thailand), Chang Shou Lin (Taiwan), Su Chun Lin (Taiwan), Jovana Stojcic (Bosnia), David Tall (UK), Anchalee Tananone (Thailand), Shangzhi Wang (China), Patsy Wang-Iverson (Iverson), and the translator Makoto Yoshida (USA):

Shangzi, Somkiat, Anchalee (hidden), David, Jovana (hidden), Masami, Patsy, with Su Chun, Chang Shou, Makoto with backs to camera.

Makoto, Chang Shou, Su Chun, Shangzhi.

The conference banquet was at the Sapporo Bier Garten. Cheers!

David with Maitree Inprasitha (Khon Kaen University, Thailand) in the snow of Sapporo.

Table including Inchul Jung (Korea), Madihah Khalid (Brunei), Su Chun Lin (Taiwan).

Chun Chor Cheng (Hong Kong), Shangzi Wang (China).

Table including Anchalee Tananone (Thailand), Yeap Ban Har (Singapore).

Lim Chap Sam (Malaysia), Patsy Wang-Iverson (USA), Jelena Brkic, Jovana Stojcic (Bosnia), David Tall.

Lim Chap Sam (Malaysia), Patsy Wang-Iverson (USA), Masami Isoda (Japan), Jelena Brkic, Jovana Stojcic (Bosnia).

Shangzi Wang takes a photo as Marsigit cooks on a hot plate and Kaye Stacey attends to her own cooking.

Masami Isoda (Japan), Inchul Jung (Korea), Trin Vui (Vietnam), David Tall.

On Wednesday, a visit to Maruyama Elementary School to see a 3rd Grade lesson on multiplication of 23 by 3 taught by Hideyuki Muramoto, using various approaches suggested by the children, including breaking 23 into 10+10+3, 9+5+9, 9+9+5, to see that they all give the same total and that breaking into tens and units is the easiest and effective way to do the problem, leading towards the standard multiplication algorithm.

Sapporo at night.

With Tenoch Cedillo and Marcela Santillan (Chairman of the next ICME Program Committee) from Mexico outside a Crab Sushi Restaurant where we dined with Masami Isoda.

Back in Tokyo a group of us have our final meal before returning home: David Tall, Francisco Cerda (Chile), Patsy Wang-Iverson, Su-Chen Lin, Chang-Shou Lin, Chun Chor Cheng, Peter Gould, Masami Isoda.

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