Mathematics: the teaching-learning process

The content of this work was developed by the academic Clarice Lúcia Schneider of the Pedagogy course modality for the Initial Years of Elementary Education of the Open and Distance Nucleus of the Institute of Education of the Federal University of Mato Grosso, to conclude the area of ​​Mathematics. We are concerned with discussing how the mathematics teaching-learning process should happen in the student of the initial grades as a construction of logical-mathematical thinking, awakening in him the spirit of investigation, in addition to providing basic elements for the participation of these students in life in society.

Working with concrete material, which makes you create and solve problem-situations closer to your reality. For today, we understand that a quality education is only achieved by the student if the teacher leads him to reflect on situations that surround him in his real world, in the search to make that student see the learning of Mathematics. For many students the teaching of mathematics is unattractive, as they cannot understand it, perhaps because we, teachers in the initial grades of elementary school, are unable to draw attention to the beauty of geometric shapes, architectural works, etc. After studying this area of ​​human knowledge, we understand that in order to achieve these goals in our student, we teachers must make the classroom a laboratory, always raising problem situations that instigate them.


When starting his school life, the child starts the literacy process, not only in his mother tongue but also in Mathematics, building his knowledge according to the different stages of cognitive development; good teaching at this level is essential.

[…] children’s learning begins long before they attend school. Any learning situation that a child faces at school always has a previous history. For example, children start studying arithmetic at school, but long before they had any experience with quantities – they had to deal with operations of division, addition, subtraction and size determination. Consequently, children have their own preschool arithmetic, which only myopic psychologists can ignore (VYGOTSKY, 1989, p. 94-95).

The teaching and learning process of Mathematics must be well worked out in schools, so that in the future students do not have serious difficulties, regarding the deficient construction of logical-abstract thinking.

Currently the teaching of mathematics is out of context, inflexible and immutable, being the product of privileged minds. The student is often a mere spectator and not a participant, the teachers’ main concern being to fulfill the program. The contents and methodology are not linked to the objectives of teaching that serves the social insertion of children, the development of their potential, their expression and interaction with the environment.

The use of playful techniques: games, toys and games directed pedagogically in the classroom can stimulate students to significantly build logical-mathematical thinking and social coexistence, since the student, when working in a team, excels, at least in part, his natural self-centeredness. Pedagogical games, for example, can be used as a didactic strategy before the presentation of new mathematical content, with the purpose of arousing the child’s interest, or at the end, to reinforce learning.

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A very important methodological care that the teacher needs to have, before working with games in the classroom, is to test them, analyzing his own moves and reflecting on possible mistakes; thus, they will be able to understand any difficulties that students may face. However, we must be especially careful when choosing games, which should be interesting and challenging. The content must be in accordance with the degree of development and, at the same time, of possible resolution, therefore, the game should not be too easy or too difficult, so that students do not become discouraged (BORIN, 1995).

As stated by FIORENTINI and MIORIM (1996),

The teacher cannot subject his teaching methodology to any type of material because he is attractive or playful. No material is valid by itself. Materials and their use should always be in the background. The simple introduction of games or activities in the teaching of mathematics does not guarantee a better learning of this discipline (p.9).

The work with mathematics in the classroom represents a challenge for the teacher in that it requires him to conduct it in a meaningful and stimulating way for the student. Usually the references that the teacher has in relation to this discipline come from his personal experience. Many of them claim that they had difficulties with that mathematics traditionally taught in schools, which aimed to transmit rules through intensive exercise. It is then necessary to discover new ways of working with mathematics, so that people realize that we think mathematically all the time, solve problems during various times of the day and are invited to think logically every day. Mathematics, therefore, is part of life and can be learned in a dynamic, challenging and fun way.

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