Hi Dr Yeap and classmates,
I'm sorry I can't join all of you for the lesson this evening as I'm on medical leave. Have a nice day! See you next week!
Monday, October 25, 2010
Initiatives in Teaching & Learning (Part 2)
Three activities, namely tiles problem, structure problem and circle problem, were conducted with the class during the lesson. In the first activity, the groups were given tiles to form shapes and to find the perimeter of the shapes. Eventually the class was given a higher order question to solve. For instance, the class was asked to find the number of tiles needed if the perimeter given was 93 cm. In the second activity, the class had to solve a problem whereby some structures, in the form of cubes, were given and the students had to look for patterns in order to find the rods needed to build new structures as well as the height of the structures. In the last activity, the students were given square coloured papers and they had to fold into different shapes to find the area of a circle.
Next, Dr Yeap shared with the class the PERI Report in relation to the activities conducted. The PERI Report stated that students learn through the following experience:
(a) Learning by inquiry
(b) Learning by interacting
(c) Learning by doing
(d) Learning in and of the real world
(f) Learning by reflecting
Dr Yeap also shared Vygotsky’s theory of ‘Zone of proximal development (ZPD)’ with the class. According to Vygotsky (1896 – 1934), it is the gap between a child’s ability to perform a task on his own (lower level) to his ability to perform the task with the help of another child or adult (higher level). He believed that learning takes place in this zone. This was exactly what Dr Yeap was trying to show us when he was conducting the activities. He let us explore all possibilities as we were solving the problems. However, when we were unable to solve them, he began to prompt us with questions to assist us to solve the problems. We were able to solve the problems gradually through the systematic questions asked.
Throughout the lesson, I learnt that students learn through activities. Activities are fun and engaging. Students interact with one another through activities. They discuss about the problem, share what they have learnt and solve it eventually through teamwork. This is especially helpful for students with lower ability. They learn concepts through group work. In fact, everyone learns in a non-threatening environment. This is exactly what we hope to achieve as teachers and what the initiatives are all about. Everyone must go through all types of experiences no matter how difficult they may be. This is because we will be able to face and overcome all obstacles when the situation arises. Thus, as teachers, we must help to sharpen our students’ intellectual ability, through visualization and abstraction, through the teaching of Mathematics.Source : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lev_Vygotsky
Sunday, October 17, 2010
We played 4 games last Tuesday and I enjoyed myself very much. I am sure everyone felt like kids again. Although the games may look simple and they can be played by the pupils from the lower primary, I feel that these games may also be played by the pupils from the upper primary. For instance, ‘Salute’ can be played by the pupils from the lower primary with addition and subtraction. Then, it can be proceeded to be played by the pupils from the upper primary with multiplication and division. However, the level of difficulty of the game played in the different level depends on whether the pupils are able to accomplish them. Teachers must know the abilities of their pupils whenever they design any Mathematical games to be played during the lessons. Otherwise, the games will make the pupils lose interest in the subject and make them not want to learn it at all. As teachers, it is important to realise that what we teach daily is not as important as how we teach every day. Once we are able to capture the attention of our pupils, they will want to know more about the subject or the topics learnt and will continue to learn no matter how difficult the process may be. Gradually, they will enjoy learning and will continue to learn even as they grow older. This is especially important to our nation as we need our citizens to continue to upgrade themselves so that they can contribute to the society consistently, for its progress. Thank you Dr Yeap for making me realise this point again through the lesson!
Friday, October 8, 2010
We met last Tuesday after school for our final discussion. We read through one another’s slides and commented on what else could be improved on the slides. We also shared our ideas on how we want to present our findings. When I saw the final product of our project, I was very impressed with what we had done. A very big thank you to our IT expert, Kong, for helping us to put up such professional slides! I am really glad to be part of this group and I look forward to working with my teammates in the future. Through these meetings and discussions, not only have I learnt more about the different current initiatives of MOE, I also got to know more about my teammates. I believe that the bond we share will continue even after we have graduated three years later. Therefore, I feel that we must teach our students the skills of cooperation, for instance, through project work. Not only does it help them to establish stronger rapport, they will learn about one another’s strengths as well as how to show their potential to the fullest too. Moreover, they will also learn how to accommodate one another. Thus, this will enable the students to learn how to preserve racial and religious harmony in our society in the future.
Saturday, October 2, 2010
Despite our tight schedule, my group members and I managed to correspond through emails and sms before we met again on 30 September. We discussed about what we had found out, where else we could find more articles to read as well as what we should put in the slides that we are going to present.
We were excited when our IT expert, Kong, had set up a platform, Wetpaint, for us to upload the work that we had done. Through this platform, we were able to read and understand more about the other initiatives of MOE, especially the ones that are related to Mathematics. This is the beauty of cooperative learning! Otherwise, the amount of reading would be tremendous. We were able to exchange our views and helped one another to edit our work too. This really shows that the advancement of technology is great. Without it, our work will definitely take a longer period of time to complete. Perhaps, I will also try to explore it further to see what I can do for my pupils in Mathematics in the future.
Through reading the initiatives, I began to have a deeper understanding of the initiatives. In a nutshell, they were formed to enable the students to enjoy learning. Thus, teachers must try their best to teach differently in class so that the students are totally engaged during the lessons. Teachers must instil the joy of learning in their students. Gradually, they will begin to learn for themselves and not for others. This is definitely the ultimate goal of all teachers.