Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Goodbye AKM 101

30th November 2010
Reflection 11
Just like our pupils, we were anxious about the test and were trying to cram our brains with the various initiatives. There were instant moans and sighs when we received the question paper. We had 3 questions to answer. I decided to start with question 3 ( 10 mark Q) and started penning down my answers related to PERI before I forget the initiatives. On second thoughts, not sure if that is what is required of the question.
Then I moved on the questions that required some computation.( Boy! Maths is not my cup of tea) Anyway, the test is behind us now and I believe all my classmates will share this sense of relief having completed and submitted all our assignments ( We did it people! Give yourselves a treat with the big bonuses)

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Dr Yeap for sharing the various initiatives launched by MOE in a light-hearted, engaging and illuminating perspective. I am inspired by his passion for the teaching of Math and this is translated in the way he conducts his tutorial. He is truly an exemplary to us. He always begins the tutorials by establishing our schema before proceeding further and sees to it that his lessons encapsulate the initiatives. I am amazed at the ease with which he does this. What I like most about the lessons is the tone in the classroom. It is very important to set this non-threatening climate and I must say we feel a sense of bonding during these sessions where we learn about the meta cognitive processes and not worry ourselves at providing accurate answers.

On the whole, it was a beautiful learning journey for me. On this note, I would like to wish Dr Yeap, Dr Dawn and all my classmates Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. See you guys next year, fully revitalised and rejuvenated.

One quotation that will stay with me:

"Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts." (Sign hanging in Einstein's office at Princeton)

Professional Development 2

23rd November 2010
Reflection 10
Today’s lesson focused on the use of a facilitation tool such as Lesson Study in a Professional Learning Community. There are 5 steps in a lesson study cycle . They are :
a) Identify Research Theme—Learning Goals aligned to school Vision and Mission
b) Plan lesson ( teacher who is to conduct the research lesson is not selected yet)
c) Research Lesson
d) Post-Lesson Discussion
e) Lesson Plan Revision

Lesson Study is a platform for sharing and teachers are always involved in studying lessons. Teachers become more knowledgeable about the teaching and learning in the process and so are able to perfect their craft.

We viewed a lesson study conducted in Fuchun Primary School. Dr Yeap highlighted that a Lesson study is best observed live and teachers must be conscious of what to observe bearing in mind the lesson goals. Teachers must remain detached throughout the observation and refrain themselves from correcting mistakes observed. A good idea is to spend the last 10 minutes of a 1 hr lesson to interact with the pupils to clarify some things with the pupils. It is important to keep notes of the pupils we are observing so that they would be useful during the post-discussion stage where the 4 critical questions are examined.

Dr Yeap then introduced an article from the newspaper about SMRT overcharging its passengers and posed a question related to it. We had to estimate the average fare that passengers overpaid. It was an interesting way to teach the concept of average. Most importantly, it reflects one of the pedagogy in PERI -- Learning in the real world.

As a closure to the tutorial, Dr Yeap revisited all the initiatives implemented by MOE and its implication on the teaching of Mathematics. I must say, it is an inspiring journey to unravel the rationale behind these initiatives and take them to the next level.