Monthly Archives: March 2011

A03? We’ve Only Just Began

Just began

 

I would say the song, ‘We’ve Only Just Began’ by Carpenters is kind of metaphor or best to describe my journey of A03. Yeah, we have only just begun as I reflect my ‘voyage’ for A03 by listing out 7 possible items which will ensure an effective student-centred, personalised, higher–order thinking lesson. If the dateline for this assignment is tomorrow, I will die suffocating right at this moment. I am just kidding. Take it easy. (relax-bah) Thank God we still have 2 more weeks to go. I believe the climax of this course is just started. Though we might think this course is going to end soon, I believe that we will never ever reach the destination. So long my eyes can blink; I promise I will never stop learning. My group consist of 6 members. So we divided ourselves into 3 pairs, and each pair has to come out with 3 lesson plans based on the three different situations given. Then what we are going to do next? Show me the torch light so that I will not lost in this journey. Below are 7 possible items which I perceived as my ‘torch light’ to come out with the lessons.

7 possible items are (in no particular order):

1. Specific

In this item, I need to really think about the general and specific objectives of the lessons. During our group previous discussion on A03 with Ms. Ng, I could hear she keep saying, ‘You need to explain more (x3), you need to justify (x3)’. Therefore, it is very vital for me and my partner to take note on this. Always keep this question on my mind, ‘What is the rationale behind this activity?’

2. Measurable

Be careful if you were to interpret this item literally. It does not mean to measure pupils’ height or weight. In this item, what I can ask myself is, ‘How does this activity help pupils to acquire the objectives of this lesson?’ Hence, I will concern on the quality of inputs given to pupils. Do I choose the right tool for this particular lesson?

3. Achievable

It is another possible item that I think would help me in planning my lesson. I need to ensure that the activities are achievable, so that pupils feel a sense of achievement. What can I do is to select material that is motivating and within the capability of pupils. As far as possible, I will try to relate material to the pupils’ interests and life.

4. Realistic

In this item, I have to carefully examine whether the ICT tool chosen is realistic to be used or not. For example, I am not going to use Build your Wildself to ask pupils to design a costume related to the topic, ‘Culture and Tradition’. Not only irrelevant, but also will kill pupils’ imagination straight away.

5. Time

Talking about time, I need to take consideration about the timing of activities. What can I ask myself is, ‘How much time is available?’ If I overlook on this item, I might be facing the problem like either pupils do not have time to accomplish the task given, or pupils finish the task earlier and got nothing to do.

6. Feedback

For feedback, perhaps what can I ask myself is, ‘How do I correct errors and answer request for clarification?’ It is not all about giving feedback to pupils, but rather we as a team can evaluate by the end of the lesson what are the things that can further improve in our lesson.

7. Fun

To ensure an effective student-centred, personalised, higher–order thinking lesson, I would think that fun is an item that cannot be neglected. For this item, we will ensure that the activities are varied such as games, story-telling, miming, song, and so on. Instilling fun element in our lesson, I believe that learning will take place much easier and pupils feel motivated to learn.


Perhaps my seven possible items might redundant to each other, but I hope that with these 7 items listed, it will somehow serve as a guideline for me to examine once again the direction of the lesson plans. I end this entry by quoting what Professor Moses said during Future Studies class. I feel the quotation sum up 7 items listed above in a very succinct way. The fundamental role as a teacher is to create an environment where active learning can take place. Sometimes we will miss out the largest scope if we were to focus too much on the details in our life. Do you get me?

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E-book in the classroom

For better or worse, we are now in the age of the e-book. The Oxford Dictionary of English defines the e-book as “an electronic version of a printed book,” First time I encountered e-book was I think it was few years back when I was sitting in front of ‘idiot box’ watching The Oprah Show, and they were talking about Kindle thingy. From that moment, I told myself one day I want to own one. With that gadget, I can store hundreds of book with it and also means that I can help to reduce carbon footprint. Could it be no bookstore in the future? I do believe that there are people will choose the old-school type.

Looking at the title of this entry, ‘E-book in the classroom?’, I hope you will not get confused with what I have mentioned earlier. The e-book that I am going to focus here is basically for primary school kids and to be used in the classroom. There are platforms like goanimate.com and storybird.com to help you to make an e-book, but I would like to choose PowerPoint Presentation as my platform to make an e-book. Follow me step by step and I will show you how do I make a brand new e-book using Microsoft PowerPoint so that it will appear captivating to the kids.


Step 1: Open Microsoft PowerPoint and brainstorm my storyline

 

First step is very vital and normally would crack my brain as I need to plan my storyline. Question I ask myself is, ‘What is the main purpose you’re creating an e-book?’ For assignment? For pleasure? For teaching? Without clear goal, you are like a hunter holding a gun without knowing what to shoot. As for me, I am creating this e-book because of three reasons I have stated.

Step 2: Looking for images on internet

 

 

By now, I have come out with my topic and storyline as well. My story is related to animals because children like animals. What I am going to do now is look for images on the internet. The image found later I have to copy and paste to the slide. Make sure you look for big size images so that children can see clearly and easily as their eyes are very small. Besides, try to look for brighter and colourful images because children will like it. Just look at below example, would kids stay focus if your image is small and even ants also hardly can see it?

Step 3: Leave some space on the image

Picture3

For this step, I need to ensure that I leave some space to write my storyline in the slide. It is important to add content in your image so that children wont interpret the image wrongly. I need to make sure the font size of my content is clear and big as well, so that children can see it clearly when it is being projected on the wall.


Step 4: Make your e-book more student-centred

Student-centred requires children to be active, responsible participants in their own learning.To make my e-book student-centred means to make my story more interactive. What can I do in my e-book is to add a question on top of my illustration, so that children can guess and interact among themselves rather than just reading the story. Lev Vygotsky, a theorist from school of interactionism stated that language develops entirely from social interaction. Therefore, it is good to make them interact especially during English lessons.


Final step: Secure a copyright on my e-book production

the end

For the final step, I have added a copyright phrase in order to secure my e-book production. By putting a copyright, you also tell people that your presentation is not for commercial use. So what I have added is “ © 2011 The design of this presentation was created explicitly for academic purposes only.” on the bottom of my last slide.

Here is the brief story of my e-book:

A bear, a lion and a pig are three best friends.They like to compare with each other strengths and weaknesses.In the last meeting, they compared about the size. They plan for another meeting.This time around, they want to compare the power of roaring. A bear, a lion and a pig meet again.

Bear says: “If I roar in the forest, the entire forest is shivering with fear.”

Lion says: “If I roar in the jungle, the entire jungle is afraid of me.”

Pig says: “Big deal…. I only have to cough, and the entire planet lives in fear.

At the end of the story, teacher can instill the moral value of the story to the class ,’Don’t compare yourself to others, if not you will not discover your own strengths.’ So what do you think about my story? I end this entry by sharing this photo which I snapped from neighbouring county. The photo shows animals living harmoniously (aman,damai,dan sentosa-bah) without fighting each other. If animals can do it, so can human beings. Hence, I vote for peace.


Living in harmony

Who is in control?

Let me share with you a piece of great writing by Dr. Steven Selvaraju found on today church bulletin to remind myself that Lent isn’t about denial, but is about transformation.

When we look around us today, we see many people reading self-help books or participating in workshops which they think they will empower them to change for the better. “Self improvement” and “self-fullfillment” are popular catch words. Truly ‘Change’ has become fashionable these days.Also common are sayings such as “To change the way you are, change who you think you are” or “Whatever you want in your life, the key to success is to transform yourself”. The overarching idea here is that we have the ability to take control our lives, to transform it and to transform our own destiny.

As we enter into the first week of Lent, many of us are also determined to experience some form of change. One of the main ways we try to achieve this is by practising acts of self-denial. And so, the question that is often asked is, “What am I giving up for Lent?” It is, no doubt, an important question. The difficulty arises however, when we start to think that self-denial itself, that is what or how much we want to give up for God, is what Lent is all about. But Lent is not only about self-denial. It is mainly about us being transformed by God, especially in those areas of our lives where we are acting irresponsibly. Acts of self-denial are means by which we empty ourselves so that God can take control of our lives.

In the Gospel reading this Sunday, we read how the devil tried to tempt Jesus to achieve or obtain whatever he wants by his own power (Matt. 4:1-11). The devil was trying to tell Jesus, “Don’t depend on God. You have the ability and power to take control of your life and to determine your own destiny.” Jesus, however, denied himself what that was promised by the devil –physical possessions and pleasure, power and authority, not because he wanted to show how good he was or what great self-control he had. Rather, Jesus knew that his very existence and mission on earth depended on his emptying himself totally so that God can take complete control of his life.

So, the question for Lent is not “What am I giving up” but instead “What can I do to allow God to transform me?” The answer will depend greatly, of course, on who we think is really in control- God or us.

Playable Angry Birds birthday cake

It took long hours to make, but few minutes to demolish. Wasting cake only. Like lesson plan, it takes long hours planning, but if pupils don’t know how to appreciate that short hours implementation, waste teaching aids only.

Besarlah Tuhan! Praise the Lord!

Picture taken from http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/2011/02/christchurch_earthquake.html

Besarlah Tuhan dan layak dipuji
Besarlah namaNya kekallah kuasaNya

Aman berlindung dalam naunganNya
Dia Allah bagi kita
Dipihak kita

Chorus:
Terpujilah Tuhan
Terbukti kuasaNya
Dia t’lah menunjukkan kasihNya
Pada kita

S’bab Tuhan t’lah bangkit
Menyayangi kita

Terpujilah Tuhan
Terpuji namaNya
Yesus Allah Perkasa

One of my favourite worship songs in church. Besarlah Tuhan means the Mighty God. The gist of the song above is we must always Praise the Lord at anytime, for He is worthy of Praise. He takes control in everything. Be it good things or bad things happen to us, always remember to Praise the Lord!

Personalised Learning is different from Learning Personally

In the area of education and psychology, you will probably come across a lot of theories. To just name a few, you have cognitive, vygotsky, gardner, and yada yada bla bla bla. But I would still conclude that Behaviourism is the mother of all learning theories. For this week, I have learnt new theory called PERSONALISED LEARNING (PL). Through online chit-chat berak-borak session in the class, it helped me to increase my understanding on PL. At that moment, I asked, ‘Why there are so many learning theories?’

The next day, the answer came to me through Mr. Gomez’s class. He told us that the reason why there are so many learning theories is there is no best way to learn language. At the end, it will up to us as future ‘planter’ to decide how you are going to take good care of your ‘seeds’. Thanks also to Ms. Ng for rectifying that PL from Communities of Practice, then from there is actually derived from Constructivist. If I am ambitious someday somewhere over the rainbow, I want to create my learning theory called? (Sorry, ku sedang mimpi-ba)

Below are tips on how you can PL via technology with your pupils. Let me just call the tips below, 9 of them altogether as SEEDS.

1. Deliver instruction through multiple forms of media

2. Gather and use immediate feedback on students’ understanding

3. Give students options

4. Practice independent work skills

5. Create a weekly “must-do” and “may do” list

6. Pre-test students’ knowledge before each unit

7. Be flexible when plans go awry

8. Let students drive

9. Share the work of creating differentiated lessons

And now I present to you my sample of PL lesson:

Topic: Alien and you

Target Learners:   Year 5 (Advanced Proficiency)

Lesson Objectives: By the end of the lesson, pupils shall be able to draw the alien that described by Stephen Chow and complete the letter by their own creative imaginations.

Lead-in stage: Teacher starts the lesson by telling an invented plus humorous story by showing picture (Seed 1) to lower down pupils’s affective filter.

 

 

 

 

Hi kids, do you have pets at home? Yes? No?(Seed 6) Let me tell you something about my pet. Last month I bought a dog from a pet shop. At first he has got no name. Then I name my dog, ‘Birdy’. Do you know why? Because he likes to catch bird. When I came back from travelling one day, I felt flabbergasted and curious upon seeing tremendous changes happened to my Birdy. Usually Birdy will bark at me, but now he is chirping at me instead. I don’t know why my dog turned into like eagle dog. I am sick and bored with birdy since he doesn’t know how to bark anymore. Does anyone of you here want to rear Birdy? (Seed 2)

Talk to your friend next to you what would you feel if you met Birdy?

Talk to your friend whether you have seen strange things in your life?

Activity stage: Teacher asks pupils to form 5 groups and let them choose their own members. (Seed 3)

1. Teacher divides the class into 5 groups. Each group consists of 5 pupils.

2. After that, teacher tells pupils that he found an envelope in the street yesterday.Then he shows it to the pupils and tells them there is a letter inside the envelope.

3. Teacher asks pupils to log on to this website (chosen tool)

 

 

 

4. Teacher then explains step-by-step how to use the tool. Teacher only proceeds after pupils know how to use the tool. (Seed 4)

5. Teacher then shows the letter to the class using PowerPoint presentation. Below is the text that teacher puts up on presentation:

I have just seen a very strange little creature in the street outside. He has got a small round baby face wearing short pants. He has got a Trojan-type of hair. He has got two green round eyes. He has two little polar bear ears. He doesn’t have a mouth, but his nose is very long like an elephant. He has a beautiful peacock male tail. He has two octopus arms and two giant tree frog legs. He is flying towards me now. I think he is going to climb through my………….

By Stephen Chow

6. Teacher shows only first and last sentence of text (highlighted) and asks pupils to

read. Teacher asks pupils:

What do you think the creature is?

Why isn’t the letter finished? What happened?

7. Teacher tells pupils to listen to him carefully as he will read the whole letter.

8. Teacher reads the second time and ask pupils in group to draw the alien using the tool

The creature should look something like this:

 

 

9. Teacher asks for a volunteer from each group to come in front and draw their alien on the board. Teacher gets the rest of the class to help and correct if necessary. (Seed 7)

Follow-up stage: Teacher then asks each and every pupil to go back home (Seed 5) and create their own imaginative alien using the tool. Teacher asks them to finish up the letter and asks them to share (Seed 9) in the class for the next lesson.

At the end of the lesson, teacher can discuss the movie ‘CJ7’ in the class. If I were to implement this lesson someday, I will tell my pupils the insight from the movie CJ7. And what not to better educate them, ‘Hey kids, wake-up wake up! There is no alien in this world. So don’t ever think to ask ‘alien’ to help you excel in your exam.’

Anything wrong with my lesson? Questions and comments are highly appreciated as it will lead me to better understanding on this brand new learning theory.