Work in Progress…

26 Mar


My Ao3…

well currently still developing on the assignment…work in progress…I had discussion with my partner and the group and we divided tasks among ourselves in the group…(importance of group support)…There were struggless and developments…at times you imagined what you wanted to do but the end product did not turned out as expected, so, sometimes this is good and sometimes this is bad…

You have to snip and tuck so that the end product is good and pleasing…so right now, I am at the process, “snipping and tucking” for the best and hopefully, the best  teaching and learning materials… I sure hope I can muster all the creative juices…haha…

So…

What do I think are 7 possible items which will ensure an effective student-centred, personalised, higher-order-thinking lesson?

Item # 1 : Technology

“Technology is used a tool that can be applied to a variety of goals in the learning process and can serve as a resource to help develop higher order thinking, creativity and research skills”

(Reeves, 1998; Ringstaff & Kelley, 2002).

So, technology does not only allow development of higher order thinking, it also promotes various other areas as well…which includes student centred and personalised learning…The key is how we are to manipulate these items to promote and ensure all these objectives are achieved… I guess one example is the use of “WOW” in the lesson…The lesson clearly shows how all these 3 objectives are achieved through clever manipulation of technology by the teacher in the class…

Item # 2 : Collaborative Learning

Cooperative learning and collaboration should be encouraged (Jensen, 1998). The student-centered teacher recognizes this principle of learning and actively infuses collaborative opportunities into each lesson. Collaboration provides students opportunities to learn from their peers and to gain skills that will be beneficial throughout their lives.

Collaborative learning should be encouraged amongst the pupils. Group learning will help to promote collaborative learning for the pupils and will help the pupils to be eventual independent learners.

Item # 3 : Meaningful and authentic learning

When students are engaged in activities that result in authentic and challenging applications, they are more highly motivated to learn.

Meaningful and authentic learning will encourage pupils to learn, apply and make senses of what they learn in classroom in their lives. They will think of the relations and explore learning on their own. These will help the pupils to have student centred learning, promote higher order thinking and personalising learning for the pupils as they try to make sense of their learning.

Item # 4 : Authentic assessment

A combination of real-world assessment and the attributes of Assessment for Learning provide student-centered classroom teachers with the challenge of moving away from paper and pencil exams.

Authentic assessment is also an important factor. It will reform the teaching and learning. Often, teachers would disregard student-centred, personalised, higher-order-thinking lesson because of exams and assessment. So, to ensure that teachers will take in to heart these teaching and learning, authentic assessment must be introduced.

Item # 5 : Collaborative feedback and assessment

Collaborative feedback here means pupils have a chance or opportunities to learn to give feedback to their peers and learning. Often, teachers will be the sole feedback giver. It is time for learners to be the feedback giver as they are also the feedback receiver. This will encourage pupils to take charge of their own learning and be responsible. So, eventually, they will learn to be autonomous learners and assess their own learning.

Item # 6 : Needs and abilities of the pupils

“Instruction revolves around the needs and abilities of the students”

Do you agree that every pupil is different and unique? If you agree, then you will also surely agree that each and everyone of them have their own distinct learning styles…So, they need personalised learning. Therefore, to achieve this, teacher’s instructions need to take into account of the needs and abilities of the pupils. Instructions that revolves on improving the pupils and promote their higher order thinking, revolves around the needs and abilities of each pupils.

Item # 7 : Fun and excitement

What is learning if there is no fun and excitement…I guess this is important factor to determining and ensuring effective student-centred, personalised and higher-order-thinking lesson. If a lesson is void of this star factor, then, no matter how effective a lesson is in ensuring all the 3 objectives are achieved, the pupils will be turn off…So, it is critical that teachers include fun and excitement in learning as pupils will be left wanting and wondering for more…

I hope that all these 7 items that I have listed will be geared to ensure effective student-centred, personalised and higher-order-thinking lesson…as Brown had mentioned…

Through this process, students see a greater relevance for and a stronger connection to the subject at hand. Our students can achieve independent minds and the capacity to make educational decisions and value judgments (Brown, 2008, p. 5).

I believe the primary goal for ensuring effective student-centred, personalised and higher-order-thinking lesson is to help the learners to grow,…

“TO INFINITY AND BEYOND”…(Buzz Lightyear).

 

Ebook Makeover

15 Mar

Since the theft in our house, I lost all my documents saved in my laptop. T_T

Nevertheless, thank God that when I explored tools recommended by Ms Ng during Personalised Learning, I made a simple Ebook using StoryBird.

It is loosely titled “Once Upon A Time”. The eBook, which contains 17 slides (inclusive of front cover), aims to teach adjectives to low proficiency Year 4 pupils.

Sneak peak of “Once Upon A Time”…

Dull and lifeless right? It needs some charm and magic! ^^

 

The Charm & Magic???

1) Colourful, interesting and clear illustrations…etc.

2) Appropriate illustrations (captivating pictures and apt size)

3) Well structured sentences (clear readability)

4) Apt layout and clear fonts. Highlight important words with colours.

5) Questions for interactive and critical thinking.

The main objective of the week’s learning is to create an interactive and interesting ebook based on the pre-info on Week 9. However, this ebook that I had created had none of those elements (charm or magic).

So, Time for Makeover Session!

Firstly, I will change the format of this ebook into powerpoint so that changes and editing can be done.

Secondly, illustrations wise, I think, they are captivating, fun and most importantly “the pictures make sense when referred during reading“. (The Fundamentals of Ebook a.k.a Picture Book, 2011) Therefore, I decided to maintain the illustrations.

Thirdly, I would want to change the fonts to comic sans so that they are more appealing to the pupils. I would also want to add colour and change the size to adjectives so that the language focus is highlighted. Something like these…

In order for the book to be more interactive, I want to add questions so that pupils can have critical thinking and ponder on what they have understood instead of just “plain reading”.

Modifications done…

Voila!:

#1  More interesting and appealing cover. Clearer title. Full and bigger illustrations.

(before & after)

#2 Clearer and better readability. Font is changed so that the eBook becomes more appealing to the pupils.

(before & after)

(before & after)

#3 More interactive and interesting. Provoke pupils or readers to think and anticipate what is next. Create an “icon or avatar” (e.g. Starky) to attract pupils’ attention.

I guess these are some of the modifications that I did to the ebook based on what Ms. Ng had shared and what I understood.

I think with more animations or even sound effects… they will make this picture book even more appealing and interesting to primary learners.

What do you think of my ebook now? 🙂

Personalised Learning…

3 Mar

It is said that Personalised Learning (PL) is catered to each child’s abilities and needs. PL aims to maximise the child’s potential. So, my understanding is that PL helps the child to make the learning process their own. The pupils will be responsible for their own learning.

During the class, I suddenly remembered a parable Mr. Gomez had shared, The Animal School. Remember?

The animals were forced to abandoned their talents and conformed to the curriculum of the school. So, in the end, the duck could no longer swim the fastest because he practiced hard to run and ruined his webbed feet. The squirrel was excellent in climbing but soon gave up everything because he was frustrated to learn to fly.

I guess, indirectly, the parable of the Animal School is revealing what we are doing to learners. We buried their talents and strengths when we thought we were actually helping them! So, personalised learning is important to change learning and tailor it to suit the pupils!

I guess based on our group’s lesson, one aspect that is missing from our lesson is assessement or feedback. So, I hope to incorporate this into my upcoming lesson.

Ms. Ng shared a lot of very interesting tools that I have not known or heard. Kudos, for introducing such wonderful tools to us 😀 Thanks!

All of the tools are great but for my lesson, I plan to use Build Your Wild Self .

Reasons for choosing the tool: Fun and exciting tool for young learners. Pupils can manipulate their own creations.

Vocabulary Lesson

Year 3. Average proficiency. 1 hour lesson. By the end of the lesson, pupils will be able to understand the nouns (arms, bottoms, backsides). They already know parts of body.

Activity:

  1. After pre-teaching, pupils sing a simple song “If Your are Happy and You Know It…”. (Pretest students’ knowledge before each unit & gather and use immediate feedback on students’ understanding – teacher tests, collects feedback and checks the pupils’ understanding, reteach if necessary)
  2. Teacher shows the Build Your Wild Self tool.
  3. Teacher explains the activity they will be doing.
  4. The pupils are to create Wild Self with their pair (A & B). A will instruct B to create in 1 minute. (eg. Choose an eye. Choose any bottoms.) Then, A will continue the creation in 1 minute too. (Practice independent work skill – pupils work in pairs for support to independent learning.)
  5. Teacher asks the pupils to send their creations to share with their friends. (Share the work of creating differentiated lessons – teacher allows sharing of pupils work in the class and this will boost the moral esteem of pupils who are shy and not confident to shine)
  6. Teacher asks individual pupils to create Wild Self individually. (Practice independent work skill – pupils gradually learn to be independent and be responsible for own learning)
  7. Teacher picks a few pupils to talk about their Wild Self and the class will comment. (Let students drive & gather and use immediate feedback on students’ understanding – Pupils can shine and hone their skills and the class learn to give feedback) Feedback will be as simple as showing [  🙂  ] ” I like” and [  😦  ] “I don’t like” as the pupils are only Primary 3.
  8. Teacher share all the pupils’ work online, eg Facebook. (Share the work of creating differentiated lessons & give students options – continuous learning, feedback and other means of learning can take place)

So, basically, this is it, the Listening lesson for Year 3. I guess personalised learning also means it encourages learners to be active participants, develops independent learning and reduces pupils’ dependency on teacher.

To encapsulate everything, Personalised Learning helps

the child to become ACTIVE, INDEPENDENT, CREATIVE and UNIQUE individual!

Agree???

p.s. Erm, something extra, just want to fandom… there’s another tool I really love, Storybird. The tool makes ebook easier and more fun. It even promotes reading! I even create an account and went playing around! Really NICE! Have a look…maybe you can use it for your lesson…

A story I created for trial…haha… titled, Once Upon A Time…(kinda “duh”) do have a look if you have time…haha

Learning Today

24 Feb

Actually, I was very much amazed by all the power points made for the “Who Wants to be A Millionaire?” game. It was not easy to develop such interesting power point and the effort put in to develop one is really commendable.

So, it was quite difficult to change the power point in my opinion, except to adapt them to suit the theme and learning content we would want to teach to our targeted learners.

So, this was the 1st challenge that we had to undertake. We needed to identify the theme of our game, targeted learners as well as the content that we would like to teach. I guess this is the importance of group support as “more heads bring more ideas (creativity)”. We identified the theme of the game. Once, we had decided and agreed on the theme it proved to be much easier to continue as we had a direction to move and follow.

The 2nd challenge was to balance all aspects. We had to balance the content we would like to include with the graphics we would want to appeal to our targeted learner as well as the content we would want to test our players on. Adding on, we had to tie all this to our theme of the game! Hence, while doing, we kept changing till we were satisfied with the end product.

So, though the process while developing can be tiring, nevertheless, this very process allows us to learn and improve on our shortcomings and with the help of the group members, this bring more near perfection to the objective and theme of the game we want to create. As I reflect, this is the gist of the whole process  when developing the game and being part of the “fix-it” and “repair-it” process allows me to learn and grow as a resourceful English teacher.

As for the presentation stage, after reflecting and viewing other groups’ presentation skills, maybe we can also make slides to improve on our presentation as we only relayed to the audience what we intended to do and they might not be able to catch all we had said. So, I learnt that not every pupils are auditory learners and maybe some need some visuals so that their learning capacity are maximised and often teachers must repeat many times to adult learners (us) and what more especially to young learners. So, when relaying any instructions, we need to be clear.

I find that “Today I learn, Today I question” is a really efficient and effective learning process. I guess if technology can bring people around the world together, reduce space and time to connect with others, it can also do the same with the learning process. So, feedback can be given on the spot and without any delays. This will speed up learning. However, I find difficulty to focus and give feedback at the same time during the feedback session. So, maybe after every presentation, teacher can allow 5 minutes of feedback or more so that pupils have time to process their comments and make feedbacks.

Of course after reflecting and viewing all the games presented, there are many aspects that we can improve on our game (Commentaries). The class has become a wonderful platform where we are able to learn and grow together. Feedback can be given immediately and there are no delays in learning. This is a divergent of what we used to do in class, where teacher plays centre roles but in that day’s class, it proves that pupils can take charge of their own learning and teacher serves as only the facilitator.

So, I guess, this is the future direction where learning should follow and pupils learning to take charge of their own learning!

p.s. just want to share a video we saw in Mathematics class about “Changing Education Paradigms”!

Online Game for Teaching- Youda Farmer!

13 Feb

A game I really ♥ playing is Youda Farmer. Anyone has played this game before? It’s actually a time management game where you get to be a farmer and grow your crops and then, you sell them to the nearby village to earn more money (and upgrades).That’s basically the game, so I feel that the game is suitable for primary learners from primary 3 and above.

So, allow me to introduce you to the game ♥!

First of all, you get to create an account and you can choose your avatar, name and the colour of your truck! Mine was red for prosperity! (haha)

Then, you will get some tutorials on how to play the game. You are introduced to the map. As you upgrade and unlock, more places will be available for play. (farm, baker shop, grocer, flour mill, chicken coop and so on).

So, in the game, you are to collect your harvest (flour, egg, milk and so on) and deliver them to the shops (baker shop, grocer and so on) in the village.

Based on these, basically, one can create lots of teaching activities. So, one simple lesson is to introduce types of food.

Targeted learners: Year 3 (average proficiency)

Language focus: Types of food (flour, egg, meat, milk, tomato)

Topic: “How to Make Sandwich”

Language objective: Pupils will be able to listen and sequence steps of making sandwich correctly.

The idea I have is to use this game for pre-teaching. Most of the time, one only uses chalk and talk, demonstration, powerpoint and so on to teach the language focus, however, I want to use the opportunity to integrate the game for pre-teaching as a unique approach to teach the pupils. This allow them to learn the food sub-consciously as they play the game. Adding on, this also allows further opportunity for follow up activity as well during next lesson to learn places and so on. We can do a lot of things!

Activities:

  1. Teacher explains and introduces the game to the class.
  2. Teacher elicits responses from the pupils regarding the game.
  3. Pupils start to play game on their own. (each has computer access)
  4. Teacher scaffolds and guides the pupils around the class.
  5. Teacher ends time of playing after 20 minutes.
  6. Teacher summarises the lesson and highlights the language focus of the day.
  7. Teacher relates the food they have learnt to topic of the day, “How to Make Sandwich”.
  8. Teacher tells the class and the pupils listen on how to make sandwich.
  9. Teacher checks on the the pupils’ understanding.

By the end of the 1 hour lesson, pupils are able to sequence the steps to making the sandwich correctly!

So, the game allows more creativity to the teaching activities and adds fun into learning for the pupils. If everything is managed well (resources, classroom & time management, etc.), I think online game for teaching can be given the GREEN light!

A Review

1 Feb
There are truly 11 interesting and awesome tools that are being listed. These tools are really distinct and without Ms Ng showing them to me, I will never ever have found out about these tools myself.
Actually,… there are a few tools that I am fairly interested in.
The first tool being, Kerpoof. It has a variety of features that will certainly benefit any ESL teacher.

The second tool that I am also interested in, is none other than Myths & Legends. The tool is awesome in its own as it offers a myriad of features.
The third tool off my list is ToonDoo.It a comic haven for those who simply enjoy reading comics or even creating comics on their own.
So, really, though I have yet to imagine how these tools can be integrated into making an awesome lesson, nevertheless, I am, here, reviewing the tool on its own.
So, my pick for review based on the top 3 tools, is, Myths and Legends.
Review #1: Why this particular tool? Functions of the tool…

Well, the one feature that really make me fall in love with this tool is the user friendliness of this tool as compared to the 2 other tools that I had mentioned earlier. In my opinion, it is much easier to use this tool as it is easier to control the tool especially when I tried out the “create your own feature”.
The tool does not fail to offer a variety of backgrounds as well as characters to choose from. Besides these, we can also control the sizes and scales of the characters as well as rotating the characters that we have chosen in any degree we want. Adding on, we can also upload photos that we have to the story creator. It’s quite flexible and convenient to be used and utilised.
You can also add effects such as sounds and narrations. The best things is that, one can auto play the story created, like a movie with animations and effects. So, this tool is quite amazing!
Myths and Legends even has a storyboard which definitely aids any user trying to create their own story.
It’s fun and easy at the same time!
You can also save, print or preview you creations. Most important of all, the tool allows you to save your creations at any stage! Superb!
Besides the above that I had mentioned, another cool function of this tool is that, there are various and fabulous stories already created an stored in the archive and the list goes on. The stories can be used off hand, integrated right into the classroom for any reading or listening lessons where pupils can download stories that they like and read them. Teachers can use and integrate these stories into teaching and learning.
How easy and convenient!
Review #2: Limitations of the tools

Well, not everything is perfect and without flaws, this is the same with Myths and Legends.
Often, one’s strength will also proved to be one’s flaw.
Though, user can find myriad of characters or even backgrounds, nevertheless, all these are only available under one theme, (anyone can guess); the characters and backgrounds are only available in historic periods…nothing modern or sophisticated, fitting to its name, Myths and Legends. So, if anyone hoping to do something different using Myths and Legends, with different settings (classroom, school, etc.), user will not or face difficulty to do so as there is limitations to the choices available. So, it ain’t that versatile after all!
Review #3: when to use the tool

Well, in my opinion this tool can be most ideally used during the reading lesson. Nevertheless, it can also be used in other skills. It can also be used throughout the stages, from set induction to post.
In this aspect, I can say that it is quite versatile as it can be adapted to suit the stages in any lesson. For me, this tool resembles an e-book; a collection of stories available online, where pupils can download and read in the class or even at home.
Review #4: User friendliness

So, is this tool user friendly? Well, YES and NO. YES, as it is easy to manipulate and one will get used to the tool in no time. On the other hand, NO, because I am restricted in a way. There are certain limitations to the tool that does not allow it to be fully executed. I have to vent my idea and way round the tool.
But, overall, I will vote that this tool is quite user friendly, if it is a 5 star rating, I will give it a 3!
Review #5: Target pupils

So, is the tool suitable for primary learners? I would say, YES! Definitely!
Generally, it is up to the teachers to design the suitability of their lessons so that the activities revolving the tool will suit the targeted pupils. So, I would say that this tool suits pupils of all ages, even from Primary 1 to Primary 6 or even beyond.
Oh, yes, one last mention of this tool is that it is created for teachers and pupils. So, it definitely is useful for teachers. It even contains wonderful resources for teachers to adept and adapt. Teachers, take note!
Review Rating: 4 STARS!
Here’s the GOLDEN Question…am I ready to use this for assignment 3? How?
Good questions…Honestly, I’m still thinking or trying to think (CNY mood)…considering the sub topics that our group had chosen…well, it will be a challenge, but, hey, what is excitement without challenge…  RITE! hahaha
for now, that’s alll from me…
signing off,
a special post from hometown…

TPACK, O, TPACK…Where Art Thou?

20 Jan

Content knowledge (CK) is knowledge about the actual subject matter that is to be learned or taught.

Pedagogical knowledge (PK) is deep knowledge about the processes and
practices or methods of teaching and learning and how it encompasses,
among other things, overall educational purposes, values, and aims.

Technology knowledge (TK) is knowledge about standard technologies,
such as books, chalk and blackboard, and more advanced technologies, such
as the Internet and digital video.

Mishra, P., Koehler, M. J (2006)

 

Pedagogical Content Knowledge: How to teach particular content-based material
Technological Content Knowledge: How to select and use technologies to communicate particular content knowledge
Technological Pedagogical Knowledge: How to use particular technologies when teaching

Harris, J., & Hofer, M. (2009)

 

I have decided to select a reading lesson plan which I had planned during my teaching practicum to illustrate the integration of TPACK in the lesson.

The lesson is for a class of 37, Year 5, pupils with low proficiency. The topic of the lesson is “Where Do You Live?”.

To illustrate the TK, PK and CK in the lesson, clearly, I have divided them into 3 categories.

Technology Knowledge

The technology which I used in the lesson were simple. I utilized only computer, projector, video and Power Point.  Other tools which I also used were, whiteboard, mahjong paper and models which are self made.

Pedagogy Knowledge

Set induction: Questions and responses

Pre-reading: Explaining & demonstrating (models)

While reading: Chant & scaffolding

Post reading: Group work

Closure: Recap

Content Knowledge

Language focus of the lesson is adjectives (huge, tiny, high and spacious).

So, based on these categories, we can clearly see  parts of the lesson which contain these, T, P and C Knowledge.

Question 1

So, how did I teach the content knowledge using the pedagogy  knowledge?(Pedagogical Content Knowledge)

The goal of the lesson is that the pupils understand the 4 adjectives and be able to describe houses using the 4 adjectives learnt.

Firstly, in the set induction, I asked questions and elicited responses from the pupils as an introduction to the lesson. (e.g. Can you imagine the size of the world’s largest house?)

During pre-reading, I explained the 4 adjectives to the pupils by giving examples and showing pictures to them. I also used models to demonstrate more clearly as the pupils could manipulate concrete materials to enhance their learning.

As for while stage, I used chant (Where Do You Live, Chiquita?) to help and guide the pupils. Jazz chant is helpful to improve the pupils’ reading skills and create group support learning and reading for the pupils.

The post stage, lots of group work and discussion were utilised so that the pupils’ learning were reinforced.

The last stage, I did lots of recaps and summary  as closure to the lesson for the day.

Question 2

How technology knowledge helped pedagogy knowledge so that students get the content knowledge? (Technological Content & Technological Pedagogical Knowledge)

During set induction, I used the video as stimulus to elicit questions and responses from the pupils.

For pre stage, models and power point were used to enhance the delivery of teaching and learning. Models helped the teaching to be more concrete and power point allowed more interesting, colorful and animated teaching and learning.

The next stage, I used power point extensively to enhance chant and reading.

The post stage, mahjong paper was used instead to note down the discussions and can be conveniently used and pasted around in the class.

As for closure, I used the whiteboard to summarise lesson and recap all that they had learnt for the day.

Therefore, from the above, these are how I think I had utilised TPACK in the lesson that I had conducted.

Feel free to comment. Do point out any mistakes or errors.

I look forward to more suggestions as to how to integrate TPACK more creatively!

Oh ya, …

HAPPY THAIPUSAM !

to all my frens 😀