Contract

Posted: April 7, 2011 in Uncategorized

13 out of 14 weeks are over… I’m not sure how much knowledge that I have gained through out these 13 weeks can be utilized in my classrooms in future… But, I’ll try my best to maximize the use of ICT in the classroom…When I stepped into my foundation course in 2005, I was an ICT-blind boy… Over the years, I have transformed and I realized that ICT is one of the factor which contributed to my transformation. Therefore, I want to ensure that my kids will not be like me when I first came in. In fact, I want them to be better than me if possible…

Essence of effective lessons

Posted: April 7, 2011 in Uncategorized

Success will never knock your door. We have to work towards it. But, we do not have to toil for it if we know the essence of success. Effective lesson = successful lesson. In my opinion the essence of success are as below.
1. Determining the role of teacher and students in the classroom.
The trend of teaching has evolved tremendously over the years. Many theories with suggested strategies have been proposed. I’m in love with the belief that student should act as an active learner whereas the teacher should play the role of a facilitator in the classroom. Instructional scaffolding, the provision of sufficient support to promote learning when concepts and skills are being first introduced to students should be practised in classroom. Supports which include the following,
• Resources
• A compelling task
• Templates and guides
• Guidance on the development of cognitive and social skills
should be given to students initially and gradually removed as students develop autonomous learning strategies. Eventually, this technique will promote pupils’ cognitive, affective and psychomotor learning skills and knowledge. Teachers help the students master a task or a concept by providing support. The support can take many forms such as outlines, recommended documents, storyboards, or key questions. On the other hand, student should be given the opportunity to voice and make choice. This will engage children and young people to become active partners in designing their learning, and to make real choices.

2. Preparing Motivating Learning Tasks
Learning tasks are a significant source of motivation. While entertaining and enjoyable qualities in tasks are important, tasks that combine these with more substantive qualities will elicit deeper student engagement. Students respond quite differently to tasks that are authentic “real-life” tasks – tasks that adults confront and that have importance beyond the classroom (e.g., creating artworks for a school and designing posters, brochures, etc) than to tasks without such traits. Further, in a summary of motivational research (Kellaghan, Madaus, and Raczek, 1996) found that students respond positively to tasks that they perceive as challenging but “do-able” and that have relevance (value) to them. Also, creative tasks, which provide the student a degree of freedom in their resolution, can be a source of personal pride and intrinsic motivation. To maximize motivation, then, teachers should develop tasks that are authentic, appropriately challenging, relevant, and creative.

3. Allocating room for collaborative learning
Collaborative learning is a relationship among learners that requires positive interdependence (a sense of sink or swim together), individual accountability (each of us has to contribute and learn), interpersonal skills (communication, trust, leadership, decision making, and conflict resolution), face-to-face interaction, and processing (reflecting on how well the team is functioning and how to function even better). Experiencing such small group learning, for instance during group discussion to find solutions for pollutions, will eventually scaffold a learner to progress from his current to actual performance level holistically.

4. Working towards Independent Learning
Independent learning, often referred to as self-directed learning, involves pupils taking the initiative in recognising learning requirements and undertaking activities to meet them. At one level it may involve providing pupils with “extension” work for them to do individually; on another level it may present pupils with an extended block of work in which they must formulate strategies to accomplish the task(s). There are a number of ways that learner training can be weaved into regular classroom activities in order to promote more independence in learners. Use of the model: teacher shows how >>> pupils practice >>> pupils structure activities >>> pupils carry out activities independently; would be a great way to achieve IL as it helps pupils to develop a repertoire of learning skills and strategies that support their development as self-directed learners.

5. Integrating ICT
Use of Information and communication technology,ICT in the classroom is not an optional extra, it is a National Curriculum requirement. As teachers, ICT can bring enormous benefits to the class. From an educational aspect, the use of computers brings dynamism to lessons, putting pupils more in control of their learning, permitting independent progress and development. If used effectively, ICT can be an incredible tool for every single subject, including English. Besides the Microsoft Office, software and internet can be manipulated to enhance teaching and learning process.

6. Encouraging Higher Order Thinking Skills
`Higher order thinking essentially means thinking that takes place in the higher-levels of the hierarchy of cognitive processing. In addition to content (the what of student’s learning and achievement) we also need to be concerned with student’s thinking skills or mental processes( the how in learning). Thinking provides the software for the mind. Higher level thinking allows student’s memory to be used effectively. Because the pace of societal change shows no signs of slackening, citizens of the 21st century must become adept problem solvers, able to wrestle with ill-defined problems and win. Problem-solving ability is the cognitive passport of the future (Martinez, 1998).Hence; we teachers should prepare tasks with increasing complexity that progress from knowledge to evaluation level to encourage thinking skills.

7. Varying the assessment method
Assessment for learning includes formative and summative. Using a range of assessment techniques primarily for formative assessment will ensure the obtainment of accurate result. Alternative assessment has been recommended as it owns the capacity to engage learners in the learning process and produce results that can be used to contribute to the betterment of the teaching and learning process. Portfolio would be my top-most choice.

With the implementation of the steps above, I believe I have developed my lessons to be an effective one.

E-book

Posted: March 23, 2011 in Uncategorized

After skimming through the folders, I found this e-book which I have produced for resources. 😛 It seemed to be a perfecto edition last time but now hurmmmm!!!! Definitely, it needs some improvements.

The first change I had made is on the cover page. I wonder why it did not click my mind when I was doing it last time. May be I’m too stupid when it comes to ICT…Huahuahua…
Before

After

The second alternation will be in term of layout. Instead of squeezing the picture and text, I choose to vary the slides layout to cater the pupils. Besides that, I enlarged the font in order to make the text more visible to young learners. Taking into account the language focus, I enlarged the adjectives’ font too. This, I believe will help me or any other use to highlight them during teaching and learning process.
Before

After

Next modification will be in the form of additional slides to question the kids on the language focus. This will add to the interactive-ness of my e-book as it gets the pupils to recall their learning and keeps them focused.

The last amendment I made was meant to enhance the pupils’ thinking skills by asking for justification. Besides that, this space can be utilised by the teacher to inculcate the moral which I think will be more effective rather than presented the text form by the end of the e-book.

Hereby I present the outdated and updated versions of my e-book. Definitely, in a year time or even less, more transformation can be done to my e-book.
Before

After

To me, what is important is I keep myself updated with the latest techno in the education market.:)

Posted: March 8, 2011 in Uncategorized

“Personalised learning means assessment, teaching, curriculum and school strategies designed to ensure that the talents of every individual can be fully realised. It aims to raise standards for all by setting high expectations based on a sound knowledge and understanding of every child.”
Five key tools for personalized learning have been broadly identified. They are assessment for learning, a wide range of teaching strategies, the enablement of curriculum choice, the organization of the school and engagement with the wider community to develop the whole child.
Mr. Miliband, http://www.teachernet.gov.uk/teachers/issue31/primary/features/Whatdoespersonalisedlearningmeantoyou_Primary/

After reading further on personalized learning and analyzing the chart above, i have came about with the lesson plan below.
Year: 4
Topic: Outdoor activities
Learning outcome:
3.8 Read and understand simple texts for main ideas, supporting details, sequence, and cause and effect
Procedures:

1. Teacher conducts the ‘Hangman’ game to get to the topic of the day, outdoor activities.
2. Teacher divides the pupils into four groups.
3. Teacher distributes an envelope to each group which contains pictures of different activities.
4. Teacher asks the kids to categorise the pictures into groups.
5. Pupils discuss in groups and categorise the pictures.
6. Teacher asks pupils to move from one group to another to look at the others’ answers.
7. Pupils read the story and shares their feelings/ experiences.
8. Teacher distributes task sheet which requires the pupils to list while reading the story.
9. Teacher explains the requirement of the task sheet.
10. Pupils read the story for the second time and attempts to complete the task.
11. Teacher asks the pupils to evaluate their categorization according to the task sheet completed.
12. Teacher asks pupils to develop an event planner for a new outdoor activity of their interest.
13. Teacher suggests templates in word document and power-point presentation form.
14. Pupils using computer and online resources develop their own outdoor activity planner which they mail to their teacher.
15. Teacher conducts a short quiz on the categorization of activities.
16. Option: Teacher suggest to pupils to develop a plan for a birthday celebration



I WISH I CAN TRY THIS OUT!!!!!!

Posted: March 1, 2011 in Uncategorized

Before discussion.
The process of creating the game for our group started with Sham telling us that “Who wants to be a millionaire? game need to be adapted into classroom”. When Sham told me about the task, I was having the idea of testing grammar using the game. But when I went through the task requirement, then I realized that it should be topic-specific. So, I evaluated the three topics my group has chosen and I felt that a wide range of questions can be generated for the topic on vacation. Hence, I decided to suggest the topic during discussion. After looking at all the templates, I was impressed by the second template mainly due to the colours and features. Thus, I planned to propose the template to my group members.

Discussion
The discussion started with picking up the template and choosing the topics. All my group members agreed to my suggestion because they also felt the same way. Then, someone suggested changing the title. Many of us agreed but we ended up not changing the topic. Why? It is because we felt that children should be intrinsically motivated towards the lesson. Giving stickers or cookies will only generate competition for the reward instead of knowledge. Thus, we decided not to change the topic.

Once we reached an agreement on that, we moved to the process of generating questions. We decided to arrange the questions according to increasing complexity as we wanted the children to experience success in learning. Thus, we created questions in five categories of difficulties. While creating the question, we got the idea of cutting across the curriculum. Hence, we incorporated mathematics, history and geography into our game.

Presentation.
It was a bad day for us as we faced some difficulties and reached the class late. We started our presentation confidently but I was shocked to see the slides. It looked nice on the laptop screen but appeared to be very dull once got flashed. That taught us to be more careful during preparation. Next disaster kit us when the audio does not work. All our effort went into drain and it added to dullness of the game. Now, at this moment of writing, I realize that we should have prepared a backup plan for the audio.

After presentation
At this moment of reflecting, I would like to share what I have learnt out of the lecture week.
1. Necessity is mother of all invention- The need to adapt the game as have taught me to be creative in developing teaching materials for children
2. Suitability- I have learnt the fact that a lot of considerations such as colour contrast and fonts need to be taken into account as I’ll be teaching primary kids who gets easily bored and distracted.
3. Always have an ace up my sleeve- errors are unavoidable. those errors which occurred during presentation have taught me that I should think of the and be prepared to handle the worst situation.

Posted: February 22, 2011 in Uncategorized

FUHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!! At last, I’m done with it. Frankly speaking, I hated it. WHY?
Facts about me:
1. I do not have any extra games installed in my laptop except for those installed by the shop.
2. I have not and will not join any games in Facebook
3. I have not played and will not play any online games
So, you know why I hated it!!!

About my lesson:
Year: 4
Proficiency: high
Language focus: Vocabulary
Target skill: Reading and writing
Procedures:
1. Teacher plays a video on our solar system.
2. Teacher pre-teaches intended vocabulary using pictures.
3. Teacher distributes reading text on solar system to each pupil.
4. Pupils read silently while underlining difficult vocabulary.
5. Teacher discusses the difficult vocabulary.
6. Pupils read aloud the text.
7. Teacher exemplifies and explains on the game.
8. Pupils individually play the game ‘Stringray Chaser’
9. Teacher goes around facilitating.
10. Pupils in groups build sentences using the intended vocabulary.
11. Pupils read out their sentences.
12. Teacher and other members of the class monitor on the usage and grammar.
13. Pupils play poison box game which requires pupils to spell the vocabulary.

ICT TOOL

Posted: February 8, 2011 in Uncategorized

Hi everyone! First of all, I would like to take this opportunity to wish all my Chinese friends, “Gong Xi Fa Chai”! May this New Year bring more happiness and prosperity to us!

Functions and when to use!!!

After exploring almost all the suggested tools, I am choosing

to talk about. Looking at the view page for the first time, I was mesmerized with what the tool got to offer us the language educators. The first idea which came to my mind is using this tool as a spectrum for the kids. Instructions and one to one consultation can be done via email at any time. Next, moving on to the teaching and learning activities, the tool starts with the basic level of vocabulary specifically spelling and can be used up to developing pupils writing skills.

Some may argue that certain functions such as make a card or make a drawing lean more towards the arts class but I do see an opportunity to utilize the functions during teaching process. Make a card can be used for post reading activity whereby pupils can be asked to design a poster

after being taught on environment whereas make a drawing can be used to evaluate pupils understanding of a reading comprehension text. In a way, it helps pupils including me who sucksare not good at drawing to complete the task confidently. So, it depends on us, teachers to maximize the use of resources available!!! Lastly, the tool offers variations in its functions. For example, in the function Make a drawing, one can learn on the vocabulary associated with rain forest jungle up to deserted planet.

User friendliness
It is meant to help us, teachers! That is the only comment I can give about the friendliness of the tool towards us. The tool comes in a package with suggestions for teaching and learning activities via two functions namely lesson plan

and for educators
.
I believe that a proper inspection and utilization of these by a teacher would result in production of creative and excellent teaching ideas.

Suitability
Everything sounds good nah? Not really!!! There are drawbacks in this tool which teacher needs to take into account. Firstly, pupils’ competence in computer skills should be considered by the teachers. It took some time even for me to comprehend on the steps. What more the kids? Secondly, the tool does not allow kids to bring in their own authentic materials especially pictures from other sources. This may limit pupils’ creativity. Lastly, some of the functions in the tool do not allow children to learn via their mistake. For instance, the tool does not correct the error i made while creating my story.

YET, I IT.

Ms Ng: Please reflect on how you used tea-pack in classroom?

Naren: I didn’t use one Ms.Ng coz I don’t like to take tea! 😛 I like to take either Milo or Nescafe

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

OK! TIME TO BE SERIOUS KIDS!!!

The lesson which I have chosen to share is as below. Out of my entire lessons I have conducted during teaching practicum, I loved this lesson.

Content

Since the language focus, idioms, is a tough component of English Language to teach, I cracked my head to find means to sustain pupils’ interest towards my lesson. The first idea which came to my mind was to present the idioms incorporated in a story. This is because I strongly believe in the humanists, who place a great importance on affective and emotional factors and hold the view that success in learning only occurs if the learning environment is right and learners are interested in, and have a positive attitude towards the new information. I believed the story which featured animals will attract and sustain the pupils’ attention as animal story is one of the teaching tools which children love the most. The illustrations which accompanied the picture added more to my confidence that the pupils will be interested in the lesson. As I believed, the pupils were captivated and motivated to learn the idioms by the story. The second idea which came to my mind was to inject jokes in my lesson. Thus I looked and created pictures which portrayed the idioms literally. The pupils giggled when looked at the pictures. That indicated to me that my idea worked as I wanted. I believed I managed to develop positive attitude towards the new information via the story and pictures and that helped the pupils to grasp the meaning of the idioms.

Pedagogy

Teachers hold a heavy responsibility of knowing their students comprehension level and pitching exercises for them accordingly. It is very crucial for the teachers to know their students’ comprehension level because according to Krashen’s Input Hypothesis, children only learn when they are exposed to comprehensible input which is one level beyond their present ability, i+1. Children will not learn if they are exposed to input at the same level, lower or extremely higher from their present level. I strongly believe on Krashen’s proposition of i+1. Thus, I took the challenge to teach pupils on idioms, a language aspect which many trainee teachers would not want to gamble on. I also took a great risk by asking my pupils to create a storyline and dramatize it. With God’s grace, my assumption of their present ability, i, and of their ability to create and dramatize were correct. The pupils accomplished all the tasks and I believe I have achieved the objectives of the lesson. If we look at the lesson closely, it employed Communicative Language Teaching approach whereby the aural-oral activity and dramatization brought about the need to communicate.

Technology

Thinking of the best mean to present the story and idiom to the whole class, I chose to use Power-Point. I chose to use Power-Point for two concrete reasons. Firstly, it is because the whole class will get to read the story without any difficulties. Secondly, use of Power-Point will allow me to pace my lesson by pausing and stopping according to the children’s level.

 

 

Honestly, being a good teacher is not an easy task. As the managers of pupils learning, we need to take TPACK into consideration and design our lessons well to ensure pupils success in learning

 

My Top Ten Wish List

Posted: January 19, 2011 in Uncategorized

Grumbling has been part of my cohort’s daily routine during practicum. The grumbles usually centred on ICT. Given the opportunity to write a wish list, I would like to make these ten wishes. Hopefully it becomes true. At least half of them! (TOLONG YER TOLONG SANGAT-SANGAT!!! – in fafa’s style of saying it) So that I do not have to find a new _ _ _! (Fill in the blanks)

NOTE: I wrote them from number 1 till 10. Then, I cut and pasted them. So, if you do not understand, chill! You will be able to grasp the complete idea once you have finished reading.

WISH 10: Last on my list, I wish teachers will be equipped with ICT equipments. This will ease our job. We, teachers are also humans and we need time to learn. Having the equipments handy will permit us with the freedom to explore the latest courseware and software and get ourselves prepared for teaching and learning process.

WISH 9: Parents always complain that teachers are not doing their job properly nowadays. Unfortunately, they fail to see that children only spend 6 hours in school. 18 hours? Children spent 5/6 of their time at home. So, we should find ways to shut their insurance-less mouth! get them into the educating committee by making them realise on the roles they have to play at home.

WISH 8: A notebook for a student will be my next wish. Actually, this wish has started to take place. Government has started to work on this. The rationale behind this particular wish is that I believe having their own notebook will allow the pupils to learn efficiently as I wish below.

HOPE 7: Constant courses on usage on ICT should be conducted for both, fresh and experienced teachers. Firstly, this will prepare them as a unit to work. We, fresh graduates are not the only ones who are going to work on the yearly plan. Permission Participation from the experienced teachers is also need to implement use of ICT in the classrooms. Secondly, such constant courses will keep the teachers on par with the latest learning objects on the market.

HOPE 6: Besides that, I really hope that more teaching objects will be generated for teaching and learning process. I believe that production of variety of software and courseware will allow teachers to select accordingly the best materials which will cater the needs of his/her students.

HOPE 5: Next on the list is e-learning platform. I hope by 2020 children will be given the privilege to design their own learning after getting teachers’ facilitation. For that, I hope an e-medium for learning will be created. This medium should consist of e-textbook and a social networking system. This social networking system will enable students to share their ideas and knowledge with the rest of the learners around the country and to seek consultation/facilitation from teachers.

Craving 4: Teaching ICT as a subject will be a craving of mine too. Students should be given the adequate time to explore and learn ICT tools. I, personally, do not believe in the notion of incorporating ICT through subjects taught in school. Even adults find ICT as a challenge, what more children???

CRAVING 3: Consistent internet connection is one of my cravings even during practicum. It will allow teachers to prepare for the next lessons when they have free time to do so. Besides that, students also can be linked to educational websites to learn.  Therefore, I passionately crave that schools will be supplied with Wi-Max.

Craving 2: What is the point of having a projector fixed in the class when it is not functioning? I had them in my classes. So, I strongly believe that constant maintenance needs to be done in order to ensure that the ICT equipments supplied to the schools are still usable. Hiring a technician in school would not do any harm to the government I believe.

Craving 1: Top on my list, I really crave that schools in Malaysia will be supplied with adequate ICT infrastructures, facilities and equipments. This will make teaching and learning process easy and interesting.

Promises will be carried out by,

Narayn

Practicum experiences

Posted: January 17, 2011 in Uncategorized

I miss the girls! I had my teaching practicum in Methodist Girl School Brickfields and i was assigned to teach Year 4 Sapphire. This the best class out of all three classes in Year 4. Pupils in this class were very eager to learn but they were fed up with the conventional teacher-centred textbook based teaching style. When I went in for the first time into the class to observe, I had a shock. By gender they are girls but by attitude they are not. They were all over the class and the teacher. So, when I went in for the first time to teach, I lined out my classroom rules clear and I constantly reminded them on it. With God’s grace, they behaved pretty well in my class.

Even though this school is situated in the heart of the Kuala Lumpur city, we teachers still need to compete for the equipments especially those related to ICT. The first question of mine to the school principal on the facilities in the school on the reporting day alerted me that there is no computer lab in the school. The second question of mine on the number of laptops and LCD available gave me a shock too. Yet, I told myself that I’m going to my kids the best. In this blog, I’ll be sharing on three lessons in which I used ICT the most and a working experience as a trainer.

The first lesson which I would like to share on centred on World of Stories and dealt with listening skills. The expected outcome of this lesson is a poster. For this lesson, the first consideration which I took into account is my pupils’ previous knowledge. . Piaget proposes that children mould their new information to fit in their existing schemes when they assimilate.  Before this lesson, the pupils have been taught on adjectives related to facial expressions. The adjectives such as happy and sad served as pupils existing scheme and helped pupils to fit the new adjectives taught such as delighted and sombre while they assimilated. As a result, the pupils were able to acquire the new adjectives taught easily. In order to make their learning interesting and easy, I used two ICT elements in this lesson namely a video song from YouTube and power-point presentation. Use of video, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8a13-JbxC98 charmed the kids’ attention and power-point made their learning clear as the expressions were clearly observable. Due to the inadequacy in computers, I had to make my kids to go back to the conventional method of drawing a poster instead of designing then using Microsoft excel. Yet, the kids had a great time doing it. The lesson was a success as the kids were able to acquire the adjectives and draw fabulous posters.

The second lesson which I would like to talk about is the lesson which I found the noisiest yet interactive. This is a lesson on the topic, Getting connected and it dealt with speaking skills. I brought my laptop into the classroom and revised on the external features of computers. I am not sure if it can be considered as a use of ICT but I believe it is. The kids were so much into the laptop and they knew all the features as I expected. Then, we had a discussion on components/features the kids their future laptop to have. The class suddenly went very noisy because each of pupils started to claim an idea. One of the girls wished to have a vendor machine attached while another wished to have a laptop which can type as she says. Though the kids do not make sense now, I believe their creativity may become true in future.

The third lesson focused on idioms, a tough component of English Language to teach. I admit now that I cracked my head to find means to sustain pupils’ interest towards my lesson during my planning. The first idea which came to my mind was to present the idioms incorporated in a story. This is because I strongly believe in the humanists, who place a great importance on affective and emotional factors and hold the view that success in learning only occurs if the learning environment is right and learners are interested in, and have a positive attitude towards the new information. I believed the story which featured animals will attract and sustain the pupils’ attention as animal story is one of the teaching tools which children love the most. The illustrations which accompanied the picture added more to my confidence that the pupils will be interested in the lesson. As I believed, the pupils were captivated and motivated to learn the idioms by the story which I presented via Power-point Presentation. The second idea which came to my mind was to inject jokes in my lesson. Thus I looked for and created pictures which portrayed the idioms literally and presented to the kids using Power-Point. The pupils giggled when looked at the pictures. That indicated to me that my idea worked as I wanted. I believed I managed to develop positive attitude towards the new information via the story and pictures and that helped the pupils to grasp the meaning of the idioms.

Being a member of the school working community, I was assigned to train the kids for a performance. I trained the kids for pantomime. Using all the knowledge I learned, I created a soundtrack to accompany the performance. The pantomime started with depiction of a jungle. A happy atmosphere was portrayed via the animal characters and sound. The story moves on to deforestation by illegal loggers. The climax of the story was the death of the mother monkey and the pantomime ended with questioning the viewer on the environment they would like to have. Unfortunately, I was not in to watch them performing as I had to attend the debriefing in UM after practicum. But, one of the teachers called and told me that it was a success and made the pupils realise the consequences of deforestation.

As a whole, I had great time utilizing ICT in the classroom and school. if the environment is going to be the same for my schools in future, I believe I can give the kids the best learning experience that incorporate ICT.