Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Reflection 8 - My greatest take away

My greatest take away from this course is having an overview of MOE initiatives that has impacted in the teaching and learning of Mathematics.

I am familar with PETALS because my school has emarked on this initiative but after attending this course, I have a better understanding of how this has impacted the teaching of Mathematics and how it is also related to other MOE initiatives. In times past, I could only know that there are many initiatives in teaching of Math and they are initiatives that stand alone. However, I could now appreciate their relationships with each other and how they are working hand in hand with one another.

Reflection 7 - Using the newspaper to teach Math

I like tonight's lesson on average. The use of the newspaper report on how SBS and SMRT have overcharged transport fares is an eye-opener. Just from one article, the learning of average of can be applied. On top of that, other Math concepts can be applied in finding if the average amount of overcharged fare is 4 cents.

What I have learnt is that the teacher needs to be clear of what Math concepts or Math learning outcomes that he wants his student to learn. In my opinion, facilitating a Math lesson is challenging because a teacher needs to have the discipline and experience on how to facilitate the lesson. On the other hand, a teacher needs to start somewhere and then the experience gained will increase over a period of time.

Reflection Six - Professional Learning Circles

I have heard about PLC from colleagues who were approached to attend seminars on PLC. I was not too sure what it was until I learnt it tonight.

I think this is a more structured and meaningful approach for teachers's professional development and learning. When "white space" was introduced in 2007, the direction on how we could use this protected time was not very clear. Teachers were encouraged to group together and share what they have learnt. It could be a sharing from an article that they have come across about teaching or something they have learnt from attending a course.

With the Lesson Study approach, using the Japanese model, teachers have a structure to fall back on. In this way, we could use this instrument for professional sharing. I am looking forward to learning more about Lesson Study.

Reflection Five - Assessment

Assessment can be summative and formative. I have a better understanding of what assessment is. Summative is the usual written format while formative assessment can be small performance tasks, informal assessment, using checklist, using rubrics to assess attitudes and affective assessment. All assessment that is not the normal summative assessment can be considered as alternative assessment.

It is so important that we are able to provide feedback to students on their shortfalls in the learning of certain Math concept. It could be a feedback to parents as well so that they could help to reinforce certain Math concepts at home.

There are so much more to learn in assessment and it will be interesting because my school will be focusing on assessment in 2011.

Reflection Four - Teaching & Learning

I like the Math activity, "Card Magic with Spelling". I could use this activity to enthuse and engage the students in learning Mathematics. It is always good to introduce new things so that there is some break away from the routine of learning Mathematics. I am aware of the danger of having too many activities and steering away from the learning outcomes.

This activity can be used to revise the learning of Whole Numbers especially knowing the spelling for numbers. It will be useful when I teach the lower primary and even can be used for the lower achieving group of students.