Monday, November 29, 2010

The final chapter of AKM101

Date: 23.11.2010
Venue: Usual room
Lesson Plan:
  • Lesson Study
  • Professional Learning Opportunities within Lesson Study
  • Concluding the Course
Dr Yeap summarised what lesson study is about and gave a simple framework on the steps to carry one out. Some of my take aways are:-
(a) to identify research theme and professional learning goal as a school
(b) to plan a lesson that is detailed but somewhat skeletal with learning goal in mind, anticipated responses and how these responses can be used to achieve the learning goal
(c) teacher to carry out the lesson should be identified close to end of the planning, not at the beginning  so that everyone in the team has greater ownership.

We discussed the benefits of a lesson study, what to observe, and to have 10 min out of an hour's lesson to interview and interact with the pupils to gain better insight into pupils' understanding of the lesson goals and the observations made.

We viewed photographs of a lesson study on circles in a primary school and discussed the learning tasks of the pupils, observations made and the measure of pupil engagement. We then looked at the 4 critical questions to ask of a PLC:
(a) What do we want students to learn?
(b) How do we know that they have learnt it?
(c) What do we do to differentiate learning instruction?
(d) What do we do if they already know it?

Dr Yeap then looked at the overview of the AKM101:- the initiatives, teaching and learning, what is math in school, assessment and professional development. We then looked at a real-life example of a newspaper article where commuters were overcharged amounts ranging from 4-20 cents and which totalled about $300 000. As usual, we were prompted and prodded and encouraged to explain what the information actually means, using the idea of average, data analysis and interpretation of analysis.

Reflections of the course
It has been a fantastic learning experience. After more than 20 years of teaching, there is still so much more to learn and re-learn and to do things better. Dr Yeap has infused in me the desire to improve both myself and my pupils. Initially, I did not enjoy Math as it is my weakest subject but I am now more positive about it and excited to do it better.
The learning environment in the class is non-threatening and conducive to ask questions, make mistakes and learn. There are no answers given for most of the learning tasks and we are encouraged to think about our thinking processes, our metacognition. The games were fun and ready to use in the classroom. I will definitely use 'Salute' and the 'magical' counting card game in class. In many of my Math classes in school, the fun element is missing and now I know some ways of infusing this.
There was a lot of collaborative learning during the group assignment and I got to know my mates better. MacDonalds in Sengkang, our venue for our assignment, has many fond memories for me.

In short, the lessons have always been informative, mentally taxing (for someone my age) but always fun and a great learning experience. Thank you Dr Yeap, Dr Ng, and my fellow course-mates.

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