Thursday, September 29, 2005

My microteaching

Finally back to post.
About what? Microteaching. Heh. Yes, my turn to get 'sabo-ed'... heh. No lah. It's a learning experience which I treasure.
Was rather sapped off my energy today... not cos I was stressed over the actual teaching and the possible tricks that the 'students' would play... but from the planning and the lack of sleep.


Anyway, I addressed water pollution today, pitched at Sec 2 Express. I used Captain Planet as the theme, a strategy of using pop culture to interest students and to set the context. I dunno how well the context was set. Actually my gut tells me I could have done better. Blame it on the energy level. Energizer bunny mode would have worked better. =) However, I do wonder if it's too old a cartoon for the present generation. In any case, I could introduce it to them and mebbe show them a small cip or something. Did want to do that, but couldn't find clips. And there was the time factor as well. Can't afford to squeeze so many things into a 70 min slot. Also, I was wary over the fact that too much reference to the cartoon might confuse the kids. More thinking and planning should have been devoted so as to better incoporate it into the lesson without the risk of confusion.

Talking about time factor, I had to gloss over the contents of the lesson today, cos I wanted to try out the group activity. But one thing bad was that, without the content, (not that we dunno the content, but many of us have forgotten our content) it might be a little tough to role-play cos there are no facts provided! Though in a real-case scenario, the causes and effects would have been covered in the lesson, and their notes on the worksheet. Too bad I din get to allow a group to present. What I had in mind was for the group to role-play, and the other students to jot down notes, especially of the solutions generated. And after each role-play, I would get them to contribute to the pointers being brought out during the role-play, and collate them on the board so that they all have the notes. And then I will use that to jump into the next lessons, where I will focus on solutions. I know certain students might find it hard to envision how to role-play cause, effect and solutions. But seriously, a little creativity will do. Cos I did think about this, and I believe it is possible. And more importantly, FUN! Hahhaha!

The worksheet. Actually I was wondering if the worksheets were too open-ended. With lots of empty boxes. First reaction students get might be, "Sian. Need to write so much." But then I was reminded of how they should learn to take notes and take ownership of their learning. If we just provided them the powerpoint slides, or allowed them to just fill in keywords here and then, that's spoonfeeding. Not that spoonfeeding is really a no-no, but at least they are learning an essential skill of taking notes when it is left open-ended. It allows them to interpret and understand the info being presented to them, then they jot it down in their own words. Cos some pointers on my slides only included the definition of keywords, and not the explanation process. So students will have to pay attention. The down side is that, more time has to spent to allow them to digest along the way.

I could have given clearer instructions on what to do during the group discussion. Actually it was simple. Just role-play the causes, effects and solutions (which you have to generate) relating to the category noted in the piece of paper. ("sheet", not "sh**") But maybe I could have reiterated the instructions after I got everyone's attention, and before and after the leaders draw lots.

Regarding the explanation of washing and flushing, I could have done better lah! Haha. Sorry to confuse you Wes! I was actually trying to say that flushing need not mean toilet flushing. It can be flushing water into the drains, etc. I know it's confusing with "washing", but washing can mean washing lots of things too. Like "xi2 jiao3", like how our chinese comrades put it. =)

Oh. The projector worked against me. Oops. I mean, I dunno how to use the projector! Thanks AV rep for helping me! I wasted lots of time there. I should have just launched straight into the role-play and forego the powerpoint, instead of fiddling with it and leaving the kids unoccupied. Bad move. But I had faith in that projector! Which decided to play me out... Hahah! Oh well...

Classroom management

Erm. I think I din handle it too well. Cos there were so many small pockets of problems occurring at the same time that I hardly had time to finish solving one before others popped up. Then I had to prioritise. Like how I was helping Wes's group, then chouchou and Janinah stood up and complained that they din wanna work with their chinese tong2 zhi4. In the midst of that, janinah whacked D. And KF's group needed clarification. Hahaha! Mind boggling I must say. I think I need more copies of bananasaviour! But then again, I'm glad all these happened, such that I got a rather authentic simulation.

Let me start of with CY's 'slashing' of her wrist. It was hilarious to see her red pen marks. But that's beside the point. I'm glad it wasn't a suicidal slash where it cuts the artery and the ambulance has to be called and stuff. Just the minor one. My priority was to not blow things out of proportion and alarm the whole class or the people around her, such that she'll be ostracised in future or something. Good thing is LY and K noticed, and I was informed. It's always in times like this that i wished teachers were always informed of such behaviour. At least we can start counselling. Before something drastic happens. (I'm actually glad LY din go hysterical on me when I asked her to help stop CY's possible bleeding. But if I ascertain that the cuts were bad, I would send her to the sickbay with LY to get it treated.

Confiscating superlambanana's pointer when LL and Jo were actually the ones playing with it. Confiscation and warning were the first 2 things that came to my mind. After I asked LL to give me the pointer, I knew that I could not relent and not confiscate the pointer, even though it was superlambanana's. Or else I would be deemed as a pushover. The most I could do was assure him that I knew it was not his fault and that I was not punishing him. (He din need his pointer then anyway!) Though I think I might not have communicated it too well to him. Hmm.

Cheeky smart alecks, lubricants and colonal irrigation. Hmm. Haha! That was fun actually, and I was very thankful that it was no more explicit than it had been. Frankly, I have never heard of colonal irrigation before this. Firstly, I thought Chris meant "colonial irritation", then "colonial irrigation". The impression I had was that of irrigation introduced by colonialists! Far far from it, it seems! Hee. I somehow still had to communicate that I treasure their input, yet be careful not to go along with their purpose. Yeah, so it was interesting.

China comrades. Hilarious! Especially when I spotted that YZ and swallowapple had written their chinese names on the worksheet! Hahah! But yeah, I knew the first rule is to NOT communicate with them in Chinese, or else i would have fallen into the trap of not being able to enforce English in my class. But they were really persistent in their Chinese... even to the extent of translating everything into Chinese! All I could do was to stand firm and make sure that they understand my requirement, and to continually enforce it. But I guess the main problem posed was when they proved too much for chouchou and Janinah, such that they were adamant on changing groups. I couldn't allow that to happen, or it would cause a greater rift between them, the rest of the class and the china dolls. I could only encourage them to be more open-minded, generous and accepting. Luckily Chris was the middleman. How do we effectively assimilate these kids into the group? I guess the value of inclusion should be taught in the classroom, and an accepting environment should be created. Individual differences. Refer to ed psych class. Heh.

One thing that got me thinking today was my style. I think I adopt a a hyper-active approach, the fun-loving teacher which aims to bring about a fun classroom experience and willing to incorporate any idea to make teaching and learning fun. And order and management would fall back on standards and rules which I will not compromise. Like vulgarities, insults, negative criticism (paradox?), etc. But will I lose control and allow the kids to climb all over me? Was just wondering if that was the case today, when there were so many little pockets of problems. Being strict and firm is good. But I always feel bad for being fierce, therefore I cannot carry a strict disposition (not for long), and may come across as just jovial and a 'friend'.

K I've written a thesis. Ridiculous. Haha. Anyway, it's a good and fun learning opportunity. Thank you to my fellow geogers for not sabotaging me too badly! Luckily geognut was my observer! =)


  • At 9:19 am, Blogger chien said…

    whoa. that's like a super long thesis!

    but it does sound good.

    i think you did a GOOD job, and what's even better is you know where it can be improved on!!

    heh. so as reward, i shall refrain from eating duck drumstick.


  • At 9:49 pm, Blogger S W said…

    Err... I think I have lots to learn from you! :D
    Your high energy level is really infectious, which is really cool. I just wish I had teachers like you when I was young. :)


  • At 10:50 pm, Blogger vintage said…

    Hey Banana gurl, i thought your lesson was really fun!I agree with SW that your high enerygy level was infectious!And yeah dat cartoon idea was superbly integrated into the lesson. I'd like to use that someday, but I think cartoons would only work with the lower sec rite? Em perhaps can try Spongebob for a more recent cartoon? Cos i watch that too haha! Anyway,sorry if the video was all slanted and shaky.I got a bit disoriented trying to videotape you and the class, and pay attention to your lesson =P. Anyway,all in all, good job done gurl! =)

  • At 2:12 pm, Blogger jon said…

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  • At 12:47 am, Blogger Roy Naka said…

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  • At 12:51 am, Blogger Janinah said…

    ya can i just say that i love your lesson? i think i would like a teacher as siao on as u. :)

  • At 8:36 am, Blogger Tom Naka said…

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