Wednesday, November 17, 2010

My 10th reflection – Initiatives in Professional Development

My 10th reflection

17th November 2010

The agenda for the night:
1)      PLC – Professional Learning Community
2)      Lesson Study
3)      Polygons
4)      Research Lesson
5)      Sample test item

We read an informative article on PLC where Dr Yeap initiated the discussion on the importance and the rationale for conducting PLC among teachers. PLC is one of the tools for action and research studies, pre-post tests, it is for intervention and an instrument to get data. Learning Circle, which I am sure, many of us are involved in our schools, is also a tool to find new and innovative ways to improve the quality of teaching and learning. It helps gather best practices and enhance teachers’ professional knowledge for sharing and improve students learning outcomes. Dr Yeap also pointed out the use of cooperative learning when we work in groups, where each member becomes an expert in an area and then shares the knowledge with the other group members. In this way, every member benefits in the learning through the sharing.  In Lesson study, teachers are provided with the teaching support for the pupils based on their learning styles and strategies. Teachers will be able to identify the learning gaps and find solutions for the learning difficulties. Teachers ask critical questions and planned their research lessons to help their pupils.
They get together to interact on solving their classroom pedagogical approaches and try to find solutions. It provides the teachers the opportunity to understand the students’ needs and their teaching strategies to teach in a better way. I feel that this is great way improve in their teaching so that they can help their pupils learn more effectively.
Through the lesson on polygons, we were instructed to find the total sums of the angles in a polygons- Dr Yeap took some of the students answers and discussed them with the class. In this activity, teachers are able to anticipate pupils’ responses and get pupils to give reasons for their solutions and assess their understanding of the lesson. This activity ties in with the PETALs and TLLM approaches, where teachers use different modes of assessment, pupils learn more using hands-on, visualization, application, looking back, making deduction and they learn to reason and relate.
We also took a look at the other research lessons that were carried in other countries like Hong Kong and China. In Hong Kong, the theory of variation is being whereas in China, the children focus more on precision by practicing, for the purpose of competition. We watched a video on public research study where the teacher used the interactive white board to teach angles and reading the story –The greedy triangle by Marilyn Burns. She also used authentic items such as a soccer ball to show the 5- sided pentagon shapes on it. IT was used like the interactive whiteboard and notebooks for the pupils to enhance her teaching and learning. I find that I have learnt more about lesson study and how it is conducted by observing this lesson and I will apply the strategies in the my classroom and share them with the other teachers in my school.

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