Thursday, November 25, 2010

My 11th reflection – Summing up

My 11th reflection – Summing up
25 November 2010

The agenda for the night:
1)      Lesson study
2)      Professional learning
- opportunities within lesson lesson
3)      Concluding the course
Dr Yeap summed up on the importance aspects of lesson study – where before planning a lesson – we identify the research theme for the lesson. The teachers involve will work together to discuss how to carry out the lessons so as to ensure students’ learning take place in the classroom. We need to bear in mind the importance of collaboration and to focus on students’ learning outcomes. We were reminded of Vygotsky’s theory on ZPD.
By engaging lesson study, teacher are able to share ideas in teaching and learning, new teachers and the more experienced ones can learn from one another and in this way, pedagogical knowledge can be further enhanced. Besides identifying the research team, teachers should also identify the school’s objectives, identify the individual teacher to carry out the lesson, choose a unit plan, plan the lesson and enact it. We should also identify the key tasks and anticipate pupils’ responses. The key characteristic of the lesson study is that it is a ‘live’ lesson and the other teachers who are observing the lesson should focus on 1 or 2 pupils in order to give a detailed description of the pupils learnt during the lesson. It improves the teachers’ observation skills and interaction with the pupils and among teachers during the lesson is not encouraged so as not to distract the pupils when they are learning. The pupils are not grouped according to ability. We got to see an example of lesson study by Fuchun Primary where the pupils in groups tried to find the longest distance between two points on a circle. They had to learn through collaboration and make use of the resources such as recording sheets, 4 circles, strings and rulers. They had to measure the circumference and diameter of the circle and see how they are related. We learnt that through the post lesson discussion, the teachers learnt about the nature of the students engagement, the catalyst and obstacles faced by the students, which they had jotted down in their notes. They talked about the Mathematics content- the relationship between diameter and circumference. I have learnt teachers are the engineers of who design the process and the lesson study is like a testing of the processes. The key points of the lesson study are the facilitation and the detailed observation of the pupils’ learning. Some things like engagement of pupils is difficult to measure so the best way is to look at the pupils  and from observation, we will know whether the pupils are meaningfully engaged in the lesson. The 4 key questions which should bear in mind are :-
1)What you want to students to learn?
2)How do you know when they have learnt it?
3)What do we do when they have not learnt it?
4) What do we do when they already know it?
To sum up, Dr Yeap asked about the rationale for teaching Mathematics in school. It is
to provide positive experiences for pupils so that there is enjoyment and excitement when they learn Mathematics. It is a vehicle for the development and improvement of intellectual thinking and we use it in our daily life. We revised on the different initiatives like TLLM, PETALS PERI, Assessment modes and Professional development.
I have to say that it has been a meaningfully learning journey and I have learnt a lot and enjoyed Dr Yeap’s lessons. Thank you Dr Yeap,  for those wonderful, inspiring and informative lessons.J

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