Sunday, September 26, 2010

Cooperative Learning Strategy at Work..

We decided that the best way to get through this is to strategize – Divide and Conquer! We divided our work and my task was to find out as much as I can about Thinking School Learning Nation (TSLN) and Teach Less Learn More (TLLM) …and also about the Allied Educators. We were supposed to surf on the net and gather as much info as we can.
I have always been a little bit fuzzy about TSLN and TLLM. It used to be the buzz words a couple of years back..before PETALS and PERI came about.
Now then it is clear that TSLN was the very first initiative before TLLM came about. TLLM is a subset of TSLN…more like under the umbrella of TSLN.
“We’ve got to TEACH LESS to our students so that they can LEARN
                       PM Lee Hsien Loong
                       National Day Rally Speech, 2004

Even though, PETALS and PERI are going to be the IN-thing now, I realize that where we are today, is a result of TSLN and TLLM initiatives because they were the building blocks of our current achievement. These initiatives had given the direction and drive to all stakeholders to move forward!

So…looking forward to my next meeting with my group members and can’t wait to share! I’m sure we will be experts in the initiatives assigned to us and will be sharing to the best of our knowledge!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

2nd Reflection

Second Reflection

            We eventually met on the 15th of Sept for our group discussion. Feeling anxious and overwhelm with the task ahead! Being a full-time teacher and mother, each and every one of us have our constraints. But there is no doubt that we were all excited. After all, this is our very first assignment in the pursuit of a Bachelor of Education. It’s like our baby!
I must admit that we were kind of groping initially. We didn’t know where to start. The internet was our saviour! We googled and came across loads of information on the initiatives in the Singapore Education system. We were drowned!
            We spent close to 2 solid hours on the internet and putting things into perspective. When we had identified the all the initiatives between 1997 to date (we hope we are on the right track!), we decided to divide our work fairly so that each could go back and be an expert on the initiatives allocated to her and return with as much info as possible to be shared. We hope to put together a team product by contributing a piece of the puzzle.
            Every one contributed her ideas and the discussion I must say, was a productive and fruitful one. Cooperative learning, beyond any doubt, promotes learning and fosters respect and friendships among us. We took turns, accepted and even negotiated with each other’s ideas. No idea was too small or too little. We plan to meet in a week’s time and hope to consolidate our findings. Till then…
On reflection, I personally felt that it is easier now to work as a team as compared to back then when I was doing my Diploma. I guess that it comes with age…hehehe!

We hope to complete our jigsaw as we race against time!

1st Reflection

First Reflection

Invigorated! That’s how I felt once I stepped out of the room…out of my AKM101 class that is. I felt energized and refreshed..mentally..just as I felt after one of those spa sessions.
The Tangrams activity was like an appertizer. I have not been teaching Maths for two years so I was kind of out of touch..a little bit intimidated as well especially when I stepped into the class, everyone was busy at work. Initially it sounded like a mahjong session. When I was given the tangrams set..ahhh something familiar! Frustrating but still entertaining. When I was young, I was introduced to tangrams as a free form activity, just making shapes of rabbit and boat out of it. But of course over the years tangrams kept popping up now and then ratios, areas and geometry lessons. It was a good trigger and engaging activity and I must say that I enjoyed it!
When the lessons progressed to the Mathematics framework, I found myself in unfamiliar territory. I have always been in the Science Department as long as I can recall. Nevertheless, Dr Yap’s delivery of the lesson was light yet packed with information that I found myself nodding as I was trying to absorb and register the salient points. The lesson unraveled things which normally most of us would not stop to ask ourselves- simple questions like why do we need Maths in our lives- which we as teachers sometimes forget to ask our pupils.
  I began to understand and appreciate the initiatives in our education system. When TSLN was launched in 1997, it was the buzz word and I was just following the flow..then when TLLM came about, I remembered we were all happy thinking that we would be cutting back on the content. Finally sitting there in the room, with my other 16 course mates, I realized that the initiatives have not just changed but metamorphosised over the years for good reasons. We want to nurture and mould our pupils to be equipped for the future challenges and have a globalised outlook. Not just exam smart!
Hmm..finally when Dr Yap rolled out his expectations for his class…GULP..blogging is something that have not caught up with me…or more accurately..I have not kept up with! But somehow when I have started on my reflections, I felt that I could not stop..probably I was intimidated with the use of IT..not being IT savvy is something I must admit.
Nevertheless, I really do look forward to my next Maths-Spa session and meeting my group members for the group work! Teaming up with Zubaidah and Angrini would be fun..Maths-Spa with the ladies!