Thursday, September 08, 2005

Mighty Mas and Flying Swallow

I can take a breather at last!

Ed psych presentation and EL Integration Task are finally over. I shall utilise the night for recovery, however undeserving I may be. But really, that's just a productive way of saying, "I ain't no doing nothing tonite!" ;-)

2 more micro-teaching sessions today, so here goes.

I don't know whether to congratulate Mas for her well-delivered lesson or her convincing acting. But I guess it's because she really got into her role as a teacher that she managed to pull off a fly lesson like a seasoned pro. On that note, I think it's really important to dive into your role if you're going to reap the full benefit of the micro-teaching sessions.

So yeah, Mas' class quite did it for me today. I thought she really carried it through with panache. She came across as being very confident and assertive (if not a lil dead-pan, wholly attributable to her health or lack thereof, I'm sure). This helped to capture her students' attention. But the real strength of her teaching was that she was able to seamlessly weave the various components of her lesson together, ensuring a smooth flow that captured my attention as a student. As a result, most of the class was on-task most of the time.

Another commendable point about Mas' lesson was her conscious attempt to modify the students' schema by emphasizing key words. Once when someone referred to a lot of trees, she corrected him by saying the right phrase to use was thick vegetation. I also noticed that made various attempts to emphasize keywords like 'emergents' and 'understorey'.

I also liked the way she framed her lesson. I thought the decision to frame the lesson as a field trip is very appropriate for a Secondary 1 class. That's a gd way to perk their interest. Much effort must've gone into the production of the well-conceived presentation. There are just a couple of things I thought she could've done differently. For example, I thought that instead of just flashing pics with the forest sounds playing in the background, there could be some sort of commentary. I think that would've made the lesson stronger. Her aim was to use BTNR as a case-study. But by flashing the pics, the unique nature of BTNR was not highlighted, as the pics could very well have come from any rainforest. More info could've been provided on the special characteristics of BTNR like the sort of endemic species or maybe an introduction to the different areas. By flashing generic pics, the exercise slipped into a somewhat behaviorist mode of identifying the right forest item.

In addition, I thought the presentation could've been better timed. The pic whizzed a tad too fast. I remember at one stage, a poem was presented. And the words were appearing like a quick succession of landmines across an open field. Any Sec 1 child would've been lost in the rapid bombardment of words.

Further, I thought the group activity on deforestation could've been made more relevant to students. It was good that students were taught the effects of deforestation and the pressures on the forest. But the problem of rampant development isn't that salient for BTNR. Perhaps she could've focussed on the human effects of litter on the forest environment. That would've been closer to the heart of the children.

A couple of things stood out for Yen Peng's lesson. Her approach was more teacher-centred than Mas'. But I think that might've been unavoidable, given the nature of the topic. However, I thought that her handout should've allowed for more student input, instead of providing all the answers for them. This only serves to encourage inattentiveness in class.

Further, she could've handled the Raksha-Wesley fiasco a lil more delicately. Firstly, perhaps she shouldn't have reproached Raksha for losing her wallet. Nobody wants shit to happen. Further, upon Raksha's accusations, I felt that it would have been better to check everyone's bag instead of just Wesley's, as just checking Wesley's bag could open a teacher up to accusations of prejudice.


At 6:50 AM, Blogger vintage said...

Hey Chris! Thanks for ur feedback! Yeah i totally agree about the fast pace of the slide transitions. Like Liyan said, i could have asked for a 3rd party's view when rehearsing. I did thought about inserting commentary into the presentation thou. But the thing is, d past few days i was practically croaking. Hehe trust me, u guys wouldn't want to hear my voice leading the virtual fieldtrip...and yeah..as always..i was also pressed for time =P.. so too late to 'borrow' anybody's voice. Aite! Really appreciate ur comments and tips!All the best to your session k! Ps: Your the 1st guy i see to have really put together an awesum outfit wid dat sash. Cool..

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