The end of the journey!

8 Apr

Just dropping by to wish everyone best of luck!

Can’t believe this course is coming to an end. And finally, we had sent in our last assignment for the ICT course! This is our end product. Tadaaaa~

Although the process was hard, the outcome is so rewarding. I believe all the efforts and time we had spent will not go down the drain, as in the process, I have indeed gained invaluable experiences and undeniably, I have become a better lesson planner! I used to design lesson plans without giving much thoughts, for instance, is it feasible for primary classroom, have I created a rich learning experience, is the task making the pupils to think, are the objectives achievable and the most important thing is, I have never given much attention to assessment. However, in the midst of completing this assignment, I did ponder on such aspects. For sure, I will definitely apply these when I start teaching. A big thank you to Ms Ng and Miss Marsyitah for their endless support and guidance. ūüôā

I had a good time working with my group mates too! Really happy working with these bunch of cheerful and forever crazy friends.

This will be the moment I cherish the most. I would like to thank my group mates as well. I have indeed learned a lot from them, especially Choo, who is such a perfectionist and I love how she¬†organizes¬†and plans things, clever girl! And Priya, who loves to laugh a lot! Haha.. She is another smart girl in our group. Extremely creative and she can come up with good ideas any time! And the guys, Louis, Aaron and Dhaya also. I really had fun working with all of you! This might be our last time working together! ūüė¶

Alright, think I should stop crapping here and get back to my work. All the best for the coming tests and exams and I hope all of us can strike through. Good luck! It’s our last sem! Hoooray~

Till we meet again, adeus!

My journey of A03

24 Mar

I must have been living in my dream all this while, as I didn’t even realise that our A03 is due in 2 weeks’ time! Feel like slapping myself for being so ignorant! Sigh…Anyway…

In the previous lesson, we had more in-depth discussion on our A03. Thanks to Ms Ng for listening and responding to our ideas, although those ideas were rather vague because we have not planned detailed lessons yet. Thanks Ms Ng for being so patient with us. From her explanation and feedback on our lessons, we have a clearer idea on how we should proceed.

I realised that our first draft was rather simple and did not have clear goals and we had also overlooked most of the essential elements of the lessons. Therefore, we have modified our lessons according to the criteria of developing effective lessons. Now we have all the lessons ready and we are working on the task sheets and materials. Hopefully we will gain the green light from Ms Ng. Below are the possible items that I perceived are essential to ensure effective student-centered, personalised, and  higher-order thinking lessons.

1) Multiple resources

Resources are essential part of teaching and learning. It assists teachers to deliver the lesson effectively. Therefore, we try to develop a range of resources to ensure that pupils can experience learning from different means. We also make sure that our resources cater to learners with different learning styles especially visual, kinesthetic, and audio learners. We have developed and employed various resources for our A03, for instance, task sheets, word search, songs, comic strips, animal headbands, hands-on activities like puzzles, mix and match body parts and other fun learning resources. With these, we hope pupils can engage in fun and meaningful learning process.

2) The use of ICT

I believe that ICT is an essential part of learning as it can help to enhance teaching and learning process tremendously. It makes the impossible tasks possible. We try to integrate ICT in most of our lessons. Ms Ng had given a list of ICT tools to help us in this assignment.  I have explored most of them and found that they are indeed very helpful and I am amazed of the wonders these tools can do. For instance, I have tried using Toondoo to create comic strips of the animals and their youngs, and I could not believe that all the animals that we want are all available there! Although there are no ICT facilities available in one of the schools, we can print it and use in class instantly.

3) Group activities

Besides that, we also try to engage pupils in different activities to ensure that our lessons are student-centered. There are interactive pair work (information-gap activities, rearranging story sequence) and group work (role play, chanting) besides individual learning to ensure that pupils can benefit from each other in the process of completing the tasks.

4) Promoting higher order thinking

We also try to promote higher order thinking in our lessons as well. For instance, in one of our activities, the adaptation of “Bob the builder”, we try to get pupils to invent their own futuristic vehicles. I deem that this activity is helpful in stimulating pupils’ creative thinking skills. Besides this activity, we also employ open-ended questions in our lessons. For example, in the lesson “animals and their youngs”, pupils are asked to guess and draw who is the mother of the kitten and predict the ending of the story. I believe all these assist and stimulate pupils to think logically and creatively. These are crucial for their intellectual development.

5) Assessment and feedback

Assessment and feedback are also fundamental parts of teaching and learning. ¬†I have always overlooked this aspect during my teaching practice. However, I realized that it is indeed crucial as it helps teacher to analyse pupils’ strengths and weaknesses for further course of action. Hence, while developing this assignment, I would always ensure that there is feedback session in every lesson. We have also¬†incorporated¬†peer evaluation in our lessons. We planned to provide each pupil with an evaluation sheet whereby they are able to evaluate their friends work by stating “I am happy/ not happy with their work.” For higher level of pupils, we try to get them to respond to their friends’ work by explaining how good they are/what they need to improve.

6) Tapping on pupils’ previous knowledge

It is undeniably important to begin the lesson with what pupils have already learned. Therefore, while developing this assignment, we have looked into the curriculum specification to find out pupils’ previous knowledge. For instance, pupils have learned about transportation of the past and present in Year 3. Therefore, for the lesson for Year 4, we begin the lesson by asking pupils to draw two pictures depicting the vehicles used in the past and present. I believe this step is vital to help pupils to relate what they learn previously to what they are going to learn next.

7) Pupils-tailored activities

In order to ensure that there is element of personalised-learning, we try to design the lessons in such a way that pupils can design and determine the products of the lesson. For example,¬†we have planned to adapt the ICT tool “Build your Wildself” whereby we will ask pupils to design their unique animal using the body parts of different animals. I believe this activity will cater to all the individual pupils as they are given the platform to learn and develop on their own.

This is our progress and plan for A03 so far. I hope we’ve integrated all the essential elements into our lessons. That’s all from me and please feel free to comment! All the best to all and I believe we can produce a good assignment!

Ebook transformation!

16 Mar

Ola! Last week we had looked into the fundamentals of ebook and made a bit of essential changes on our group’s ebook. This week we are required to create an interactive ebook based on what we’ve learned and what we perceived as INTERACTIVE.

I was quite appalled at first. I had lost my previous ebook due to the broke in case a few weeks ago! I think you must’ve heard of it. The thief did not steal my ebook, however, but my laptop, but my ebook was inside my laptop! Haha anyway let’s get back into business. So, I have to create a new one. Nevertheless, amidst¬†all the trouble looking for the tool to create an ebook, I have gained another new insights. Caryn told me that storybird is worth trying hence I decided to give it a try. Undeniably, it is a great tool! Thus, I had made an ebook entitled “The Superkid” using this tool.

This ebook is designed for Year 4 pupils to teach simple past tense. There are 20 pages in this ebook. It is a fantasy story about a boy who became a superkid but failed to fulfill his promise to be a good boy. He was turned into an ordinary boy towards the end. Let me show you a few pages of the ebook! ^_^


Errrr…..What do you think? Could have been better right? It certainly needs a transformation!

In order to make an interactive ebook, there are a few considerations to take note, for instance, the contents, the images, the colour, arrangement of text and illustration. So, I decided to modify my ebook to make it more interactive and appealing. In order to do so, I had transfered it to power point so that it’s easier for me to edit the font and also the picture. (Storybird does not allow users to change the font size, colour and background.)

1. First of all, I decided to change the font size of the entire ebook. The original one is too small and not very clear. Besides, the original font is rather dull as well. Hence, I had altered the font to enhance readability.

(before)

(after)

2. Secondly, I found that the background does not stand out at all. The white column on the right hand side had occupied almost half of the page thus children cannot see much of the illustrations. Therefore, I had enlarged the image and shift the words to the bottom of the page so that pupils can read and enjoy the illustrations at the same time. —> “As children explore illustrations and develop ability to read images, they will attain deeper meanings from literature and awareness of how visual images are used in their own meaning making.” (The fundamentals of ebook, 2011)

(before)

(after)

3. Thirdly, I also realised that there is no critical thinking involved in my ebook as well. It should allow room for interaction and thinking at the same time. Therefore, I had added a few pages and inserted some questions to stimulate pupils.

These are the modifications that I had made to my ebook, taking into consideration what I had learned in the previous class and what Ms Ng had told us. I believed that the second version is better as it is more interactive than the first one –>there is a purpose for reading. ¬†The font had been enhanced as well, and I think the illustrations suit the plot of the story too. Besides, I had also proofread my ebook a few times to ensure that there are no grammatical or spelling errors.

Righto! That’s all from me this week. If you have better ideas regarding my ebook, please do not hesitate to drop your comments ya! Thanks! =)

PL with Shidonni

4 Mar

So “Personalised Learning” is the topic of the week! I think it is something that we’ve heard of but perhaps have never given much attention or emphasis to. So before delving deep into this topic, let’s see what personalised learning¬† is about. Let’s call it PL okay? Haha…PL “is the tailoring of pedagogy, curriculum and learning support to meet the needs and aspirations of individual learners.” PL is the kind of learning that extends the pupils’ learning opportunities and enhances each pupil’ s potential by training them to become active and independent learners. Every child (regardless of their SES and etc) is given the chance to progress, participate and develop their talents and potentials. In PL, pupils are the PILOT of learning. Take a look on this article for more information about PL.

There are a number of beneficial tools given by Ms Ng with the aim to develop PL. Each of them is cool and awesome. I found that I like “shidonni the most. I found this tool exceptionally FUN, INTERACTIVE, CUTE and PERSONAL- exactly what are needed for PL . (maybe not the cute part..haha!) Trust me, pupils are going to love it! Shidonni makes drawing comes alive! Sounds magical isn’t it? It is a simple tool to be used, very pupil-friendly and it’s a channel for them to self-express. So this is the lesson that I have designed for PL using Shidonni. NOTE: PLEASE BEAR WITH MY AWFUL DRAWING YA!!! Hahaha… ^_^

Topic: Let’s adopt a pet!

Target Learners: Year 4/5, advanced proficiency

Lesson Objectives: By the end of the lesson, pupils will be able to (1) describe their pets (2)write simple/compound/complex sentences about the activities they do with their pets.

Procedures:

1. Teacher prompts pupils to talk about their previously learned knowledge- pets.

2. Teacher explains how to use Shidonni and clarifies what they have to do clearly.

3. Individually, pupils are required to CREATE a pet. They can choose to draw any animals that they like and draw the background of where they what their  pets to live in. Of course they have to name their pets.

4. Next, pupils are to do a range of activities with their pets: take shower, feed them and play with them. Then, pupils take various photos of their pets. (Pupils do this by print screen and save the pictures. Teacher regularly assists and facilitates pupils.) Teacher helps pupils to print the pictures.

5. Next pupils are to write a postcard to their classmates. (Pupils draw lots to determine who the receiver is). Pupils attach the pictures of their pets and introduce their pets to their friend. Teacher provides the sentence structure needed. i.e:

Dear XXX:

Hello, I have just adopted a pet. Her/his name is ___________. She/he is ______________. He/she likes to _________, _____________ and __________. Everyday, I _______________ and _____________________with him/her. Wish you can come and see her/him. Attached are the photos of my lovely pet.

Regards,

6. Pupils send the postcards to their friends.

7. Teacher pastes the postcards in the class. Pupils are given a sheet of paper to evaluate their friends’ pets by giving stars (5 maximum) Pupils with better language command can write short comments about their friends’ pets.

That’s about the lesson. I think it’s a good channel for pupils to self express and it’s a pathway to train them to become independent learners. Teachers are there but only to assist and explain what pupils are going to do. Erm, I’m not sure whether this lesson can actually be implemented or not. But for sure, the school needs to have really good ICT facilities and teachers need to plan the lesson very carefully. If you have better ideas regarding the lesson, please do not hesitate to share ya! =)

That’s all from me this week. Till then, cya!

Learning and Reflecting

25 Feb

Whoa, all I can say about this week’s ICT lesson is: AWESOME!

We had a great sharing and reflecting session. I was deeply impressed by all the presentations and I think all of us had done a very good job in designing such wonderful and creative adaptations of “Who Wants to be a Millionaire”.

It was not easy at all to adapt the template, as we need to take into consideration numerous aspects such as the kids-appeal, theme, content and etc. So after cracking our brains, we finally agreed on a theme, and after developing the theme, we had a clearer direction of how we should adapt the game. One of our group members, Choo was creative enough to come out with a new help line which is “immunity”, and I think it is a good integration. Other than that, it is not easy to develop the award system as well. Cash, stars, or other forms of reward? Finally we agreed on giving stars. The reason is, we wouldn’t want to give real cash to pupils if we were to conduct it in the class. Haha… Besides this, developing the content was another difficult task for us. But we managed to do so after careful selection and discussion. This process made me realized the importance of group work, as we were able to share our ideas, respond to/criticize our members’ ideas and decide on the best solution to come out with the final product. The whole process was PROACTIVE and PRODUCTIVE, and it wouldn’t be so effective if I were to do it individually.

Next is the feedback session during the presentation. What more can I say. It is another PROACTIVE and PRODUCTIVE session.

This is the most interactive lecture I have attended so far. Wish I can click a “like” button for this lesson. ūüôā Now I can clearly see how a teacher can train pupils to take control of their own learning and lead the learning of the class.

Instead of us listening to the presentation and giving¬† ordinary comments like “good job” and “interesting”, we were asked to give critical and thoughtful comments.

The session became more INTERACTIVE and DYNAMIC, and all of us were actually paying close attention and scrutinizing each presentation with the intention to help each group to improve (instead of doing other things during the lecture..oppss…). Overall, I really benefited a lot as a feedback giver – to be more critical and genuine (honesty is the best policy! ^_^). Guess the same goes to giving feedback to primary pupils as well.

Well, as a feedback receiver, it made me ponder on our strengths and weaknesses. It made us think –> How come we didn’t think of that??? Oh we should have done that instead!!! But it’s not too late to learn that. Now we know what we should really take note when we develop our A03 and also when we start teaching. So, from the comments, I realized that we have indeed overlooked the background and designs, and also the animations and sound effects, yes sound effects! We have really overlooked these aspects. Guess we were too engrossed with the content, and at the same time we’ve forgotten that our audience are young learners! I’m positive that with these valuable feedback and thoughtful reminders, we would be more critical and careful when selecting and developing resources for teaching and learning. Good job to all and wish there are more lessons like this in the future!

That’s all from me this week and have a nice day!

A lesson with Cafe World???

12 Feb

Undeniably, one of my all-time favourite games is Cafe World and in fact, when I started playing this game, I was already thinking “this is so useful for a language classroom!” Cafe world is an online virtual cooking game available on Facebook. Players are required to manage a virtual cafe by cooking and serving food to the citizens.

Undoubtedly, this game has unlimited potential for language learning. It is a great language¬†resource¬†too. It can enhance pupils’ mastery in imperatives and I think it helps pupils to enrich their vocabulary too.¬†So presenting to you, a lesson with

Target learners: Year 4-5

Focused skill: Writing

Language Focus: Imperative verbs- chop, slice, sift, shred and etc.

Objective: Pupils will be able to create a list of instructions using the imperatives learnt.

1)Teacher explains how to play the game and the task that pupils are required to do.

2) Individually, pupils start setting up their restaurant, select and start cooking the dishes.

3) While doing so, they will need to write down the recipe and instructions of preparing the dish, while paying attention on the imperative verbs used.

4) Pupils then work in groups of 5 (depending on the number of enrollments), whereby they need to compile the recipes into a scrap book. They can include pictures of the dishes and the ingredients needed. Pupils can present their scrapbook according to their creativity and preferences.

5) I also found a task sheet which might be useful for follow-up activities:

www.primaryresources.co.uk/english/docs/imperative_verbs_LR.doc

So this is basically what the lesson is about. I deemed that such game is a good channel to promote learning as it can indirectly enhance pupils’ language proficiency and I think pupils will certainly love this game too. It trains their decision making skills as they have to decide the dishes that they want to serve in their ideal restaurant while taking into consideration the preparation time (this can be used for cross-curriculum subject-which is Maths). Besides, I think teachers can better assess and monitor pupils’ progress through scrapbooks as well, while giving tangible comments on how they can improve their work. Pupils are able to record what they have learnt too. Therefore, I definitely encourage teachers to employ games in teaching, but they must utilize it intelligibly together with other learning resources ¬†in order to inject learning through playing. Of course close supervision from the teachers is needed constantly when pupils engage in the game.

That’s all from me this week. I hope I can implement this lesson one day if the facilities in the school are supportive enough. Thanks for reading and if you have better idea regarding this lesson, please feel free to share! ¬†Have a nice day!

“Glogster”, simply superb!

31 Jan
Hi there! Time flies extremely fast, and I couldn’t believe this is going to be our 4th entry! In this entry, I will provide an in-depth review on one of the constructive ICT tools that I have tested, which is Glogster. I have tried experimenting with other tools as well but somehow Glogster seemed to catch my attention the most.
“Glogster”, sounds cool isn’t it? I have never heard of this tool before and hence I thought I can start experimenting with it and perhaps it might come in handy for our Assignment 3.
Truthfully speaking, I did not even know what Glog is! My general knowledge must be very shallow!
Glog is actually the abbreviation for graphical blog which is “an online multimedia poster that combines text, photos, videos, music, graphics, links and other media elements”.
Then what about “Glogster”?¬†When I first entered this website, I was amazed by its vibrant and eye-catching design. I felt in love with it on the first sight! =)

Glogster is a social network and platform that enables users to create free interactive posters, it allows us to create our own theme and add any graphics, texts, audio or videos according to our preferences. Want to know more about Glogster? Let the video does the talking then. =)
What drew me to delve deep into Glogster is that it has a channel dedicated to educators! It’s called Glogster Edu. Since Glogster Edu is more relevant to classroom usage, I decided to scrutinize it and who knows you might find it useful too! =)
So what’s the functions of this tool?
-Similar to Glogster, Glogster Edu is a web 2.0 platform that easily allows users to upload photos, videos, text, audio, and other exciting resources to create a unique online, interactive poster.
-A channel for educators to keep students engaged and make learning fun. Teachers can use it for multiple purposes such as presenting a story, songs or teach important concepts.
-Easy to use interface designed to introduce basic concepts to students.
-Can be utilized for diversed subjects such as English, Mathematics, Science and any other subject.
Let me show you how this tool can be employed in the classroom.
We can add or edit any element of our poster according to our needs and preferences. Depends on how creative you are.
And this is the end product. Tadaaaa~ Aha….¬†I am not creative enough, so this is the best I can do…..Hehehe =)

So here are my personal opinions and thoughts after using and testing out ¬†“Glogster”.
The limitations of the tool:
I noticed that there are several drawbacks of this tool. First of all, I found that the design of this tool is more inclined towards girls. The themes suggested are more appealing to girls as they used a lot of flowery themes. Besides, internet connection is needed in order to use this tool as any editing work and previewing need to be done online; hence it might be a problem for those who do not have internet connection. These are the minor problems that I think might appear if we employ it in our classroom.
When can this tool be used:
I found that Glogster is such a useful tool with unlimited and myriad functions. There are countless ways of using it and it can be used throughout the lesson. For instance, teachers can use this to pre teach vocabulary or grammar such as the example given above. Teachers can even insert multiple videos to present a story (break a short video into several parts, then jumble up the video parts). Then pupils can be asked to rearrange the video parts according to the correct sequence. Quite interesting isn’t it?
Besides, teachers can also create any poster according to the theme, by selecting the wall (background) and also add necessary title and audio that are compatible with the theme. It can be used as a weekly revision or as a sum-up for any topic as well. In addition, teachers can also ask pupils to upload the pictures of the characters from a story and pick the stickers (there are many fascinating stickers available in Glogster) and add text to describe the characters of the story. Pupils can be asked to create their own posters too! Pretty cool isn’t it?
The user friendliness from the teacher point of view:
I think that Glogster is incredibly user friendly! It does not have complicated steps, everything is rather simple and straight forward. However, we must always remember to save our draft if not we might lose any data and need to redo the work.
The tool is suitable for which standard:
Glogster is definitely suitable for learners of all ages, ranging from Year 1 to Year 6, depending on how the teachers manipulate it. For instance, for the younger learners like Year 1 to Year 3, teachers can create the poster, chip in the resources that they want, and present it in the classroom. For upper primary pupils, teachers can ask them to create their own poster, but of course with consistent guidance from the teachers.
Overall, I would say that Glogster is just —> Simply Superb! It is no doubt a fun, interactive, interesting, capable and resourceful tool to be used in the classroom.
I think that’s all from me and please feel free to drop your comments ya!
Thank you and have a nice holiday! Happy Chinese New Year to those who are celebrating! Gong Xi Gong Xi..Hehe =)