Thursday, September 08, 2005

of psychotic superlambananas and yawning chickens

with only one hour of sleep last night, i was fighting a huge battle with myself the entire day just now just to stay awake. even when i am walking. serious.

oh well, i am glad though that at least the weekend is near which also means that the term break has arrived. i am going to try to sleep for 4 days straight in order to catch up with all the loss sleep. it is not going to be easy but i will try my best. 4 days.

i will briefly cover my thoughts on both mas's and yen peng's microteaching just now.

the strategy that mas selected in which she got us to answer revision questions before we get to sit reminds me of my history teacher in secondary 2. i feel that it has lots of good points in that students will be keen to do their revision before coming for mas's class because they know that they will not be able to sit unless they can answer some questions confidently.

in my history class then, mrs sundram got us to read our textbooks and relate to her the events one by one according to the seating arrangement. every student will give a bit of a certain historical event until she says stop and the next student will have to continue from where the last guy stopped. everyone read their history textbooks of course. anyone who have nothing to say when it comes to him would have to stand for at least half of the period.

here, it would be useful to note that this is when i totally gave up on history and never looked back. i did mention that this strategy was good but it gave me a negative outlook on the subject. instead of reading for interest, i was reading for fear that i would have to stand in class. not forgetting her deathly stare when you have nothing to say. so in the end, history reminds me of fearful times and even ridiculous days. yes, ridiculous because there were days that the class totally forgot to read the textbook (sometimes in advance) and to maintain her rule, almost half the class was standing. which was, yeas you guessed it, ridiculous!

but i did not think mas was doing it at such extremes. probably it will get students to think a little bit more before jumping into the next lesson. to use an analogy, it gets students to put on their swimming gear before jumping into the river.

the topic selected by mas, i realised, could be done in various creative ways. kudos to her for trying out the virtual field trip. it is all good because it gets students focused on the task at hand. they do not want to lose any sounds or images so everyone will have to fix their focus on to the screen.

two points though. firstly, it was going a little too fast. secondly, i felt that 10 boxes a tad too many for the students' attention span.

yen peng's lesson is a fresh topical change. instead of teaching content, map reading is more towards skills knowledge.

yen peng has the ability to create a presence in class. i simply feel that she was very much like a teacher. i attribute this to the experience she has had from her previous contract teaching assignment.

i was unsure though of the methods she employed. i was wondering during class just now whether it would be more feasible to teach about grid lines using powerpoint. whereby the grid lines can 'move' into the screen to probably show which is read first. with the lines changing colours (for example from left to right), she could show why the lines are called eastings.

i personally feel that map reading offers us many opportunities to infuse IT into our teaching. contour lines and relief could be explained rather well to the students if we have access to some technology that could turn a 3-D image so that it could be viewed from various angles. many students cannot draw contour lines of landform features simply because they cannot 'see' the landform from the top. i wonder whether there already exists such technology/software. it would be good to get our hands on it.

i would love to talk about raksha's lost purse. but i seriously have to start thinking about my individual assignement for educational psychology. zeewhy will soon be buzzing in my ear if she finds out that i have not done anything for it yet. =P

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