A site maintained by teachers for teachers
This week’s observation session was the last one before the Christmas holidays. This week again was full of activities but this was the only day that happened to be a normal school day with lessons. As I do every week, I spend at least half an hour in the staffroom before the second lesson begins. What I have noticed today was that there were a lot of teacher correcting tests. When I was talking to them, most of them told me that they like to do a general test before the Christmas holidays and right after they finish the holidays so that they will be able to see those who studied or not during the holidays. In my opinion, I really liked the idea but I did not agree with those teachers who said that they do not inform the students about the tests. I think that some students just need a little push to study and by informing them that they have a test, they will study whether they like it or not.
As I entered the computer lab, I could see it fully decorated. The teacher told me that the lab was decorated by the students themselves during break time. When all the students settled up, the teacher gave them the test results. I could notice different facial expressions changing as she was handing them the test. Some of them were smiling, while others seemed confused. Those who went pretty well,were asking others how they went and also comparing the answers. There were also students asking the teacher what they had wrong and why they went this bad. The teacher made an emphasis that those students who did not manage to bring 70%, they had to re-do the test at home. By this they will be able to correct themselves. The test had to also be signed by a guardian by tomorrow. After all this hassle about the test results, the teacher continued the lesson about arrays. First, she did some theory explanation on the board. The students seemed lost and everything seemed to be abstract to them as it was their first time that they were being introduced to arrays. Then, she spread a handout which there were two programs about arrays. She told them to copy the code on the computer and run it, so that they could observe what the program is doing. Near the program code on the handout, there were black lines to write the details of what the program is doing. I think that this is a good way of introducing a programming concept. It it much easier for them rather than telling them to write a program on their own right away from the beginning. After they have observed the code, they had a class discussion on how it worked and what happened in the program.
The following lesson with the form 5’s was dedicated to finish the java projects for the o level exam. Those students who already managed to finish it, the teacher gave them some past paper questions to work them out. Those students who will be finishing the project at school, they still have to do the questions at home so that they will do a class correction on the following day. The teacher left me in charge to help the students that were doing the past paper questions. At first they were shy to ask for my help, but once the first student did so, the others were not shy to do the same. What I have noticed is that some of them wanted me to spoon feed them the answer. This is because as I finished explaining the answer and they told me that they’ve understood, they still wanted me to dictate them word by word the answer. Of course I did not allow this, all they have to do is to join a sentence from the explanation I gave them. By dictating them the answer, they would not learn at all.
The last lesson I observed is with the Form 3’s. From the past lessons and especially this lesson, I’ve noticed that there was a particular student that the teacher gives some special attention as he is not that good in the subject. He is also very pessimistic and whenever the teacher introduces a new concepts, he starts mumbling how difficult it is and that he did not understand anything. She tries to help him even by dedicating the break time to try to re-explain and help him with his difficulties. At the end, he always manages to understand and pass all the tests and exams, so all he has to do is to get rid of his pessimistic outlook. The lesson consisted of a great revision of all the topic s covered from the beginning of the scholastic year as this was the last day of lessons of this semester. This helped them refresh their memory. In fact, they seemed to like the idea, as some of them suggested that they should do a revision session whenever they’ve covered a whole topic.
Futurist, educator, speaker, writer
Christopher Felix Bezzina
Higher Education in the Digital Age
The TED Blog shares interesting news about TED, TED Talks video, the TED Prize and more.
give it time
Research and practice in the use of play and games for adult learning
Adventures in Inner Growth With Book Reviews
Conflict simulation, peacebuilding, and development