Saturday, September 25, 2010

1st Session

b) Reflection on Session 1

     Talk it Out!

OK, honestly I didn’t really dread the thought of attending class on Teacher’s Day, as I was happy I had the whole morning and noon for “me” time anyway. But.. why math? I thought.. I may have liked the subject, but after leaving school for sooo long, do I need to learn all those math formulas again? Should I bring a calculator?....

Well Dr. Yeap proved to be in a different league from almost all my former math teachers. Not for the sake of saying it or to obtain good credits, but he really did make me view the subject in a new perspective. Let me share why..

When the three games were introduced, I doubted if my students would be able to engage in them based on level appropriateness. I know I shouldn’t undermine their abilities, but I wondered if they will be able to play with perfect understanding of the concepts or to even generate the desired response, for that matter. And then Dr. Yeap clarified my thoughts. It’s not about them getting the right answers; it’s all about them being able to talk about the process of how they derive to such an answer. There’s no right or wrong, really. If the child can clearly explain his or her thoughts in arriving to a particular answer, assumption or idea, it will reflect the level of understanding acquired. To relate my assessment practices at my centre, I normally do it the conventional way. If I don’t see the correct answers in place, I may allow the child to try a second time, and probably let him explain himself once or twice. But to what extent do I respect the child’s answers or ideas? How far do I facilitate in making the child speak about it?

It’s time for me to reflect on my existing assessment practices and make positive changes….

If children are excited, curious, resourceful and
confident about their ability to figure things out
and eager to exchange opinions with other
adults and children, they are bound to go on
learning, particularly when they are out of the
classroom and throughout the rest of their lives.
– Constance Kamii, 1990

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