Starting from week 9, we introduced space competition to the third graders, echoing our moon festival and also the launching of the Artemis Program. My partner continued with festivals around the globe, and I stuck with space competition and someone delved into social and gender injustice.
Conclusion first: this unit continued for almost an entire semester because I only have one session with the children. For the third graders, some aspects of social segregation and gender discrimination are very difficult and abstract due to their insufficiency of world knowledge. So I came to a debate of how to really introduce cultures to them: should I go for the broader topics or stick with one but go deep. Am still trying.
Week 9-13, 5 periods, 200 minutes, we watched parts of the movie Hidden Figures. We talked about how black people and women were treated in NASA back in the 1960s. With some explanation of historical background, I would say visual images are perfect to portrait that injustice. Kids could tell from the facial expressions, words and actions of the characters. They nailed it with a lot of why questions.
Week 15 and 16, I continued the time line to the Artemis program. There is obviously a progress of inclusion, when we see the gender ration, Victor Clover and Johnny Kim. I hope they can see that the change will happen in progress if people try. Still working on it.
Week 17, I am hoping to introduce some other injustice in the world and then circle back to the idea that change will happen when we try.
張瀞仁的這本書讀起來非常舒服，是一種純粹乾淨的舒服。沒有壞念想，只有一份同理心。每個人在對自己的角色任務都有不同的解讀，也因爲個性、文化的不同有各式各樣的詮釋與行動。有些人的表達方式很隱晦，只能不斷試誤飲恨；也有些人表達明快容易配合。書裡引用Dr. William Marston 的 DISC 分類法，其實是ㄧ個簡易應對指南，容易上手。仔細思考一下，我曾經或是現在¥的主管們，也好像真的能夠用這分類法排排坐好！（圖摘自p173）
總的來說，書裡用了 Jennifer Kahnweiler 的話總結了此篇：「你的目標就是要幫你的主管達成目標，而他的工作就是要協助他的主管目標。」說的簡單，但操作起來的困難就是「我不認同」跟「我不想」。結果人生最大的敵人還是自己。
張瀞仁這本書雖然是寫給內向者的工作指引，但老實說對已在職場上的人是一種提醒，對於大學生或是初出社會的青年這樣ㄧ步步手把手解釋引導，真是佛心來著，我尤其推薦書裡解釋 Small Talk 的篇章。 對於還在英語學習階段，即將邁入雙語或是英語教學的學生們，這真的是寶典！哈哈哈哈！
Small talk, 對外國的孩子可能相當習以爲常，但對於臺灣的孩子（起碼對我來說），尤其是要自在的以英語進行small talk ，的確是ㄧ個需要學習的技能。
真實的經驗是，我也是個太小心謹慎的人。第一次的國外小旅行，當地朋友開心聊完自己，回頭問了我： So, what’ your story? 我驚嚇的當場逃走！
If I can do it again, I would definitely have lots to share and say about me, my country and my great experience in that trip.
Our education bureau is developing modules on PE lessons for teachers to learn to teach PE. I think this is a great idea. Simple and effective in terms of in-service teacher training. I actually benefited it a lot when I first started in 2017. Attending the second time this year, it feels that the model is more clear and easier to execute for novice PE teachers. Having the opportunity to learn from the experienced and the best is a blessing.
The model is GBODY. I don’t know where they got this acronym but it’s easy to remember.
G stands for warm up and preparation.
B stands for skills building.
O refers to communication and modification with the students.
D means differentiation.
Y is the final wrap up and cleaning up.
Easy to remember now, but it took me a long time to figure out the teaching process in 2017.
For lower graders, the lessons were contextualized with their world experience, such as animals imitation and road safety. I think the idea of road safety is fun to play with. Kids love the game of 紅綠燈 - red light and green light. For CLIL lessons, it’s also easier to develop chants and interaction when introducing this idea. Here is an example.
Red light, stop.
Green light, go.
Yellow, yellow, keep an eye out.
The lesson can then incorporate various animal walks and skips. Here is a screenshot of the differentiated stage (D) of GBODY.
The same process can also be used to teach gymnastic rolling, like how the panda rolls in the video clip.
Teaching lower grade PE is just too much fun!
This semester I start teaching third grade international Culture Education(ICE). Totally clues.
For one, I know very little where they are cognitively. Every year, the maturity of kids seem differ in some way. It’s easy to chat with them about daily routines, friends and school work. But how to really extend their knowing to a bigger context without having the sense of delivering bookish knowledge. It’s hard.
Secondly, I have completely no idea what are the big ideas behind the stories or texts I prepared for the kids at this point. It feels that we are just chitchatting in the class about recent news. But where am I taking them? Or do I even need to take them anywhere? Perhaps the purpose is to give them a different adult perspective on current issues.
On a note discussing with my fellow colleagues, their views struck a chord. We are teaching public school children. A lot of them may have never experienced having a decent conversation about the world or the country they live in with adults. This is a great opportunity for them to experience such and perhaps hearing various viewpoints from people other than their family. I am not sure whether it’s a public school thing or not. I could have gone to a private school when I was little, I remember my parents were busy and we hardly had time to have such discussion as well. So I guess just discussing may be good enough at this age.
Compared with IT, PE and English class, where the objectives are sound and clear, ICE at school seems fluid. I know the kids have to achieve a certain goal and obtain certain skill sets. But what are they? Children at this age do not yet have enough world experience to discuss National matters. (?) I am totally blind here.
It’s week 8. I am still learning. We have completed interesting topics, such as the Fukushima nuclear plant water release and the Asian Game. Space competition is our current topic. Kids are very responsive and amazingly talkative. They are inquisitive and creative with solutions. I wish I could have time in class to address to their questions individually. Discussions are fun. I am not sure whether I am on the right track but I hope they at least learned some facts and at had fun.
A colleague told me she started taking online English lessons to brush up her English skills. Kinda interesting and I signed up one. For one, I want to see how experienced teachers conduct a language class with a small group of people. I also want to practice the language on topics I am not that familiar with.
The first lesson was great. The teacher divided the time into two sessions: 1) conversation-how to really take turns to build the content on others’ response 2) discussion-read aloud a short paragraph, explain the vocabulary, trouble-shoot and share ideas.
I truly enjoyed the first part! Gosh! Having a proper conversation without asking questions is so hard for me! It really takes practice. And studying the vocabulary words, ChatGPT really comes in handy. Some of the words are difficult to grasp without enough contexts. I asked ChatGPT to give me 10 sentences for each words.
Solid and well-rounded.
On a side-note, I scheduled the lesson at noon time, for 80 minutes. It was very refreshing and better than a nap, at least for me.
When researching ideas of how teachers successfully build a learner-centered community, I found this gem on Edutopia. Mr. Chris Optiz speaks about his philosophy and strategies to engage learners in the math class.
I love how he describes learning as a social behavior. It is impossible for one teacher to teach students with a wide range of social or academic abilities. Therefore teaching them how to support each other, offer and accept help is more important.
When I first think about SEL, I googled and saw sets of curricula online. It feels like a subject that requires additional time and effort to work it out in the classroom. Obviously, for me it is impossible because I simply do no have enough time to cover that on top of the materials/textbook I already have to cover. Then, I wonder when and how did education or my own teaching come to this end - how to efficiently transmitting content knowledge to the children.
So here I take a different turn. And thanks to ideas and video clips.
Edutopia- How to teach Math as a social activity
Here Mr. Opitz showcased his ideas in action.
Cooperative Learning Fits into Caculation
Here Mr. Opitz shared his overall plans and step-by-step guide.
From the podcast episode, this is a beautiful quote by The two, “seeing us as human beings and as brothers and sisters is to recognize that we are all capable of being good or bad; We cannot be fixed but we can always be better. “
I truly enjoyed the conversation between these two great individuals. Their words and actions about love, community and finding common grounds amongst US are uplifting and empowering.
Although Chloe spoke from the concerns of racism, her central tone is to encourage all to face the demon inside. Instead of othering people, recognizing those needs and wants that we dislike or loathe are not unique but social-emotional complexity existing within every single one of us. As inner psychology lays out: what we do not like is a projection of ourselves. Separation is an illusion. It is always We and Us.
To be WE is not an easy task. Communications and negotiations speaks to from and to our egos. It triggers anger, annoyance, disgust, superiority…and feelings that defines us at that particular moment. Oftentimes, it hurts.
Looking within takes courage because it asks us to confront our own ego. One who chooses to go through that path could experience unpleasant interactions with our own ego.
Indeed, as human beings I’m capable of doing all good and bad. I choose, I mourn, I learn and I choose again. such a lifetime hard work. It can be fun if we simply let it.
Finally finished the book - prolly the best of the best over these years, in my opinion.
This book started with a series of the author’s personal struggles to reclaim his own concentration but ended up uncovering bigger psychological and social problems of humanity - a fascinating compilation of his search for truth and genuine compassion for our world.
After interviewing researchers and experts, Hari came to a conclusion that our losing of attention or focus can be attributed to a variety of causes which inevitably are resulted from our economic model or how we view prosperity. Citing from different sources, Hari explains that our prosperity is built on our ability to consume. More and faster is the key to success.
At the psychological level, our IT business flourished by creating technology tools that manipulates human minds, which then cripples our attention capacity and flow process. At a societal level the need to pursue success creates stress to our day-to-day life including a malfunctioned medical system and nutrition industry.
Some of the interesting perspectives Hari cited are the causes of ADHD, where he took the most blames from book reviews. As a teacher, I couldn’t stop turning the pages when he discussed the causes of ADHD. The knowledge we have about ADHD or ADD is too limited, and as the research reveal, some of these experiments could be flawed methodologically and not long term. It is important to keep in mind that environments could be one of the reasons that attributed to children’s hyperactive behaviors.
“The truth is that you are living in a system that is pouring acid on your attention everyday, and then you are told to blame yourself and to fiddle with your own habits while the world‘s attention burns.“ - Stolen Focus, Johann Hari
And thus we keep cramming more and more into the syllabus and school calendar as if the kids can split their learning time into milliseconds.
Came across this wonderfully written book about the status of human attention in the library. Shocking, it feels like an inevitable process that one is pulled into the swirl of mind/habit change. Our mind is trained to lose focus or attention by our surroundings without us knowing the cause. As discussed in the book, deep thinking requires a trained mind to focus and attend to the problem. Without the ability to stay focus, we also lose the ability to really think.
Still in chapter 4, intrigued. Lots of interviews and research mentioned in the book. Fascinating!
An enthusiastic ELT/CLIL teacher, passionate educator, researcher, teacher trainer, Apple Teacher. Seesaw ambassador and curriculum developer.