Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Lesson Study at PCF Kindergartens Zhenghua

The second team to launch their lesson study journey is the team from Zhenghua comprising of the vice principal and three teachers teaching Kindergarten 2 (K2). They have decided to do lesson study on the unit on Nature. Their research theme is to develop amongst the students a sense of responsibility towards the environment.
The research lesson is on methods of seed dispersion. The lesson plan comprises three segments. First, students sort seeds into groups. Later, a book will be used to show how a seed is dispersed. The children will then be engaged in a discussion of how seeds they have brought are dispersed. In the last segment, they will be made aware of their roles in seed dispersion.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Lesson Study at PCF Kindergartens Tanjong Pagar

It is so exciting. We presented lesson study as a means of professional development of teachers in PCF Kindergarten some time back. Five kindergartens have taken up the offer to try it out. Most of them will do it in Term 3 of the school year. But Tanjong Pagar's centre has kicked start the process. This project receives the support of Ministry of Education.
The team of four teachers met last Friday. The team includes the principal. After the planning meeting, the team has decided to focus on how children acquire a new idea. The lesson is on addition within 20. The team decided that addition by making ten will be a new idea. The members were interested in how the new idea can be developed through play, how to create a situation for children to move into the idea, how the teacher can facilitate the process and how children interact with each other and respect each others' ideas in the process of moving into the new idea.
When asked what their learning is during the planning session, one teacher said she learnt a lot, new things she has not heard before or used before. Another teacher mentioned she learn about the tens frame that can be used to help children acquire the make ten strategy. Another teacher used to think that teaching addition is well simply teaching adding. She said she now realize that there are many strategies to do addition. Another concurred with her and said she learnt by listening to her colleagues.

Redesigning Pedagogy Conference 2009

Deborah Ball's keynote on What is the Work of Teaching Mathematics? reminded us on the complexity of teaching. Teaching mathematics is an intricate activity that requires teachers to have all kinds of knowledge. Among others, subject matter knowledge and pedagogical content knowledge. She mentioned two new categories - knowledge horizon under subject matter knowledge and knowledge of curriculum under pedagogical content knowledge.
Lesson study offers a viable way for teachers to acquire this knowledge set.
The team from Canossa Convent Primary School shared their use of lesson study to learn more about lessons that took into account learning styles.Tatang Suratno from Indonesia focused on teacher reflection aspect of lesson study.
I think SYM013 on variation theory by the team from Hong Kong is useful in selecting tasks in research lessons. There is also a Hong Kong presentation on Learning Study, a variant of lesson study. See SYM006.
Ho Geok Lan and her collegeaus will present a paper on building a professional learning community through lesson study and Michelle Tan will present a paper on the learning study approach to biology teachers' professional development.