Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Classroom Space | Keys School Manila

Photographs stolen from Teacher Gerald.

I believe the meeting space is something that every class in this small school has. Although the school is housed in a house, not a purpose-built building, the teachers put in a great deal of effort to make the physical space conducive and rich for learning. The meetings space is great for giving instructions and discussing what the students have done. You see tables put in groups unlike the traditional Filipino classrooms where students are seated in isolation. This promotes collaboration and help students learn social skills on a daily basis. Wall space is well used to provide visual support for things they do e.g. the writing process.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Classroom Space

Seoul Foreign School - a reputable school with more than 100 years of history. I like the way each teacher brings his personality in the design of the learning space. It is simply rich with resources. I recall teaching in a room where kids get to choose to sit on a sofa or the carpet. The carpet area provides proximity between students and stimulus of learning, increasing engagement manifolds compared to when students are at their desks.

Anglo Singapore International School in Bangkok. On Campus 64 (the school has three campuses), the kindergarten has thematic rooms. Here the kids are learning in a real minimart with real display and very realistic produce. The entire room is set up exactly like a minimart with a real cashier machine. A treehouse structure is under construction. I am impressed by how willing the school administration in taking up and bring my 'crazy' ideas to life.

King David School in South Africa. The carpet is really magical in getting children's attention.

International School of Dulsedoff in Germany. I like the provision of a lot of space for students and teacher to write. You can write in the walls and the kids write on their desks. No need for mini whiteboards. This grade two boy was doing some exploration and in the midst of making an amazing discovery. The students are so independent.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Anchor Task

ASCD Education Update August 2013 55(8) Planning for Processing Time Yields Deeper Learning encourages a pedagogy that put processing time into instructional design.

The Article

Children Working on An Anchor Task in a Singapore School
I have advocated for a lesson to include an anchor task - where less is more. One task being discussed and milked for learning opportunities for about 15 to 20 minutes of an hour lesson. Singapore mathematics textbooks have been written with this in mind.

An example of an anchor task for a practice type lesson is to give students five number cards and the addition, subtraction and equal signs. The anchor task is to form equations. An anchor task for a new concept lesson is to give students a square piece of paper and ask them to show four equal parts to learn the beginning idea of fractions. The first lesson is one I designed for Primary 1 which I taught to a class in Punggol Primary School and Woodlands Ring Primary School. The second is a Primary 2 lesson in My Pals Are Here! and Math in Focus.

In running an anchor task in maths, a problem is presented and students work on them. Subsequent discussion (if relevant) focuses on different ways of thinking leading to achieving the lesson goal. Often, there are concrete manipulative for the students to work with. Combined with journaling, anchor tasks is one way to plan for processing time.

Quoted in the article | Faster learning is not necessarily deeper learning. ~ Wendy Ostroff, associate professor at Curry College