Teachers as Learners

I learn so much from my colleagues. The other day I stepped into one of my grade level teacher’s room and saw the way she had beautifully set up the bulletin board. Laminated pictures of monuments with guiding questions were set up and ready for the students. The board looked fantastic. We were studying how understanding the history and culture of our place makes us value our heritage. We are fortunate to live here! History reverberates throughout the place. Old palaces, forts, and homes make for some lovely field trips.

Based on my master’s course, my assignment this term is to learn from others and then apply my own skills and strategies. I went back to my class and wondered how I could make this more interactive and inquiry-based.  My colleagues and I have planned the lesson, but somehow when one enters the classroom, we keeo tweaking the lesson to suit the needs of the children, and indeed oneself! Could the students look at these pictures and recreate them? Of course they could! So maybe instead of laminating print-outs, I could ask the students to draw and colour them. This way, they could observe details they would otherwise miss out by simply observing the pictures. I would also be integrating Art into my classroom. I could use the laminated sheets for a See-Think-Wonder activity. The questions generated from this activity would then be sorted out and students could identify thin and thick question and arrange them according to importance using the nine post-it activity. (One most important question, 2 important questions, 3 ‘okay kinda’ questions, 2 ‘not so important’, and finally one, ‘we could do without’ question!

These question could them become part of their inquiry. I would build on this inquiry by introducing the concept of ‘schema” or ‘what I already know” to the students. They would them build on their schema and keep adding information and creating new schema. I am all set for the week. I learned from my peers and tweaked the lesson a little. It has to make sense to me. I am glad I inquired into the lesson and used my teaching philosophy to guide me.

I look forward to visiting as many classrooms as I can this term and then tweaking them to suit my children and their different styles of learning.

 

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