16 November (Absent) and 23 November 2010 Professional Development
Lesson Study

PLC- Professional LEARNING Community committee (early 2000)
*ensure students’ learning
*traditional format like attending workshop
*learning thru collaborating
*studying the lesson & its context
*transits from traditional to teaching & studying context

Benefits of Lesson Study
-Not just for new teachers but for the experienced and STs
-See your strengths & weaknesses as a teacher & aim for improvement in   
-Teacher’s more conscious of what they are planning, focus on lessons
- Support from fellow colleagues
-‘live’ lesson study is impt –focussing on student’s outcome

1)     What is it that we want the student to learn?
2)     How do we know that they have learnt it?
3)     What do we do if they have NOT learnt it?
4)     What do we do if they HAVE learnt it?
5)     What are the differentiated instructions for the pupils?

To conclude the whole AKM module :
I really enjoyed working on the questions and activities that Dr Yeap had designed, and I discovered new learning experiences and this helps me see and to make sense of what and why we are learning Mathematics.
The PERI Report states that “Learning should be contextualised and situated in real world experiences so that students appreciate the purpose of what they are learning, and see the connections between what they learn in school and what they experience in the world.”
This is what experiential learning is about.

The integration of the MOE initiatives can help develop in pupils their interest in mathematics, enrich their learning experience and help fulfill their potential by becoming independent thinkers and learners.

Reflection 9- ASSESSMENT

9 November 2010 Assessment (Fifth Lessson)
Lesson Flags for Fifth tutorial
1) Performance Task
2) Rubric
3) A Look at International Assessment
4) Formative Assessment
The class had a short but engaging learning trip just outside the tutorial classroom where Dr Yeap, required us all to be in teams and using the basic Math tools he provided, we are required to measure the height of the pillar which is about 2-storey high. Interestingly, every team engineered their own strategy to measure the height and arrived to their answers
Dr Yeap listed all our answers and got us to see which methods make sense and which do not and what are the methods that I could have thought of myself.
Main Takeaways
Mathematics learning can be fun and given the conditions of authenticity through real life and everyday circumstances, pupils can find learning Mathematics more interesting and engaging. Pupils need to be equipped with concepts in a spiral approach. More importantly, the pupils enjoyed themselves thoroughly and thus the activity will foster in them a greater interest in Mathematics.
Using the correct assessment rubrics, these performance tasks can be achieved and Dr Yeap showed us a combination of performance rubrics which were similar to my Performance Assessment in school. As Albert Einstein qouted:
" What's measurable is not always important,
 and what's important is not always measurable."

Reflection 8- ASSESSMENT

26 October 2010 TEACHING & LEARNING (Fourth Tutorial)
Brilliant Lessons for the Night by Dr Yeap
1) Assessment-Interactive Lecture
2) Area is 5
3) Frameworks - workbook task & word problems

What I have learnt about Assessment :
When we think of assessments in mathematics, we usually think of the traditional mode of pen-and-paper test but assessment is more than that.
The purpose of assessment is broadly divided into two types: summative and formative. They are also known as assessment of learning and assessment for learning. Both types of assessments are central to improving learning. Assessment for learning is formative in the sense that follow-up measures are taken to remedy the learning. Assessment of learning is generally conducted for the purpose of placement of pupils at the next level of learning. Assessment brings about engaged learning when students know the expectations of the assessment and receive regular and constructive feedback that helps them improve.
There is a role for other forms of mathematics assessment tools. Take for example, journal writing. Through the way journal writing items or questions are crafted, besides concepts and skills, it is also possible to sieve out pupils’ attitudes and process skills.
Assessment is a 2-way process- data collection and data-analysis for a variety purpose based on student’s learning outcome, whether it is cognitive or non-cognitive.
Assessment must be discriminate so that we can find out the learning outcome and performance reading.
Facility Index (FI) & Discriminating Index (DI)
So, do use different modes of assessment to check the mastery of learning.
What I have learnt in Area is 5:
We were given geoboards, rubber bands and paper grids, and we are to come up with as many figures having the area 5 as possible. The activity helps us to recognise the patterns and make connections with area and perimeter. Also, we explored and experimented with different pattern combinations as directed by Dr Yeap and we were able to make assumptions about each combination and pattern. There was a lot of thinking going on and the activity generated much excitement fun to the lesson.
What I have learnt about dyscalculia and Newman Procedure:
Newman Procedure determines why some pupils could not work on challenging word problems.
Some Websites to explore

Thank you, Dr Yeap for another eye-opener session:)


19 October 2010 TEACHING & LEARNING (Third Tutorial)
Dr Yeap had again designed an interesting set of activities for our minds to interact, inquire and reflect.
1) Tiles Problem
2) Structure Problem
3) Circle Problem

Engaging Lessons- First we were required to find the number of tiles to a desired perimeter.  Secondly, we were given a pattern structure problem and through visualisation, number sense, metacognition, looking for pattern and communication, the class arrive to a few formulae to solve it .

The last activity and the one that I am most attracted to is the Circle Problem, which I wish that my Elementary and Additional Math Teacher would have taught me. It bagan when Dr Yeap asked us to find different methods to convert a circle to other familiar shape, eg squares, rectangle and triangles with the intention of finding the area of the circle.
We were challenged to think of finding ways to compare the area of the circle to the total area of the cut parts and to see the relationship between the two areas. We were also taught the concept behind the value of pi which is determined by taking the circumference divided by the diameter of the circle. The value of pi is a constant. By plotting the different values, we can plot a graph which gives a straight line. By finding the gradient of the straight line, the value of pi is determined. However, the measurement of the circumference may not be accurate.
Takeways for the Lesson
Using engaged pedagogy to teach skills and the idea of learning by doing, pupils can be engaged in the activity through self discovery and inquiry. The activity made us think of the different possibilities of working out It is an excellent way of introducing a new lesson and concept as the hands-on approach manifests and inspires the creativity of the individual just as it did for us.
Bravo, Dr Yeap for sharing this ultimate learning point with us all!


12 October 2010
Teaching & Learning (Second Tutorial)

Dr Yeap went through the PETALs framework which comprises 5 dimensions of engaged learning. It serves as a guide for instructional decision-making which leads to actions that impact learning.
At the centre of PETALS is the child. It is a reminder that all that we do as teachers and as a school is really for our students – to engage their minds and hearts in learning, to prepare the next generation for our nation.

Dr Yeap drew up this agenda for Tutorial 2
1) Salute
2) Card Game - 'Magic Touch'
3) Take 1, Take 2
4) Multiplication

Out of the 4 number activity, I find the Card Game- ‘Magic Touch’ very interesting and challengingly fun. I enjoy solving the cards to its original stack with my groupmates. Strategies in solving it:
-Lay it out on the table
-Spell the number
-Trial & Error and Experimenting

Placing 1 & 2 is easiest and placing the rest of the number requires patience and experimenting. This game trains pupils how to solve a confusing problem and thus to “Think about Thinking"

My Takeaways for the Lessons
The idea of learning by inquiry, reflecting and interacting is also evident in that pupils are constantly learning by questioning themselves and interacting with their peers in group work. Pupils become masters of their own learning and the retention of knowledge and skills becomes more evident as they apply the new knowledge into further mathematical concepts.
In LSM lessons
I did this Magic Trick with my LSM pupils and they kept gushing out in awe and were surprise on how I get the correct number out after they spell the numbers out. I ask them if they think that it is magic or strategy. Most of them said its magic, which I am not surprise to come out from the LSM pupils and I promise them to show the trick after exams and the lesson turn out to be having fun with Number Spelling in a ‘magical’ way.

My P1 pupils tried addition and subtraction for Number Salute whereas my P2 pupils did multiplication Number Salute and they thoroughly enjoyed solving and self-evaluating throughout the process.

Reflection 5- Individual Final E-Package

5 October 2010 Discuss on Initiative Choice for Individual Final E-Package
My teammates and I have decided to email each other on the project that we are going to draft out in our final E-package. The group multimedia was fun and we learnt a lot from each other so the coming individual draft should be clearer for us to choose an initiative to a school practice that we are aware of.
Til the next POST:)

Reflection 4- Video Editting

2 October 2010
The deadline is drawing closer. Mixed feelings of anxiety and excitement can be felt in Anom's house....    We had a crash course from my TA today on how to make frames, add text, animation, photos, audio etc. Once we had these refresher tips, the bulk is on us. This meeting was one to finalise and consolidate all our parts into ULEAD Videostudio. Sounds ambitious but with carefully planned time and persistence, I think we can pull this through before 6 October. My only worry is how long is the time taken for the rendering of the frames to take place as we have so many frames to be included. Though we have deciphered and selected the most significant initiatives from 1997 to 2010 to upload, we still need relevant photos and a good you-tube to make it interesting and not just text and text.

To sum up this reflection, I feel that this group's assignment has put me in a new light. It has opened me to many channels of new learnings. Learning about the various MOE initiatives and its positive impact towards our pupils' education and its future curriculum, hands-on to a numerous IT platforms(blogging, MSN and video editting) and collaborating with coursemates have all been a good interesting energy for the development of me to be a better teacher and person. Back to my video editting! That will be my diet for the next few days. Cheerios to ALL!

Reflection 3- Sharings

25 September 2010
So far, work is progressing steadily.
Having come together for the second time after a week of emails and smses, we gathered down and 'regurgitate' what we have uncovered through our surfings and countless readings. My part is to find out more on TSLN, I&E, IT, NE  and SEED, So here's on SEED-

SEED is the foundation stone under the umbrella of TLLM. Strategies for Effective Engagement and Development (SEED) is a school-based initiative that comes up with strategies to better engage pupils in the early primary years. The philosophy of SEED encompasses the following:
Though specific support for SEED is targeted at P1 and P2 levels, the spirit of SEED is meant to spiral up through the levels.
The PETALS framework allows teachers to have a more meta-cognitive focus on principles of engaged learning in their classroom practice.
Teachers own the classroom and design the classroom environment and learning experiences
Teachers can enhance their professional competencies and engage in professional dialogue and sharing

It was another long evening and we decided to call it a day and meet up the following week to learn on how to use ULEAD VideoStudio. We delegated work to tidy up our part of initiatives. 

Reflection 2- First FACE TO FACE

15 September 2010
Thanks for Anom's welcoming hospitality, the first face-to face discussion was at her place at 8 pm. After a hearty dinner, Anom, Zubaidah and I shared the resources that we have gathered prior to the meeting. We drew a timeline and wrote down the major initiatives that we have known and read about.

We used JIGSAW and Round Robin as our cooperative learning strategy as we formed our individual pieces onto the big timeline cum mind-map. Later as we discussed, we googled on-line a lot and added in other initiatives in between the already listed ones. I am so appreciative that I am living in this high-tech era where it is just a few clicks away to a host of information and resources. Gathering information this way has indeed sped up our discoveries effectively and we learnt and uncovered many other initiatives. Thanks to the miracles of technology. 

We were all motivated and warmed up in our new discoveries but time was running very late. Sadly, we quickly wrapped up by deciding on the platforms where we will share our findings (PowerPoints, Mind maps etc) via email and GoogleDocs. We shared the workload amongst the 3 of us i.e; 1) TSLN, I & E
                         2) TLLM, SEED &
                         3) PERI, SBB 

With the framework and philosophy of Mathematics in mind, it clearly reads out that Singapore is gearing up the young ones to meet to the demands of the ever changing world and preparing them for the 21st century and more years to come. It was indeed a fruitful gathering and I am looking forward for the next brainstorm session!

Reflection on AKM 101-Current Initiatives in Primary Mathematics Education

My first baby steps to AKM101...
8 September 2010
Entering NIE last night is like a dejavu. Looking for the tutorial rooms, meeting up fellow classmates and wondering what the lecturer has in store for his students are so refreshingly exciting. I never had imagined that my first lesson in this degree programme is going to be with Dr Yeap Ban Har. Knowing Dr Yeap’s innovative, mind-provoking and cool teaching ideas is so flattering for me to be his student.

Tangrams and Area...
The lesson began with tangrams manipulative with lots of questions thrown, to get us to figure out our answers, finding the different ways to form a square given the number of tangrams and later to find out the square unit area of the formed squares. Dr Yeap also kept encouraging us to discuss what we know and not know with our friends. Initially I was wondering why tangrams (and Area topic) and what could all these lead to. Then, during the open-discussions, I realised that his scaffolding method is a strategy that teachers should always enforce when leading the pupils to formulate their learning. Peer interacting and sharing are equally important for self-checking and reflecting. As teachers, these interactions will help to know whether our pupils are reasoning out their learning in the right directions.

Dr Yeap went into the discussion of the more theoretical part of the MOE Mathematical Problem Solving Framework model which encompasses the 5 (SCAMP) inter-related components, 4 aspects of learning (MACS), 3 rationales for the Math framework... Then he dropped us the big SURPRISE of the night... ASSIGNMENT- Focus of assignment is for teachers to know and understand current initiative in MOE Math education and how these correlates with national needs and international trends. Unexpected indeed, but well-planned.
Loads of reading to be done. Thank God, I still keep the Elementary and Middle School Mathematics by Van de Walle (3rd edition, will compare it with the current). Looks like it pays to be a ‘karung guni’ man plus I always find the contents of that book very precious.

Pedagogies that Apply Across Subjects
Dr Yeap also briefed on the 5 Learning Aspects, which I recalled Dr Berinderjeet Kaur giving a lecture in a conference. The learning aspects focus on the professional development of mathematics teachers in the area of pedagogy for engaged learning.

Woohoo! What a night! I am really inspired to be a student again! (Except for the part that I felt dizzy due to the Fast.)