Class Observation and Demo Teaching at ICLIP

My EDR 110 class under Teacher Maita Salvador, I could say, was one of the most extensive subjects I’ve had in UP-Diliman for my education certificate course. In all 6 subjects I’ve had, it was only in this class that I got to go out and experience community teaching, which was somehow a new experience for me.

Roughly three weeks ago, our class had the chance to visit ICLIP (Interactive Children’s Literacy Program) in Loyola Heights in Katipunan. Teacher Julie of ICLIP patiently and enthusiastically walked us through the history of the center, its mission and vision, and the various programs they’re doing for the less fortunate children of Baranggay Loyola Heights. While Teacher Julie was explaining ICLIP to us, something inside of me wanted to propose their kind of program to our baranggay chairman and perhaps to the mayor of Manila. I would say ICLIP’s program is really a good method to lessen and hopefully eradicate the problem with street children.

Three days after the orientation in ICLIP, we had a community visit to the places where the students of ICLIP  reside. It was somehow a surprise for me because I didn’t know that amidst the high profile city life in that stretch of Katipunan, there’s actually a rural-kind-of community hiding behind the towering buildings and posh universities there. Walking along the dark, narrow path going to the areas where we could see the students’ homes, we didn’t have the chance to be “maarte” and sensitive. We just walked and walked without minding whether we’d already stepped on poop or whatever trash was on the floor.

After the community visit, we had the chance to immediately observe the B-Level class wherein students from UP were also teaching the students as part of their NSTP subject requirements. I took down notes and really paid attention on the flow of the discussion so I will be prepared for the lesson plan and the actual teaching.

I was scheduled to leave for Indonesia on the exact week of the demo teaching so I had to talk to Teacher Maita and asked her permission if our group could do the demo teaching a week ahead. My group mates already agreed on the plan. I was so thankful when Teacher Maita said yes and even Teacher Julie, too. It may mean that we had to work double or maybe triple time in preparing the lesson plan and the materials but I’m blessed with the understanding and cooperation of my group mates. They didn’t mind going the extra mile just to let me pursue with the plan of going to Indonesia. I am really blessed beyond words and I realized why God put me in that group 😉

After that first observation, we went back to ICLIP again for the apprenticeship. We didn’t just observe that time, but we were the ones who taught the student that day. That made the ICLIP actual demo teaching a lot easier since we already know what approach to use to the students.

Surprisingly, we were able to finish the lesson plan way faster than the first time we did with UPIS demo teaching. Perhaps because we’d already somehow grown accustomed to the lesson plan making after UPIS, plus it was written in Filipino.

We had our demo teaching last March 10-11. I’d say the demo teaching went well and a breeze, except for the second day in the Skills Development part since I was late for 7 minutes and I had to rush to the lesson proper. I supposed the children enjoyed the story we read to them, which was entitled Inay! Inay Ko Po! which is about having mothers who are always there for us to catch us when we fall. The students were able to answer the questions well and they seemed to enjoy the activities we’d prepared. As for the Skills Development Part, we introduced to them Sanhi at Bunga (Cause and Effect). It was somehow kind of difficult to explain the subject but after some examples and demonstrations, I believe the students got it.

I appreciate the remarks, comments and suggestions of Teacher Maita after that demo teaching because it actually made us see the things we weren’t able to see or notice while we were teaching in front. It made us yearn to improve on our teaching skills more and even the way we should relate to students of various types.

It was only a 2-3 days stint at ICLIP but I really enjoyed the experience. The students might be a bit difficult to handle as opposed to our first demo teaching class but it was heartwarming when you see their eyes glow when they answered the questions right. There’s innocence and sincerity in how they respond to you. I hope that in my free time, I could visit ICLIP again and maybe volunteer my free time there:)

 

 

 

 

 

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EDR 110 – Demo Teaching in Grade 3- Talon (UPIS)

The last three weeks were one of the most hectic days in my EDR 110 class with Teacher Maita. We were tasked to prepare our lesson plan for our class demo teaching in our respective year level and section. We had to meet Teacher Cham Cordero of Grade 3 – Talon in UPIS to ask her permission for us to conduct a demo teaching in her class. After the schedule was set and we got from her the theme for the particular period we’ll do the demo teaching, we then get down to business. We searched for a story according to the theme which is about heroes. We presented the three books we chose to Teacher Maita and she was the one who advised us the best story to use for our demo teaching. The story’s entitled “Looking Out for Heroes.” We then presented advised Teacher Cham about the story we chose and then proceeded to the preparation of the lesson plan. I’d say it was the most difficult part of all.

I’ve never done a lesson plan before since in the school where I taught, teachers were never asked to prepare a lesson plan. It’s a progressive school so we just had a curriculum planning before the school year starts and that’s what we’ll follow for the rest of they year. It’s individualized teaching so teachers were expected to just gauge the lesson according to the pace and phases of the students. So basically, doing a lesson plan was really a new thing for me.

The formulation of the objectives alone was already difficult enough. But as we try to fill out the rest of the items in the template, I realized that the objectives part was in fact, the easiest of all. We had our first draft submitted to Teacher Maita,which of course got a lot of revisions. It was difficult for me to formulate a lesson plan during the first trial because I didn’t really know how the flow must be like. But when Teacher Maita advised us about it and explained to us how the discussion flows, it got clearer to me already–although I could say doing the plan is still not that easy.

We had revisions in our lesson plan up to the last minute of our demo teaching. We had to change some activities in the post-reading part as well as do necessary changes in our Skills Development Lesson Plan.

Days before our micro teaching, I was really feeling agitated. I’m nervous and tensed at the same time. I think I experienced more tension during the micro teaching than the actual demo teaching. Maybe because I’m feeling a bit off with the micro teaching since I will be conducting the presentation to my classmates who are almost the same age as mine as opposed to the little ones whom I will be conducting the demo teaching with. I have to admit that I felt even more relaxed doing the actual demo teaching with the Grade 3- Talon students than when I did it in front of my classmates. I’d like to think that maybe because I am already used to teaching young students that’s why I was more relaxed with them. Plus, the Grade – 3 Talon students were behaved and manageable enough and they were very participative to our discussion.

One of the things I will not forget about this micro-teaching and demo teaching experience was when Teacher Maita called the attention of our group regarding turning on excellent outputs and even visual materials for our demo teaching. I must admit that our group was really having a hard time doing the project as a team. There was conflict in schedules and other reasons that manifested during our micro teaching for the Skills Development part. It was kind of embarrassing but I’d say that was our group’s wake up call. If not for Teacher Maita’s clear observation of our group’s works, we wouldn’t be vigilant in aiming for excellence. I believe that was God’s way for us to realize our faults and make us understand that we have to aim for excellence in everything that we do–that we have to give our best shot always and not just a percentage of it.

After that second micro-teaching, our group started working together as a team. We met days before the demo teaching and prepared for our materials as one group. And I believe that was worth it because I believe we have improved on our materials and the way we presented our topic and did the discussion. We still have many lapses, yes, but I’d say that as compared to the previous outputs that we had, our group had already improved. There was no blaming on who lacked on this or that or who didn’t bring in much effort. We talked about our mistake and decided as a team on what we’ll do to do better next time.

The whole demo teaching experience was a mixture of happy and nerve-wracking adventure. I could say we’re blessed that we were assigned to do the demo teaching to Grade 3- Talon students because the class were behaved enough and they were easier to manage. There were some down times especially during the Skills Development discussion part when some of the students looked bored listening to us already but still, I believe everything went well. We just have some issue with time since we weren’t able to conduct the enrichment activities with the students because of the lack of time and we had to rush the Skills Development discussion a bit just to keep up with our schedule.

Despite of the occasional lack of sleep experience and the almost everyday going to UP, I’d say the whole demo teaching and lesson plan making experience were worth it. I’d learned a lot from this experience and I’m sure that whatever learning I got from it, I am surely going to use it in the future as I embark fully on the teaching journey. I am thankful that I got to experience demo teaching on my last semester in UP as a CPE student. And yes, despite of some adversities along the way, I could say I’d enjoyed the experience 😉

Observation at UPIS Grade 3 – Talon (A Reflection Note)

After observing one of the kindergarten classes in University of the Philippines Intergrated School (UPIS) last December 5, Teacher Maita also gave us the opportunity to experience observing the Grade 3 class of Teacher Cham Rosales in UPIS.

When I walked inside the classroom of Grade 3 – Talon, the children were already seated and Teacher Cham was already throwing questions at them about the story The Courage of Sarah Noble by Alice Dalgliesh. We weren’t able to observe the pre-reading and during reading activities anymore since I believe the class have read the story a day or few days before our observation date. However, basing on how the students were giddy in answering the teacher’s questions, I believe that they did enjoy the story.

After the questions, Teacher Cham asked the students to divide into their pre-assigned groups for the post-reading activity part. There were 6 groups in the class so the teacher prepared 6 activities– 1 for each group. The activities include arranging the events in sequence and rating the emotions presented in each event, describing Sarah and the Indians using a Venn diagram, differentiating a house from a home through illustrations and giving definitions to it, a skit on how they will welcome the visitors if they’re Sarah, listing down what they will do in their free time if they’re Sarah and her friends, and a situational analysis.

While observing the students doing their assigned activities, I noticed that in most groups, the girls were the one acting as leaders. I think only 1 or 2 groups had a boy as a leader. I, however, must commend the students for really being focused in doing their activities and all of them were really participating and giving inputs. I also have to mention that I was in awe when during the presentation of their works, I never once saw a boy who was called and hesitant to go in front and explain his group’s work. I don’t know but during that time, I thought to myself that even little boys like them could really rise up and be in the lead if they’re given the opportunity to be responsible to. Maybe I was just used to growing up with boys who were always afraid to speak in front and who would always push the girls to lead the group instead of them that when I saw the young men leaders of Teacher Cham’s class, I was really amazed that time could really change the trend with boys in class.

I believe that the class enjoyed and really understood the story of the The Courage of Sarah Noble because all the questions that Teacher Cham asked, they could answer clearly and expressively. They could even reiterate what happened to the story and give their opinions on what they will do if they’re in Sarah’s shoes. I like how Teacher Cham’s questions could help make them think through the story and process it. Moreover, Even the activities she prepared encouraged the students to think creatively, analytically and logically for them to answer it.

When I decided that I wanted to become a teacher, I never really considered teaching elementary students. I only like teaching preschoolers. However, after the observation in Teacher Cham’s class, I was inspired and encouraged to try teaching Grades 2-3 also because I liked it that they could already answer the teacher’s questions with much thought.

One Morning in Kinder-Magnolia (Reflection Paper for EDR110)

Reading stories to children is both an art and a craft. This is what I recognized and perceived while observing the Kinder class of Teacher Vicka in UP Integrated School last Friday, 5 December 2013.

I used to teach preschoolers before and to be honest, I didn’t really read my students stories—my co-teacher does. I just don’t feel comfortable reading stories to them because I felt then that I’m not good at story telling. I’m not animated at all and I’m afraid my voice may sound too monotonous. That’s not my forte, so to speak. I can teach Math, grammar, concepts and all but not read stories. I didn’t realize the importance of reading stories to them until that observation day because I thought then that teachers only read stories to students during their free time so the students won’t feel bored and uneasy. I didn’t know that this whole reading thing could actually create an impact in a student’s life and way of thinking.

During the class observation, Teacher Vicka read her class a story entitled Letting Sunny Go, written by Teacher Yvette Alcazar. But before that, she showed the students first a newspaper article about the fire that happened the day before. She used that article to introduce new words to the students such as TERRIBLE, STORE ROOM, WANDER, and RELIEF CENTER. She asked the students the meaning of the words based on how she did the action and the context it was used. She also asked them some motivating questions like based on the newspaper article. The story Letting Sunny Go and the newspaper article have a close similarity that’s why Teacher Vicka made use of the article to introduce the words and the story to the children.

During the reading time, I could see that despite the occasional kulit moments, the students were all engrossed with the story. They were excited to know what will happen next while sharing their own experiences in between. When the story’s finished, you could see that the students really understood the story as the teacher was having a hard time getting their attention again because they were too excited to share their own experience to their classmates, too.

I must say that I was impressed at the creativity of the teacher in the materials that she used before the reading time and even during the post reading activity time. Her activities helped show that the students really understood the story. Moreover, the activities further stimulated the students to think through on how they’re going to apply the lesson they’ve learned in the story in their own lives.

While observing Teacher Vicka and how she used the reading time to teach a lesson to her students, I was impressed and inspired. It is really important that you follow the 4-Pronged Approach in creating a lesson plan as a teacher specifically with reading as it really helps that there’s a guide you will follow so that you will not lose track and all your activities are in line with the story. I also realized that during the time I was teaching in a progressive preschool, my co-teacher who was always assigned to read stories to the class, was already using the 4-Pronged approach because she also had that pre-reading, during reading and post-reading activities, too. Only that during that time, I didn’t have any idea then what 4-Pronged was about.

After that observation day in the kinder class of Teacher Vicka, I felt that I can already do the story-telling to my next batch of students. I felt the need to read more children’s books and familiarize myself with them so that when I go back to teaching again, I already have a bank of stories to tell and read to my students as well as activities to go with them.

I love reading books but I’m pretty sure that my reading course would make me appreciate books of all types and genres. Fact of the matter is, since day 1 of my EDR 110 class, the interest to read more children’s books was already very high in me. Furthermore, I’m even inspired to write a children’s story myself. I just know that this subject would create a different stir in my heart towards reading and story telling.

 

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