Thursday, March 05, 2009

Reflection: Workshop - Weblog for Maths (5 & 12 March 2009)

Workshop @ Compassvale Secondary. Workshop blog:

Am into the "next 50%"... hahaha... only those who have the background knows what it's about :D

Something new today - partnering with a colleague - Grace, who just joined ETD for barely a week! And it's the first time meeting her (for this partnering relationship). Though went through the workshop details once with Ghee Han and Audrea, and received the handouts via email a couple of days ago - it's still not as good as having sometime to discuss and go through with the partner prior to the session, although the entire workshop is largely guided by the revised IG and the blog. Fortunately, the workshop is something that I'm very familiar with... yes, past experiences count.

The group seemed small as the pool of applicants was divided into 2 groups - cosy & manageable...

  • The amended IG (received) said, the 1st 4 activities said employ the jigsaw (expert group) strategy. Oh... something recommended during the team's critique (which I need not be present, fortunately or unfortunately). Neverthless, after weighing purpose of the activity vs efficiency (so that can complete the tasks within a given timeframe), We decided to go back to the previous approach - participants really taste what's like when answering questions via a blog. It's through such participation that participants are able to connect to the activitie and the thoughts (and even anxiety) that students would probably go through. At the same time, it also allows us to role-play and share some of the classroom strategies.
  • Still, first activity get everyone to contribute their inputs - all 21 participants submitted. It's from their inputs that we brought up points like eliciting prior knowledge and connecting to real world application. Of course, also shared the strategy of getting all responses to come in.
  • It's the first time we encountered so much problem in registering for the account... Just wondering why.... Is it because Blogger has become smarter... and detected an increased in traffic coming from the same IP address? I guess it must be... hm.. probably it has been refining its system (it's just like, we were 'told' the maximum number of blogs per account is 100... while we already exceeded way beyond).
  • Something new, compared to previous years, was the part on viewing a range of learning activities posted by teachers, to understand the purpose and how they monitor students' learning/participation. This time, inputs were captured via the electronic form created with the googlespreadsheet. Ha! It's another illustration of mash-up!

Session 2

It begins with a recap with the 4 activities participants attempted at the beginning of the workshop. Ah! I remembered all 4!

Only 4 participants gungho to get their students to try... and that's good enough as their experiences already helped to bring out salient points to take note of when one intends to use blog for Maths lessons!

  • In fact, one of the participants even get the students to feed their inputs by getting them to take turns to use her laptop. I really admire her courage to try...
  • One feedback was students were sceptical ... yes, I think not just students, but also some of the participants who signed up for the workshop might have this thought, "See what you got to say... " I guess, no matter what, it's really, the spirit of trying that matters!
  • That's also why most of the time, we'll start off with simple and manageable activities.
  • Just wondering... if the outcome of this segment would be more fruitful if participants are given 2 weeks instead of one week to attempt the class activity? Hm...

Time passed very quickly... Be it doing the blog aggregrator or the group blog... Blog aggregator works pretty well, looks like everybody could follow through.. while group blog - I guess is a bit abstract... but certainly, the powerpoint slides help... also, the part that gets participants to point out the differences between being the adminstrator and the co-auhtor helps, too! The facilitation of this part could be more structured, though...

Anyway... all came to an end at just past 5 pm... That adds up to 100% of the CIP commitment this year...

It's a good break from the work doing now... I guess, also because of the different role I play this time :D


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