2020-21 Reflection

My professional goal for this year:

At the beginning of the year, I have set “captivate among 7Cs” as my professional goal of this year as I would like to work more on maintaining students’ interest in learning. To achieve this, I realize that I should find more ways to make my lessons intellectually stimulating and relevant to their authentic experience in China.

My previous methods:

As a language teacher, I used to think that if students do enough mechanical practice, they will be able to successfully communicate. Therefore, I stressed too much on language drills in my course (e.g. accuracy of the tones, grammar exercise, translation…). My students felt demotivated and frustrated sometimes as they thought what we had done in class did not help much in their real life. This situation pushed me to think more — what language skills that my students really need when living in China?

Changes that I made:

With the awareness of language usage in my students’ real life, I decided to make my lesson more interactive and hands-on. First of all, in each lesson, I always first clarify the content objectives and language objectives. In addition to that, I also explain how the language skills practised in the lesson could be applied in their real life. For instance, I change the language goal from “students can ask and answer simple questions using the key sentence patterns” (which focuses more on grammatical structures) to “students can ask and answer simple questions to sustain a conversation when ordering food in a restaurant” (which puts more emphasis on the real situation students will be able to deal with). The change of my COLO makes students feel that the class content is authentic and useful, and thus arise more interest and engagement.

When planning the lesson, I carefully think that how I should spend my precious time in class so that I can provide students with more intellectually stimulating and relevant activities. Therefore, I decide to spend less time (around 15mins) on the mechanical activities (e.g. language-focused exercises), 20-30mins on meaningful activities (artificial communication: e.g. teacher-student demonstration, student-student practice), and spend the most time (30-40mins) on communicative activities (authentic communication). Moreover, I have changed the traditional textbook materials into more authentic material (e.g. CAL 1 course – menu) so that I can make my lesson more relevant to students’ life. This change turns out very successful as it piques students’ curiosity and engages them actively in inquiry. Without even giving any instructions, students actively start group discussions about the food they also see when eating out, if the price on the menu cheap or expensive, what food they like or dislike… During this process, students automatically using the Chinese language to share their thought, e.g. 可乐太贵了,口水鸡很便宜,西兰花不好吃,我喜欢宫保鸡丁……

As to the activities, I realise that communicational skills are more important than the language itself. Hence, I purposely design the game which reinforces students skills of speaking and listening (for communication). They play a battleship game for 10-15mins to practice speaking the sentence which will be useful for ordering the food. Then, I spend 20mins on demonstrating the conversation in a restaurant and invite students to respond to my questions, e.g. 你想吃什么?你想喝点什么?还要别的吗?…… After students get familiar with the language and prepared for what questions they will encounter in a restaurant when ordering food, students are in groups to design a roleplay conversation. To add more fun/challenge to the activity, I particularly give them a challenging situation that “your friend is quite picky about food”.

Assess the effectiveness of the new practice

My evidence for assessing this new practice comes from the students themselves. In the end, I ask my students to reflect on the COLO and nearly the whole class indicates that the design of class activities in this lesson have greatly helped them achieve the content and language objectives. Most of my students say that they feel more confident to speak/use Chinese in a restaurant. Some of them also mention that they will speak Chinese to order the food when eating out next time. 2 groups choose to take “more challenge” when designing the conversation and they have developed some very authentic and creative scripts. Students’ attention is highly sustained throughout the activity in both battleship and roleplay. They feel the roleplay part more meaningful as that is the real situation they will encounter in their real life. Here is one of the students’ videos.

More thought…

After reviewing students learning evidence (class engagement, scripts, roleplay performance), I find that although students are able to produce the language for ordering the food, some of them still feel confused about the usage of some verbs (e.g. 我想一个口水鸡。我还想三个饺子。). This makes me think that what else I can do to provide my students with more support. For instance, I should have explained words by giving more examples and make them visible in my class (e.g. place them on the whiteboard), checked frequently for understanding (invite students to explain their understanding) and addressed misconceptions to the class once students are puzzled.

Online learning planner

  • What action(s) might you take in order to prepare for online and blended learning?
    I will fully set up lessons on DX before school starts. For instance, I will clearly list out the learning outcomes and my expectations at beginning of each unit so that I can work collaboratively with students and parents to achieve the students’ learning goals. I will also make sure to provide students with enough online support and help each one of them access the materials (e.g. learning resources, reading texts, links, video…). In this way, I think my students can be better prepared for their online learning.
  • Considering your previous experience with online learning, what are your instructional strengths & areas for growth?
    I think my instructional strengths include showing care. By saying so, I always show concern for students’ emotional and academic well-being by having informal checking-in (e.g. short conversation/ chat) before I start a lesson. I am trying to develop supportive and personalized relationships with students by providing them with both main materials and alternative resources based on their learning interests. As to the areas for growth, I think I can work more on the digital integration. I should be more aware of the benefits what technologies can bring to a learning. I will carefully apply suitable digital tools to enable students’ personalized learning experience so that they can learn in a way which fits them the best.
  • Using the 5Cs of online learning, what goals might you set for yourself in anticipation of future online instruction?
    I would like to focus more on collaboration in my future online instruction. The professional goal I’d set for myself is to develop more teacher and students collaboration. As for now, the most common collaboration that I always have with my students is to simply provide them with feedback. In the future, I’d like to design some activities which allow more collaborative opportunities between me and my students.
  • How might you achieve these goals? Who might you reach out to for support?
    To achieve better collaboration with students, I can use Zoom break-out room more often when organising discussion activities so that each student can have more opportunity to share his/her thought. I’d also like to enhance teacher-students collaboration by asking for students’ opinions when designing class activities, assessments and rubrics. In this way, I believe not only teacher-students relationship will be positively developed, but also students will be more motivated to be engaged in learning.

Reflection based on the orientation course

I’d like to respond to the following questions to reflect on the information I have consumed during the online orientation course.

1. What was your biggest ah-ha moment / greatest takeaway during this online orientation experience?
Learning about Dragon exchange is the most exciting experience for me. I know that each school runs its own online learning system, such as Moodle, Gibbon, Google class, etc. This is the first time I heard about DX and after playing around, I found that it’s very powerful and contains nearly all the functions a teacher may need. I’m very proud that I even created my very first sections with one unit, 2 pages and an assignment!

2. How might this online orientation experience impact teaching & learning in your classroom?

This online orientation provides me with a comprehensive understanding of the whole school. Although I’m an HS teacher, I can learn how the ISB as a whole school can support students and teachers in this big community. When planning my lessons, I will be able to apply UbD to organise my units and use the standard-based approach to design class activities. The section of assessment allows me to have a clear picture of the way teachers co-work to create their assessments. The whole experience of doing this online orientation gives me an opportunity to experience as a student using DX. Hence, I’ll be able to relate more to them when designing my DX courses.

3. What are you most excited about for your upcoming ISB adventure?
The thing makes me most excited about is the way ISB teachers collaborate as a strong team. The orientation mentioned a lot about collaboration in ISB (e.g. lesson planning, assignment design, counsellor programme, EAL support…) As a new teacher, all these make me feel very welcome and secure as I know who/which department I should go for help.

4. How might your experiences & beliefs align with ISB’s?
I think my educational belief of growth mindset aligns with ISB mission and vision. “ISB is an inspiring international community where thinkers and leaders find their place in the world and serve others. So that our learning is at its best, we build strong relationships and set high expectations together. We are committed to challenging and joyful learning with the freedom to explore.” Nowadays, our students are facing lots of challenges from both school and society. Some of them may easily give up when encountering those difficulties. Hence, changing the way they think in learning is the most important parts of education. We, as teachers, can always guide our students to know their talents can be developed and their goals can be achieved if they believe they can.

7Cs Framework

  • Which of the 7 Cs do you feel are among your strengths? What data makes you say that?

I think “Captivate” is one of my strengths. For instance, I always choose the materials (text, video clips) which are closely related to students’ lives and the real world. During the lesson, I check students’ learning pace from time to time for making sure that I’m not going to fast or slow. My lesson is very interactive as I involve lots of discussions and conversations when introducing new topics. When showing students the real-world problem/issue, I find that they are highly motivated and very engaged in the activities.

  • Which of the 7 Cs do you feel are among your areas for growth? What data makes you say that?

I think “Consolidate” is my area for growth. Due to the limit of time in each lesson, sometimes I may rush the lesson. Hence, I find it hard to take time to remind students what they have learned. I think I can design something like a checklist so that students can reflect on what they have studied. This should be very efficient and not take much time.

  • What might your former students say are your areas of strength and growth?

I assume it’ll be “consolidate”. They may complain that they don’t have time to review what they have learned in some of the lessons.

Reflection on my professional growth model

  • What professional growth models have you encountered in the past?

5+1 model in ICHK (link)

  • How is ISB’s model similar to and different from these models?

Care: Show concern for students’ emotional and academic well-being
(5+1 model) commitment to a serious appreciation of their characters and histories as unique individuals.

Challenge: Insist that students persevere and do their best work
(5+1 model) A growth mindset encourages the belief that hard work pays off and leads, in turn, to the will to meet and stick with challenges.

Classroom Management: Foster orderly, respectful, and on-task classroom behavior
(5+1 model) adapt the model of tanscitional analysis to develop different modes of conversations when dealing with classroom management issues

Confer: Encourage and value students’ ideas and views
(5+1 model) +1 is the individual student – unique in his or her combination of temperament, life experience, interests and enthusiasms. It is in tailoring learning to this unique profile that our small classes, led by experienced and passionate teachers, truly find their strength.

  • What are you most excited about our professional growth model?

The 7Cs framework provides me with a clear picture of the expectations ISB has on the quality of a lesson. I like the way that it is very systematic with the structures of the timeline.

 

 

Welcome!

Welcome to your Professional Learning Blog! This is a place for you to post your goals, and reflect on them throughout the year.

  • Decide on your goal, perhaps in consultation with your colleagues or principal, and create a post to share with this online professional learning community that you are now a part of! Categorise this post in Goal Setting. Set your goal by considering:
    • Self-assessment and reflection based on new teacher standards  (Tripod 7Cs)
    • Previous or new observation data from peers and principals
    • Student surveys (online surveys developed and aligned with 7C’s)
  • Identify colleagues, coaches, principals etc. that will play a supporting role in achieving your goal, and invite them to view and comment on your post. Encourage them to bookmark your blog and visit regularly.
  • Throughout the year, collect and share evidence to support your progress. Categorise these posts in Reflection.
  • Encourage your colleagues to share your learning journey by engaging with your blog. In return, engage with their blog (and others across the School)
  • You may also like to share work that your students have created or your own professional achievements that may not be directly related to your goal setting. This is encouraged! Categorise these posts as Showcase.

If you need support using this platform, please don’t hesitate to contact Ed Tech, we are always happy to be of assistance!

Reflection of ISTE course

Before attending ISTE course, What I believed in technology was that it could make students’ learning process more fun but I was not quite sure if technology could achieve the educational outcomes I expected on students. Hence, I saw technology separated from teaching and learning. I only used it when students got bored with my talking.
However, after attending ISTE course, I find technology a very useful tool and I believe it can truly make teaching and learning more fruitful. There are three aspects that I’d like to highlight. Firstly, what I find the most useful and practical concept in this course is TPACK model since it is a systematic model that I can use for evaluating how effective technology is used in my class. It helps me with choosing the right and powerful technology which can ensure the quality of my teaching and learning. With more knowledge obtained in ISTE course, I think my future use of technology in class will be better designed to achieve educational outcomes and can definitely enhance students learning experience.
Secondly, I have deepened my insight of some education theories, such as UBD, UDL. I know about universal design for learning (UDL) prior to attending ISTE course. It is a framework that helps teachers provide students with equal opportunities in learning. Through following ISTE course instructions, I have a real opportunity to integrate UDL framework in my lesson design. I tried to take the students’ diversity into consideration when planning the curriculum. For instance, I become more minded to provide students with various kinds of input, and I design assessment with more varieties which include pen-paper test, presentation, drama, video project, etc.
Last but not the least, after attending ISTE course, I become more confident and skilful when applying technology to support teaching and assessment in many different ways. When providing information to students, I would like to use more digital images, audio input and visual/video to facilitate students’ various learning experience. When organising activities, I am more aware of the positive effect of using technology (e.g. online competition, games, collaboration tools…) and understand how to enhance students’ engagement and excitement in learning. In assessment, I would adopt technology to give students more options to present their knowledge or express their thoughts. I can also track students’ progress over time (google doc) with technology.
As an educator and life-long learner, I believe all these learning experience I’ve obtained in ISTE course can make me a better teacher. I’ll be more confident to apply technology in teaching and learning in the future.

我是中华小厨神

完成本单元“中国美食与文化”以后,趁圣诞长假,我给学生布置了一份“我是中华小厨神”的功课。学生需要在课堂上完成他们的作业计划,例如决定制作哪道中国菜、制作步骤、注意事项、以及该道菜肴的营养价值。今天是圣诞假期结束第一天,没想到每个同学都按时完成了这份课业,果然兴趣才是学习的动力呀!
After learning the unit of “Chinese food and culture”, Y7 (Chinese as native langauge) students have a new exciting project “I’m a mater chef”. Students need to choose a traditional Chinese dish and teach other people how to cook it. To complete this project, students have to set their learning goals:
– Which Chinese dish you want learn?
– How are you going to learn?
– How are you going to show and share your learning and teach other people?
As the students worked, I was a facilitator versus an instructor and was available to answer questions and help guide students through the process. The following document and video show how a student planned the progress of his own learning and the way he circulated his learning by creating a video to teach other people how to make Chinese dumplings.

作业展示——制作水饺 Making Chinese dumplings
Project planning 视频制作计划

After reflecting on the ISTE standards for students, I find this project allows the students to be
1 empowered learner (set personal learning goals, develop strategies leveraging technology to achieve them)
3 knowledge constructor (plan effective research strategies to locate information and other resources for their creative pursuits)
4 Innovative designer (know a deliberate design process for generating ideas, select digital tools to plan and manage a design process)
6 Creative communicator (choose the appropriate platforms and tools for meeting the learning objectives, present the content that customizes the message)

Littlebird tale – shifting roles of educator

我的一天 project-based learning

Y10 students are learning the topic of daily routine (one of the topics covered in their IGCSE exam). After learning some basic vocabulary and sentence structures of describing their daily routine, I found this digital app which allows users to create digital books. I used it for both giving instructions, and setting a model for their project-based assessment. Students studied vocab, langauge through reading this digital book. Meanwhile, they had a clear concept that how the final project should be like. Therefore, I designed a project-based learning task for students to introduce one of their normal school days.

         

Reflection

  • How would you model this tool for colleagues?

I demonstrated how to create digital stories by using this app and I showed them my example “我的一天”.  My colleagues and I sat together to brainstorm how we can use it effectively in class. We found that this tool can shift our teacher role to many other roles in the classroom. For instance, if we provide students with new concept input with this tool, we can cater for students learning diversities and styles at it allows sound, visual stimulation and text input. In this way, we become instructors for different ways of learning. Using this new tool makes teachers become technology designer for learning. The project-based learning task integrates Chinese language knowledge and technology skills into our regular curriculum. When we teachers cooperate together, collaboration and creativity would occur frequently among us. 

  • How would you investigate this tool collaboratively with students?

I explored this tool collaboratively with students in class. I gave them the intructions of this project-based lerning task and they can choose their own method of presentating their daily routine. Idealy it can be a digital book, cartoon or multimedia. They must have sound, visual stimulation and Chinese text in their work.

Students find this project very motivating as they can take ownership of their own work. The role of myself shifts from a knowledge provider to a facilitator as students need to take the initiative to complete the project. Meanwhile, this learning process mixes digital, project-based and face-to-face instructions in a wider variety of ways. It allows students to dive deeper into the topic of daily troutine. Students can apply different levels of vocabulary or grammar based on their learning process. They become knowlege constructors in this student-centred learning experience. The way they express their thinking is also varied as some students chose different digital tools by the ends. They stay highly engaged in doing this project and show great creativity. To me, the tool/method they choose is not the most important thing. Instead, achieving the desired learning outcomes is more essential. 

  • How might you use this tool to promote digital citizenship OR empower student learning?

This tool can promote digital citizenship since it can publish their work online in a wider community. I did not teach how to use this tool. Instead, students did some research themselves to find our how to use it. Research is an essential skill for learning and students get the opportunity to practice it when doing this project. This tool also allows a collaborative environment as I can give quick feedback on their script. After the creater publish his/her digital book, this tool encourages online feedback among students. Students need to think carefully of what to say or if their comments may make people unfomfortable. If so, they should reassess whether their online comments were appropriate.

  • How might this tool transform your work with colleagues and/or students?

This tool allows ownership of students learning. They are not only completing a formative assessment, they become an empowered learner who delivers knowledge to the world. They need to develop strategies leveraging technology to reflect their learning process and improve their learning outcomes. My main responsiblity is to provide help when needed. This changes my traditional role as a teacher who gives all knowlege directly to the students. I’m more like a facilitator who fosters a culture where students take ownership of their learning goals and outcomes in a independent setting. Students and I work more collaboratively in this learning process.

  • Which ISTE Standard(s) might be met by its use?

1.a – Apply existing knowledge to generate new ideas, products, or processes.

1.c – Use technology (digital tale, slideshow or multimedia) and simulation to seek feedback that informs and improves their practice and to demonstrate their learning in a variety of ways

2.d – when students publish their work, they should manage their personal data online so that they can maintain digital privacy and security

6.a – Students get to choose the suitable or appropriate digital tools for meeting the desired objectives of their creation 

6.b – students create original works by remixing digital resources into new creations. The digital story or multimedia contains text, sound and visual stimulation

6.c – present their daily routine clearly and effectively by creating a digital object 

6.d – present content that customizes the message and medium for their classmates and provide comments on others’ work 

 

情绪卡片写故事

八年级的同学今天完成了学习《孙中山先生的习医时代》一课。课文中,作者通过先生在读书时遇到的不同轶事表现了他各种性格,包括勤奋努力、爱国爱民、平等博爱等等。文章利用具体事例,生动形象地表现了先生的特质,深深刻画出了这位伟大总统的形象。
为了让孩子们加强对该种写作手法的认识,以及训练,我利用情绪卡片,要求学生以小组为单位进行故事编写。每个组随意抽取四张卡片,上面分别标注不同性格特质,然后在一起用google doc撰写一个人物。我重点强调了必须要有具体事例来证明该人物的特质。通过这个练习,学生们不但学习了更多的性格词语,更了解到如何将文章中的人物写得形象具体。

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