Aurora Borealis

Friday, October 29, 2004

Template for Farming game

For the banker, this template can be used (that's if anyone wants to borrow $ from the bank).


(P.S. However, if corruption does occur, this table might not balance..this is just a guide)

Tuesday, October 05, 2004 turn!

Wow! Things turned out much worse than I thought. I didn't really anticipate all the problems that arose. And there seems to be countless mistake that I made.
I feel these stuff can be improved:

1) I shouldn't have allow the class to congregate in the front of the classroom. All discretion should have been exercised in organising the class.

2) I should have avoided the lift area. This will prevent straying.

3) More could have been done to monitor the class movements.

4) The sample should not have been passed round the class. Maybe I shouldn't have used the sample? Could the visualizer been used? I was thinking of that, but did not know how to switch it on then.

5) The pre-activity instructions could have been clearer & the location should have been made known to the class before leaving the room.

6) I should have given more thoughts to how to deal with safety issues. Frankly, I was at a loss when Riyaz sprained his ankle & Pearl fainted.

Anyway, I know that I still have lots more to learn. Thanks guys for the fruitful learning experience! =)

Friday, September 17, 2004

School Experience III

Okie now's more people are falling sick...its so terrible. Now instead of just observing the classes, I need to teach those classes. One of the Econs tutor whom I'm attached to is on MC, so I had to take over all her classes. In total, I conducted three econs tutorial in one day. The fortunate thing is that the tutorials are TYS MCQ questions sessions. But there are still stuff to be learnt.

Here are some points:
(1) Don't just know how to explain the right answers. Think about how to explain why the incorrect answers are wrong too. (esp for MCQ).

(2) Handwriting. I just don't like my handwriting on the board! well on paper it looks fine to me; but when I gotta write stuff on the board and quickly too, its just not what I like. Anyway, I'll try to improve on that. =)

The week-long school experience is over (at last!). Its rather tiring actually.. kindda physically drained each day. Anyway, the weekend is here! Yeppie!

Thursday, September 16, 2004

School Experience II - The real stuff!

Today is my third day at AJ and guess what? my geog CT is on MC!! Hence this means that I have to take her tutorial classes!

As i mentioned in my previous posting, the JC1s are at the optional topic which I am totally clueless about. Luckily, Mrs Ong just requested for me to facilitate the session and not teach! phew!

Anyway, gave myself a crash course on the S. America and Africa deserts in about an hour and there I went. The class was actually not bad as I conducted the session outside the classroom (i.e at the benches along the corridor). Think its because they were out of the classroom so they are not bored. Conducted the session fairly nicely with three groups. However, I felt that I was conducting some game show like 'amazing race' or some reality show. Why? I did a 'JIGSAW'-like method for the groupwork so I had to regroup them. The issue is that there were three groups of 4, 5 and 6 students. They have their 'home' groups but I had to regroup them into groups of five. But I do not know all their names so I had to number them. After sorting it out and thinking that I was correct, I allocated each 'home' groups with 'new members'. Then comes the funny thing...I still had three groups of 4, 5, and 6 students! It was all so impromptu.

As for the second class, there were only 9 students. So the task was much easier. However, the problem now is with the content! Since they finished their task earlier, they started asking me questions like "Why is the Sahara desert much bigger than the rest?","What are the directions of all the tradewinds?" and "How come the rainshadow effect is different for two deserts in the S. America? HEY!! I only had an hour of crash course and it was self-study. I tried to look cool and kindly diverted their attention by letting them have a little 'compeition' in class. geez..

Anyway these are some points that I learnt from my classes today:

1) Never arrange to meet your students outside the classroom if you have not met all or most of them before.

2) Try to remember as many names as possible (even if its just one session). It helps!

3) It is really useful to have timekeepers in the groups.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

School Experience

Here are some of my reflections on the school experience.

Today is the second day in school and I've already had a feel of busy it can get. There seems to be countless administrative work for the staff, aside for the lesson planning. It seems that most of the teachers in AJ are pre-occupied with non-teaching related tasks. I really wonder if all these non-teaching stuff can be made simpler or at least less of a burden.

The teachers are AJ are really friendly, especially the new teachers. I feel comfortable in their company. They are helpful in terms of coaching and clarifying my doubts.

However, I was kindda lost in the geography tutorial class! The teacher is currently covering the optional topics: semi-arid and desertification. And i'm quite clueless about what's going on in class. I'm okay with the Sahara deserts.. but when it came to the south american deserts...oh my gosh. Anyway, teaching in a JC seems very content-heavy. There is hardly time to try out the theories, e.g. constructivist or collaborative learning. I came upon this survey done by the students and they actually rate ZERO for the use of group skills in their lessons.

Three more days to go. I think there is still a lot more to learn and hopefully i'll be able to absorb as much as possible.

Friday, September 03, 2004


It looks like class management can be really challenging. I'm not sure how much of the micro-teaching we had are really authentic and I'm sure the pointers we learnt will be, in some way, applicable in the future. Thanks to all who had planned such wonderful lessons.

I have kindda regretted choosing weathering as my topic for micro-teaching. Seems rather dry, i mean we are talking about rocks & stones here. It'll be quite hard to make the issue applicable to real life. Anyway, I will have to do some reseaching to get some ideas soon.

Monday, August 16, 2004

My first posting!

Yeah here's my first entry!

However, today's not a good day. Got into a terrible accident this morning. The bonnet of the car that I was in was almost totally crushed in the accident; seemed kindda scary. guess that's what the modern car is built for - able to resist external pressure by absorbing the shock.

It's such a waste to miss Angel's "performance" today. Heard it was quite fun. Anyway, looking forward to the next one tomorrow.