Recently I completed 2 lesson studies back home. Lesson study is a study is orginated from Japan, teachers will come into the class and observe how are the students learning and make improvement to it.
My lesson is a student centered, self directed learning envirnoment for the student to learn on their own. Before going into the lesson, students will need to do a quick test on electronics and they are grouped according to their abilities, High, middle and low ability. Each group will have different worksheets and instructions in the worksheets. The low ability will have more guided/ structure worksheet to help them understand the lesson, middle will have silghtly lesser guided instructions and high ability will have the challenging questions for them to figure. The outcome of it is simple, by the end of the day, all of will be able to complete and understand the topic and be able to construct simple sensing circuit, alarm system and timing circuit. To make sure they do not face any problem, they are being pair up, the highest ability in each group to pair with the lowest ability to help each other.
To make sure it is a self directed, teachers will not do the frontal teaching at the begining, instead notes were distributed out to every students. In a way, it helps them realised one of their biggest weakness, "refusing to read". Electronics was not easy, thus an electronics software was introduced to them so they can construct and check if their circuit is working. After they completed the worksheet, teacher will move into scaffolding their knowledge part by highlighting important concepts, focusing on their mistakes. Lastly follow by a quick test on their understanding.
First lesson study results, we started to see that, if I keep the enhancing concepts behind, students tend to pay more attention as they had tried out the circuits. You can see the engery level is much better compare to frontal teaching. Students were engaged during the whole lesson that they have no time to do all the funny biz. We realised the middle students are lazy and always wanted teacher to teach them personally. The high and low abilities are able to complete the worksheet and the low ability are seen changing their answers during the enhancing concepts.
Second lesson study, I shifted a lot of the middle to low ability worksheets and shifted some low abilities up according to their previous test result. Before the lesson, we did a test on that day topic and as expected most of them scored 0 or half mark out of 10 marks. After first time of self directed learning, students get used to it and are managing better. Students realised they have to read the notes or they will be wasting their time. They only realised that the worksheets for each groups are different during second lesson when they are shifted around. They tends to work more as a group and helping their peers along the way. Good things, students are kept busy all the time, engaging in their own work. (teachers are always worried that the high ability after completing the worksheet will turn themself into monkeys in the classroom) The same test was given to the students by the end of the lesson, to my surpise, I've high ability students scoring 9 - 9.5 marks out of 10 marks. I've only 2 failures who make careless mistakes along the way. The average score for the students is about 6.5. It's really relieve to see that they are able to learn on their own and make improvement. They will be delighted to see their own learning.
Students can be audio, visual or kinestatic type, thus using their nature learning ability , teachers at ISARA can also have differentiate instruction or assignment for each group. The motive is simple, we all want them to learn something by the end of the day. Maybe by trying new teaching method, they will be able to learn. Or even try out cocoperative learning, where the high ability can help the middle and low ability in the group. They learn better from their peers in certain area.
Enjoy teaching teachers.