Using videos with a Twist !

As a science teacher, I always love to use videos. Typically, I would just let the class watch videos and hopefully they get it. I might have some classroom discussion but I never really try to see if they really understand from the videos.

In the first week, I do a minor tweak to this video-practice.  I allow them to watch video and either get them to post questions [Link] or what they learn [Link] . Using the insight from their posting, I would consolidate what they had learned from the topic.

For my P6 class, I decide to “just-do-it” even though they are not academically strong. As a class, they collectively manage to list down all the essential points (although their explanation might not be clear). I rearranged their posting around the essential points and use that to consolidate the lessons the next day. I basically used what they had posted and build on the responses by giving them the scientifically acceptable terms.

I am glad that I have tried that out as this help to amplify the power of video. By making their thinking visible, I use their “words” to teach them.  Yes, the posting might not be fantastic and it needs a teacher to understand what they are trying to say. But, at least, they are writing. I acknowledge their posting and this makes them feel good.  Hopefully, this will make them own their learning.


As for P5s, I am getting them to ask questions as there is no “talk” in the video. I am using the video as the starter activity for germination. I also allow them to answer their friend’s questions.  Again, the essential questions about germination have been asked. I am using these information to close their learning gap. Due to the large number of postings, I need to create a few padlets to host their questions.

(1) What is Germination?

(2) Conditions for Germination

Fluorescent Frog


Another good article for adaption!

Desert Plant Reviving itself

This Plant Can Revive Itself After Years Without Water

Water. Who needs it?Credit: Explorist

Posted by The Science Explorer on Thursday, 16 March 2017

Good topic to start off adaption:

(1) Can you describe the adaptation?

(2) How does this help the plant?



Using SLS Pedagogical Scaffold to plan ICT-enabled lesson

Here is my unpacking of using SLS Pedagogical Scaffold to guide my ICT-enabled lessons. I decide not to plan at topic-specific level. But, rather, I would do a raise above and want my students to be enculturated in Claim-Evidence-Based Reasoning. The content would be a means to get them be familiar with this way of scientific reasoning. I want my students to be learning science and not learning about science. Who needs them to learn about science if all the content can be easily “googleable”?

Phase 1 : Establish learning outcomes

To develop Communication, Collaboration and Information Skills using Claim-Reasoning Evidence Framing

Unpacking in this context : To be able to communicate the science reasoning clearly with Claim-Reasoning Evidence Framing

Phase 2 : Lesson enactment

Learning Experience : Discussion

Activate Learning : Set success criteria , Modelling of reasoning

Promote thinking and discussion : Show examples of answers and get students to critique. Can be done through online platform or classroom discussion

Facilitate demonstration of understanding : Use of online platform like padlet or blogs for them to make their reasoning visible. Allows for peer critque

Monitor and Provide feedback : Will discuss the most problematic concept in the class.  Provide feedback via the online platform. Give similar question to “re-monitor” their understanding.

Phase 3 : Accessing the quality of learning

Artifacts to be collected : Students’ response and critques over a few cycle.



[Leadership 03] Self Leadership

Self Leadership

In this article, it is mentioned that they are two skills needed for self-leadership :

(1) Stop and Step Back from things that rigger use to react

(2) Consider our intention

So, do I have the skills ? I guess I am developing and now more cognizant of the leadership position that I am holding. I know my reaction to any event would have far more implications that I am just a happy ordinarily teacher.

So, for now, I need to really work on Skill (1). I tend to be impulsive (e.g., shooting words out of my mouth). That is definitely me as I am a fast and quick thinker (that is what others have said of me and I shamelessly concurred with that) and want things to be done fast ! But currently in my position, I find myself constantly asking myself to react and not respond. For example, at times, I may find myself very defensive and quick to react by refuting any possible negative about ICT Matters in the school. I need to stop doing that and should look at things more calmly. Stop and Step Back !!!


[Leadership02] Resilience

How Resilience works

This article described three qualities of resilient people:

(1) Accepting reality for what it is. They are never optimistic but down-to-earth what could or could not be done.

(2) Making meaning of the difficult times. They see meaning beyond the the difficult times and how they can possibly benefit from the difficult times.(e.g., the greater meaning of life).

(3) Be adaptive and improvise. Make the best of out the difficult situations

So, do I possess any of these qualities ? Let me recall a time in which I am really having a difficult time. That was in my beginning year as a BT. I was given a very challenging class and the class was practically destroying my confidence both as a teacher and as a person. That is hard to imagine consider how “egoistic” I am. 🙂 I was on the verge of breaking the bond (being less than 1 year in service) and even my close friends did notice that I was very down and depressed during that time. I was literally counting the coins to pay back my bond.

Somehow, I bounce back and now I am am still in teaching service. So, how did I bounce back?

(1) [Facing up to reality] I accepted my reality that I can’t handle the class. I had tried what I can and that did not seem to work. I confided in my RO and told her that I was ready to quit. Rather than running away from the fact that I can’t handle the fact, I was willing to accept this fact. My RO helped me by not assigning me to teach the class in Sem 2.

(2) [Making meaning]”What does not kill you make your stronger” . Whenever I looked back on this experience, I see it as a great learning moment for me. It is not something that I feel ashamed. But rather, this experience has trained me to be stronger and be more positive. What cannot break you make you stronger. Perhaps, if not for this experience, I am not too sure that I can last that long in the service.

(3) [Improvise] I guess I did not really improvise in this situation. But. I still have cordial relationship with the students. It was heartening to see the naughty boys coming up to me and apologized to me after they had graduated.

So, what would I do when I faced the hard times again? Guess , I must remember the three characteristics of resilient people.




The Dark Side Beckons!

It has been a term. So, have my design of the lessons changed  like what I envision it to be ? Yes and No. I know that I am trying but at times, I still need to go to the Dark Side due to the legacy issues.  Issues that nobody question as well “it has been there since Day 1”. These issues included:

(1) Book Checking : I need to get my students to do corrections nicely so that their books are ready for inspection. Let me get it clear. I do follow up on my students’ alternative concepts by designing other activities (like some ICT-enabled lessons or some in-class discussion about the misconception). Doing correction “swee swee” does not mean that the students have learned . Most likely, they have mastered the art of copying from the white board accurately.

So, I need to waste some of the precious classroom time doing all this. Book checking is definitely not to check on students’ evidence of learning (which I find it rather hilarious claim) . It is more of teachers’ accountability.

(2) Practice paper : Oh, that very important paper that thou must do before any major exam. Spend time doing it , going through it so that your students are “perceived to be ready” for the exam/.

(3) Worksheet and worksheet and more worksheet: What is the best way to show that teacher is doing the job? Do more worksheet. The more worksheet, the better!  Must do or else ….

Yes, the Dark Side is very appealing as it is the “way that things are always done”. After all, what can go wrong if that have been done for the longest time ?

But, I am determined not to sway to the Dark Side. For a very simple reason, I need to educate my students and not school them! I am in school not to get my books check, to get my students to do worksheet or practice paper. I am there to get my students ready for the future.  It is not easy but I would shoulder on.

Note to myself : Thou u should not go over to the Dark Side!


CCE Workshop Today

Today , I have a full day CCE workshop in school today. I would use their reflection framing to frame this post. Well, I must show that I have applied what I have learned

Looking back

Theme : Multiple Perspecctive

CSI: Clarify, Sensitise:, Influence (For values enculturation)

Strategies: Coloured chips, Strong Circle, Picture Cards, Dice Connected Circle, Hot Seat, Four Corners

Attachment Theory

Learn from it

I guess this workshop made me more cognizant on why I am doing. For example, when I am talking to the student about some behaviour issues, I usually let them relate the incident and get them to think what they have done wrong. I get them to think from the others’ perspectives. and not just theirs alone.

Do it better

Will try to use some of the strategies during FTGP. I confess I seldom use that during FTGP lessons.

Science ICT-enabled learning

It has bee close to one term. So, what is up with my Science Class? Here are the things that I have done.

(1) Using Kidblog – To get my kids to journal down about science.

I still have not really started on the commenting part. Currently, students are writing, curating resources but what I feel that it is lacking, it is  the peer assessment and commenting. I will start next term with some commenting framing. I would be embarking on Claim-Evidence-Reasoning framing. Hopefully, this will help the students to sharpen their comments

(2) Using Google Forms for MCQ – This is the 2nd year re-run of what I have done last year. I would continue to be doing that as I see the advantages in it.

(3) Using Padlet to solicit their responses. I have only tried twice this term (to be specific, it was just last week). For my P6s, I want them to write about the factors environment . Looking at their responses, I know where their gaps are and would continue to work to close their learning gaps.

For my P5s, I want them to post questions of fertilization and pollination . Interestingly, there are some very interesting questions that could serve as starter for my next lessons.



[Leadership 01] Johari Window

I am currently now on the cluster program for leadership. Last Wednesday , it was the first Cafe Session in which our cluster sup, Mr Tan shared about his experience . During the sharing, I learned about the new term Johari Window which is actually a way to build trust.

This was the first time I heard about this. Of course, I immediately googled and found out more about this . The way to gain trust is to expand the open area (“arena”) . This means that you have to be open and share.
Johari Window

Isn’t that common sense? The way to gain trust is , of course, to be open. But, does such common sense prevail even among leaders? Hmm. Maybe not. Common senses are not that common after all in this era [Think fake news and alternative facts].

So, am I open enough to gain trust from others? If I am going to rate myself (out of grade), I would give myself a score of 7. I like to share as I believe in sharing is caring. And I love to blog openly and share my thoughts. I am not afraid to speak my mind (even at times, saying the hard truth). When communicating with my colleagues, I tend to be open and would not hold back any information. I would try to explain why I am doing certain thing and not just tell them what I want to do.

So, the next question, do my colleagues trust me? Hmm. I can’t answer that as only my colleagues can comment on that. But, I think I should not fare too badly in that area. Okay, I admit that is only my claim. I do not have any evidence to back it up. Perhaps, I need to conduct a survey to support my claim.

So, what now after I know about Johari Window? Continue to be open in my communication with my colleagues. Even in the face of crisis, do not withhold information and just share openly. At least, show others you are doing what you can with the given information and there is no hiding.

I still remember the case of how SG government handled SARS in which there is daily report on the status. The information sharing is good for at least, I feel that I can trust the Government to be doing the right thing. On the other hand, the 2015 SGH Hepatitis C outbreak was a classic example in which information was withheld and not shared openly. I was very disappointed with the way how this is handled.  One can’t deny that public trust with SGH even had gone down after the incident.