It is the PSLE season. So, what is the No 1 to-do to help your students? *Drum roll* It is none other than extra lessons!!
Yes, l hold extra lessons for my Maths class too. That is important for them as at least they do some meaningful watch under my watchful “hawk” eyes. I am trying to fine tuning my extra lessons so to keep them focused. After all, getting students to study in the afternoon for 2 hours is no easy feat.
Last week, I allowed them to do a Paper 1 within 50 minutes and went through the paper with them. I personally felt that the session could be better as I can sense my students were only physically in class. They were losing focused and yes, they were getting bored. On reflection, this could be due to the lengthy going-through (about 1 hr) after doing the paper.
For this week lesson, I adopt a different approach. I break the lessons into a series of 4 1/2 mini lessons. For the first 2 lessons, it is about revising volume and algebra concepts. Within the half an hour, they are to do some questions with their peers. Then, I will round up the lessons by going through with them.
For the final 2 lessons, they are to do Paper 2 (about 5 questions). They are to spend about 30 minutes on the the 5 question For the first 15 minutes, they are to do it on their own before discussing with their friends. For the final mini lesson, I invited them to share their answers on the board.
Overall, I feel that my Week 2 extra lesson is more fruitful. This could be due to peer learning and the mini-lessons. They enjoy learning with one another even though they might get rowdy at times. There is variety in the lessons and the kids do not get bored. Also, the questions and the concepts chosen are “reachable” for them. It is not too easy but not too difficult for them. It makes me happy to hear them thinking aloud and pointing out their peer’s mistake.
I have to admit my boys are unfocused at times and need my “not-so-friendly” remainders constantly. But, what is new? Boys , being boys, will always have the knack of making teachers angry :-).