children grade their teachers “like” or “dislike” according to whether
the lessons delivered are boring or interesting. Pupils enjoy participating in
activities but their enthusiasm easily evaporates once they know what to
expect. So conscientious teachers have to keep updating the strategies adopted
to sustain students’
interest and motivation. What worked last year with a particular class cannot be “copied” and
“pasted” for even the same class this
year not to say a different class.
said than done! No matter how hard teachers try, they cannot reach that level
of sophistication comparable to the audio and visual impact offered by online
games which students are so used to enjoying. And the crux of the issue is that sometimes
the means becomes the end. And the lesson objectives are not achieved.
Or teaches can become so engrossed in designing activities that the lesson
content is thinned.
Last week, I observed how a Primary 1 English teacher successfully incorporated meaningful and
interesting activities to guide the students in learning the targetted
language. Thiswas one rich and vibrant
lesson. A total of 25
fully engaged using English all the way when interacting with the teacher and classmates alike. Information
technology was utilized for the starter. The teacher designed a simple animation with herself as the
news announcer. It worked! The students got aroused. Transition
between activities was also smooth.
For consolidation, there was the worksheet. How did the teacher help the students check
their answers? Instead of the usual practice of asking the students to stand up
and give the answers, the teacher had designed a routine termed as “Decision
Alley”. All students stood up and got
into two rows facing one another. When one student gave the answer, the others
would say “Yes, you are right!” When the answer was wrong, the others would
give the answer. In this way, the whole
class got spirited and involved.
secret of success is simple. Be reflective and think out of the box.