In this week, I continue my teaching in XI Social Grade 1 class. The topic of the teaching is about probability of two events. In this meeting I bring my students some manipulative tools to learn with. Because the topic is often talking about probability of dealing balls from plastic bags, so I bring dozen of table tennis balls into the class and let my pupils to experiments with the balls. I asked them to sit in groups and do the activities with the balls and plastic bag. Having the balls to play and learn with, they look so enthusiastic and interested to learn the materials. I let them to explore by themselves the principles and the differences between independent events and conditional events.
Working in groups in doing mathematics task maybe for some older teachers was irrelevant, but for me it’s just normal. The students were so happy to work in group, they did discussion and sharing their thoughts while sometimes they can also have small joke and chit-chat to repel boring. Although the class became a bit noisy, but it is worthy with the lesson they got. They told me that they really enjoy the group activity. Some of the students told me that they wish to have more group activity and experiments with the real things rather just talking about the theory while learning mathematics, because it is more meaningful for them. Some of them even said that before they done the activities I give to them, they did not really understand what probability is. Hearing that statement from the students, made me questioning myself, before this, does the students just accepting what teacher told them? Without even asking what was the thing being told?
From what I have observed in the class, I could see that students’ motivation to learn increased if they feel what they’re learning is meaningful to their thinking’s. Also, when students could have chance to share their ideas and thoughts they feel more motivated rather just being sitting nicely in their chair, just doing and accepting knowledge the teacher told them. This could happen relate to the greater autonomy given to them in learning.
As a teacher, we should let the students having meaningful learning. Meaningful learning happens when the students know what they are learning. A student can be said have meaningful learning when they know what they are learning, not only can show the procedure. Also, learning should involve all the aspects around us, not only cognitive but also social interaction. We should give them (students) chance to share their ideas and thoughts trough social interaction.