Last week, we learn about climate variables in classroom which focus on the learning environment, now in this week we study about instructional variable which focus on the teacher.
As usual, the one who teach for the course were our classmates, which in this week were Vanny,Ulfah,Daen and Shopia.
The course started with ulfah brought an ‘eye catching’ big goody bag into the class. At first I was attracted with the bag, why did she bring that bag into the class, what was in it? Later on I found that actually she brings that bag only to grab our attention. Well, the bag successfully did the job, it really grab my attention.
After introducing their group and told today’s main topic, they asked us about our experience while learning in high school, some of us share their experience while they were in high school and while some other share their experience while having teaching experience. After that, the facilitator group asked each of us to take the reading material that they already prepared before in the bag.
I got the reading material that talk about introductory focus. After I read the material, I become understand that why the facilitator group bring the ‘eye catchy’ goody bag into the class, because they want to grab students’ attention and increase their interest in on the lesson. So, in order to gain students’ interest to our teaching or lesson, teacher can use an eye catching introduction to elicit students’ interest. It can also be done by asking paradoxical question or presenting contradictory result that relate to the topic/lesson to the students at the beginning of a topic or lesson. By doing so, it can help us to gain students attention or interest to study more about the topic.
After I understand the point of my reading, the facilitator asked us to share it with other people through jigsaw discussion. From, jigsaw discussion I get to know that the introductory focus itself also needs to be supported with other instructional variables like personalization, involvement and feedback. What means by personalization here is the teacher relates the material being taught with students’ life, and by doing so it would help the students to make their learning more meaningful to them. If the students can see and feel that the things that they learn in class can explain and help them to understand the phenomenon they have in their daily life it will give them more motivation to learn the topic.
The other thing that also must be considered is students’ involvement. As teacher, we have to make sure all the students were involved in the learning activity, because it is their rights to be involved in the construction of their own understanding. To make that happen, teacher can ask open ended questions to students or do hands on activity. Hands on activity can be in the forms of games or other activity, one of the best example just like what the facilitator presented by conducting guest gesture game activity in the class, while open ended question also presented by the facilitator by asking about our experience in high school at the beginning of the class. Unfortunately, many mathematics teachers seldom use open ended question in their class, that’s why many of students view mathematics as subject that only consider right or wrong answer, this destroy the creative thinking of our students, make them afraid to participate and involve themselves in class activity, because many of them feel afraid to making mistakes in the class. As new generation of teacher, this is our task to change this paradigm.
Another aspect that must also be considered in teaching is when giving feedback to students. There are two kinds of feedback, one called as evaluative feedback and the other one is descriptive feedback. Evaluative feedback is simply giving students mark 1-10, grade A,B,C,D or E, or also can be in the form good, excellent , etc. This feedback usually given when the assessment were in the form of summative assessment. While, other form of feedback, The descriptive feedback, require teacher to give personal comments and detail on students’ work, the details can contains what good point that students already do and at what part students can improve. Usually, this feedback given when the assessment were in the form of formative assessment. As learners, I would prefer to get descriptive feedback from my teacher/lecturer, because it is my right to know in which part i already done good and which part I should improve, so from the feedback itself will help me to be a better learner. If you are teachers, who wish can help your students to improve their learning, I suggest you to give more descriptive feedback for your students, because by doing that at least it will tell them that you care with their progress and understanding and wish them to do better next time. It also tell them you put more attention to their work.