小男孩、学校、画画

以下这则小男孩的故事取自《人性的优点故事全集》之第20章保持自己的本色。这本电子书可到百度阅读上免费下载全文。

从前有个小男孩要去上学了。他的年纪太小,而学校看起来却是那么大。 小男孩发现进了校门口便是他的教室时,他觉得很高兴。因为这样学校看起来就不再那么巨大。

一天早上,老师开始上课,她说:“今天,我们来学画画。”那小男孩心想:“好哇!”他喜欢画画。他会画许多东西,如:狮子和老虎,小鸡和母牛,火车以及船儿。他开始兴奋地拿出蜡笔,径自画了起来。但是,老师说:“等等,现在还不能开始。”老师停了下来,直到全班都专心看着她,老师又说:“现在,我们来学画花。”那男孩心里高兴。他喜欢画花儿,他开始用粉红色、橙色、蓝色蜡笔,勾勒出他自己的花朵。但此时,老师又打断大家:“等等,我要教你们怎么画。”于是她在黑板上画了一朵花。花是红色的,茎是绿色的。“看这里,你们可以开始学着了。”小男孩看着老师画的花,又再看看自己画的,还是比较喜欢自己的花儿。但是他不能说出来,只能把老师的花园在纸的背面,那是一朵红色的花,带着绿色的茎。

另一天,小男孩进入教室,老师说:“今天,我们用黏土来做东西。”男孩心想:“好棒。”他喜欢玩黏土。他会用黏土做许多东西:蛇和雪人,大象及老鼠,汽车、货车——他开始捶揉成球状的黏土。 老师说:“现在,我们来做个盘子。”男孩心想:“嗯,我喜欢。”他喜欢做盘子,没多久各式各样的盘子便出笼了。但老师说:“等等,我要教你们怎么做。”她做了一个深底的盘子,“你们可以照着做了。”小男孩看着老师做的盘子,又看看自己的。他实在比较喜欢自己的,但他不能说,他只是将黏土又揉成一个大球,再照着老师的方法做。那是个深底的盘子。很快的,小男孩学会等着、看着,仿效老师,做相同的事。很快的,他不再创造自己的东西了。

一天,男孩全家人要搬到另外一座城市,而小男孩也只得转学。这所学校甚至更大,教室也不在校门口边,现在,他要爬楼梯,沿着长廊走,才能到达教室。

第一天上课,老师说:“今天,我们来画面。”男孩想:“真好!”他等着老师教他怎么做,但老师什么也没说,只是沿着教室走。老师来到男孩身边,她问:“你不想画吗?”“我很喜欢啊!今天我们要画么?”“我不知道,让你们自由发挥。”“那,我应该怎样画呢?”“随你喜欢。” 老师回答。“可以用任何颜色吗?”老师对着他说:“如果每个人都面相同的图案,用一样的颜色,我怎么分辨是谁画的呢?”于是,小男孩开始用粉红色、橙色、蓝色画出自己的小花。

小男孩喜欢这个新学校,即使教室不在校门口边。

感想阿宝老师与我分享了这则小故事。
你若果是名教师,这则故事引起了你的任何感想,或是有所共鸣?(:

150521-nanhaidegushi

hearing a flipped primary CL classroom example

had the chance to meet up with fellow teacher Evelyn, and to hear her share abt her experience in flipping her P4 CL class. she had recorded a series of 24 videos (that included ppt slides, and videos) to get things going at the start. students are tasked to watch one video a week, as it coincides with one lesson a week. it was slow to get things going at first, cultivating students the habit of watching the videos weekly. “they were so used to the standard way of teaching/learning since P1, P2 & P3″, and now students are required to do something that’s very different from the past.

having the videos (prepared using Camtasia) allowed Evelyn time to engage students in more interactions in class. she designed games to engage her students. but in order to participate in the games, students learnt that they need to watch the videos beforehand. homework is done in class, so students do not have to do homework after school.

based on what i heard, i believe what Evelyn has done laid good foundation to free up classroom teaching time, which won’t go away any time soon in a school’s factory-style set up, especially during foundation years at primary level. looking forward to the day to attend a lesson in the classroom to see how discourse is taking place with such an implementation.

if the possibilities to explore alternative/more classroom discourse doesnt excite you, “我的最差的学生从前拿24分,最近拿了一个40分。” (out of 45), any results-oriented teacher could be persuaded somewhat to the very least i presume? 😛

syncing files in-between cloud storage

— update 9/5, 1335hr —

checked my mail after lunch, and cloudHQ‘s CEO Mr. Senad Dizdar has dropped an email to offer an 1-year free trial of cloudHQ’s Premium service. time to explore the service further (:

today, a new toy arrived:

150508-acerchromebook13

have bought the acer chromebook 13 to explore the Google Chrome OS ecosystem. an immediate problem would be to gain access to my working files on Dropbox. while files in dropbox could be retrieved, somehow i suspect the access would not be as fast if files were to be retrieved from Google Drive instead.

so, the next thing to do is to mirror the files in-between dropbox and google drive. while i could do it manually through one of my systems’ hard disk. i was wondering if there’s something more clever — a cloud service that works on the cloud storages, in the cloud.

and after some googling, i came upon cloudHQ.

signed up for a free 14-days trial account, and in no time, my files on dropbox started syncing. when i checked back in an hour, was pleasantly surprised to see 2.9GB of files synced. but the syncing stopped, as i have used up the free 2GB bandwidth. in fact, it was exceeded by 0.9GB. posted a tweet to gain another 2GB, and the sync was restarted to continue transfer of the remaining 2GB. hope the free bandwidth is enough to complete the job.

i like cloudHQ for its easy to navigate menu options. one concern that i had was what if there were some glitch, and files were overwritten unintended. i am pleasantly surprised to find cloudHQ offering an option to back up changed files before they were overwritten. activated the option and hope to see it in action.

looks like i have used up my 4GB of free transfer as i am writing this post. hope i would be able to receive the free 1 year trial of the Premium Plan, and i’ll be able to post more about the cloudHQ experience.

abandoning subjects in schools

saw this article on qz.com titled “This school in Norway abandoned teaching subjects 40 years ago” via a fb feed. as the article pointed out, recent reports had focused on Finland’s decision to phase out teaching by ‘subjects’ abt a month ago.

the Norway school highlighted here is Ringstabekk (Lower Secondary) School, taking in students between grade 8-10. some interesting points in the article:

“4-6 teachers, is responsible for the education and growth of 60-75 students”
– this points to a teacher-student ratio of 75/4 –> 1:19 (max). a ratio much HIGHER than ours.

“The teachers pick up ideas from each other and share their experiences ensuring … all students experience the same learning methods and multidisciplinary themes.”
– we too have our many forms of CoP, PLC, PLN, AR/LS groups. except in this case, there’s (a lot a lot more) “cross-subjects” pollination of ideas & perspectives since the teachers work in teams, and not subject departments.

“The students … work in small groups most of the time. This is based on the theory that most of our learning happens when we think, talk, and solve tasks together … and the idea of “learning by doing,” theories developed by the late Russian psychologist Lev Vygotsky and the late American philosopher and psychologist John Dewey.”
– i think our teachers cite Vygotsky more often than Dewey. why? perhaps teachers realised there’s plenty of doing, but … … not sure, need further research to shed light on this.

“The Ringstabekk school has to follow the national curriculum and national assessment-systems, so every student still gets individual grades for each traditional subject. “
– our teachers will be interested in HOW to do such ‘conversion’ if we were to experiment with such a system.

“On these tests, they are performing on the top national level, …Students become very engaged in what they do at school—sometimes they don’t want breaks, because they are eager to continue the work they have started.”
– sounds like producing future workaholics, but results & motivation are both taken care of. what else more would a teacher ask for from any student?

“Most parents are very satisfied with the school—they realize that it actually is preparing their kids for a future working-life …”
– if PARENTS are happy, i assume society is happy. any teacher would be happy to have such happy partners in education (:

“The head teacher at the school puts it this way: ”We are not just developing calculators, we are developing human beings.””
– does this imply that some schools are producing ‘calculators’? what are we producing in our classrooms? more ‘exam machines’ than human beings as some teachers termed it? good food for thought.

two other web sources pointing to the school can be found here: a 2001 OECD report on ICT integration, and a Notes page in Wrigley, T., Thomson, P., & Lingard, R. (2011). Changing Schools: Alternative Ways to Make a World of Difference (p.46) via Google Books

scrolling screen capture software

it’s been many years that i’ve relied on FSCapture for my screen capturing needs. but it doesnt appear to support recent browsers, and some display drivers well. so, a newer software is needed. googled, and DuckCapture came up. d/l and tested, and it worked for my needs. there’s some ‘jittering’ when capturing a scrolling screen though. may need to look for another software that doesnt produce the jitter. but for now, it’s good enough (: