Sunday, October 11, 2015

STAR Strategy

STAR is an example of an empirically validated (Maccini & Hughes, 2000; Maccini & Ruhl, 2000) first-letter mnemonic that can help students recall the sequential steps from familiar words used to help solve word problems involving integer numbers.

The steps for STAR include:
Search the word problem;
Translate the problem;
Answer the problem; and
Review the solution

Below is an example of a structured worksheet using STAR strategy in solving word problem:
Objective: Solve 2- to 3- step word problems involving whole numbers (BEC PELC II. A.1.2)

Problem: Mr. Cruz had P4,500. He spent P2,500 for food; P750 for transportation; and P275 for other expenses and divided the rest among his 5 brothers. How much was the share of each?

Strategy Questions:
S-earch the word problem
a.    Read the problem carefully
b.    Ask yourself questions: "What do I know? What do I need to find?"
c.    Write down the facts:
·         Mr. Cruz had P4,500.
·         He spent P2,500 for food
·         P750 for transportation
·         P275 for other expenses
·         He divided the rest among his 5 brothers
I need to find share of each brother.

T-ranslate the words into an equation in picture form.

P275- other expenses
n=divided among 5 brothers

A-nswer the problem
If I add all Mr. Cruz’s expenses and subtract the sum from his original money, I can get the amount that was shared by his five brothers and divide this by 5.
Mr. Cruz’s expenses: P2,500 + P750 + P275 = P3,525
P4,500 - P3,525=P975
P975 ÷ 5 = P195
Each brother receives P195.

R-eview the Solution
a.    Reread the problem
b.    Ask yourself questions: "Does the answer make sense? Why?"
c.    Check the answer
I checked my answer.

When I multiplied P195 by 5 and added the product to the total of Mr. Cruz’s expenses, I got P4500 which is Mr. Cruz’s total amount.

P.S. I also made posters about STAR Strategy that teachers could post in their walls. I hope you would find these useful.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

World Teachers' Day Celebration 2015

         Teachers Day celebration is a day in our school when students get the chance to show their gratitude and appreciation to their teachers. We usually do these on October 1 to 5 since the World Teachers Month Celebration starts from September 5 to October 5. It is nice to have this occasion but I feel a bit silly sometimes because the ambiance in this celebration is quite sentimental..hehe.. Anyway, this celebration makes me and the rest of the teachers inspired to pursue our profession despite the stress and hardships we face everyday. It is nice to have the feeling that all our efforts are not forgotten and not taken for granted.
         What makes the occasion special for me is the idea that students make efforts to give you gifts and flowers to make you special on this day. I know that my students are poor and are not from well-off families and they could not afford to buy expensive gifts. However, I find it touching to receive flowers whom they have bought out of their meager allowance. It is not the price or what kind of gifts that I received. It is really the thought that counts.
         Some students said sorry because they weren't able to give me something for Teachers' Day. And I said to them that they do not owe me an apology. I am always thankful to be a teacher and everything that I do to them is not something to be repaid.  But I always tell that if there is any best gift that they could give to me is for them to be good students, to be diligent and to pursue their dreams so that all our efforts will not put into waste.
     Bottom line of my reflection this Teacher's Day, sometimes as teachers, we expect our students to be perfect. If given the chance, we want to have the ideal students, the ones how won in competitions, the ones who have cooperative parents who can give you gifts, the ones who don't smell bad, etc..hehehe. However, teaching in my school where students are very diverse, I realize that my students may not be the most intelligent (we don't win a lot..hehe), the most well-mannered or the most appealing, But who I am to complain about these imperfections? We ourselves are not perfect teaches in the first place but students accept us no matter what. If they accept our imperfections as teachers, we perhaps might as well accept theirs. And together, we learn form each other, and grow.

     Anyway, here are the snapshots of our Teachers' Day Celebration in our school...

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

LET Tips: Review/Study Strategies (REPOST)

...Hello there..long time no post aye?...I still am doing my thesis which will be the most groundbreaking and most controversial thesis in the history of education....hahaa...It has been two years since I started conceptualizing and doing this thesis of mine and thankfully I am about at 75% of it. Some of you may wonder why it has taken me almost two years to do my thesis and I already have explained it on my previous post. Anyway, sloth has visited me again so I wanted to have a hiatus for a night from doing my usual tasks. So aside form watching TV and Facebook-ing, I decided to update this blog since LET again is just around the corner.
     According to my blog stats, my post on LET Tips has received a lot of comments and page views. I then thought that why not make another post about this but this time, on my own personal experiences on reviewing and studying my LET notes. Again, you may or may not apply my tips. If you find these useful to you, apply it. If not, then create your own strategy that best fits your personality and thinking style..

1. Have the TOS (Table of Specifications) for LET. Take note that EED and SED and their corresponding majors have different TOS. You may ask your dean or the PRC for a copy or you may check online for available e-versions. Why is the TOS important? Of course, TOS will give you the parameters on the things you need to study and review. This would also give you the information on which topics you need to be focusing on. You don't want to waste your time and energy on topics that would even not be in the exam.

2. Prepare your long-term time frame/schedule. This still depends on you. On my personal experience, I prepared which topics I would be studying each week and how many days would I dedicate studying these topics. Again, refer to the TOS. Don't focus a whole week on just Gen Ed only or Prof Ed or Major. In a week for example, you have to have an allocated topics for both the Gen Ed and Prof Ed including the Major Subjects.

3. Prepare your daily schedule. I know some of those who take the LET review full-time while others review in-betweens because they are employed. I myself managed my schedule during my preparation for LET since I was a full time tutor from 1:00 PM to 9:00 PM. This however is not an excuse for you not to study and review. Again, allocate which three parts of LET will you be studying in a certain time. For instance, if you dedicate 6 hours of your day studying (e.g. 6:00 PM to 12:00 MN), then always  make sure that you reach the quota of 6 hours a day. You may have 2 hours for Gen.Ed, 2 hours for Prof Ed and 2 hours for the Major. Now, if you think you're too tired not to review in a certain time, make sure to make up the hours that you failed to study. If you're too sleepy at 11:00-12:00 MN, make up that 1 hour lost by allocating extra hour the day after perhaps early in the morning or extending your study time from 6 to 7 hours.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Preparation of Instructional Materials: C-V-C Bottles

    Let me just share to you some of the instructional materials that my students and I prepare during our class. This is C-V-C bottle made form recycled bleach (Zonrox) bottle. This is intended to teach basic words for young students and to develop their phonics.
   Please watch out because I would also start  posting some pictures of our projects. I hope teachers and students would get ideas from our projects and will apply them in their own classrooms.
   So here it is, hope you can apply this also in your classroom teaching...

Monday, September 7, 2015

Teaching in College and Elementary Students

     It has been a semester since I started college teaching in my alma mater. And I actually find it funny that my teaching jobs are all in the schools where I graduated from. This moonlighting stint of mine started when I posted a labor day rant about my “insufficient income” and how I desired to have another job (because 75 percent of my income is all eaten up by a loan, hay…family problems). 

     Apparently and perhaps I would say fortunately, the dean, who was my former teacher, saw my post and suggested me that I would apply as a part-time instructor in the university. I was happy then because it was answered prayer in my part. Of course, I have gone through all the SOPs of applying and I was glad that I was given two courses to teach.

    I was quite inspired teaching college students because I thought that I could share a lot to them. In fact, I wrote this blog for college students and soon-to-be teachers in the hopes of inspiring them and at the same time help them top the LET. And also perhaps the main reason why I was hired is to “inspire” education students in my college who I once was. This time however, I would be sharing my thoughts not only online but to real students face-to-face. 

    On the first weeks of my teaching, all things went well perhaps because this was just a getting-to-know stage. I think that my students are all smart and enthusiastic. As time goes by, I gradually find teaching college students challenging. And I couldn’t help comparing students in elementary (where I primarily teach) and in college.