Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Principles of Teaching: Selection and Use of Instructional Materials

     It has been awhile since I posted LET and education-related topics in this blog. Just recently, there were educ students who conducted observations for the Field Study courses so I thought of posting some principles that perhaps can help them in answering their workbooks. If I'm not mistaken, they are in their Field Study 3 which focuses more on educational technology. I also realized that I have already posted principles about learning, classroom management and assessment, but not yet about the use of educational technology or more commonly known as SIMS (Support Instructional Materials).

I listed here some principles in the selection and use of support instructional materials. I hope that teachers can use these principles and apply these in their own classroom practices.

1.The best instructional material is no other than the teacher. This does not mean that teachers need not to prepare SIMS anymore! This implies that teachers must not overly depend on the materials themselves. SIMS themselves cannot fully teach the learners. There should still be the need for the teacher to explain, discuss and facilitate learning using the SIMS. The effectiveness of the SIMS still depends on how the teacher presents, uses and manipulates these materials  in the class discussion. As the word "support" implies, SIMS are just aid for teachers, but they do not replace the teacher.

2. SIMS need not be extravagant or always "high-tech". Teacher still need to consider the instructional objective in a day's lesson.  Though technology will make a lesson presentation interactive, a teacher should first and foremost consider the instructional objective. The lesson objectives determine what SIMS to be used not the other way around. One concrete example would be in the Physical Education subject. In demonstrating steps to a dance, which would be more preferable and effective: a video clip of the steps, or the teacher him/herself demonstrating the dance? Of course the latter would be better. Notice that even without  the use of technology the lesson can still work with the given objective.

3. Don't reason the above mentioned principle to excuse yourself not to use variety of instructional materials. Teaching also involves catering to each learners' needs and preferences in learning. Each of us has different ways in responding and receiving information. Remember VAK? Teachers may have visual, auditory or kinesthetic learners (and a combination of either of the three). Hence, use various media. These may be computers, TV, projector and even just the mere chalkboard.

4. Prepare your SIMS beforehand. Appealing and creative SIMS usually require time and effort to make.I think we are all inspired by stories of teachers who spend the midnight oil just to make SIMS. This is not an exaggeration but a reality.  Most of the times, SIM-making is a tedious task, but we all do this for the sake of making our learners learn best. If you will be using technology like computers or projectors, make sure to manipulate it first to avoid technological glitches. Also check the power source and even the file to be presented if corrupted or not.

5. Think out of the box. Be creative. Use the materials or inspiration that is appealing to the learners. Make use of your learners interests even the latest trends or popular personalities. If the pupils are familiar and most of all interested with your SIMS, learning becomes not only effective but fun and interesting for them as well.

Actually there are lots of principles you can also utilize. Use your experience since it is a very good teacher. Just remember that teaching needs dedication and passion. And part of this vocation is to give your best to prepare and make your SIMS for the main purpose of teaching the pupils the best way possible.

P.S. It was a shame that when the educ studs observed me, I only used chart and chalkboard that time...hehehe..excuse me..the teacher is the best S-I-M..hehehe...)

Friday, June 13, 2014

DepEd Forms: School Forms

      As of the moment, I am our school's ICT (Information Communications Technology) coordinator. It is not actually a position but a coordinatorship. This means that you are in charge of anything related to computers, internet, encoding, multimedia, lay-outing etc. You are also in charge of the e-learning classroom. This may sounds a good position and if you are asking if this makes me a step higher in the ladder then you're wrong. This is just an extra or ancillary work and it does NOT increase my salary..hehehe...However, I find this position quite satisfying since the thrust of education is geared towards Information Technology. It is perhaps an advantage on my part since this contributes to me to become a "21st Century" teacher. This position also gives me the opportunity to attend seminars that increase my exposure to the system and the same time meet new people and develop linkages. As they say, it is not enough what you know, but whom you know. And I can never be sure how would these acquaintances be of good help in the future especially if professional development is to be taken account.
    I would like to share some of the forms currently used in the public school system. And for this maiden post about DepEd forms, let me share to you the current forms which were implemented just this school year. These forms also have a change in their names: These are:

  School Form 1 (SF 1) School Register - This replaces  Form 1, Master List & STS Form 2-Family Background and Profile.
  School Form 2 (SF2) Daily Attendance Report for Learner - This cancel Form 1, Form 2 & STS Form 4 - Absenteeism and Dropout Profile.  
   School Form 3 (SF3) Books Issued and Returned- This replaces Form 1 & Inventory of Text Book.
  School Form 4 (SF4) Monthly Learner's Movement and Attendance- This replaces Form 3 & STS Form 4-Absenteeism and Dropout Profile.
  School Form 5 (SF 5) Report on Promotion & Level of Proficiency- This replaces Forms 18-E1, 18-E2, 18A.
   School Form 6 (SF6) Summarized Report on Promotion and Level of Proficiency- This cancels Form 20
   School Form 7 (SF7) School Personnel Assignment List and Basic Profile- This replace Form 12-Monthly Status Report for Teachers, Form 19-Assignment List, Form 29-Teacher Program and Form 31-Summary Information of Teachers.

    Now, where are the forms? Relax, Just click the link below.


Tuesday, May 20, 2014

The Use of Contextualized Visual Aids in Teaching Vocabulary to Children with Mental Retardation


        Public awareness about individuals with mental retardation has increased in the past years. Comprising 4.6% of the population in developed countries including the Philippines, these individuals gained considerable acceptance from the public and have found their place in special schools in the hope to live a productive life.
      In line with this, special educators sought for ways in order to provide the best learning possible for these individuals. Various movements have emerged and presented new ways of teaching considering the special needs of these individuals. These trends remain dynamic, presenting new findings and recommendations as results of research and study.
      There has been relatively little research on the vocabulary abilities of children with mental retardation. Some researches, like that of Ezell & Goldstein (1991), indicate that children with mental retardation tend to be more concrete in their understanding of words. This tendency to be more concrete may be the result of delays in development of semantic abilities (Rosenberg, 1982) and being lag behind in their development of organizing strategies (Stephens, 1972)
In respect with the above-mentioned ideas, studying the effect of using contextualized visual aids to increase the vocabulary of children with mental retardation is a significant and meaningful investigation. It is with an utmost conviction to the idea that in order to effectively teach these children, teaching approach must be integrated- multisensory and culturally/contextually-relevant.  Multisensory in a sense that the more senses being used, the more learning takes place. On the other hand,  to be culturally/contextually-relevant simply means that learning will be more effective when differences in the learner’s linguistic, cultural and social background are also taken into account (13th Principle: American Psychological Association’s 14 Learner-Centered Principles, in Corpuz and Lucas, 2007).

Mental Retardation

     Mental retardation is defined by the World Health Organization as a condition of incomplete or halted development of the mind, which is characterized by impairment of skills as manifested during developmental period that contributes to the overall level of intelligence.
     Most children with mental retardation have problems with language and communication (Long & Long, 1994). In fact, language and speech disorders have been found to be the most frequent secondary disability among children with mental retardation (Epstein, Polloway, Patton, & Foley, 1989). Deficits in language and communication have been found to "constitute major impediments to the social, emotional, and vocational adjustment of retarded citizens" (Swetlik & Brown, 1977).
    Research about vocabulary abilities of children with mental retardation is said to be limited as compared to other language development concerns. Children with mental retardation have been found to lag behind in their development of organizing strategies (Stephens, 1972) and to use more concrete concepts (Mac Millan. 1982), suggesting that children with mental retardation have some difficulty developing and using semantic concepts.
On the other hand some studies have found that an area of strength for children with mental retardation is that of vocabulary skills. In a study of the comprehension of syntax and vocabulary conducted by Chapman, Schwartz, and Kay Raining-Bird (1991), the authors found that their subjects with mental retardation performed significantly better on the vocabulary comprehension task than on tests of syntactic skills.

 Theories Underlying the Use of Visual Aids

    Over the years, educators agree that the use of visual aids enhances learning both to children with or without special needs (with the exception for some cases i.e. visually-impaired children).  Jerome Bruner initially supported this when he proposed that learners can learn through Iconic mode or through the use of pictures and images. According to Machado (2007), visuals and images (pictorial representations) used during instructions almost always improve students’ attention, listening and comprehension and reduces recall errors.