Research lives on

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Had jitters when I presented this 2-week paper about my school. Particularly, I shared the 21st century skills crossroads and their perception about their awareness of the terms and concepts related to 21st century learning themes and skills.

This is an honor and privilege, mindsharing with the principal of PSU laboratory high school before the research directors and dean of college of teacher education.

I loved it, because this is what I wanted to do in the first place. And I owe it to my God to harness this gift.

So there I shared that most of our teachers know about and are aware of the skills we are committed to train our students, as part of our school improvement journey.

Training of the teachers this summer will focus on differentiated instruction, technology integration, speaking in the content areas.

It is part of curriculum mapping we are doing this summer, with unit focus on the 5 21st century learning themes:
1. health literacy
2. civic literacy
3. financial literacy
4. global awareness
5. environmental awareness

Excited, to mindshare here what ate about to happen.

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Thesis Writing

High School research papers are fun to write. We call them baby thesis. Fourth year students writing them are not bereft of any valuable find. For panelists like us, it brings moments of ‘aha’ and ‘that was good.’

This year’s products would make any teacher proud. Thanks to the teachers who brought them here to this level.

Some interesting finds this yeae:
1. LC teachers are proactive when it comes to coping with curriculum innovation
2. LC students are more keen to become entrepreneurs, NCAE revealed.
3. LC students develop problem-solving skills through the STREAMS. On top is discipline and being calm.
4. LC students say that English speaking can boost their confidence but most of the time they are afraid to commit mistake
5. Mathscore has a variety of uses but sometimes students allow others to use their account

Edgycator Goes to Tagbarungis

My Sunday afties are blocked.

Help, I didn’t like that idea until the moment I immersed myself in the actual situation of leaving my city comfort zone to mile my way to a rural area.

The mission: go to and fro Tagbarungis, a sitio in barangay Inagawan sub, for ten weeks to conduct a Literacy Course focusing on Reading skills.

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I am really not the kind of person who will go the extra mile doing this kind of thing alone. So, thank to the revised Palawan State University vision and to my Educational Planning class under Dr Manarpaac, we are now required to produce mini-research or action research papers, and extension service learning, like this.

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Not that I am complaining. I think this is really productive. It gives balance to what I do. The every Sunday trip is kind of giving me a break from a 7-yeat routine. The best thing is that I am doing this now. Yehey!

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Today, I and my classmate Ruth Pedoy gave out our pretest to determine our students’ strengths and weaknesses on the following areas:

1. identifying main ideas
2. noting details
3. sequencing events in a story
4. determining cause and effects
5. drawing conclusions
6. decoding word meaning thru context clues

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We are using (and testing) three modules of the Department of Education’s Effective Alternative Secondary Education for this reading classes. Our aim is to prepare them for the ALS assessment this coming March. Should thy take it, their year level will be determined, go through the Alternative High School programme, and get the chance of their lifetime: proceed to college ot technical-vocational school.

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At the end of the course, our 25 students, of diverse age, learning backgrouds, but of similar social statues, will have better chances to upgrade their life thru education, depending how they respond to the hierarchical progression of schooling.

But they must start somewhere. And that is here.

Malaysia – Penang; Visit to Kek Lok Si Temple (1)

How to get here from KL? Are there student learning programmes or resources available? If I may just ask. I want to bring my students here.

Outlook in Life

Hi there!! Welcome back to my blog.

Today’s posting will be a place in Penang, Malaysia; Kek Lok Si Temple. I went there with my kids a few months back and now, I have finally got my share it with my readers about this place and it’s beauty.

A bit of history about this place before I continue. It  is one of the best known Buddhist temples on the Penang island (and also in South East Asia) and situated in Air Itam. Translated from Penang Hokkien, it means “Temple of Supreme Bliss” or “Temple of Sukhavati”. It was inspired by the chief monk of the Goddess of Mercy Temple at Pitt Street, Penang and construction began in 1890.

A seven storey main pagoda of the temple or the Pagoda of 10,000 Buddhas, was completed in 1930. This pagoda combines a Chinese octagonal base with a middle tier of Thai design…

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CEM Data Implications to LifeCollege

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With K+12 Basic Education Curriculum on the go, 21st Century Learning Themes and Skills on the loose, and contents from the NAT and CEM (or other standardize test providers) on the run, there is too much for a school to bear. Yet, school administrators, no matter how diverse, varied, and fast-changing the principles in learning are, face one essential question: ARE OUR STUDENTS LEARNING?

CEM has somehow enlightened me today to go back to basics. Years ago? I was faced with the same dilemma that on my own, I had to seek out for answers. Whatever I found out, I must say it has guided my classroom instructions and management: To teach the essential that is, regardless of the length of contents. CEM was helpful to me during that time because I reviewed the score and I tallied them and let them speak to me. I guess, even before, I have realised the importance I data in decision-making. I thank God that I saw an improvement. Somehow!

This time the challenge is to bring this small success into a bigger impact, that is to improve test results in the whole school, with all teachers as partners and stakeholders owning the responsibility to utilize test data to improve student learning and student performance in the NAT and CEM.

As for the implications of this conference to LifeCollege, we will come up with a Curriculum Development Framework that caters teaching to the standards, to the essentials, and to the relevant.

LifeColympics 2013: A Stride Towards LC 2016 Goals

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Ramon V. Mitra Sports Complex – The Opening Ceremonies of LifeColympics2013, or Sports Fest, signaled one small stride towards achieving LifeCollege’s Goals by 2016: to mold Christlike Champions, Proactive Contributors, Self-Directed Learners, Confident Persons, and Caring Citizens. Supported by parents, guests, and participated by all students, the usual banal day at the sports complex turned into a festive nexus of red, blue, yellow and green colours, representing the different participating teams.

Traditionally in most schools, the sports fest is an avenue for students to enhance strength, stamina, sportsmanship, and stronger ties.

For LifeCollege, however, the sports fest is a platform for students’ exposure not only to physical activities, but also for intellectual and skills and talent development. Quiz and spelling bees, and singing, dancing, and band competitions are integrated to allow for diversity of events catering to multiple intelligences. This is also a platform for leadership skills development as the Student Council, Media Streams, and LifeRangers work hand in hand to ensure the smooth flow of the events.

The Sports Fest is not an appendix, but is an integral part of the school curriculum. There are overarching or big ideas set before the games began. The inquiry here is how to develop personal leadership among our students thru involvement in various events that they can carry out when in life even when they become adults.

Ultimately, the school is moving towards integrating the curricular and co-curricular activities seamlessly, where the concepts of playing while learning and learning by doing are real, and not just in principle.

The events are not just mere events to enhance the skills, but also to help the school achieve its 2016 goals, namely:

1. Christlike Champions – Values of teamplay, punctuality, attendance are all given emphasis.

2. Proactive Contributor – Players are expected to give their best to contribute to the overall team scores; while non players are expected to help, encourage, and support.

3. Self-Directed Learners – Each team is expected to take initiative, exercise personal leadership, and take responsibility over their own games, tasks and belongings.

4. Confident Persons – The students are given unique platforms to showcase their talents in singing, dancing, media arts, and band-showmanship. As they express themselves creatively, they are empowered to become confident.

5. Caring Citizens – Events include Palarong Pinoy to inculcate deep sense of awareness in our cultural heritage.

There are more opportunities than threats on this year’s SportsFest. Though some would view that it was long, as mini-events started out prior the week-long event, the academics was not sacrificed because the morning schedule is especially dedicated for academics. Besides, the school is preparing students for the 21st century world—a world where students do not have to know everything, but the more valuable thing is how would they make use of knowledge and skills to produce, create and innovate. In this case, a sports events that holistically integrate all aspects of life.

Reflections from the Finnish Experience

I have recently watched the following videos about the best education system in the world–FINLAND. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=70AlyhEGWf4

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5EoknAHLDBk

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-LJl5XaNQNk

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9xeU6R-iKwI

1. Personalised. As I understand it, what they are trying to create are students actually prepared for the workforce. There are no grades. There are no standardised testing. What teachers teach are Big Ideas and inquiries worth investigating that will push students to communicate, collaborate, be creative, and become inventive. They are as bold as wanting to break the subject-centered and move towards more integrated, thematic, and real-life learning. This means that there are no subject areas anymore but  learning domains with specific investigations and inquiries integrating all subjects .  With no exams being prepared and written every month, how are the students able to do well in PISA, the most challenging examinations in the world?

2. Professionals. Teaching in Finland is the most respected and valuable profession. In fact, most applicants are rejected if they cannot explain their reason for teaching. They are asked to go back again the next year. Meanwhile, all teachers must have master’s degree. All teachers undergo coaching, training, observing senior teachers, and collaborating with each others.

3. College, Career, and Citizenship-ready. The curriculum is based upon building students’ knowledge, skills, and dispositions towards work and lifelong learning. Not heavy on tests. Not heavy on standardisation. Individuality and uniqueness are both respected, and honoured.

Whether or not our country is looking at the US for model or not, still the best models are pointed towards Singapore, Shanghai, and of course, Finland. Perhaps, we could learn better from their experiences, which are less rigid but rigorous in thinking skills and investigations. Perhaps, we could follow the system better.