Reflection after attending Mc-Graw Hill Education Training
---CHIN CHERN FAR
"Inspire Science” sounds like an engaging and stimulating science programme. It facilitates students’ learning step-by-step and is alleged to follow the new standards of science education in the US. What struck a chord with me is there is not a fixed set of answers to a phenomenon. Students are free to give their explanations to the same phenomenon and explore. There is a lot of flexibility and creativity on the students’ part. All students are involved in the search for answers. Students are the master of their own learning. They are not limited in their thinking. They even have levelled-readers which can be helpful to ELL students. This is gonna be fun!
But this programme is for elementary group only, and EFL children may not have the oral vocabulary to use it. Although engaging and promoting creative and critical thinking, what is highlighted in this programme is not something new. Inquiry-based and discovery learning have been around for some time.
On a side note, I think Primary 1 children need more readers. They like story books very much. So it will be helpful if we have levelled readers or some story books. For their level, a pre-level or A-/AA-level (the simplest) book is appropriate.
The English language programme sounds like an all-rounded and a self-contained programme. Everything you need is there. Best thing, it has Chinese translation for its readers and an ELL version. But I have not see these materials in detail, I do not know how appropriate these materials are for Chinese kids, albeit with an ELL version. My experience tells me it may not be easy at least for first grade Chinese kids, as many of them come with zero knowledge of English, both oral and reading.
Throughout the talk, the speaker and sometimes the participants shared good and common practices of learning English, and in particular, literacy. This helped refresh what I already knew and learned. They also serve as a reminder to adopt certain practices in my class, such as making connection between speech and print by pointing to a word while saying it.