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Higher Order Thinking in a Geography Classroom

Subject Geography
Level: Year 1
Name of teacher Lucille Yap
Topic Climate and Weather: Factors Influencing Temperature
Macro-concept System

Change

Enduring Understanding The well-being of an ecosystem hinges on the understanding of the processes that determine weather and climate as it helps humans (better) predict, prepare and mitigate the risks from climate variability and change.
Essential Question Does the study of weather/ climate matter?
Curricular or Pedagogical Focus / Lens Higher Order Thinking

Prior Knowledge

  • the difference between weather and climate (elements of weather)
  • the structure of the atmosphere, its layers (mean temperature and temperature range)
  • earth’s heat budget (including heat transfer – radiation, conduction and convection)

Lesson Delivery
(more…)

Concept-based Instruction in a Social Studies Classroom

Subject Social Studies
Level: Year 3
Name of teacher Lim Shok Hoon
Topic Culture, Community and Identity
Macro-concept 1.     Systems have elements that interact with each other to perform a function.

2.     Systems follow rules.

Enduring Understanding Societal harmony and dynamism may require members to adapt and adjust to cultural norms and beliefs
Essential Question(s) OR Guiding question(s) 1.     Must everybody conform for society to be harmonious?

2.     Should diversity be subordinated to commonality?

Curricular or Pedagogical Focus / Lens  

Concept-Based Instruction

The lesson was carried out after students attended either the Outward Bound School (OBS) Course or school-based Personal Effectiveness (PE) Workshop. Students would unpack how we were part of a larger society and that society seemed to influence our attitudes and behaviour.

Pre-Lesson: (more…)

Concept-based Instruction in an English Classroom

Subject English Language
Level: Year 1
Name of teacher Jassie Teo
Topic Grammar
Macro-concept 1.     Systems have elements that interact with each other to perform a function.

2.     Systems are composed of sub-systems.

3.     Systems follow rules.

 

Enduring Understanding Language codifies concepts and relationships.
Essential Questions

OR

Guiding questions

 

Factual:

●      What are the components of the English language?

Conceptual:

●      How does language function as a system?

●      Can meaning be conveyed without language?

Provocative:

●      Does language always have to follow the norm to communicate meaning?              

Curricular or Pedagogical Focus / Lens Concept-Based Instruction

The Grammar Unit was planned with the aim of allowing students to appreciate how the macro-concept of Systems operates in the English Language grammar. The lessons in the unit move progressively from meaning at the morpheme level to the sentential level, with a focus on how the elements within each level of meaning interact to convey meaning. This second lesson of the unit that I have described below focuses on how meaning is conveyed at the phrasal level. (more…)

Inquiry-based Learning in a Biology Classroom

Subject Biology
Level: Year 3
Topic Photosynthesis
Macro-concept Systems
Enduring Understanding Factors can affect the rate of photosynthesis.
Essential Questions
  1. What are the factors that affect the rate of photosynthesis?
  2. Why would there be factors that limit the rate of photosynthesis?
Curricular or Pedagogical Focus / Lens Critical Thinking, Concept-Based Instruction

Prior Knowledge

Students should have acquire the following knowledge in their primary school education:

  • Plants “make food” by photosynthesis.
  • During photosynthesis, plants take in CO2 and release O2.
  • Photosynthesis requires light.

Knowledge and Skills

This inquiry-based learning is a series of four lessons, comprising of two theory and two practical lessons. The lesson plan encompasses the following skill sets:

(more…)

Higher order thinking in a Social Studies lesson on National Identity

Subject: Social Studies
Level:  Y4
Topic: Singapore and Globalisation: Impact on Identity

Introduction

Bloom’s taxonomy places “creating” as the highest order of thinking. In this lesson, students were given the opportunity to demonstrate their understanding of national identity by creating a product: an index to measure national identity.

“Give the pupils something to do, not something to learn; and the doing is of such a nature as to demand thinking; learning naturally results” (Dewey, 1916). (more…)

Insights into Inquiry-based Learning by an ex-student

I am a former student who graduated from Raffles Girls’ Schoool (RGS) in 2013. Recently, I had the opportunity to intern at RGS for 2 months.

During my stint there, my Geography teacher, Mrs Eriyanty Mohammad, invited me to join her and Ms Nurashikin for an excursion with some Year 1 students. The excursion to Peninsula Plaza was for the Regional Studies Programme (RSP) students to gain some insights into the Burmese community in Singapore. I jumped at the chance almost immediately. I fondly remember going for such excursions while I was a student and my RSP teachers had also taken us to Golden Mile Complex and Lucky Plaza for us to have a better understanding of some foreign communities in Singapore. (more…)

World Educational Leadership Summit 2016: Points to Ponder

In early April 2016, I attended the World Educational Summit, where I heard many thought leaders speak about learning.

I would like to share 3 main ideas that I pondered over as I listened to the speakers:

  1. Emphasis on order and objectivity in curriculum practices.

Dr Eric Mazur noted how in the name of reliability and fairness, schools tend to value assessment structures that enable order and predictability. But problem-solving in a real world occurs amidst erratic and dynamic conditions. Are we then imposing artificiality in learning? Dr Mazur even asserted that the focus on reliability and fairness tilts assessment design to one that favours lower order thinking because complex, higher order thinking may not be adequately captured through standard assessment settings.

So, how do we address this issue? (more…)