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Main content start

[Archive] Whole-class Subject Teaching Example

 

Example 1.

Target: Primary 4 students

Teachers provide different kinds of material for students to make pinwheels by themselves.
(Learning and Teaching Process)

Teacher: Students, what kinds of material do you think are most suitable for making pinwheels?  (1)

Students:Any possible answers such as paper, plastic, card board, wood, metal and so on.

Teacher: Imagine we have found the material that we all believe is most appropriate for making pinwheels. What is the most ideal shape of the pinwheel in order to make its rotation faster?  (2)

Students: Any possible answers such as cross-shaped, star-shaped or Bauhinia-shaped.

Teacher: What is the relation between the shape of a pinwheel and its surface area? What is the relation between the surface area of a pinwheel and its rotation speed? (3)

Teacher:  How can you apply your discovery to your daily life? (4)

 

 Points to note
  1. The difficulty level of this question is suitable for most of the students (average level). To enable students to participate actively in discussions, they are given chances to gain hands-on experience by making a pinwheel. For average-ability students, the teacher provides them with a number of choices of material. However, for higher-ability students, the teacher may not have to give them choices. By doing so, more flexibility will be given for their thought.

  2. The teacher may encourage further investigation by letting the students to think in more detail and try to work out the relation between the shape and the rotation speed of the pinwheel.

  3. Average-ability students may not be able to solve this open-ended question. However, for higher-ability and gifted students, this is a wonderful opportunity to take the challenge. The teacher may use this question to lead higher-ability or gifted students to look into abstract hypothetical questions so that they can give full play to their desire of exploration, find out the solutions or prove the rationality of hypothesis.The teachers can also request higher-ability students to make use of their creativity, such as using charts for presentation of findings, or using real objects to illustrate the relation between the shape and the rotation speed of a pinwheel.

  4. The teacher should affirm students' achievements and encourage them to further explore their discoveries.

 

Example 2.

  1. Using card boards of the same size to make cylinders of the following shapes: (a) Cylinder (b) Cube (c) Prism
  2. Which type of cylinder has the strongest weight-bearing capability?
  3. What is the effect of the height of cylinder on its weight-bearing capability?

 

  • For average-ability students, the teacher may provide them with more opportunities to make the shapes by themselves.

     

  • For higher ability students, the teacher may provide them with more challenging questions, Question 3 for instance. Average-ability students may not be able to tackle these problems easily. The teacher may consider leaving these problems for higher-ability students only.

     

  • For those higher-ability students, the teacher may set higher requirements such as using charts to solve Questions 2, 3 or add in Question 4. For example, the teacher may ask students to explore how different materials affect the weight-bearing capability of a cylinder etc. If necessary, the teacher may provide the students with different materials to work on and find out the solutions. However, for higher-ability students, the teacher may not have to provide them with real material, hints or opportunities for making the models, but only allow them to think and figure out the solutions. The teacher may even require the most outstanding gifted students to deliberate any established patterns or formulas related to the material, shape and height of the cylinders.

     

  • While assessing students' assignments, the teacher may specially observe the higher-ability students to see whether they can immerse their creativity into the given assignment, for example, drawing patterns and filling them with wonderful colours. The teacher may give different forms of feedback to outstanding assignments. Besides giving high marks, the teacher may also add encouraging comments such as "A very thoughtful project! The colouring is wonderful. Well done!" or feedback that inspires thinking such as "The patterns are well-designed! Will you consider adding some patterns which contain a profound message?" Moreover, the teacher may guide the students to further extend the activity, such as "Can you list and classify 30 types of cylinder that you have come across in your daily life?"