NENITA L. MENDOZA
It has always been a challenge to make science more interesting to students in the conventional classroom. Science, per se, is already an interesting subject but what make it a little less interesting is sometimes the techniques we employ in the teaching of science inside the classroom.
One reason is the lack of teaching budgets to come up with the needed materials, tools and experiments to put the conventional lectures into real and actual use. Also the apathy on the part of students sometimes makes it difficult to get students interested in topics like biology, earth science, anatomy, physics, and chemistry.
Also, long and tedious use of lectures without actual application tends to bore students. According to teaching site EduNova, teachers are now using techniques such as peer learning, role-playing, and incorporating current events in science lesson plans. These techniques help engage students and help them understand the importance of science. They also make it fun to teach scientific concepts and help students understand common topics in the scientific world.
Traditionally, teachers used the lecture format to teach children about science. One of the drawbacks to the lecture format is that it does not engage students in their learning. This teaching technique encourages rote memorization and note-taking instead of excitement about the world of science. Peerto-peer teaching is when the students actually get involved in teaching each other about science. This is an active learning method that encourages students to discuss scientific topics, develop questions about the material, and work in teams to learn new information. Buzz groups, solution and critic groups, and affinity groups are just three of the ways to use peer-to-peer teaching in the classroom.
When students work in buzz groups, they spend approximately 20 minutes studying a topic and gathering information. At the end of the session, one representative from each group presents information to the entire class. For solution and critic groups, the teacher assigns one group of students to gather information and give a presentation.
A second group of students acts as the critic group by evaluating the presentation. Affinity groups work together outside of the classroom and then present their findings during normal class time. All of these techniques help students develop research and presentation skills that will help them in the science classroom as well as other areas of life.
The author is Teacher III at Diladila Elementary School, Santa Rita District
EDGAR L. MANABAT
The National Achievement Test (NAT) is a national standardized test administered to learners in Grades 6, 10, and 12. It is devised to determine their academic levels, strengths and weaknesses. Their knowledge learned throughout the grade level is divided into 5 categories; English, Filipino, Math, Science and Araling Panlipunan (Social Studies in English) and are assessed for what they know.
DepEd Order No.55, s. 2016, entitled “Policy Guidelines on the National Assessment of Student Learning in the K to 12 Basic Education Program” clarifies the schedule of test administration. For Grades 6 and 10 learners, the test shall be administered to Grades 7 and 11 learners, three weeks after the first day of classes. Whereas, for the Grade 12 learners, the test shall be administered on the third week of the Second Semester.
The NAT gives practical information on the achievement levels of learners in Grades Six, Ten, and twelve. Scores can be informative which will provide a fast assumption of the present condition of education because it detects and examines differences on achievement levels across the grade levels and identifies the level of improvement in basic education with respect to individual schools. Although they may not express all in detail with high exactness or correctness, test scores will be a useful perspective and basis for policy makers, administrators, curriculum planners, supervisors, principals and teachers in their respective courses of action.
Since the implementation of NAT, public elementary and secondary schools have always been providing pupils/ students the best instruction. They have been observing the goals and objectives of education consistently in line with DepEd thrusts, policies, programs, projects and activities with the noble goal that they can completely cultivate and holistically develop the pupils/students to prepare them for a better future. Advances and innovation in teaching are utilized to ensure a better teaching-learning outcomes. However, teaching advancements and innovations constantly change. They are not always an assurance to a more effective teaching-learning to any group of pupils/students with different learning styles. Therefore, NAT is the best motivation for teachers to teach more effectively and for the pupils/ students to acquire learning more seriously.
The NAT is believed to be one of the most effective ways to achieve the call for quality basic education. It does not only challenge the teachers in Grades 6, 10 and 12 but all the teachers in the lower grades.
All teachers are contributory to the NAT outcomes. There must be a concerted and collaborative effort by the teachers to strengthen, reinforce and refine all the experiences of the pupils/ students and prepare them to take the National Achievement Test. That is why, since the implementation of the NAT, teachers have been religiously reviewing the pupils/ students in enhancing all the essential skills and competencies in preparation for the NAT. Teaching becomes more meaningful as these teachers They are effectively preparing variety visual aids and using several techniques and strategies needed to facilitate and make the teaching-learning more meaningful and permanent. This is how effective and powerful NAT can do to change teachers’attitudes in delivering quality basic education.
Gone are the days when teachers do not care for the pupils/ students and say, “After all, these pupils/ students will be under the care of the next grade level teachers. But this time with the NAT, the call for a more committed, sincere and dedicated mind-set towards teaching has really come. Every teacher has a stake for the success or failure of the pupils/ students. With the good results in the NAT, every teacher could say “This is the fruit of my labor.” This is the effectiveness the NAT brings to attaining a quality basic education.
The author is an Education Program Supervisor
FLORENCIA Z. GARCIA
K-12 curriculum was introduced in 2011 under Aquino administration with the new curriculum comes new approach and new learning materials. Massive changes occurred in the five years existence of the new curriculum.
With a revised curriculum, the existing textbooks in schools are no longer the primary source of materials but have instead become supplements to the new learning concepts developed by the DepEd (Pazzibugan 2013).
Learning materials are then revised for instance there are changes in the learning materials for Grade 2 and Grade 8. Teachers were handed curriculum guides to serve as their tool while waiting for the learning materials. There is an emphasis on real life applications of learning that highlights the skill of the students to apply what they learn in their daily activity. We are rich in resources like people, parents, and people in the community aside from the t ext books.
Aside from the learning materials there were changes in the curriculum framework teachers appreciated the spiral approach in tackling lessons but they believed that the new curriculum would only work in an ideal classroom setting said Rivera on one of his interviews she said “In itself, the spiral approach is good and will ensure understanding so students can apply knowledge and competencies and be lifelong learners. Given favorable conditions, it will really work. But there are the realities. In some schools, there are 80 students in a class”.
Mateo said the result of the K-to-12 reform would be known when pupils who entered kindergarten in the school year 2011-12 had been through the new curriculum “The impact will be seen after six years because for those who will enter kinder, the assessment is when they finish (elementary school),” he sai d. — oOo—
The author is from San Joaquin Elementary School