Shanghai Lingang Campus

Exploration of Online Learning 2

Following the last series report on exploration of online learning, we continue to share the class experience of different teachers during the period of online learning.

Agnes Zhang, Visual Art Teacher:
We have heard that the original host of the novel coronavirus is bats, so I designed a theme: bats – a virus host or cultural symbol? As we all know, many people are afraid of bats nowadays, but in Chinese culture, the symbol of the bat means auspicious. Through this lesson, I let students see the different aspects of bats, so that children can properly accept wild animals and understand their existence as an important link in the natural environment.
In my class, I mainly focused on the cultural and artistic content embodied in the current epidemic and the role of culture and art in the news and in our interpersonal communication. The purpose and significance of this theme is to connect the knowledge and skills of culture and art into current events and real life, so as to cultivate students to be people who know how to communicate with others, have cultural understanding, empathy and a positive worldview.

Stephanie Liu, Grade 5 Chinese Teacher:
The theme of my class was the Dujiangyan Irrigation System. I was very happy to work on this project. I reflected on this topic for a long time to bring in the best pedagogies and my own understanding. The reason behind the creation of Dujiangyan was also national suffering. Due to the topography of Sichuan, the people there once experienced many floods, but the working people used their wisdom to overcome these difficulties and built the irrigation system. It has become a World Heritage flood irrigation project, and it is a witness to Chinese people’s response to hardship. I hope that students can learn about this project and see the "spirit of Dujiangyan". In the face of this century-old disaster, they can also see the spirit of overcoming difficulties and turning a bad situation around inherited by the Chinese people.
I used the text of the unit in the textbook as reading and exercise material, and gave instructions on oral communication and composition in combination with the selected project content. The original text was broken down, and all the content was integrated under the unit theme, so as to improve students' learning ability and subject understanding. There are many advantages to this kind of learning. Although it is a great challenge to teachers, the students learnt happily and effectively. Students’ compositions were based on the extraction and integration of their research materials, and the tour guide speech was based on the composition. This is the first time the children learnt to be a young tour guide, so it was no small breakthrough for every child.

Vicky Wang, Head of Character Development in the Primary School:
The theme lessons during this period are very special. I believe that in the face of such a special situation, every child needs to have the strength in their heart to support themselves!
"Self-control" was the Character Development theme of February in Primary School, and "Courage" was the theme of March. The course contents were delivered with the backdrop of the epidemic situation, including a holistic understanding of the coronavirus, scientific epidemic prevention and health maintenance. Our students studied their emotions, and learnt to be the masters of their own emotions, maintaining strong mental health. Our students paid tribute to the most inspiring health care workers, learning about their bravery and sense of responsibility. Lastly, our students were able to develop their independent thinking skills as they discussed how to respect nature, cherish life, and treat all living things equally.
Next, we will walk into the Secondary classes to hear the sharing from some of our Secondary teachers.

01

Teacher: April Chen
Topic: To Study the Development Trend of the Coronavirus in Different Provinces
Teaching grade: IGCSE-1 

Q: I heard that the topic of this course is very meaningful. Is it true that students combined mathematics with real-life problems?
Ms Chen:
Yes! Since the outbreak of the novel coronavirus in January, we have seen a lot of news every day: numbers of cumulative confirmed cases, new suspected cases, new deaths in various provinces and cities, etc. This cold data reflected a brutal reality, and worried every Chinese person. Mathematics is a subject that studies the concepts of quantity, structure, change and information. This is a good time for students to use their mathematical knowledge to study the trends of the epidemic. In addition, I hope to emphasise that mathematics comes from life and in return, through such lessons, we can use what we have learnt practically in real life, so as to stimulate students' interest in learning.

Through these lessons, students were expected to understand the development trend of the epidemic from the objective reality of the data, and have a more intuitive comparison of the current situation of the epidemic in different provinces. At the same time, they could make full use of internet resources, collect and make statistics on relevant data, reasonably select relevant statistical charts to present data, and use their mathematical knowledge to analyse the situation of the epidemic from different perspectives, so as to apply what they have learnt.

Therefore, students selected different provinces in China or other countries with severe epidemic diseases as groups, collected real epidemic data through the internet, and then analysed the data from a statistics perspective  to study the development trend and inflection point of the epidemic in the selected province, and to predict the approximate ending of the epidemic or the school re-starting day.

Throughout the process, the students needed to co-operate in groups online, and they experienced four stages: to use Excel to collect data, to use a statistical figure to present the data, analyse data and predict the development of the epidemic, and record the study in the form of a blog or diary. Some students even reported on the epidemic situation as news reporters, exploring the role that government played in taking effective measures to keep the epidemic under control.

Q: What kind of development did you expect from students through these lessons?
Ms Chen:
Through these lessons, students were expected to understand the development trend of the epidemic from the objective reality of the data, and have a more intuitive comparison of the current situation of the epidemic in different provinces. At the same time, they could make full use of internet resources, collect and make statistics on relevant data, reasonably select relevant statistical charts to present data, and use their mathematical knowledge to analyse the situation of the epidemic from different perspectives, so as to apply what they have learnt.

Q: How do you feel as a teacher after seeing the students' learning results?
Ms Chen:
For most students, Maths is a relatively abstract and boring subject, so one of the points of emphasis of this course is to apply mathematics knowledge to real life and make full use of living examples to deepen the understanding of mathematics. Using the backdrop of the current epidemic outbreak, we can effectively arouse the interest of students and help them to view the outbreak from a more rational and macro perspective. At the same time, in the homework requirements for students, they needed to collect data through spreadsheets and learn to make statistical charts. This puts higher requirements on most students than the manual charts in their daily homework or on exams, and also pushed them to learn to skillfully use basic software. In addition, students needed to make videos to present the learning process, which fully mobilised their ability of sharing the work load, co-operation, analysis and video production. Under the circumstance of this epidemic, students can only communicate through the internet, which greatly adds to the difficulty of co-operation, but also reflects the special significance of group co-operation. The future belongs to these children. I hope they can combine theory with practice, give full play to their creativity, tap their own potential, deeply understand the power of co-operation, and move forwards to a better version of themselves.

 

02

Apart from Maths, let's take a peek into Ms Erin Zhen's Chinese lesson and appreciate the children's poetry full of their deep feelings.

Instructor: Erin Zhen
Topic: Writing about the epidemic
Grades: Grade 6 and Grade 7

Q: I heard that you prepared a very special theme for the Chinese lessons, is that right?
Ms Zhen: Yes! As we were caught off guard by this disaster, I wanted to give students an important Chinese lesson in human nature and society. As the national anthem says, "the Chinese nation is at its most dangerous time." What else can we do apart from protect our children and ensure their physical and mental health? Closed doors do not mean complete isolation from the outside world, and as the epidemic outbreak occurred, our individual fates and the fate of the country became even more closely linked. We need to let the children understand this dangerous battle and give them a truly meaningful Chinese lesson.

Q: What did you expect students to gain from this lesson?
Ms Zhen: The numbers, the stories, the characters, the spirits, the lessons, and the reflections in this lesson have brought students opportunities to develop their language skills as well as to express sincerity, justice, fearlessness and compassion.

Q: What impressed you the most during this time?
Ms Zhen: In this special period, we front line teachers are facing new challenges, developing ourselves from beginners in online teaching to now skilled hosts. When children have been in class, sometimes parents are even drawn into the lesson. This mode of teaching puts greater pressure and higher requirements on teachers, and it also requires close co-operation between teachers, students, and parents.

QIt is said that the students have produced some excellent work this time.
Ms Zhen: Yes. We can show some students’ work.

Group 1: True Confession

7B Kitty Huang
What Shall I Give to You, My Homeland

Group 2: Imitative Poetry
Wang Guowei mentioned the three stages of doing business in the "The Notes and Comments on Ci Poetry". If the process of our war against this epidemic can also be written in poetic expression, we can borrow from the form of ancient poetry or create a form yourself.

Great winds and waves come, but I will sail straight into the clouds of the ocean towards my destination.
I’ll stay strong through the constant tempering and hammering, no matter from which direction the winds come.
Why does a true man go to war, but to retake the lost land of Mount Guan.
Helen, 6C

Although the spring festival is the day of reunion, we bear the pain of watching a city close its gates.
Soldiers dressed in white dedicate themselves in the front line to the anti-epidemic war.
Keep an optimistic attitude and wait for the glorious day when the triumphant song will play.
Tim, Grade 6C

My heart went out to you and still has not returned from you.
The moon shines on the thousand mountains in your hometown.
I am looking forward to the reunion with you in the spring blossom.
Kathy, 6D

Wuhan closed in January due to the epidemic outbreak, but the nation united together, and we are expecting the final triumphant return in April.
The globe is spinning day and night to heal the wounded and save the dying. Although it is difficult to understand the novel coronavirus, we will fight bravely to seize every moment of the new dawn.
Geoffery, 6D

Group 3: Role-Reversal Writing
I had always thought that my destiny had nothing to do with mankind. I've been on bats, eating and dying, playing cards with smallpox, talking to uncle Nippa... Finally, my chance came, I jumped on a drugged bat, whistled and was taken away by a human. After entering the body of the new host, I found that this place is beyond my imagination. The security guards here can't beat me. T cells, B cells, and white blood cells are like kindergarten children to me. I've been living inside a human for over two months now, but humans are so smart. They just don't go out and it’s killing me slowly. They say “I can try to stay at home for this period” or they might go to ICU if they can’t stay at home… I feel like I'm going crazy! – Confessions of COVID-19
Kevin, 7B

Group 4: Lyrics

Alisa, 7B

Group 5: Feelings in the Picture

The way you look in that protection suit is like 
the most beautiful angel
Jenny, 6D 

Conclusion:
While e-learning has its merits, returning to campus is still what we're looking forward to. We believe that the victory is at hand, and we can’t wait to meet again soon on the beautiful campus of Yew Wah!

 

 

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