Who dares to teach must never cease to learn.
--- John C. Dana
(Founder of the U.S. library public relations discipline)
In line with the philosophy of “improving the teaching quality, enhancing the exchanges and cooperation between Chinese and foreign teachers, and elevating the level of teaching” and by following the principle of “transparency and openness”, during October 8th-11th, 2019, Kaiwen Academy launched the “Week of Demonstrative Classes”, when teachers in all subjects throughout all the school stages presented impressive classes. Teachers of the school could choose any demonstrative class to sit in on at will and also watch the live-streaming and playback online, so as to improve class efficiency and promote their professional growth.
Since 2018, Kaiwen Academy regularly launched the “Week of Demonstrative Classes”, when teachers took the week to observe, record and discuss the demonstrative classes for mutual learning, inspiration, reflection and improvement. In doing so, they not only realized continuous self-improvement and assisted each other to refine teaching skills, but also led the students to grow together.
The teachers presented one and another excellent demonstrative class after thorough preparation and careful planning. In the process of demonstration, they combined PPT with teaching plans and models to make vivid presentation in a natural manner and infectious language, with textbooks, learning status, objectives, major and difficult points, teaching methods and effect all being covered. Teachers that sat in earnestly observed the classes, took notes, wrote down self-reflections, summarized their thoughts into articles of learning and exchanged opinions on demonstrative class meetings. Now, let’s take a look in the classes!
Primary Homeroom Teacher Alexandra Howard presented a demonstrative class on “English Literature Reading”. As per the English reading capability of the students, she taught in manners adapted to students at different levels and shaped a more helpful learning environment to provide the students with a broader space of thinking and independent development.
Head of Music Raymond Mueller presented the “Skills and Methods of Chorus”. With different vocal music, he taught related knowledge and theories to 5th grade students in a fun way and enabled them to sing with support of rich body movements and appreciate classic musical thoughts and profound musical theories.
Social Studies Teacher Kaitlyn Willesen presented the “Westward Movement in the United States”. She introduced how the US territory was expanded towards the Pacific coast at various stages and asked the students to mark the process of US land expansion in color on map, so as to help them better understand the US history.
Primary Homeroom Teacher David Hatton presented the “Science”. He guided 1st grade students to explore plants in experiments and through observations and discussions, enabled them to propose experimental hypothesis, narrate based on evidence and learn preliminary methods on scientific research.
Primary Math Teacher Amy Pan presented the “Explore Solid Figures”. In such activities as classification, observation and hands-on operation, 1st grade students vividly experienced simple geometric forms, further understood characteristics of solid figures, preliminarily developed the idea of space and felt the connection between math and real life.
Primary Homeroom Teacher Twila Braxton presented the “English Literature Reading”. Through collective reading and stratified reading, 4th grade students learnt how to describe characters, scenes and events and how to use figurative language, identify lexical relationship, and understand and interpret idioms.
Secondary Math Teacher Richard Brandon presented the “Application of Rational Numbers”. He taught 6th grade students to propose and address questions in an inspiring and discussing way and guided them to tackle real-life problems with rational numbers, so as to realize self-construction of knowledge.
Primary Chinese Language Arts Teacher Mingge Zhang presented the “Poem: Sand-Sifting Waves”. 5th grade students learnt about Bai Juyi and New Yuefu Movement, marked pauses in the poem in groups, compiled an emotion graphic of the poem and read the poem with the marked emotions.
Head of Art Elizabeth Lasure presented the “Design and Craft”. By drawing their own footprint on campus and comparing their map with that of their classmates for difference, 9th grade students analyzed how individual understanding on the world was visually influenced and how individual understanding on art was influenced by culture, tradition and historical knowledge.
Secondary English Language Arts Teacher Sarah Fernandes presented the “Rhetorical Analysis”. By understanding the figurative meaning and extended meaning of words in the context, 11th grade students identified viewpoints of author and analyzed how the author used rhetorical means to express views.
Primary Homeroom Teacher Paul Appleby presented the “English Literature”. 5th grade students developed capabilities in comprehension, analysis and evaluation amid reading and performed role-play in groups to improve creative thinking and teamwork.
Secondary Chinese Language Arts Teacher Bale Wang presented the “Sentence Ranking for Cohesion”. With examples for exercise, he taught six methods of sentence ranking for cohesion, trained 8th grade students for logical thinking and developed their sense of language and orderliness in expressions and writing.
PE Teacher Rocher Vilijoen presented the “Shoot and Catch Balls”. 3rd grade students learnt how to shoot and catch balls, exercised to refine the skills and gradually studied how to shoot at particular targets from different positions.
Head of Secondary Science Tammy Cheng presented the “Identify Positive and Negative Ions”. By determining the positive and negative ions in saline solution, students learnt how to distinguish different types of positive and negative ions, understood chemical reactions and equilibrium equations involved and studied how to analyze all the experiment steps.
Primary Bilingual Homeroom Teacher Fay Wang presented the “Be a Good Listener”. In games and activities, students gradually realized what makes good listeners, how important listening is and how to become a good listener, which helped improve their learning efficiency and scores.
After the demonstrative classes, Primary School and Secondary School held a discussion meeting respectively and the teachers gathered to share and exchange opinions. “The demonstrative classes in English, Chinese Language Arts and music I sat in on reflected the education philosophy and features of Kaiwen and showed the dominant position of students in teaching.” “I sat in on history, chemistry and PE classes. With varied teaching methods, vivid teaching language, active interaction and high spirit in class, students were fully intrigued with interest and motivated with passion.” “Teachers of the classes integrated correct value orientation and habit education throughout the class.” The teachers helped, learnt from and discussed with each other for common progress and said that they would pay greater attention to thinking of students and explore their shining points.
Demonstrative classes are a booster for teachers to grow professionally. “We grew in the process of sitting in on demonstrative classes and also grew in giving demonstrative classes,” many teachers felt so deeply. The event staged a platform for Kaiwen teachers to display themselves and learn, broadened their thinking on teaching, showed their personality and realized resource sharing and complementation.