Sunday, 14 October 2012

Working With Visuals - Learning Tools

Tell me and I will forget
Show me and I may remember
Involve me and I will understand
                                     -Chinese Proverb-


     Before I begin my reflection, I came across this lovely Chinese proverb and decided to share it with you.  I am in full agreement with this quote because it is only by involving students that they will fully understand the concept of what is being taught.  The piece that was created by my colleague and I was a flip chart.  We decided to use a flip chart to teach the topic “Food Groups” at the Grade Two level because it is an appropriate learning tool for this age level and will help to illustrate and give students a clearer understanding of the Six Caribbean Food Groups.  It will also help to capture the attention of students and this would encourage healthy classroom interactions.  The flip chart would also be used to show students examples of different foods within each food group and they will be able to identify those they know and have seen as well as those they are unfamiliar with.
     However, creating this piece was not an easy task.  There were a few challenges faced by my colleague and I in the creation of this piece.  Firstly, although we were able to come to an agreement with the subject and topic to be taught, we were indecisive of what learning tool we were going to use to teach the topic.  First, I thought of making a chart but my colleague thought that although it was a good idea, almost everybody in the class would be making charts.  She thought that "it was good to be different at times."  This was an excellent point to consider and we continued sifting through our other options.  She then decided on making a brochure.  Although this was an excellent idea, I thought that this type of learning tool would be inappropriate to teach a grade two class.  We also thought about making a poster and a booklet for our learning tool.  After giving it much thought, we decided to make a flip chart.  
     Another problem faced was that this learning tool had to be computer generated using word processing.  Hence, we could only use images, and texts that were from the computer and specifically, created in Microsoft word.  My colleague and I thought about how we were going to get the pictures printed in colour as this assignment was being graded for the use of colours and creativity.  She was not able to access a printer with coloured ink and although mine had coloured, it was low on ink.  Although this was a challenge, it was a minor one.  This issue was resolved by me getting assistance to print the pictures and words in colour from a friend.
     After completing the creation of this learning tool, and as I reflect on it, I thought that although it was attractive, easy to follow and an excellent idea, a few things could be done to improve it.  Firstly, I believe that for some parts of the flip chart more colours could have been used.  For example, in the section where we spoke about the benefits of eating right, the text box with words could be in different colours instead of plain white.  Also, when we defined what food is, we could have added some more pictures of food.  Another way in which this learning tool could have been improved is that we could have added a page or two in which students would classify foods according to the different food groups.  This would help the teacher to see how much students remember and is an excellent reinforcing idea.
     In closing, I thought that this portfolio piece was an excellent idea and it helped to bring out the creativity in us as teachers.  It also helped me to realise that it is very important to have learning tools when teaching any subject matter because it will help students to want to participate more in class and it helps to cater to the different learning styles of students.

Pictures of the Different Parts of the Flip Chart



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