Last day of the programme and we had so much left to cover. Again, although we prepared the same materials for both the boys and the girls, the speed for each of the gender was so different, and we had to cater to such differences, which we were glad to do so, as we believe that no child is the same, we customize the needs accordingly within our planned objectives. But one thing remains – their infectious laughter and bond each of the boys/girls had shared over the 3 days. We started with some quick personality tests before they completed their goal settings.
The goal settings discussion was engaging as somehow, one of them talked about their future occupation and whether her parents will support her. It was a real issue and we shared our past experiences with the girls and encouraged them to chase their dreams, and to communicate what they like to learn with their parents. It was hearts to hearts talk with the girls, something we did not see in the boys. Gender difference 101.
After the activity, we moved on quickly to complete our Compo Writing and Compre Open Ended strategies. For compo writing, we love to teach our students to end with a twist, to keep the readers (teachers) in suspense. “Just like Korean dramas!” one girl quipped. Oh yes, with twists and turns, but not too dramatic and unrealistic.
We went through a few more “Do’s and Don’ts” from our books and went straight into the application part. We gave them a topic to spin a story plot around, using the pictures given. We had to stress that it is not necessary to choose all pictures to fit into their stories, otherwise, they may write out of point.
We managed to complete a few stories and did a quick sharing. Their effort was commendable due to the short time we gave them. We stressed to them that this practice does not come easy and they need to work on their story plots over time to achieve better grades.
Moving on to Compre Open Ended, we taught them our TASER strategies from our books too. Nothing new if you have seen the book, but it is all about applying what one learns, to be effective. We put them into mnemonics to make it easier for our students to remember.
For the focus and application part, we touched on the summarizing aspects, one of the TASER points. We find this crucial as many students lack the skill to rewrite into their own words, hence, we want to teach them how to pick up key words and write them out into their own words, and not losing the essence of the meaning.
It was truly not easy, and we are not to say it is. Instead, the girls were not able to complete this task due to time, and also the lack of practice done in schools. This will take time and we hope they will continue to follow what we teach and get TASER-ed up in their comprehension open ended questions! It was still a good effort to produce half work done within a short time frame.
The weather was cold too and they got famished easily. We stopped for a break before Science time!