Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Day 1 Reflections

Today was our first day in Thailand. We were assigned our rooms, before having dinner together. I learnt about some of the dishes in Thailand that we do not see often in Singapore, such as green curry. Then, we prepared our cultural activities fir the next day, through which I learnt some basic thai, as well as some actions which are not supposed to be done in Thailand, such as showing someone the soles of your feet, or touching someone on the head.

Through this day's experience, I learnt to appreciate the culture of Thailand, as well as learning to be sensitive to others' cultures and beliefs.

Thursday, 30 May 2013

Day 4 Reflections

Hello! We are Avani, Clive and Yan Zheng,
So today was the last day we spent in Chiang Mai. We went to the Royal Sufficiency Centre, Paper Umbrella Factory and Central Airport Shopping Mall.

The Royal Sufficiency Centre was built to educate the public on the new philosophies of the King of Thailand. It features the importance of self sufficiency. So, the King gives a plot of land to people so that they can farm, rear, craft, in order to support their family and earn some income. This plan is to encourage the people to be independent and self sustaining. What we think about this plan is that it is very fair as everyone has a way to live life without having to worry about the daily essentials. Unlike Singaporeans, the Thai people are really satisfied with their lives, whereas we always compete with one another, causing society to become colder and colder. What we can learn about this is to be independent and not to rely too much on other people. The King also set a good example of how to be a good leader, by being a very selfless person and putting himself into his people's shoes. He also strives to serve and improve the lives of the people in Thailand.

The Paper Umbrella Factory is a place where the locals can hang out and produce paper products such as paper umbrellas, fans, notebooks, canvas paintings etc. This helps to supply and extra source of income for the locals and their families. It requires a lot of skill and patience to create these pieces of art even though their tools are very simple and not much of the work was automated. All of the products were handmade and we were really impressed by the system they put up to create the paper products. From this we can learn to have patience while doing projects, such as the architectural ADMT project that we are about to take on in Term 3 where we will be making models of buildings which we will have to design on own.

The Central Airport Shopping Mall, was the last place we visited. I, Avani, found this shopping mall a very enjoyable place because it was the last place we are going to visit in Chiang Mai as a group, and there we were able to taste the Thai food they eat here, in Thailand!

In conclusion, we enjoyed ourselves a lot today, learning about the Thai culture :)

Day 3

Today was good in a sense that things were more organised. The children were not only better managed but also more people joined in to the lesson. Furthermore, those who did little to no help on the Day 2 helped out a lot more and thus we were able to teach and play more efficiently. After the lessons, we were able to go to some of the students home and know how they live so that we can better appreciate what we have. The night market was also very fun as we were able to find out each other's interest.

However, there were still flaws in many of the activities. In school, we were still somewhat disorganised, even though we were better than the day before, and were still arguing with each other to some extent. Some people also had trouble finding out what they had to do. However, they were helped by their group mates so they were able to still contribute.

There was also problem in the night market as some of us, who was unable to bargain because of the lack of skill, were unable to get a good or affordable price and those who could just grouped by ourselves and went around in separate groups. However, when the occasion arrived, those who were able to bargain were still able to help those who cannot to get an affordable price.

From this, i found out that even if we do not normally show it, we are still very protective and caring which is a good thing as this means that we are a united and thus an effective group.

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Reflections, Day 2

Sim Jun You - S2-01

I can say that my group did quite well today. For example, we could keep them mostly entertained and there were no accidents. But, we could not entertain them at some parts, and we were underprepared. During the five-stones activity, we did not prepare enough bean bags, and we  could not play with them as we were not good at five-stones. I think that we could have checked the number of students before-hand, and tried out the activities as well. also, some of our activities were not engaging. For example, our activity "What time is it, Mr Wolf?", made the kids bored, and therefore was not successful. We could have made that better by, by putting ourselves in their shoes and think what kind of activity would be engaging and interesting, and at the same time not too strenuous and tiring.

As some of the groups had safety issues, I feel that since this issue had been brought up, I could think about the safety of my group's activities. On Red Light, Green Light, they had chased us on the field. As the field was rough, grassy and rocky, they could have tripped nd fell. WE could address this issue by switching the venue to a safer one (smoother, less tripping hazards) or switching the activity to something that would not involve running on the field. I will also analyse our other activities to make sure that they are safe for the students.

For our backup plans, I felt that my group was adequately prepared. However, I feel that we could have added more backup plans that were unique. This is important because, let's say I have two back-up plans, both involving the field. If it rained that day, both our backup plans would have to be scrapped. So, let's say one backup plan was on the field and one was in the classroom. If it rained, or if the classroom was unavailable, we could use the other one. But still, that is not enough. For example, what if they are bored with the field activity, and the classroom is unavailable? Therefore, for each venue we have to prepare at least 2 unique activities. One could be a physical activity, another could be related to one of the subjects that we are teaching.

All in all, today was quite good in terms of activities. But I felt that my group could have done better by doing all the things that I had mentioned.

Day 2 Reflection

Firstly, we did not practice safety. None of us want to be responsible if any kid gets injured. This is not good as we are going to make the teachers worried. For an example in the game Hand, HAnd, Leg, we did not practice safety and thus people clashed into each other. We could have done better if w learned to compromise and work with each other. If we thought about safety, we would have been less aggressive. We need to manage our time better and be more situationally aware.

But I was really thankful that the children enjoyed themselves. It would have been better if we could communicate batter with them. I felt that we should have learnt some of their names. All these things could have saved us a lot of time.

We must be cautious of our surroundings. Even the props or equipment we use should be child-friendly to reduce injuries from occurring.

I felt that we could have planned a little more. We were not really interested in teaching so we just touch-and-go. If we really put in effort to teach them, we would actually pend a longer time. At times, we get distracted by other activities and we forget what we are supposed to do and only focus on the activities which are fun and engaging. Perhaps, it would have been better if we wrote on a paper and planned out exactly what we need to do.

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Day 2 Reflection

Reflection Today, We taught the children about common items around the sch, ABCs and Body parts. I was unsure on how our plan would be carried out, as my group was taking the youngest students. I managed to bond with the students during the cultural activities. They seemed very enthusiastic and cheery. They were also very obedient and I learnt not to judge a book by its cover. Also, during the teaching, we had a few problems with communication. My group and the other group ended our lessons early, And needed to use the court to play games to entertain the kids. In the end, We ended up cramped in one small space for games. If only we had planned together, We could have rotated the use of the court to avoid clashes. In conclusion, I learnt that during facillitation, everyone makes mistakes. But We can learn from it and change for the better. Hopefully, Tomorrow will be better than today. Evangeline S209

Groups Reflection Day 2 (Joseph Yong)

Day 1 at the school, our group got the oldest batch, the P5 and P6. We had culture games and lessons like planned. The starting of culture games was what I would call awkward at first, however, we started to become more comfortable with each other as we demonstrated, and played the game together. They enjoyed playing 'pick up sticks' the most. 
However, while we were playing the culture games, we found out from one of their textbooks that their standard of Maths was a lot better than what we had planned. Hence, we had to have some impromptu improvise. We decided to swap in our back-up games with the original Maths slot, but, we would still give Maths a try. 
We soon started counting along with then from 1 - 100, they managed to count fluently and clearly. I felt that although it was a great roadblock, we were prepared for this, and we managed to use our time wisely and had fun with them, at the same time learning. I believe that they will not remember what we were trying to teach them, but they would remember the fun times that we have spent with them better, likewise for us, as they taught us some Thai too. Because we underestimated their standard, I think that tomorrow would be challenging, but the more challenging, the more we learn. We had to practically scrap the things that we had planned back in Singapore, and think of new ways that would suit our students, or what we call 'nong-nongs' in Thai, which mean the same thing.
I look forward to the next day as more challenges will create more learning experiences.