Analysis of Learning Activity for Children: Case Study

Analysis of learning activity

Group of six students was sitting in a large circle. After singing the morning song, the teacher started to share the story of “The Birthday Cake” which the teacher had not finished from the last session. The teacher asked about the color of the cake. Children raised up their hands and said the correct name of the color. One student answered “bu” instead of blue. The teacher corrected their pronunciation and invited them to say aloud after the teacher. That student was not able to pronounce the sound of /l/ correctly even after the teacher corrected him. Once the teacher turned to the page with a green cake, the teacher asked “do you know what color is this cake?”, three of the students were able to say “green.” The other two of them answered “green” in Chinese. The teacher pointed and read the word on the illustration, “A green cake.” All students read after the teacher.  After the teacher finished up the story, she invited all the children to stand up and look for the green color in the classroom. Everyone was running around in the classroom and pointing to everything with green. Every student was able to point to the objects with green color. After the color hunting game, children sat in front of the table, the teacher took out three bottles of colored water (red, yellow and blue), and held up each bottle and asked: “what color is it?” All students were able to identify and name all the colors. After children sat down on a mat, the teacher started demonstrating how to make a new color by mixing two colors together. Teacher poured the yellow color into the transparent cup, then added the blue color. At this moment, every one of them was excited about watching the color changing. One student even shouted “Magic!”  The teacher smiled and said, “It becomes into a new color, so anyone can you tell me what color it is now?” Students looked surprised and said “Green!” After the demonstration, the teacher invited two children to do the experiment at a time. One student came out and picked the yellow bottle, poured into the empty cup, and the next student added the blue into it. Two of them giggled at each other. The teacher held up the cups and asked: “What color is it?” They said “Green.” The teacher invited another two came out and did the same things again. They are all able to finish the experiment and able to name the color.  At last, the teacher held up each bottle and invited the student to name the colors. The lesson ended with a color song. “We are making the birthday cake: a red cake and a yellow cake. We are making a birthday cake. Blue, pink, brown and green.”

 

Summary of the learning activity 1

The children were able to learn the blue and yellow colors from the story given by the teacher. For instance, three of them named the green color even before the teacher told them.

The color hunt in the classroom made the children to point and name the colors. After finished the story, the other two were also able to name the color of green. Additionally, they had improved their pronunciation. This activity shows that the students were able to get the concepts of the teacher about the colors.

Activity 2

The activity involved translation in English and the students said after the teacher.

The teacher pointed at the picture that was displayed, and then read the sentence. This was folloed by the children redading  the sentence also. The response of the students was okay after she asked them to state the meaning of the robots. This is a positive behavior towards learning. A good explanation by the teacher followed, which made the students be aware of the whole process of aking the robots out of paper. The children felt excited even they did not manage making the robot on their own. Visual aid was effective for demonstration of the activity. One of the boys was so exciting and kept asking his peers and teacher to look at his robot. Most of them put the biggest pieces for the body, the smallest pieces for the eyes or mouth.6 Some of them drew the arms by chalks/markers, and some of them found some small long pieces for arms and legs. Every one of them was concentrated on making their robot and enjoyed the process so much. Class presentations also enhanced their memory of the material that they had learnt in class. The teacher reminded the students about what they had learnt and this formed an evaluation test. The children were able to remember what they had learnt.

 

Lesson plan

General Objectives:

  1. Children will be able to identify the color of green
  2. Children will be able to name the color “green.”
  3. Children will be able to answer the question of “What color is it?”

Key terms: Blue, yellow, green

Materials and preparation

  • Three bottles of colored water (red, blue, yellow)
  • Empty transparent cups
  • Empty buckle
  • Dry towels

Introduction (5 minutes):

  1. Gather students into a large circle and start sharing the story “The Birthday Cake.”
  2. To understand and enjoy the story with the help of the illustrations.
  3. On a related page, review the colors that they learned from the prior sessions and invite students to recognize the actual color.

 

Activity Demonstration/Instruction (10minutes):

 

  • Show three bottles of colored water (red, blue, yellow)
  • Discuss the colors, starting by asking if students see a specific color.
  • Invite children to point out which one is blue/yellow.
  • Observe the student who has the previous color identification knowledge, and that which the pupils need additional proficiencies of the primary color documentation and designation.
  • Pour one colored water into the plastic cup and invite the student to name the color.
  • Then pour another color into the same cup and invite children to say the name of the new color.

 

Guided Practice/Interaction modeling (10minutes):

  • Invite two students to come out to the table at a time
  • Encourage one student to pick a bottle of colored water and name the color.
  • Invite one student to pour the color water into a cup, encourage students to think what color is going to be after pouring the other color into the cup.
  • Ask the other students to pour the other color into the same cup.
  • Invite all student to look at the cup and name it
  • Conclude the activity by having a student to sing the color song.
  • If time allows, let children mixing the colors themselves in order to have difference experiments by mixing different colors and amount together.

Assessment

  • Make notation regarding their progress and use them as a guide for further instruction.

 

Analysis of the learning activities

Classroom controlling is a complex issue that entails the arrangement of the physical atmosphere, defined by guidelines, routines and also the establishment of productive interactions with the learners. This helps to prevent any event of misbehavior from taking place.

In order to enhance a good control over the students, the instructional methods that were implemented came in handy (Martin, 2004). For instance, discussions and demonstrations are important determinants of the behavior of the learners in a classroom setting.

The teacher-centered approach was used in some scenarios during the learning activity. For example, when the students seemed to exhibit negative behavior, this is an excellent method to enhance their behavior towards the positive dimension. The teacher-centered approach emanated when I gave out tasks that the students were supposed to finish within a specified timeline (Lattimer, 2015).  The children were required to make robots on their own. However, this timeline was agreed upon among themselves, and I had to accept it for it was significant to consider their engagement. It helped me to obtain the desired outcomes as outlined in the lesson plan. The student-centered approach was evident in many learning activities that I carried out with the learners.

Lesson planning

A lesson plan needs to be active and exciting for both the instructor and the learners.

The lesson plan that was adopted adheres to the adjectives above. First, the realistic goals of learning were chosen. It is essential to focus on the development of skills rather than only putting more emphasis on knowledge.

The new contexts should be picked for the context of learning among the children. It is evident in the lesson plan that was developed for the learning activities in this paper. This was achieved after a connection between the interests of the students, and the topic of discussion was identified. Additionally, it became a crucial point to build the lesson on.

During the development of the learning activities, the lesson plan that was developed took into a clear account of the needs and talents of the children. Preparation of the lesson plans considered the needs of all the learners, and therefore, this adheres to the demand for an effective lesson plan which tries to meet the needs of the learners. It also offers the children an environment that facilitates their learning.

The children will be capable of learning in the way that they will most prefer.

Moreover, when developing the lesson plan, diverse methods were employed to ensure that the intended knowledge is imparted to the children. For instance, knowledge of different colors as was carried out in the first activity of learning. It does not only make the learning activity dynamic, but it also promotes the learning activity.

Appealing resources were also chosen as part of the lesson planning. For instance, the preparation of the audiovisual aids served a significant purpose of facilitating the learning process of the children in the classroom. The materials also add educational value to the lessons being taught.

Fair assessment

There are many observation techniques to use during the learning activity to monitor the progress of the learning of the children. Additionally, it helps to assess whether the lesson planning being followed needed any modifications to suit the needs of the learners in the classroom. In the lesson plan adopted, there was no test, especially, the written tests. Indeed, assessment is taken as an ongoing type of observation that enables the instructor to identify the challenges that the learners have pertaining to their understanding of a particular topic. The teacher should also ensure that this is not the sole method that he or she uses in his or her teaching process (Martin, 2004).  If that is the case, the learners may naturally develop negative attitudes towards the course. The teacher asked one of the students to state what they had leant on robots. Indeed, the answer that was given proved that they had understood the course material.

 

The learning and teaching environment

The learning activities were useful, intentional, and had meaning too. The learning activities were aligned with the learning outcomes that are entailed in the module that the children were to be taught during that lesson (Martin, 2004). Therefore, it implies that the intent was clear to the learners and also to me as the instructor as well. Each of the learning activities was also meaningful.

The curriculum

Principles underpinning the curriculum design and review

The design of the curriculum at any level ought to be responsive to the field that the learners learning needs fall. It needs to be relevant, and up to date, moreover, it is supposed to demonstrate awareness about teaching and assessment approaches in the relevant discipline.

Curriculum documentation must have the learning outcomes incorporated within its scope. The learning outcomes should show explicit knowledge pertaining to a particular field or discipline. Furthermore, the cognitive and professional practices should be adhered to when designing the curriculum.

Usually, learning outcomes are multifaceted, and they require knowledge, values, and practices. That is why those elements are usually an embodiment within the learning outcomes.

In the process of reviewing the curriculum, proper consultation with the primary stakeholders should be done. I underpinned this issue because stakeholders are the influential forces that are part and parcel of a learning institution and process.

Reviewing the processes is another critical element of curriculum design and implementation. Review of the curriculum helps to generate and accommodate the new concepts that are pertinent to learning.  The changes need to be informed by the legit demands among a specific group of children. It also considers the affordances of digital technologies for the promotion of teaching and learning activities.

Equity and redress should be part of the curriculum. The curriculum ought to follow a design whereby it meets the educational demands that are common to all the pupils in the learning center. There should also be a clear statement of the ways that can be used to bridge the articulation gap that exists between one level to the next one.

Diversity is another critical element of a curriculum. Essentially, diversity of the students’ fraternity requires that the curricula being developed are very much sensitive to the various backgrounds and physical appearances of all the participants in the learning and teaching processes.

There was a need to interrogate the current curriculum, and this will guide the design of the new curriculum. For instance, what forms the curriculum?

This question encompasses many things, like the purpose of the learning course, the vision, and mission of the institution, the historical convention, the preferences and expertise of the teaching staff, and also the learning and teaching theories involved, among others.

Considering the concepts above, which underpin the curriculum development, a more student-centered approach was adopted when writing the learning activities in both cases. For example, assignments were issued for the learners to attempt on their own. In the activity of making robots, they failed. This really helps to promote responsibility among the children. Additionally, the project approach was adhered to. This is important since it makes the instructor remain relevant and also, it avoids confusion among the learners. Indeed, covering one theme and then moving onto the next one can prove to an ideal approach when dealing with a large group of children also.

Learning theories

Behaviorism learning theory

This theory operated on the concept of stimulus-response. For instance, it states that all the behavior of the learners is as a result of the operant conditioning that is evident in the learning environment. While designing the learning activities, the fact that learning can be imparted into the learners without the need to take into account the inner states of them, or their consciousness was considered in all the learning activities.

I assumed that the learners are passive and this is especially when expressing their response to the environment of learning. Thus, positive reinforcement was exhibited in the learning activities I designed. This is through a follow up on the tasks that were given after the course learning.

Indeed, punishment leads to a decrease in the probability that a negative behavior in the classroom will recur (Lattimer, 2015). And hence, the definition of learning encompasses the idea that there is an implied change in the behavior of the learners. When I was trying to motivate the children, I was influenced by the cognitive theory of learning. Indeed, this is an effective strategy that can be applied in the classroom to make the children learn in a practical way. In the process of learning, I made the children relate the course materials with other aspects, which enhanced them to have an excellent start for the course. For instance, the use of a story when introducing the lesson did very well in enhancing the motivation of the children to adopt the learning activity.

There are many processes that are involved in the cognitive theory of learning — for instance, attention, perception, repetition, and coding.

The above processes also enhanced the transfer of the material learned from one part of the brain to another — for example, the data processing aspect of cognitive learning. The learners will be able to exercise executive cognition, which is capable of directing their processes of attention in class, the perception of the ideas, and also coding the information obtained in class learning activities. The use of the audio-visual aids promotes the long memory of the concepts that the instructor gives to the learners.

 

Constructivism

This is another theory of learning that impacted the way I developed the learning activities for the children. Under this theory, great emphasis is put on active indulgence and involvement of the learners, so that the can construct knowledge among themselves. Sometimes this does not need an instructor in class. However, the function of an instructor is to make a follow-up and confirm whether the learners really followed what was expected of them by the teacher (Maden, Durukan and Akbaş, 2011). This was evident in the learning activities by the employment of the group discussions. The students discussed the idea among themselves before presenting the work to the teacher for approval. Additionally, making class presentations is a good idea that promotes constructivism in the learning process.

The teacher needs to inquire about what the learners know when they come to class. From the design of the learning activities, the background of the pupil is built, and then it allows such child to improve his or her background knowledge. The teacher pursues the role of a facilitator rather than actually being the source of knowledge. Indeed, knowledge is in the course materials, therefore, what is needed is the background to enable the child to retrieve that knowledge.

The learning activities also enhanced the autonomy of the children and also making them be curious about knowing more. For instance, the learning activity from the making of robots, which the learners were expected to look at, made them look for more information that is related to that. This is the element of curiosity that is being imparted in the children as they undertake their studies.

Transformative learning theory of learning

 

This theory is concerned with an explanation of the way human beings understand any material that they are learning. The learning activity portrays the teacher as a facilitator. This is crucial to effecting the desired change in any reference frame. The teacher ought to provide an environment that allows the learners to discuss their points regarding the task assigned. The learning activity involved of naming the colors. Therefore, the students were expected to discuss the names of the colors that each one of them identified. Indeed, this is an enabling environment for transformational learning. Learning does not involve the teacher giving out points every time, to the learners.

Teaching theories

The cognitive context for theorizing

Application of the taxonomy of Bloom (Anderson et al., 2001) gave me an insight into the cognitive process of teaching the group of children. The taxonomy is identified as critiquing. Therefore, when theorizing the learning activity, I had a purpose. For instance, giving a description of the problem as in the first learning activity (Schuell, 1986).  Through this method, I also had quite a good number of examples to give to the students to enhance their understanding of the course. Sometimes the learners fail to understand the course material because there are invalid examples and illustrations on the course material that they are handling. For example, in the first learning activity, I gave out different colors for the children to name. Additionally, I also tested on their abilities when it comes to pronunciation and spelling of words.

Conclusion

Adoption of student-centered approaches in the learning activities can lead to the best results. This may be regarded as a traditional method of teaching. However, it is still applicable to the current education systems. The principles of student-centered approach are explicit and easy to follow. First, students are incorporated in the decision-making process regarding matters of the class, and also all the students are assumed to be partners in the process of learning and teaching. Therefore, the learning activities that I adopted are applicable to a group of 5 to 6 children as earlier stated in the description.

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