Improving Classroom Quality

Classroom quality is depending on the teaching and learning process which takes place inside it. Also it depends on the relationship between students and their teacher. The learning process involves students and teacher interaction. So we should improve the method of interaction between teachers in the introduction of new lessons in classroom. Furthermore, this process takes into consideration the facilities available to the teachers in imparting knowledge to their students. In this regard, teachers should be adequately provided for in terms of the latest technological equipment. With these factors and the under mentioned factors, I think classroom quality will be improved.

1-    We should allow students to participate in the learning process– By allowing students to participate in teams that require multiplicity and diversity of the tasks; their learning abilities will be enhanced. In this connection, students can be organized into education and learning teams as required by the circumstances and content of teaching seminar.

2-    Strengthen the teamwork between the students– By the distribution of roles and responsibilities among them, and this can involve them in a deeper stage of education before entering into tertiary education.

3- Maintaining positive environment– By maintaining good teacher-students relationship, this will create a positive learning environment which will ultimately lead to improved students performance.

For us as teachers, I suggest some strategies if adopted may aid the teaching process and at the end of the day may improve Classroom quality.

1-    Transfer from known to unknown– Teachers should be careful in introducing new information in the class. In this sense, a progressive methodology of moving from the known to the unknown can be very beneficial to students understanding.

2-    From touchable to abstract– Borrowing from the English proverb which says: “Seeing is believing” I advice teachers to mostly start with what students can touch and see. Building from this solid foundation you can move to the abstract and there will be a great tendency for your students to be with you.

3-    Give assignments and test based on Students’ ability– Assignment and tests must be compatible with students’ level and ability. Because this is necessary to keep the students motivated. Because a teacher who gives his or her students work beyond will discourage them and left them unmotivated.

4-    Giving them frequent revision to make sure that they understand– Learning without revision could be almost meaningless, therefore, by giving regular revision students will be abreast with what they have learned. Observations have proven that even weak students can improve considerable when given frequent revision exercises.

5-    Knowing the students’ cultural background– A teacher who knows the students’ cultural background will be able to relate to them well. This will be helpful in the learning process.

Considering the above mentioned points, I think if implemented will bring about a considerable improvement to the classroom quality. Should in case you think of any additional points relating to this issue of classroom improvement they will be warmly welcome.

Using Course Book in Classroom

I was discussing with one of my colleagues the other day about the necessity of using course book in the classroom; then I managed to come up with the following points after our discussion:

1. Organization and Planning- Course book is organized units of work and outlined all the plans and lessons that teachers are to cover in a specific topic in some detail.

2. Helping beginning teachers – Teachers who are new in the field of teaching are in need of a material that clearly designs each lesson in detail. Therefore a course book provides the needed assistance.

3. Exceptional Teaching Aids- Course book is a very important teaching tool that supports teachers to clarify and simplify the material for their students.

4. Excellent Learning Resource – Because course books are organized and carefully planned, this provides the students with the much needed resources for their smooth learning process.

5. Sequential Presentation of Information- As a result of the preparation of the information in course book in an orderly manner; this allows the teacher to present material in a balanced and sequential way.

6. Provision of Teaching Procedures- Course books provides a detailed sequence of teaching procedures that tells what to do and when to do it. Everything is carefully planned and so there are no surprises.

7. Outlining a Complete Program- The series are usually based on the latest research and teaching strategies therefore they provide administrators and teachers with a complete and comprehensive program.

In conclusion, the above are the some of the factors which make course book one of the most important tools in the teaching and learning process.

Any comments will be recieved gratefully .

My students challenge me!

In my last post, I mentioned that I gave my students a new type of questions with the aim of preventing them from cheating. My observation after I gave them these types of questions while still following some traditional strategies such as creating A, B versions, was quite fascinating. Students who had adopted the habit cheating failed my examination miserably. Yet still others tried relentlessly to play some dirty games.

 What they did was that they intentionally abstained from writing their names on their answer sheets. Their aim was probably to confuse me. But they were unsuccessful in this trick, because I made a quick comparison between the handwriting on their homework book and that of their answers on the sheets. Finally, I was able discover who own these papers. They were astonished, but they later understood that they were not smarter than their teacher. As the saying goes, “a school master was once a school boy.

 In conclusion, I would like to mention an important note of caution to my fellow teachers that we should not be naïve to some of the criminal strategies that some students might adopt in order to render education process meaningless. In addition to our academic achievement, we should be equipped with the necessary knowledge to deal with the psychology of these young students criminals. I remember when one of my students complained saying: “Please teacher help me someone has stolen my books!” Sometimes, some students even practice violence against teachers themselves. It is not uncommon for teachers to find the windows of their cars broken or other types of destruction. Headmasters and students’ supervisors are also in need to know how to investigate and take appropriate measures before the situation becomes uncontrollable.  We are in need of reading about school related crimes. I invite suggestions from readers on how to deal with minor and major challenges of students.

How do I prevent my students from cheating!

In the process educating or teaching, the ultimate aim is to develop knowledge, skillor character of the individual; therefore examination may be a means to assess whether this goal has been achieved or not. How effective is the examination method is absolutely important. In this regard, teachers must take effective measures to ensure that the examination questions are drawn in such a way that would truly reflect the capacities and abilities of their students.

Furthermore, they must be alert to the various cheating strategies some students might want to adopt and hence prevent any cheating and consequently examination results will truly reflect what the students have achieved so far.

 Personally, I try to measure any cheating during the exams I give my students by comparing their scores with their performance in class. One of my students called Ahmad is known for his intelligence, hard work and good manners and often uses the Eng-Eng dictionary and prepares well for the lessons, while the other named Wazah is lazy careless and impolite.   It happened that I gave them a class exam which both Ahmad and Wazah took. After the exam, I collected all the answer sheets from my students. To my astonishment, when I finished marking the papers; I observed that both Ahmad and Wazah got full mark 10 out of 10 obtaining excellent grade.

 This actually puzzled me! How come a weak and lazy student could obtain full marks! So I started investigating the reason for this coincidence in the exams. After prolong thought, I finally concluded that the nature of my questions might have played a role.

My questions were multiple-choice and it is easy for students to get the right answer by just making some gestures. Then, I decided to change the method of asking questions in order to make it difficult for them to cheat.

 In this connection, I came with the solution of putting all the choices randomly in a single box. I then require them to choose the correct word to fill in the blank spaces.

 Choose the correct word to fill the blank spaces bel

Read, write, eat

 1. I ________ lunch everyday.

 In this way, I found that it is more difficult for them to cheat as compared to the old method which is as follows:

From the following multiple choices choose the correct answer:

I _______ lunch every day.

a) read          b) write       c) eat

 The latest version of my multiple questions has the under mentioned advantages:

1. The random way I introduced the answers confused cheaters and gestures can not be easily used any more to indicate the correct answers.

2. It will make students use their handwriting which is a very important element in learning process.

3. I think this is a kind of anti-cheating method which makes students prepare well before exams rather than waiting for an opportunity to cheat during exams.

If you ask me; what is anti-Cheating Questions? I will reply: that: these are questions which are designed to prevent students who are cheaters from copying the correct answers from their classmates.

 In conclusion, we as teachers of English should think seriously of inventing questions and methods which make it difficulty for students to cheat. Also, other cheating methods some students use include; writing the information on their arms and rolling down their sleeves, so during exams if the teacher is not concentrating they roll up their sleeves and start coping. Sometimes, also students copy information on their desks and write from it during exams.  The bottom line of these anti-cheating questions is to make assessment of student’s ability more meaningful.

 Your suggestions and comments on this topic are most appreciated.