Eight science and seven mathematics teachers from the Lemery Special Science Elementary School came to NISMED on December 10-12, 2009 for Phase 2 of their training on science and mathematics teaching. The topics covered were those for the fourth and first quarters based on the Philippine Elementary Learning Competencies of the Basic Education Curriculum. The first phase of the training program was conducted on August 20-23, 2009 and covered topics for the second and third quarters. The training program, with assessment as its theme, was designed to: emphasize teaching through problem solving and science inquiry; address misconceptions; highlight connections of concepts, principles, and procedures in topics within the same grade level and across different grade levels; and engage participants in collaborative activities.
The science participants were divided into two groups: 5 attended the sessions for Grades 1-3, while 3 participants comprised the Grades 4-6 group. On the first day, NISMED Director Dr. Merle C. Tan discussed the topic Assessment for Learning. This was followed by the topics Sense Organs and Constellations for the lower grades and higher grades, respectively, through which assessment for learning practices were modeled and discussed by the ESS trainers. Topics on the 2nd and 3rd days were: Types of Soil, Proper Use of Water, and Investigating Mass for Grades 1-3 and Bones and Muscles, Reproduction, and Earthquakes and Volcanoes for Grades 4-6.
The mathematics participants likewise had a session on Assessment for Learning in the morning of the first day. In the afternoon, a discussion on computational estimation was conducted. Activities that require pupils to invent their own strategies of estimating were provided. In the discussions, mathematical reasoning, communication, connection, and representation were also emphasized. The second day was devoted to various topics on measurement. The activities in this session modeled how the relationships of linear, area, and volume/capacity measurement can be explored and how the lessons on these topics in the higher grades can be built upon those that are in the lower grades. The focus of discussion on the third day was on data and graphs. In this session, the commonly used graphs: pictographs, bar, line, and circle graphs were discussed. To make the learning of graphs more meaningful, the learners themselves generated the data by conducting a survey or performing an activity/experiment. Various situations were likewise presented that require the learners to make reasonable judgement and decisions based on the graph.
The participants had a stargazing activity on the first evening during which they viewed the moon, stars, constellations and the planet Jupiter. On the last day, the participants received a booklet on assessment tasks in their respective subject area. These booklets were developed by NISMED to provide models of assessment items and tasks in elementary science and mathematics. In addition, the science participants were given instructional materials and models while the mathematics participants received posters on tangram, division algorithm, and sum of the interior angles of a triangle. A copy of the book titled Addressing Misconceptions in Mathematics and Science, a joint publication of UP NISMED and DOST-SEI, was given to the school.