Thursday, May 2, 2013

NISMED, in partnership with Intel Education, initiated a free webinar series to support the implementation of Grade 7 Science in the K to 12 Basic Education Program. Dubbed “UP NISMED webinars: K to 12 science series,” the webinars aimed to share with Grade 7 teachers and other science educators critical information, resources, and updates to support the implementation of the K to 12 Science curriculum. The webinars also served as a platform for clarifying issues and problems encountered by Grade 7 teachers in the course of using the NISMED-developed student modules and teaching guides for Grade 7 Science. This is the only support initiative of its kind among all subject areas and grade levels implementing the country’s K to 12 Basic Education Program.
The webinars take place every fourth Friday of the month from 4:00 to 5:30 p.m. The five webinars conducted on 27 July, 24 August, 28 September, 25 October, and 23 November drew some 220 teachers, teacher education faculty, and administrators from more than 70 public and private high schools, teacher education institutions, laboratory schools, and public schools in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.

The first webinar, conducted on 27 July, highlighted the philosophy and key features of the K to 12 science curriculum. Dr. Merle C. Tan (convenor for K to 12 Science) and Dr. Marlene B. Ferido (co-convenor and writer) were the resource persons. Dr. Tan discussed the inquiry-based, spiral progression that characterizes the K to 12 Science curriculum, while Dr. Ferido presented the storyline of Grade 7 Science and an overview of the four quarters. She also gave a more detailed description of Quarter 1: Diversity of Materials in the Environment.


The second webinar, conducted on 24 August, featured Quarter 2: Living Things in the Environment. The webinar presenters were Dr. Risa L. Reyes, Ms. Ma. Dulcelina O. Sebastian, and Michael Anthony B. Mantala. Mr. Mantala presented the biology storyline and discussed Modules 1, 4 and 5. Ms. Sebastian and Dr. Reyes discussed Modules 2 and 3, respectively. The module discussions focused on strategies and resources for effectively facilitating the various learning activities and included tips for using local substitutes for materials in activities and how to deal with error-prone steps and procedures.

On 28 September, during the third webinar, Grade 7 teachers shared classroom experiences, student feedback, insights and key learnings during their teaching using the modules. There was a consensus that the learning activities are appropriate for the students, and that the modules helped Grade 7 teachers, who are non-Chemistry and non-Biology majors, facilitate the lessons successfully.

The fourth webinar, conducted on 25 October, focused on Quarter 3: Energy in Motion. The webinar was led by the module writers who acted as presenters. These included Dr. Leticia V. Catris of the Philippine Normal University, Ms. Alvie J. Asuncion of the Philippine Nuclear Research Institute, and Ms. Cerilina M. Maramag of NISMED. Ms. Maramag presented an overview of the third quarter modules. She traced the spiralling of energy-related concepts from Grade 1 to Grade 6, highlighted the main ideas that will be covered in Grade 7, and talked about the focus questions as well as the general and specific topics in each of the six modules. She also discussed the details of Module 1 (Motion) and Module 5 (Heat). Dr. Catris discussed Modules 2, 3 and 4 (Waves, Sound, and Light), and Ms. Asuncion discussed Module 6 (Electricity).

The fifth webinar, conducted on 23 November, featured Quarter 4: Earth and Space and concluded the content-specific webinars for Grade 7 science. Mr. Eligio C. Obille Jr. of NISMED’s Earth/Environmental Science Group was the presenter. He discussed the three major topics of geology, meteorology, and astronomy and how these spiral from Grade 6 thru Grade 8. Mr. Obille then explained each learning activity-- mindfully giving attendees tips and precautions.

Each webinar, which runs on the Adobe Connect webinar platform, is fully recorded to provide access to those who miss the live meeting. Links to the recordings are made available in a discussion thread devoted to the webinar series in the KaSaMa Teachers Online Community site. The discussion thread also serves as the download site for the PowerPoint presentations used by the resource persons and the list of questions, issues and concerns raised during the webinars. The discussion thread is now replete with implementation feedback from Grade 7 science teachers consisting of classroom accounts and photos of students performing the activities.

The K to 12 science webinar series is fully supported in KaSaMa Teachers online community. Invites to each monthly webinar and announcements regarding the availability of webinar resources are broadcast to members. An event page for each webinar also allows members to signify attendance through an online RSVP. A discussion thread contains the webinar schedules and provides post-webinar support where attendees, resource persons, NISMED curriculum writers, and community members continue to exchange practices and experiences, ask questions and raise concerns, and share tips to improve the implementation of Grade 7 science in the classrooms. To join the webinars, go to http://engageteachers.adobeconnect.com/kasamateachers.

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