Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Dr. Soledad A. Ulep, Director and Mr. Eligio C. Obille Jr., Chair of the High School Earth Science Group joins the APEC-Khon Kaen International Symposium 2013 with the theme “Emergency Preparedness Education: Learning from Experience, Science of Disasters, and Preparing for the Future (II) – Focus on Flood and Typhoon” held at the Faculty of Education Khon-Kaen University, Thailand last 13-16 September 2013.

Funded by the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), the symposium aims to bring together experts and practitioners and share ideas in developing teaching materials using data which are necessary to scientifically understand the mechanism and influence of disasters and essential strategies of evacuations in the disasters. During the symposium, Dr. Ulep and Mr. Obille Jr. shared Lesson Study experiences to the participants that focus on creating disaster awareness and preparedness integrating mathematics content.

The lesson study team of Grade III elementary science teachers, under Project HOTS (Hands-on Teaching of Science through Inquiry) implemented their research lessons during the first grading period at their respective schools: R.P. Cruz Sr. Elementary School (RPCSES), Tenement Elementary School (TES) and Upper Bicutan Elementary School (UBES). Different lessons on the topic “The Sense Organs” were collaboratively developed and implemented by two teachers from each school, namely: Ms. Mary Joy Efondo and Ms. Chancel C. Galletes (RPCSES) on “The Sense of Smell”, Ms. Clotilde T. Besario and Ms. Regiena P. Marquez (TES) on “The Sense of Hearing” and Ms. Rosalina P. Trinidad and Ms. Corazon Erguiza (UBES) on “The Sense of Touch.” 

Ms. Mary Joy Efondo with her pupils (RPCES) during the lesson implementation.
The implementation is a follow-up phase of the three-day seminar-workshop on the “Development of Inquiry-based Science Activities” conducted by NISMED under DOST-SEI’s Project HOTS held at NISMED on 15-17 May 2013. Each teaching implementation was followed by a post-lesson discussion by the members of the study team (the two implementing teachers, observers, and researchers from NISMED and SEI). The aim however, of the post-lesson discussion and critiquing was to evaluate the quality of the lesson and to further enhance it towards becoming an inquiry-based lesson. All the necessary changes of the lesson based from the suggestions will be incorporated in the next lesson implementation.

Dr. Soledad A. Ulep (left), Dr. Ester Ogena, PNU President (middle)
and Mr. Allan Canonigo (right) during the awarding ceremony.
Dr. Soledad A. Ulep, Director of NISMED and Mr. Allan Canonigo, a member of the High School Mathematics Group received the Philippine Normal University (PNU) Eminent Alumni Award during the 112th founding anniversary of the country’s national teachers university held at the University Auditorium, PNU, Manila on 30 September 2013. This special award is bestowed on eminent alumni who are acknowledged outstanding and distinguished leaders in different sectors of the society.

Dr. Ulep and Mr. Canonigo were recognized prominent figures in the field of mathematics education. They were cited for their exceptional accomplishments as PNU alumni whose personal life, professional achievements, and humanitarian service symbolized the University’s tradition of excellence and exemplified the objectives of PNU.

NISMED welcomed three groups of visitors, namely: 14 pre-service teachers from De La Salle John Bosco College, 20 graduate students from the Department of Chemistry, Benguet State University, and 208 pupils from UP Integrated School K-2 Program during the third quarter of the year.

During these educational visits, the guests were given the opportunity to experience hands-on teaching and learning in science and be familiarized with the basic features of inquiry-based teaching and learning. These visits were facilitated by the Elementary School Science, High School Biology and High School Chemistry Groups. NISMED usually entertains requests from science teachers and students who wish to experience and be updated with new approaches, researches, trends, teaching strategies as well as practical materials in science and mathematics teaching and learning. Interested parties may write and email the NISMED Director at nismedup@gmail.com.

Dr. Maria Helen D. Catalan, a member of the High School Biology Group and NISMED’s representative in the Technical Working Group (TWG) of the ASEAN Training Center for Preventive Drug Education (ATCPDE), participated in the “ASEAN Seminar-Workshop on Community-Based Prevention of Drug Abuse” held at the Luxent Hotel, Timog Avenue, Quezon City on 2-6 September 2013.

The seminar-workshop, which was sponsored by the Japan ASEAN Integration Fund (JAIF) aimed to: (1) identify effective treatment and intervention programs at the community level; (2) develop community-based drug prevention and health promotion approaches; (3) design community-specific programs and activities for drug abuse prevention; and (4) conduct monitoring and evaluation of the community-based drug abuse prevention program.

Twenty participants from nine ASEAN countries participated in the seminar-workshop with experts from Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, and Thailand acting as resource speakers and facilitators.

Among the topics discussed during the seminar-workshop were: the drug problem scenario in the Southeast Asian Region; sharing of community-based preventive drug education (Family Drug Abuse Prevention Program “Barkada Kontra Droga,” Special Drug Education Center); Community-Based Approaches to Drug Abuse Prevention; Designing an Effective Preventive Drug Education Program at the Community Level; Community-Based Preventive Drug Education Program; Techniques and Tools; Sourcing and Networking for Community-Based Preventive Drug Education Programs; Development of a Monitoring Scheme and Use of Evaluation Instruments; and Strategic Areas of Action.

The Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB), Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), Philippine Information Agency (PIA), Commission on Higher Education (CHED), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Department of Education (DedEd), UP Integrated School (UPIS), and the Vice-Mayor’s Office of Marikina City also collaborated in this seminar-workshop.

The teacher of Cordova National High School, Cebu during the intervention.
DOST-SEI, NISMED, and other partner institutions conducted classroom observations on the innovations of the nine selected schools after the successful three-day Project Proposal Critiquing and Rewriting Workshop held at UP NISMED on 2-4 May 2013. This is the second stage of the “2013 Search for Innovative Practices in Managing Large Classes for Effective Teaching and Learning of Science and Mathematics.”

This project aims to select the best two innovative classroom practices for managing large classes to improve the quality of teaching and learning science and mathematics in public and private high schools with class sizes of more than 50 students in any grade level from Grade 7 to Grade 10. Before the observations, the students of the participating schools took a pretest to be compared to a posttest.

The nine competing schools across the country are: Central Azucarera De Tarlac High School-Annex (Tarlac City), Jacobo Z. Gonzales Memorial National HS (Biñan City), Calamba Bayside National HS (Calamba City), Tabaco National HS (Tabaco City), Cordova National HS (Cebu), Digos City National HS (Davao del Sur), Surigao City National HS (Surigao City), Manggahan HS (Pasig City) and Antonio J. Villegas Vocational HS (Manila).

The mathematics courseware “Technology Package for Student Learning Empowerment: Mathematics Courseware for Tablet PC”, has been nominated to this year’s Information Society Innovation Fund (ISIF) Asia Awards under the Innovations on Learning and Localization category. The award aims to recognize the significant contributions of information and communication technology (ICT) innovators and their efforts in addressing social and development challenges using the Internet.

The said innovation was initiated by the Department of Science and Technology-Science Education Institute (DOST-SEI) with support from the Advanced Science and Technology Institute (DOST-ASTI), Department of Education (DepEd), Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU) and with the mathematics content modules developed by the Elementary School and High School Mathematics Groups of NISMED. The project aims to contribute to the improvement of mathematics education especially at the elementary level and of the Philippine educational system in general.

The said courseware consists of ten (10) lessons in Grade 1 mathematics namely: Classifying Objects, Comparing Sets of Objects and Numbers, Ordering Sets of Objects and Numbers, Searching for Number Patterns, Adding Whole Numbers, Subtracting Whole Numbers, Partitioning Regions into Halves, Partitioning Regions into Fourths, Finding the Whole Region or Set, and Measuring Length. These lessons were collaboratively developed within a Philippine context to make it familiar to the pupils.

One of the participants exploring the mathematics courseware
during the mass training.
The pilot testing in ten (10) elementary schools across the Philippines resulted in improved learner performance among Grade I pupils since the project provided an enjoyable way of learning Mathematics concepts through affordable tablets. Mass trainings are currently being conducted in relation to this project by the NISMED Mathematics Groups (See iTEACH Math article on the same page). The modules can be accessed for free from the website: courseware.dost.gov.ph/

As UP NISMED starts a new season of the Go, Teacher, Go! (GTG) with DZUP, the community radio of the College of Mass Communication, UP Diliman on 01 August 2013, two groups of science teachers, one from North Fairview High School (NFHS), Quezon City and the other from Tenement Elementary School (TES), Taguig City, shared their experiences as teacher implementers of research lessons in their respective schools. 

Ms. Clotilde Besario and Ms. Regiena Marquesz of TES
at the DZUP booth.
The episodes “Some Like it HOTS” aired during the entire month of August were allotted to the sharing of experiences of the research team under the Project HOTS (Hands-on Teaching and Learning of Science through Inquiry) of the Department of Science and Technology-Science Education Institute (DOST-SEI). Through a phone patch during the first episode, Ms. Amparo Olarte, the coordinator of Project HOTS, together with Dr. Risa L. Reyes, Deputy Director for Research and Extension and anchor Ms. Ma. Lourdes S. Agad shared with the listeners at the radio station. She said that the project aims to empower teachers to collaboratively develop inquiry-based science lessons that will enhance the learners’ inquiry skills as well as help them construct correct science ideas and concepts.

Ms. Clotilde T. Besario and Ms. Regiena F. Marques, Grade III implementing teachers from TES shared their experiences on a lesson study which focused on “The Sense of Hearing.” They highlighted the processes of collaborative lesson planning, consultation, try out of the lesson, critiquing, lesson implementation, revision of the lesson and reflective analyses by the research team during the entire lesson study cycle. Moreover, the teachers mentioned how they incorporated inquiry features with emphasis on hands-on teaching in their lesson. Ms. Sally B. Gutierez, one of the members of the Elementary School Science Group of NISMED discussed how the research lesson was refined towards an inquiry-based lesson from the planning stage to the second implementation. The radio episode was again hosted by Ms. Agad.

“The collaborative method of lesson planning is truly helpful because the lesson becomes better as it is being presented and critiqued by a group, “shared Ms. Besario.In the episode “All is Well that Continues Well”, four chemistry teachers who are members of a lesson study team from NFHS were invited during the airing on 28 August 2013 of Go, Teacher, Go! Two of them, Ms. Melalaine Austria and Ms. Merle Ramos, were original members of the group who completed the three implementations of research lesson while Ms. Carol Sombria and Ms. Noemi Salacsacan were new in the group and joined the team only for the third implementation of the lesson. Similarly, this episode focused on sharing of experiences of the research team, the challenges and realizations they encountered, and the benefits they gained from the lesson study process. It is interesting to note that during the conversation, Ms. Ramos commented that “students participated more actively in the classroom activities.” Equally important to mention is the comment shared by Mrs. Sombria that “wala nang damutan sa aming [Chemistry teachers] lahat. Nagshe-share na kami ng ideas at resources sa pagtuturo ng Chemistry.” This comment simply implies that through lesson study, these teachers became open to collaboration in preparing lessons in Chemistry. This episode of Go, Teacher, Go was joined by Ms. Jacqueline Rose Gutierrez and Mr. Dennis Danipog of the High School Chemistry Group of NISMED. The program was hosted by Ms. Lolita Mondigo.  

As a follow-though of the “Seminar-Workshop on Assessment and Collaborative Lesson Planning”, sponsored by the Marikina Shoe Exchange (MSE), two teachers from a lesson study research team of Commonwealth Elementary School (CES) implemented their research lesson on the Grade IV topic “Seed Germination” last 13 and 20 September 2013.

Other teachers of the team and NISMED staff observed the implementation. A post-lesson discussion followed afterwards that focused on the reflective analyses by the implementing teachers, the research team and the NISMED staff who acted as facilitators. Potential improvements on the lesson plan and how the pupils responded to the lesson were discussed. Among the important points mentioned in the post-lesson discussion were improvement in the data sheets for the pupils and the effect of language on the pupils’ responses.

Mas maganda siguro kung Filipino ang gagamitin natin sa pagtuturo para mas ma-express ng mga bata ang ideas nila (It might be better to use Filipino language so pupils can express their ideas), pointed out Ms. Estorco, a science coordinator at CES.

Friday, October 18, 2013

NISMED staff participated in the K to 12 Curriculum Finalization Workshop held at the Development Academy of the Philippines (DAP) Conference Center, Tagaytay City last 12-16  August 2013 for the Grades 3 to 10 Curriculum and at the BP-International Makiling, Jamboree Road, Batong Malake, Los Baños, Laguna last 23-27 September 2013 for the K to 12 Senior High School Core Curriculum. These workshops were organized by the Office of the Undersecretary for Programs and Projects of the Department of Education (DepEd). 

The objectives of the workshop were: (1) finalize the K to 12 Curriculum including standards and competencies; (2) make sure that the codes connect to the key stages and the K to12 Curriculum Outcomes; (3) distribute the grade level content and competencies into quarters and weeks; and (4) review existing learning materials and identify the standards and competencies without existing materials.

Dr. Soledad A. Ulep, Dr. Risa L. Reyes, Dr. Marlene Ferido, Ms. May R. Chavez, Dr. Maria Helen D. Catalan, Mr. Eligio C. Obille Jr. and Ms. Lydia M. Landrito, collaboratively worked with the team of curriculum developers from DepEd and other institutions to finalize the K to 12 Curriculum.

The activities during the said workshop included curriculum guide review, learning materials review, curriculum guides drafting (divided in ten weeks per quarter), matching of the existing materials to the Curriculum Guides Draft 2 and matching of the existing materials to the final curriculum guide per week.

Meanwhile, in two separate writeshops, held on 30 September 2013, Ms. May R. Chavez, Ms. Pia C. Campo and Dr. Ulep reviewed the Learning Materials and Teaching Guides for Grades 3 and 9 which are to be used in the school year 2014-2015. The writeshops were organized by the Bureau of Elementary Education and Bureau of Secondary Education which were held at Tagaytay International Conventional Center, Tagaytay City and at Regional English Language Center (RELC), Marikina City.

The Elementary School Mathematics and High School Mathematics Groups of NISMED started conducting the regional training program for the “Improving Technology-enhanced Activities for Creative Honing (iTEACH) of Mathematics Skills” across the country. So far, 491 out of 571 Grade I teachers have finished the three-day training as shown in the table below. The last batch of teachers from Regions X and ARMM will be trained at Cagayan de Oro City on 7-9 November 2013.

Training Center
Regions Included
No. of Participants
No. of Batches
July 25-27
Baguio City
1,2 CAR
August 1-3
August 29-31
September 12-14
11, 12, CARAGA
September 26-28
3, 4A, 4B, 5
                                                           491                          17

Ms. Dana Ong of NISMED facilitates a session.
The objectives of the training are to: (1) acquire skills in using the technology package for Grade I mathematics; (2) gain better understanding of concepts related to the lessons developed; and (3) design lessons incorporating the use of the courseware in teaching Grade I mathematics to enhance mathematical reasoning. This training is the product of a successful pilot testing which showed significantly high scores and greater interest and enthusiasm in learning mathematics lesson using the technology package among Grade I pupils. 

The training program is designed to build the participants’ capability to use the mathematics courseware “Technology Package for Student Learning Empowerment: Mathematics Courseware for Tablet PC” focusing on the concepts covered in the 10 lessons. Among the activities of the training are sharing of the observations and experiences during the pilot testing by the facilitators, exploration of all the lessons by the participants and presentation and critiquing of a Grade I lesson which incorporates the use of the courseware.

The training is part of the project initiated by the Department of Science and Technology-Science Education Institute (DOST-SEI) which aims to contribute to the improvement of mathematics education of the country especially at the elementary level. The lessons in the courseware were developed by the Elementary School Mathematics Group which was digitized by Department of Science and Technology-Advanced Science and Technology Institute (DOST-ASTI).

More than 80 teachers went online to attend the webinar series initiated by the Information Science Group of NISMED. The webinars conducted in the months of July, August and September focused on module orientation, background information and tips to effectively facilitate the learning activities, and sharing of teachers’ experiences and insights derived from classroom implementation of Unit I: Force, Motion, and Energy and Unit II: Earth and Space. The topics and webinar presenters are as follows:

Webinar Presenters
18 July 2013
Unit 1: Force, Motion, and Energy
Module 3: Heat and Temperature
Module 5: Sounds
Module 6: Colors of Light
Ms. Cerilina Maramag – UP NISMED
Dr. Marie Paz Morales – PNU-Manila
23 August 2013
Unit 2: Earth and Space
Module 1: Earthquakes and Faults
Module 2: Understanding Typhoons
Module 3: Comets, Asteroids, and Meteors
Mr. Eligio C. Obille Jr. – UP NISMED
Ms. Pia Campo – UP NISMED
27 September 2013
Unit 1 Implementation Sharing
(1 science-oriented class of 38 students)

(5 large classes of 60-68 students)

Mr. Vic Emerson Danao, Head Teacher III - Quirino General High School in Cabarroguis, Quirino
Ms. Marivic Rosales ,Master Teacher I - San Jose Del Monte National High School in Bulacan

In the September webinar, the two teachers shared their strategies and resources in teaching the modules such as use of online multimedia resources (e.g., animated GIFs, short videos), incorporation of student projects and culminating activities, and use of varied assessment tools. They also talked about how the regular and frequent collaborative activities with other Grade 8 and Physics teachers (e.g., School Learning Activity Cell sessions, try out of learning activities, assessment planning) have helped them to prepare for class. And finally, they shared their key learnings about the K to 12 science curriculum reform. The next webinar is scheduled on 25 October 2013 from 4:00 to 5:30 PM with the topic on Unit 3: Matter of the Grade 8 Science Learning Module. To join, go to http://engageteachers.adobeconnect.com/kasamateachers. Previous webinar recordings maybe viewed at http://engageteachers.adobeconnect.com/p87azbfkhg4/.

On its centennial year, celebrated on 22 June 2013, the UP Alumni Association recognized multi-generational families with at least three generations of members who graduated from UP during the General Alumni Homecoming held at Ang Bahay ng Alumni, UP Diliman. The call for nominations and search yielded one such family among the NISMED staff.

Dr. Risa L. Reyes, Deputy Director for Research and Extension and Elementary School Science (ESS) Group Chair, represented the Lansang-Reyes family in accepting a plaque of recognition and a citation for her family’s “ distinct achievement of having produced three generations of UP graduates, thus upholding the UP tradition of academic excellence and nurturing a heritage of the finest family values, both of which are highly worthy of admiration and emulation by our present, as well as future, generations.”

L-R: President Alfredo E. Pascual, Reyes, UPAA President Ponciano
E. Rivera, Jr. and First Vice-President Renato B. Valdecantos
Dr. Reyes’ father, Jose A. Lansang, graduated from UP in 1930 with a PhB (Bachelor of Philosophy) degree while her mother, Flora Celi-Lansang earned her BSE (Bachelor of Science in Education) from UP in 1937. One other sibling, Florinna Lansang-Joaquin, finished her BS Psychology degree in 1965. Her five brothers, like the two sisters, all attended UP Elementary School and/or UP High School though they did not graduate from the University. Their father was a professorial lecturer in UP Diliman teaching Philippine Institutions 100 (PI 100: The Life and Writings of Rizal) at the time of his death in January 1970 while their mother retired in 1978 as a full professor at the Institute of Social Work and Community Development (now a College).

Three of Dr. Reyes’ four children graduated from the University. The eldest, Leandro Paolo, graduated a with BS Metallurgical Engineering degree in 1997 and was a 4th placer in the board examinations. The second, Joanna Katrina, is a Business Administration (major in Marketing) cum laude graduate in 2008. The third, Mark, graduated in October 2012, as an Outstanding Student of the BS Physical Education Program at the College of Human Kinetics. The fourth and youngest, Christi, is on her 4th year BS Mass Communications Majoring in Film.