Let’s play games!
Teachers use lots of ways in conducting their lessons. One of them is through games. The advantages of using games for students include:
- Competition factor: Generate positive competition among peers to achieve stated objectives of the games
- Discipline factor: Allow students to be able to follow series of instructions or rules.
- Unity factor: Teach students about teamwork, sense of belonging and unselfishness. Games also encourage the students to play for teams instead of their own personal accomplishment.
- Confidence factor: Games enhance students’ confidence and communication skills.
Here are some games that I have used for teaching students mathematical concepts.
Game 1: “Throw the Ball”
- Place 4 trays in line. Put some division facts in each tray. The closest tray consists of the most difficult questions. The easiest questions are in the furthest tray.
- Students make a line and give them a ball (I used ping pong balls) and asked them to shoot the ball into the tray. Yes, most of them tried to shoot the ball in the furthest tray, which has the easiest questions.
- If the ball is out, students will line up again from the back.
4. Once the ball got into the tray, ask students to get a piece of paper and answer the questions by themselves.
5. If they can’t answer in a given time, students will then line up from the back.
6. Finish this game until all the questions have been answered.
Game 2: “Solving Word Problems”
- Prepare papers with question. Label each paper 1, 2, 3 and so on.
- Divide class into groups.
- Each group stands in front of a piece of paper.
- Let students answer the questions on post-it notes. Tell them to put the answers at the back of the paper.
5. Ask students to move clockwise to the next paper.
6. Stop until all the groups are back to their first paper.
7. Discuss the answers together.
Game 3: “Group Yourselves Equally”
- The students stand in a circle.
2. Give the question, “Group yourselves into 2”, “Group yourselves into 3”, and so on.
3. Ask students to count how many groups they made.
4. Write down the number with the equal answers. Examples include 9 (18 ÷ 2) and 6 (18 ÷ 3).
5. Discuss why some students were not in groups. It means the number cannot be divided equally. Examples are 18 ÷ 4 and 18 ÷ 5.
6. Discuss and review what numbers are really equal if you divide for 18.
I found that the students really enjoyed these games. The students actively participated and cooperated well during the activities. Using games in teaching creates an exciting learning atmosphere for the students and the teachers as well.
By: Debby Selvianita
Grade 1 Co-Teacher
BINUS SCHOOL Simprug
Yahmad, S. B. H. Motivating students with games.
In our grade 1 “How we express ourselves” unit of inquiry, we explored the central idea, “Storytelling represents different cultures and sparks the imagination to improve one’s creativity”.
To provide an opportunity for our grade 1 students to express themselves, students came up with a performance of the famous story, “Peter Pan”. We, teachers, chose “Peter Pan” because we wanted the students to always remember not to grow up too quickly and always dare to dream.
Auditions were held and every one of them gave their best. Roles were picked and practices started immediately. The students had to practice every day. We knew they were tired but yet never once did they complain. The students took pride in their roles and worked hard to memorise their lines.
The shy children were able to develop their self-esteem and confidence. In all our practices, the children were encouraged to listen to their friends while they were performing and share their ideas and thoughts.
We also encouraged the children to act out a range of emotions and this enabled them to understand different feelings and show empathy to others.
During practices, the children had a chance to improvise and do pretend play. They also came up with solutions to some disagreements in roles and responded imaginatively. For the finale of the show, the children had to sing together and that required cooperation.
Doing this unit of inquiry gave us teachers also an opportunity to collaborate with other specialist teachers. We had our visual art colleague helping us with the props. Our music teacher taught the students various songs. Our grade 1 students also learnt different movements from their dance teacher.
Our students really gave out their best in performing the “Peter Pan” show. And guess what? All of the students performed professionally. As their teachers, we felt goose bumps while watching them performing.
By its very nature, drama has the ability to create strong friendships between children as they laugh, learn and grow together. We are proud of all our students as they gave their best in expressing themselves through their “Peter Pan” play. We hope that there will be more opportunities for them to express themselves.
Grade 1 students involved in the “Peter Pan”
Roch Hazel Olivia and Ferida Sari Hasaputri
Grade 1 Teachers
BINUS SCHOOL Simprug
“You can find magic wherever you look. Sit back and relax, all you need is a book.” – Dr. Seuss
When was the last time you picked up a book and read? If your reading centers around Facebook updates or tweets, then you seriously need to grab a book, sit back, relax, shut off all your electronic devices and immerse yourselves in reading – a book that interests you.
I understand some people may find reading a book or a novel pretty boring and a lengthy process. If there is a story that is both published as a book and is made into a movie, some of us would much rather watch the movie than read the book. I will choose the other way around.
I first found my passion in reading several years ago when I visited a bookstore in Singapore. The bookstore housed vast collections of books, novels, magazines, resource books – anything you can name. I started reading a novel and my interest in reading just picked up from there. Until today I am still an avid reader. I always find time to read because after so many years, I realize how much I have benefited from reading.
As the saying goes, “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you will go. Everything that you stumble upon while reading enriches you. This knowledge can come in handy when you need to tackle challenges. After all, knowledge is power.
2. Vocabulary Expansion
For me, this is how I have most benefited from reading. Being articulate and well-spoken is of great help in my profession, and knowing that you are well-read, well-spoken as well as knowledgeable in a variety of topics can be an enormous boost to your self esteem and self confidence. As a teacher who teaches English as a Foreign Language, I have to be well equipped and prepared in terms of English vocabulary. While reading, I come across a lot of new English words I do not know and what I usually do is to keep notes. I write down the words I am not familiar with, look up the definitions in a dictionary, jot them down and write the sentences from the book so as to give me information on how to use the particular words. I occasionally go through my notes so I always remember the new words. This has helped me immensely and I know this will help other learners too.
3. Improved Focus and Concentration
When you read a book, all of your attention is focused on the story – the rest of the world just falls away, and you can immerse yourself in every fine detail you’re absorbing. Try reading for 15 to 20 minutes before work (on your morning commute, if you take public transportation, like me), and you’ll be surprised at how much more focused you are once you get to the office.
4. Imagination Booster
The story of a book will absorb your mind so let your imagination fly. While you are reading, you are building images, faces, places, colors, and settings. Allowing your mind to explore a new literary world opens the door to new ideas, subjects and situations that can get you thinking about trying new experiences.
5. Stress Reliever
A lot of people find that reading relaxes them and helps them to unwind at night. Reading helps them drift off to sleep easily as they let go of their trouble during the day while being immersed in the story. Our mind is like the body. It needs exercise just like the muscles do. Once you engage yourself in a good book, your focus of attention will be shifted and you become oblivious to what’s happening in the outside world.
Reading has a positive impact on our health. It is up to us how to embrace it. One of the biggest advantages of reading a book is you can take it anywhere and at the same time you can also go anywhere.
Reading gives us some places to go when we have to stay where we are.
By: Devi Godri
English as a Foreign Language Teacher
BINUS SCHOOL Simprug, Jakarta
Have you ever wondered how teachers like us do storytelling? What are the different ideas in storytelling? How will you tell a funny or a scary story? These are some questions that popped up in one of our coffee breaks.
To begin with,
What is story telling?
The National Storytelling Network defines storytelling as an action that involves a two-way interaction between a storyteller and one or more listeners. Storytelling happens in many situations, from kitchen-table conversation to religious rituals, from telling in the course of other work to performances for thousands of paying listeners. Some storytelling situations demand informality. Others are highly formal. Some demand certain themes, attitudes, and artistic approaches. The expectations about listener interaction and the nature of the story itself vary widely.
Our students define storytelling as:
And as teachers, we define storytelling as a way of expressing our feelings through story. Storytelling is enticing the listener to create mental images while we tell through words and actions. Storytelling connects the storyteller and the listener through imagination. Most of the interesting stories are about people. Therefore to make a story better to be understood, focus your story to real-life characters.
How do you choose a story?
The secret of a worthwhile story time is choosing the right book.
Children should be exposed to broad types of literature available to them in the classroom and as much as possible at home. Literature types include picture books, big books, concept books, chapter books, pop-up books, sensory books, nursery rhyme books, fairytale books, and folktale books.
How do you tell a story?
There are easy ways of telling a story to children:
- Reader’s position
The storyteller should be relaxed and comfortably seated or standing up.
2. Position of book
Hold the book and visual aids where children can view it well. Show the pictures slowly around the audience.
Use actions that go with the story to add interest. The body movement is an important factor in telling a story.
4. Eye contact
Use eye contact to relate to your audience. Let your eyes and facial expression help tell them the story.
Use a clear, natural speaking voice and vary the pace according to the story. Take time and never rush through the story.
6. Response of children/peers
Respect children’s comments and reactions, yet retain control of the group.
How do you introduce a story?
- Unlock difficult words that will be encountered in the story.
- Ask motivating questions related to the child’s experience that will arouse his/her interest in the story.
- Set the stage for the story and capture the children’s attention before you begin to read.
- Make the children sit well
- Begin by telling the title, author, and illustrator.
Storytelling presentation and activities in a creative way:
- Making a story book
- Comic strip
- Role play (puppet)
- Story cube
- See through story
Storyteller use projector screen as a tool to tell story.
- Story maze/ story map
As we end our coffee break, stories about work, family, students and whatever under the sun continue to flood our imagination. We hope you were able to get some ideas from one of our coffee breaks. So sip that cup of coffee and share your story with a friend.
By: Camelia Tjandra and Jose Noel Veloso
Grade 1 Teachers
BINUS SCHOOL Simprug
Learning from individuals working in institutions promoting human rights
As our grade 5 students prepare for their PYP Exhibition in April 2017, they have had a lot of interactions and discussions with first-hand sources for the different issues they are inquiring on. The grade 5 teachers worked hard to try to get individuals, who are experts in their fields, to share their knowledge and experience with our grade 5 students.
For this year’s PYP Exhibition, the students chose the transdisciplinary theme ‘How We Organize Ourselves’ with the central idea “Social equality can determine how people act and how institutions govern.” Instead of all the 30 human rights, we will focus on freedom from discrimination, slavery, torture and degrading treatment; right to free movement, protection in another country, and right to a nationality and freedom to change it; freedom of thought, conscience and religion, and freedom of opinion and information; right to peaceful assembly and association, right to participate in government and elections; and right to desirable work and join trade unions, right to rest and leisure, right to adequate living standards.
Right to desirable work and join trade unions, right to rest and leisure, right to adequate living standards
On February 20, we were very privileged to have Indonesia’s Minister of Industry, Bapak Airlangga Hartanto, as our guest speaker. He first explained his roles as a Minister of Industry to the students. He mentioned that he works closely with Indonesian President Jokowi and other ministers for the betterment of Indonesia. He showed a video on how a big factory in Indonesia operates. After that, he enumerated the rights of workers such as minimum wage, working hours and overtime pay, medical benefits, pension fund and participation in labour unions. The students asked a lot of questions which the Minister answered cheerfully. At the end of his talk, he encouraged the students to study and work hard so that they can also help their country in the future.
Freedom from discrimination, slavery, torture and degrading treatment
On February 23, we had a Skype session with our guest speaker, Grace Villanueva, a lawyer from the Philippines. She had worked for 10 years in a non-governmental organization called Legal Rights and Natural Resources Center or LRC, whose focus is rights to natural resources of indigenous peoples and other upland poor rural communities. Prior to joining LRC, she trained in a law firm after she took the bar exams. Most recently, she was a consultant to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources of the Philippines. In her presentation to our grade 5 students, she explained who the indigenous people are and how institutions protect their rights to their lands and territories. She also shared with the students how lawyers like her educate the indigenous people about their right to be asked for their permission and their right to develop based on their own dreams. The students had a lot of questions after her presentation. One student even asked, “Why don’t the indigenous people just change their ways so they won’t be discriminated?” in which Atty. Grace replied, “There is a saying: “Why fix something if it is not broken? All they want is a happy, just, peaceful, beautiful world enjoyed by every child, woman, man, which they will pass on to their future children for them to also enjoy and take care of for future generations.”
Right to peaceful assembly and association, right to participate in government and elections
On February 28, three staff from Indonesia’s Komisi Pemilihan Umum (KPU), Ibu Lidya, Ibu Ina and Ibu Rika, went to our school and talked about the citizens’ right to choose their leader. They explained to the students the process of voting as well as the requirements for an individual to exercise his or her right to vote. Once again, our students took this opportunity to ask many questions like “Why can’t children vote?”, “How does your institution ensure a fair election?”, “What preparations do you do before an election?”, etc.
Guests from KPU explaining the citizens’ right to vote
Right to free movement, protection in another country, and right to a nationality and freedom to change it
On February 3, one of our Humanities teachers from the Middle Years Programme, Michael Athens, shared his knowledge and experience with our students. He explained to them who refugees are, why they leave their country and what their rights are. He shared his own experience about interacting with them when he worked in one of the local libraries in Minneapolis many years ago. He gave facts and figures about crimes committed which did not include any refugees’ involvement at all. The session touched the hearts of the students and made them more compassionate to people who are in need. It also made them appreciate the things that they have which they normally take for granted.
Our MYP Humanities teacher, Michael Athens, explaining the rights of refugees to our students
On March 6, we were fortunate to have been given the chance to meet refugees from Pakistan and Sri Lanka by members of a Catholic organization in Bogor called Jesuit Refugees Service (JRS). Their mission is to accompany, serve and advocate on behalf of refugees. Their main areas of work are in the field of education, emergency assistance, healthcare, livelihood activities and social services. The first activity we had was to socialize with them in our school’s playground. Most of our girls had a chat with two teenage girls from Pakistan while the boys played. We went up to our assembly area after that and all our guests introduced themselves by saying their names and which country they come from. Our students invited them in their classrooms and they shared what they usually do in the class. One girl from Pakistan said that she loves art so our students gave her a lot of art materials to draw and paint. A boy from Pakistan said he likes playing soccer so our students played soccer with him. Our students were very sensitive and did not ask about their life as a refugee. Even for a day, our grade 5 students surely brought joy to these people.
With all these interactions and discussions, our young students were able to understand not only how they should be treated but how they should treat others as well. They realize that there are actually many individuals, institutions and organizations that protect the rights of human beings. Our guest speakers created a safe place for our students to explore, discuss, challenge and form their own opinions and values. The knowledge and respect of rights that our students have gained from all these past sessions (and more to come) have empowered them to tackle discrimination or inequality and improve their relationships with the society.
By: Corita T. Silapan
Grade 5 Class Teacher and Level Head
BINUS SCHOOL Simprug
In our transdisciplinary theme, “How We Express Ourselves” with the central idea “A variety of signs and symbols facilitates communication,” the grade 3 students learned that communication takes place in many shapes and forms.
Sign language was one of the specialized communication systems that the grade 3 students learned. The students were able to know that sign language is being used by deaf and mute people, and it helps them as well as their teachers to communicate effectively and efficiently. They also learned that sign language is a natural and beautiful language that can be shared in ways that foster understanding and respect, acts as a bridge between two people who speak different languages, and gives them a sense of empowerment because they are being able to communicate which then leads them to being happier. The most important thing that the students realized was learning sign language gives them a chance to empathize and show appreciation to others, particularly the deaf and mute people.
On February 13, 2017, excited voices echoed through the 5th floor foyer. They were the voices of the students from Sekolah Santi Rama, a school in South Jakarta for the deaf and mute. The students smiled from ear to ear and couldn’t contain their excitement when they entered the grade 3 foyer. Upon entering one of the grade 3 classrooms, most of them said “Wow!” and they were pointing at the computers. Their eyes were wide open, wandering around the classroom.
While doing the socialization, BINUS SCHOOL Simprug students found out that some of their visitors have cochlear implants and hearing aids while others can hardly hear at all. They also learned how their teachers manage to accommodate all of their students by alternating between the use of sign language and oral speech when giving instructions.
After the socialization, an activity on teaching sign language followed wherein the BINUS SCHOOL Simprug students learned some words in sign language to the delight of the children from Sekolah Santi Rama. Then, they were divided into groups: two Santi Rama students and three BINUS SCHOOL Simprug students per group. The students introduced themselves to each other. They pointed out where they live and their birthdays. The students also shared their hobbies using sign language. Afterwards, the children from Sekolah Santi Rama performed the song, “Twinkle-Twinkle Little Star” in sign language along with body language and gestures. The students from Sekolah Santi Rama also did a Balinese dance. They danced gracefully as if they were able to hear clearly the rhythm of the music. They also performed a skit about bullying. The students from Sekolah Santi Rami put up amazing performances!
At the end of the visit, students had lunch provided by the grade 3 parents. They were also given gifts consisting of school bags and stationeries. The children accepted the gifts graciously and said they wanted to visit the school again.
When they left, our grade 3 students shared some of the challenges they experienced. “When they shared jokes and laughed, we were not able to understand them,” said Ryan Khullar, one of our grade 3 students. “When they asked us using sign language, we could not understand because their hands move too fast. We were not able to reply back. They might think that we were being rude,” shared Merry, another grade 3 student. “Today’s visit really touched my heart. We are thankful because we can hear,” grade 3 student Caroline Lee remarked.
This interactive visit was an eye opener for our students, who realized that they have the same interests as people with disabilities. The visit also boosted the self-esteem of the children from Sekolah Santi Rama.
By Martha Carolina
Grade 3 Team Teacher
BINUS SCHOOL Simprug
For the grade 5 unit of inquiry on “Where we are in place and time”, students created “Ondel-ondel”, a large puppet that originated from the Betawi ethnic group. The unit of inquiry has the central idea, “exploration of land, sea and space can lead to discoveries, challenges and new understandings.”
Our students designed “Ondel-ondel”, which was introduced by the Betawi tribe, the native inhabitants of Jakarta. It took two units of inquiry for the students to complete the male and female “Ondel-ondel” because creating the puppets involves a paper mâché technique, where students need to cover boxes with two layers of newspaper and kitchen tissue paper. After the students have completed the two layers, they need to cover the boxes with fox glue, let them dry, and then paint the boxes.
The students worked in groups in creating “Ondel-ondel”. Last school year, each group, consisting of four to five students, designed the small version of “Ondel-ondel”. This academic year, however, students created the big type of “Ondel-ondel”.
For the big “Ondel-ondel”, each group consisted of 10 to 11 students. The learning engagement started with students’ research and investigation about the characteristics of female and male “Ondel-ondel”. After doing their research, students shared their findings about “Ondel-ondel”. When all the groups had presented their research, we summarized the characteristics of “Ondel-ondel”. Afterwards, students worked on their “Ondel-ondel” using acrylic paint.
Creating the puppets taught the students to be inquirers and knowledgeable since students had to explore the history and characteristics of male and female “Ondel-ondel”.
Students also learnt how to work together, solve problems within their groups and respect each other. Furthermore, creating the “Ondel-ondel” taught the students to be responsible in finishing their artwork on time and taking care of their art tools, including the need to clean them up before class dismissal.
By: Irma Dwi Savitri
Visual Art Teacher
BINUS SCHOOL Simprug