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Teaching for the “A-ha!” moment

05 Sep 2014

Teaching for the “A-ha!” moment_1

Mdm Linda Lim, who enjoys using innovative teaching methods, is one of the five recipients of the President’s Award for Teachers 2014.

One of five recipients of the President’s Award for Teachers this year, Mdm Linda Lim, shares how learning can be fun and engaging. The award recognises caring and nurturing teachers dedicated to the holistic development of students.


Teaching for the “A-ha!” moment_3Walking into the classroom of Mdm Linda Lim at Chongzheng Primary School, it would not be surprising to see students playing with toys or fiddling with objects and devices. But there’s more to it than meets the eye. In exploring everyday objects, students in Mdm Lim’s class are encouraged to ask questions to understand the science concepts involved.

On one occasion, a wound-up toy mouse scuttled across the table, to the delight of primary six students, triggering a lesson on the topic of energy conversion. Students were asked to think: How was the toy mouse able to move? Why did it finally stop moving?

When they figured it out, eyes lit up and that was the priceless “a-ha!” moment for them.

Using such simple but fun methods, Mdm Lim catches the attention of her students, and helps them to relate what they learn to real life.

During a lesson on solar energy, students created their own solar cookers and found much satisfaction in seeing sausages sizzling and marshmallows melting on their devices. The proof of the concept was in the cooked food!

“Students are generally curious and they learn best when they experience or witness things first-hand for themselves,” said Mdm Lim, Head of Department (Science and Action Research).

Beyond the classroom, Mdm Lim also helped to set up hands-on learning stations around the school, such as the Solar eHaven. There, students can ride on a stationary bicycle and observe how energy in the food they ate is converted to power up a fan.

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Mdm Lim believes that learning should be fun, but she also sees the need to convince parents to take on the same approach. During a workshop for parents in her school, Mdm Lim demonstrated how learning can be integrated with play.

For example, she folded a paper aeroplane and explained how aerodynamics would affect the plane’s flight distance. Soon, a friendly competition ensued, with parents trying to make their paper aeroplane fly the farthest.

 

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Read the
other inspiring stories of winners and finalists of the President Award for Teachers.