Project-Based Learning for Secondary Teachers

After the training workshop in Hanoi for master trainers, we were so worried about our duties that we stayed up late (12:30 PM) to work on the training plan when we were back. As a result, we came up with a very promising plan for secondary teachers. I am in charge of project-based learning module. Although I have been working on many learning projects for 6 years (when I was a student also), I am still nervous about what I am going to work with experienced teachers from different schools. They have just finished the exam for English proficiency. Now, we are going to train them on English teaching methods. From what we have learned at the training workshop for master trainers, we couldn’t adopt the same approach as our coaches did. We were fed up with a bunch of theories on project-based learning. We consisted on creating a new way to facilitate our local teachers. Then we came to an agreement that local teachers should work on a project to have an insight into project-based learning.  We decided to produce a totally new project for teachers and I was supposed to work on the project description. Finally, we’ve got it here:

It was very urgent for me, but I still managed to prepare something for the local teachers to work on. I waked up early in the morning to get my handouts finished, and then I had to go to the photocopy shop shortly. I came to class with a few teachers there. We asked them to move into one room for the orientation. I introduced Ms. Loan to inform the local teachers of the modules and requirements from the training workshop. Then, I presented the project to them in Vietnamese. It seemed to me that they just got a few things because they were worrying about their score reports for B2 level. However, we settled down quickly and I started my lesson. I chit-chatted with them a bit about the exam and some questions to get to break the ice. Next, I asked them to make two lines in the order of their birthday. It was really enjoying when I checked with them in English. But, it was more interesting when they were requested to do morning exercises. In lines, they in turn massaged one another, that is, the person behind would help the person in the front with their hands, then they turned back to do the same.

After the morning exercises, I divided them into 3 groups by numbering at random. They continued to work on a handout I gave them.

The participants were going to brainstorm and to write down any words or phrases coming up to their mind with “project”. They then shared with a partner and I facilitated them using blackboard. After they discussed their ideas, I showed the definitions from Longman & Cambridge Dictionary to them. (See slides below)

I also integrated Dictogloss into this module. I asked them to listen and take notes while I was reading a paragraph at normal speed to them. (see slide: Projects require a goal where students must search for a method). They couldn’t get the whole paragraph, but they could make a list of key features of projects in learning. Finally, I showed them the definition on the screen and explained to them.

And here is the powerpoint slides I used to work with them for session 1:

To prepare for team work activities, I asked them to draw their team. Given a A0 paper, the participants would draw anything to present their team to the class. They were very creative!! I related to secondary school situations where local teachers have to deal with disruptive and rebellious students, but group formation may work for them before students embarked on any projects or tasks together. (See their photos here)

And a few photos from the training session:

After the break, we played “music chair” to refresh for a new session. With a lot of laughter, they came to a settling activity, that is, writing their favorite teaching techniques to stick on the poster to share with the class. Watch a video here

Gallery walk was introduced to them, and they were clear about what they were going to do for their own project: plan a teaching exhibition on 28 July.

Google search was presented to them on the purpose of helping them for better search.

Finally, the participants worked in groups to discuss their plan and project implementation. I just went around to facilitate them. One thing they liked most is that I always played music while they were working on a settling activities. It helped them relax and focus!!!

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