Elementary School Science and High School Physics Groups Pilot Grade 5 Learning Materials

The Elementary School Science (ESS) and the High School Physics Groups (HSP) conducted pilot tests of Grade 5 learner’s materials (LMs) aligned with the Enhanced K to 12 Science Curriculum. For the ESS Group, a total of three learning modules were tried out at the Old Balara Elementary School (OBES) on 9-14 December 2015, 21-22 January 2016, and 25-29 January 2016. The modules focus on Grade 5 topics: Motion (a new addition to the K to 12 curriculum), Changes in the Weather, and Physical and Chemical Changes. The HSP Group, on the other hand, pilot-tested one module on Electric Circuits at OBES on 25-29 January 2016.

Grade 5 pupils examining the circuit in a flashlight.

The learner’s material on Motion is an introduction to the physical quantities associated with moving objects such as time and distance, and how the distance travelled over a period of time is measured. Experiments included in the module are intended to provide opportunities for the pupils to investigate the effect of variables, such as size of the wheel, weights of moving objects, and height of the ramp, on the motion of the object.

After conducting an investigation, pupils record their data.

In the module Changes in the Weather, pupils will learn how to observe the changes that happen before, during, and after a typhoon. The pupils will then correlate their observations with information from the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration regarding typhoon signals and the necessary precautions. The material on Physical and Chemical Changes focuses on pupils’ observation skills on the different changes that take place around them, and how physical and chemical changes differ from one another.

The module on Electric Circuits involves pupils in constructing different connections using a dry cell, electrical wires, and a flashlight bulb, differentiating series and parallel connections, and investigating which materials allow electricity to flow through.

Insights gained during the tryout will be taken into consideration in the revision of the learner’s materials and in the development of the teacher’s guides. The next phase of the tryout is the pilot testing of the teacher’s guides where teachers of OBES themselves will be using the learning modules to teach the lesson.

Curriculum Materials Development Project: Teaching and Learning Ratio and Proportion in Elementary School Mathematics

The Elementary School Mathematics (ESM) Group is revising teaching and learning materials on Ratio and Proportion aligned with the Enhanced K to 12 Elementary School Mathematics Curriculum. Ratio and Proportion, which is under the Numbers and Number Sense strand, is taught in Grades 5 and 6.

A total of six lessons were developed in this package. Of the six lessons, two are on Ratio and four are on Proportion. For Ratio, the lessons are Concept of Ratio and Part-to-Part, Part-to-Whole, and Equivalent Ratios. These lessons were revised versions of those in the sourcebooks developed by the ESM Group, which had been tried out in schools and used in teacher training programs. These revised versions were tried out in Commonwealth Elementary School (CES) in October and November 2016. Prior to the tryout of the said lessons, the ESM Group had a series of meetings with the teachers of CES.

In the case of Proportion, the lessons are Concept of Proportion, Direct Proportion, Inverse Proportion, and Partitive Proportion. These lessons were based on the courseware developed by UP NISMED in collaboration with DOST-SEI and DOST-ASTI which had been tried out in schools and used in teacher training programs. However, these were not tried out in CES due to various school activities that resulted in suspension of classes.

The teacher facilitates a group activity during the tryout of a lesson in Ratio.

Revisions of the lessons were done based on the information gathered during classroom observations or teacher training programs, as well as interviews conducted with the teachers.

Rational Functions Project: Grade 11 Mathematics Curriculum Materials Development

The High School Mathematics (HSM) Group has been developing curriculum materials in Grade 11 Mathematics, particularly on rational functions. There are 6 teaching guides and 6 learning materials (covering lessons 1 to 6) in this curriculum package which will serve as prototype resource for teaching the different families of function in the Grades 8-11 mathematics curriculum.

The first try-out of the materials was done by the staff of the HSM Group by teaching in a class of Grade 10 in 2015 in Rizal High School. The second was in May 2016, in the National Capital Region mass training of Senior High School teachers on the academic track, where the teachers used the materials in their demonstration teaching as part of the workshop output. The materials were then revised after these try-outs.

The revised materials were pilot-tested by six Grade 11 teachers of Rizal High School in August 2016. This involved 12 Grade 11 sections of different tracks and strands (STEM, ABM, HUMSS, ICT, HE, IA, and Sports). However, due to intervening events in school (such as the teachers’ preparation for their departmental midterm examination and weather disturbances) that resulted in suspension of classes, only half of the materials were implemented. Further revisions on the materials are being done by the HSM Group based on whatever information was gathered during their class observations and interviews of teachers and students.

A student explains how the table of values for the functions g and h
can be obtained from that of function f.

Along with the said pilot-testing of the materials, the HSM Group also pilot-tested research instruments related to investigating the teachers’ use of prepared teaching materials and what they can learn from them. These instruments are currently being revised.

UP NISMED Participates in a Cross-Border Education Cooperation between the Philippines and Malaysia

Dr. Soledad A. Ulep, Director of UP NISMED, and Dr. Aida I. Yap, Chair of the Elementary School Mathematics Group, participated in the APEC-KKU 2016 International Symposium and the 9th International Conference on Educational Research (ICER) held at KhonKaen University, Thailand on 12-15 November 2016. The theme of the APEC-KKU 2016 Symposium was Innovation of Mathematics Education through Lesson Study Challenges to Energy Efficiency on STEM and Cross-border Education while that of the 9th ICER was Challenging Education for Future Change.

In the APEC-KKU 2016 Symposium, Dr. Ulep and Dr. Yap, together with Dr. Haji Mohd Johan Bin Zakaria, Director of SEAMEO RECSAM in Malaysia, presented the results of the cross-border education cooperation that they conducted in relation to the APEC Lesson Study Project which started in 2006. The Philippines and Malaysia undertook a cross-border education cooperation involving one mathematics class from each country through videoconferencing. The videoconferencing was held at the UP NISMED auditorium on 29 September 2016. The UP NISMED Audiovisual Group and the UP Diliman Interactive Learning Center provided the technical support.

The teachers of these classes implemented a common lesson in which each of them had a particular role to carry out. The two classes took turns in asking questions and in answering questions. The video conference provided an opportunity for students to communicate and exchange ideas regarding energy conservation and energy efficiency. They compared the cost of electric consumption shown on the electric bill of a sample typical household from each country. The two classes acquired a better understanding and appreciation of the underlying reasons for the similarities and differences relative to energy use as well as the importance of energy conservation and energy efficiency.

Students from the UP Integrated School and Penang Free School interact with
each other through videoconferencing during the implementation of a lesson.

The Philippine team was composed of Ms. Lady Angela M. Rocena of the University of the Philippines Integrated School (UPIS) who implemented the lesson to UPIS Grade 5 students, Mr. Guillermo P. Bautista, Jr. of the UP NISMED High School Mathematics Group, Dr. Ulep, and Dr. Yap. On the part of Malaysia, the team was composed of Ms. Teoh Bee Yan of the Penang Free School (PFS) who implemented the lesson to PFS Grade 7 students, Mr. Pedro l. Montecillo, Jr., Mr. JulitoAligain, and Dr. Nur Jahan Ahmad, all of whom are from SEAMEO-RECSAM.

UP NISMED Publications for 2016

Lesson Study Guidebook

The Lesson Study Guidebook explains to teachers how to conduct lesson study, a teacher-led, school-based continuing professional development model that originated in Japan. It has been in practice in Japan since the 1800s and is often cited as the reason why Japanese schoolchildren rank high in international assessments.

In doing lesson study, teachers will be able to conduct action research while collaboratively developing and implementing their lessons, discovering how students think and learn, what will work most effectively with students, and in the process, grow professionally themselves. The Lesson Study Guidebook is based on publications of experts as well as UP NISMED’s experience of more than a decade in doing lesson study.

NISMED: A Journey of Commitment and Service

Written to commemorate UP NISMED’s 50th anniversary, the coffe table book is a five-chapter narrative that recounts how UP NISMED started as a project under the leadership of Dr. Dolores F. Hernandez, the founding Director of the Institute. It also documents UP NISMED’s contribution to the development of science and mathematics education in the country the past 50 years. To quote Dr. Ester B. Ogena’s foreword from the book, “This book is actually a map of UP NISMED’s journey. The purpose of the map is not to look back and see where it all started, but to be able to see a picture of an institution in focused and consistent action. This is a synergistic product of a team of people, without whom this never would have come about.”

Science and Mathematics Stories

UP NISMED relaunched four titles of science and mathematics stories in a single title format to make it more accessible to students and teachers. These stories integrate science or mathematics concepts in a Philippine cultural context. Each of the stories has English and Filipino versions. UP NISMED embarked on this project to generate greater interest in science and mathematics among children.