Monday, November 2, 2009


Saya adalah salah seorang yang "agak malas" menulis. Menulis yang saya maksud di sini adalah menggunakan tangan saya untuk menulis dengan benar, rapi dan yang paling menyebalkan adalah jika saya diminta untuk menulis dengan panjang (menulis cerita misalnya).

Apakah menulis menggunakan tangan (handwriting) itu penting?

berikut adalah informasi yang sangat berguna dari Louise Spear-Swerling tentan pentingnya "pelajaran menulis" diajarkan khususnya di Sekolah Dasar.

After a long period of neglect in education, attention to teaching handwriting in the primary grades may finally be returning. This attention can benefit many youngsters, including those with learning disabilities (LDs) involving handwriting, which may accompany reading disabilities, writing disabilities, nonverbal learning disabilities, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Although word-processing programs and assistive technology are undeniably boons to children with writing problems, technological advances do not eliminate the need for explicit teaching of handwriting. Furthermore, very modest amounts of instructional time in the earliest grades – kindergarten and grade one – may help to prevent later writing difficulties for many children.
Why handwriting is important

Contrary to the view that handwriting is a trivial skill, handwriting actually is important for a number of reasons.

One involves the concept of mental resources to which I have alluded in several other columns, in relation to reading and mathematics as well as writing. Just as effortful word decoding may impair reading comprehension, or lack of automatic recall may reduce the mental resources available for learning advanced computational algorithms in math, labored handwriting creates a drain on mental resources needed for higher-level aspects of writing, such as attention to content, elaboration of details, and organization of ideas.

Because handwriting is a basic tool used in many subjects – taking notes, taking tests, and doing classroom work and homework for almost every content area as well as in language arts classes – poor handwriting can have a pervasive effect on school performance.

Moreover, when handwriting is perceived as arduous and time-consuming, motivation to write may be greatly reduced, leading to a lack of practice that may further compound difficulties with writing.

Finally, handwriting in the earliest grades is linked to basic reading and spelling achievement; for example, when children learn how to form the letter m, they can also be learning its sound. Attention to the linkages among handwriting, reading, and spelling skills can help to reinforce early achievement across these areas.
Manuscript or cursive?

At one time, manuscript (print) writing was typically taught in first grade, whereas cursive was introduced later, usually in third grade. Historically, some authorities argued for the superiority of one form over the other for children with LDs, most often for the superiority of cursive over manuscript.

However, there is little evidence that cursive is easier to learn than manuscript, and there are clear advantages to having children focus on the form of writing similar to what they must read in print.

Most critically, children should be able to use at least one form to produce legible, reasonably effortless writing, and instruction should focus on the form that appears most likely to lead to that outcome, especially for older children with handwriting difficulties.
Assessment of handwriting skills

Assessment of handwriting should incorporate observations of execution, legibility, and speed of writing.

Execution includes correct and consistent pencil hold, posture, and letter formation. Counterproductive habits in these latter areas are not always obvious from looking only at writing samples and can greatly impede progress in handwriting. For instance, young children may "draw" a letter such as m using separate strokes, starting on the right side of the letter. Forming the letter beginning on the left side, without lifting the pencil from the paper, is much more conducive to building eventual speed of writing.

Legibility involves the readability of letters, as well as spacing within and between words.

Speed is important as children advance beyond the first few grades so that they can use writing efficiently in a variety of tasks.

If children have learned both manuscript and cursive, as is often the case with older youngsters, then assessment should consider the execution, legibility, and speed of both forms of writing.
Instruction in handwriting

Relatively modest investments of instructional time devoted to handwriting – perhaps the equivalent of ten or fifteen minutes daily – may pay off in preventing later writing problems, including difficulties with higher-level composition skills.

The early years of schooling are especially critical for handwriting instruction; once children have formed counterproductive habits in handwriting, such as poor pencil hold or inefficient letter formation, those habits can be difficult to change.

Even for young children, however, handwriting instruction should occur in the context of a broader program of written expression in which children learn many other writing skills and develop motivation to write.

Of course, children also should have access to word-processing programs and assistive technology, with appropriate accommodations as needed for individual students.

Here are a few specific suggestions for teaching handwriting:

* Teach children consistent formation of letters using a continuous stroke if possible.

Children should learn a highly consistent way to form a given letter every time they write it. Although some letters, such as f and t, require lifting the pencil from the paper to make a second stroke, teach letter formation using a continuous stroke (without lifting the pencil from the paper) when possible.

For example, teach children to write the letter b by starting at the top with a vertical stroke, then making the loop to the right without lifting the pencil, rather than having children form the vertical line and the loop in separate strokes.
* Focus initially on learning the motor pattern rather than perfect legibility or size.

When children are learning to form a new letter, it is helpful to begin with large movements such as forming the letter in the air; have children use a sweeping movement with the entire arm, not just the hand. This initial practice should emphasize learning the motor pattern with correct formation of the letter (e.g., as discussed for the letter b above) rather than writing the letter on paper with perfect legibility or size.
* Teach similarly formed letters together, and use an instructional sequence that takes into account both ease of formation and frequency in words.

For instance, the manuscript letters c, a, and d all begin with the same loop and can be taught in one group; i should be taught before y because it is simpler to form and is needed more frequently to write words.
* Separate reversible letters such as b and d.

Children appear less likely to confuse visually similar letters if they have learned one letter of a confusable pair well prior to introduction of the other letter of the pair. In addition, it can be helpful to teach children to form confusable letters differently; for example, b starts at the top whereas d starts with the loop.
* Use written arrow cues to help children remember how to form letters.

Especially when the teacher is working with large groups of youngsters, monitoring each child while he or she is writing may be difficult. Written arrow cues for tracing dotted letters and copying letters are important so that children do not inadvertently practice incorrect letter formation repeatedly.
* For children at beginning stages of reading and spelling, integrate handwriting instruction with instruction in letter sounds.

For instance, while children are practicing writing a given letter, they can also be saying the sound the letter makes.
* In teaching cursive, explicitly teach connections between letters as well as formation of single letters.

Unlike manuscript writing, cursive writing involves making connections between letters within a word. Once children can form individual letters, explicit teaching of letter connections is important.

Connections involving four letters – cursive b, o, v, and w – followed by a subsequent letter (e.g., as in the words bed, on, have, will) are often especially confusing for children, because unlike most cursive connections, these do not involve going back down to the bottom line before writing the subsequent letter.
* Aim for speed as well as legibility.

Whether children are learning manuscript or cursive, speed should not be emphasized until children can form letters legibly and from memory. With either form, however, children must eventually develop enough speed to use writing efficiently in tasks such as note-taking or test-taking.

It also is useful to distinguish different standards for legibility depending on the purpose for writing; for example, in taking notes, "messy" handwriting is entirely acceptable as long as children can easily read their own writing.

Examples of sources
Peer-reviewed journal articles

Berninger, V., & Graham, S. (1998). Language by hand: A synthesis of a decade of research on handwriting. Handwriting Review, 12, 11-25.

Connelly, V., Dockrell, J., & Barnett, J. (2005). The slow handwriting of undergraduate students constrains overall performance in exam essays. Educational Psychology, 25, 99-107.

Edwards, L. (2003). Writing instruction in kindergarten: Examining an emerging area of research for children with writing and reading difficulties. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 36, 136.

Graham, S., Harris, K. R., & Fink, B. (2000). Is handwriting causally related to learning to write? Treatment of handwriting problems in beginning writers. Journal of Educational Psychology, 92, 620-633.

Graham, S., Struck, M., Richardson, J.,& Berninger, V. (2006). Dimensions of good and poor handwriting legibility in first and second graders. Developmental Neuropsychology, 29, 43-60.

Graham, S., Weinstein, N., & Berninger, V. (2001). Which manuscript letters do primary grade children write legibly? Journal of Educational Psychology, 93, 488-497.
Other helpful sources

Berninger, V. (2004). Understanding the graphia in dysgraphia. In D. Dewey & D. Tupper (Eds.), Developmental motor disorders: A neuropsychological perspective (pp. 328-350). New York: Guilford.

Berninger, V. W., & Amtmann, D. (2003). Preventing written expression disabilities through early and continuing assessment and intervention for handwriting and/or spelling problems: Research into practice. In H. L. Swanson, K. R. Harris, & S. Graham (Eds.), Handbook of Learning Disabilities (pp. 345-363). New York: Guilford.

Troia, G.A. (2006). Writing instruction for students with learning disabilities. In C.A. MacArthur, S. Graham, & J. Fitzgerald (Eds.), Handbook of writing research. New York: Guilford.

Salah satu strategi yang dilakukan penulis agar siswa/i merasa lebih nyaman dan tidak mudah mengeluh karena merasa "capek" saat menulis adalah melakukan "senam tangan" sebelum menulis. Beberapa contoh senam tangan yang dilakukan penulis untuk siswa/i kelas 2A GJIS adalah melenturkan otot-otot tangan menggunakan "counters" dan juga melakukan gerakan menempelkan jempol ke telunjuk, jempol ke jari tengah, dst. Bisa dimodifikasi dengan "speed" yang berbeda-beda dan juga dengan menutup mata. Strategi yang lain adalah siswa dapat bermain dengan "clay". Komentar positip datang dari siswa/i salah satu efek yang mereka rasakan dari "senam tangan" ini adalah mereka merasa lebih enak/lentur tangannya saat menulis.

Semoga bermanfaat...

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

What Is a "Differentiated" Classroom?

Baru saja membaca informasi menarik tentang Differentiated Classroom, hem....sangat menantang untuk dipraktekkan di kelas. Artikel ini saya dapat dari Semoga bermanfaat bagi kita semua :D

Making It Meaningful

* Mrs. Wiggins assigns students to spelling lists based on a pretest, not the assumption that all 3rd graders should work on List Three.
* Mr. Owen matches homework to student need whenever possible, trying to ensure that practice is meaningful for everyone.
* Ms. Jernigan only occasionally teaches math to the whole class at once. More often, she uses a series of direct instruction, practice, and application groups. She works hard to give everyone "equal time" at an appropriate entry point of instruction, matching practice work to student need. She also regroups students for real-world math applications so they hear a variety of voices in their journey to think mathematically.
* Ms. Enrico offers students a variety of options when it's time to create the final product for a unit. She bases the options on students' interests so they have the chance to link what they've learned with something that matters to them as individuals.

All of these teachers are differentiating instruction. Perhaps they practiced differentiating instruction before it had a name, or without even knowing its name. They are teachers who strive to do whatever it takes to ensure that struggling and advanced learners, students with varied cultural heritages, and children with different background experiences all grow as much as they possibly can each day, each week, and throughout the year.

Hallmarks of Differentiated Classrooms
In differentiated classrooms, teachers begin where students are, not the front of a curriculum guide. They accept and build upon the premise that learners differ in important ways. Thus, they also accept and act on the premise that teachers must be ready to engage students in instruction through different learning modalities, by appealing to differing interests, and by using varied rates of instruction along with varied degrees of complexity. In differentiated classrooms, teachers ensure that a student competes against himself as he grows and develops more than he competes against other students.

In differentiated classrooms, teachers provide specific ways for each individual to learn as deeply as possible and as quickly as possible, without assuming one student's road map for learning is identical to anyone else's. These teachers believe that students should be held to high standards. They work diligently to ensure that struggling, advanced, and in-between students think and work harder than they meant to; achieve more than they thought they could; and come to believe that learning involves effort, risk, and personal triumph. These teachers also work to ensure that each student consistently experiences the reality that success is likely to follow hard work.

Teachers in differentiated classes use time flexibly, call upon a range of instructional strategies, and become partners with their students to see that both what is learned and the learning environment are shaped to the learner. They do not force-fit learners into a standard mold. You might say these teachers are students of their students. They are diagnosticians, prescribing the best possible instruction for their students. These teachers also are artists who use the tools of their craft to address students' needs. They do not reach for standardized, mass-produced instruction assumed to be a good fit for all students because they recognize that students are individuals.}]

Embracing the Individual

Teachers in differentiated classrooms begin with a clear and solid sense of what constitutes powerful curriculum and engaging instruction. Then they ask what it will take to modify that instruction so that each learner comes away with understandings and skills that offer guidance to the next phase of learning. Essentially, teachers in differentiated classrooms accept, embrace, and plan for the fact that learners bring many commonalities to school, but that learners also bring the essential differences that make them individuals. Teachers can allow for this reality in many ways to make classrooms a good fit for each individual...Differentiated classrooms feel right to students who learn in different ways and at different rates and who bring to school different talents and interests. MMore significantly, such classrooms work better for a full range of students than do one-size-fits-all settings. Teachers in differentiated classrooms are more in touch with their students and approach teaching more as an art than as a mechanical exercise.

Excerpted from The Differentiated Classroom: Responding to the Needs of All Learners by Carol Ann Tomlinson. Copyright 1999 by the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. All rights reserved.

Carol Ann Tomlinson is associate professor of educational leadership, foundations and policy at The Curry School of Education, University of Virginia.

Concept (Reflection)

One of the concepts that were thought in GJIS is REFLECTION.. We are expecting students
to be aware about many aspect of their learning experiences.

Here are some information about "reflection concept from the Making PYP Happen book.

Key question
How do we know?

The understanding that there are different ways of knowing, and that it
is important to reflect on our conclusions, to consider our methods of
reasoning, and the quality and the reliability of the evidence we have

This concept was selected for a series of interrelated reasons. It challenges
the students to examine their evidence, methods and conclusions. In doing
so, it extends their thinking into the higher order of metacognition, begins
to acquaint them with what it means to know in different disciplines, and
encourages them to be rigorous in examining evidence for potential bias or
other inaccuracy.

Examples of related concepts
Review, interpretation, evidence, responsibility, behaviour.

Few weeks ago as a reflection of our field trip to Fatahillah and Wayang Museums, Year 2 students reflect their learning experienced using 6 thinking hats.

The hats are:
RED HAT (Feelings)

How do I feel about this?

What do I like about the idea?

What don’t I like about this?

WHITE HAT (Information)

What information do I have?

What are the facts?

What information do I need?

What do I want to KNOW?

YELLOW HAT (Benefits)

What are the good points?

Why can this be done?

Why is this a good thing

BLACK HAT (Judgement)

What is wrong with this?

Will this work?

Is it safe?

Can it be done?

GREEN HAT (Creativity)

What new ideas are possible?

What is my suggestion?

Can I create something new?

BLUE HAT (Thinking about thinking)

What thinking is needed?

Where are we now?

What is the next step?

Here are samples of Year 2 students reflection using the 6 thinking hats

Monday, October 26, 2009

School Hours

Jam Belajar...
Saat ini penulis sedang mengalami kebingungan yang amat sangat tentang jam belajar paling efektif untuk anak usia 6-8 tahun. Saat ini di GJIS siswa/i kelas 1-2 SD masuk pukul 07.30 dan pulang ke rumah pukul 13.30 lalu siswa/i kelas 3-6 masuk pukul 07.30 dan pulang ke rumah pukul 15.45.

Karena satu hal (yaitu adanya "keberatan" dari "prospective parents" khususnya yang meiliki anak lebih dari 1 di level yang berbeda) akan ada "trial" tentang jam pelajaran kelas 1-2 yang akan diperpanjang sama seperti kelas 3-6. Apakah hal ini cukup bijaksana untuk dilakukan? Melihat bagaimana siswa dan guru sama-sama berusaha keras agar proses belajar dan mengajar berjalan dengan baik dan efektif.

Karena pengetahuan saya yang terbatas mengenai hal ini semoga pembaca sekalian dapat memberi masukan/pendapat tentang "berapa lama sih waktu efektif seorang siswa berusia 6-8 tahun belajar di sekolah?"

Oh iya sebagai seorang anak mereka tentu saja juga membutuhkan waktu untuk relaxasi, yaitu menjadi seimbang antara kehidupan belajar formal di sekolah dan belajar non formal di luar sekolah.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Top 100 Web Tools for Educators 2009

I knew this information from russeltarr

it is very useful for us educators to learn and try these web tools to be use in our classroom

as always "life long learner"

enjoy :)

Communication Skills

Salah satu "skills" yang diharapkan dimiliki oleh siswa/i GJIS adalah ketrampilan siswa dalam berkomunikasi.

Keterampilan berkomunikasi ini mencakup:

  • mendengarkan (mendengarkan instruksi, mendengarkan orang lain, dan mendengarkan informasi)
  • berbicara (berbicara dengan jelas, memberikan laporan secara lisan, mengekspresikan ide dengan jelas dan logis, mengeluarkan pendapat)
  • membaca (membaca berbagai sumber untuk informasi dan hiburan, memahami apa yang dibaca, menggambarkan kesimpulan)
  • menulis (mencatat informasi dan pengamatan, menulis laporan, menulis jurnal)
  • melihat (menginterpretasi dan menganalisa multimedia)
  • presentasi (mengkomunikasikan informasi dan ide menggunakan berbagai jenis media visual)
  • komunikasi non verbal (mengenali dan mampu membuat simbol dan dapat menginterpretasikan simbol tersebut)

Berikut adalah contoh kemampuan berbicara salah seorang siswa kelas 2 SD di GJIS.

Student's Action

Sebagai seorang pendidik, saya peribadi sangat bangga saat ada siswa/i saya yang mampu mengaplikasikan/mengembangkan ilmu yang ia dapat di sekolah. Pagi ini terasa lebih spesial karena salah seorang siswa kelas 2A GJIS yaitu Andersen Wisnawa dengan bangga menunjukkan film singkat yang dia buat bersama kakaknya di rumah.

Andersen terinspirasi membuat film ini karena 2 minggu yang lalu kami "field trip" ke Museum Wayang (berkenaan dengan unit yang sedang kami pelajari sekarang yaitu Artifak) dan ia merasa kagum akan keindahan dan keanekaragaman wayang Indonesia. Selain Andersen ada juga siswa Mario A. dan Mario D. yang melakukan aksi dengan cara membuat wayang sederhana dan mencari tahu di internet 2 jenis wayang yang ia sukai yaitu Gatotkaca danNakula. Semoga semakin banyak siswa/i yang dapat melakukan AKSI sebagai respon atas pengalaman belajar yang ia miliki.

Selamat menikmati film singkat karya Andersen berikut ini :D (wah ternyata videonya terlalu besar, harus di resize dulu. Video menyusul yah :)

Thank you for sharing Mario A. + Mario D. + Andersen...

We are very proud of you :D

Mario A.
Mario A.
Mario D.
Mario D.


Selamat datang!
Akhirnya saya memutuskan untuk memindahkan blog pengalaman belajar mengajar saya ke :D
Semoga tulisan-tulisan ini dapat memberikan manfaat bagi kita semua yang membacanya....

Maju terus dunia pendidikan....

Salam hangat

Purviantyka Limbong