Week 1 in Shanghai
It has been so busy here that I have only just found the time to update the blog!
We have now finished our week in our first school. We observed more Maths lessons and took part in more teacher research groups. On Wednesday, Debbie Morgan and Charlie Strip visited our school and we all watched a lesson in a teaching observation theatre – a large room with rows of seats for observers & a stage area where the lesson takes place. The lesson demonstrated how the children in Shanghai schools are moved from the horizontal to vertical procedure for multiplication. After the lesson, every teacher in the Maths department met with us to further analyse the lesson.
As respected visitors, we were treated to a Chinese tea ceremony in the afternoon & given a lesson on calligraphy. We also visited music lessons around the school – whole classes of 50 children learning the same instrument together. It was quite something to see!
On Thursday we watched our Chinese partner teacher deliver an excellent lesson on using the laws of multiplication to ensure calculations are efficient and accurate. The Grade 5 class (Year 6 age in England) whizzed through showing incredible skills in applying their secure number facts fluently. They enjoyed the lesson and so did we!
Friday was a treat – after a morning in school, our Chinese teacher kindly took us to a water village with her husband and son. It was beautiful & a chance to get to know Miss Dai more before her visit to Tubbenden in January.
I was fortunate to spend Friday evening catching up with a friend who has moved here to teach in an international school for 2 years, and on Saturday we visited the extensive markets in Shanghai – my bartering skills are now finely tuned!
Today we had a workshop until the afternoon. I will admit it was difficult to remain focused on a Sunday morning! However, the discussions with other teachers & presentations from Chinese teachers were invaluable in deepening my own thinking about Maths teaching even further. This afternoon was spent visiting the Shanghai tower & having afternoon tea with Lynn, our second Chinese partner teacher. We will be visiting her school all of next week & teaching our lesson (with at least 10 Chinese teachers observing!) to grade 4 there on Wednesday.
All in all, it as been an incredibly interesting first week and a brilliant opportunity to build international links with Chinese teachers and schools in order to learn from each other.