All about circles!
What another fantastic day in Shanghai!
Today was our second day Shanghai Yangjing-Juyuan Experimetnal School observing the wonderful teachers and pupils as they teach and learn. The children around the school are always very welcoming and their English is exceptional. They told me they have a lesson to learn how to speak English every day and they think that our visit to their school is an excellent opportunity to speak to us.
We observed and took part in the discussions of two lessons today. One of the lessons was how to use a compass to draw a circle and what the term ‘radius’ is and means.
Miss Li began by asking the children what a circle was. They used different ‘life language’ such as smooth and round. She then provided compasses and using small steps explained how to use it before giving the pupils the opportunity to draw circles independently.
After drawing the circles using compasses, the pupils were asked to consider how they would draw a circle on the playground. They were given time to discuss their ideas with their talk partners before sharing their thoughts with the whole class. To address any misconceptions of drawing a circle without the use of a compass the teacher explained that they could use rope. She then played short video of a teacher actually drawing a circle using rope in the playground in a real life scenario. She then demonstrated on the chalkboard board using string. Although the circle on the chalkboard looked very accurate, the Miss Li was not happy with it as it had a very slight bump in it so she drew it again and asked the pupils to discuss what was wrong with it. By modelling and identifying inaccuracies, she was able to fine-tune the importance of mastering the technique. It was very interesting and reiterates how important it is to teach in a way that pupils take small steps but are able to deepen their understanding securing their learning.
Once the children mastered using a compass to draw an accurate circle, the teacher then introduced the concept of the radius showing them how to measure it and the idea that there can be an infinite number of radii within a circle. It was fascinating as she linked their mathematical understanding of the concept to science and engineering as she explained why wheels of vehicles are circular and how the radius is important to ensure a smooth ride!
After the lesson we were invited by Miss Li to take a walk along the river which runs through the centre of the city. Miss Li explained that it is important that teachers and children take some time during the day away from the classroom. It was very picturesque as it was lined with many different types of buildings old and new – they are very lucky to have such local beauty to take a stroll during lunch!
This evening we ventured out of the hotel to a local market, it was very interesting with some unusual delciacies including chicken feet! Would you try this at home girls and boys? The market was busy and lined with lots of souviners from minituare pandas to beautiful tea sets. The people in Shanghai are very friendly and really enjoy telling us about their vibrant city.
I can’t wait to tell you more tomorrow.
Have a wonderful day.