Mingda School is in Xiji County, Ningxia province and pays attention to rural education in northwest of China, in particular English education. The School provides a relaxing and healthy education environment for the left-behind children living in rural areas.
When worked with school, the teachers and principal said they had tight class timetable and it was not easy to complete teaching tasks in a week.
We did not have much experience working at schools, so we had to hear what they said which seemed reasonable to us. When we thought for the second time, we could not help thinking the reason for such situation. The traditional teaching methods made students learn passively.
As the cooperating school is a primary school and the participants are students from 2 grade-five classes. We did not start our teaching time with traditional methods. We watched them and tried to know what they were interested in, so that we could improve their capacity and grades in an easy way. For some time, we found they learned more from what they were interested in.
With the information, we organized timetable. The picture above is about the story triggered the interesting of the students. They did not prepare paper, so when the instruction was sent, they learned to solve problem in a quick way. The girl named Lingling took out 2 pieces of paper and started to fold a little vegetable basket.
It took a few steps to fold a basket. Apart from its shape, she had to make some decoration. We could see she was doing a nice basket which she did carefully. When I was watching Lingling doing handicraft, I reminded I had watching the children in the city who did their handicrafts with fine materials. The things were nice, but there was something missed which might be spirit or emotions.
It’s better to cooperate in their interested learning atmosphere for children. They were willing to share when they were happy. The picture above shows Lingling was demonstrating on how to make basket to her classmates. The scene was as it in the village of 1980s.
I admire their learning capacity. Handwork made 50% of the class time. Although some of them did not finish their works, they were happy. For the rest of 20 minutes, the children became focus on what I was teaching. The efficiency was out of expectation. I hope they would learn efficiently with our instructions and let them to spend a happy childhood.
Original article written by Fangding Zhang, translated by Maggie Li, edited by Yanyan Zhang
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