28 October 2016…… it was both an exciting and challenging day.
Throughout the course of two week we had to design workshops for YR 7 and 12 to show case ATL skills (approaches to learning) which are thinking, communication, social, self-management and research skills to both year 7 and 12. I was paired with Shawn Tjahaja to plan and design 2 workshops for year 7 which was thinking skills (‘thinking outside the box’) and year 12 which was communication skills (‘connecting the puzzle pieces of communication’), each workshop would last for 45 minutes.
For 2 weeks, we undertook the challenge to create appropriate activities for 2 different type of audience, developing new skills to engage with the audience in way that a teacher would have teach a student in a fun and engaging way. We planned and initiate workshops for the year 7 and 12 to teach them how to improve their communication and thinking skills, and also designed activities to help incorporate these skills into their everyday life. I demonstrated my collaborative skills with my partner to create these workshops and also with the audience in order to make these workshops a successful one.
During the first session, which was communication skills for year 12. Shawn and I had to quickly set up the room and began out workshop, but as we were about to start our presentation the computer couldn’t connect to the internet, we were unable to show our presentation using the projector. With our quick action and thinking skills we were able to show our presentation using a laptop where we told everyone to huddle around the laptop so they were able to see the presentation.
The activities we planned all in all went according to plan but during our last game of minefield we had to improvise on what to do since the game ended quickly and with quick thinking we improvised another game where we asked the students to play another game of minefield but instead of avoiding the minefield, they had to collect materials from the minefield and create a structure that could hold a chocolate bar.
From this workshop I learnt that I should have planned more efficiently (have backup plans ready if something fails or an activity is done early), maybe come up with a more interesting presentation (more engaging by asking questions to the audience, adding relatable experiences and examples), check on the equipment available on the appointed classroom, I would bring enough materials for the activity that I prepared, to create ice breakers to start the workshop to make it more fun and engaging .
The second workshop we had to do was thinking skills for the year 7 which was the last session of the day, it was relieving that there were no issues that occurred in this workshop. During the preparations, we had to create a more easier presentation for the year 7 which are more engaging and fun to listen too, the activities we planned are also more active but also appropriate to our theme which was thinking skills. As we finished setting up, we started the workshop with out presentation which was simple and easily understood for year 7s, we ended this presentation with a video to summarize the presentation.
Second activity we planned was to build the tallest tower out of paper and tape, both teams were very engaged with this game. One member of one team named Aro decided to build a tower without any tape, which was a success for him where he and his team were able to build the tallest tower. The base of his tower was just made out of folded paper. When the time finished, the year 7 students seemed to have a lot of fun during this workshop, for being good workshop attendees we decided to award them chocolate bars to share. This game was a highlight of this workshop for me as it showed me how creative the year 7s were how they were able to think of ideas within 10 minutes and able to create that idea into a real life model.
From the second workshop I realized that the year 7s were a totally different audience from the year 12, where were had to adjust the way we communicated our information, the words we used needed to be easier to be understood and activities that we have planned had to be a more hands on activity.
All in all this workshops was a huge success where I was able to learn how hard it is for teachers to teach their students, how to engage with the students appropriately, and the good planning needed to create a successful workshop. I learnt that I should be more confident when speaking infront of a crowd, as during the workshop I realized that the way I spoke was awkward and that I stuttered a lot. I need to improve not only my public speaking skills but also my confidence. When creating a workshop, the plans (activities and presentations) we create should be appropriate to the audience, so they can understand easily and also enjoy it. I was kinda anxious during the first workshop since I’m new in BSJ I don’t really know the standards they are expecting us to achieve, with the help of my partner I am able to face that challenge and also create workshops which were successful and enjoyed by our audience.