RAFT Activity Kit: Static Merry-go-Round

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Learning the Art of Engagment




By Earlene Coleman B.A.,M.Ed



 
It can be a little unsettling when you think you're teaching the perfect lesson and actually very few students are paying attention. 

Teaching has often been called a “noble profession," one requiring diligence, patience, and a great sense of humor. At times it has been called “art.” However, for those in the trenches, we realize that more is needed and that nothing requires such focus, attention, dedication, and refinement of one’s teaching abilities as keeping all students engaged in classroom learning. After all, Learning is more than merely taking in facts or being able to recall information.

When students walk through the door, you feel the hope and eagerness of teaching them something new. You select from a bag of tricks to enhance the clarity of the lesson being taught, and as teachers; we need to be creative in order to reach the hearts of your students.

I've observed many teachers in the classroom develop their own creative lessons to keep students engaged, and here are the tips that consistently get repeated.

1. It's important that we help students clear their minds of preoccupation with other thoughts and to enable them to concentrate on the matter at hand. When we begin a lesson, we may find that their minds might be racing from various activities of the day. Students might be angry, upset, worrying, or even excited about some incident that happened during the day. It's important to get those other matters off their mind so that they can focus on the lesson.

2. Design your lesson plans with the real-world in mind, apply core principles and ideas using real-life contexts that make the subject matter meaningful. We must assist all students to become self-directed learners who are able to show, articulate and evaluate what they learn, with different formats.

3. Lessons should build on the students' prior knowledge, life experiences, and interests. As teachers, we need help children achieve their learning goals and engage them in critical thinking - this will build up their problem solving abilities and promote creative thinking ability. 

With these goals in mind, you too can learn the "art" of engagement in the classroom. 





Thursday, November 19, 2015

Creative Reuse Center Established in Taipei




By Betty Ko, Director, Lovely Taiwan Foundation


Tricycles made of chairs from bus and classroom



In the center of a busy and bustling Taipei, lies a cleverly titled building called the Creative Reuse Center (CRC). The CRC is a place that's based on creativity as well as sustainability - two features that are extremely important to Taiwan's future development. Only opened in October 17, CRC has received scrap materials, excess inventory, from more than 40 enterprises.

The center will offer workshops teaching how to turn these materials into art. In November and December alone, we will be holding 20 workshops.


Volunteers’ workshop

Within one month of opening, CRC has experienced numerous visits 
 and attention from schools, families, businesses, media, and artists with favorable responses. As a director of the Lovely Taiwan Foundation, CRC’s funding organization, I’m proud to say that our inspiration came from my visit to RAFT and other upcycling organizations. It is important to share what I have learned from RAFT with people in Taiwan to upcycle what normally goes to waste.



Creating an empress’ hat with scrap material


 CRC is a operated under Lovely Taiwan Foundation, which was founded in 2009, dedicated to showcasing various township cultures in Taiwan. The foundation helps build a local sense of pride through enhancing each community’s uniqueness - Such as from farm to school projects, seasonal cultural performances , building performing stages for aboriginal singers, fair trading for township products - each program catered to individual township uniqueness. As most of activities are based in various suburbs, CRC is right in downtown Taipei city.The mission of the CRC will fit right in with Lovely Taiwan Foundation and become a catalyst for even more artistic and environmental growth.









If you are ever in the Taipei area, please come visit us!