Classroom Observation: First Observation of Instructional Process of Factor in SDN 179 Grade 4 and measurement in MIN 1 Grade 2
Achmad Dhany Fachrudin1
International Master Program on Mathematics Education (Impome 2012), Sriwijaya University
Realistic Mathematics Education (RME) is considered to be a promising approach in teaching and learning Mathematics, especially for elementary school where a lot of mathematical concept was firstly introduced. This led us (my friends, Ummy Salmah and Sitti Busyrah, and I) to do some observations in Elementary School in order to know and understand how the teaching and learning process is taking place where RME is applied. Two of those schools are elementary school state of Palembang 179 (it is called as SDN 179 in this paper) and Madrasah Ibtidaiyah State of Palembang 1 (it called as MIN 1 in this paper) which has partnership with Sriwijaya University in implementing RME. We will observe in a class of SDN 179 in certain grade also in MIN 1. This is the first report of our first observation which is contained of brief description about pre observation and observation process in our first visit in those schools. Then, we will describe about how RME is aplied during teaching and learning process in those class. Also we will disscuss about problems occur in the class.
II. Pre Observation
This is an activity that we have done before doing the observation in teaching and learning process in 4th grade of SDN 179 and 2nd grade of MIN 1. This activity was done on Tuesday, 23rd October 2012 with aims to introduce our self and explain about the purpose of our observation, ask permission to headmaster and teacher whose class will be observed, discuss briefly about RME and how it applied there, and make an appointment related to schedule of our first observation.SDN 179 which is located in Jalan Letnan Simanjuntak Kel. Pahlawan Km. 3,5 cooperate with Unsri to disseminate and implement RME. Bu Intan, the teacher of 4th grade in SDN 179, who is our partner during the observation also vice headmaster of this school. She has been implementing RME since four years ago, and she realized that through RME, pupils become more active and enthusiastic in learning Mathematics. However, there many difficulties are faced in implementing RME, for instance, lack of resources or RME book for teacher that can help her in implement RME in her class she said. Also, she acknowledges that she did not always use RME in Mathematics teaching and learning process because of those difficulties while MIN 1 which is located on Jalan Jend. Sudirman Km. 4 also has a corporation with Unsri in order to apply RME approach there. Bu Tartilah is the teacher of 2nd grade and our partner during our observation in MIN 1. She also said that RME is a good approach for better learning. Almost of her opinion for RME is the same with Bu Intan.
Finally, we made an agreement that our observation would be conducted on the next day, Wednesday, 24th of October, 2012 at 7.20 am in class 4D in SDN 179 while on Wednesday, 31th of October, 2012 at 11.55 am in MIN 1.
III. Observation activity
Observation was done by Achmad Dhany Fachrudin, Ummy Salmah, and Sitti Busyrah Muchsin on Wednesday, 24th of October in SDN 179 while on Wednesday 31st of October, 2012 in MIN 1. We did the observation in class 4D that contain of 28 pupils that is thought by Bu Intan and in class 2 that contain of 33 pupils which is thought by Bu Tartilah. This activity’s purpose is to know pupils activity and problem faced in learning process. In this first observation, generally, observers watched, took some pictures and write down what happen which is important from beginning until end of the teaching and learning process. In order to help observers’ activity, camera pocket was used to take pictures and video during the learning process in class. Further, I will describe the detail of teaching and learning process, findings and problems, and conclusion.
1. Teaching and Learning in SDN 179 Palembang
Material that was going to be taught by teacher on that day was factor. Firstly, teacher asked 12 of the pupils to come to in front of the class, while others were still on their desk. Three of them became leader and every leader had three members. Next, teacher asked them and asked them to distribute those candies to their member. Then teacher gave to the leaders another amount of the candies and asked them to distribute again. This activity was done in order to teach about concept of factor to the pupils
Next, teacher divided the pupils into several groups and asked each groups to do the same activity as before but with different amounts of candies, that was 20 candies for each groups and teacher gave guidance to the groups which met difficulty. There were some group discussions occurred among pupils (Picture). After finishing the task, each group was asked to write their answer in the whiteboard (Picture). Teacher checked and ensured that pupils answered correctly and guided the pupils to conclude the meaning of factor according to the activities those they had done.
Picture 1. Pupils worked togather with their group with teacher’s guidance
Picture 2. A pupil answer the questions in front of the class
For the last of teaching and learning process, teacher gave an individual exercise. The time given was the rest of the mathematics learning time. However not all of them could finish all of the questions. Even there was a pupil cried because he could not finish his exercise.
2. Teaching and Learning in MIN 1 Palembang
Before teaching and learning process was strarted, teachers helped pupils to prepare their desks, chairs and books would be used. Next teacher (Bu Tartilah) and her partner (in MIN 1 there are two teachers who teach in 2nd grade) started the class. The material was about measurement with non standard and standard measuring tools.
Teaching and learning activity was begun with teachers’ explanation about the material. Another teacher writes the explanation in the whiteboard. Then, one pupil was asked to go to in front of the class to measure a chair and desk using his foot and hand. Then teacher asked him to measure again using a ruler. By giving some questions, teachers ensured pupils’ understanding. After that teachers repeated this activity for another voluntary pupil.
Picture 3. Pupil measured using standard and standard measurement tool.
Finally, teachers asked pupils to do an exercise individually. In this activity, we noticed that there were a lot of pupils were still confused about the material. Consequently, most of pupils cannot finish their exercise.
IV. Discussion and conclusion
In general, the teaching and learning process in SDN 179 had used RME approach although this was not a perfect RME. We suppose that it was caused by teacher did not well prepare the lesson plan and model used in the class. Despite teacher’s class management was good enough; there were some pupils that did not focus during teaching and learning process. They chatted with their friends instead of listening to the teacher, but this was rarely occurred. On the other hand, in MIN 1 still used traditional method which is teacher give explanation, example and exercise. Despite the example used is a contextual, after doing the observation and discussion we conclude that the teacher did not use RME approach.
In conclusion, teaching and learning process in class 4D SDN 179 on Wednesday, 23rd of October 2012, was good enough. However it still needed some improvement especially related to model used and teacher’s attention to the pupils because we found that some pupils still had problem while the learning process in MIN 1 was not quite good and just used the traditional method. Also, the teacher’s understanding in RME is needed to be improved.
if you want to get the file, just click Download pre observation report (pdf)