Short Case Study about FIRST application
I am Ola Al Kadry a dynamic and motivated teacher with experience in teaching all kindergarten, primary years and intermediate levels. I have three years of experience as an English Coordinator as well. I have been teaching for 12 years. My application is from Rafeed, West Beqaa, Lebanon, where I teach English as a Second Language. I applied FIRST Framework in a grammar lesson, it was the present simple and the present continuous tenses. It was a 50 minutes session for a 7th Grade class of 26 students. They are 12 years old. I used these tools during my facilitation: flip charts, LCD, laptop, board, crayons, pencils, and sticky notes.
FIRST Framework is a holistic framework designed on the basis of renowned models and theories, such as experiential learning, Gamification, game-based learning, facilitative learning, 6Ds model, positive psychology, experience economy, and neuroscience. It is an engaging framework that helps educators to bridge theory and practice and to create a high-quality learning environment in their classrooms. FIRST Framework consists of 5 domains - Focusing on Learner Behaviors, Interacting within positive group dynamics, Reviewing Activities within RAR, Sequencing Activities within Session Flow and Transforming learning into performance - with 15 principles that help leave a sustainable impact on learners through promoting Active Deep Learner eXperience.
Let me tell you about my experience in applying FIRST Framework. I tried to focus on some students because I know they have improvement areas. I gave each student a sticky note and asked him/her to write his/ her own sentence. Then, I read some of them. I had two activities that were designed in RAR Model (The Main Experiential Learning Model in FIRST Framework. RAR is the first letters of Readiness increase, Activity Facilitation and Reviewing actively). I gave a chance to my students to lead a lesson deduced. I also used rhythmic words to repeat without boredom. The day flow was moving smoothly from one activity to another. My time was also well managed that's why I was able to finish everything I planned for. Finally, I had a plan to follow up through Whatsapp.
The difference between *FIRSTedu and any other practice I used before is that I was able to feel the change in the class atmosphere. I noticed how my students were having fun and entertainment during the whole lesson. They were working hard and doing their best, actually, the class was full of life and energy. I was able not only to make my students learn and deepen their knowledge but also relate it to their daily eXperience.
As for my insights on the session, I discovered how much it is important to engage our students in the learning process. Also, if we, as teachers, trust our students, they will really astonish us with new ideas that will lead to a better education. I noticed as well how all the students felt safe and excited to interact and participate. They were involved in the whole process, earned responsibility and felt that they were members in creating the new eXperience. I saw the confidence on their faces and the persistence to reach their target. Actually, the
cooperation among them encouraged them to interact and was the key that made them understand different mindsets. Next time I may leave more space for my students to share their work because they are really creative.
During the session, the students were motivated to work and I felt how much they were interested in what they were doing. After the session, I got positive feedback from them. They really enjoyed the learning process and felt how much the lesson is important as they need it in their daily conversation. They asked me to help other teachers in planning their lessons to be similar to this session.
The students applied what they learned in two main activities. The first activity is the Gallery Walk where the students worked in groups. They interacted with each other to form a poster that they showed to their friends. What really astounded me was that some groups planned a PowerPoint presentation and made a short story using the two tenses. Another group made a role play and acted using the two tenses in their conversation.
The second activity was done in pairs. The students talked to each other on phone and tried using the two tenses, the simple present and the present continuous. They did very well and managed to open fruitful dialogues.
Finally, I want to say that the lesson I planned was really special and unique. Using FIRST Framework was, of course, the key to success. I was surprised by the impact I had on my students. I was able to manage every single step in the session, I felt confident and satisfied during and after the class. What really made my day was the sense of self- esteem I implanted in the soul of my students. Hope we lead our learners to a new era of education where they can have their own eXperience and feel safe to gain, learn and practice. Thanks
SeGa Group for your effort, the Framework you implanted will grow and bloom to open a wide door of a new Active Deep Learner eXperience.
FIRSTedu *FIRST Framework version for teaching in schools.