'Robot' teacher's assistant is a hit with schoolkids
SIM Tech 2010 — its name is short for “Science Intervention Material Technology” — only has a cabinet for a body and a radio for a head, but as far as the science teacher’s Grade 6 students are concerned, it’s a beloved teaching assistant.
Star of the show
“Excited," is how Vidallo describes his students upon seeing the robot. "Para siyang phenomenal star kapag nakikita."
A student can pick a question to answer from one of the cabinet's shelves, Vidallo explains, while the radio-head – whose voice he pre-recorded using an MP3 player – gives out instructions to his students.
When his students answer correctly, they pick their reward from a backpack on the robot's back.
The wooden robot won Vidallo first place at the 2010 Regional Academic Competition for Elementary Science in the Science Intervention Material category.
His creativity has also won Vidallo the recognition of being one of the 10 outstanding teachers in the country, awarded by the Metrobank Foundation on its 50th anniversary celebration on Wednesday in Makati City.
The award honors teachers who, like Vidalla, develop and use creative and effective teaching methods.
Qualifying for the distinction as well is math teacher Nueva Mangaoang, who was assigned to teach Grade 3 students who had the worst grades in Man-It Integrated School, Passi City, Iloilo.
Addition and subtraction, she says, proved difficult to teach the regular way, so she came up with the “place value box.”
This is a rectangular box, drilled with holes for each place value of a numeral – 10 holes each for the ones, tens and hundreds place values, for a start.
The trick to teach addition and subtraction using the place value box, Mangaoang explains, is to let students put sticks in the holes in place of numerals.
For instance: to teach them how to subtract 24 from 35, a student would first put 10 sticks each in three holes in the tens section. Another one would then put one stick each in five holes in the ones section. The number of sticks then would correspond to the minuend 35.
To subtract 24, another student would remove 20 sticks from two holes in the tens section, and four sticks from the four holes in the ones place. She could then get the difference by counting the number of sticks left.
Visualizing math is the best way for students to learn addition and subtraction, Mangaoang says. “It’s important lalo na sa mga nahihirapan sa math. Hindi kasi importante na memorized mo lang ‘yung concept,” she says.
“Dapat naiintindihan mo talaga,” she adds.
Celebrating teachers' contributions
The Metrobank awards coincided with the start of the National Teacher’s Month (September 5 to October 5), and Metrobank Foundation president Aniceto Sobrepeña said that the company wanted to show these educators’ students that their teachers are also models to emulate.
“Ginagawa po namin ito kasi gusto naming ipakita sa mga kabataan na mayroon pa ring mga guro… na handang gawin lamang ang inaasahan sa kanila sa pang-araw-araw na buhay,” Sobrepeña says.
The board of judges who chose the top 10 teachers consisted of Senator Ralph Recto, Zamboanga City representative Maria Isabelle Climaco, NEDA Director General Arsenio Balisacan, and the Indonesian Ambassador H. E. Yohanes Kristiarto Soeryo Legowo.
Aboitiz Equity Ventures president and chairman Jon Ramon Aboitiz, De La Salle University president Br. Ricardo Laguda and GMA News TV broadcast journalist Vicky Morales-Reyno also participated as judges.
“Ibig sabihin, ang pumili sa [mga awardees] ay mga kinatawan ng mga sector na pinaglilingkuran [nila],” said Sobrepeña. — BM/TJD/HS, GMA News
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