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Meridian International Learning Experience conducted an emergency drill on earthquake last November 2014. With the rampant earthquake activities happening today in different parts of the world, Meridian Clinic would like to refresh and remind us of the dos and don’ts during an emergency situation.
The Summer On-the-Journey Training 2015 for the entire month of May was a time of refreshing the skills and knowledge of the students. At the same time, it was a chance for students to engage in their passion and enjoy alternative summer activities through sports, arts, and even walkabouts!
The Summer OJT has created stories and bridged friendships throughout its duration.
Fearless Mandarin taught the basics of the Chinese language for both new students and Meridian parents. Tandem storytelling of the “Giving Tree” by Shel Silverstein was shared in Mandarin. At the end of their 4 Saturday meeting, they had a scrumptious dialogue over savory congee.
Arts and crafts were celebrated by the young and old. Teacher Roxanne and Teacher Melody had so much fun mixing stories, hands-on activities and even culinary experience all in the name of Arts. The kids had so much fun!
The Grade 1 Summer Camp was also a huge success preparing our little ones for first grade. With Teachers Kate, Jill, Hannah, Melody Diño, Susanne and Aesa, our first graders are ready for bigger responsibilities.
Teacher Yen had a melodious choir at the 5th floor of the Meridian building teaching students how to use their voices in expressing their hearts. Her piano lessons were also made fun because of the music they all created together.
“Students not only learn and be musically enriched but they also gain new friends, enjoying each other’s company. Learning and Playing – life’s lessons.” – T. Yen Jainga
Luke and Juleia Azucena, both loved volleyball. The excitement and perseverance are so high that you can really feel the passion in every training. Both of them embraced the hardship of training just to improve their skill in volleyball. Some of the skills they are learning are (1) mastering footworks while doing the receive/dig pass (They both improved in ball control and defense form!), (2) learning how to set/toss the ball with controlled force, and are (3) mastering the technique in spiking and ball spin.
Sports Clinic coaches for the Summer OJT
It was indeed a fun and productive summer. See you all again next year and we are all looking forward to honing more skills and passion this school year!
As the Grade 11 and 12 students of Meridian Systems Academy continually discover their gifts and potentials, it could not be more timely for the guidance department to spearhead an event called “Passion Pickings.” These series of talks by various professionals and experts in the field aimed to immerse and inspire the juniors and seniors towards making more discerning choices as they enter university and carve their own career paths.
No less than the Meridian Directress, Teacher Elo Quiambao, opened the series of talks with an inspiring story of how the finest coffee is painstakingly created to perfection from farm to coffee cup. She related this very interesting process to life itself – and how careers are carved as a product of one’s passionate endeavours, sincere intentions, and sense of self-discovery.
The following session featured a back to basics presentation on universities and college by the high school principal – Mr. Vincent Dela Cruz. This was followed by a more personal sharing on college life by high school social studies Teacher May Garcia.
Passion Pickings will not be complete without the enriching sessions of variousprofessionals who also shared their experiences during their college years and their current careers as trailblazers in their field. These invited speakers came from different fields such as Medicine (with Dra. Nancy Sy and Dr. Alvin Dimaculangan), Engineering (with Engr. Asilo), the Arts (with an animation director, Mr. Clotario), and Media (with Mr. Patrick Campos). The life-lessons shared by these speakers all the more emboldened and challenged the students towards choosing Vision and Service over the more fleeting concept of “plain passion.”
The Grades 11 and 12 students also got their hands wet during a visit to the Artwork Company, where shirts are being silk-screened and manufactured. Under all the silk screens and awards that the company received, the founders shared the humble beginnings of the family business and how each family member had to struggle with much determination and perseverance to be able to sustain the family business and remain relevant in the clothing industry.
In the end, it was emphasised to the students that dissevering one’s passion remains very much rooted towards being a Solutionarian. Throughout the event, the speakers did not focus on making money or being famous, but focused on service and being a blessing to the community.
Indeed, what separates a good individual from a great one is that the latter knows excellence, lives a life that exemplifies it – and creates paths for others to achieve the same. Truly, that’s what Passion really means.
The International Food Expo (IFEX) always offer fresh ingredient to my taste buds, but this year it made me appreciate more our own local products!
Every 2 years, IFEX holds its food exhibit at SMX, Mall of Asia to display and share the world’s indigenous ingredients and innovative food creations and packaging. The Smart Works teachers had an opportunity to explore this year’s glocal food ideas last May 22, 2015.
We noticed that this year’s theme is organic food. From the ingredients, natural processes (no processing at all), to its packaging and booths, culture and identity were evident. Each country passionately displayed their product with distinct design and passion. Silver and gold colors gave the royalty feel to Korea’s products. Japan had the very calming and minimalist design. The Philippines took a rather simple and natural look, which was very different from its usual festive theme. This development in packaging garnered applauds from most international businessmen.
We got to talk with some of our local entrepreneurs who are very passionate and ingenious. One of them is a family whose socio-entrepreneurial vision began with their grandfather’s cacao farm in Davao. Since then they have created varied cacao products and maximized the fruit’s use by infusing it with other ingredients. Even more surprising was the eagerness of their fourth generation children in entertaining guests in the booth!
The experience showed us that we, as Filipinos, are capable, and indeed, making entrepreneurial strides by showcasing the abundance of our country and craftsmanship. As what one teacher said, “The very experience of seeing an array of sounds, sight, and ‘killer’ tastes across asian and western countries will make you discover how much potential we have in terms of ingenuity.I hope our students could visit the exhibit and soon join the expo!
Photos and sharing by T. Jo Bautista
We, the math teachers, are indeed very grateful to be given the privilege to participate in the 7th ICMI-East Asia Regional Conference on Mathematics Education (EARCOME-7) that was held in Cebu City last May 11 to 15. We brought home a spree of stories, studies, and strategies to further boost our skills in our endeavor as math educators. We were taught well and we learned in every opportunity including the panel sessions, discussions and conversations, and even during meal times as we engage with other local and foreign delegates from different countries. Among the heaps of learning take-homes, our personal favorites are as follows.
¤ Create independent learners.
Before the opening of EARCOME, we attended a workshop facilitated by Dr. Yeap Ban Har entitled “Towards Better Mathematics: K-12 Mathematics Framework”. The speaker points out that in the constructivism approach in teaching, the answers must come from the students. He encourages that the teachers leave opportunities for children to utilize their skills in clarifying, even if this means not always being “crystal clear”. This approach to teaching promotes learning as making connections (Jean Piaget). Teach independence in learning.
Likewise, students learn when provided with well-planned and effective learning opportunities. Guided by the question, “How do we help students think and arrive at the answer?” we were challenged to plan and execute our lesson plans with a balance of guided and independent student-centered practices. Show trust to the students to encourage them to unleash their fullest potential – that is, in the case of mathematics, their highest level of critical thinking skills.
During EARCOME, we saw the big picture of how mathematics is taught in different schools around the globe. The “Open Approach” strategy used in Japan and Taiwan is truly amazing. In this instructional methodology, the teacher gives a problem to the students and allows them to undergo a productive struggle and collaborate with their group mates until they come up with various possible solutions and figure out which of these ones are acceptable and valid. This drives them to use their prior knowledge to solve the new given task. This gears them up to be productive, independent critical-thinkers.
¤ Learn, relearn, and unlearn.
LEARN AND RELEARN. According to a Hungarian mathematician George Polya, “It is better to solve one problem five different ways than to solve five different problems.” In teaching, we may bring our students to an exploration that focuses on the process of finding solutions to math problems. Then, they may be equipped for further independent practice. Learners don’t learn more just in doing more. Less IS more because from little things, big things grow.
UNLEARN. There are many traditional ways of teaching math in the Philippines, but not all cultivate the very rich ground of Mathematics education for teaching students to think – therefore keeping young minds from becoming critical thinkers. One traditional way many teachers utilize in teaching math is the use of mnemonic devices (acronyms). Although it provides learners easier ways to remember mathematical processes and procedures, it gives an implicit message to the students that they do not have the capacity to remember and to think deeper or that they do not have to.
Furthermore, in mathematics, we do not do drills. Drills are good when we want our students to learn the exact same skill, but math is a creative activity. Drill is repetition while practice is variation. Thus, we give our students practices instead of drills. Practice makes their brains alert. Practice makes them ready for bigger challenges ahead of them.
The teacher’s primary roles are learning to embrace change and innovations, relearning the ways how the students process knowledge and unlearning the outmoded practices in teaching the subject.
¤ Serve our country through teaching math.
During EARCOME, we had a discussion on challenging conditions in education that the participating countries may be facing. Sadly, in spite of being showered with positive information and inspirational studies on educational systems that speak of solutions to problems, there are still some of us who are blinded by ideas of hopelessness. Hearing negative opinions, such as “Our country is not ready for K-12,” from our fellow Filipino teachers broke our hearts. None of us want to get imprisoned in the poverty not only of economic wealth but of self-image, perspective, and attitude.
The nation’s economic growth is directly proportional to the stability and success of its educational system. EARCOME made us realize that as we unleash the students’ highest potential in mathematics as well as in the other fields, there will definitely be a higher chance that the Philippines’ economic status will improve. Singapore had once and many times proven this claim. Being a country with limited resources, they were able to rise up and prove something to the world. This is because they invested so much in their main resource – manpower. We are also aware of how they have improved their math curriculum in order to raise citizens who are critical thinkers, not merely passive followers of procedures.
In this time of learning, we have seen the potential, capabilities, and gifts that every kind of people has – some apparent, some need to be watered, and even some that go beyond expectations. There are a lot more than what we can put into words in this narration, but one thing for sure: the whole learning journey in Cebu changed us. We pray that whatever God is doing in us through this encounter will be fully accomplished.
Realizing how mathematics is taught across countries, we are all the more challenged to help, guide, encourage and bring our students to the best of their abilities as critical thinkers and problem solvers. As EARCOME-7 instilled in us a deeper and wider perspective on mathematics education, it made us have a higher regard for our call as math teachers. Thus, we have to do our duty with much reverence.
Negoskwela organized a seminar-workshop on peanut butter, jams and spreads last May 25, 2015 and the Smartworks teachers were able to attend. The workshop taught us the process to create peanut butter, commercial mayonnaise and pineapple jam. Aside from teaching the recipes, the facilitator also showed the equipment, ingredients, packaging sources together with their prices. We also had the opportunity to compute the costs and the recommended margin and prices for the products. The lessons, with the goal of encouraging us to create our own products, were very practical and relevant.
The insights form the workshop can be used to encourage our students to create packaged products which they can sell in the market. Ideas to innovate the products such as Oreo Peanut Butter, kamias jam, etc. are very interesting to explore. What I appreciate most about the seminar is that it provided practical tips and lessons. An example is why the oil in peanut butter separates and what we can do to avoid it. Even the names of the stores, addresses, and contact numbers were shared for future references.
Photos and sharing by T. Rosette Magpayo
Last May 12, 2015, 25 Mushroom Kitchen organized a Paleo Diet Workshop at Valle Verde, Pasig City. It was a very interesting workshop,
I learned about the Paleo diet which encourages eating natural food. Eating processed food and ingredients such as mayonnaise, soy sauce, and even rice is discouraged.
The Paleo meals are prepared in less than 15 minutes to retain the nutrients of the ingredients. A set meal for one week which includes breakfast, lunch, and dinner was presented as a guide.
In relation to the ACTS curriculum, we are proposing to include the different types of diet such as Paleo, Cohen, and Warrior, together with their advantages and disadvantages. This will allow the students to understand and explore the different types of diet and decide, with the advice of a nutrionist and a doctor, which fits them best. They should also be encouraged to be more creative and healthier by using alternatives such as cauliflower or potato for rice and zucchini for pasta.
The seminar also provided novel ideas for the layout and design of the Smartworks! Lab and the procurement of its facilities.
Photos and Sharing by :
T. Rosette Magpayo
Led by the Philippine Folkdance Society, this year’s National Folk Dance Workshop was held in Vigan City, Ilocos Sur. There were over 700 delegates from all over the Philippines, majority of which came from the host region, NCR, and Mindanao. The Vigan Convention Center served as our playground for five days. It was a time of building new friendships and renewing old ones. It was also a time of deepening our roots as Filipinos through dance.
The program gave prominence to old and new dances from the northern to southern parts of the Philippines. We rekindled the story of Maria Clara through dances like Putritos and Cariñosa, celebrated festivals through Sayaw sa Bangko and Engañosa, and more. What made us even more excited were the new dance researches that were shared to us by the passionate mentors we met during the workshop. Their journey towards uncovering the rich culture and heritage of the Philippines through dance is inspiring and we just cannot wait to share this to the community. We have learned innovative ways of deepening the cultural facet of our lessons and we are very grateful to have met passionate people in the field.
Apart from the dance training, we were also given the chance to witness the story, creativity, and spices of Ilocos. The Ilokano Folk dance troupe shared the story about how the Ilokanas used to hold knives and bolos before the Spaniards came. Ilokanas are not meant to be just house helpers because they are strong and courageous. They also portrayed the life of Gabriela Silang who was a revolutionary leader during the time of the Spanish occupation in Ilocos. More than the presentation, it was the sheer recognition of their past that rocked me to my core. Perhaps if the Filipinos, as one, will have a sense of our shared pain, we too can pass on such powerful message to the next generation.
One of the things we enjoyed very much about Vigan is their cuisine. Bagnet, Vigan longganisa, and Vigan Empanada were among the sumptuous food that we enjoyed. Their innovative mix of putting Bagnet as part of a pizza and pakbet recipe is a perfect fit. The Vigan empanada was a sure treat as well. It was not salty or oily, and the wrap was as crisp as taco shells. It is no wonder that the Bigueños are very proud of owning and promoting their local dishes.
The organizers also gave us a free half day to explore the city on our own. There were optional tours, but we opted to just go around by ourselves together with a colleague from Tarlac. We visited the Buridek Museum where photos of different Bigueño families from across the generations were displayed and their common ways were explained and shared. We also tried molding our own clay pots at the Paburnayan. Clay pots, locally known as Burnay, are sturdy jars that date back to pre-colonial times when they served as storage for food, drinks, salt, basi or native wine, and many more. As easy as it may look on pictures, it was difficult to mold the pots by hand as it requires a mix of gentleness and firm grip. We also visited the old provincial jail where we were enlightened about the story of the Basi Revolt. It is just saddening that the in-training tour guides did not see and understand that the writing about the Basi Revolt was degrading for the Ilocanos.
Putting all these together, I guess the experience was more than just the dances and teaching methods that we have learned. More than that, it was actually hearing first hand these people’s stories that made so much impact to us. It was a very enriching and empowering experience which we wish to impart to the community, especially to our students – to be aware of our deep and rich heritage, to be proud of innate Filipino talents, and to be bearers of culture and tradition so that it may be passed on to the younger generation.
Photos and sharing by T. Hannah Giselle “Gee” Quitco
Bilang isang guro sa Araling Panlipunan at Filipino, isang kagalakan ang makasama atmakapakinig sa isang batikang historian na si Ginoong Carlos Celdran na para sa isang lakbay-aral na naganap noong Ika 15 ng Mayo. Sa aking pakikinig, naaliw ako sa kaniyang pagsasalita, pag-arte at pagpalit ng kasuotan na ayon sa uri/tema ng kaniyang tinatalakay. Napakalinaw at napakagaling niya sa pagbibigay ng kaniyang kaalaman patungkol sa kasaysayan ng ating bansa. Dahil dito, napukaw niya ang aming atensiyon at damdamin sa kaniyang pagiging malikhain.
Sa aking pakikinig nagbalik -tanaw sa akin ang mga natutunan ko sa kasaysayan. Habang nagsasalita si Ginoong Celdran ay malinaw kong nakikita sa aking isipan ang mga kaganapan noon sa ating bansa habang siya ay nagsasalita. Tunay ngang napakalalim pala ng ating kasaysayan kung iyong lubos na pag-aaralan. Isang kagalakan na muling malaman na ang Pilipinas noon bago dumating ang Ikalawang Digmaan ay angat sa ibang bansa. Mayaman nga kung susuriin, kaya maraming dayuhan ang nais na sa atin ay manatili. mapa-Espanyol, Hapon at maging mga Amerikano ay nag-uunahan.
Sa tatlong nabanggit, masasabing ang mga Amerikano ang siyang tumulong sa atin (kahit hindi naman talaga) upang makawala sa kamay ng mga Espanyol. Tinulungan (daw) nila tayong maging edukado sa pamamagitan ng pagtatayo ng mga paaralan. Nagtayo rin sila ng mga ospital at marami pang iba upang makatulong (daw) sa ating lahat. Napakaganda kung ating titingnan ngunit kung susuriin, ang lahat ng ito ay may kapalit na hinihingi mula sa ating inang bayan. Ginawa nilang tirahan ang ating bansa. Dito nag-umpisa ang pagkawala ng ating “identity” bilang isang Pilipino. Unti-unti nilang nilason ang ating mga isipan upang ating makalimutan ang sarili nating paniniwala bilang isang nasyon. Tayong lahat ay naging dependent sa kanilang kakayahan kung kaya’t lumiit ang ating paningin sa ating sariling pagkatao na dati ay kilala bilang malikhain. Hindi tayo tinuruan ng mga Amerikanong lumipad at mangarap, tayo ay naging sunud-sunuran sa kanila sa lahat ng bagay. Halos ang mga kababaihan na dati’y Maria Clara kung ituring ay naging “Hollywood Stars” ng Asya. Naging katulad tayo ng “halo-halo” isang pagkaing masarap, matamis ngunit iba’t- iba ang sahog na siyang nagdulot ng iba’t-ibang lasa. Sa aking pakikinig naisip ko ang mga ginawa ni Rizal at ng iba pa nating bayani na nakipaglaban para ating kalayaan. Natanong ko rin ang aking sarili ng mga sumusunod. Paano nga ba ito matatapos? Darating pa ba ang panahon na makatatayo muli ang ating bansa bilang isang malayang nasyon? Kailan lubos na magiging edukado ang mga Pilipino at aalis sa anino ng kanluran? Kailan tayo magiging isang masarap na putahe at may sariling pagkatao? Napakahirap sagutin ngunit naniniwala ako na darating ang araw, balang araw muling mabubuhay ang imahe ni Dr. Jose P. Rizal mula sa ating mga estudyante.
Naniniwala ako na balang araw mula sa ating paaralan ay may tatayo at magpapatuloy sa lahat ng nagawa ni Rizal para sa ating bansa. Ang pagkakaroon ng pag-asa, pangarapin sa ating mga estudyante at sa bansa ay ang aking naging baon pagkatapos ng lakbay-aral sa Intramuros na pinangunahan ni Ginoong Celdran.