These videos were filmed at Masiphumelele Primary School, Khayelitsha, W. Cape, South Africa, in March 2012. They are from a lesson on the powers of two.
About Masiphumelele Primary School
In 2012, the situation of the school was as follows: The school is what's called "Quintile 3". The funding of schools depends on the level of the schools’ quintile. A school in quintile 1 is said to be the poorest of schools, taking into account the socio-economic status of the community around that school (poverty, unemployment, dependency on social grants, etc.), as determining factors for classifying a school. Many families come from rural areas in the Eastern Cape. All the same issues that were described for Luzuko Primary School also apply.
The school was built in the mid 1990s and has a large school hall and two functional computer rooms. The number of learners (across grades 1 to 7) is 1237. Grade R has 63 learners. The learners go on to about 14 different High Schools, some of which specialize in commerce or in mathematics and science. The performance levels are better than other schools but still not good. This is a popular primary school and oversubscribed.
For the learners and most teachers Xhosa is their first language and English their second language. Lessons are in Xhosa up to grade 3 with English taught as an additional language. From Grade 4 to Grade 7 all lessons are supposed to be taught in English with differing amounts of code switching. The Principal has said that she thought that the use of Xhosa was often not helpful, for example for the same shapes there are several different Xhosa words in different regions and no common agreement about which one to use. Public tests are all in English.
About the lessons
The previous lesson introduced the idea of exponentials, and in particular powers of 2. To get a sense of how quickly the exponential function rises, learners go to the school hall and use long rolls of paper to draw the function.
In this second lesson, the learners think about how to represent 2^x on a single sheet of paper.
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