The 6th graders at Isaiambalam school were working on converting a multiplication story to two relevant division stories. They had initially done it with random objects. Then 7th graders stepped in and took it a little further involving physics with speed distance and time. They followed the following model to tell the stories:
I taught pattern to 2nd grade children. I used material for that. Children understood the concept of the pattern and I showed them cloth pattern. I asked them to color the worksheet and they did it on their own. They explained the pattern with their friends. Children very excited to continue the pattern and I asked children to create your own pattern. They made color pattern and shape pattern. Children did very nicely. I was impressed. Children did that well.
Here is the images for children pattern.
As STEMland is a research organization, we want to research our teaching methods and technique (Please look at the purpose of our organization). We are doing research on the following topics at STEMLand.
- Deep learning of Mathematics through engaging with life and interdisciplinary work (Arun and Logeshwari)
- Effective learning environments by utilization of LIAP (Leadership In Action Programs) in
STEM (Science Technology Engineering Mathematics) Education (Sundar)
- Factors and interventions influencing student’s attitude towards mathematics (Poovizhi and Pratap)
We were supported by SAIIER to do these projects.
With the beginning of the term it was the first few classes for the 7th graders who came in fresh to the STEMLand at Udavi. Children worked on various topics, some chose algebra and to start they began with the ‘Algebra with pen’.
This module works as the following:
Thus creating a story for the others, saying ‘If 5 erasers weighs 12 grams how much would one weigh?’
And the others would do the calculation and respond to here.
initially the girls were interested in doing this, they had weighed different objects and found out the expressions and then determined how much each object weighed, and then generalized it to other real life objects.
As a few boys had this in their weekly plan they were eager to learn, but did not know how to use the materials, Monisha and Pavitha were excited in demonstrating this and so began the experiments to determine the unknown.
The children used the dienes blocks to evaluate 1 gram of the object and other weighing stones of standard weights.
Along with the interest of the teachers a Siddha practitioner was invited to Isaiambalam School, and shared his knowledge on the history and current status of how medicine is being utilized (Allopathic and its harmful effects without the knowledge of the people using them) He restated the benefits of which can be derived from natural source such as herbs and trees. The workshop was conducted through a day on the summer break. He had given natural remedies for the daily use of modern materials such as shampoo, tooth paste.
He provided the reasons for the body system on how it works and how organs are interrelated. The benefits of mucus production on how it brings out the unwanted content from the body through various methods.
One of the important thing he specified is that people now a days tend to take symptoms suppressant such as paracetamol, and neglect the real reason why the body is getting sick and whats the solution towards healing the body.
STEM land team attended the LNET conference in Bangalore. Here is the reflections about the conference as a team.
I learnt about games that can help children to be engaged in the class rooms, prove (a+b)^2 & Pythagoras, energizers which help children who come from holidays and breaks, Introduce decimals and place values, learnt thought break games.
I interacted with Padnaban on children’s exposure to different concepts. I realized that at a child’s level it’s important for them to work on abstraction and they have a beginners mind to learn. I talked with a creative teacher about sending children outside when they wanted to play for sometime. It helped children to be focused once they come in the class and engage with the children (younger children 3-5 years).
I conducted a session on Stewardship and 7 segment display along with my team. Include thought breaks in classes.
The History and Geography session of Aruna really struck me. I learned the format of how to introduce a concept in History and Geography. First Do activities and cards of a concept (eg.volcano), second do words related to that concept, third show movies and tell stories of the concept. And now the students will now have got an idea of almost the concept. So finally tell the fact about the concept. The interaction that made me grow was the need to learn History. History gives us experience of many people and many different situations, from which we can learn. I am interested in Geography but not in History. After attending the session I was really interested and I felt like learning the history is very simple.
The activity of showing children the flash cards at the end of class and not to talk anything more about it on that day, it will make the children to learn that. For example Aruna showed five cards of valleys and mountain and didn’t tell anything more about it. I was really curious of what it is. Children will also feel the same. This will make the children interested, which I would like to use in my class.
By learning history I could come out of the myths that we all generally have. For example, British were ruling most of India. It built an interest in me to learn history.
The overall insight about the LNET conference is that I didn’t feel that we all were from different places, schools or organizations. I felt the same because the motivation and the reason for the development and growth of children is the same. As a teacher it was really helpful for me. I learnt the different activity based learning from the conference.
I learned different ways of teaching a subject to children. I learned the relationship between math and art from Swathi’s session. I learned to introduce line and concepts in geometry using sticks. I learned the importance of History and how it is related to Geography. I learned the way to teach history and geography using flash cards. From Manjunath’s session I learned the activities to do with children to build a good relationship between the team and to be energetic.
I got an opportunity to meet people who are also keen in changing the rotten the education system and are really taking effort for an alternative education where children enjoy learning. I shared about STEM land and I felt acknowledged for the work we do here.
I participated in the sessions and we conducted a session on LIAP and seven segment display.
I will apply the methods I’ve learned to teach decimal values, geometric concepts and ask children to come up with their own booklets with short stories. I’ll do some activities with the children when the class feels dull.
I’ve got a sense that people are there around the world who are willing to make change in the education system and are doing it at their best from where ever the are and are always ready to share and support others to learn and grow together.
What I learnt from the conference is, how to engage with the children with geography and history.
How to introduce in step by step and break it down into smaller problems and introduce to the children. Make the concept concrete by doing activity related the concept. I participated in the Math sessions where I learnt how to introduce decimal and visualize the concept to the children. I also learnt exponential series.
All the people who came to the conference were teachers and when I told about what we do in STEM land the teacher were impressed and was able to inspire them. I used some of the SFNE tools to talk with others eg. powerful speaking and committed request. I felt I am not alone trying to change the education system there are so many people who are trying to exchange various method that worked for them in teaching to children.
My contribution to success of the conference are participating in all the session. Presented a session on SFNE for the teacher and gave electronic session to the kids. It was really interesting. Participating in sessions beyond the conference like Sundaram session on decimal and Manjunath session on theater session.
While doing EBD I use to concentrate only on Math and science but now I will also concentrate in including history and geography. I will also do assessment for the children at end of each EBD.
By interacting and exchanging ideas with the teacher gave me clarity on how to teach and explore with the children to learn and retain the concept.
I learnt about creating arts and GP series by cutting a triangle(fractal triangle), AP series by cutting a square, prove (a+b)^2 & Pythagoras, Approaches to developing emotional intelligence in children (similar to identifying fear and take action with responsibility), Introduce decimals and place values, kirigami Math arts.
I interacted with Manjunath about thought break games for both children and teachers, I realized that making children feel better before starting class is important, because it helps children to focus.
I participated in other session and we also conducted session leadership in action and 7-segment display. Introduce Art in Math and Emotional Intelligence to children.
I learnt new activities, how to introduce division,place value,patterns and types of pattern, learnt what is theater learning, (a+b)2 through dotted sheet.
I interacted with Emma she did master in education. She worked in different zone after few years she started teaching for kids. She focuses only on English. She shared her story with me why she took specifically English and etc..there I got an opportunity to share my experience with children and we shared what material we will use for to improve children communication.
I participated in other session and we also conducted session leadership in action and 7-segment display. Few children voluntarily came and learnt about 7-segment display and I had a grate time with them.Beyond the conference I had a session with Manjunath and Sudaram. That session was very useful for me. I had a different experience with different person. It helped for my growth.
Experience in theater learning session was interesting for me.
We had a great time with mohanam team. Our children showed their interest towards tabula through playing instruments and dancing.
Each children got an opportunity to learn one one thing. Finally children took over their turn. We enjoyed a lot and I am able notice few things (1. New children also came out of their hesitation , 2. Gurumurthy much interested in playing kind of drums instruments etc….)
Every children got an opportunity to play all the instruments. And I also had an opportunity to recall what I learnt from mohanam cultural centre.
Using ESL and bilingual activities to simplify English language teaching
I attended a session on ESL creative school, Bangalore.
We wrote our names and split it as per the phonetics and wrote our names in our mother tongue and split it using hyphen.
We did the same for our friends name also.
We framed sentences and translated them to our mother tongue.
We went through small booklets with short stories as a team and filled out reading record with title, interesting word and stars and chose the best book of the day.
We shared our best story with other teams.
Then we made our own booklets and came up with our own short stories. We also drew pictures and colored our booklet.
It was fun and interesting when we translated the sentences from our mother tongue to English.
STEM land team went for a conference at Bangalore in a creative school for there days . There were many teacher from different place and from different school. There were many session happening like maths session by Swathi and Sundaram.
The session that I like most was the session that was held by Aruna and Raghavan. The Geography and activity based learning
In the session they start to introduce about India with 2 and half years old to introduce Geography and history in step by step process. It also improve the vocabulary for the children. They talked about how to give activity and make the children to learn. Visualise the maps and different kind of photos and ask questions about India. Hanging charts of different states with the animals and plants that are growing in that state. Talks with the children about each state one by one and cover each state. Talk about the nuts, vegetables, fruits and also the kind of soils that are present at different place. Talk about the about animals and birds with the children. Talk about about the famous people in the place. Talk about transport, mountain and forest that are present at different place. They talked about how to go step by step and also remind what they learnt before and ask question and assess them. Children can remember what they learnt in the class. Once they started to tell everything about India then we start to spell and start to write about India. They also told that the session should be short like 30 minutes everyday.
This year what was interesting for me was that I realized that learning has different curves. I have learned to be systematic and think of automation when I repeat something often. I worked on many projects last year and it gave me opportunity to be consistent and competent. The courses that was conducted in the I-smart class room was helpful to enhance my skills.
I worked on many EBD projects with Isai Ambalam school children. I have also noticed that the children who were academically weak were doing well at activities. Children were also more engaged in the class rooms and girls and boys were working together.
In Udavi I was supporting all the multi-grade classes. I needed to be always ready to answer any questions children ask. Since the children work on different topics and it is also multi-grade the questions are diverse, this makes me think more than what is needed for a black board teacher. Teaching them science, software and math at the same time makes it more interesting. I was always helped by the tools I learned from Stewardship for new emergence workshop. I have also got an opportunity to do research and access the teaching technique.