Author Archives: Bala Anand

Pongal @ Isai Ambalam

Children from Isai Ambalam School celebrated Pongal on 11/01/18. They made Kolams along with the teachers. Sweet Pongal was also made. After doing a pooja, the children and teachers made a circle and sang songs about farming. Then everyone had sweet pongal in the end! The elder children helped in distributing pongal to the other children.

Christmas Day Celebration at Isai Ambalam School

Isai Ambalam school celebrated Christmas on 22/12/17. The prayer hall was decorated with lights, candles and Christmas tree. Gifts were wrapped for the children. There were also delicious cakes which Anita made along with the children. Christmas stories were told to the children.

Naveen was characterised as Santa. Most of the older children(7th, 6th and 5th graders) were able to guess that it was him. But the younger children had no clue.

All the children were given gifts in the end by Santa and had Christmas cakes. It was a good day!

Ashram Trustees visit to STEM land and iSmart Class

The Ashram Trustees visited STEM land and iSmart Classroom on 20/12/17.

They interacted with the children and were exploring different things the children were doing. The children showed them the projects that they had made, 3D printed modules, Rubiks cube in STEM land. Then at the iSmart classroom they showed them the Mindstorm robots.

They seemed happy to see the children learning and doing many different things.

Ganit Rack with 3rd graders

I decided to use the Ganit Rack for addition and subtraction with the 3rd grade children as they had some difficulty in seeing patterns in numbers.

Two of the not so engaging children were very much engaged when they were doing additions with the Ganit Rack. They were also very thrilled to get the correct answer and did their problems too.

Both Ranjitha and Shivani were able to see patterns of 5.

For example, for 5 + 2 they were able to take five red beads without counting them one by one and then adding the remaining 5 white beads on the same row and 2 red ones from the next row to make 12.

I was happy to see them engaged with what they were doing!

Silicon Structure

Arun and I, we wanted to make a 3D Silicon structure using Judo Straws to see how it is structured. We found the below video on You Tube and replicated the same

One silicon atom has four shared oxygen atoms. The centre part(the four green straws joining together) inside the cube are Silicon atoms and the corners of the cube are each 4 shared oxygen atoms.

Before – After Images of iSmart Classroom

                                                                                                                                             – Bala Anand

During construction:

The lab in iSmart classroom

Work space getting its false ceiling done:

After completion of work:


Kirigami and Origami – Bala & Sundar

We had a visitor named Ravi Alugnati a very respected resource person in Math and Science languages and also does puppetry hands on activities. He showed us some of the things he had built in Kirigami We made different shapes both in Kirigami(cutting paper) and Origami(olding paper) with his guidance. The 8th and 9th graders of Udavi and some children in Isai Ambalam also enjoyed making different shapes. I found Origami little bit tougher than Kirigami as the steps to build a shape/object is more complex. I also got a feedback from him about my teaching when I was taking class for the 3rd graders in Isai Ambalam. The feedback was useful.

Kirigami : Ravi guiding the 9th graders in making a ball..

Origami : Fan, bird and a frog.. some objects we had made

Udavi 9th graders after finishing their ball

Isai Ambalam children working on kirigami

Isai Ambalam children working on kirigami

Some shapes we had made

Some shapes we had made

Ball made using 6 strips of paper

Balls made after cutting out three rectangular papers

We started of by creating a ball that included folding of paper and interlinking different pieces. Shiva(teacher at isaiambalam school) and Pranav (Volunteer at STEMland) had jointed the workshop. During these sessions everyone was very focused, and figuring out how to link the different pieces together to form the object.

Ravi had also brought with him 3D shapes that personally dazzled me there where cubes that could be rotated and would again reform the cube.

Multiplication using Ganit Mala

I used the Ganit Mala with the 3rd graders of Isai Ambalam to demonstrate multiplication. They were able to understand that multiplication is a sum of additions. They were able to write 2-10 multiplication tables. Some children worked in pairs and some worked alone. They were fairly engaged with the material they were using.

They were also able to do 2 digit addition and subtraction using the Mala.