We had a serious water problem in isai Ambalam school. We built a pond as a EBD project with the children. Then we realized that water is very precious. From that day we are aware of water. Then one day children noticed that the tank was over flowing. They came and asked how to turn off the motor automatically. I told them that I don’t know how to do that. Then they asked me that I studied Electronics and became an engineer couldn’t solve this problem. Then finally I wanted it to be automated. Through this process I learnt about relay. I was afraid to work with 230 volts and it was the first time for me to work with direct 230 volt.
Children from Isai Ambalam school went to visit Pebble garden. There he explained how to do mulching step by step. He explained how to do a bed and its size. First we have to collect dry leaves and branches. Then dip them in the water started to build a bed. Make a thin layer of with the dry leaves and add soil on top of the leaves. Do it for three time then add charcoal at the third layer. Again do the same process 4 time . Add charcoal in the 6 and 9 layer. After that he explained hoe to treat the charcoal. After doing mulching we have to wait for 2 month and then only we can use it for planting. Finally he explained the process of vermiculture. It was an interesting trip to learn about mulching and about vermiculture.
The 5th graders started to build a hot air balloon in Isai Ambalam school. We started gathering information how to make a hot air balloon. Then we watched some videos to make the hot air balloon. We found the reason why the hot air balloon fly towards the sky. The we used tissue papers to make a hot air balloon. The things that are need to make a hot air balloon are glue, tissue paper and binding wire and scissors. we learnt that the hot air moves towards the cold air in the sky and this is the reason why the hot air balloon move towards the sky. I felt the student were excited while doing it . While doing this activity I found the children were responsible for the materials and team work and helping each other and sharing the materials and everyone got equal opportunities for doing the activities.
On Friday in Isai Ambalam School we conducted sports-day for the children. The tasks were sack race, lemon in the spoon, slow cycling, running race, three legged race and Tug of war. We started with the first standard class and conducted till 7th standard. The organizers were Anitha and Sasikala. This was the first time that we conducted these game for the student . I enjoyed a lot and it was a good experience to conduct such activities for the children. Other than the participants the children were encouraging the students to win the game. Handling small children with such activities was very difficult. And I learnt that I need to have lots of energy to conduct such activities. It was a great opportunities for me and others to conduct such activities. For the winners we gave laddu and jangiri for the children. The winner got laddu and the runner got jangiri. All the children were excited and energetic.
The start of the Saturday classes in Isaiambalam School has enabled a lot of different exposures with various people to the children. Some of the elder students wanted to model Sanjeev’s house with plywood. Then the list was made to buy the materials required and the students came up with the following:
- Saw x 2
- Hammer x 2
- Sand paper x 1m
- Chisel x 1
But then we decided to use the old chisel that i had already in my arsenal, Sharpening so it was.
Once the chisel was ready
We started to carve in the windows with the correct dimensions, we took a ratio of 1:10 and descaled the House for the wood model.
Then came the task to build a real door, the children kept on a halt the house model and started to inspect room that required the door and it continued to the next class;
The old mushroom shaped room with no door:
We decided to build a door with some unused wood that was ageing without a purpose. This gave the children a view into measurement. They started out by measuring the dimensions of the door and marked the appropriate onto the wood. Then came the challenge of what joint to select, and we selected an open mortise with a pinned corner.
So began the sawing, hammering, and chiseling works 🙂
We wanted to make the joints perfect and decided to carve the wood to have a
In Isai Ambalam school on Saturdays many activities are done with the students. Last Saturday we did carpentry, gardening. Some learnt electronics and some played strategy games in Isai Ambalam Stemland. We also use math for measuring the wood. We also taught how to cut the wood with a saw.
The class started with showing the Piper movie.
What they learnt from the movie:
- If we try something we can do everything.
- What ever we don’t know, we need to learn.
- We shouldn’t be afraid of anything.
- If we have experience we can learn many things.
- We can learn from others.
- They wanted to draw India map using Scratch.
- Parts of the body.
- Something with light and sound some wanted to do.
- Parts of animal, bird, rocket, tree.
- Some wanted to do poem.
- To show name when the mouse pointer is on the vegetable.
At the end of the class we asked what was difficult:
Without using victor mode students were having difficulty in separating the parts of the object.
I would like to be rigorous in time management.
To create a new project on their own with what they learnt in the class.
To check if your hard drive has more un formatted disk space that is not being utilized do the following:
- Right click on my computer icon.
- Select Manage
- Disk Management
You will be able to see all the partitions; allocated and un allocated.
If there is un allocated space, format the partition and add label to it and make it active.
The new drive will show up in My computer 😉
In the beginning of 2016 I was assigned to a new project on Python called Cello (Graphical User Interface for a chip). Working on this project has improved my skill in Python and my style of thinking.
I was a beginner to Python language. I had spent quite a lot of time even with some small logic. Initially, I followed trial and error method to make my program work without much logical thinking. Indeed, I hoped for the best out it like a magic (Yes, it did work for quite a few sometimes).
Fortunately, I was able to make some small pieces of code (functions) to work. That gave me the confidence to strive to break down my program into smaller logical units. After sometime, suddenly, I realized I had started liking what I do and it seemed that I was very eager to make things work. However, I was still a novice and I had only thought through things superficially and had no depth in it. Most of my programs were inefficient and had no comments for future reference.
After few months I completed the initial specifications project and thought I was done. It was then that I was asked to add few more features in it. It was only at that time I started to realize all my incorrect assumptions and mistakes. I think that experience was for my growth and how I did so consciously, the capacity to deal with stress and ability to think about the big picture rather to be stuck with some of my assumptions particularly when I design something.
On the other hand, I played the role of Teacher in two schools (I’m a volunteer at two schools- IsaiAmbalam and Udavi). It was as much of a challenge as being a good programmer. I realized, it was easy for me to deliver a lecture to the class, but that did not give the result which I expected. I started having one to one conversations. I didn’t change the whole picture but few students had taken the responsibility of their own growth and started working towards it.
Later, rest of the students started noticing it and wanted to be like them. In other words, those few people inspired others simply by their action & outputs. Generally it’s hard to track each child, but this is what I’m doing and I’m happy too. I fell proud when a child teaches me something which I have no idea. I learned many things when I sit with a child (particularly problem solving skills, reasoning, aptitude and how to make myself light & happy).
Aura Auro had given me an opportunity to attend Vipassana also. That helped me to look at myself and find out what I really care for and what all are my biases. This was my biggest learning of 2016.
From people sharing:
- At lunch, I told the teachers that they can sit anywhere and have their food. A teacher replied saying that ‘you are giving so much freedom to your children and we know that we are allowed to sit anywhere we want’. It struck me that not many schools give freedom to children to make their choices.
- A teacher at my table said that creating projects in the computer is real learning and very different from other schools where they simply give internal marks without doing anything.
- A teacher said that he stood for all the values – I had the same thought one day, for me to happy I have to be in all the universal values. Was interesting to hear someone had the same thought as me.
- Another teacher shared about how she was always for others and this was the first time she had time to think about herself and her values/stand.
- I was able to look at the wisdom profile of the teachers. Before, I looked at their social profile and made assumptions. I was able to break it.
- I learnt to look at situations from different perspectives/lenses.