Category Archives: Schools

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!

Patterns with 2nd standard

In Isai Ambalam school 2nd graders had a difficulty in finding the pattern. When I use Dienes blocks and jodo cubes to identify the patterns. I asked the children to arrange the cubes in different orders that they have seen it in real life. I split  them into two groups and asked them to arrange th cubes in patterns. They started doing that and then shared how they arranged the numbers from 1 – 10.  When I used the Dienes block it was difficult for them to tell how many blocks are used visually. Then I used Jodo blocks it was big and they were in different colors. Children were able to tell the different patterns. They were able to see it visually and they were able to draw it on a paper.  They helped each other to identify the pattern. They were able to tell the different patterns that they saw in their house.



Making Homopolar motor with 7th graders

Janani and Vishal made a homopolar motor. Janani got excited when she saw this experiment online and she wanted to build one on her own.


Materials needed: 1*AA battery, 3*neodymium magnet, Coper wire of length30cm.

Step 1: Place the three magnets at the negative terminal of the battery.

Step 2: Bend the coper wire as shown in the figure. Make sure it is not insulated, if so please scratch the wire till you get rid of the enamel.

Step3: Put all of them together. Place the coper bend wire on top of the positive terminal of the battery and other end touching the negative terminal of the battery.

Take a look at the video:

  • The current in this homopolar motor flows in the presence of a magnetic field. When a current flows in a magnetic field, it will experience something known as the Lorentz force. The Lorentz force is what causes the wire to spin around the battery.[1]
  • The wire connects to the battery at three points. One point of the wire is on the positive terminal, and the two ends of the wire are near the magnet, on the negative terminal. The current flows out of the positive terminal and down both sides of the wire. The magnetic field pushes the current outwards, causing the wires to rotate.[2]




Isai Ambalam Pond

In Isai Ambalam school for one week there was no water. The bore water didn’t work. We started having a conversation how to over come this problem. During that week it rained a lot. Since it is a slope the water didn’t stay there. The ground was wet. Children wanted build a pond. They started digging the behind Sanjeev’s house. They measured the length of the pond. Then they started digging the pond. After digging they wanted to cement it. Children started buying bricks and cement bags. During sleep over we started cementing the pond and it was really a good experience with children.

We started with the first layer of cement and let it to dry. Then fixed chicken mesh on top of the first layer. We added mesh to prevent cracks. Then again we started add cement as a third layer. Then the pond didn’t look nice without a boundary. So we bought bricks with the children and started making a cylinder shape. Finally we smoothen it with cement. After that we wanted to leave make a sitting bench. We built a sitting bench.

Then we inaugurated the pond by leaving the fish in the pond. We also estimated how much cement bags were used. We learnt to find the volume of the cement bag and the pond. We also learnt to use the mason tools. Children were able to do in a group and everyone had equal opportunities to share their work.

Routing Ethernet Cables

The 9th grader at Udavi volunteered to paint the new Ismart class room that is being built in the factory side of the Udavi school campus. Which joins along with the Aura Auro Design Lab.

The new space required LAN connectivity.

The LAN cables where already routed to junction boxes which had to be clipped and fixed to the 24 model switch box.

(The box varies from brand to brand, Legrand is easy and takes less time to clip to the individual sockets but is ~ Rs 150 per unit that is 3x larger than other brands) The one that was used required more fine work of screwing and unscrewing individual wires of the CAT 6 LAN cables.


Vignesh connecting a socket box

Velmurugan connecting a socket box



We used straight connection for crimping the rj 45 connectors to the switch box






Then finally we tested if the wires were connected properly with a testing probe.


(The device had eight LED’s that would be connected to both ends of the cables. One of the device was the master and the other was a slave. The master would send a signal for each of the eight wires present on the CAT 6 cable and the slave would light up LED’s accordingly)

Vaughn Cube

During Maths class children were having difficulty in telling tables quickly. Our children were able to tell tables in order but it was difficult when it was random. So we started using Vaughn cube. Vaughn cube is a set of videos which help children to tell tables quickly. We started using the it with 3rd and 4th graders. At first children felt interesting. It middle they felt it was boring because the videos were so long. Then we started to use cards that has been taken from the video. when they started with 3 table they couldn’t tell the  number or answer in 3 table. Later when they started noticing the pattern. They when i asked some question they use to tell the object that is present between two number. Once they know all the object they use to jump here and there to tell the answer. They really felt happy that they were tell all the tables from 1 – 10.  To tell the tables they need to know 28 objects. Next they need to know between which number certain object should come . Once they knew that they were able to tell tables. If we follow the instruction in the video it will be boring. Vaughn cube should be used in short time and if extended for long time children feels boring. Children wont  wait for the  teacher to ask the tables. They them self  pair together and ask tables in random order.


Inauguration of clay room


The Roof was built with slabs that were attached together with bindings, and sealed off with some material that had become torn and corroded. Thus making rain water seep in. The solution was covering the cracks with tar sheets. Naveen had got the excess sheets from the repair works at Aura Auro Design’s Lab. He also got a Flame thrower that was antique 😉 (We along with the children had a time figuring out how to light it up) It was a manual tool we had to compress air and it would send out a mixture of kerosene and air that would burn. eventually 🙂 . The children started to measure and cut out the tar sheets from a roll. Naveen  and the children placed the sheets and heated them to stick on the roof with the flame thrower.

We hope this will prevent rain water from seeping in. The roof was then painted with a bright yellow oil paint. We bought 6 liters of oil paint. Children started painting during their sleepover. It took two evenings to paint 2 coat of painting on the roof.

Painting Inside:



The room was now ready to be inaugurated on Sri Aurobindo’s birthday. We had as our chief guest, Swami Sarvasahananda from Ramakrishna Mission, Chengalpattu. He graced our space with his blessings, talk and music. That morning the school was abuzz with activity. Children had stayed over the previous night to participate in the dawnfire meditation. When we came from there, we were working on decorating the clay room. Garlands were made, photos of Sri Aurobindo, Mother, Sri Ramakrishna, Sarada Devi and Swami Vivekananda were decorated. Lamps were kept ready for the opening. Children with help from their teachers got the PA system ready. The harmonium and tabla were arranged. Gopal from Mantra pottery joined us that morning to do clay work. It was a session that children and adults enjoyed. The Swamiji lit the lamp and invited the teachers to do the same. Once the lamps were lit, we all connected with the Divine Mother through songs that the Swamiji and children sang. For those who could remember how forlorn the room had been, it was touching to see how the same little room was shining with all of us invoking the Divine.

As one of the facilitators in creating our clay room, I witnessed the transformation of a space we had neglected over the years into a bright space that we look at every day. That we can transform our environment with one-pointed concentration, team-work, openness to learn, consecration of our work to the Divine are learnings that will stay with us and reveal themselves to us as and when we are ready to understand them.

When I was working with the children in the clay room I learnt to be patient. Involved all the children and gave equal opportunities to all the children. Learnt team work from the children. I saw sharing and caring from the children while working as a team for my self and for others.

Clay room

Painting Outside:

Third graders took responsibility to paint outside. This being a room for clay and woodwork, we wanted to paint it with a natural brownish red-soil color. We inquired with a few painters and once they understood our idea, they all suggested extracting the color from red-soil and binding it with Fevicol. Children in 5,6 and 7 stay over in school on Wednesdays. One Thursday morning, we went with pands and mumpties and collected red soil.

Once the soil was on hand, the third graders sieved it. Water was added to the soil and mixed well. This had to be filtered to extract the color. For the filter, we used some of the cloth bags we receive in grocery stores that don’t use plastic any more. We tool 4 liters of the red-soil water and mixed it with 2 liter of Fevicol. Fevicol made the paint thick. We painted the wall and as it dried up, the wall looked beautiful with hues of orange, red and yellow. We wanted a darker shade since we planned to paint patterns on the wall inspired by Warli art. So for the next coat, we added some brown water color that was on hand. A lovely dark shade was the result. The room is hexagonal giving us six panels to paint on. Over a few evenings after school, teachers and students painted patterns on the wall. We have a panel with a tree and a deer on a full moon night. One more with the Matrimandir, Banyan tree and children visiting there. Some of the paintings did not come well and we painted over them to create a fresh new wall to paint over.