The children in Isaiambalam, had started an EBD on garden. There were already two two sets of steps(for creating beds, in order to plant) built using cement and bricks on the front side. The left side looked a little incomplete, The task was to complete a step on the left side of the structure. To do this the children had to dig out the excess soil to lay the first set of bricks.
To create the trench children had wired and made a straight line before digging. Before laying the bricks the leveling had to be checked, this was done using a tube level( a tube filled with water)
Then the cement was mixed to sand in a ratio of 1:3 along with required amount of water.
Brick work started.
Once the side steps where complete the children used the fraction kits to tell stories of proper fractions. Which they had used to while mixing cement of sand. They needed 7 pans of sand and 2 and 1/3 pans of cements.
Once the structure was complete the students had come up with values for the project. That were Respect, equality, and perseverance, and helping.
Then they started to estimate the build of materials and their cost. It started by calculating the number of bricks for 1m and expanding to number of meters they used it for. With this they started to tell multiplication and division stories.
In Isai Ambalam school the 5th graders were able to identify the different shapes using the tessellation kit. They learnt the names of shapes like triangle which has 3 sides. They also learnt pentagon, hexagon, heptagon, octagon, nonagon, decagon. By using the shapes they were making different structures like fish, flower and some mandala structure. I learnt some new shapes names like heptagon, decagon and nonagon. It was interesting for me that I learnt something with the children.
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.
New academic year.. New students… So, something should be new in the way I start my class too. The first thing which came to my mind was the PIPER animation video. I thought, it would be nice to begin with that video. But later I realized that the video will be more effective when I combine it with stewardship tools. Yes, I did start with stewardship tools (student version) – Stand and Fear.
This year we are planning to focus on EBDs (Education By Design). The students will face many challenges in the form of EBDs. When a person asked to do something which is totally different from what they have been doing in all their life, may tends to put them in their fear of ‘Not being good enough’, ‘Making mistakes’, ‘Ridicule’ and ‘Judgement’ ( These all are the things I got out from children when I did fear exercise). So I thought it’s better to introduce these tools before I start my journey with the children.
I closed the session with PIPER animation video. Siva ( Teacher at IsaiAmbalam) supported me to carry out this by his active engagement.
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.
4th graders of IsaiAmbalam have built a pond as they were doing an EBD (Education By Design) project on water harvesting. When Sanjeev presented it in the SAIIER meeting, Saravanan the person who created the Aaranya forest came to Sanjeev and told him it was a nice effort. He also invited us to visit Aaranya forest one day.
We decided to visit the place with 35 children (4,5,6 and 7th graders of IsaiAmbalam). On 31st March we went to Aaranya. It was on Friday. We reached there around 5.00pm. Saravanan gave a little introduction to the place Aaranya and Started walking into the forest and we all followed him with great eagerness. He showed us the rare varieties of the tree like Red Sandalwood, Yellow Silk Cotton, Mullalamaram, Virali , a tree used to make Kajal (I forgot the name of the tree) etc. Also, he showed the flying fox, the wire bridge and the cuts in the ground. Children were very excited about those.
Yellow Silk Cotton
After the walk, we started the bonfire and it went for an hour or more. After having the dinner we all assembled in a room where the children shared what they have learned so far. Then, Saravaran showed a video about Aaranya for few minutes. Followed by that video he also played a video about wildlife. That was fun and informative.
Next morning, we all went to the forest again to fly in the flying fox, to walk in the wire bridge. Children told it was a nice experience ( unfortunately, I missed it ).
A child drew a picture of that place after we came back to school. From left the flying fox, the cuts in the ground, the wire bridge, yellow silk cotton, red sandalwood, mullalamaram, virali, the tree house, the tent where few of us slept in, the bonfire and the mesh room where everyone stayed.
How does the world look smaller than itself in the map?
How do I look bigger than myself in the banners?
I had this conversation with 7th graders of Isai Ambalam. Few students seemed to be very eager to express their opinion for these questions and they all had started answering for this at the same time. I stopped all of them in the middle and I asked the rest of the children, “did anyone understand anything from what they were saying?”. ” Yes akka” Varsha told as if she heard and understood everything that has been told by everyone and rest of them told “No, I didn’t” in cores voice.
“Ok, we will go one by one akka. First I will start”, kameshwari volunteered and started saying, ” Because the world is too big that’s why they( the people who made the map) made it small, otherwise we can’t see the whole world”.
I thought I have to repeat the question as it appeared to me that the child misunderstood what I have asked them. How does the world look smaller than itself in the map? I insisted on the word ‘HOW’. She sat down in her place with the gesture saying that she was thinking.
It seemed that Akash wanted to share something, so I looked at the side he was sitting. ” I don’t know how to say that akka, I’m looking for a word. Give me a moment”, Akash said with a voice of proud and little confusion. Then Prabha(Prabhakaran) raised his hand and started,” Akka I could enlarge my photo as many times I want till it became the size you need, likewise we can reduce the size too. In other words, it’s like Zooming in Zooming out a photo”.
Akash interrupted him saying “I found it. The word I wanted to say was times… “. I thought I got the crux of the topic which I had chosen.
Later they picked up some shapes like square, rectangle, and triangle and scaled up/down to some ratios. I felt satisfied with I had done with children at the end of the class.
The 6th std from Udavi, Had couple of motors in their equipment stock. They were eager on biasing them. It started with removing the gear from the motor and setting a flan blade to it. The children noticed that wind was only produced in one direction when connected to terminals of a battery, it was either inward or outward. So by changing the polarity the direction of rotation also changed in the motor. Then came the idea of creating a bubble gadget( the 5th std students were playing with bubbles during the break, this gave the idea I presume) At first the students used two of the same kind of motors(same RPM) one for blowing air and the other for creating bubbles on a stick attached to a ring made by shaping copper wires into a circle and using glue gun to stick them on. This some how did not work as the both the motors were synchronized together. Then we got a 100RPM motor and used it as a substitute, this made possible of creating the bubbles 🙂 Then they cut wood to make a platform to fit the set up and nailed into a plywood and the setup looks like: