The unusual choices! #ClassRoomTales

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A super-excited morning in school,

All the kids lined up for participating in an inter-school science project exhibition and it was wonderful to see some amazing working models.Kids did a brilliant job!  All the participating kids bid a bye to everyone in the school, and started their journey to the destination school by walk.

And surprisingly,

I saw Barath Mathiew (one of my student) rushing to the school, with his shirt fully wet, carrying a thermocol model on his hand.   The model was about human digestive system.

“Sorry sir! I was waiting for Kishore (the kid from other class).  He is also participating in the competition.  He finally didn’t turn up today.  Did everyone left for the competition?”

“Barathmathiew, you’re super late today! Did I ask you to wait for Kishore and come along with him?! Everyone already left for the competition, exactly 15 minutes back.”

“Oh okay sir 🙂 But, this is my model.”

Now, I had two options,

(i) Take the model, keep it on the class room.  Ask him to present it during one of the school assembly. And make sure that he didn’t feel bad because he didn’t get this chance to go for inter-school competition. The usual choice.

(ii) Follow up the location of where the competition is actually happening.  Figure out the ways, to take him (and his project too) to the competition.The unusual choice.

I decided the latter.

“Barath, are you comfortable sitting on a cycle and coming with me?  I will take you to the competition.”

“Sir! I can sit comfortably.  But, it’s difficult for me to carry this thermocol model.”

“Oops.  Not an issue.  Pass it to me! I will hold this and run the bicycle as well.”

Pausing a bit, I noticed a teacher ran and came towards us with something on her hand.

“Sir! Please take this bird’s nest model and if possible give it our kids at the competition.”

Wondering whom I’m really going to give this, I told, “Definitely miss.  Please give it to Barathmathiew sitting behind.”

Half way through the journey, my co-fellow called me up and said, “It’s difficult to get an opportunity for one more participant from our school.  There are limited chances for every school.  Better don’t bring Barathmathiew’s model.  He mostly won’t get an opportunity to present.”

Now, I had another set of choices:

(i) Make a U-Turn, return back to school.  The usual choice.

(ii) Continue the journey, and at least pass on the nest.  The unusual choice.

This time I left the decision to him,

He told, “Sir! Let’s continue the journey.  I will get an opportunity to see the other projects and I will make a better attempt next time by coming early.  Not an issue, if I don’t present.”

 He chose the latter.

 Fast forward to the afternoon.

 My co-fellow called me up and said very happily, “Barathmathiew has won the third prize in the competition.”

 “Wow. But how?”

 “He got an opportunity to present and he did explained the project fantastically.  He knows the digestive system extremely well.”

 Rewind to a planning evening, two weeks back.

 “Should I really choose this Grade VII video for teaching digestive system? This is extremely detailed.  I never think this will be helpful to my students in Grade IV.”

I was exhausted to see the limited number of choices available on YouTube to plan for the digestive system for my kids.

Then, I had two options:

(i) Plan for something else for the ‘engage’ part of the lesson, crop this video idea.  The usual choice.

(ii) Getting convinced with ‘Anyways they will be learning it in future!”and going ahead with Grade VII video.  The unusual choice.

I chose the latter.

The series of unusual choices also, sometimes result in a desire outcome. 

To know more about our class room and our initiatives please visit here. Help us to support our children to do more such wonderful things, kindly donate what you can: https://milaap.org/fundraisers/donate4inventors

Big Big. Bang Bang! #ClassroomTales

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Young minds always have brilliant questions.

“Sir, who invented the earth?”

“Why  all the other planets in the solar system are revolving around Sun, sir? Why can’t Sun revolve around us?”

“My mom told me that God created all of us.  Then, who created the God, sir?”

During the beginning of Term III in my first year of teacher life, I was often amazed to see the young inventors of my class room asking such curious questions.  I used to get excited and try explaining the concept of Universe scientifically.  But, whenever I try answering them instantly from my knowledge, the kids came up with the follow up questions, which are are quite tough (honestly! :P).

So one day, I decided to do an exclusive morning meeting* on the birth of Universe – and and introduced the kids to the Big Bang Theory!

[*morning meeting – the first 20 minutes of every day, during when we facilitate activities inculcating values and exposure for the children and energize them for the whole day of learning]

The kids watched a video and listened to the story of how the Universe evolved by continuous expansion and how the scientific matter played an essential role in creating each and everything in the space.  When I actually expected kids will get all their answers to the questions on their mind by knowing the Big Bang theory, it finally ended up creating even more curiosity among them.  I also told them that is one among the many theories proposed about the origin of Universe, and they can explore even more about this.

When I closed out the morning meeting about the origin of universe, one of kid posed a question,

“Sir, so you’re telling that there are many galaxies, stars and planets do exist. How did the humans chose that they want to live only on the planet Earth?

To such an amazing question I replied, We, the humans never chose Earth.  It is the Earth who chose us and who provide us this living habitat. We are all evolved from the mother Earth.  And that’s why, it’s the duty of every individual to protect our Earth.”

After this particular incident, I noticed the kids developed a natural interest towards space science and they started reading more about space through the books available in library. It was so fascinating to see the children extending their knowledge beyond the basics of solar system about which they have a lesson in Grade IV.

The enthusiasm of the kids reflected a lot on our class room culture. We changed our class room call-in-response* to  “Big Big.” : “Bang Bang”.  And we also started following a new seating position called “universe position” and switched from the conventional smart position.

[*call-in-response (or the attention grabber) – something we use in our class room to bring the attention of the kids back to the teacher from an activity]

It was quite fabulous for me as a teacher, to see how the curiosity of the children to know new things in the world drove the class room culture and also helped in the learning of the students.  Whenever we learn a new thing about space science, the kids naturally get excited in my class room!

Through this experience with my kids, I learned an incredible lesson:

Teaching is not complete when we transfer the skills and knowledge; it’s accomplished only when we kindle the curiosity of the students and their thirst to learn more.

Later towards the end of the year in March, we had a drawing competition about scientific innovations. One of the kid, Prathyangara Devi crafted this thoughtful drawing about the importance of invention.

Before invention: Earth at the middle. Sun & all the other planets revolve around.

After invention: Sun at the middle.  Earth & all the other planets revolve around.

 

Are you thinking about heliocentric, geocentric theories & Galileo?

Yes exactly, the kid portrayed the same thing about which she will be elaborated in detail 7 years later in Grade XI Physics. 🙂

To know more about our class room and our initiatives please visit here. Help us to support our children to do more such wonderful things, kindly donate what you can: https://milaap.org/fundraisers/donate4inventors