Sharing & Learning Together

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Teaching better with technology

Hi all,

I have incorporated the use of my online course into my Science lessons by having a science lesson in the computer lab. I had searched for some educational websites on the internet when we started our new topic on Matter. I was very excited on finding some wonderful sites which allowed students to sort and classify materials into different categories. Then sort the materials according to their properties/ characteristics and finally answer a quiz on the topic. When I shared this with my team teacher she was also interested and we both wanted to watch the outcome of the lesson.

The children were in for a surprise as they had never had such an experience before. The lesson was a grand success as the children constantly interacted with their partners and discussed the answers before putting them down on the screen. There was definitely a lot of authentic learning happening with interest, challenges and satisfaction.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Kalpana's wacky classroom

It was a bright day and I decided to have my wacky lesson. I had just thought about it and when I said about that to my Co-teacher Ms. Mandanna, she was more excited than me. We entered the class and the students were given the surprise. They had to imitate us and teach like us!
Students were more than excited when they heard the news. They decided to work in pairs. A mere 5 minutes was utilised for deciding on the topic(of course math) and the way they were going to present it. Each pair was told that they would be given just 5 minutes for teaching (mock teaching!)
Hari and Rahul went up to the board and taughtus simple equations and solving. When Hari spoke about the mechanics of constants and terms moving acrossthe equal sign, Rahul had to say “ Does everybody understand what Mr. Hari is trying to say?” followed by a whisper with Hari. Varsha a new student came near me and said” Miss, You don’t block the board like this!” I liked the way Hari stressed his “4x is the same as 4 times x!” (Poor us!)
Prithvi and Shehan followed them with their Pictographs. The whole class broke into laughter when Prithvi started rolling the chalk piece constantly. Well I keep rolling the chalk piece in my palm! After a brief introduction about pictographs, they did a survey of the class about the number of veg and non veg eaters and created a table. The veg eaters were 6 and 6 carrots were drawn. Non veg eaters were 19. When Shehan started to draw Chicken legs, Prithvi stopped him saying that its going to long and just drew small circles (good job!). He drew an array of 5 circles in 4 rows, and erased a circle in the last row. (Wow! He was using the concept of arrays effectively) But wait! He was counting the circles to see if he was right! Then he added lines to the circles. Someone (I think it was Sohum) from the audience shouted” They look like prawns” Yummy! It was hilarious to see that the actual graph turned out to be a bar graph with a long scale (from 1 to 20) which was changed from 5 to 20 in fives. I didn’t miss the WEG for veg on the x-axis.
Siddhanth and Avirukt, the thinkers of the class started of on the journey about Pythagorus (Well their spelling was Pythogras) theorem at great speed. It was fun to see the disappointment on Sid’s face when the class couldn’t follow it. He started “ You see this is a theorem and it has to be this way!” Well Boys, they were after all Std 06 students! Avi was fed up when somebody asked “ But how can 3+4 = 7?”, and ended up with Ms. Mandanna’s note saying “ Well students what do you think the student Reference book is for. Please go to pg… for the theorem”
Sindhu and Kanika started of with “Std 06! Settle down fast!” Well this class does take time to settle down for the math class. Thank you! They did a mind map about decimals.
Nikhil and Nihal made us laugh till our stomachs ached. All Nikhil did was have a hand on his hip and another with a chalk in his palm, rolling it. They were good team teachers with Nikhil saying “Sorry Ms Kalpana “and Nihal acknowledging it. Well Ms. Mandanna and myself saw ourselves up there. The funniest part was Nihal calling out “ Pranav! Sit down, you are grounded for a week” Ms. Mandanna took some time to stop laughing.
Pranav and Sohum came up to do Bar graphs. Sohum was stressing “ Don’t forget the key!”
Ishaan and Yohann did Polyhedrons. Ishan did a good job of defining it and showing examples of them from the class.
Namitha and Meghna did lattice multiplication, and explained it well. Don’t miss the chalk rolling. I like the way they asked “Any doubts” after they had done their teaching and made a student do a problem on the board.
Agni and Dushyant made us laugh again with Agni addressing the cleanliness of the class. “ Who were on duty today? Why isn’t the board erased?” Thanks Agni , I can see you empathising us. Dushyant waho is a left-hander started rolling the chalk but it falling off from his hand. My god do I do it so often!!!!! Integers was their topic . I like the way they introduced the class to quadrants first, and then the integers. They called the students to work out some addition problems on integers. Shehan had to be shouted(well, reminded ) by Ms. Mandanna because he kept disturbing the teachers. Well that usually happens in most of the classes.
Paayal and Shruthi were hilarious again when they imitated us, by holding their reference books open and struggling with it. It is a fact that we need to have the teacher reference books open in our hands during the class, while we discuss and walk around. I like the way they controlled the class by managing their questions” Can anybody…….?” “ Put your hands up please,” “ Is your hand up?”
Shehan came to the board and introduced percentages. While we were looking for the partner, Pranjal walks in greeting the class. A student of the class said “ Oh Ms. Mandanna sometimes comes late” Well coordinators have lots of other things to do!
An example taking 25 students from a class and having their percentage preferences was discussed. Lots of students asked “ what if the class was 29 or 31 and not 25?” Sid and others had to shout with confidence “ so what , it is possible to find percentages”

Well the timing worked well and the bell rang. We assigned the next day’s homework and walked out of the class. It was a different and exciting class today. There are four things that have remained with me after the class. How my mannerisms are imbedded in my teaching, how well our team works in teaching which is accepted and welcomed by the class, the dynamics of my class, and the fact that it is satisfactory to see myself as a good math teacher from so many Mrs. Kalpanas.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

A wacky idea

Today we in Std.01 started a topic on Living and Non living Things. The learning objective was to enable students to observe and classify things into living and non living. The plan was to look at objects around the class and at pictures from a book and then elicit answers from students. While travelling on the bus this morning, I was playing the lesson in my mind, thinking if there could be a way to make this lesson more interesting and also achieve the objective.... and I thought why not ask the children to play detectives?

You can imagine how excited they were when they heard those words. We told the children to play detectives and go out into the secret garden to look around carefully for things that were living and non living. They were also told that when they returned they would be given big chart papers for each table on which they had to draw 5 - 6 things of each type while working collaboratively in their groups. The 20 minute walk into the garden was enough for the ideas to start appearing and by the end of the second block we had 7 charts showing the classification; ready to be displayed and we also achieved the objective of the lesson.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Teaching for Creativity

Hi Everybody,
I like to share the work I did with Grade 08. To make my class a creative classroom, I divided the class into 5 groups of 4 students each. The students were asked to create minor games or a skill development activity under soccer and basketball skills like passing, traping, dribbling and shooting. I also explained to them that the activities should be framed in such a way that it develops the game skills and also could be used in the school play ground. Each group created 3 minor games and they thoroughly enjoyed doing it. In every lesson 0ne group takes charge of a class and teach the minor games to the other students. Do you all think that it's teaching for creativity or creative classroom.