Classroom Diaries: Jigyasa Adventures at Chembur Children’s Home (28/07/2018)

Once again its a new session at Chembur Children’s Home, Mankhurd where i have been going to teach science for the past 4 years on behalf of Vinimay Trust. This year is going to be different. Way different than ever before. As someone who is trying to imbibe the principles of Learning Centric Anarchy,  i decided to have the session in the corridors of the hostels instead of the classroom.

About 10 learners of 10th standard were with me in the adventurous journey of science following the Jigyasa Adventure Map. As the class begun it was becoming evident that there is a sense of passivity within some of the learners who have hitherto not been doing well in school. Infact, most kids don’t know why they are going to school and what they are learning. My first objective was thus to disconnect them from the ‘classroom’ aka ‘children’s jail’ atmosphere and proceed towards making them more open and free to think and make mistakes. So the first rule of the class evolved…

“Learners shall not be judged for their ignorance or not knowing….but will be asked to remove the inner passivity layer and express more freely”

So after setting up this context, we move on to the content.

So what is the smallest mark that you can make ? A dot….What if we add more and more dots next to each other ?

While adding dots i realized it was a good time to introduce the concept of Number Line which the kids are familiar with and can connect to and it worked!

Once we could get an idea about the line we moved towards the measurement of length.

The next question was “How long is 1 meter ?”

Here we followed the CONNECT, EXTEND & CHALLENGE method as given lucidly in Visible Thinking website and that i learnt from an amazing course, Foundations of Teaching and Learning, in Coursera.

Kids were made to connect with the concept of length using their geometry box ruler. So a long scale is 30 cm. On giving the information that 1 m = 100 cm, only one kid could guess the length of the meter correctly by extending the known info and adding it up to roughly show 1 m hands apart. But as the concept boiled down onto other kids as well, they could then clear all challenges posed to them like the length of the tall roof support to the distance between 2 nearby trees etc. All the examples were taken from the vicinity. Herein evolved thumb rule number two…

“Learners shall be made to connect with objects that are in their tangible vicinity or that which they already know. The challenge is also to be posed in such a way that the learners can get the most knowledge of science out of their own nearby vicinity.”

We took time to dwell on the concept of Dimensions. Why is it called 1D ? What is 2D and 3D? Why they are called 3D movies ?

With the aim of understanding what ‘3D movies’ actually mean, we proceeded further…

(Want to contribute towards activities of Chembur Children’s Home ? Please contact http://www.casmumbai.in/cas-mumbai-branches/the-chembur-children’s-home-mankhurd.html for more details)

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