Saturday Afternoons......are Fun!!

On a Saturday afternoon post lunch what would be expected of teachers who had given up a holiday after a hectic work week??

Well... watch the videos to get a glimpse of the magic of working collaboratively to create amazing presentations. The passion, dedication and enthusiasm of the "inspired" who hope to recreate todays experience with their learner groups.

Jisaw - the Big Picture

Colour Coded Groups working on Jigsaw puzzles.....can Professional development be enjoyable?
A glimpse into the session on Brain Based drive home the fact that 'the brain processes parts and the whole' it also 'searches for meaning' and 'meaning is made through patterning'

Day One with the New Batch

Our topic for the day was Learners and Learning....

We explored a whole range of principles that go into designing a learning program - the focus being on "How learning actually happens"

The workshop was fun..... by the end of it we realized that we 'retain' more when the 'joy' of learning in built into the design...

The points made were very hands on for example the glove activity....see the pictures to get a 'feel' (pun intended) of the experience we had while we discovered so many profound details about design...awesome!!

Using QCT in CIDTT sessions to establish rules with 4 year olds!

Like many of us, I too have attended a session on Quality Circle Time (QCT). At the time I was quite enthused with the idea working with older children. However I was quite skeptical about its success with the pre primary children. With the passage of time QCT was a memorable experience which was never experimented with because I was scared of failing and making a complete fool of myself.

Recently I have started practicing the 10 hour teaching sessions as required by CIDTT. After a discussion with my mentor, I decided that I must try this method with my children of Jr. Kg. Increasingly I was becoming tired of “being safe” and refusing to try unchartered waters! However I kept thinking if jeopardizing my CIDTT session was the only way out…but the streak of taking risks got the better of me.

Oct. 25th is a memorable day in my teaching calendar – in fact my very own learning and teaching moment! It has often been observed that children adapt to changes much faster than adults do. This is just what my class of 25 did today. I started with an energizer and soon followed it with a QCT to reinforce the golden rule of “Raise your hands to speak else I will not respond”. Since the theme that I am teaching is “Marine Creatures” I used a bright orange fish cutting as the speaking object. This technique worked like a charm. Children were encouraged to speak about their favorite pet animal in a sentence. A humbling aspect of the QCT was the shy ones enjoying the technique and actually basking in their moment of glory about their pet animal!! The children who are usually more extroverted actually waited their turn instead of overriding the shy ones.

A firm conclusion from today – Teaching is not as much about the years of experience as it is about the moments that take your breath away and lend an insight into learning and aging like the banyan tree – strong enough to stand rooted and flexible enough to branch out.

Archana Sarkar
Vibgyor High, Marathahalli, Bangalore

Amazing.....See it to believe it !!

More Pictures....of the Meeting with Mentors

Click here for more pictures 

Coffee Morning with Mentors

The coffee morning was interactive and gave the participants a chance to discuss their program and session plans with their mentors.

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Congratulations on completion of your Face to Face Sessions

Time to think...... share ideas...........understand.......and create meaning
As teachers - Why we do? What we do?? and Finding ways to make our lessons more enjoyable for our learners :)

All the discussion and Collaboration......

All the Team work, planning and research........has now helped us to move to step 2 of the CIDTT Diploma - Planning the Program and sessions. Hope you have a fruitful meeting with your mentors.

All the Best!!


Ms Sudarshana's evaluation class really gave me a wonderful feeling.
It made me to refine, reproduce, redo, reinvent the same things when I try to do my lesson plans. But honestly I wasn't bored of doing the same thing. It is quite natural thing to do. The constant feed backs from both teacher and students will naturally help you to do so. Informally we all do evaluation, but it is always true we can not provide the feed back to our assessment. When we do it formally, definitely we can give the feed back with evidence for further improvement.

I could not make out the fine lining between ASSESSMENT & EVALUATION, but Ms Sudarshana quickly said it. And told us how it is different.

I think a good evaluation technique helps other also. I mean to say to other teachers or the teachers like me or the organization in future decision making.

Colleague feedback for summative

Informal feedback for Summative Lesson - Sonali

Students recieved you very enthusiastically. You have established a visible bond with them.
Students were given a choice of writing songs, poems, and essays and also given topic ideas as differentiation.
You had colourful and captivating charts ready on the relevant writetraits.
Through their feedback forms, students recorded their thoughts and experiences and reflected upon the tasks.
Your plan to ask students to focus on their best work pieces and reflect on why they chose them, was a great idea and students were proud to see their work on a corridor board as a summative presentation
Through the bulletin board, students were able to grasp the full impact of the lessons that led up to that culmination.
The entire unit plan was very useful and benefitted my class's writing skills, knowledge of the Write Traits as well as attitude towards writing. Grade 4 D and I are very thankful to you.
I wish you the very best in the teaching profession, and I have no doubt you will be an asset.

Bulletin board

The students were made to choose their best work under any one write traits - namely word choice , sentence fluency , essay , ideas and all the work that they had done was compiled for the making of their own bulletin board . Students were motivated to give their best when they were informed that their sheets will be presented . I also wrapped up their learning by informally introducing them to the writing process . They can now see the purpose and meaning behind learning 3 write traits . There are formally 6 plus 1 but I chose the uppermost ones and the amalgamation of all their work was displayed . It took into account various intelligences - kinaesthetic , visual , interpersonal , intrapersonal , musical . Students even composed acrostic poems and songs . Work was done individually but I made them edit each others work .

EVALUATION-Technique for self improvisation

I always thought that 'Evaluation' was for the learners , in fact couldn't differentiate between the terms evaluation and assessment but Sudarshana through our last session helped us in understanding the true meaning of the term. Evaluation is actually assessing ownself as to how I'm teaching and whether I am able to successfully convey knowledge to my learners to my heart's content!

I realised the need for feedback by my learners because they are the best judge of my teaching methodologies I also felt that self evaluation is essential to realise my shortcomings and work out on methods to improvise myself.

CIDTT is actually helping us become better individuals (besides being better teachers)through these reflection,evaluation techniques.Realising our own shortcomings and mistakes and trying to rectify them is the most difficult task because once we grow up as adults,we assume ourselves to be perfect and this myth about ourselves hinders our growth further professionally and personally.Thanks to CIDTT for breaking this MYTH....

An argument for which of the five geometry terms is most important!

Five people were travelling together and on their way they got into conversation. They introduce themselves as a Mr.Point,Miss Line,Mr.Line segment,Miss Ray and Mr. Angle.Each one tries to impress the others with their greatness.
Mr.Point:I am the alpha and the omega,the beginning and the end.Iam in everything,nothing starts or ends without me,hence I am the greatest!
Miss Line:You think so??you are a part of me but only a part.I go on and on and on....I have no limits,hence "I am the greatest'.Everyone else is a part of me.I am flexible and can twist and turn and twirl and make you dizzy!!
Mr.Line Segment: Really?But I am the greatest.You just go on and on and on but I am more definite.
Miss Ray:I don't agree.I am definite but at the same time limitless. I combine the best of both worlds.I have a direction,I show the way,'I am the greatest'.
Mr.Angle:Look at it from my angle.I am the greatest.I am diverse,I own you all.The world is within my arms.

"My most memorable day as a teacher!"

This is one line every teacher would love to comment on .... and I am not any different from the others.
My most memorable day as a teacher was when I started to teach Prof. Rajeswari Chatterjee, who in her own capacity was a great teacher and had retired as chairperson of the Electrical engg department a long time ago from IISC. It was about seven years ago and she called me to teach her how to work with computers and write short stories using Microsoft word. I was spell bound at the call as I was getting this fantastic opportunity to teach a great teacher herself .So my oldest or should I say the most youngest student was of 80 years.
When I started with my first class all she said was " neenu nanna teacher ivathininda ( You are my teacher from today )"and that statement meant a lot to me as I was just a baby in the teaching world and she was already a master at teaching. The irony was I would always call her Madam, and she would reply by saying yes madam, all the time I was teaching her . It took her a lot of classes to completely and confidently start using the computer. She was actually completing an assignment of the creative writing class she had taken up that summer at US when she visited her daughter.
I used to demonstrate how to use the icons and then the short cuts to her and she would promptly write down every step in a big book that she had sewed up of old paper from books.I found that so very interesting as every student old or young finally starts with writing down things. She would always tell me that she would not remember once I left her place ,and that since she was OLD ( I would never agree with this one) she had to write it down to help her memory.
My experience went on for almost 6 months and I had the most memorable experience as I learnt a lot of lessons about life for a class on technology. Madam passed away on Friday 3rd Sep2010 but the memories I have had from my teaching experience will always stay with me and guide me through out .
Thanks to Madam I got the opportunity to become a good teacher !!!.
                    Photo of: Rajeswari Chatterjee
      My dearest Chatterjee Madam.
Thank you for teaching me to be  a good teacher. I will always remember you and miss you a lot!!!


I teach grade I and one of the major challenges for me has been to integrate children of varied learning styles in the classroom. We get prepared question papers for assessments, so there was not much I could do except give some visual or verbal cues to children who find it difficult to answer questions.
Last week I had a buffer day to revise the concept "Being Verbs". It turned out to be a refresher course for me in setting a question paper. I had divided the class into 3 levels-The high achievers; The average students and The slow learners. I had set 3 different papers. The objective of my lesson was that children will be able to identify a being verb(am, is, are, was, were, has, have) in a given sentence and also fill in the blanks with the right being verb choosing from a set of options.
For my slow learners all questions were based on identifying and selecting the right option.
eg: Meera and I ___ reading a book.(am, is, are)-fill the blank with the right option.
The average learners had the same question without the options.
The high achievers also had the same question without options but in addition they had to make another sentence with the being verb.
After the assessment I could see the whole class was happy. The slow and average learners were happy to have answered most of the questions and the high achievers were happy that there was a challenge element.
I was happy that the learning outcome of the entire group matched the objective set at the beginning of the lesson and the children who usually finish their tasks quickly and disturb others were occupied for an entire 35 minute period.
Thanks to cidtt.

2nd Observed session

My 2nd observed session went off quite well . My mentor felt that I am good at designing activities . Todays session was all about the generations of ideas , recording them in a spider web mind map and then using an essay graphic organiser to develop ideas into structure and organisation . I used think-pair share strategy . It was very student centric and a fun day .

Creating essay folders for easy class management

I created essay folders for all students for easy use and management of activities. To have folders containing everything they require to help them in the process of essay writing activity was a huge time saver . The folder contained 2 mind maps - spider web diagram , an essay easy-to-follow simple checklist , 2 graphic organisers to organise ideas – of students preference – e.g I had students choose their graphic organisers and then they gave me their preference for - hamburger writing , flower petal writing , robot writing , ice cream scoops visuals . They will then use the mind maps for brainstorming ideas and will then use graphic organisers to deveop those ideas into sentences and arrange them into a 3 part namely introduction , body , conclusion essay format . The folder also had feedback forms attached . I didn’t have to stop the students midway and disturb class in order to give out materials from one step to the other . The transition from one activity to the next was smoother and class discipline and focus was maintained in a better manner .

Write traits Ideas

The ideas plan was a more complex one and required understanding from students. The plan could have been more focused as it had more than one objective - namely: generating ideas, as well as learning and using the essay format.
Although I offered many choices of graphic organisers, students were not able to categorise the tool they were using, when questioned. Some more reinforcement is required. Maybe, get them to use each organiser over time so they are familiar with them and can choose an effective one for the purpose.
The plan was ambitious, time wise:)
Students are comfortable with me and my teaching style.
I displayed a caring nature towards students and patience with the ESL students .
Planning a think-pair-share strategy for my next class .

Reasonable Success!

During the past two weeks I was involved in an interesting experiment! I divided my class of 24 Chemistry students into five groups and assigned them each a topic from the chapter 'Water' for presentation and a short work sheet at the end of the presentation.I took care to form a heterogenous group of differing intelligence to ensure a good synergy. Each presentation took something between twenty to twenty five minutes and a brief worksheet of about ten to twelve minutes. The worksheet was answered by the members of the other four groups individually.The involvement of the teams was total and infectious.The students said they had lots of fun preparing the presentation and lots more fun preparing the worksheet to really test their class mates mettle!!!!!!.Each group corrected their tests.At the end of it I had four sets of marks and a fund of questions.
The proof of the experiment came when I administered a worksheet on the whole chapter the class presented in parts. Reasonably good success! ( Even if I say so!!!!!!) Planning on an encore on some other topic next term.

Day 3 write traits : Word Choice

A collegues feedback on my session

Today I thought your lesson (Word Choice) went very well! I observed the following good teaching practices:
Good control - You laid expectations of respect for group work.
You asked the students who left the discussion area to come back, as you had not dismissed them yet - good reinforcement of rules. Next discussion time, you can remind students of the discussion time expextations as well.
You made differentiated groups based on their reading and comprehension assessments. Your kinesthetic grouping by giving each child a coloured paper chit and asking them to find their coloured group was an interesting way to form similar ability groups.
You gave students the choice to work individually or in pairs/ groups (within their coloured groups) - I suggest you still monitor their choice and exert your grouping if their choice is detrimental to their learning.
You reminded them to put their names and date on their paper - a good practice as this small but tiresome point plagues teachers.
Students were clear about their task and immediately set about it, therefore instructions were clear and effective.
Teacher reminded students that they could check the word wall created on the board if they needed to - a big help to support students.
Went around to each group and monitored progress and proided assistance.
You gave them time checks and ensured each activity was ocmpleted in a timely fashion.
You provided differentiated worksheets to support our ESL and lower ability students.
Successfully called them back for discussion twice to give instructions for the next activity.
At the end of the lesson, asked students what they had learned that day - helped them reflect and cement their learning
A well planned and well delivered lesson, Sonali. Smooth flow of students from discussion to task and back!

Session on 'Differentiation'

Since the day I joined CIDTT ,the term 'Differentiation' had been associated with all our discussions but this term was not explained to us saying that it would be (rather needed to be) dealt with exclusively.So our whole group was quite eagerly awaiting for the session on 'Differentiation' and after attending the session realised how crucial it is for effective learning to take place in a classroom.

When we prepare a lesson plan we always cater to an average child and extend ourselves a bit for 'below average' child but completely forget the one with superlative intelligence and there the pandora's box is opened!Because the kids who already have a prior knowledge of the topic or who tend to grasp faster get distracted and bored very soon and in turn disturb the flow of the whole class.Herein compacting strategy comes in effect which helps in enriched and accelerated learning for high level learners.

We were introduced to the tiering technique through an interesting geometry exercise.The eight of us were divided into 4pairs and each pair was given a different assignment but the main topic was the same-'comprehension of the five geometric terms-point,ray,line,line segment and angle'. Renu and I had to create an argument as to which is the most important term.The argument turned out to be a hilarious one!!even others came out with wonderful results.Hence,we discovered that even a simple math topic could be conveyed in so many different ways catering to the different interests and capabilities of the learners.

We were also familiarised with concept based and MI based techniques through some video clippings.

As a teacher,we are already aware of the fact that in a classroom we have diversity in learners which can be due to various reasons and we always struggle to find a common route to reach out to all of them .But same technique doesn't work for everyone ,and sometimes we end up being frustrated seeing the blank look on the face of some of our learners..Well now I know that this problem can be solved by applying the concept of differentiation in our teaching strategies.

Thanks to CIDTT for enriching us with such wonderful tools of teaching!!

Day 2 Reflecting

Self-reflection - This is what I learnt today .
To give instructions only when the whole class is quiet. Best to get them on the floor for their undivided attention. If I talk over the students, they will ignore me . Also, some groups were waiting today as I went to each group to give them the words. In another classroom with easily distracted students, I might face discipline issues. It might be a good idea to give them something small to focus on while I come around.
Good setting of expectation by asking students to raise hands before I
answer them.
Giving them a time countdown '___many mins left' was a good way of making them aware of the passage of time and giving them a chance to close activity.
Differentiation was well planned -but I need to be more subtle as many support students are embarrased that other students are aware of their lower level worksheets. I may make diff group and subtly create a group of all support students. That way I have them all in one area and they feel freer. Also, as I am getting to know the children, I can raise the level of the engagements.
They are enjoying the learning:)and even I am learning so much :)

Teaching Practice begins

A colleagues feedback about my Day 1 practice . I am teaching English - grade 4 .

Day 1
Plan: Students found the plan interesting and engaging. The plan was appropriate for the age group.
Resources: The worksheets were ready and you were well prepared for the plan. Do practice using the Whiteboard tomorrow so that you are self reliant by your observed session.
Teaching components: Sonali, I would like to commend you on taking the failure of ICT - and the video you had planned in your stride and continuing with another aspect of your plan smoothly. This ability to improvise will stand you in great stead.
Student interaction: Students understood your instructions clearly.
There was a lot of differentiation as you have foreign students .
Ask students to put everything in their hand away, they get very distracted playing with pencils, erasers, etc.
Overall, you did a good job, effortlessly.

Looking forward to Day 2


We find lot of people with different level of intelligence/ we can say differently enabled thinking people around us. When it comes to teaching, teacher is always considered as parent after the real parent, so she has to do justice to all the wards of his/her class. How is it possible? How do we do this? and bring justice to the students who is expecting a good mentor in you.

This situation is very critical and sensitive to both student and teacher also.
Teacher want teach all the kids in the best way possible.

There comes differentiation!
*Concept based learning for different level with respect( actually the 'respect' word puzzled me and Nina same time Nina voiced it, Ms Fathima came up with a beautiful explanation, which I felt very appropriate for the group).
*Tiering-for different level of understanding
*Tic-Tac-Toe- for multiple intelligence
*Impacting- this was really wonderful for above average children( i found it little tricky, because the guideline is not move form the concept, being the in the same concept how you can cater the higher order thinking of the child, that was really, I think I should put in more effort to do this)
*Gardner and Bloom grid - really helps to plan your lessons to greater extent, I think you can cover maximum varieties of students of the class.

About myself and reflection on Group Work

I was always passionate about teaching and I feel proud to say that I am a teacher. My name is Shuchi. I teach Mathematics to 5th and 6th standard. I did B.Ed. not only to add a teaching degree but also to gain perfection in teaching. Now I joined C.I.D.T.T. course not only to add an international degree to my CV but also to make my students enjoy learning with the help of different activities in my class and I also to satisfy myself to the core of my heart by teaching. After taking a class, I always look forward to have the feeling that yes each and every student in my class has understood the concept very well and each and everybody has replied to my questions and can apply the knowledge.
Before joining C.I.D.T.T. course I have taught many concepts with the help of Group Work and I have almost succeeded. But there was always some chaos among students. I always had to ask each one of them keep quiet, finish it fast, do neatly, clean your desk after the task, everybody has to participate etc. etc.. But after the Group Work session of C.I.D.T.T. I learned some tips to take control of the class with some effective planning.
When I did Group Work activity in my class V B. The concept was finding the area of a square. I made 5 cutouts of squares with each having different sides. I divided the class into 5 groups A, B, C, D and E. Each group had about 4-5 students. I instructed some ground rules. I made one student as “Timekeeper” who will keep tab on time, one as “Material Manager” who will bring the material required for activity from the teacher, one as “Facilitator” who will make sure that the work is done by all and all have the opportunity to participate and one as “Creative Director” who will be responsible for overall presentation. I made an announcement that whichever group comes first will get red star on the conduct chart but with all the correct answers and whichever group keeps quiet will get a red star and also in which ever group all the members of it take part actively will also get a red star.
After announcing the ground rules I was double assured that my activity will be hit today. I was really amazed to see that students of group D and E were behaving according to the role given and also were very happy. In group B, there were 3 boys and 1 girl. She was little reluctant and was not participating. The other 2 boys were much more active than her. I tried to encourage her and asked those 2 boys to give chance to her and the fourth boy who was keeping quiet.
After the class I thought that she was the only girl in the group and was not feeling comfortable. When I did the same activity in Class 5 C, I took care of this point. There was only one boy in a group so I asked him to exchange his position with any other student who would like to do. I know that the group should not be comfortable because the students talk more do activity less but it is not true always. But I learned that there should not be only one girl/boy in a group of 4-5 students. Any suggestion ?
In group C, the 2 girls were very active but the 1 boy was only busy in telling to keep quiet and the other was not at all participating in the activity. So I asked their roles and reminded them the ground rules. Then the other 2 boys started participating.
1 boy in this group C who was not at all participating, understood the concept very well with this activity. After this activity he was able to answer the questions orally.
In group A, 3 students were participating and 1 boy was sitting behind all these students and was peeping. Then I asked him to come and sit in the circle and participate. Then he took some interest into the activity.
Group D and A had a race that who will complete the activity first. They both made mistakes in writing the name of the square. So I asked them to go back and correct it. Finally, group D was the winner.
I could see the team spirit in group D and
A. They all were busy in correcting their mistakes and each and every member of the group was helping. I could see that all the members of group D took part actively that is why they were the winner. After all this I asked the winner of group D to put the chart on board outside the class. I gave red star to them.
In this way I did the group work in my class VB. Some errors done in VB were taken care off in Class VC. Still on the learning path.........

Geared up with learning tools.

After attending the session on learning tools, I as a teacher, am spending more time on planning. I understood that my basic job is only to guide the flow so that the day's
objectives are achieved. My lesson are "well pre-planned" by my school and according to that I had to cover my topic through a ppt presentation (18 slides). I decided to
implement chunk and chew method after 5th,9th, 14th and 20th slides by spearing 3 minutes for each.
After the 5th and 9th chunk and chew, I ended up doing the explanation of the topics (again). I made mental calculation and realized that I was running out of time hence
took a decision on not doing the 14th chunk and chew.
After the 20th slide when I did chunk and chew, the results were amazing. The children were able to answer better, which showed that the understanding level has gone up and this was because the views were shared, points were repeated and participation was to the maximum level. I also realized that recap was done during this process.
Hence, for me, chunk and chew is one of the best recap tool.

Strategies for active learning

We have already been acquainted with the fact that 'active learning' is need of the hour,but how to make it happen successfully,was a question which had been tinkling my mind for quite a while. Well,the session on 'Tools for teaching' by Asha assisted in satisfying my quest and had a lot to contribute to my bank of knowledge.

KWL sheet was an absolutely new concept for me.I found it very convincing and practical for tracking the progress of the learner and it also provides feedback to the teacher as to how effectively she has imparted knowledge to the learner.
Then gradually we were introduced to the 7 strategies for active learning and I found them to be very interesting.Previously,I had never imagined that 'questioning' (in the form of jeopardy,20 questions ,muddiest and clearest point)could be used so effectively in class.
Questioning from the teacher always scares the learner but if the learner is allocated that task,at the first step itself the element of threat is removed from his mind and he is much more able to comprehend the concepts taught in class.Moreover, it also leads to the development of higher order thinking skills.
The only strategy which didn't convince me completely was 'active reading-SQ3R.I always felt that first reading of the topic should be complete from the first line to the last,and then it should be in chunks according to the requirement of the questionnaire.
Well, may be further practice would help me understand this better!!

Enhancing the learning spectrum of the teacher

Last week, was truly a learning experience. The use of newspaper as a tool to teach maths was an eyeopener.I learnt to see newspaper and blackboard organisation as effective means to connect with my learners. This has lead me to create a 'Q'- space for my class 6 students where I write all the questions they ask me in class. The questions are not always connected to the topic I teach or discuss in the class. This has given me results in just two classes since I started with the Q-space. I find more learners coming to me with questions than before. This is what I learnt and implemented from my last session. Albert Gyorgyi said "Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought."
I discovered that to enhance my learning, all I need to do is use the available tools i.e.,newspaper, blackboard, bulletin board innovatively. I need to think in parallel on how to attract the attention of learners to "outside-the-box" thinking.

Workshop on learning spectrum

It's true that learning environment has a profound impact on student learning.When discussion on learning environment initiated,the first thought that struck me was that of a bright classroom with a colourful and attractive bulletin board.

But honestly speaking,for me the mere mention of bulletin board gives me goosebumps!!From searching a suitable theme to creative development of that theme so that it turns out to be beautiful as well as informative for students is really a tedious task. But after attending the workshop on learning spectrum, I learnt that bulletin boards should be used to display student's ideas and creativity and not that of the teacher. Besides that they should be interactive and dynamic as well.

I strongly agree to the fact that combined and effective use of black board and bulletin board can make a subject really interesting and easy for both teacher and learner.In fact,we all were delighted to see how a topic like 'Climate change' could be taught in so many different ways using these two tools...

Fatima,through this workshop also introduced us to the wonderments of the 'NEWSPAPER' as to how this cost effective and basic medium can be useful in teaching a wide range of subjects pertaining to different age groups. It was amazing!!

Enriched Ways to Teach and Learn

The session on learning spectrum focused on effective ways of using teaching tools like blackboard, newspaper,outside the classroom etc. It was defenetly an ENRICHMENT learning. Every teacher knows to use a blackboard but how many of us actually make a blueprint of it? The bulletin board is a great idea to keep the concepts in a students mind running for a long time.What actually impressed me the most is the NEWSPAPER as a tool I actually learnt to make a weather report , it felt good as if i created and learnt something new on my own. It is indeed a very cost effective and innovative method of teaching. Outside the class room activity brought back so many memories of what i have done in school and the effect this has had on my learning skills. Students will defenetly enjoy this kind learning and as a teacher it will be satisfying to teach them in the realistic way.The one learning that i would defenetly take back to my classrom is that the LONGER THE CONCEPT STAYS ALIVE IN THE MIND REINFORCEMENT IS EASIER.

Group Work is Awesome

The moment I see a group work to do in my lesson plan I was never happy as I thought it always created chaos and children never finish on time. Also I wondered if children really learnt something at the end of the day. BUT, after having experienced it my self during the CIDTT session I realised that it enhances the whole process of learning in a more Active and Effective way.

It was  session on Recapitulation of the chapters in the literature book done so far and related topics like phrases, similar sounding words etc.
I was only supposed to do the Think, Pair and Share, but I extended it but utilising the Snowballing and Envoying methods. The children followed the instructions. Collected as many information as they could. After the group work finished I asked them to see how this process helped them. They realised that as they shared first among their pairs they gathered more information than they had. As it progressed to snowballing and envoying they had gathered all the information. Then each group was given a chance to give one point each which was written on the board in the form of points. This way there was further reinforcement of the recap of the points. It gave me immense pleasure to see how children had learnt quickly through group work.


I am Computer Science teacher for Grade 1-3. I used to take feedback from my learners just by asking them orally "Hope you all understood".

By hearing the spontaneous feedback "Yes" from some of my learners, I would move on......

During the session “Evaluation”, the question arrived in my mind. Am I leaving some learners unnoticed who are not so comfortable with my style of teaching and not happy with the resources they have? So how do I take the feedback from all the small learners around me.

Telling my Grade 1 & 2 learners to write 2-3 sentences about me or telling them to write whether they are comfortable with the present environment etc. will take too long and some will not be able to know what to write.

During the session, I got other ideas of taking feedback, setting up a small questionnaire on a specific criteria, after that analyse my area of improvement. So it helps me to find out what my learners need and make appropriate changes.

Group Work

Whenever I think of my school days all I can remember is trying to listen and to understand.And there is so much silence.The few things that I can remember and cherish are the moments where I could participate or contribute.
Group work is a new concept for me.Group work gives the students a lot of space to learn.It helps the teacher to understand that it is the students who have to learn now.The teacher is there to just to guide them and support them.
It also emphasizes how the teachers have to allow the students to take all the glory and be the center of attention.
The kind of group work I enjoyed today in the session is the "think pair".I think this really helps the student because there is equal division of work.And also it gives the students a sense of responsibility and help them to channelize their thoughts.It also evokes their leadership qualities,the need to hear the other and also the thinking potential.

Quality of learning in group

After last week's workshop on 'Learning in groups', the group activity I chose for my class 6 learners was to enact an English Mythological story on Arjuna as a drama. The groups were divided based on the number-head system of grouping. The class was so excited that they followed most of the 'ground rules' that were laid out in the preparatory classes before the drama. I realised that learners too, no matter what the age is, respond better to reason than threat. The first session of the drama was today. It went very well, with a lot of confusion and excitement. The class, on the whole, was able to remember the part of story enacted today, because, they related the characters played, to their classmates and not to their textbooks.
This gave me the proof to one of the points that was discussed in our workshop "sometimes, learners learn better from their teammates than from the teachers."
The end of my session was peppered with how one of the girls played the role of Bhishma should have a beard, how she did not look like a grandfather etc... , giving me ideas to do better when I organize the next play for my class.
My learners taught me this today- “When we engage in what we are naturally suited to do, our work takes on the quality of play and it is play that stimulates creativity.”

Teaching tools...

I realised that Black board or should I say white/green board, is such a powerful tool. When managed properly it allowsyou to guide through your teaching and also gives you the much deserved flow. I also noticed that when you prepare a blue print of the board and when the same thing gets unfolded before students, they just love it. Because we plan it to the last
details. It is so very balanced that the board becomes
and technically a flow chart gets created .......That's what happened in my class. I, generally plan lesson, activities, timeline, even the lab sheet, but never prepared a blue print for the board (i think i love this phrase) .It really boosted my confident because I knew what the outcome will be.. The only thing which I realised later was that I should have given more space for the students points. I had to search for the space to put them down. Instead of sentences, I should have written the keywords. It would have saved my precious time and space also.

And at the end of the class, it's a wonderful way to recap our lessons.

Learning in groups-interesting and productive

The session on 'learning in groups' by Asha was an eye opener for me.The session commenced with an activity in which we were asked to work individualistically and then in groups followed by a joint discussion.The comparison of feelings while working in two different situatons brought to light the advantages of learning in a group as compared to learning alone.With the gradual flow of the session we were introduced to various group work techniques in a very effortless and interesting manner.We concluded the session with 'Carousel method of learning' in which we formed two circles-one inner fixed circle and the outer movable circle and shared our thoughts for the day.I loved this technique and could immediately relate it to my kindergarten activities.. Actually group activity is a more interesting and productive way of learning but initially I had few inhibitions about it,for example

  • group activity will lead to a lot of chaos in class
  • it is time consuming
  • learners with lower IQ/introvert learners will be overshadowed by their better counterparts
  • peer rivalry

As the session proceeded towards the end,I learnt that all these obstacles can be overcome by framing ground rules(by the learners themselves) before commencement of the group activity and equal distribution of tasks to all members of the group which will in turn inculcate a sense of individual and collective responsibility in everyone.

This quote puts an end to all my doubts "What children can do together today,they can do alone tomorrow"

Transformation of my thinking process after the session on Group

We had a session on Group
We were asked to try out the group method of learning. I being a intrapersonal , I was little adamant in group work technique. But after going through the session and the outcome gave me a positive thrust to try out. I teach compute science to the secondary grade. Today I had two 7 grade classes having 18 students in each -A section (3rd and 4th period)and B section(8th and 9th period).
According to the planner I had to do an activity and time allotted for the same is 10mts. I asked the class to form groups of three students and with in few minutes 6 groups were formed. . Hence I felt good that it was working out. I distributed the activity sheet and gave them the instructions as what has to be done. I also gave them the dead line of 8 minutes. They started to rearrange their chairs and soon were busy in the activity. I went around and keeping an eye on the children -who is playing which role and how they were managing to get the activity done. By the end of time line, they submitted the papers and we went back to our lab and proceeded with out lab activity. (Three sheets) to my surprise students have done quite well. This made me realize that students were benefitted by the group activity.
But…. After the period was over when I reflected back as to what happened in my class and found that somewhere I was not able to keep track on the entire groups (6 groups of three each). And that was because of the numbers of the group. Then I came to a conclusion why not try 6 students in each group so that I will be able to keep track on all their activities
For my afternoon class I did the same thing but it so happened, one child was absent. We were left with 17 children I still asked them to follow into groups 6(girls),6(girl and 5 boys),5(boys) .The girl who was in boys group was a little uncomfortable so I allowed her to join in the girls group….Here I made my first mistake. I distributed the activity sheet and mentioned the time line. They started the activity. I noticed I was behind schedule, as this batch took lot of time to settle. But I was able to monitor each group to my satisfaction, and also made a note the there was a lot of talk in the group which had 7 (all girls) and the group with 5 were more at ease, the flow was towards one direction and a doubt was cleared by the group mates in a very organized w ay . The group with 5 members finished way before the 7 member group . They scored much higher marks in lab activity then the previous batch
Hence I felt that the ideal group for me to have is of five members in each group .
Group activities do have a positive effect on learning

Rediscovering ............

Yesterday's workshop on 'Learning in groups' had me thinking at the beginning of the session " how do I organise group work within the time period, when we as adults took much longer to do the same activities meant for the learners?"
My notion was very quickly modified, as , half a day into the session, I realised that it was the mindset and the creativity of the teacher that mattered while organising group work. I also gathered that it is the quality of the activity that counts. In the end, all that matters is how well have your learners responded to it. The most important feature of any group work is that it should be enjoyable, motivating and at the same time, educational. I hope to make the next session in Science all of the above for my learners. Also, it was amazing to discover that I enjoyed all the group activities in the workshop, after all these years of serious studies(!!). The gist of the entire day for me was: "As a teacher,you can make learning enjoyable and worthwhile" and a teacher should always 'rediscover the learner' within self, for Charles Handy said 'The world by and large has to be reinvented.'

Value Addition

During the last session at CIDTT, We just happened to discuss the role of Value addition in the agriculture sector as I work at the agriculture university .

What is value Addition
In general, adding value is the process of changing or transforming a product from its original state to a more valuable state. The Kohinoor Company has played a major role in transforming the basmati industry profitable to farmers, so has the ITC , Namdhari’s etc etc. All these industries have revolutionized farming from the roots level to the products, making it a profitable to Farmers……

Everyone at TTF are like the industries involved in Value Addition of teachers to become better or best at what they do from the root level….the teachers in turn do the same to their students through the skills learnt at CIDTT(Value added learning process) . This explanation can go on and on, but the picture summarizes the entire concept of CIDTT .

Change in perspective

This is one of my favorite Subhashita , which literally means 'good speech', essence is given below:
" The knowledge that is in a book, the money that is with another person;
of what use are the two if they are not helpful in time of need;
if so, one can no longer call it knowledge or money ! "
This was the first thing that came to my mind after attending three sessions of the CIDTT course.
I have studied in a curriculum, where many things today, are redundant. The distance that was maintained between my teachers and me, I feel today, this would decrease my ability to communicate with my students. The last workshop I attended-Designing effective programme plans- was a two-fold learning for me. I learnt ,
i) how to plan my class effectively for the limited time period allotted.
ii)I realised how I can teach the concept to my learners and also assess them in the same session.

Much before planning my sessions, Ratan's workshop made me realise that all my learners are not the same. They have different intelligences -Multiple Intelligence. This made me observe the class I teach more carefully. I noticed that one of my learner,who not very good at learning English, solved multiplication problems so fast that I loved watching him solve more problems for just the speed with which he did. This tells me that I should not teach my learners the same way I learn. I need to accommodate most of my learners ' abilities in every session that I teach.

The meaning of the Subhashita, which I have at the beginning tells me that my learning experience with CIDTT will be like the knowledge that I can use in any walk of my life.

A Session by Design

Fatima Chinoy's module on " Designing an Effective Programme/ session Plan" delivered on 10th July,2010,was indeed an 'effective' one. For one, the session unfolded in a very informal manner and before we knew it, we were designing a Programme Plan to teach 'Indus Valley Civilization' to Class 8 students. The module was designed to be a hands- on one; hence Fatima just demonstrated how we could design an effective plan keeping in mind a few key elements.I was amazed at the beautiful designs we could put together!!!The Multiple Intelligences and Brain Based Learning techniques just fitted in so well into the programme so effortlessly.
I found the concept of 'A,B & C' a very effective and a fool proof self check list to write an instructional objective.Easy to remember and easy to execute.
'A' for Audience ; the age group or class of students; the WHO of the objective. '
B' for the Behaviour; the task the audience is able to perform at the end of the session; the WHAT of the objective.
And lastly 'C' the Condition; the circumstance or the resources used or needed for the task to be completed; the HOW of the objective.
Putting the three together, you magically arrive at your instructional objective! As easy as ABC!!!

My process of learning innovative futuristic ideas to teach the young dynamic minds

My passion to teach others started when my father bought me a black board.Then it continued in my high school and college in helping my fellow classmates in a few lessons.Then later I joined a futuristic company called Tutorvista which catered to the needs of students online all over the world.

This was a great opportunity for a homemaker like me. A few years from then I have decided to take it a step ahead from virtual to dynamic live classroom.This dream was further nurtured when I joined the teacher's training course.

In my first session ,I was a little apprehensive since it was a introduction.I thought I will be wasting half a day.But the explanations and examples of the modules ahead challenged my previous ideas of a classroom.
I have learnt from today's session that the students always benefit when teachers try out something new,then later analyze the pros and cons of the learning technique they adopted.

And now I was looking forward to my next session,which was really amazing .I learnt a lot about myself.It helped me realize what kind of learner I'am and also what stimulated my brain and interest.And I also found out that it was different for my other classmates.So the purpose of the day to teach us brain based learning,multiple intelligence was delivered effortlessly by Ratan.

I liked the way our session started off today with the story of the ant and the grasshopper.Which summarized the ABC..!! we were going to learn.I did not know that such detailing went into a single session and also that it is really important to assess your students immediately.


Designing aims and objectives for a lesson was always like a herculean task for me!I did'nt have a clear understanding of these terms and always had apprehensions about writing a lesson plan because defining aims and objectives is the first and most important step for successful teaching and learning to take place in class. But today after attending this session on 'Designing the lesson plan' by Fatima, I feel much more confident and clear about it.Rather I would say that Fatima helped me overcome my mind block and become friends with these terms. Although, I still feel that the inhibitions will go with further practice!

Taking Stock

Eighteen years of teaching! Time to stand aside and take stock of my teaching. I had always been an instinctive teacher. I plan my academic year and break it down to fort nightly topics and work each class as it came. I have always worked very very hard to reach out to all my students. Keeping a wary eye for that glazed look that creeps into the eyes of my students.Ensured a little time out to herd back those who had escaped mentally from my class.And as a self check administered small class tests to see if I had been effective.Going had been not bad. But were those learnings permanent? Did those concepts stick?Will my students be able to pick their way from where I let them off all by themselves?
Ratan's workshop- 'About Learners and Learning'- on 3rd July '10 has set me thinking very hard. Am I the teacher that I would want to learn from?Am I paying enough attention to how my students learn?Am I giving enough stimulus to all my learners?
Recalling incidents and decoding why certain things stay longer with us was good experiential learning for me. It delved deeper into the question of how learning happens and why it does not.
Lots of food for thought.

Expect the unexpected

While chalking out my programa nd session plans I thought fo what could be the elements that could throw me off balance while teaching and so I got my answer . Therefore I am preparing more than what I will need in case an activity goes more quickly than anticipated giving students too much free time - which is a danger. Another aspect is that during brainstorming and other such discussions I should be
prepared for any divertions as students might divert from the lesson plan. I need to also plan how to guide the class back to the lesson plan. So I have to plan extra and think about distractions and one of the toughest thing to do is to keep tabs on the timings. To make sure that the classes move smoothly I need to plan content accordingly otherwise I might make a hash of the timetable .

Planning with clarity

I have spent time reviewing my plans again and again . I have solved many issues . My plan now has activites that are married up neatly to the aims and objectives . Every session has specific objectives and the assessment tools like rubrics , graphic organisers , self-checklists etc are part of the formative assessment . What I have done is that for every Write trait I first teach and introduce the concept and then have them display their understanding and then take a formative at the end of that topic . There are altogether 6 write traits so I also ahve planned activities that combine two or three write traits . The 6 write traits are Ideas , Voice , Word choice , Organisation , Sentence Fluency and Conventions . Conventions is a fancy name that comprises of Punctuation , spellings and grammar .
Why did I choose write traits ? Well Since the IB course is thematic and my teaching practice is temporary ( spanning 12 sessions ) , I had to adapt my lesson plans in such a way that it doesn't clash with the existing Lesson plans of the school . Earlier I was trying to integrate Language with the thematic module but now I have found the best solution . I would like to do something that can support the existing curriculum and facilitate new learning through Language and to make the students comfortable I can set a few activites in their theme . So although my program plan is different from that of the School it still has partial thematic elements namely Child rights and responsibilities is the unit of inquiry for 4th graders . I decided to come up with the most basic of skills . To teach them the writing process . The Writing process has 6 write traits . This way I am encouraged and motivated to step out of my comfort zone , teach new concepts that mind you will be the right crutch for Langauge effectiveness and whatever they learn it will help them apply their ideas thematically as well . I am also nervous , anxious , excited all at the same time . I find Lesson planning gives me a mental image and I can visualise how my class might progress . But then again - visualising and day dreaming is one thing and putting this plan in action is quite another story ! Keeping my fingers crossed .

I am a new comer and I am very excited I can share my views with like minds.

After attending my first session, I was little apprehensive about sharing my views but after a little push from CIDTT team Bangalore, Ms Asha I thought I should post my realizations.

While doing the topic multiple intelligences, I realized that I have intrapersonal intelligence, whereas I was with the impression that my logical intelligence will be at its peak. My second realization was my musical intelligence to which I never gave a thought.

Hence, reflecting back, I think just how I was not aware of my intelligence, the children may not know about their strongest point of intelligence. Hence I should design my classes keeping in mind all these intelligence because you never know what may click with the child’s brain.

And by using these intelligences, I may help a child to identify with the topic.

Planning the program

I have changed many parts of the rough program and session plan as I found that the activities didn't always end up achieving the objectives that I had in mind . Plus the end-of-the-course skills were not really clear and concise . This brought about a whole new approach and I decided to start planning backwards . So now I am thinking of the whole aim of my program plan and what are its sub objectives . What do I want my students to achieve at the end of my course . It could be that I reinforce already established skills or I help teach new ones . In English if I want to develop their usage of the English language to a better level then I need to have one part of the components of the language - for e.g Writing traits as an ongoing skills - both formative and summative . Within this bracket I can build in difefrentiation and ask them to write paragraphs , essays , do note taking , fill up graphic organisers etc . Having planned these outcomes then gives clarity to shared goals from the point of you of the teacher , that's me and those of the students . Sharing objectives is very important as it I assume encourages the students to put their best foot forward and give me their best work . This then brings me to devising good assessments and also check learning and understanding . So then I design feedback forms . Once I ahve put these factors into place will I then make my lesson plan where I categorise the unit into topics and look at how best can i deliver and convey the concept of that particular topic . In English language I feel its a good idea to also share old stories and then build upon their understanding of the Blooms taxonomy levels . I am encouraged by this CIDTT activity and I think its a good idea to use it to make students aware that such a thing like high order thinking exists . I wont use the terms but I can always challenge the students who I feel are advanced and keep the low order questions for those who are yet to reach new levels . This will also be an indicator of my learners needs . I am just processing all these thoughts of mine .

My roles & responsibilities

As a future primary teacher I am thinking along the following lines about my roles and responsibilties .

1. Planning, lessons that cater for the needs of the whole ability range within the class

2. Organizing the classroom and learning resources to create a positive learning environment.

3. Working with other colleagues to plan and coordinate work and tally time tables .

4. Preparing formative assessments to facilitate positive pupil development and recording of pupils' developments in a summative assessment at the end of the practice .

Thinking about my future learners

Having already visited the school and observing the future 4th grade students has encouraged me to do all the spade work . I am not copying the current schools ways of identifying learner needs . I am thinking on how I can do that on my own . I am making a list of my own resources . I think whatever work I do will be honest and will be tallied with the current school program but it will be separate . I found a very good document on the internet which tests multiple intelligences .
I am ofcourse looking at Reading fluency tests and vocabulary quizzes etc . The idea is to find out as many things as I can . I think one thing which went rather well was understanding the school system so that I can devise and design my own lesson plans . So what if they have given me the theme . Everything else is my own effort . I am very particular about ethics and for me the greatest challenge is to make lesson plans that match the overall aims of the school program but at the same time have a total different interpretation . I am trying to make a list of interactive activities . The language development has to take place simultaneously . I don't think the English language can be divided into Oral , writing and Reading distinctly however I plan to concentrate on developing one aspect during the sessions . This will also help in the summative assessment . The aims and objectives have to be clearly defined as per the language development that takes place during the activities . I am not sure if I can manage to take formative assessments all the time but I will try and take them at the end of a topic every now and then . Here the feedback forms will help me monitor progress and will aid improvement .

Age no bar

I have an assignment of  show casing my school's football team , and the accolades they have won. This is in lieu of the Football world cup coming up. I was browsing for a couple of things to go along with my video and stumbled upon this great piece.

This is part of the BBC school  website and you will agee with me when you watch the video that age, is certainly only in the mind and does not affect learning at all. A very inspiring video and kudos to the coach who took the challenge. Enjoy and experience learning happening although not inside a classroom , or with books, but something that has seriously made a difference to the learners and mostly to the teacher who took the challenge.

The Impact of CIDTT

I am so proud to say that there has a been a huge impact of the ways and methods that I have learnt to conduct or even for that matter plan a class because of  CIDTT.
Since  my school re-opend for the 2010-2011 academic session the past week , I have been working on  Art and Craft module for classes 1 & 2. Although these would not be my classes that I would be handling through my course work, I have been given the task of planning the Art and Craft curriculum, syllabus and even the way the classes need to be handled.
This was an additional practice, that I think I got before I stumbled into my CIDTT course work. Its been a lot easy a task to make my schedule, curriculum, and the syllabus , because of all the training I got from the classes.
It did take me a bit of a time to explain what I was excatly doing to my collegues ,who have not been so fortunate to be associated with the amount of work that needs to be done to have a great class work.
I am sure there would be a lot of changes once my teachers go into the class room , especially since I cannot dictate creativity of another teacher to be routed through my flow of thought.
CIDTT surely gave me the insight to plan into the minute details , and now I am hoping and waiting for the classes to begin so that I could share a few reflections with all of you. Although it would be a  bit off the course and the purpose of this blog,  I think acknowledging the impact the course has had is very important to me.

My growth as a teacher

My new batch of Phonics and Language coaching will start from Monday and I am all set for it. I have been teaching preschoolers for the last seven years, where I have used the blend of Montessori Method and Nursery training. It was mostly material and observation based, taking into consideration individual need of each child. Thanks to CIDTT, my entire thought process has been enhanced. While planning the program for my classes, now I am thinking about many more aspects like MI, differentiation, effective use of blackboard, use of energizers, Bloom’s Taxonomy, and different teaching strategies for active learning. I should be able to post many more exciting experiences as I progress.

Identifying my learners needs

There are some key questions that have been given in the CIDTT guide . I have phrased a few of my own .

For e.g -

What kind of activities do they like or don’t like ?
What kind of “intelligences ”are popular ?
What are the cultural distribution levels ?
What kind of technology based instruction do they prefer ?
What are the ground rules in general ?
How are the classrooms arranged ?
Do they work in specified groups ?
How much freedom to they have in choosing their working styles?
Do they like groupwork / teamwork ?
What levels of Grammar have they already attained ?

I took this checklist today to the school . I met the 3rd grade teacher and interviewed her and I also met all three Grade - 3 classes . The students will be all mixed up when they come back after the holidays . I didn't want to waste anytime and so I rushed off to meet them . Some might leave and new ones may join but its comforting to know that some of them atleast would be my future 4th grade students .
Keeping that in mind I wanted to familiarise myself with everything that I could .
I talked to some students . I observed the classroom settings . I have so much information . I viewed their work through the past files . I took pictures . I will be teaching English so I also took a glance and jotted down on all the levels of grammar that they are already familiar with . I spoke to other 3rd grade teachers who generalised and then specifically to the coordinator and future 4th grade teachers . Ofcourse I will do all of this again when I get a specific group after the holidays but this kind of work done now which i refer to as spade work can enable me to make a fair program and session plan . The idea is that whatever objectives and aims I set should be appropriate to the level for whom I set them for and also I can take into account activities that are already popular and I can find ways to vary the levels of learning in a much more informed structured manner .

4th Grade English - Revised Plan

As you can see earlier I was thinking about the content . I thought it would be great to test this pattern and so I visited the school where I will be doing my teaching practice . The IB school gave me a theme namely Rights and responsibilities and I have to develop the aims and objectives . I was also informed that Grammar is not done in the traditional manner . So I have to develop language skills along the way without giving grammar specifics . I can still retain the idea of introducing regular writing in some form or the other . Another observation was that I would have to plan the content levels keeping in my that the new students have just entered 4th grade which means I have to keep the levels of a third grader in mind in the initial classes and then raise the levels slowly . Since the children will already be having an on-going school regular class with their English teacher I feel i need to design my plan in such a way that they associate a particular pattern with me. I don't want my classes to clash with the regular ones . So therefore i think it is a good idea to go and meet my learners or atleast observe them prior to actual teaching . I also want some kind of a stamp , my individual style which will help students relate to me better and they can then associate something e.g particular activities or styles etc with me solely . I think this is important because then they won't have problems tuning into me immediately when i take a class . I have yet to talk about a time table but ideally i would prefer a gap between each session so that I get time to think about the class and all the rights and wrongs of the practice itself . It was indeed wonderful meeting my mentor . I definately gained from all the valuable inputs . I am now spending time finding songs , videos , articles , books etc to see which one of these resources are the best way to convey the various learnings i want the chikdren to benefit from . For 4th grade the main title is Rights and Responsibilties so I also get to at this stage think about the various aims and objectives . I am finding this part time consuming as I feel that having too many objectives is not possible to fulfil in a given session . Maybe i can do justice to one or two objectives and work towards the main aim . I want to keep simple objectives which can be measured and fulfilled . I want to go for quality and not pack in too much . Apart from the materials and list of resources I think I will visit the school to see how well i can get to know my future learners .

Group work in Math classroom

Initially the chairs and desk in my classroom was arranged as rows and columns. I thought this would be ideal for my students to learn better. But after my classes with TTF I realised that if students were seated in groups they learn better. So I rearranged the chairs and tables as group of four. Initially I had lot of issues as my students complained that they were not comfortable with this new arrangement. I was very disappointed with my change in seating arrangement in class. But to my surprise when I started with revision work for the final exam I noticed a drastic change in my class where there was lot of discussion happening in each group and they started learning better and participated well in class. They had fun learning in group as they discussed the solutions to math problem to each others in group. There was also healthy competition among students whoever completed the work had to come first to the board to give the final solution. When the answers were not matching with the rest of the group I used to explain the concept again to the whole class. Now I realised group work is always better.

Water fun

I completed my third and fourth sessions for practice teaching today. The children enjoyed the activities especially that they had so much to do with water and sand. When working with water, we added food color in the water and that got my learners all charged up for the activity. The most important thing was that they were able to explain to me the meaning of the word capacity. I also introduced the vocabulary for this topic. It was a great class and I am looking forward to tomorrow especially that I will be observed by my mentor.

4th grade - English

I have been given a unit but need to think about developing the content . For 4th grade English the various ways in which I could develop language skills is through writing . They can write to show their knowledge , word - meanings , sentence construction , antonyms and homonyms , question and answer worksheets , they can take notes , write poems , short essays and they can have reflective exercises . They can read biographies and write about what they feel . They can make comparisons and also show their understanding of spellings and vocabulary . I can give a rubric and they can assess their own work . They can write a short speech and narrate it and present it . They can watch videos and write a summary . They can write a script for a debate and discuss . I would like to choose the writing aspect as the main focus of development as I feel assessments can then be formative as well as summative .
Please give me more suggestions .

My first session during teaching practice

My first two sessions went off very well yesterday. I was a little nervous before starting, but at the same time, I was very confident of my learners. The nervous feeling disappeared the moment class started. I felt things moved from one to the next with ease. My learners enjoyed the second session better where they had to measure water / coloured water / sand. I felt that I had planned a bit too much especially that I had included the feedback form the last 5 minutes. So I have modified some of my plans for the coming sessions so that it does not feel like a lot to learn in little time. I want my first graders to enjoy the lesson. All in all, I was happy with how the sessions went off yesterday.

Bulliten Board

My Grade 2 learners are joining the school on 2nd of june.I have to decorate my outside Bulliten board in order to welcome them. Can anyone suggest what theme i can choose for the board which can make them happy and excited to enter the class.

Blooms Taxonomy


I am writing about what I have understood so far however I would appreciate someone to verify this understanding. We are now at a stage where we are learning about assessment It is therefore vital that I know that I am comprehending this part properly.

I understood that Blooms taxonomy is a list of intellectual levels that motivate teachers to help children move from low order to high order thinking and to train their minds so that they can develop tools for critical thinking .
Building on knowledge and helping kids begin to apply, analyze, synthesize, and evaluate is the key to helping them grow .
Since the taxonomy is displayed as a pyramid, I would start at the base and work my way up. Having my students work through the levels of the taxonomy would help them to familiarize themselves with the materials I present in my future instructional units, going from basic activities to more advanced ones.

My question is – Will I cover Blooms Taxonomy – pyramid across the number of class sessions or can I use them in one class and if so how? I need more clarity on this .

My question – When I question my students is it ok to mix up the knowledge as well as the evaluation level questions? I feel this is good as I can gauge my students understanding better as some students maybe capable of evaluating while others maybe just on the comprehension levels . This is great for me as I can vary my instructional levels accordingly . What do you think ?

I think believing in my students is also crucial . I need to also raise the levels . If I have low expectations of them then I don’t think I will go up the Blooms intellectual ladder . I will have to take the time and practice a lot as grading lower levels is much easier . Grading assignments based on high level thinking is time consuming but I am sure I will find Rubrics important for quick. fair and accurate grading.

Please comment on this thought .

Becoming a teacher again

With a teaching background I felt that the next great step for a teacher would be to try something outside of the traditionally run educational settings. I started corporate training and personality development in 2004 .

The skills to become a trainer overlapped with those of being a teacher as I knew it. I was used to presenting, being in front of a room, capturing the attention of your audience and having an impact on how they think. I could design a lesson to have an impact. There were better and worse ways to deliver the same content and I was accustomed to working out methods to get the message across. I learnt that I can't teach everything the same way.

Before I joined this course I wasn’t aware of so many skills and insights and methods that would enhance my skills as a trainer / teacher . My adult students tend to have more fixed patterns as a result of their experiences and can therefore be less open minded than children to new learning. Children, with less experience, are often more open to learning new things.

It is now thanks to this program with all the new learning that is developing and as I change towards being a more evolved person I feel like going back to teaching children . I want to cease being a trainer and go back to teaching children .

It's hard to put into words all the reasons why I want to be a teacher again. Some days when I take time to ponder the immensity that the role of a teacher entails I feel overwhelmed. Some days I find myself just dying for my chance to touch children's lives. It's hard to describe, but something inside of me tells me that though it's not going to be easy, this is what I am meant to do and I want to return to being a primary teacher especially now with all this wonderful training I am undergoing . Earlier I just followed a system and there was no interaction .It was more or less a one way approach. It was structured and I found no challenge in the earlier ways of primary school teaching .

Now with all this learning and reflection taking place it would be unfair to myself if I don’t take the opportunity to turn to my earlier audience – children . I want my classroom to be an exciting place . I want children to leave my class with more confidence, compassion, and enthusiasm for life and learning than they entered it. I will try to teach them the skills they need to know to succeed academically, and the skills they will need to love themselves and others.

I bet changing back to a teacher and choosing to teach primary after years but armed with new found knowledge and active learning skills will be exhilarating, overwhelming, frightening, but exceedingly worthwhile. I am ready to accept the challenge of becoming an active learner and teacher with my arms, mind and heart wide open.

The Rubric grading method

I tried the Rubric style of grading . For me personally I found that my students work can be rated as excellent , good or needs improvement . It made it easier for me to assess the students and also to explain to them where they are going wrong and where they are following suitably . I plan to share the rubric kind of paper with the students before an assignment so that they know what is expected of them beforehand and so they can perform the task much better . The students also are aware of what they will be graded upon and show more responsibility . They also know that I am being honest and clear and fair . As a trainer this method is helpful because I don't have to doubt my evaluation . I can conclude fairly after seeing the detailed results . Preparing a detailed rubric is a good way to introduce order and accountability in grading. If a student asks me for a re-grade or someone asks me to justify my scoring, I can communicate evidence to support my approach .


Rubric for beauty & make –up practicals

Criterion :



The student addressed the worst lit areas in the room and found spaces where sunlight or natural lighting prevailed .

The student made sure that the room was cool and airy .


The student did not start the process with the right conditions for make up application .



The student washed hands and kept the tools, testers and counter tops clean. The student used gloves and antiseptic products and performed the steps in a neat , clean manner .


The make up tools were not washed through the process. The tools, testers were not of the disposable kind and the surfaces were messy.



The student made the client comfortable and was patient. The student showed sensitivity to others feelings and participated freely .


The student did not communicate with the client and was tensed through out the process. Their attitude was poor and upset the client.



The student had a complete make-up kit . The student organized the trays according to the sequence of their future work process


The make-up kit was incomplete and the student borrowed things. The student also wasted time in locating tools and the trays were disorganized and not labeled .



The student considered several ways to achieve the right look . The composition was directly related to previous knowledge and problems were solved with ease . The project was completed on time and with pride .


The student could not achieve the right look . The student lacked knowledge and was not able to solve problems along the way. The project lacked finishing touches.



The client was happy with the result .


The client was not satisfied and compalined about the execution and completion of the task and its process .