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 ...wow 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.