“Two little seeds awoke one day , As seeds will do in the month of May
Bo Lo, and behold, they had clean forgot, If they were carrots, beets or what!
At length, they decided that they must needs, Call a council of sixteen seeds
Some said onions or beets but no, Others said it couldn’t be so
Some said turnips or celery seeds, Some said lettuce and some said weeds
Then a sun flower spoke. “It may be slow”, But the way to find out is just to grow.”
Children are SEEDS of greatness. They need:
- S: Support
- E: Encouragement &
- E: Environment to
- D: Develop
- S: Self
SEEDS of Greatness
Support: Emotional and physical as well. Pre learners are emotionally volatile and vehement. It is the responsibility of service providers to handle their emotions in a balanced way. The school environment is equipped to settle the early learners in the school with special settling zones. Children are apprehensive about the new start, whether they are anxious about leaving their parents and the comfort of their homes, or worried about whether they will fit in and make friends- the whole process should not be stressful for the child or their parents.
Encouragement: a child’s motivation is driven through constructive encouragement and praises. Cheering him, boosting him while helping him (if required) could up his confidence.
Environment: a positive and nurturing environment is building the block of growth for a child. Child cen tered classroom, positive behavior management techniques, mutual trust, a secured learning environment, lack of bias, cultural sensitivity, and the ability to draw out each child’s special talent to make them feel like worthy contributors are key elements in creating a teaching-learning ecosystem.
Self-development: a child should be made an independent thinker. The environment in which he strives should encourage his development from the emotional and physical front.
Our methods and techniques in classroom
Our aim is to foster learning environments where the child grows naturally but intellectually, by giving him resources that are crea[[ively stimulating and intellectually driven aiming at untapping the boundless possibilities of minds and energies of the young minds.
The strategies behind planning classroom sessions are laid keeping in mind the following elements:
FACILITATOR LED LEARNING
Unlike a traditional classroom led by a classteacher, at Gyaananda there are facilitators facilitating learning in groups through activities and performances. The learning environment that is created through curiosity of children is rich with resources and learning tools that are actually run by the kids but managed by the facilitators. Facilitators are not information providers, they lead the path towards enabling learners discover the answers. It is not ready answers but awareness provided by the facilitators in the learning environments. The facilitator holds the hands of the learners in the journey of reaching the ultimate answers.
Cooperative learning or popularly known as group learning, is one that sparks engagement in classrooms by encouraging interaction among the students themselves. The facilitator, rather than calling on one student at a time, allows children to discuss class materials with buddies or in groups, thus maximizing the level of participation. The cooperative learning strategies as ‘Heart-Out Time’, ‘Sultan of Silly’, ‘Round Table Talk “, “what if…” narration are a few activities in which children, in team plays, let their imagination go vivid. Creating ideas, building upon those ideas, presenting those ideas in groups also develops multifaceted group dynamics and other team skills.
In contrast to the traditional teaching of subjects or topics in isolation, ay Gyaananda one topic is touched at multiple levels covering multiple concepts and skills. A project or a problem or a question or a theme could form a base for a learning capsule which can be dealt through multiple touchpoints. For example: “a trash can full of trash” could have following touchpoints: General Science: types of trash (dry and wet), concept of recycle; Social Science: Helpers around us (garbage collector), , Communication: A narration or a role play woven around it, etc
Also, there are various ways of treating a topic for learning, for example:: face-to-face interaction, use of smart class aids, self created teaching aid, developing personalised content or computer mediated activities.
LANGUAGE RICH LEARNING
In Gyannanda classrooms, students’ exposure to language is deliberate, meaningful, repetitive, active and engaging. Building conversations, narratives and vocabulary through activities as ‘World-of-Words’, ‘Mr Victor Vocab’, ‘Grandma Tales’, weekly stage exposure through ‘Hamara Manch’ are a few of the many methods practiced for developing linguistic excellence at an early age.
Reading out loud teaches cadence of speaking- modulation, expression and inflection of voice.
Even handing over a jumbo book, touch and feel book or a picture book to kids for quiet reading time adds to imagination. Early years are the foundation that underpin speech and language development through such activities.
The best way to learn is to observe the world around. Observation leads to curiosity, curiosity leads to inquiry and inquiry leads to seeking the path of answers. Children can use their senses to to describe the properties of events and objects, such as what makes wind different from sunshine and rain different from snow. Facilitators have students classify objects according to their physical attributes such as size, length, weight, temperature, etc. Even at Pre-primary level, children are able to test hypotheses by experimentation, such as guessing what will happen when they combine two colors and observing the result.
It’s imperative to provide the environment that invites exploration for the young learners and further develops inquisitive minds. Questions are a sign of interest, a spirit of inquiry. They are required, they are unavoidable. Sawaal acche hai!
A standard and common learning environment is extended for young learners to meet the common goal of mass learning. Students with varied backgrounds and learning abilities come together in an inclusive environment where each student is provided sufficient level of support with student- centered teaching practices and principles. Gyaananda School takes it as a duty to accept each child and cater to social, civil and educational rights of children with special learning needs. Every child is valued equally and given same opportunities to learn and grow.
TEACHING & LEARNING THROUGH PRINCIPLES OF MULTIPLE INTELLIGENCES
There is no one size that fits all- Not every student learns the same way. Neither does every student has the same mental appeal, strength and ability. There are broadly 8 types of human intelligences, each representing different ways of processing information that are natural in a being. Everyone has all eight types of the intelligences listed in Gardener’s theory of Multiple Intelligences at varying levels of aptitude — perhaps even more that are still undiscovered — and all learning experiences do not have to relate to a person’s strongest area of intelligence.
A student skilled at learning new language may have a high verbal-linguistic intelligence but If that student is not exposed to other areas of mental development, eg: Logical- Mathematical, Visual- Spatial intelligence, etc his other intellectual faculties may not develop and slumber off to passivity. It is the school’s responsibility that the classroom models, pedagogy, assessments, etc are so diverse that they aid in kindling all the 8 domains of intelligence rather than pampering that one naturally dominant area of intelligence.