Sunday, September 13, 2009

September 2nd Week

Sita School

On Monday, I had a friend visiting Sita School with me. We started the day with a nice easy run to the fields and did a speed workout with two laps (one fast and one slow) - it should be around 300m a lap. After that we ran down back to the school to finish the about 2.5 km loop.We did our foot drills and stretches after the run. We had prayers when Stanley was introduced to the school. We did computer classes with the kids after the prayer. Jane was not in school this week and it was quite amazing to see that the school did not depend on her 24/7 presence to move on - it worked as a system. In this week's computer class, I was getting closer to the idea of programming. We played a game of treasure hunt with two teams. One team would hide the treasure and the other team would get instructions from the first team from a starting point to reach the treasure. So, there was a 'computer' team and an 'operator' team. After the game session, we went to the computer room and played a few more games. This time, we moved one level up to play a game that improved skills in typing words. There would be clouds with names underneath moving on the screen and the user had to quickly type the word to make the cloud disappear. There were different themes for each game. We chose countries and as one of the kids was playing on the computer, Stanley kept the other kids engaged by using the globe to point out the country! It was a lot of fun and with Stanley there, the kids also got to learn more about some trivia and locations of countries. After class, couple of kids even came and discussed about certain questions they had in geography for e.g. the place in the world with a lot of bears, where all do they eat rice the most ? etc.

Friday was my birthday and I sensed something was happening even as I reached school :) - The kids, teachers and everyone I met at Sita School wished me a very happy birthday! My mom also was there with me for the trip to Sita school on my birthday. As we did our run, some of the kids held a duppatta and asked me to run under it like in a palanquin :)

More photos here- Sita_school_bday

After the run, we had prayers and the kids presented me with an elaborate stictched poster - i.e. each kid wrote/drew/painted a card for me (including the tiny tots, all kids in school!) and they put it all together to make a huge poster! I was totally overwhelmed - it was the nicest birthday present I had got in a long while :) - I thanked all the kids and everyone for the love and affection they showered on me. We then distributed chocolates for the kids.

More photos here- Sita_school_bday

After the prayer sessions, Preeti led the elder kids to the field to discuss about muscles. We first did a few stretches to isolate particular muscle groups and thus helped the kids identify them. Preeti then discussed how muscles are related to bones and what constitutes a muscle, how is it different from the nerves etc. After doing the stretching routine, we went into the computer room to watch a video on muscles. Again, the video was educational and we paused it in small spurts to engage the children in a discussion on what we saw. At the end of the session, we asked the kids to write down their understanding of the muscles and the discussions we had in the day. Meanwhile, Preeti, Kamala and I discussed what we should focus on in the next week's session - maybe the digestive system, excretionary system (sweat glands, kidneys etc.) or nutrition.

More photos here- Sita_school_bday

We spent the whole day in Sita school to help complete the work with the calendars. This also gave me the opportunity for me to be a part of the diary time on Fridays. Every week, just before school ends for the week, the children and staff gather around in a circle with their diaries. Each of them share one important aspect or happening that they liked or didn't like the most in school that week. One of the teachers spoke about how the kids had put up a wonderful show for the teachers day celebration. She was amazed by the initiative and creativity shown by the kids. Some of the kids spoke about the passing away of Zona and how it moved some children to tears. The really young ones showed a painting they had done and described what it was - for e.g. one of them did a portrait of his family. One other kid described the class on roman numerals and how interesting it was to learn about this number system. The Chandana group kids described the session on heart conducted by the Nandana group children for them.

More photos here- Sita_school_bday


On wednesday, I introduced 'constructions' in geometry for the kids. They had some minimal background already. Once everyone was ready with their geometry boxes, I introduced the concept of 'altitude' or height of a triangle. Then, we discussed congruency and what is the minimum set of properties thats required to decide if two triangles are congruent. Some kids didn't like this class very much and were vocal about it - they felt that it was like any other class and wanted something fun to do as well :)

On thursday, my mom also accompanied Preeti and me to School. Everyone got to know that Friday was my birthday and they all wished me as soon as I came :) - As though it was a birthday present for me, all the kids put on their best behavior and did the drills in an organized way on their own! (maybe, it was the presence of my mom :) ). All the kids wanted to do a run to the temple and back. So, we formed a few groups and set-off. We took a few photos along the way as well.

More photos here- Ananya_drills_mom

After the run, we did a session on geomtery. I wanted to make this class more interesting and gave them two stories about math - the first one was about Akbar and Birbal about making a line drawn on the ground short without touching it. The second story was a chinese folk tale on magic squares. The kids enjoyed the stories and it was easier to get them excited and attentive in class. We did more of the triangle congruency and some worksheet problems for kids who already were ahead in the understanding of triangle congruency.

More photos here- Ananya_drills_mom

At Prakriya, we did our drills and this time I wanted all kids to not play games straight away. There were of course some kids who just didn't come out. After the drills, we didn't do our usual run outside the school. Instead, I formed multiple teams and used the tracks to do a relay run. But, once the relay started there is no way of telling who came first etc. as we just did it for time rather than the whole team finishing etc. It was a good fartlek (fast and slow stretches at varying times) workout. Many kids (especially those with NIOS stream and some of them who are not confident about their running) were reluctant to take part. I encouraged them and joined their team to do the run. My mom also joined us and did a few sprints. That really impressed the kids and all of them started running. But, by the end of it the fitness levels of the children were evident as only a few could hold till the end of the 20 minutes time period. We then dispersed to play games. The speed workout was quite tiring and it was evident in their game as the kids flagged a bit. It would really help to have the running workouts in the morning or later in the evening, distinct from the games period. This is something we have been stressing to the school about.

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