Pure Randomness!

Pure Randomness!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Wake me up!

I know it is a nightmare
I should wake up any time now
It is gonna be over soon
I wait some more
But it is not getting over
I am in deep water
Water, isn't that supposed to wake me up?
But I am still going down
Something is curled around my left foot
Or is it my right?
It is pulling me deep down
Now I can't breathe
I panic, I struggle
My leg is free now, but
I don't know how to swim, do I?
I can't remember right now
Somebody, anybody

Monday, September 20, 2010

Drama: Initiation

One big goal for my students by the end of the year is to perform a drama. The idea was to improve their speaking skills through that. Once I started the sessions I realised that there are so many by products which I get from the drama, the improvement in speaking is just a small part of it.
I considered myself zero in the realm of acting, forget about teaching it. My friend and colleague Aditya, who is a professional, came to my class to kick off the session with me. Adi first put some ground rules in place and then gave the kids a monologue.
Hei Mr. Apple, you have hurt me a lot. So, I will kill you and eat you. Ha ha ha..
The emotions with which they were supposed to be done were also given. Happy, sad and angry. One third of the kids were assigned one of these emotions. They were also given 3-4 mins to prepare. Then the kids started performing and I almost had my jaws on the floor. I found a completely different set of students in front of me. Some of them were very nervous, but some of them looked like they have been doing this for their whole life or they were meant to do this. In fact acting made them come alive, blossom. We rated them on a few parameters for our reference for matching their roles in the drama.
Then they were given a dialogue between the lion and the mouse in the story "Lion and the Mouse". The kids were paired up and were given 5 mins to prepare. They performed and dazzled me.
Taniya in std. VI cannot read even a single English word. But when she came in front of the audience and cried looking at Mr. Apple in hand, I wondered where was this girl hiding all this while. Shahid in std. VII just started speaking in English this year and has a vocabulary of less than 100 words in English now. But when he roared and laughed as the lion letting go the erred mouse, I could almost see his mane.
That day I left from school with a completely different view of my kids and a huge smile on my face.
I was supposed to get another professional to come and do the casting and training for the drama. But there was a delay of a week for her to come. So I decided to handle the class on my own till then. There I discovered that I am not really as bad as I thought and I could show my kids a thing or two myself. Day after day, I kept giving my kids new scenarios and dialogues and they acted them out. By the end of one week the transformation I saw in some of the kids was stunning. The voice became louder and clearer for some who were nervously speaking in the beginning. The confidence levels were soaring.
I am so excited about the possibilities the drama sessions are bringing and I have never seen my kids so much excited about anything. May be this is the answer to a lot of questions for me and for my kids. Lets wait and watch.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Gifted Kunal

Kunal is the gifted kid in my 5th std. He most probably has ADHD (Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). Last year almost all my energy went in making him listen to me for some time and not disturb or not hurt the other kids. But this year he has come back from his summer vacation a slightly better version of himself. He can sit for more time without the need to jump at the back of the class and the energy I am spending on him is much lesser.
He is the only one who could read at 60 words per minute when I started with my class last year. By the end of the year he has improved that to a 100 words per minute, this time also while understanding what he is reading.
Last year he could not listen to me while I was teaching the whole class. So once I finished with the class I spent 4-5 minutes with Kunal and he would grasp it in that time. This year he is studying together with the rest of the kids and that is indeed a great relief.
Think, imagine, infer, predict - these are a few things I keep making my kids do in the class. Kunal shows me levels to which he can take these which I don't expect from them usually.
Below is the story he has written for this picture I gave for their unit test for story writing.


There are five friends in the story. There name is Joy, Robin and Amir. They are best friend. They live in the sea. One day one shark has com to kill to the joy. Crow decided to kill that shark.They go to kill shark but they din't kill the shark why? Because they became friend.
One day one man fishing in sea, shark cut his boat. Man was fall in water and than man was kill. 1 year gone 2 year gone 1 big octopus came kill the shark. What will happen next?

I forgive his spellings and grammar and give him the whole 5 marks for the story.

One day, I gave a rather higher level problem to the kids after teaching a lesson. Kunal took one look at the problem and says "didi, this is very hard problem". I was almost getting disappointed at him giving up on the problem so quickly. He got up from his place and while walking to a corner of the class announced "I need more blood in my brain for this". He went to the corner stood upside down for a minute balancing nicely on his hands and head. Got down and walked back to his place telling, "Now I have enough blood in my brain to solve that problem" and finished the problem to my delight.