The library is almost setup. Given that there are only about 400 books on the shelves for borrowing, one week on – one week off strategy can work. So children can borrow books every second week. For our “one book per child” vision to come true – the library needs at least another 300 books. We hope to reach this target early in the new year.
Our ICT initiatives are working. The year 1’s and 2’s have done some fantastic drawing of their presentations of a local festival. This was in response to their achievement indicator for Social Studies. We took digital images of these sketches – the big idea was to do a class presentation using Photo Point (using Libre Office – open source software) and view it through a data projector. Through such presentations, every students’ work – irrespective how big or small the paper for their drawings were gets recognised. They also get to explain their drawings and possibly get some feedback from their peers. It was interesting to see how they all saw different things of interest at the festivals. Thus every sketch seemed to focus on different aspects – 100 points for creativity!
The year 3 and 4’s work in Social Studies was also continuing well. Their achievement indicator was about the life in a rural settlement. Most students were able to select the photos they wanted to tell their stories. They were able to go to the respective folders and import up to 10 photos for their Photo Stories.
The year 5 and 6’s were able to think of an appropriate theme for their Health Science Achievement Indicator which focussed on sharing responsibilities. It was amazing that their teachers were able to get them to brainstorm their idea, write, and act out a script for the camera in a relatively short time. There was hardly any need for retakes – they all seem to exactly know their roles and what they had to say. More importantly there was a very clear evidence that they enjoyed the experience. Our idea of using a web cam did not work – we need at least one video camera for such activities.
These experiences here suggest that when learning activities are interesting, children will enjoy it provided they are scaffolded appropriately. A moderate degree of challenge is also needed – if the activity is too easy they get bored, if its is too hard they give up. Sometimes pitching an activity at the right level is a challenge – but this what teachers do all the time.