Tuesday, 7 May 2013

I Wonder Why The Moon is Eaten Up And The Banana Becomes Black

Few months back, I facilitated an inquiry based learning program to help children learn to write poetries.  The program was for children aged between 6 till 10 years old. But, there was one participant, a cute little girl who was only 3 years. The reason she was there was because she had already tasted some of my other learning programs and she is really fond of me and being in my classes. Little I need to mention how I feel when children receive my learning facilitation with so much love. Her mother told me that the girl actually wanted to give up her drawing classes to participate in the poetry class. I told her mother that the girl may observe and participate in a way that she would like to but I shall not force her to learn anything. And I requested the mother to not have any expectations but promised that her daughter may learn something naturally through observing other children. So, the girl ended up being in the poetry class. 

During our learning journey in the poetry class, apart from creating funny and silly poems, we also focused more on writing nature poems. We would go on nature walks, explore the trees, clouds, sun, moon and birds. We would brainstorm and discuss our observation and create wonderful nature poems by journalling it. Once, when we returned back from our nature walk, we started to brainstorm and create 'I wonder why' poems. While the other little ones were throwing random statements such as "I wonder why the grass is green" and "I wonder why the sky is high", the little girl didn't seem to understand that she was asked to make sentences that would start with "I wonder why", but she was throwing random statements such as "I like ball" and "I like to play" etc. We did acknowledge her for her participation and moved on with our discussion. Suddenly we all had to stop to just watch her burst into tears. She came and sat in my lap, I let her cry for a while and asked her if she would be willing to share why she suddenly started to cry. With tears and sparkles in her eyes, she wept and said, "Ma'am (she calls me that way), my mama always takes me there near a tree every evening to give me mam mam (children uses a slang word called 'mam mam' for food, in India). I sometimes see a moon and sometimes I don't see a moon. I get so sad why sometimes there is no moon.". She burst into more tears and added, "Sometimes it is only half and eaten up. I wonder why moon is not there in the sky every time I eat mam mam". She further added, "I always wonder why banana becomes black, I don't like them when it becomes black, I wonder why Ma'am". She repeated, "I wonder why Ma'am!" and she looked into my eyes. I was moved and couldn't think of any words to utter.  I was enthralled by the capacity of that child to observe and learn naturally, the moon phases and the chemical reaction of a banana. A few moments later, she was doing fine and started to draw her observation and learning. Later, she giggled for no reason and said, "I wanted to ask my mama alllllll this, I wonder why Mama! but before that, I asked here, now."

We think children learn only when we teach them. Most times, we fail to realize that learning is very natural. This little girl had experienced the world around her, reflected upon on it, she had also inquired and asked questions about the very aspects of world that she had perceived. All she did in the class is to express her learning that had happened in the past. Learners are so resourceful, whole and complete and have a capacity to LEARN NATURALLY. 

Later, when I shared this with her mother, I wondered why the mother burst into tears.
Enjoy Learning and Sharing.

Tie those knots and beads for a colourful streamer

I had brought back bundles of yarns from the craft stores. A sudden idea awakened our creative powers.  Making such crafts has always helped to integrate our head, heart and spirit. It has developed our imagination and has nourished our active thinking skills. 

I was amazed by the patience and will that my little boy demonstrated in gracefully creating this streamer. He had a very pleasant time making this colourful magic and it acted as the right opportunity for him to improve his hand skills too. I made one and gifted it to a child in our neighbourhood while my son kept his creation with himself. I also realized how much it is so easy to create simple colourful toys for children. There were days when I used to consume so much. All that was needed to make this streamer was a paper plate, a hole punching machine, beads and yarns. 

Enjoy Learning and Sharing

Saturday, 9 March 2013

Multiply With Beauty

To bring a smile in my child's face through colours and art has been my favourite research and hobby these days, by innovating visually stimulating Mathematics ideas. We have fallen in love with abstract art and we never get tired of creating these abstract Mathematics arts. When we end up integrating Mathematics and arts, I almost feel like it is a marriage between the rational/logical left brain and the holistic right brain.

At this end, this is how we comprehend multiples of three. Take a look at our "Multiples of Three Pyramid".

I dedicate this post to all the tiny tots out there in the world who think Mathematics is difficult. My dear ones, Mathematics is so colourful, Mathematics is beauty. Once you discover an interesting way to learn Mathematics, I am sure you will fall in love with it. 

So, you think you have to get bored with those multiplication tables. Not necessary. There are other ways too. 

Enjoy Your Mathematics,

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Art Is A Good Teacher

Well, I think  I am a better learning coach than a writer. Many of my ideas, experiences, thoughts and insights on learning never get translated into a blog post here, because I struggle to write. I hunt for words and I give up. So, now, I will try to be as authentic in writing what I feel at this moment and try to create this post, so I could make this post simple and real, straight from my heart. 

An art that we did almost 2 years back became very noticeable on my facebook wall. Being an extrovert, naturally I am very excited by the energy and all the attention. The acknowledgement and attention made me feel proud like a little child. Moreover, I am so crazy about innovating learning methods for Math. I immediately felt that, this could be my next post. Long time, I have not been posting anything in this space. Learning Math through art has really been a healing and joyful experience for us. 

I thought it was a simple art. But this simple art helped us develop almost all basic Math concepts and skills such as addition, subtraction, division, multiplication, measurement, fraction, patterns, colour mixing, fine motor skills, visualization skills and what not. All in a very NATURAL WAY. Learning best happens naturally when we involve ourselves in an activity out of sheer joy. 

And, art is indeed very magical and real great teacher. And, what else could be a treat for visually stimulated children.

Enjoy Learning and Sharing