C. SASIKUMAR, PST,
Previous School :
Student strength – 114
Teacher strength – 6
Key areas of interests
Puppetry, Villupattu, Drama, Digital resource creations, Music
Why I was interested in joining the teachers’ circle
Self - Development through exchanging thoughts and ideas with various school teachers
Summary of the different things I did last year
Puppet show, Villupattu, Digital resource creations, Lesson plan creation
In our school, the students come from very poor families and the parents do not support the children in their studies. The students are unfamiliar with English language; the only time they hear and speak English is during the English class in school. The CBSE content is also a bit high and difficult for the students in rural areas. So it is all the more important that the teacher simplifies the lessons/poems in a way the students can comprehend.
In Class 1 there were classroom resources for all other lessons except for the poem “One little kitten”. So I thought of creating a teaching resource for that, which would be context specific. There are resources in “English academy” for poems where one reads stanza by stanza and explains the content.But some of these are not suitable for Indian students. The resources carry a foreign tone and accent and they are recited and not sung and do not bring out the fun element usually associated with learning poems. Hence they are not exciting enough for the children. Students of Class 1 can enjoy and learn an English poem by singing it in a familiar tune. It is very essential for us to engage the students in classroom activities using different methods. This drove me to create content specific digital resources that are easy for students to understand.
How did I plan / to work on this objective?
Usually, children attend two years of pre- primary school before coming to class 1. But these children did not attend any pre-primary school and were directly enrolled in class 1 and this was their first exposure to any formal education. I used the readily available resources to teach the previous
poems but I felt that it was insufficient. Children have to enjoy the classroom learning and should get excited about the things they are going to learn in the class. So we need some attractive and interesting teaching aids to engage the children in class.
When I first taught the poem “One Little Kitten” with action and music, students were able to pick up the song with the help of actions. But then I found that there were many animals in the poem that children were unfamiliar with, and found it difficult to relate to. E.g.: Seals, seagulls, eels, lizards, dolphins, alligators, whales and fleas. I tried to check for readily available resources for this poem, but my search went in vain. Normally we use pictures and other printed TLMs, but I wanted to take it to a digital form. So I used pictures of the animals, audio-recorded the poem and created a video for my students. I did this with the help of “Photo Grid” application in my smartphone. This is easy for all to do and has no copy right issues.
I first used my mobile and then my laptop. The poem was initially taught in a tune which is easy for the children to pick up. Children sang the poem and I recorded their voice in the video. They initially struggled to pronounce a few words like lizard, fishes, eels and butterflies etc. But after singing it repeatedly they were able to get the correct pronunciation.
The video helped children to understand more about animals - where they live, how they look, their colour etc. On seeing the picture of a lizard, they identified it as “palli” (Tamil word for house lizards).They had associated the lizard with the normal house lizard. I asked them to take a closer look and clarified that it was one type of lizard but not the house lizard. Apart from animals, they learnt numbers as well. When I played the video for the first time the students listened to the poem and the next time they started singing along with the video. They enjoyed watching the video and were then able to identify the animals and recite the poem with actions.
Way Forward: Most of us teachers have an android phone. The “Photo Grid” app is user friendly and easy to use and an ideal support for teachers. Visuals always appeal to children and help them comprehend language better. It also provides cues to search for words related to the visuals to narrate or talk about it. All of us have used images as a teaching aid for some of our classes and it definitely was a useful aid. I have identified the lessons that have no clear resources and I have decided to create (context relevant) resources for other poems during summer holidays.
Term: Term 1