“Plan without action is useless, Action without plan is senseless, and Plan with Action gives Success” - Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam
It is always wise to start any venture with a plan, for it to work well. I started the last academic year 2014 – 15, with a plan of action aimed at improving the quality of school education at the primary level. Before working on the plan it's necessary that we first know about the standard of our students. So this program started with pre-test, based on questionnaires which included assessing the students' competence in English, Tamil and Mathematics.
In our zone 2, we followed mission 3 (M3) program from the very beginning of the last academic year. The result of the programme helped me plan for the whole year. With the help of the M3 programmme we diagnosed the difficult areas of every child. Based on the level of the students. I made a plan for the whole year. Here in this article I am reflecting my plan of action, the way i executed and its results.
The major aim of education is to develop a good citizen by giving him/her a holistic education. The subjects such as Tamil, English, Maths and EVS are the mediums to achieve the goal. So, I fixed my goal with respect to these subject areas in order to attain the major goal.
Our Target must be clearly specified and the plan made feasible. My plan was for fourth standard pupils.
Vocabulary development (at least 400 new words with meaning in their first language)
Able to read (Both text books & story books with comprehension)
Controlled writing without mistakes Creative writing with mistakes
Converse in English
Place value of numbers (up to 10,000) (Able to read and write numbers and number names without mistakes)
Able to do the four basic operations on numbers
Addition-4 digit numbers Subtraction -4 digit numbers
Multiplication-3 digit by a single digit
2 digit by a 2 digit number
Division-U p t o 3 d i g i t n u m b e r
by a single digit number.
Developing logical reasoning and problem solving ability.
The above were the targets fixed by me for my fourth standard children. Then I thought of ways of integrating values in these subject areas. Values and skills should be developed parallelly. There were four major areas.
Students coming late to school Erratic attendance
Irregularity in doing homework and completing the project works assigned to them
These were the challenging areas in values. I fixed my goal to reduce the complexity of these challenges by inculcating moral values in the young minds.
Execution of the plan: The activities developed to implement my goals are discussed under this topic.
‘Practice makes a man perfect'. So I gave reading practice every day to make my children's reading perfect. And the reading I am mentioning here is not just 'reading', but 'meaningful reading' because students think that producing the sounds of the word itself is reading. The meaning of reading does not end with it. Reading means understanding the text which they are reading. So, my aim was to develop reading the text with understanding. I taught my children the way of splitting a sentence into smaller meaningful units by giving a pause. I taught syllabification of words also. Correct pronunciation of the words, pause, intonation and stress were all part of this reading practice. So the teacher should be a model reader who attracts the senses of their children with her voice, style and tone while reading. I developed the habit of chunking of passage and syllabification of word only by repeated practice. At the beginning I asked my students to draw lines in between the sentences to denote the place of pause. I asked the students to underline the difficult words and gave meaning of those words in Tamil for better understanding. I thought giving the direct meaning in their first language wasn't wrong. Every day I allotted at least fifteen to thirty minutes compulsorily for reading practice. Well begun is half done? I began it well from the very first lesson itself. So, I set off a trend and my students settled in well. As I said earlier, if we make our children to read the first lesson of the text in the above said manner they would find it easier to read the upcoming lessons with ease. There are some common words which get repeated very often, for example, the prepositions, conjunctions, and some common (sight) words. If we make our students familiar with those words in the first lesson itself then they will try to read the other lessons with more confidence. We can use some techniques like choral reading, I read the text aloud while they follow silently. Then i make everyone read through the selected text aloud in unison at least once, then make them read in small groups and finally ask the whole class to read aloud altogether. This choral reading broadens their reading experience. By this choral reading and repeated reading of the text , my students became better readers, who could read with comprehension. I got a good result in reading practice. All my students were able to read their text book as well as other books .
Library Books Reading:
I used to bring a set of 18 books (In duplicate) from our school library and keep it in our language corner along with the library book issue register. This register was to avoid the misplacement of the books and a record for us to know how many books our students have read. I register the name of the book and the student's name in the register and issued the book for reading. I made use of the free periods and lunch break for this activity. I advised them to read in pairs. This was to support each other while reading. The books I selected were short story books up to their level. After reading in pairs they had to share the story among their classmates. They shared it but in their mother tongue initially. I was happy because they were able to comprehend their reading. This activity also helped develop meaningful reading skills.
Today's word & tomorrow's word:
In our blackboard we have a permanent column titled "Todays Word”. and “Tomorrow's Word.” Tomorrow's Word becomes the Today's Word” of the next day. At first I started this activity to make my children familiar with question words. If I give a question word 'what' students should write some questions using word and display the question word the next day. I kept a display board at the language corner for this activity. Everyday students eagerly pinned their questions.
Constant recognition and reinforcement will always help motivate the children at the beginning of the learning and developing stage. So, every day I would allot stars for the children who were displaying their sentences in the display board. After some days I included other words in this activity. One important note was, I didn't correct their mistakes at the very beginning itself. Because my students were trying a new thing which was difficult for them. If I used to correct them at this stage there is a chance of them feeling shy and get demotivated, which may isolate them from doing that activity. My intention was to make my children start using the language in the written format. So, I allowed my children to display the sentences with mistakes for a week. After a week I asked them to read out their sentence to their friends and display. Afterwards, asked students whether the sentence was in the right form, allowed them to make changes. At this stage I started correcting their mistakes.
By this practice my children were able to find out their mistakes in the sentences in the display
Term: Term 1