Taking English To The Masses

Mission English – Week 7

Start of a new week.

Day 1 Monday 1 st August 2011 – Started with “o” vowel.  Learnt the “o” short sound and CVC words.   Practiced saying the CVC words.  Listened to the nursery rhyme videos (ABC, One Two Buckle my shoe and When you are happy).  The children have managed to learn them.  There is thought of  some of them performing one of the songs at the school annual programme.

Day 2 Tuesday 2 nd August 2011 – Started working on the “o” worksheets.  Completed 2 worksheets.  Using www.mes-english.com  worksheets.  Very useful for practicing.

Day 3 Wednesday 3 rd August 2011 –  3 more worksheets were completed with “o” sounds.  The students enjoy doing these worksheets.  The lack of revision at home makes them prone to forgetting what has been taught before.   They listened to a story about the Lion and the clever rabbit.

Day 4 Thursday 4th August 2011 –  Revised vowel sounds “a, e, i, o”.  Three letter (CVC) words with pictures with the vowel missing and the students had to guess the vowel.   Listened to the nursery rhyme videos (ABC, One Two Buckle my shoe and When you are happy).

Day 5  Friday 5th August 2011 – The students were asked to write CVC words on the board one by one  (vowels a,e,i,o) . The rest of them practiced the words in the notebooks.  This helped them to revise the beginning sounds, the vowels and the ending sounds.   Listened to the nursery rhyme videos (ABC, One Two Buckle my shoe and When you are happy).  As soon as they are able to sing the three songs on their own, will introduce a new rhyme.


Welcome to the sixth week of the project.

Day 1 – Monday 25th July 2011  – It was time to distribute the corrected tests held on Friday.  The result of the test was not all that disappointing.  Though it brought out the need for more reiterations of the topics covered before.  Regular revision of the previously covered material is needed.   We solved the test in class one more time.

Day 2 – Tuesday 26th July 2011 – Looking at the test, I decided to revise the work of last one month, starting from the beginning sounds of alphabets and the short sound of vowels “a, e and i”.  Started out with the basic alphabets and their sounds.  Beginning letter sounds were practiced with the help of pictures.  Listened to the nursery rhyme videos (ABC, One Two Buckle my shoe and When you are happy).

Day 3 – Wednesday 27th July 2011 – Revision continued this day too.  We played the game of  “I spy with my little eye” which they enjoyed.  It helped them to identify things with their beginning sounds.

Also introduced a word game, where I would give them a clue on a regular object, for eg. watermelon : It is a large fruit. Green on the outside and red on the inside and has lots of seeds.

Also revised the months of the year.

Day 4 – Thursday 28th July 2011 – Revision continued.  Today was the turn of the sight words.  Learnt and practiced simple sentences using sight words.  e.g like, come, here, where, there etc.   Made sentences using sight words and CVC words with vowel “a” and “e”.    Listened to the nursery rhyme videos (ABC, One Two Buckle my shoe and When you are happy).

Day 5 – Friday 29th July 2011 – The class was not held.

After the two short previous weeks, it was time to get back to 5 days a week class.

Day 1 Monday 18th July 2011 – We read the story of Snow white and the Seven dwarfs.  It was difficult for the students to follow though because of several new words.  It proved to me that there was an urgent need to increase their vocabulary.

Day 2 Tuesday 19th July 2011 – We did a conversation piece of introducing oneself.  The students had to tell their name their age and how many brother (s) and/or  sisters they have.   It was conducted in the form of a dialogue.  Me asking the questions and the students giving the answers.  Started with the vowel “i”.  Familiarized with “i” CVC words.   A small test was announced for Friday on beginning sounds, vowels “a” , “e” and “i” and alphabets (a to z / A to Z)

Day 3 Wednesday 20th July 2011 –  Continuing with the vowel sound “i”, reinforced the short sound.  Solved 2 worksheets for the “i” sound.   Read the story of the “The Little Red Hen” from the Class V coursebook

Day 4 Thursday 21st July 2011 – Introduced the Alphabet song and Number song (One, Two, Buckle my shoe).  The children enjoyed the video and tried to sing along with it.  Also heard a story from the Panchatantra ” The Blue Jackal”.  The students were very excited with this new media addition.

Day 5 Friday 22nd July 2011 – It was test day.  The students appeared for the short test.  It lasted for an hour.  Did not have much time for anything else.

Its the 3rd Week.  Not a very good week.  The teacher i.e. me had to take sick leave on Thursday and Friday.  So only 3 days of classes.

Day 1 – Monday 4th July 2011 : The 14 “a” short sound words were given as dictation.   Solved the remaining 2 Vowel “e” worksheets.  Gave the class a list of sight words (a, and etc.).

Day 2 – Tuesday 5th July 2011 – Introduced Vocabulary words for each alphabet.  Also revised the beginning letter sounds.  The dictation the previous day showed that they needed more reinforcement on letter sounds.

Day 3 – Wednesday 6th July 2011 – Discussed the days of the week using questions :  How many days in a week, which is the first day etc. along with spellings and how they are to be written.   Also read sentences using the sight words given. Eg. a : I am a boy.

I will continue with the fourth week in this blog because again this week had only two classes and this time blame the monsoon.  Monday was a public holiday and Thursday/Friday it rained a lot.  The school being in a low lying area was flooded and had to be kept closed for the students.

Day 1  Tuesday, 12th July – Played the Password game using the “e” short sound word.  The student gets 1 minute to read the word appearing on the screen. The contest was between the girls and boys.  The girls won.  The students were given 4 sentences to write about themselves.

I am a boy / girl.  My name is ____________________. I am _______ years old.  I study in ____ standard.

Also introduced the words : holiday, yesterday, today, tomorrow.  As homework the students had to make simple sentences using these words. For eg. Sunday is a holiday.

Day 2 Wednesday, 13th July – The homework was submitted and corrected in class.  Red the short vowel “e” story.  The story was about the hen and her ten chicks.

Welcome to the second week of the new year.  I hope you enjoy reading about this class as much as I enjoy teaching it.

Day 1 – Monday 27th June – Due to personal reasons I had to cancel the class on Monday.

Day 2 – Tuesday – 28th June  – Introduced new vocabulary picture words from A to Z.  Learned four new words with pictures and talked about them.  For eg.

The first picture is a Hen : where does it live, what does it give us, what is a baby chicken called etc.  Similarly, with other pictures.

Day 3 Wednesday 29th June :  Revised vowel “a”  and started with vowel sound “e”. Three letter words with ending sounds like et, eg, ed, en etc.  Solved the www.mes-english.com worksheets for vowel “e”.  Distributed the corrected alphabet writing test held in the previous week.  The students practiced correcting their mistakes.

Day 4 Thursday 30th June : The class was not held on account of month end.

Day 5 Friday 01st July  :  Distributed notebooks for English.  Students had to write their names in English.  Also write the alphabets in small and capital letters.  Completed 2 more worksheets with vowel  “e” sounds.   List of fourteen (three-letter) words for short vowel sound “a” was given for the students to learn for dictation on Monday.

Plan for next week : Introduce sight words, reinforce vowel “a” and “e” sounds, introduce vowel sound “i”.

Welcome back!  It’s the start of the new school year.  It was a new beginning for Mission English too.  As I had mentioned in my previous posts, the entire class of V standard is now being taught phonics based English.  The class began on Friday 17th June 2011.  The school has been kind enough to accommodate me in their regular time-table.  My class is from 10.30 am to 11.30 am.  The total class strength is 54 (an average of 50 students, counting the absentees).

Day 1 – Friday 17th June 2011 : The class began with introductions.  Everybody said their names.  They are not able to write their names in English, barring a few.

Next we revised the letter sounds.  It is a new concept for the students to identify the letters with sounds.    More revision is needed to reinforce the concept over the next few classes.    A handout with the alphabet and its sounds was given.  All of it was new for the children.

The first class was a short one.  Students were excited with use of  computer based teaching.

Day 2 – Monday, 20th June 2011 : The second day started with a short revision of the Friday class.   Introduced several vocabulary words using pictures. Beginning and ending sounds practice using pictures.  The student had to circle the objects which had the short “a” sound. The worksheets was courtesy http://www.mes-english.com/

Day 3 – Tuesday, 21 st  June 2011 : Introduced the short vowel sound  “a”.  Practiced all ending sounds : at, ap, an, ad, as, ag etc.  Read the short vowel sound (a)  story.  The idea with the story was to reading practice and vocalization of the short a sound. Solved two more short vowel worksheet. ( http://www.mes-english.com/ )

Day 4 – Wednesday 22 nd June 2011 :  There was a change to a bigger classroom which was a relief.  The students were given their names written in English which they had to practice writing.  Last three worksheets with three letter words were completed (http://www.mes-english.com/).

Day 5 Thursday 23 rd June 2011 : I was having doubts on the proficiency fo some students with the English alphabet.  Each student was given a page.  They had to write their names on their respective sheets.  They were also told to write lowercase and uppercase alphabets.   The results were varied.  Some of the students need extensive help in practicing the alphabet and some need help to improve handwriting.

Talked about body parts and their names.  Speaking practice by asking questions like “How many eyes do you have ? ” “How many fingers do you have ?”  etc.   To end the classed played a game.  A word appeared on the screen.  The selected student had 1 minute to sound out the word. For e.g.  p a n, the student had to identify the sound of each letter and say the word.  There was a buzzer that sounded off after 1 minute.  They enjoyed it a lot.

Day 6 Friday 24 th June 2011 : Read one more short vowel sound “a” story, this time with pictures.  Each page had one line of the story.  Practiced the questions : What, Where, How, Why and Who, using the story.  Later on talked about the months of the year.  Two slides for each month.  The first slide had the month and the relevant pictures, second slide had the features of the month.  For eg. December – 1st slide had pictures of Santa Claus and the Christmas tree, a New Year’s eve party etc. The 2nd slide said : Twelfth month, Christmas, New Year, Last month of the year.

Plan for week two : Practice alphabets (lowercase and uppercase).  Learn the Pre-primer sight word list.  Revise short vowel “a” sound.  Begin with short vowel “e” sound.  Talk about days of the week, objects around the house.

Image courtesy of http://www.quotesandsayings.com

It was on a Saturday a couple of weeks ago that I met Mr. Aakash Handikherkar.  Now you might be wondering who is Mr. Aakash Handikherkar.  Well, he is the founder and director of Matrubhumi Education Society.  It is the trust which runs the school where I am currently volunteering.

To give you a brief introduction.  Mr. Aakash Handikherkar hails from a village named Handikher in the Latur district of Maharashtra.  He was born on 19th September 1955.  He holds a Masters degree in Arts and a Masters in Education has been part of the education field for the past three decades.   He is the Principal of Chogle High School, Borivali (east) for the past 20 years.

He founded the Matrubhumi Education Trust in 1993.  He had the earnest desire to provide education to under-privileged children in a slum.  He founded the Marathi medium primary school in 1994 under the trust banner.  The response was not very encouraging.  People did not know whether it was a school or a day-care center.  He founded the high school in 1995.  Seeing the poor response and to convince the parents of the authenticity of the school, he enrolled his own children in the school.  This proved his commitment towards the school to the locals.  It takes a lot of gumption to actually walk the talk.   Hats off to him.  Over the years the school has grown and now there are nearly 600 students ranging from 1st grade to 10th grade, mostly from economically backward class.

Meeting him proved to me that there are people who sacrifice their own comforts for a noble cause.  He was truly an inspiration and a living proof that even a single individual can make a difference.    These are the people who quietly go about getting the job done, without the usual hoopla associated with charitable work.

India surely needs more such people.

We met again on 5th April.  The exams were over and all the students were in a happy mood.  A few of the boys were missing.  However, it was heartening to see that all the girls were right on time.

There had been a gap of 2 weeks since the last session.  We revised what we had done in the previous class.  Also there was a new addition to our class, a girl student.  We did some more revision for her benefit.  I had prepared separate folders with worksheets for beginning letter sounds.  We identified each picture, and matched it with the beginning letter sounds.  We talked about each object which gave the students a chance to learn about new things.  For eg. There was a picture of a whale in one of the worksheets.  After we had matched it to the beginning letter sound, we talked more about it.  What kind of an animal it is, why it is not a fish, where is it found etc.

I find that the students take a great interest in knowing things not from a study point of view but just for information.  It also helps them to increase their vocabulary.

There were six sheets in all.  We did 3 in class and the rest they have to do on their own.  We will review them in the next class on 12th April.

On the first day of class we had 12 students, selected by the Principal of the school.  However, it came to my notice that the remaining students of the 4th grade were feeling left out.

So now there is a new plan.  The school will be out for the summer vacation for two months.  It is decided that all the IV grade students will now be given an option to join the class.  It will not be made compulsory to attend but a question of choice.  But once the student is in, he/she cannot quit.

Depending on the number of students, we will move to a bigger classroom.  The class will be divided into two/three groups and they will attend the class separately on different days.  This will give me access to a larger number of students.   Most importantly no one  will be left out.

The third session was held on 22nd March 2011.

The class began with the revision of alphabet sounds done in the previous class.

I had planned a Alphabet Bingo game for the students.

  • The students were divided into groups of 2.
  • Each group was given a laminated Bingo sheet with Alphabets in Capital, randomly selected and a washable marker pen.  Each sheet had 24 alphabets.

  • I had prepared a 26 slides with pictures of object from A-Z. For eg. the image below is an illustration of the slide for letter “D”.

  • The slides played out randomly.   We talked about each picture, its name, how to say it, what it does etc. etc.
  • The students then had to identify the letter associated with the sound and put a cross on it.
  • The game continued till all the letters had been crossed out.  Each one got a chocolate for their efforts 🙂
  • The game helped to reinforce the sounds that had been learnt in the previous class and we had some fun while doing it.   The hour passed really quick.

The next class will now be on 5th April.  The students have their final exams in the school.  I have some worksheets ready for our next session.  The worksheets will further reinforce the beginning letter sounds.  Next step is ending sounds and CVC (Consonant + Vowel + Consonant) words.

Please check the resource page for worksheet resources.