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.
The second session for the English class was on 15th March 2011.
All students except one (called in sick) were there on time. I got the students I-cards, which would help me in learning their names.
I forgot to mention in the first blog, the school has 4 computers, equipped with a multi-media kit, which is a blessing. Teaching is much easier when you can involve some music and visuals. And thanks to Matt (Dreamenglish) the second session was extremely enjoyable.
The second class started off with :
- Alphabet recognition plus associating the sound with the letter.
- I had prepared in advance, two sheets. One with the capital and small alphabets and the other with the letter sounds written in Devnagari script. This made the students to learn the sounds.
- To make use of the computers, I had 26 powerpoint slides with the letters, the sound and corresponding objects beginning with that letter.
- Here I used the phonics song developed by Matt for his site Dreamenglish, which he was kind enough to let me use. He has sung the sounds and the names of corresponding objects in a very lyrical manner which appealed to the children. Thanks Matt!!
- We revised the sounds one more time, and the hour was up.
Next Session : A game of Alphabet Bingo. Keep reading to find out more!!!
The first class was held on 8th March 2011. The friend from the NGO and I visited the school. We had selected Class IV (8-12 year olds) as the starting point. Since the school is a Marathi (vernacular) medium school, we assumed that the students of Class IV would have a much better shot at improving their language skills. The Principal of the school had selected 12 students out of a class of 52 fourth graders (Ages 8 – 12 years). The class of 12 had 7 girls and 5 boys. These students had been taught English as a subject since Grade 1. We realized at the first class itself, that a lot of work needed to be done.
During the first class all the students introduced themselves and we did a few vocabulary exercises trying to understand their word strength. The main issue that was obvious after the first class, which was the lack of conversation in and daily usage of, the English language. The students were hesitant and shy to speak out loud. We tried to make them as comfortable as possible. The class lasted for an hour. Currently, it is only once a week, which I hope will increase to at least 2-3 times a week.
If you would like to know more about the work being done — please visit the About page.