Our classes at Matribhumi runs every Friday. Grades 5-6 and 7-8 have their turns on alternate Fridays. We take 40 minutes class content for each grade. Suresh conducts classes for grades 7 and 8. Similarly, I along with Samir engage grades 5 and 6.
Students are very excited and it takes quite sometime to channel their energy into a fun learning experience more than just fun. Yes! our classes are different than their regular classes and their expectation is fun. Fun: Why not? we can have fun while learning too. And that’s what we are trying to help them understand. We create an environment where they try out new activities and explore “interesting concepts”on their own, discuss those concepts in groups and present their understanding by developing stories based on facts, experiences and imaginations.
I remember a class on ‘Shapes- 2D and 3D’ in which students had to make 3D shapes from a printed 2D and come up with stories with those shapes. A group created a post-earthquake setup where buildings (cuboid) were destroyed by earthquake and people were sheltered in tents (pyramid). Similarly, a class on motors, students made a circular plate in which one side had a picture of a bird and the other side had a bird cage. So when they rotated it with the help of the motors, the bird seemed to be in the cage. They too had a beautiful story about the bird being trapped and also its happiness on being freed. There are many more stories that these students surprise us with.
Apart from stories, they learn to work in teams by dividing their part of work and completing their task within given time. Though they are not attentive when we give them instructions, they all actively participate as soon as the task is assigned. Also during the teamwork the students help their teammates to pay attention if they are not listening to the instructions that we give in between the tasks.
So far we have completed classes on leds and motors, ratio and proportion, balloon powered car, 2D and 3D shapes. Leds and motors class supports their knowledge on conductivity, polarity and circuits. Similarly, the ratio and proportion class helps them to understand fractions and proportions by making paper monsters. Balloon powered car class guides them about designing and helps them to understand air pressure concepts. 2D and 3D shapes class gives them ideas about the formation of shapes from 2D to 3D; the dimension like length, breadth and height; areas and volumes.