The school I teach in is under resourced. Roofs leak. There are no bulletin boards to pin up charts, just some rudimentary nails. Walls are not plastered. Tape does not stick.
So what do we do? We use Blu Tac. Tons of it. Bang with the sides of our hands until we lose all feeling in our hands. Ok, fine, I am exaggerating. But only mildly. But seriously, can the Blue Tak guys give us free Blu Tac, please?
Every bit of wall space is vital to reinforcing learning. Here is how Sanaya does it (& amazingly well, I must add).
Sanaya Bharucha is a second year fellow of Teach for India. She teaches 4th grade in the same school that I teach in. She took up for the fellowship right after her graduation.
During a free period, I walked into the 4th grade classroom the other day, just to watch. It took me a good 15 minutes to just digest the content of learning aids in the classroom.
Here are some poor quality pictures to give you a glimpse of what Sanaya in particular and Teach for India fellows in general do to make their classrooms a great place for learning.
Welcome to Sanaya’s 4th Grade Classroom!
Usually, a mnemonic like “LEARN” is used to reinforce the rules of the class. When the teacher says “LEARN” the class knows exactly what it stands for.
Sight word wall – Children learn to recognise & read frequently used words in english by observing their pattern repeatedly. This improves their reading fluency. Transparent sheet is cut and pasted on the wall using tons of Blue Tak. Individual words are cut out to maintain the pattern and pasted on the sheet.
I love this poem! I read it on my first day as a teacher and I repeat this to myself every time my class bombs 🙂 But seriously, what a lovely way to reinforce the culture of trying out new things without the fear of failure!
Even the small space under the clock has been used for reinforcing facts along with the lovely Super Fast => Super Smart, reinforcing that one should not waste any learning time in class.
Mnemonics to remember seemingly simple yet sometimes confusing concepts.
This tops the cake when it comes to resourcefulness! The window is used to reinforce learning. Facts about days of the year are neatly written on the cast iron shutters. I love this! Even if the inattentive child looks out the window, he will find facts assaulting him. You cannot escape learning in this class, Guys. *Evil Laughter*
You may notice that none of these learning aids cost the earth and moon. Materials used are chart paper & Blu Tac. Very affordable & mostly re-usable. Nothing imported, nothing that is shipped from far off lands, nothing out of the world. Content is a result of focussed thinking and creativity – which the Teach for India Fellow brings into the classroom in abundance. All Fellows work within a shoe-string budget.
Thanks to Sanaya for letting me feature her classroom on the blog.
TFI Fellow 2010 Batch