In traditional classroom teaching, there is hardly any scope for the children to interact with the teacher. My previous classroom teaching was often dominated by the lecture method. Except some traditional and essential aids like chalk, duster and blackboard, teaching learning materials were hardly used in my classroom. I never thought of the importance of the usage of TLM in my English classroom.
In the third phase of the ACE training programme, organized by Azim Premji Foundation, the importance of the usage of five different TLMs was introduced: Interactive board, sand tray models, magnet puppets, BaLA (Building as a Learning Aid) and hand puppets. At that time, I was fascinated by them and this made me think, ‘Why not do this for my classroom?’. This this line of thinking led to me to make two of the TLMs, Interaction Board and Sand tray for my children.
Changes made in my classroom:
I needed to make a lot of changes in myself as well as in my classroom. First and foremost I made a display board (used thermocole and velvet paper) for my classroom so that I could use it for making
interaction board. I used the display board in two ways, one was to display pictures on it to elicit ideas from the students and second to make it an interactive board.
First reaction of students
The previous day I told my children that they would have a surprise the next day. Next day, when I entered into my classroom, my children eagerly looked at me as they were waiting for something new. I took out the foam sheet models that I had made for the lesson, “The Story of the Road”. All the kids looked at the models with great excitement. And then I asked the children, “Have you seen this picture in your book?” A
student named Yashwardini showed the picture from her book. Then I asked them to describe the picture one by one. Ragavi came first. Now, I didn’t have to ask her any questions to elicit her ideas, in order to engage her. I found differences in the way my students described the picture with the help of the interactive board. Each one described it differently. I was astonished because hadn’t witnessed such a spontaneous flow of language from my students while writing a description on a given picture. Now my students writing skill has come up and they use prepositions correctly without my teaching them directly.
In the next week I made a sand tray model for the poem “Trains”
Material used were: Plastic tray, Sand, File Board
Sand tray model was a completely new experience for my students who had engaged seeing only printed pictures. Children came near the model. They touched and felt it, as they were seeing a real object. Actually this TLM stimulated students creativity and they added some more information in their write ups (description writing). For example, Keerthana added two new lines to her description. Not only her but also
all the students started thinking differently. I could see that even the students, those who were not much involved in classroom activities, started sharing their thoughts and ideas. Each and every student voluntarily came in front of the class and shared their views with others. I hadn’t seen such involvement in my students before. I have found that both the sand tray and the interactive board are useful to engage all the children in the learning activities.
Term: Term 1