Monday, August 2, 2010

Do you know?

I had a very interesting discussion with a 6 year old yesterday.
I started on a new topic this week - The Human Body.
There was a model of the human body and I started with disassembling and
assembling the organs.
After the exercise some of the kids decided to play with other stuff and this guy came to me and
said : Do you know that the human body is made up of molecules?
I : Yeah, I do know
He : Do you know what molecules are made up of?
I : Yeah atoms
He : Do you know what atoms are made up of?
I : Yes, electrons, protons and a nucleus
He : Do you know what the nucleus is made up of?
I : Yes, neutrons and protons
Now he was going too deep into this theory and I was getting worried.. :)
He wasnt too happy that I gave him the answers till now so he then went on
He : Do you know why atoms combine to form molecules?
I : Because they get attracted to each other.
He (Was finally very happy) : No! Its because they dont have enough electrons in their outer shell!
I (Stunned) : Okay! Yeah you are right.
Then he went on to explain why some elements dont combine while some do. He said two oxygen atoms combine to make the oxygen molecule and this molecule combines with hydrogen to make one water molecule.
I was really glad. He knew the stuff not just by-hearted but he actually could understand the concept.
He also told me that electrons when they move out of the their shell, they create holes and since electrons keep moving out of their shells, atoms and hence molecules have holes and hence we humans are made up of primarily holes!!!!
I didnt know what to say!
But I cant deny I had fun. It was a challenging day!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Left Right Left

Recently at the parents teacher conference I witnessed parents worries for their child who might be left handed. Parents of one child were not sure if their child is left-handed and just wanted to be sure so as to help him accordingly but the parents of another child were worried.
This child in question is very intelligent and mature for his age and is able to do all activities which are his age appropriate. However he has yet not mastered the pincer grip for writing and doesn't show an inclination to using colors or pencils. I guess the problem should have been obvious for us but we just didn't realize. When his parents told us that they seem to find him using his left hand more, I suddenly understood. But they requested us to make him use his right hand more. I was sad. I didn't expect it. I thought now that we know he might be left-handed its easy to make him develop his fine motor skills but their insistence has got me worried. Their worry is genuine to a certain extent. They say that most tools which people use are made for right handers. I told them the computer keyboard is designed for the advantage of left-handers though but I couldn't argue more on their point that most tools are made for right handers - The scissors, knife and other cutting tools, most musical instruments and so on.
And so I came home and did some reading on this topic. Yes its true that most things are made for right handers but they can be customized for left handers. Also I read that if left-handers are forced to be right handers in childhood, they develop learning disabilities like dyslexia. Now I think this is more worrisome than customizing things for a left-handed person. My husband is a left-hander and so is my sister. I didn't know till this day that they must be having problems using a knife or scissors. If only people are aware, can help be given to them. I think that forcing a child to do something that prohibits his natural development is a hazard and shouldn't be encouraged. Forcing anyone to be like you (eg right-handed) is not fair. A left handers brain is different than a right handers. We cant change this by force. Just imagine someone forcing you to become left-handed. Will you be able to do everything with your left-hand with the same efficiency as the right? I dont think so.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Clouds - White or Blue?

I drew a landscape for a child to color few days ago. There were clouds in my sky and the child started to color the clouds blue.
I asked her if the clouds were blue or the sky was blue? She said the clouds are blue! I said nope I think the sky is blue. She replied "I dont believe you!" I said okay come lets go see outside.
So we went outside and looked at the sky. I asked her do you see the white clouds now? She said nope. The clouds are blue the sky is white! And then I realised that its just perspective. The clouds were spread out in the sky and if I wasnt sure the sky is blue, I wouldnt know for sure.
Thats how the theory of the sun going around the earth was questioned in the first place! I learnt an important lesson. Teachers must have an open mind and must be able to give concrete evidence to make children believe or leave it to them! What do you think?

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Favourite teacher

Today I felt really special and important. It was one of the kids birthday
and his parents had come to school to celebrate it.
They then asked someone who is Anjum and told them she's my kids favourite teacher!

I was flattered and very happy!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Privileged or Under-Privileged?

Yesterday there was a charity walk organized by my husband's office for children who are under-privileged. There were about 15 people who volunteered. It was a nature walk just to have fun with kids and play with them. It was just like an excursion of School.The kids were around 25 in number and there were many caregivers with them.So kids to adult ratio was almost 1:1. Two kids and two adults formed one team and we had to take photos at strategic locations to win a prize.We had lots of fun!
But later as I wondered about the under-privileged kids, i thought are they really the ones who are under-privileged?
When our school went on an excursion there were around 6 teachers. The kids were almost 50 and parents were very few. The ratio was around 1 adult to 4 children and these kids were of ages 2 to 6. I didnt have fun on that trip as I was always so worried about the kids I had to take care of. I was so scared to let them try anything that I didnt know about. Its possible that since we were so careful and worried all the time, the kids couldnt enjoy too! This wasnt the case with the charity walk! Yes we were worried about the kids but since there was just one to manage, it was very nice.
So are they the ones who are under-privileged?

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Theory of relativity

A really amusing thing happened yesterday. After the evening snack, the kids were just playing whatever they wished. The younger ones were sitting nearby when I thought of playing with them. So i asked them if they would like to swing on my legs. Few of the kids came and one of the kid, the eldest there, was just sitting and watching. She's a tall child for her age since her parents are also very tall. So I asked her if she wanted to try too but she said no.. "I'm too big here". I just smiled and then she continued.. "When I go back home, I become small again and I swing on my mothers legs". Its funny how children analyze things. I was really impressed by the way she thought about it!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Teacher is it raining now?

Yeah so update on eclipses.. Hmm.. it was fun to do but it didnt generate the interest i thought it would. They could see the moons shadow on the earth but it kept them occupied for just 5 minutes. After that they started playing with the sun (my torch) :)

Now for some tit bits here and there.. Once some weeks ago, the weather was cloudy and I was describing the weather to the children saying its cloudy and can rain anytime.
After some time one child came up to me and asked me "Teacher is it raining now?" I said not yet. And then she came upto me every two minutes for atleast an hour asking me the same question!
I really ran out of patience in the end but yeah it was hardly anything harmful so i still answered her politely. I decided, next time I'll just talk about the present and not tell her any predictions!