SAIIER 2019:Get Set Go! and Classroom micro projects

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SAIIER 2018-19
Get Set Go! and Classroom micro projects
A project of Aikiyam School


Get Set Go!

The Get Set Go project is well established in the lower grades of Aikiyam School. The project this year was to extend the programme into the higher grades and support its continuation.

Get Set Go! was introduced to the school by Marion who had worked with the programme before and seen its success. The teachers of grades 1,2, and 3 had trained with Marion in delivering English as a Second Language (ESL) in a dynamic and interactive way using the programme and had great success.

The teacher of grade 4 and the upper school English teacher worked with Marion this year to deliver and extend the project into the upper grades. When the upper school English teacher went on maternity leave, the grade 3 teacher stepped up to deliver English to the higher grades and worked with Marion in adapting some of the activities to make them more age appropriate.

The books for this curriculum are far too expensive to provide for each child and, thus, the greatest expense is photocopying.

Outcomes: Get Set Go! has now been extended through to grade 7, and continues to be enjoyed by and bring great benefit to the students. Students through to grade 5 have been found to have a better grasp of spoken English than the higher grades which did not begin their time in the lower school with this programme. Visiting teachers from other Auroville schools and from outside schools have commented on and been impressed by the students’ ability to communicate in English.

Reflections: Get Set Go! has 8 levels but at the moment we are using only the first three levels throughout the school as the students benefit from returning to lower grade work to thoroughly review and, in some cases, re-learn the basics of English as a Second Language.

There was some feeling that the narrative content of the books would not be age-appropriate for the older students. However, the upper school English teacher reports that this is not the case as the interactive nature of the programme and the games and activities used in delivering it are enjoyed by all students irrespective of age.

The middle grades will soon be ready to move onto level 4 of the project.


Classroom micro projects

Classroom micro projects are one of interesting classroom events of Aikiyam School. Micro projects play an important role in letting children and teachers create a ‘Real Learning Environment’ in the classroom and on campus. Children’s questions are about the ‘reality or applicability’ of the theories they learn from their books. Children create a relationship with the topics they choose and teachers help or guide their self discovery. Micro projects integrate content areas of reading, writing, and oral communication and can change the climate of the classroom in an enjoyable way. Micro project hours are when the children can use their inbuilt capacity to create and showcase their creativity and celebrate their outcomes.

This year the classes did the following projects:

  • Kindergarten – My Family
  • 1st standard – Plants
  • 2nd standard – Animals
  • 3rd standard – Wild Animals
  • 4th standard – India and States
  • 5th standard – Food Festival

Micro project hours are interwoven with language, maths, science and social science hours. There are not any separate hours are given exclusively for the micro project activities. The quest is part of the classroom activities and children keep looking for the ‘Aha’ moment. Those findings are shared with others within the class and the campus.

Outcomes: Children can experience what they learn. Their experiences were expressed in many ways. Children have done many experiments to understand their core questions. They have created books, posters and working models. They also collected materials from other sources like internet, old magazines and encyclopedias. They organized an exhibition and offered performances.

Reflections:

  1. Through these projects most of the children can better understand or even surprise themselves about what they have learnt during their classes.
  2. Children can distinguish between the facts and the core knowledge of what they learnt.
  3. They can also identify the areas and aspects of the class that motivate them and go more deep in that area.
  4. Teachers can understand that all children do not have the same creativity in all aspects of the project. Some are interested in one or two activities while others may do other activities well. A teacher can identify the areas of strength and weakness of each child in the classroom.
  5. A teacher can understand even the emotional and psychological reactions of students towards the topic and specific questions.
  6. Children express their learning with different materials and forms.

Aikiyam children and teachers have been doing micro projects for many years. They continue this practice every year so that the experience and chance continue for future students too.