Friday, 9 October 2015

Remedial Classes during Summer Vacation in Assam

-Priyanka Deori
(Priyanka supports 13 Learn, Out of the Box schools in Dibrugarh )

In the earlier years during summer vacation we used to conduct remedial classes and workshops in our project schools.  The primary goal was to extend the learning taking place in the classes even outside the school timings.

This year, after coming back from Central RPA training in Kolkata we decided to conduct summer camps in few of our schools in each district with a specific common goal for all districts.
The idea behind this exercise was to practice interactive and diverse teaching methodologies.

Game Time
So accordingly, all team members from ten districts in Assam planned month long remedial classes in our respective districts during the summer vacation which we all had designed and scheduled as per our own schedule. Apart from the regular remedial classes using WebBox, textbook and blackboard, some of us also planned quiz competition, project based learning and extempore speech at our centres.

The Objective
The main objective of the remedial classes was to get connected with the students when there was no routine classroom work and when the students were free to learn something through activity. The idea was also to experiment on how interactive and diverse teaching methodology would help in the better learning and understanding of concepts.
Group Work

The Methodology
As already mentioned the main objective of conducting the remedial classes was to engage and interact with the students out of their regular classroom process, this remedial classes had no burden of homework or overload of a particular topic to be covered within a stipulated time period. Thus, an effort was made to involve students from more schools in a short period of time and give them an opportunity to learn at their own pace.

There were various topics and concepts that were covered by us from both Mathematics and Science. Simple topics like LCM, HCF, Number Line, Positive and Negative Numbers, Fractions, Data Handling among others were covered in simpler methods. In Science also there were topics like, Food web, Plant Nutrition, Fibre to Fabric and Motion.
Fraction Demonstration Chart

These concepts were taught using interactive and diverse teaching methodologies – In our session we conducted group discussion, group work, quiz, project work, demonstration among others.

We used videos to initiate topics and then followed by quick discussion. The discussion after introduction of the topics gave opportunity to students to recall their knowledge about the subject. We focused on enabling students to participate more during the session.

Types of leaves
A Challenge
Although the plans were made to conduct the remedial classes during the summer vacation, yet there were difficulties in motivating and convincing the students in attending the classes.

Our Experience and Learning
The main attraction for the students of these remedial classes was that there was no burden of books. These classes were made interesting by involving the students in games, whereby they also learnt many concepts. Like by playing the game “Fire in the mountain” they learnt about Factors and Multiples. There were also many hands-on activities like preparing charts and collecting resources to complete projects.

Students with a model
We all had our own set of experiences during these remedial classes or workshop. However these experiences were not much different from each other. While doing these classes, we all had a common observation that students learnt well when they are engaged. We tried creating a learning environment where there were interactive sessions and encouraged students to come up and make their own presentations.

Initially many students were hesitant, but later it was observed that students felt comfortable sharing their own observations and presentations on topics that were assigned to them.

While this was a learning experience for the team in implementing varied teaching methodologies; it was fun time for students!