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Innovative teachers make learning joyful
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Innovative teachers make learning joyful

Post by Rising Kashmir on Tuesday, September 13, 2022

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With the advanced education, students are mandatorily required to buy the costly gadgets and textbooks to understand the Mathematics and Science subjects, however, some innovative teachers in Kashmir have devised a mechanism wherein the students are being taught out of trash.
The initiative or the idea ‘Learn Big From Small’ of a government school teacher— Urfana Amin Moharken not only minimizes the cost of learning but also clears the concept easily besides making it joyful too.  
The-50 year-old Moharken says that she has been working as a teacher in a government school for 20 years now and before that she worked as a private school teacher in Green Valley school. “I focus on teaching the students without any costly investment. I have been using waste as a tool to teach different concepts.”
She says that in order to create a strong creative sense in the students, generally, the teacher narrates or discusses a story concept with the class.However, in the ‘Learn Big From Small’ activity the teacher provides the opposite.
“Instead of discussing the topic with the class first, the teacher merely introduces the topic or the chapter and its theme to the students. This gives students a lot of scope to imagine, explore and express. The teacher uses a single word or sentence to involve the students. This activity initiates a healthy brainstorming session among the students,” Moharken said.
“For instance, to teach the science subject, I will take a juice bottle or a cover of any junk food packet and I will ask them what was the nutrition level written on it and I teach them what should be the normal intake in this regard. The students will themselves evacuate what is good for them and what not. In this way, they will understand how harmful junk food is,” she said.
Moharken says that from the same packet, “I will ask the student of mathematics to read out the weight of the packet and I will ask them to compare the market value of its ingredients. I ask them to devise it as per the prices of product and raw material. In this regard, the students get the concept of division cleared.”
Hailing from Lal Bazar area of Srinagar, the innovative teacher says that in 2007-2008, she made a curriculum for Jammu and Kashmir which was implemented by State Institute of Education (SIE). “We were three members in the committee. Idea was to develop the joyful learning curriculum at Early Childhood Care (ECC) and Education.”
Posted at Government Boys Higher Secondary School Soura, Moharken have been awarded to teach the science subject from the ‘Learn Big From Small’ idea. “I received a gold medal for teaching science at primary level by the National Science Council of Teacher Scientist,” she said.
Besides,in 2020 she was awarded for bringing up innovative ideas and also won the global education teacher award in 2021.In 2022  she received a gold medal for teaching science at primary level.
Roohi Sultana- another innovative teacher has conceptualized several ideas to develop the cognitive, language, socio-emotional and physical development for the students by using different tools.
51-year-old Sultana has won a national award for an idea of ‘Low Cost No Cost Material’ in 2020.
“With regard to this concept, I teach the students by minimizing the cost of the studies by using different tools that we get free of cost like the things we throw as a waste,” she said.
Posted at Boys Middle School Tailbal Srinagar, she has also developed the innovative idea for the students titled ‘Relax Your Mind’ wherein children tend to be hyperactive and that their concentration span is also very low.
“For a better understanding of the subject, there is a need for increased concentration in the class. Different students come from different backgrounds so it becomes the responsibility of the teacher to get them all to the same energy level in the classroom,” she said.
While describing its classroom application, she said, “This activity is effective for students of all age groups. A simple activity can bring a substantial change in the life of a student. This activity also helps students to relax their minds and make them ready for the class.”
About the planning and preparation, Sultana said that the activity is conducted on a daily basis and its implementation is dependent on two methods.
Method 1
Step 1: Teach children how to calm their minds and control their thoughts. They are made to feel and be aware of their breath.
The teacher asks the students to close their eyes and relax. They are asked to slowly breathe in and breathe out. While doing this they must feel the air going into their lungs and coming out.
This quick deep breathing exercise is done on a daily basis with the children. It helps them concentrate and feel stress free.
Step 2: While sitting, each child is asked to make a fist with his or her right hand and made to imagine they are holding a sweet-smelling flower, fruit, or their favorite food.
Step 3: Each child is made to make a fist with his or her left hand and asked to pretend it is holding a candle.
Step 4: The students are asked to inhale deeply the smell of the flower, fruit or food in their right hand and then blow out the candle they are holding in their left hand.
“They are asked to continue deeply breathing in the sweet smell through the nose and breathing out and blowing out the candle from the mouth. Repeat the cycle of breathing in and out at least three times,” she said adding “This activity improves their body and mind coordination and improves concentration and attention span.”
Method 2
It is said that laughter is the best medicine. It helps naturally release stress, and relax children.
Teacher thinks of some different ways to bring all the students on the same energy level. He or she thinks of games or ways to make the children laugh.
For example, sit or stand in a circle with the children and have them take turns trying to make each other laugh by making funny sounds or expressions with their faces.
They can also tell funny stories to one another. The teacher involves them in the activity by asking what makes them laugh.
“After this particular activity every child will come up with some new activity, joke or a story which will make other students laugh,” she said adding “This activity can be repeated every day. It gives an opportunity to the teacher to get an insight of his or her students’ mind and create confidence in them. It also helps them relax from their daily routine.”
Likewise, another innovative teacher - Manzoor Ahmad Dar has devised a mechanism by teaching the students with the ‘Wrapper Learning’ method.
Posted in government middle school, Batwina area of Ganderbal, Dar believes that to introduce some fun in the learning and teaching process, some daily use items from a child's life can become an interesting source of learning.
According to ‘Zero Investment Innovations for Education Initiatives’ in this activity, ‘Wrapper Learning’ is a simple yet joyful way used for learning.
For instance, an empty wrapper is made the source of knowledge for young children. This technique is also helpful if the teacher and students face problems in communicating with each other due to differences in their language.
In such a scenario, wrappers also serve as a good source for introducing children to new words, their meanings, and pronunciation.
“Under this innovative idea, the students are asked to collect empty wrappers of items used in their schools or homes,” states the innovative idea.
The teacher also mentions that the wrappers are cleaned and collected in a box. For the implementation of this innovative idea, no additional Teaching Learning Material (TLM) is required. “Only a cardboard box to store empty wrappers is enough.”
In the class, turn-by-turn each student takes out one wrapper from the box which is related to the particular topic and reads aloud the name and other details of the item. If the student faces any difficulty in reading or pronouncing the word, the teacher corrects them.
The students are then asked to notice every detail on the wrapper very carefully. The importance of expiry date, ingredients etc. are explained to the students. While explaining the expiry date to the students, the teacher makes use of the concepts of mathematics which the students easily grasp by learning it in a fun way. For example, calculations regarding dates and calendar are easily taught.
According to this idea, the wrappers are also a good source of teaching students various symbols which we might not learn as a part of our school curriculum. For example, the symbols indicating Veg (Green) and Non-Veg (Red) can be differentiated.
Some wrappers of edible items also have nutrition related information on them. The students are taught what are proteins, carbohydrates, fats etc. and why we must have all of them in our diet.
The students are also made familiar to the concept of weights and measurements. By identifying the weight written on the wrapper they come to know of the concept practically.
“This will not only help students to learn about various concepts/topics but also inculcate good habits in them, like eating healthy, checking expiry date of products before buying them etc.,” the innovative teachers believe.

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