# Palm leaves, shells and patterns

R Meenakshi

The idea of using palm leaves as teaching material was a very new concept for teachers of Titan School. Although the idea was amusing initially we now have explored this material immensely in our classes in many ways.

Every year we have a Math Mela in our school and it was for this that the palm leaf kits that K-4 produces were first used and became an instant hit. These kits are extremely useful especially for primary school. The pre-primary students used the Design and Form kit to explore pattern making in multiple ways. A group of them working with shapes managed to create many interesting compositions. It was thrilling to see how these little kids seemed to be learning about different shapes without us having to intervene. Learning by exploring is the best way of learning. Whatever shape they came up with we helped turn them into beautiful mobiles that could be hung. The shells in the kit were used to play guessing games, for counting, pairing, making sets, etc Toronto.

The Number Boards have aided in the teaching of addition and subtraction. The shell box helps teach multiplication and division. The higher classes can use these same shells to learn factors, multiples and fractions. The materials being made of eco-friendly palm leaves have become a big hit with the pre-primary children as they use them in the learning of shapes and stringing. The Palm Mala with a variety of colours -threading them and making patterns has been an interesting learning material for kindergarten children. It was also used for counting and to learn other related skills. The stitching kits are helpful in learning to create new patterns.

The material being light, easy to handle and colourful makes it child-friendly. The palm kit has been such a wonderful addition to our teaching materials that we invited the craftswomen from K-4 to conduct a workshop in palm leaf weaving since weaving, knotting and patterns are all related closely to the concept of numbers and understanding them in other non verbal ways. Some of our senior students learnt the basic skills in weaving a palm leaf. We also used three dimensional palm leaf shapes like stars for decorating our school for the Math fest.

To know more about K-4 and their products visit www.k4arts.org.

The reviewer is Coordinator, Titan School, Hosur.