Working towards a goal

Vimmi Ghai has been a part of the Bluebells family for the last 10 years. She is a trained special educator and believes in using theatre, art, and music for teaching all children as each child is special.

What? Was it my class that averaged just 59 per cent in English? I couldn’t digest it. This couldn’t be true. But that is what the figures showed. How could my children have displayed only an average performance in English? I had to do something. But what could I do? I was just the class teacher and not the English teacher. And where was the time?

But I was the class teacher and I had my class with the children every day. There was also the GK period. I would use these two periods to enhance their English language skills.

I chose a set of two stories and developed 30 comprehension worksheets based on these stories. Each worksheet had one paragraph from a story. This paragraph was to be read aloud and the children had to rewrite the paragraph, find the meanings of two given words from the paragraph, find their synonyms, construct sentences using those words, and answer one question from the paragraph they just read.

In the first few worksheets, the children had to refer to details and examples in a text while explaining what the text says explicitly. In another exercise, the children had to determine the meaning of words and phrases as used in the text, including those that alluded to significant characters. A third exercise given was for the children to compare and contrast the different points of view from which the stories were narrated, including the difference between first and third person narratives. By the end of the worksheets each student was able to describe the overall structure of events, ideas, concepts, or information in the text or part of the text.

This exercise was followed by 30 grammar worksheets. The entire spiral bound booklet took about 20 weeks to complete. The result? The kids were interested to learn the language and the subject average rose by 10 per cent; besides, they had something meaningful to do in their free time at home!

Now, I felt better! And why not…… It was my class and my children that worked hard! Their responses to the programme kept me going. I was indeed very proud of my IV C (batch 2011-12).

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