Apr 2011: Classroom activities to aid learning

To print the newsletter, please download the PDF here.

Dear Educator,

As we start the new academic year we move forward with our unravelling of CCE. In this edition of the newsletter, we look at a bunch of examples of classroom activities that help for both learning and assessment.

CONTENTSThe spirit of CCE

Assessing through Activities

Examples

1. History Project

2. Project

3. Seminar

4. Diary Entry

5. Group Discussion

6. Observation

Beyond Chalk and Talk

Questions and Suggestions

Our Online Initiatives

Enabling CCE

Archives

Manage Subscription

THE SPIRIT OF CCE
Let’s relook at the spirit of CCE. It brings about a paradigm shift from —

  • Examination to education
  • Teaching to learning
  • Testing to holistic assessment

Three words are crucial in the proper understanding of CCE — examination, evaluation and assessment. What do these words mean? The dictionary defines them as —

Examination — a detailed inspection or investigation, a formal test of proficiency or knowledge. You take an exam to show your knowledge on a subject.

Evaluation — to form an idea of amount or value. If you evaluate someone, you consider them in order to make a judgement about how good or bad they are.

Assessment — evaluate or assess the quality, value or nature. If you assess something or someone, you consider them carefully and make a judgement about their quality or value.

CCE distances itself from examination, since as educators we are not merely interested in finding out just how much knowledge a student has, particularly when that ‘knowledge’ (or information) can come from rote learning. CCE concerns itself with the learning process and assessment is a crucial component in the teaching-learning. Certain prepositions come into play when we think of assessment.

Is it

  • Assessment of learning?
  • Assessment for learning?
  • Assessment as learning?

We evaluate learning through assessments. We are more interested in assessment as learning, since we need to continuously assess whether students are ‘with us’ throughout. It is only after learning has taken place, can we evaluate.

ASSESSING THROUGH ACTIVITIES
So how do we assess moment to moment, concept to concept? Through activities. Before we go off into the realm of formative assessment and summative assessment and arrive at comprehensive evaluation, let us make sure that we have facilitated comprehensive learning. Let us use activities to not only assess learning, but first, to aid learning.Let’s look at some activities in Ratna Sagar’s CCE editions. There are copious activities that will help both for learning and assessment. Needless to say, activities interest students and great learning takes place, because we are engaging them in a way that they like it.
EXAMPLES
1. History Project line(click here to download the PDF)

2. Project line

Make a daily food chart for a week. Tick (tick mark) the food that you have on each day.

FOOD MON TUE WED THU FRI SAT SUN
Milk: curd/cheese/paneer
Fruits
Vegetables
Dal
Rice/Roti

Check yourself.

1. Did you have breakfast every day? Yes / No
2. Did you have milk every day? Yes / No
3. Did you have fruit every day? Yes / No
4. Did you finish the food on your plate every day? Yes / No
5. Did you finish your lunch on time? Yes / No

A discussion could follow the activity. We could ask students the importance of having an answer ‘Yes’ to all questions. ‘Yes, but why?’ facilitates more learning than just answering the questionnaire.

3. Seminar line

The Amazon rainforest is described as the ‘Lungs of Our Planet’ because it continuously recycles carbon dioxide into oxygen. Organize a seminar on ‘The Amazon Rainforest — the Lungs of Our Planet’. We can focus on the following aspects:

  • Environmental impact of the rainforest
  • Causes of deforestation and consequences on the environment
  • The need for its protection and the initiative taken

4. Diary Entry line

  1. Write a diary. Note down every day an interesting event that takes place.
  2. Running the state is a challenging task. So is managing a home. Become the Chief Minister of your home for a day and try running it. You can begin with making a list of grocery items to be bought, fixing the menu for lunch, getting the clothes washed and ironed, attending to the needs of your grandparents and siblings. At the end of the day, write a diary entry describing your experiences.

5. Group Discussion line

  1. In many industries, especially in the developing countries, young children are employed to work for long hours in unhealthy conditions. Hold a class discussion and suggest measures to condemn this trend.
  2. Do you think you should get holiday homework? Have a class debate on ‘We should get homework only during summer holidays’.

OR

‘Holiday homework should be abolished’.

6. Observation line

Put some groundnut seeds on a piece of newspaper. Fold the newspaper properly. Crush the nuts with a rolling pin. Carefully open the folds. You will find oil on the paper. This shows that groundnuts have oil.

Think of another concept, try the experiment and note down your observation.

BEYOND CHALK AND TALK
Students need a lot of practice in order to handle an activity for FA’s. It is not only unfair but outdated if we use the traditional ‘chalk and talk’ approach to teaching and then assess them through activities. The success of CCE is in integrating it with the teaching learning process.Let’s not be teachers, but facilitators of learning. Let us get them to learn from a range of activities, such as oral questions, quizzes, projects, seminars, assignments, surveys, observation, experiments, . . . We surely can come up with more ideas.

It is not just a pen and paper test that can help evaluate learning. Through activities and worksheets, not only do we discourage blind rote learning, but we can move through all areas of learning such as understanding, application and arriving at the HOTS (Higher Order Thinking Skills)

Question — students have fun while doing activity, how do we know that they have learnt?Answer — the activities that are there in textbooks or the ones you develop are and can be comprehensive, yet apart from that, use the graphic organizers to capture the entire text or a concept. Students can present the lesson in a web chart, they can work on cycles, classify or sequence. For Graphic Organizers click here.
QUESTIONS AND SUGGESTIONS
Please email us your questions about CCE, any suggestions for future topics and any feedback about this newsletter to cce4u@ratnasagar.com
OUR ONLINE INITIATIVES
Our latest initiative has been to regularly collate all education related news and put them up on our facebook page.
Please visit http://www.facebook.com/ratnasagarpl or  click the banner below to get the latest news on policy changes, news from the Boards, education research and more.Click here to follow us on Facebook

Our other online initiatives include:

Youtube: CCE Brainstorming session

Part 1: http://youtu.be/-1xM7xe4W_A

Part 2: http://youtu.be/agXaPN0YGI4

Blog: discuss.ratnasagar.com

Teacher’s Virtual Resource Centres:

ELT: www.ratnasagar.co.in

Science: www.science.ratnasagar.co.in

Website: www.ratnasagar.com

ENABLING CCE
We, at Ratna Sagar, have come out with CCE editions of our English, Science and Social Science textbooks. Apart from the other unique features, they include activities that can be used for formative and summative assessment, life skills, multiple-choice questions, and more. To know more please click on the links given below or contact any of our representatives or email us at cce4u@ratnasagar.comCCE Editions of Textbooks from Ratna Sagar

ARCHIVES
If you want to access our old CCE Newsletters please click on the links below.
You can also read and discuss these at our blog http://discuss.ratnasagar.com

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