Hello there, it’s Sreelakshmi again! If you haven’t read about the first day of the Headstart Program, I recommend you do it now. It will help you understand the context of these posts better.

I’d like to tell you about the first session of the Headstart Program. I decided to let the students understand and pick the difficult chapters they would like to learn. I believe when you give people the power to choose what they want, they enjoy their decisions better.

Also, I’m using a wonderful app called ClassDojo to conduct these sessions. ClassDojo is a classroom communication app. It can be used to share reports with parents. The real use I find in it is that I can use it to develop individual student skills. I can even give real-time feedback that makes it almost as if I’m rewarding the player (student) with scores. I definitely recommend you read up about it or even try it!

The students were excited to use the app as well. Most said they were comfortable with technology and have a smartphone or tablet at home.

Anyway, back to goal setting. I could see that the students didn’t have a logical way in which they were choosing their chapters they said they’d like to study. Most of the students picked easy topics to study instead of difficult ones like Symmetry in Math (the goal of the Headstart Program is to work with difficult chapters before the school year began). I think I will need to work with them to reselect chapters – I’m sure they can aim higher.

Today, as usual, I paid attention to class participation and communication. These are my observations

a. Rajesh, Nitin and Tarun might have problems with participation in general. They tend to remain quite/not contribute/speak their mind. We might have to make efforts to improve this. They also struggle with communication.

b. Prem seems to be rather curious and engaged in the learning process. He voluntarily asked to pick difficult topics.

c. Ashwin seems to be a little dominating in conversations. I might have to look at contributions from him vis-à-vis the whole class.

d. Kiran seemed a little disengaged and restless from his body language. We will have to include more activities of kinesthetic in nature.

For Tomorrow’s class I’ve asked the students to talk about their favourite famous personality. I asked them to identify positive characteristics they see- like hard work, embracing failure, being persistent, working with limited resources, etc. and adding these to ClassDojo.

With regard to my goals, I have to work with Rajesh, Nitin and Tarun with language learning. I also have to work with Prem, Ashwin and Kiran to help them design a post test for the chapters they have chosen.

Learnings: Look out for student personality traits in order to help them channel their learning energy better, Pay attention to anything that could hamper learning- it’s better to deal with these first, Explain why we are doing things – Choosing a difficult chapter will only be more beneficial in the long term.