English Activity: Role Play Interview by Students

Loud reading…..factual answers…inferential answers…cramming vocabulary, extrapolative answers..literary explanations…paper pencil test ..and so on.. the mechanical order of learning…..Abstract concepts are difficult for most young children to grasp simply by hearing them explained. Atmiya Vidya Mandir, humbly, yet with a sense of pride, makes the abstract concrete. It is about doing rather than listening, about active engagement rather than mindless copying of words and sentences, which are often little understood. One fine example of such a practice is the ‘Role Play Interview Round conducted by English teacher of grade 8. Instead of teaching a big unit of the English textbook titled ‘Secret of Their Success’ with conventional method ,where students were to read and write about the success story of great personalities, she thought of an activity based learning to empower their communicative skills .
Reading extensively: All the students of class VIII were divided into groups, each group consisted of two students. They were given research work on the life and success story of great personalities of the world , for example, Mother Teresa, Pablo Picasso, Azim Premji, Abdul Kalam, John Keats and many more…Here comes the reading part!!!!!!!! It was worth seeing, the scene of the library, to find all the students of Std VIII browsing books, reading about successful people of the world and discussing in groups. All of them read ardently and collected enough information about the success story and inspiring life of these personalities to feel inspired themselves.

Writing and speaking earnestly: It was the time to take up writing and speaking part. Each one of them along with their group member was assigned the role of interviewer and interviewee. In each group one student took up the role of a successful and renowned personality and the other one prepared and wrote a series of questions related to the life and success story of that personality. Some students like Anmol Kagrecha, Nishit Banka, Satyam Bajaj, Harsh Sarda, Harshil Soni, Parth Amipara, Param Patel and Love Patel were helping their peers to prepare well for the question-answer round for this Role Play Interview Activity.

Listening Actively: Once they were ready with their questions and answers related to the respective personality they were assigned to, their teacher showed them some videos of interviews. They all listened carefully and watched these videos to learn correct pronunciation, fluency, presentation, gestures and even the dressing of the interviewer and interviewee.

Learning Social skills: The students and their English teacher decided to perform this activity in presence of students, teachers and some elders of the school hence the preparations were in the air. The students prepared invitation cards for the guests of this event but their English teacher was happy to see that her students were actually learning how to write an invitation for an event, the learning just happened!!! More than learning to write they also acknowledged how to meet and talk dignitaries as they went to give invitation to Fuvaji, Haresh Sir, Principal Madam and all Departmental Heads. It was amazing to find them working as a wonderful team with coordination.

Event Management Skill: Besides being the participants of this activity, Students of Std VIII learnt how to organize an event owing to this activity. The seating arrangement, stage decoration, property management, receiving the guests, making bouquet of fresh flowers, etc. It was wonderful to see them do their work with great responsibility and coordination under the guidance of their English Teacher.

L.A.R.P (live action role playing): Finally, it was the day when they were to perform the role of the assigned personality(interviewee) and the other as interviewer. Tanmay Patel started the programme by calling upon the guest on the stage to do the pujan of Thakorji. Then Anmol Kagrecha took up the mic to deliver the welcome speech. Here comes the incredible performance!

The stage wore a perfect decorum of an interview session where these boys were in the shoe of world-renowned-personalities and were asked questions regarding their success journey, mile-stones, struggle and achievements. The back stage screen displays were amazing with the photograph and a short biography of each personality the students were role playing. This slide show was appealing and befitting to the show. The anchors Jeet Maradia, Yash Jariwala, Mitul Mehta, Harshit Talesara and many more were just astounding with their confident performance. Most of the students were able to overcome their stage fear and low self-esteem through this activity. Some of the students were able to get along with each other and work as a group.

Now it was the time for the three judges Paras Sir, Saumya Mam and Rupashree Mam to announce the result. It was amazing to get their positive comment about the performance of all the participants. The suggestions regarding pronunciation by Rupashree Mam were valuable. At the end, Prajval Sir announced the winners and congratulated them. The show ended with vote of thanks by Vishvajeet Solanki. Later, Nishit Banka, Harshil Soni, Bhavik Parikh and Kenny Patel and many students shared their experiences.

Akshay Golwala says, “We can understand now the importance of communication and communicating the right way.

Not everyone is equally endowed with the ability to effectively express himself and this is where the importance of communication skills can be truly fathomed.” says their English Teacher

The usually quiet Mitul says “I know now that the importance of communication is equal in every walk of like, be it in personal, professional or social life.

Yash Chhatani says “I have read and understood that people who end up making a positive difference in the world often possess qualities that transcripts are powerless to measure.

I now know that important traits and attributes include perseverance, self-knowledge, imagination, the ability to identify the purpose of your life.” says Harshit Y Agarwal

Parikshit says. “I understand now that we should pursue what we have interest in.

Pratipal Jadeja says “I came to know that success means the willingness to take risks, the ability to rebound from setbacks, and the capacity to empathize with and to work well with others.

Written by: Seema Madam

Heal the World – by Class 4

A HOTS (High Order Thinking Skills) activity was conducted in Std IV. It was a Poster Making Competition. The topic for the competition was – “Let’s make OUR EARTH a better place to live on.”

The students had to make their posters in a period of 40 minutes.

They came up with excellent ideas. Though they are very young, they were able to picturise their imagination and conveyed their messages with excellence.

A few selected posters are displayed here.

 Written by: Sunita Madam

Is Exam really a matter of concern?

Every exam gives you an opportunity to prepare, to plan, to overcome your shortcomings so that you are well prepared for the problem next time.
At every level subject changes, but what doesn’t change is the skill that you learn to tackle the (Challenge) problem.
More educated you are lesser chance of failing in future challenges.
Education and success is not one time achievement, it is a journey that one lives and influences others.
Education does not guarantee you employment of a business empire, but guarantees happiness regardless wherever you are, whatever you do.
Just pass.
Written by: Shailendra Sir

Investiture Ceremony 2010-2011

After the prefectural and student council elections held in Atmiya Vidya Mandir on June 19, students and teachers were diligently involved in various preparations for upcoming Investiture Ceremony. At the crack of dawn, a new day began. It wasn’t an ordinary day for Atmiya Vidya Mandir family. It was the day when individuals were invested with responsibilities.

On Saturday, 3rd July, the investiture ceremony was held. It was the most coveted and special day for students and teachers and staff of Atmiya Vidya Mandir. The ceremony started with the troops of student council members who were smartly dressed, lined up off the stage, ready to take their turn. Soon, their names were called in, and they marched towards the stage on the tune of the school band.

As per Atmiya Vidya Mandir’s tradition, the respected guests Harish Sir, Mahendra Bapa and Arjun Mama were requested to light the auspicious lamp and do the pujan of Thakorji to begin the ceremony. Then, the cultural coordinator Rupashree Ma’am briefed the designated role and responsibilities of Head Boy, Vice Head Boy, Sports Captain and other office bearers. She also motivated them to perform their duties in accordance to the laws of the school.

The oath-taking ceremony commenced after declaration of the roles, for which the principal of the school Swayam Madam was invited on the stage. She administered the oath of honor and dedication to the members of student council. Donning the mantle of responsibility, they also pledge to dispense their duties sincerely and abide by the rules and regulations of the school.

After this, the administrator of our school, Harish Sir was invited on-stage to pin the badges to the Head Boy and Sports Captain. All four house conveners were also called on the stage to pin the badges to the respective House Captains and Vice Captains.

What followed was indeed a great moment for newly elected Head Boy Sarthak Jariwala, he was invited on the stage to light the candle to own up this auspicious moment of embarking on an exciting endeavor. Then, the other members of student council were requested to light their candles, taking the flame from the Head Boy to compose the team spirit. Here after, the school song was played to mark the beginning this momentous journey.

The next was wonderful speech by the Head Boy who spoke about the qualities of a true leader. He acknowledged the solemnity of his role by saying that power comes with responsibility. He also prayed for God’s blessings, on behalf of all the office bearers, for enabling them to carry out their duties to the best of their abilities and uphold the name of the school for achieving the best. Then the captains of the four houses were invited to speak on behalf of their respective houses. They commonly stated about their sincerity and commitment to contribute to uplift the progress of the school.

Any ceremony of Atmiya Vidya Mandir is incomplete without H.D.H Swamiji’s blessings. So next was Swamiji’s message to all the students. Through projector, P.P Swamiji’s generous words of wisdom were conveyed, through which students acknowledged the quality of a true leader and responsibility of holding a post.

The newly elected school office bearers for the academic session 2010-2011 are:

Head Boy:                       Sarthak Jariwala
Vice Head Boy:                Yash Pacchigar
Sports Captain:               Vikas Patel
Satyam House Captain:     Abhishek Patel
Shivam House Captain:      Darshit Patel
Sundaram House Captain:  Sunny Patel
Suhradam House Captain:  Abhishek Panchal

Written by: Seema Madam

Vivacity, Vote and Victory at AVM

Atmiya Vidya Mandir is once again warm without the mercury rising! The reason is election fever. It is all about student Council which is intended to provide an opportunity to the students to be a part of activities motivated by sense of social responsibilities. The excitement wave engulfed the entire AVM campus as soon as the elections for the post of Head boy, Vice head boy, Sports Captain, House captains for all four houses as well as class wise prefects were announced.

During the very first week of its new session, the school became a beehive of activities. The nominated candidates for various posts of student council started campaigning, appealing the students with their impressive speech to vote for them. Finally the E-day approached and admin building basement became a replica of typical Indian election polling centre which was well arranged with four voting booth with e-ballad paper, electronic voting system, the voters list, finger marking and much more adding to the decorum. Wearing irrepressible zeal and excitement, students, teachers and other members of AVM family thronged the ADM basement to participate in the elections for student council.

This election will definitely provide an ideal platform to many students to exhibit their leadership qualities.

Written by: Seema Madam

Key to Success

Success is an inevitable aspect of human life, but it’s a bitter truth of life that not everyone gets success. The ladder of success has only three steps. If a person climbs these three steps, definitely he will get success.
1st Step: Set your Goal. To achieve something, first we have to define what we want to achieve. Before starting the car you must have to define your destination, this is the first step to get successful, define your target. Write down your goal on a piece of paper. First thing is to write down the goal you want to achieve without putting any limitations.
2nd Step: Visualize your Goal every day, whenever you get time think about your goal, think how you will achieve it, think what you will do after achieving it. Don’t put any limitation as you don’t have to pay to visualize it. The best way to visualize is to stick your goal on soft board so you can see it every day every time.
3rd Step: Take consistent actions every day to achieve your goal. Rome wasn’t built in a day; if you want to climb 1000 steps you have to start with one and you have to climb one by one. You cannot climb 1000 steps at a time.
As Robin Sharma rightly said, “Success is created through the performance of a few small daily disciplines that stack up over time to produce achievements for beyond anything you could have ever planned for.”

Learning for Life

Hungry birds have always been a problem for farmers. Sometimes the birds eat so much corn or wheat that a farmer and his family would not have enough food to last through the winter. So, for more than 3000 years, farmers have been making scarecrows.

But the ones made here at Atmiya Vidya Mandir were erected by the class of 4th division with the help of their Gujarati Language teacher. These students have a poetry on scarecrows in their coursework/syllabus and for the introduction of the poem their teacher built a scare crow in the neem garden on the campus. When the children saw the scarecrow they said it would be very difficult for somebody to build one, but were positively challenged by their teacher to build their own. Under the guidance of the teacher the students together built the first prototype. The students were then divided into teams who created many other such Scarecrows. It seemed that the little champions erected these bogeyman’s to protect their beloved neem trees.

Confucius once said ‘You hear and you forget you see and you remember you do and you understand’.

Each child in this class now remembers the poem and even if they forget the lines, they have understood the meaning and importance of scarecrows for life.

Learning at Atmiya Vidya Mandir happens round the clock. A typical Science class for 8th standard on a particular day began at 9:54 pm on the terrace of the new school building. 42 students of class 8th with their teacher observed the moon through a telescope magnified at 160 X zoom and experienced beautiful craters on the moon. The curiosity of the students then rose to such an extent that they wanted to explore more and some said they wanted to find their own K-Pax. To challenge these inspirers the science teacher gave them a project and asked them to select any celestial object in the solar system – planet, satellite, comet, asteroid anything in the solar system and asked them to inform him why they were interested in that object. But he also made them think by asking a critical thinking question that if their research team is funded by our dear Prime Minister Mr. Manmohan Singh with Rs 10,000 crore for their project what would they do?
All the teams did impressive research work and some of their original ideas are as follows:

  1. Setting up an Internet hub on Mars with a telecommunication satellite hovering over Mars.
  2. Sending plants and insect samples on Mars and see how life if any is affected on the planet.
  3. Coating their Venus Exploration spacecraft with platinum so the sulphuric acid clouds of Venus does not bother their mission.
  4. Young authors – this group started writing fiction – they said they went to Mercury and found a dead alien which they brought back to earth and are now going to spend the money on doing research on the alien. (X-files Returns – what will Scully and Moulder do?)
  5. Creating drilling equipment for their Mission to Europa (one of Jupiter’s many moons) so that they could drill easily through the frozen surface and will check if there is life under the ice sheets there!

It is said that Ye can lead a man to university but you cannot make a man think. But can you say the same about the children of Atmiya Vidya Mandir?

Creativity is “Possible”

In modern age, creativity has its unique space and importance literally everywhere. Corporate houses and most industries have now accepted that creativity in their business is the way forward. Most of the employers want their staff to be creative. To be able to achieve that staff members have training, workshops, seminars on creativity. Even education system is also no exception to that (which is a very good thing).
But the question is; what is creativity? Plenty of efforts have been made to define creativity. But the most accepted definition comes from the father of ‘creativity’, Mr. Edward De Bono. As per him Creativity is all about generating alternatives. Creativity enables us to be able to acquire more options or solutions for a particular problem.
Creativity tells us that there is always an alternate course of actions. There are always more answers to a question, there are always different approaches to a problem.
Now the million dollar question is how to become creative. What could be the first step? As far as I am concerned, it is the sense of possibility which opens up the door for creativity. You must have been thinking, is it some language teachers trying to solve a math or a scientific problem? But before you make any conclusions, hear me out.
Most of us would consider scientists, mathematicians, painters; sculptures and musicians creative in their work. So do you think any of their work could have been done without them thinking it is possible? Thinking possibilities is a necessary skill to become creative. Most of the people stress on critical thinking which only teaches us what is wrong and what is right. But for being creative, critical thinking skills are not enough. To generate new ideas one needs to be thinking about the different possibilities.
In the field of math, proof is very integral part of the process. But at times proof is nothing but the lack of imagination.’ A’ causes ‘B’. We get the proof for it and once we prove it, everyone has to accept it and we are very happy. But there could be more reasons for B to happen. Unless you think there is a possibility for an alternate solution, there is no way you can come up with the alternate solutions. If Wright brothers did not think that we can travel in air we would not have air planes today. I know it was a very boring example but it is very fundamental and no one can deny that.
How can I conclude my article without talking about this topic in context of education? Being a teacher, sometimes it becomes very frustrating when our students do not understand the simplest of the things. No matter how many times we teach them the same topic it may seem impossible to teach them and we choose to believe that the student is dull and doesn’t make efforts to learn. What can we do? Well I believe we need to develop the skill of thinking possibilities. Unless we believe it is possible to make students understand, we cannot come up with alternate explanations. That is what I call being a creative teacher. So next time someone asks you how to become creative, just tell them it is “POSSIBLE”.