What is this unit about
Children start school with ideas, languages, knowledge, skills, and concepts gained from contact with others in their home and community. When children identify their linguistic and cultural abilities as the main resources for their sustainable development, their formal education in school will become even more effective.
In this unit, you will learn about the importance and ways of using students’ home and community experiences in their language and literacy teaching.
What you can learn in this unit
. How to include opportunities to learn more about your students in your classroom routine.
. How to plan language lessons that use your students’ out-of-school experiences.
Why this approach is important
Students spend most of their time informally learning at home and in the community. However, the tendency to consider the textbook itself as the core of instruction means that teachers can ignore the skills, knowledge, and experiences with which students come into the classroom.
When young children come to school for the first time, they may be taken aback by the unfamiliar people, routines, and language they encounter. By giving importance to the diversity of students’ known cultural practices and languages, you can make them feel more secure in this new environment.
Every day children have to cross a bridge between home-based education and school-based education. There are suggestions in this unit to simplify this change, which will benefit both teachers and students alike.
1. Out-of-school education
Pause for thought
. What skills and knowledge can you think of that your students have learned outside school?
. Do you feel that the language and cultural knowledge of your students’ home or community is useful in their schooling? why or why not?
In case study 1, a teacher learns about a pre-school student’s learning experiences.
Case Study 1: Mrs Bhatti reflects on the knowledge and skills of a pre-school student
One of Bhopal’s primary teachers, Mrs Bhatti, described her experience of buying a bowl from the shop of a parent of one of her class two students. There he met his student’s four-year-old sister Shilpi, who has not yet started going to school.
Shilpi was sitting on the floor next to a box of cardboard. She was taking out the packets and counting them and making stacks of them. His father was talking to a customer. I asked Shilpi, ‘Do you sell the bowl?’ She called her mother, who came from the back of the shop. Pointing to a corner, her mother answered in the child’s home language, but she used the Hindi word for ‘bowl’. Shilpi took me to the place where the bowls were kept and she picked up two-three of them and showed me what different colors are available. I chose the red one, with which she went to the counter. After this, he took money from me and gave it to his mother, who returned the right amount to give me. Shilpi helped her mother wrap that bowl in paper and then gave it to me to keep in the bag. Finally, he thanked me with his mother and said goodbye to me in Hindi.
As I was leaving the store, I thought about what knowledge and skills Shilpi was learning, which would benefit her after starting school.
Pause for thought
. What does Shilpi know about language and dialogue?
. What other skills did Shilpi demonstrate in this study?
Compare your thoughts with the thoughts of heads.
Shilpi is learning to calculate. She can count and she is learning how to classify and compress. She is learning about money and reggae. She knows how the shop works. She can listen, understand the question, and seek information. She also knows how to speak politely to a customer.
Shilpi speaks with confidence in her home language. She knows the names of the colors, understands the language of the questions, instructions, and directions. She also understands a little Hindi, which she uses to say thank you and hello. She is beginning to understand that people can communicate in different languages.
Through observation, interaction, and mimicry, artisan is gaining important general knowledge and communication skills. When she starts going to school, these will form a strong basis for her further education and language development.
When students go to school, they gain valuable knowledge and skills at home as well as from the community. Your students can help take care of younger siblings, take care of their grandparents, take care of family pets, help parents in selling goods in the market, in the kitchen Can arm, master a specific craft or enjoy a sport. Such activities provide informal learning opportunities for their language and literacy development, which can be created within their school environment.
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2 classroom talk
Giving your students opportunities to talk about their hobbies, activities, and commitments will encourage them to communicate well in your classroom. This will also allow you to assess your students’ speaking and listening skills. This is especially useful in cases where students’ home language is different from the school language.
The following functional activities are designed to help you get started.
Activity 1: Daily conversation
Until the next school term, create a daily routine where you have brief informal conversations with students either alone or in groups. This can occur at the beginning or end of the day, or during break time. Make sure you talk to all your students in turn. You can keep a smile tick list to monitor this.
For example, you can ask them whether they enjoyed the recent festival or whether they are aware of a specific cricket match. Find opportunities to connect the two between what your students learn outside the school and what they are focusing on in the lesson. You can say that:
‘I know that many of you helped your parents in the market this month, despite such bad weather. very nice! Today in mathematics lessons, you can show your skills, because we are going to practice adding and subtracting money. How many of you gave a reservation in the market? Did you check your account with your mother or father? ‘
The answers of the students will give you more information about which knowledge and skills they come up with for their education in school. Record what information you get about your students and what their interests and activities are shared with others.
While doing so throughout the semester, look at your textbook, your curriculum, and your teaching plan, and see if there is any possibility that the topics that follow will be integrated with your students’ existing knowledge or interest.
To carry on this learning and listening activity, ask your students to write in a weekly ‘diary’ what they do when they are not at school.
Video: Involving all
Activity 2: Classroom discussion
Plan in-class discussions about students’ interests and commitments outside school. Use a focused question as a prompt. Here are some ideas, but you have to choose questions based on your context:
What kind of work do you do to help in your home? What do you like doing the most? What do you like the least?
What was the best part of your weekly vacation? What work did you not enjoy much?
What will you do during school vacation?
Write the question on the blackboard. First of all answer this yourself.
Then ask two or three students questions. Move the conversation forward with follow-up questions and prompts, such as’ Really? Where did you learn it? ‘,’ What will you do next? ‘
Organize your students into small groups and ask them to discuss the question written on the blackboard. Motivate them to ask each other follow-up questions. While they are talking, move around the classroom and monitor the groups to make sure everyone is participating.
As an alternative to small group discussion, you can also ask your students to answer each other in pairs and write down what their partner has told them in brief comments.
3 class project
In the next case study, a teacher uses her information about students to plan an extended language and literacy project.
Case Study 2: Ms. Balema’s language and literacy project about festivals
Ms. Balema, a Class V teacher, was inspired by a textbook lesson about festivals.
My students recently read in a textbook a text describing the main festivals of India like Eid and Holi. There are many interesting festivals in our community, so decided to focus on local festivals, with many festivals coming soon.
First I asked my students what festivals they celebrated and I wrote their answers on the blackboard.
I then organized my students into groups, each of which represented a festival. I gave each group a large piece of paper and explained that they had to write as many things as they could about their festival: why the festival is celebrated, which gods are worshiped, which communities celebrate it Are, what is done in it, what dishes are made, is it wearing any special dress and what are the activities. I told them that if they wanted, they could use their home language to discuss and comment.
I then asked each group to present their ideas to the whole class. I asked them some questions to prompt the groups, such as’ what time of day is this done? When do you go to the temple, what do you wear? Do your grandparents also celebrate this festival? ’Etc.
I then explained to them that each group had to make a poster telling them about their festival. For homework, I asked my students to find out more about that festival from their parents, grandparents, and other people at home or in the community. I gave them some questions as a sample, ‘Has this festival always been celebrated here? Was it always on such a large scale? Has the music changed? ’I allocated a lesson to my students daily for a week to work with their posters. I went to each group and listened to them, observed them, and helped them when needed.
I explained to them that they could write on the poster in the school language, their home language, or both languages. For the first time, some of them wrote something in their home language in class. He was thrilled while doing so.
When their work was finished, each group presented their posters to the rest of the class. I and other students asked him questions. We all learned a lot. After that I put those colorful posters on the wall so that everyone can enjoy seeing them.
Pause for thought
. What opportunities did Ms. Balema have to assess her students in this project?
. What kind of changes will you make in this project for younger students?
. For older students, how can this project be expanded?
This sequence of activities provided students with many opportunities to develop their language and literacy skills. This included:
Whole class and small group discussion
Interaction with their families and community members
Throughout, he was encouraged to use school and his home language.
The students’ local knowledge was at the core of the project. The teacher took the time to supervise
each student and each group. He kept a comment or checklist of students’ skills and participation.
For younger students, greater emphasis should be placed on speaking and listening in a project like this. Younger students can also create pictures related to a festival or create plays based on aspects of that festival. For older students, a written project would be more appropriate. Including research and specialized terminology and information about festivals, and based on language, history, and traditional culture.
The key resource ‘Speak for learning’ includes more ideas about the importance of collaborative work among students.
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This unit describes the importance and value of using your students’ home and community-based experiences to develop language and literacy skills in school. If your students notice that the work they do outside the school and the language they use is valued by their teachers, this will make them feel more confident and motivated to learn in school. You can show that you value their experiences by regularly talking and discussing your students’ out-of-school interests.
This unit outlines a number of ways by which you can make textbook topics more meaningful and relevant to students by connecting them with the knowledge of your students, and their family and community members. You can customize these activities according to any topic in the textbook and students of any level.
Resource 1: Involving all
What does ‘include all’ mean?
Diversity in culture and society is reflected in the classroom. Students have different languages, interests, and abilities. Students come from various social and economic backgrounds. We cannot ignore these differences; In fact, we should welcome them, because they can become a means to learn more about each other and the world beyond our own experience. All students have the right to education and learning irrespective of their status, qualifications, and background, and this has been recognized in Indian law and international child rights. In his first message to the nation in 2014, Prime Minister Modiji emphasized the importance of honoring all citizens of India, irrespective of caste, gender, or income. Schools and teachers have a very important role in this regard.
We all have prejudices and attitudes about others that we may not have recognized or addressed. As a teacher, you have the power to influence every student’s learning experience in a positive or negative way. Whether intentionally or unintentionally, your underlying biases and attitudes will affect how equally your students learn. You can take steps to avoid disproportionate treatment of your students.
Three main principles to ensure inclusion in education
Viewing: Effective teachers are observant, subtle-minded, and sensitive; They see the changes in their students. If you are watching carefully, you will see when a student has done something well, when they need help and how they relate to others. You can also understand your students’ changes, which may reflect changes in their home circumstances or other problems. Involving everyone requires that you meet your students daily, and pay special attention to those students who may feel marginalized or unable to participate.
Focus on Self-Esteem: Good citizens are those who are comfortable with themselves. They have self-esteem, know their strengths and weaknesses, and have the ability to form positive relationships with other people, regardless of background. They respect themselves and respect others. As a teacher, you can have a significant impact on a young person’s self-esteem; Learn that power and use it to increase the self-esteem of every student.
Flexibility: If something in your class is not useful to specific students, groups or individuals, be prepared to change your plans or stop the activity. Being flexible will enable you to make adjustments so that you involve all students more effectively.
Approaches you can use all the time
Imitating good behavior: Be an example to your students by treating them well, regardless of ethnic group, religion or gender. Treat all students with respect and make it clear through your teaching that all students are equal for you. Talk with all of them with respect, keeping their opinions where appropriate and encouraging them to take responsibility for the class by doing work that benefits everyone.
High expectations: Ability is not fixed; All students can learn and progress if given proper support. If a student has difficulty understanding the work that you are doing in class, do not assume that he will never understand. Your role as a teacher is to think in the best way that every student can learn. If you have high expectations from everyone in your class, your students are more likely to understand that they will learn if they persevere. High expectations should also apply to behavior. Ensure that expectations are clear and that students treat each other with respect.
Diversify your teaching: Students learn in different ways. Some students like to write; Others like to draw maps or drawings in the brain to express their thoughts. Some students are good listeners; Some learn best when they have the opportunity to talk about their ideas. You may not be suitable for all students at all times, but you can diversify your teaching and offer students a choice about some of the learning activities they undertake.
Relate education to daily life: For some students, what you ask them to learn seems irrelevant to their daily lives. You can address this by making sure that whenever possible, you relate the learning to an environment relevant to them and take examples from their own experiences.
Use of language: Think carefully about the language you use. Use positive language and praise, and do not despise students. Always comment on their behavior and not on them. ‘You are hurting me today’ seems very personal and can be better expressed in this way, ‘I was very much hurt by your behavior today. Are you having difficulty paying attention for some reason? ‘Which is much more helpful.
Challenge conservatism: Find and use resources that depict girls in non-stereotypical roles or invite exemplary women, such as scientists, to school. Be aware of your own gender stereotypes; You may know that girls play games and boys take care, but we often express this differently, mainly because we are accustomed to talking that way in society.
Create a safe, welcoming learning environment: It is imperative that all students feel safe and desired in school. You are in a position to make your student feel wanted by encouraging mutually respectful and friendly behavior from everyone. Think about how the school and classroom will look and feel to different students. Think about where they will be asked to sit and make sure that students with visual or hearing impairments or physical disabilities sit in a place where the lesson is accessible to them. Make sure that students who are shy or easily distracted are in a place where you can easily engage them.
Specific teaching approach
There are several specific approaches that will help you to involve all students. These are described in more detail in other key resources, but a brief introduction is presented here:
Questioning: If you invite students to raise their hands, every time a few students try to answer. There are other ways to involve more students in thinking about the answers and answering the questions. You can direct questions to specific people. Tell the class that you will decide who will answer, then ask the people sitting in the back and sides of the room instead of those in front. Give students ‘thinking time’ and invite contributions from specific people. Use pair or group work to build confidence so that you can involve everyone in whole-class discussions.
Assessment: Develop a series of techniques for formative assessment that will help you to know every student well. You have to be creative to uncover hidden talents and shortcomings. Formative assessment will give more accurate information than estimates that can be easily made from a general perspective about some students and their abilities. You will then be in a good position to respond to their individual needs.
Group work and pair work: Think carefully about ways to divide your class into groups or pairings, and encourage students to value each other, with the goal of involving everyone. Ensure that all students have the opportunity to learn from each other and build confidence in what they know. Some students have the confidence to express their ideas and ask questions in small groups, but not in front of the whole class.
Differentiation: Setting different tasks for different groups will help students start from where they are and move forward. Setting open-ended tasks will give all students an opportunity to succeed. Providing work options to students will help them to feel ownership of their work and to take responsibility for their own learning. Keeping individual learning needs in mind, especially in a large class, is difficult, but can be done using a variety of tasks and activities.
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