Archive for the ‘Learning Games’ Category

On Your Marks!

Sporting activities have got a new angle at Matendla School.  A new perspective has been brought in through the ‘Marks for Sports’ programme that was introduced by RDF Director, Mr. Andrian Kennedy. The aim is to encourage children to improve their sports skills by treating sports as a regular subject and allotting marks.

Marks for Sports is a 5 star fitness programme. It has been introduced and implemented in Matendla School before being taken to the other schools. The process was started by testing the students in 5 categories viz. Shuttle Run, Toe Touch, Standing Jump, 9 Minute Run and Speed (50 metres) Run. Student performances are recorded and a star rating system is assigned for each test – the stars are equivalent to the performance based scores in the tests. Any student who doesn’t qualify can attempt the test again in the next academic year.

The students are enjoying the new system and are pushing themselves to perform better. It is hoped that not only will the students improve their sporting skills and enhance their performance, but that they will receive the benefits of taking up sporting activities such as improved coordination, flexibility, stamina etc, regardless of their marks.

This is yet another way to engage our students productively and gives them an avenue to participate in interesting activities to develop their skills. We are glad that they have taken to this programme and are thoroughly enjoying themselves!

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All Ado about Maths!

National Mathematics Day is celebrated in fun ways in RDF schools. Rollakal School paid an ode to Ramanujam, the brilliant mathematician through a special prayer service and then having a full day of interesting Maths based activities.

The teachers worked hard at creating quizzes, riddles, number games, problem solving and logical thinking questions in order to engage the children in a variety of mathematical operations and have fun at the same time.  Games such as ‘Four Operations’, ‘EasyMortification’, ‘Numerical Ability’ and ‘Maths Buzz’ sure created a ton of buzz in the school campus! The kids were drawn in with the format of quiz and games and showed a lot of enthusiasm to engage their minds to solve the problems put to them. The winners in each activity won prizes.

‘Gamefying’ any subject is a sure-shot way of injecting fun and we know that learning happens seamlessly when something is fun. Also, kids love challenges; so they were raring to go to use their reasoning and problem solving skills to tackle the problems.

In this way, RDF schools create a positive learning environment  which encourages children to engage in meaningful ways in their own learning and enhance their skills and talents in different areas.

Teachers bagged it!!

It’s a unique quality when teachers put in effort in order for their students to feel at comfortable and happy in school. At RDF, we pride ourselves in creating an enriching and invigorating environment in our schools, which has come about due to our belief in a holistic and nurturing approach to education, which applies equally to teachers and students! Since the teachers feel cared for, its natural that they do the same for the students too.

A fun balancing act!

Fun in the playground

In Matendla School, teachers conducted a day full of surprise activities for the children. The only hint they gave them was to say, “Don’t bring your bags to school tomorrow!” The kids were agog with excitement! Mr. Rajireddy, a teacher in the school was put in charge to organise ‘funny games’ for Primary school. He spent several days planning and designing funny games, putting in a lot of effort! The students participated in the funny games amidst a lot of laughing, giggling and talking, which created a buzzing environment in the school!

For the High School children, the school conducted 3 different activites in Telugu, English and Maths. In Telugu and English, groups of students were given short story books, which they had to analyse and make interesting questions in an allocated time of 1 hour. Then the students had great fun posing their questions to one another. It was interesting that many students created questions that needed higher order thinking skills, rather than answers which could be easily found in the story. In the Maths round, the teachers conducted an MNS (Minimum Numerical Skills) test which was introduced by the Vandemataram Foundation. Again, the kids were very curious and solved the problems eagerly – a nice sight to see!

In this way, the team strives to create a positive impact for the children and the community. On this ‘no bag’ day, children were exposed to a variety of new information using interesting games and techniques. Every student enthusiastically participated in all the activities and they showed their prowess at problem solving and creative thinking!

Well done to all the teachers for inspiring the students to show their best and putting together a fun day of learning and play! In this way, RDF schools are always giving scope to children to learn new information and implementing it in their lives. Learning from textbooks and rote education are stifling to learning and creativity. Teachers seriously endeavour to go beyond textbooks and as an NGO, the schools are really working towards building each child’s innate interest, quality and talent!

Bala Sabha

Showing off dance skills!

Melodious singing

A ‘Bala Sabha’ – an ‘Assembly of Children’ was conducted for the very first time in RDF Rollakal School! Though RDF schools are student centric and children are empowered in their daily activities to think and speak freely through the creation of a nurturing and invigorating school environment, this event was special because it was planned and executed ENTIRELY by children! The school staff was amazed with the ease with which the event was conducted, which shows the level of responsibility, attention to detail and planning that was put into place by these young  children.

Yeah! Yoga!!

Little ones, enacting rhymes

In an ode to a democratic system of functioning, the event was performed by the children, for the children and will be now conducted on the last Saturday of each month. The first of this series was a wonderful programme that showcased children’s talent in areas such as literature, music, dance, folk songs, poetry, skits, mimicry and role plays. Even the prizes were carefully selected by the children, which were distributed by the teachers, who came forward in full support!

A captivating skit!

It was a wonderful learning experience for the children too. Many kids who had stage fear were able to handle it and express their views and feelings to the audience. Because they felt empowered, they were able to overcome their self consciousness and gave everything their very best. They put in tremendous research by reading books, newspapers, articles on the internet and magazines in order to plan their pieces for the programme. The level of enthusiasm with the reigns in their hands was phenomenal!

The success of this programme shows that children, when given the right inputs through a nurturing environment, engaged with as intelligent individuals with a diversity of interests and skills, thrive and then bring forth a sense of responsibility and creativity, such as what we saw in Rollakal School.

The Games Children Play!

Given a chance, everyone would play, not just children, but adults too! But to children, play comes naturally and encouraging this natural instinct is something we wanted to do for all RDF children. Therefore, creating playgrounds and encouraging indoor and outdoor games and sports is something we take seriously, pun not intended!

Unfortunately, we see a lot of stress being created in schools where play time is seen as a waste of time. Even in rural areas, we see children spend more time playing games on their phones, than play outdoors. But RDF kids get plenty of opportunities to play as we know that classroom based education, while an important part of the curriculum, is not sufficient to create healthy and happy individuals.

Children come in before school to play badminton, football, volleyball and cricket and do the same after school too. They voluntarily choose to spend their leisure time at play, either outside or indoors. Games build crucial physical and mental fitness. Instead of being indoors, cooped up for long hours, our children get plenty of break time, stretch their muscles and flex their mental muscles too! They say it’s one reason why they love coming to school so much. Many times, teachers join in on the fun too!

In the photos, children of Redlawada School are seen having a great time on the swings that were recently placed in the playgrounds. We love the sound of laughter or the sight of focused silence as children ponder their carom or chess boards! Seeing such vitality makes us feel good about the work we do! Happy kids, happy teachers, happy us!!

The Wonders of Chess

Learning the immensely complex and fascinating game of Chess is not everyone’s cup of tea. However, chess, has been shown to increase reasoning, logical, abstract and analytical abilities. It also develops concentration and sharpens the brain. Learning chess, like any skill, takes discipline and we are really happy to see many RDF children take to this game of their own volition.

A healthy mind and a fit body contribute greatly to the overall wellbeing of a person and this is a fundamental principle at RDF schools. In Kalleda School, the sounds of chess have been resounding in its corridors for years! Children choose it naturally and derive a lot of enjoyment from it. Children are learning the game from the lesson ‘The Wonderful World of Chess’. They play the game on a regular basis, right from the time they are in Primary school. They even want to play it during their leisure time. We can see the improvement in their analytical and decision making abilities, their memory skills, as well making them feel confident about their abilities, which is essential for their mental and emotional growth.

We heartily recommend introducing chess at a young age for children and watch their mental, emotional and psychological abilities blossom! It’s a wonderful way to empower them and believe in themselves.

The Joy of Learning

Children crammed into a classroom for 7 to 8 hours a day, memorizing their lessons is not exactly a picture of fun filled and joyous learning, is it? Imagine active and exuberant 4 to 5 year olds being made to sit or stand for hours on end. Young children have a natural curiosity to explore, to play and to run around. Many schools cannot provide an environment conducive to the natural nature of young children. But the RDF environment is very different!

RDF recognizes the natural drive and ability of young children, so the teachers are trained to work with these natural abilities in order to help them learn. This method of ‘activity based learning’ or ‘playway’ method has created fun filled classrooms for RDF’s young learners.

In Redlawada School, kids learn English and rhymes through songs and stories. Toys and other playthings become characters in a short play or story; the teacher and children together weave a wonderful story, adding songs and rhymes to bring the story to life. Rhymes are learnt with actions, music or play and games too! When kids are having so much fun, time just flies!

These activity based methods have been proven to show that children can retain content easily. Instead of making them undergo the stress of memorizing, having fun and play makes them retain what they need to learn effortlessly! Parents too are happy to see their children learn new things and develop themselves in this manner. The teachers too feel creative and engaged with such teaching methods.

We are very proud of the efforts of our teachers who take the time to creative engaging and meaningful lessons for these young kids, keeping their needs in mind. We admire their own playfulness and patience! As always, it’s always lovely to see the smiling, happy faces of the little ones!