Frequently Asked Questions by Teachers
Q. 1) My students and I do not know the names of many different kinds of plants or trees. What can we do?
- The best way to begin is by asking your colleagues in school or the school gardener to share what they know, and exploring your school garden or a garden in the neighbourhood. Some of the students who have a greater exposure to plants and trees because of the kind of area they live in, can also surprise you by being able to name different flora!
- Those of you who are in Mumbai can plan a field-visit to the Maharashtra Nature Park at Mahim which is a very educative and enjoyable experience for all visitors. You can read a little about the park here: http://www.mahim.com/et/epage312.htm Call them at 24077641/9938-39 to find out more about their activities and guided nature walks.
- Those of you who are outside Mumbai, visit your local garden or park where the students can ask questions to the gardener. If you know of a particular garden/park which is especially appropriate for such a visit, send us the name and we will include it here for others to know about!
- We have collected some interesting information and visuals on the trees of HBCSE campus. Do take a look.
Q. 2) Should I insist that all the blanks provided in the workbook must be filled?
The reason for providing more than just two or three blanks is so that you can encourage your students to think beyond the common and obvious answers to a question, which they are likely to fill in the first couple of blanks. For example, the names of flowers that first come to the mind of most students are rose, lotus, sunflower. But there are so many more! The extra blanks are to motivate them to think of the not-so-obvious flowers.
Q. 3) How can I make sure that my students not only have fun while participating in an activity but also learn something meaningful from it? (e.g. how many children does it take to hold one tree on pg.13 of the Std.III Workbook)
- The Teaching Ideas section in the Teacher’s Book suggests what can be learned from an activity and how to draw the students’ attention to it or emphasize it in teaching.
- Plan how you will go about conducting the activity (nature of instructions) especially when it involves group interactions.
- Prepare the students for the activity in advance (what is expected of them, how much time will be spent on it etc.)
- Ask questions after the activity is completed such as, ‘Why do you think we did this activity?’ ‘What did you find out which you did not know before?’ and so on.
Q. 4) Question from a concerned parent: There are no guides for the Small Science books. How can our children manage without guides?
The Small Science textbook and workbook are designed to make children think and observe on their own. At first this may be a new idea in the classroom for teachers and at home for parents. But with a little practice children can learn how to do it. Some of the questions are based directly on activities which are described in the textbooks. All the questions can be answered from a child’s experience. Children will become more self-confident and learn science better if they stop following blindly from a guide. Therefore, there is no guide for these books.
You may try some examples from the workbook with your children. Please give them time and opportunity to respond on their own. Children have a lot of hidden capability. You will be happy to see the results.