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Libraries in Schools
All in a day’s work
July 29, 2012
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The School Book Treasury is on the go! One of our projects involves conducting a weekly intervention in the 3rd grade classes of 3 schools to assess the correlation between reading and literacy.

Having begun in Auxilium High School, the next on our list was Ideal High School. In the 2 weeks that I’ve been there, the excitement that comes at the sight of books and in particular the big book that is ready is absolutely intoxicating!

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It’s easy to see that these kids are eager to learn and explore and they love hearing stories! And I find it quite brilliant to observe that even “boring” regular things like learning the water cycle and change of seasons can be brought about so beautifully in with so much more interaction through a story.

This week, we did Rain by Manya Stojic. As usual, at the start of the class, the students are instructed to “sit straight, fold your hands, fingers on your lips and pay attention!”; but as you imagine, that stance lasted all of 2 minutes and in not too long, we had lions roaring and baboons chattering as the story came alive right there in those classrooms.

I love watching the anticipation and the suspense as each page is turned.  The predictions for what comes next followed by the exclamations like “Poi! Haven saangla tuka!” or “Wooooow!!” or even better “Aaaaaaaah!!” And all this, just from telling a story… MAGIC! And on a rainy Wednesday, to have been a part of such an enthusiastic learning process; in not 1, not 2, but 3 classrooms, is truly a good place to be mid-week!

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Another thrilling thing, is that it’s not just the answers that are straight out of a text book or are guaranteed to give you a sure 2 marks that make me happy. To elucidate this statement- I was talking about the human senses in this 3rd standard class and the question posed to them was “I feel with my _______” The ‘in school’ answer is ofcourse; skin. Rest assured, I got this answer. Well I got many answers, all at the same time, mind you. But the one answer that stuck out to me was “Teacher, I feel with my heart!” The boy was laughed at by his contemporaries, but me, being me, I explained that he was not wrong if you think about feeling happy and sad. He was content with my response to him, and I was wowed by his response to my question. A win-win!

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Following this book reading, we talked about the seasons, the water cycle, animals, season specific produce, the phenomena of rain and lots of other things that come up when in a 3rd standard class. Then, and this is the fun part; we made our own rain storm in class! And the kids were enthralled as we started with the pitter patter of rain on our palms and then went on to the claps of thunder on our thighs. Pure delight!

There’ll be lots more rainy days…but this one by far, will be one of my favourites!

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