29 February 2012

As some of the older students trickled in this morning, they requested me to quiz them on English verb forms. After staring at the daunting list in horror for a few minutes, I thought of the funnest way ever to test their knowledge -- CERTAMEN! Certamen is a trivia game used to test knowledge of Latin language and culture in schools across America. Turns out it works just as well for English grammar!

The students loved the game, and I encouraged them to use it to quiz one another in the future. Who knew my favorite high school game (varsity sport) would come in handy in a classroom so many miles away?!

When a number of younger students had arrived, we assembled in a circle and had a group discussion, using a ball of yarn to track who spoke in what order. I first asked a question: each student was to tell me his/her favorite thing about Gyaan Ghar. I held the ball, which I tossed to a random student. After he replied, he wrapped the yarn around his finger once and threw the ball to a classmate, and so on. After each student had answered this question, there was a complicated pattern of string on the floor. I then asked the student who had received the yarn last to tell the class his least favorite thing about Gyaan Ghar. Once he had done this, he tossed the yarn back to the student from whom he had received it, and so on until the ball was fully re-raveled.

In the process, I got some good feedback from the students, which I definitely plan to incorporate into our program. Oh, what tangled webs we weave!

Miss Ritu and Miss Gurpreet arrived just as we were wrapping up (literally) this game, and I worked with a few groups of students on exam preparation. I sent the third graders on a color scavenger hunt and designed a way for our fifth grade students to help one another learn English-to-Punjabi translations.

After class, I met with our two teachers to discuss the progress of individual students and the learning center as a whole. Once this meeting was over, I found the students playing in the park. I stopped by for a bit, and when I tried to leave, they wouldn't let go of me! Manisha actually burst into tears on several occasions, but I promised I would arrive back just as their exams were over.

For once, I am not looking forward to class tomorrow -- I simply don't want to leave!

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