Klorofeel School began its classes in the last week of March 2020, just after the nationwide lockdown was announced. We discussed with parents on their internet readiness and planned accordingly. Students who spent their 2020 with us experienced the following:
- Personal care, at student’s pace, customised to their strengths.
- First single student classes, then 2 students, before engaging with a few more.
- Students discovered a friendly environment to freely ask questions.
- It is not a Teacher to student discourse – rather a discussion.
- There are plenty of activities from which students learn. Less screen time, more student engagement. Forty minutes of “class” per week per subject, rest the student works on her own time. We successfully challenged the notion that Screen time is Education.
- A library of toys (and of course, books) to engage children at home.
- School focuses on students thinking answers on their own, and questioning.
- Mistakes are encouraged – that shows student is trying on her own. Education at Klorofeel means trying, struggling, failing, questioning, learning, trying again, …
- Regular discussion with parents. Parents demonstrated trust – and have responded positively to the Klorofeel way.
- Our weekly science events involve students in science experiments they perform. They notice aluminium foils sink in water but float when crumpled into a ball. They see what dissolves in water, what separates and what forms a suspension. They see oil floats on water but dissolves when we add soap. They collect seeds and wonder which will grow, and get exposed to those they don’t know.
And we did all this without compromising on the textbook. We are more than half way through by September, with time off to “revise”, a month before Durga Puja!
Beyond the Textbook, yet deeply related to the “syllabus”
Our students studied the Kitchen. Learnt about food and nutrition – ones that are local, ones steeped in our tradition, as also their origin. Learnt different modes of cooking, different pots and containers. Learnt weights and measures. What is measured is kilograms and what in litres …
Students have been enjoying drawing and craft. And Tangrams to create every object and animal they think of.
Students did Water Audit at home. Measured water usage for different activities, and learnt where they can reduce. Created their own personal Water Cycle, and then a Water Dictionary.
They pore over the pages of their Atlas – and move around the world without going out of home.
Children learn about food and nutrition – ones that are local, ones steeped in our tradition, as also their origin.
They participate raucously in Quizzes every weekend. Quizzes are a regular learning tool for us.
Puzzles, like quizzes, are another fun mode of learning.
They are studying festivals in Odisha, aspiring to create a book on local festivals and traditions.
Focus on individual’s interest led us to engagement on many topics – from dance, song and drawing to puzzles and Tangram. Some children are interested in pets and some others in history, space, science experiments. We continue to explore this and have discussed a variety of topics. We discussed Terracotta Army and Innuit, Tutankhamen, Padmanabha Swamy temple, and more. And students made their own puzzles too.
- Children are enjoying the fear-free, open environment for learning. They interact with teachers freely. They ask questions, explore, not afraid to make mistakes.
- Parents encourage children to do home work on their own, open to them making their mistakes; they understand this is essential to the child’s learning journey. Parents are evolving into observer and facilitator, rather than director or controller.
- Teachers appreciate questions, exploration and mistakes imply student is engaged and interested – and teachers are motivated to inspire more interest.