Heart-warming experience in ice-cold Leh - Training of Trainers on Early Maths

Heart-warming experience in ice-cold Leh – Training of Trainers on Early Maths

In the midst of cloudy weather and icy winds, I landed at Leh. Leh as a city has always fascinated me because of its rich culture and unique tradition. The aerial view from the plane was mesmerizing. Snow covered mountains were sparkling like gold because of the morning sunlight. After one hour twenty minutes journey, the flight landed at Leh, and with the first step I realized that it was freezing cold. Leh being situated at higher sea level breathing was heavy. From the airport I headed towards the training centre, in between I stopped at the guest house to grab a cup of coffee.

The training centre was surrounded by snow covered mountains which gave it a breathtaking view. I met my colleagues who were very friendly and made me feel at home. After a brief round of introduction where everyone shared their passion towards Maths I demonstrated the Maths Kit to Key Resource persons (KRP’s). This kit was appreciated as it was activity based and was aligned with the syllabus of the state.

The training of trainers covered all the Mathematical aspects starting from number sense to mathematical operations by providing hands on experience. The program involved around 35 teachers who were trained as trainers in Early Maths Program. This also helped the teachers to understand that how easily they can make use of the Teaching Learning Materials (TLM’s) and make a child understand the difficult mathematical operations in a play way method.

All the mathematical concepts – Number concepts, Place value, addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, etc were practiced using TLM’s and also keeping in sync with all the 3 phase – Concrete, Representational and Abstract. Smooth transition from concrete stage to representational stage to abstract stage helped the teachers to get familiar with the Maths toolkit. The enthusiastic teachers came out with different doubts and also suggested their views.

The teachers suggested that each concept given in the text book needs to be covered and moreover emphasis should be given not only in raising the scores in the exams but also in clearing the concepts. The carry over concept was made very clear using representational phase by making them practice more and more. Through practice, the common mistakes become more evident and can be avoided. The whole training was conducted in a very play way method where the participants were divided into groups and competed with each other to complete the given tasks and score points. The group who deduced right answers in minimum time was given a point. Observers From each group went to the other group and saw the overall step by step process of mathematical operations.

In the training, questions were raised like what are the most common mistakes children do while solving mathematical operations. Teachers came out with several common mistakes that children make in classroom and discussion was carried on how to minimize these mistakes in the students. It has also been seen that students easily solve numerical operation given in simple numbers but they find it difficult in solving the word problems as they find it difficult in reading. This is the common challenge in many states that due to language barrier, students find it difficult in solving word problems. It has also been seen that due to poor foundation students going to higher standards face difficulty in solving maths problems. Sampark maths toolkit is designed in such a way that all basic concepts in maths are covered in primary schools and as a result students will find it easy in learning the further concepts in higher classes.

Moreover in the training session the whole maths curriculum was discussed with the teachers so that each concept can be given the required time to ensure a quality in the teaching learning process. For the proper monitoring and evaluation of the learning levels of students, Sampark team has also designed a diagnostic tool for assessment of learning levels of students in the primary schools. This diagnostic tool will be used for pre-test and post –test of primary schools students. This tool will help teachers to understand the learning level and capacity of each student in the classroom. This will also help to deduce that which child is strong or weak in a particular concept. As a result the teachers can invest more time on those concepts and keep an eye on the improvement of every child. This will also help in child wise mapping and school summary.

After completing the training sessions, I decided to explore Leh city, City was unique in its own sense. It was a peaceful place with its traditional touch. I visited nearby local markets and shopped some local goods and I also tasted some local delicacies. I also tasted some famous flavoured tea like chamomile tea which was quite rejuvenating. Some items like momo’s were known to me whereas some other food items were new to me. I also visited some famous places like Shanti Stupa and Hall of fame which were really amazing. They carried priceless historical value and were a testimony of rich Leh culture. Local people were quite cooperative and friendly.

The whole training experience in Leh was very encouraging as the teachers were very involved and participated in the process with a motivation to take the early maths program towards success. Upon completion of training I was gifted a souvenir from the exalted crowd.

Sampark Foundation will implement early maths program in 320 schools across Leh and 330 teachers will be trained in the month of January who will implement the Math program using the Early Maths Kit across the schools for making the teaching learning process more efficient and receptive for students.

I left Leh with a heavy heart with a promise to come back. My first visit to Leh has left an unforgettable impression on my mind which I will cherish for the rest of my life.

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