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Trending teaching methods

It all adds up to loads of joy. Photo: V. Sreenivasa Murthy

It all adds up to loads of joy. Photo: V. Sreenivasa Murthy   | Photo Credit: V Sreenivasa Murthy

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When a teacher adopts methods that are simple yet novel, students are bound to learn faster and better.

September 5 and another Teacher’s Day. While some things never change, some do including how teachers teach. From taking lessons under the shade of a tree and going on excursions to places one is learning about in Geography to playing educational games in the classroom, today’s teachers are getting rather creative. Here is the lowdown on teaching methods that are now trending.

According to Heta Sheth, a mathematics teacher, “The teaching-learning process is one of the most enjoyable ones when innovative methods like problem/project based learning, flipped teaching, assessment for learning, interactive online activities and a friendly approach are used.

“These are some of my best practices and using them has only helped me see my students blossom. They enjoy the process and love math. To me, that is the ultimate satisfaction.”

When a teacher adopts methods that are simple yet novel, students are bound to learn faster and better. Joyce Selvaraj, a middle school supervisor and math teacher states: “I usually start my classes by getting the children to flex their muscles and then relax.

“Given that there are students who find the subject boring or difficult, it helps to crack jokes in between to keep them alert. I also get them to do a lot of mental sums related to their everyday lives, such as observing number plates of vehicles and adding them up. Getting kids involved is crucial so it’s good to give them a chance to come to the board and solve problems. There is teaching as well as learning taking place simultaneously.”

All work and no play sure makes Jack a dull boy which is probably why today’s teachers are bringing the fun element of games into the classroom. “For subjects like English, crossword puzzles, boggle, hangman and scrabble work like magic. In senior school, since the kids study drama, there’s nothing quite like making them enact the script, complete with costumes and props. I also get students to teach short poems and essays. This gets them to research for themselves and sharing what they’ve learnt also ensures that they don’t forget what they’ve studied. As far as Geography goes, I find that children learn better using multimedia. Also, it helps to provide historical milieu which can be told as a story to support their study about a particular place in context,” explains Melinda D’Souza, a social science teacher.

Even without adopting innovative methods of teaching, music is a fun subject to learn for most but Sharon Clarance, a music teacher observes: “I find that even in a music class, younger kids can get really distracted so for now I’ve assigned the third and fourth graders a project wherein they are divided into groups and have to come up with a rhythm of their own using handclaps. At the next stage, the groups will have to write a four line verse to match the tune they’ve composed and each of these groups will have to present their songs in class. The incentive for the best group is that they get to perform in front of the junior school during the assembly. I also show kids music videos from Disney movies every now and then. Characterisation of notations in music is another new concept I’m adopting in teaching music.”

Keeping abreast with the times, embracing new methods of teaching and opening up new arenas for students to express their talents and learning has always worked wonders in and out of the classroom.

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Printable version | Jul 15, 2018 10:12:34 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/making-teaching-fun/article6379996.ece