Fractions speak louder than words

It was one of those stirring moments for the volunteers of our mathematics project in Pune on 25th July – 2020, as all their hard work for teaching Fractions was going to be tested in the form of an assessment for their students. Fractions can be tricky you see, both to teach and to learn. Half of the volunteers were confident that their students would come out with flying colors, a quarter of them had sweaty palms while the remaining quarter were still wondering if they taught the children well?

This was just one fifth of their worries, the biggest one being that this time the assessment was happening on an online platform.

To ensure that everything went well, they framed questions, translated everything to Marathi & put it up on a web application in a quiz format which was then presented on the screen during the session.

Children are often weary when they hear the word TEST, so to keep it casual and help the children enjoy the process they did not announce it before. It was also decided to conduct the assessment as a part of another fun activity.

On the actual day of the assessment, two children took it on a single mobile in turns & the child who was not doing the assessment was given some pre-planned worksheet so as to keep him engaged until his turn came.

Out of the four volunteers who were present for the evaluation and smooth conduction of the session, one was the presenter, one volunteer observed the children in real time to understand if the child needs more help or is able to solve the questions on his/her own & one volunteer documented the answers given by the children. They also took notes on the questions that generally seemed to be difficult, so as to revise those once again in the next classes.

What a seamless fractional division of responsibilities to ensure a smooth flow!

Hats off to the Pune Team & its volunteers in taking the first step & a giant leap for the mathematics project by initiating a form of baseline assessment even during this pandemic situation.

This is what our volunteers had to say about the whole activity:

Ayushi, joyfully remarked that she had a great experience in drafting the questions and translating them before the assessment. She was particularly excited about how the assessment was conducted as a part of a fun activity and the children excitedly participated unaware of the fact that they were actually being tested. The cherry on the cafe being the inferences drawn at the end of it all and how it helped them to revise the difficult topics once again.

Omkar shared how he was nervous about the reactions from his students, but being well prepared and with enough support from his co-volunteers it all seemed like a cakewalk.

So here is the real half of this story, everything is possible on the off chance that you attempt and you continue working at it till you achieve it and our volunteers make this true everyday.

Bhumi’s Ignite Programme at shelter homes, supported by corporates like Oracle, BNP Paribas, Flex, and IM Gears Pvt. Ltd., provides supplementary education through weekend volunteering.

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