As students start to put in efforts to learn, they can still be easily dissuaded by basic challenges: “I don’t have anything to write on”, “What should I practice?”, “Does this really matter? Is there a test I need to pass? Does anyone care?” (particularly important to children, as they crave attention), etc. Sikshana has therefore created programs to guide the practice efforts of students.
How It Works
Sikshana provides all students with writing booklets. Students are expected to complete 3 pages a day, spanning English, Kannada (with a handwriting focus), Kannada (with a speed focus), drawing and mathematics. Students are given a series of writing booklets, and receive the next booklet once they complete the prior booklet – but only if they ask for the next one (this is a test of their motivation level).
“Initially, we saw that students were not practicing because they did not have paper, pens, etc. We started to buy them paper and pens ourselves and got them to practice. Sikshana saw this and started to give [writing booklets]. Students have been regularly using the writing booklets, and have significantly improved their handwriting as a result”
– Shanta Naik, Headmistress, G.H.P.S. Anjanapura
How It Works
Sikshana also provides students with practice booklets for mathematics. The booklets have been created to develop foundational skills in mathematics at the ASER level (i.e. up to class 3 and early class 4). As in the case of writing booklets, students are expected to complete 2 pages of the math booklet each day. The math booklets are also given as a series, with students receiving the next booklet only once they have completed the prior booklet and have asked for the next one.
“Sikshana’s maths booklets have been helpful for the students in my class who are lagging behind.”
– Geethasavera Mata, Maths Teacher, G.H.P.S. Hulibele.
Sikshana has now been invited to partner with Karnataka State to create further practice booklets for classes 4 to 7 in 2016-17.
How It Works
As students acquire new skills, it is critical for their progress to be recognized and encouraged. Students are therefore provided with a “Learning Tree”, which is a graphical representation of the competencies that they must master. Students earn stickers for learning skills, and these come together to form the shape of a tree (though future versions may create other images).
The Learning Tree helps students track their progress, understand gaps and set their own goals for what they want to learn next. Once students set and work towards their own goals, their journey from extrinsic reward-based motivation to self-driven intrinsic motivation is complete.
The Learning Tree is also intended to help parents understand at a glance the skills that their children have acquired, and where there are gaps. Students with an “A”-grade will learn of gaps that might otherwise be hidden, Those with a “C” can take heart from skills that they have acquired, and those with a “B” receive clear feedback about what they have learned and where they need to improve to get an “A”.
“As per Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation [framework], children must be given feedback on the skills that they have acquired. The Learning Tree is a very attractive concept to help teachers to give feedback in a way that they can be easily understood.”
– Gopinath, Head Teacher, Government School, Ambedkar Nagar, Kolar.