Since long, teachers in schools have only unilaterally taught students. A single approach to teaching around a hundred students who have different learning abilities and styles. When the students are so different, how can a single method work for each of them? Exactly! A unique approach that caters to the minds of such diverse of students has always been a critical requirement in schools. Since our system has not had the adequate infrastructure and resources to train all teachers at regular intervals of their service, we have come to lack the quality it takes to teach the terrifying subjects with ease.
Teachers are taught different approaches during preparatory courses from which they can choose and employ strategies as may be required according to the needs of a classroom. Many organizations are currently working on the different pieces of improving classroom transactions through teacher enablement, tech deployment and bringing more activity led learning to classrooms. Million Sparks Foundation conceptualized the ChalkLit mobile application to provides regular professional development for in-service teachers through online trainings with SCERTs/DoEs, teaching tools & daily updates from an active teacher community.
The best part about ChalkLit is its unique and highly engaging approach to presenting helpful content for teachers that would support execution in the classroom and make it more interactive, fun and a place that invites student voice. Some teachers in the states of Delhi and Goa have made small yet effectual changes to their teaching styles and they say they now connect better with their students. Let us have a look at some exciting aspects of classroom pedagogy that ChalkLit has to offer-
1) Providing the estimated time for each lesson
A great way to plan a task is by setting deadlines. And ChalkLit provides teachers with that estimate. Once teachers know when they need to finish with a topic, they can evenly distribute their subtopics and also spare time for some activity/questions when required. A planned approach is any day better than chaos in a classroom. If you don’t have a plan for your students, they will definitely have one and learning together will definitely not figure there.
2) Curated content for each sub-topic
With highly experienced mentors and serving teachers on board, ChalkLit provides teachers with unique and engaging content for each subject and every topic. For example, if a class 9 Science teacher wants to take a class for the topic ‘Matter in our surroundings’, he/she can quickly locate the content for this within the app and plan his/her lesson accordingly.
3) A clear understanding of why this needs to be taught
Yes! Teachers now get a fair idea to the most frequently asked question – But why do we need to study this? In the module the teacher selects, ChalkLit provides a clear explanation of why they need to teach this and what they need to explain. Along with this, there are learning outcomes which give a fair idea to the teacher as to what their class should learn and how should they set right expectations with their students.
4) Real life examples
A technique which has been almost non-existent in the Indian teaching system which has continued to lay emphasis on the mastery of theoretical concepts. Through real-life examples, a student can connect the subject to his real life and surroundings. This technique has two significant advantages. Firstly, the student can retain the concept/example better and next; they can analyze and connect the concept with other relevant ideas. For instance, a teacher teaching mathematics can ask students to measure objects around them to understand shapes & sizes and slowly move from physical to higher order abstract concepts in mensuration.
When recalling concepts studied before, a student can understand and retain them for a more extended period. No individual can assimilate and remember an idea in one go. Maybe some can, but in a class of 30, some students would be left out. An organically embedded recall of previous topics is an excellent way for students to connect to the subject and retain better.
6) Teaching methods
Teachers require comprehensive means to teach students. Every student has a different learning curve, and the teacher is responsible for every student. Thus, a combination of techniques is a good option for making sure the entire class benefits from the lesson and not just a few. These could be activities, experiments, debates, recitation, etc.
7) Concept-based teaching
This process involves teaching the basic concept behind the subject and slowly building upon it as the lesson progresses. The idea could be illustrated with the help of examples, activities, demonstrations and other techniques.
After every training, teacher undergoes a self-evaluation that helps the teacher judge their progress and make suitable amends to their technique. It is an excellent technique for growth and improvement.
9) Student Assessment Strategies
The app also provides evaluation strategies for students which help teachers gauge the learning levels of their classrooms and tailor reinforcement instruction accordingly.
These are a few of the teaching techniques available on the app which reinforce the conceptual techniques for teachers along with high quality and tested content that works for students as well. Only if the teacher is prepared for every class, can all students learn and benefit from that in a way that sets them on the path of lifelong learning.
ChalkLit adheres to fulfilling this need just in time!
-By Srishti Arora