Just as we long for weekends, children who rejoin school today are always longing for more summer holidays. June marks the school reopening season which means new uniform, new bag, new tiffin box, water bottles, brown covers and the smell of new notebooks. But what is the most exciting part of going back to school? Meeting schoolmates again and waiting until lunch break to narrate what fun we had in summer is a pleasure unmatched by any other.
However, homework in summer holidays was the most loathed and it would always be incomplete however hard I tried to finish it. Always! Several essays to be written, solving math problems, reading a book that one would otherwise never read and write a review, completely mundane part of learning math tables!
The memory of me writing tables in a notebook is still fresh in my mind. Learning the tables numbered 13 to 29 was the toughest battle that is yet to be conquered by me. I am sure that is the experience for many like me who detested learning these by heart; Celebrated Marathi playwright Purushottam Laxman Deshpande aka PuLa too has highlighted the arduous task of learning the tables of 13, 23, 26 and 29 in his play Bigri Te Matric.
With kids now using smartphones, even the simplest of calculation is a matter of seconds. Out comes the calculator and snap comes the answer.
With grades attached to Math, especially at a primary school level, how should we induce practicality of math in their routine life? I guess this has been one of those questions that remain yet to be answered.
Smart phones aside, I have stumbled upon a smart school. This school in Atkarwadi, at the base of the great fort of Sinhgad, has ingeniously written all the tables on wooden bars that support the tin sheet roof of the tiny school! Looking at this innovative effort, I wonder how teachers might make learning tables more interesting. Perhaps use other visual learning tools? Perhaps take the kids to the market occasionally to make them understand the relevance of quick and correct calculations?
Tables or no tables, parents are happy about schools re-opening; kids are busy prepping up for 1st day after long vacations. So all the best! AND Say YAY if you never answered 29×6 in 2 seconds!
I SAY YES!
About the author:
Pune-based blogger Soham Sabnis brings you the unknown faces and facets from the city. Do let us know your reactions on twitter @dnaofpune and facebook (www.facebook.com/DNANewspaperPune). he tweets at @sohamsabnis