school closes for summer, and…

It was a major flurry of activities and a frenzy of movements in NammaShaale, today!

primary colours

primary colours

The colourful (their dresses and themselves) children were moving around all over the place, but there were definitely methods behind the madness, as Shakespeare would have admitted.

You can't make me give up my chair!

You can't make me give up my chair!

For the children in the primary,  it was like any other normal day of joy filled work –  with the circle time seeing them lustily singing their major repertoire of songs – for one last time before they take over the summer holdays…

the queen with the plebians

the queen with the plebians

For the elementary children, it was a busy day. They had to complete whatever pending work they had, and the cleaning – the  cleaning up and clearing of the various pieces of art, work etc etc that they had done during the term, and organize everything. And then the excited ritual of asking  ‘what are you going to do in the holdays, ya?’ There was also this huge exchange of books amidst the children – our child took some 16 books for distribution and brought back an equivalent number, probably from various sources. I love this!

Amidst all this, they even managed to watch the delectable Pippi On the Run – the 1977 english version of the 1970 swedish original. This interesting series of stories based on the young girl Pippi Longstocking, full of beans, were written by Astrid Lindgren. Recommended – both books and the film.

Finally, after many a slipped deadline, and after a harrowing ‘science test,’ our erdkinder finally managed to complete their vegetable patches. They each had to dig a pit of 3 ft x 3 ft x.75 ft – a box like pit with about 3 inches of mud bund/wall all around it. and fill it up with three layers – each layer of which contained 1 inch thick leaves, rotten manure, soil sublayers – in all making up some 9 inches of matter, with a little bit of moisture – which will turn into rich humus filled soil, thanks to the constant work of termites and soil micro organisms, in the next couple of months… They have covered their pits with sheets of newspapers, so that moisture will be retained in the pits. By the way, there are two major uses of newspapers that I have found to be interesting – and am not at all talking about the news value of them etc, they are:

  1. They make a fine mulch (Times of India is good only for this, that too, without those execrable glossy pages, which are not easily compostable; unfortunately, the best mulch would be ‘The Newyork Times’ – but I should not be greedy.
  2. They are useful to clean glass. (The Economic Times is great – but only for this purpose)
amused lower elementary children...

amused lower elementary children...

We are planning to use a combination of ‘square foot gardening’ and the agricultural scientist Nammazhwar’s ‘sandwich’ method to grow vegetables/greens. This will happen during the next term – we will use only open-pollinated ‘naati’ seeds – and of course no artificial pesticides, fungicides, weedicides and fertilizers.. Wish us green thumbs please!

Yesterday, the erdkinder air-layered one of their future trees each, and by the time they get back to the regular school post summer, the ‘treelings’ will be ready for propagation / planting – they will own one tree each.

We plan to work with the erdkinder for a few more weeks – more or less trying to significantly complete the ‘syllabus’ for the 10th Std exams (f0r the few children who would be taking it during the summer of 2010); and I don’t know what’s wrong with these children, they all want to come and learn. I do not remember to have been so enthusiastic about learning & school, that too during holidays. Whatever happened to the good ol’ ritualistic hating of schools, teachers and education, thanks much to Pink Floyd. And, to think that I thought they were sick and tired of us…

you stare, we photo shy

you stare, we photo shy

For the adults AKA teachers, it is going to be a really busy time in the next couple of months, planning at a very micro level, for each and every child -identifying individual learning levels and factors, mapping it to benchmarks, identifying the possibilities of improvement and how best to encourage the children to learn more, further on, remedial work, calendar etc etc. There would also be additional training and booster doese, so that the child’s interests continue to stay supreme. There are assorted other things such as inventory of materials and stationery, things to be repaired, new stuff to be ordered and get delivered, the works…

Considering everything, I think the holiday plans of the teachers are jinxed. But being a dabbler and a crafty guy, I plan to decamp without notice.

And, for a change, all of you parents and teachers – you can also contribute to the blog, if not to the school? I am tired of reading the blog, I might as well maintiain a private diary, yeah?

Happy holidays, continue to keep in touch, brush your teeth every night.  See you all in the next academic year. Well, most of you.

(And, if you don’t want to receive the update mailers or if you don’t want to be associated with the NammaShaale community anymore, for any reason – please inform me so that I can take your email id off the list. I have no intention of spamming you.)

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  • reshma  On April 4, 2009 at 8:04 am


    wondering how to…

    how can other parents leave a post on this blog? doesn’t wordpress have a facility to allow multiple organisms to login? currently we can leave comments on posted items, but to leave a post itself is not yet in the known. Eventually it will be cool for the erdkinders to have a blogsite of their own with Ramjee at the anchor ;0

    when i had a classroom blog using edublogs, I had the tedious authority of setting up 40 logins for all students in my class and additional ones for parents – check out
    the backside admin section was the domain of a few of us who (un)democratically moderated the blogsite ;0

  • Ramjee Swaminathan  On April 4, 2009 at 9:40 am

    Hello there,

    Yes. WordPress allows that. Give me a couple of hours, I will setup a log-in for you. You can be an editor or contributor or …

    Anyone can post comments – but their comments will come to me for moderation – and if someone wants to do the moderation, he/she/it is welcome.

    Moderation IMO is important for a good SNR, for a given value of signal. 😎

    Am looking forward to reading your posts. And, they WILL boost the SNR, given the rabid guy, who dominates and monopolizes the scene here!

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