Recent Popular Posts

January 02, 2014

Let's put a games stall

As part of my effort to create an engaging atmosphere for kids to think I had introduced many board games requiring strategy to the 6th grade at Udavi. With Christmas was the annual fair at Udavi and the kids put stalls with games involving luck and concentration. I proposed to the class if there were any kids who wanted to put up a stall for the board games and puzzles. I thought it would be an interesting exercise to increase the mental stamina of the kids to be able to play with different people throughout the morning (9:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.). The teacher had also informed me that the kids tend to abandon the stalls in order to try out other games so I had to have backups (and play myself if all else failed :)). Seven kids volunteered and even spelled out the games that they like and would like to host. Four for the games and 3 for the puzzles.

We had a practice session in which we polished the puzzles while solving it and renewing our understanding of the games and the strategy of each game. Though polishing the rust off games is an effort, the kids generally had a good time and talked about the posters they were going to make.

I got busy with trying to make a game to make a baloon through come game day the kids had made posters about their games, one had dropped off, but one had joined. The boots had visitors almost all the time. The kids kept up to their booths. None of the girls in the puzzles counter budged the whole time, older kids, alumni, those from other schools tried their tricks, but the girls held firm - kept to the time allocated for a puzzle independent of taunts, pleads, muscle men who tried to pull things apart. They also and kept rotating the puzzles to avoid the passerby who may have been waiting to see the solutions.

The kids had been practicing the games and  had mastered it by then. They played some practice rounds with the 10th graders and one of the kids quietly told me in a surprised tone that the 10th graders are actually smart. One kid who had not volunteered initially saw the fun and joined in. They kept to it till around 11:30 when a couple of them really wanted to try the other games. I relieved the kids in one set of games and the 10th graders followed to play with me. I then handed over the stall to the 10th graders.

The kids had interesting feedback about their experience. One of them said that he only got beat twice, but he gave tokens to kids who had played well especially the younger ones. One kid admitted that he was beaten when he was distracted. Another mentioned that one kid from the other school I teach was good at puzzles and tried to help other kids out. One of them had mentioned that they didn't play any of the games, it was ok, but they didn't get dairy milk chocolate. One of the kids said that he learnt that he made up good strategy and was difficult to beat. Still another talked about the game that didn't get used and said he wanted to use that. One child recalled an experience in which an older child called him a cheat after he won the game. they had a rematch and he won again and the person still called him a cheat, he let her play again and this time when he won the person quietly left. One child said that she will try to be more relaxed and have more fun, another said that she would be more serious.

When school reopened today I took 20 chocolates to class. I told the ones who had maintained the stalls that since they missed out that day they can have the packet and decide how to disburse the same. It would be nice if everyone got something, but even that was up to them. I only wanted to know the fraction of the total each of the 15 children finally got. The kids decided to give a chocolate to everyone and then realized that there were more. They asked me how to disburse the rest. I told them it was up to them. One of them suggested that they keep it, another pointed out that there were only 5 chocolates and 8 of them. The next suggestion was that there were 4 pieces in each chocolate and we should split it evenly, another intervened and said that this would not work. Still another suggested that this was a fraction problem and each dairy milk needed to be split into 3 parts for each person to which a child pointed out that the chocolate had only 4 pieces. At this point I walked out of class with a smile. For all the puzzles and problems we make up, nothing beats real life! 

No comments: