Tuesday, March 31, 2015

"Sir, plz aur ek problem do naaaa......." :-)

Hello friends,

How have you all been doing???   :)

Yes, I know its been looooong, and there is no post on this group, isn't it?  Yet, I am little happy that its not only me, but some of you too who feel the same.... as I have been hearing from you via messages and emails about the silence in this zone......I feel very happy when some teachers tell me that they are missing my Long Math-conversations. :)

But to be honest, this has also been one of the demotivating reasons for me to write in this group....

@ Friends, I do work with schools, teachers and students. But I am not an amazing regular full-time school maths teacher like you.... Though I have created this group, but I really wanted You all to make the best of it and take it ahead.  ...like the community owned  By the teachers, For the teachers! ...so that there is no dearth of a helping hand or an ear, in case any ones needs it... a platform at your finger-tips to connect with teachers from other schools, learn some interesting stuff from peers across the boundaries, write to them and discuss with them about your their struggles, listen to their experiences, failures, innovative practices, and success-stories of many maths classrooms...

I remember how overwhelmingly most of you had responded to the idea of this google-group and even to the previous maths-conversations posted by me... And believe me, I have been really wanting to share so many more such beautiful math-stories with all of you, that I have accumulated in past few months with amazing number of middle school students based in urban-private, municipal as well as rural schools..... But.....   :( 

So folks, let's have a deal....Really?  :)  For every two classroom stories shared by anyone in this group, I too will post one Story.. How about it?   :)

"There is no difference between living and learning... it is impossible and misleading and harmful to think of them as being separate.” ~ John Holt

So here is one math-story from my side... Actually, this one is a very short piece of a beautiful maths class I had with a bunch of Visually Challenged students... I really want to share all our class-room stories..... Every session with this lovely bunch has been an enrichment session for me, enabling me to become a better maths teacher.... I hope I will blog all these conversations one day.....but for now, let me awaken this group with this booster :)

The learners (me and my students) -- all of us were sitting on the floor, in a circle.... I think they were around 5-6 of them (class-6-8)

While thinking on a particular math problem, we arrived at a situation where I wanted Juilee and Prasad to have equal amount of money, given that they had different amount of money in the beginning (Juilee had Rs.2,500 and Prasad had Rs.3,250) Also, they are not allowed to discard or borrow any money from outside.

I noticed that they were struggling to get through this problem and hence after about 10-minutes, I decided to break my silence... by posing a simpler problem to them.... I made Prasad's amount relatively easier... it was rounded to 3,500.... ..Now it was not so difficult for one of them to arrive at the solution...

"Sir, I will give my 500 to Juilie and both of us will 3,000."

"Hmmm.... So let's switch back to our original problem then.....2,500 and 3,250"

"Sir.... this one is very difficult."

"Really? Let's give a try now.. I don't think, it should be difficult now :)  "

Again....... a silence......and a struggle...... 

Meanwhile, one more student -- Faizaan -- joined us and this problem was posed to him too... He too is visually impaired, and I am completely awe-struck by the remarkable mathematical aptitude of this guy. This 15-16 yr old chap has just blown me off every time, with his super computation and concentration abilities... 

"Faizaan.... Sir will not tell us the answer......you plz help us.", complained Prasad with a frustrating tone :)