Open Day

On the penultimate day of the programme (May 3rd, 2019), we completed classes by 11 a.m. so as to leave the last two hours (11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.) for a reflection/summing up of the programme followed by preparation for the Open Day.

There were a total of 49 students in the programme and each class (comprising 16-17 students) had studied all 7 courses in rotation. The courses were:
  1. Developing Logical Thinking Skills through Puzzles
  2. Historical Thinking
  3. Scientific Inquiry
  4. Design Thinking
  5. Inclusive Thinking
  6. Mathematical Thinking
  7. Gamification
Students were divided randomly into groups of 7 and each group was assigned to a course. The group was responsible for preparing the stall/exhibits for the course allotted to them in a manner that best brought out their learnings from the course. Parents would be visiting the following day (i.e. May 4th) in the morning to understand what their children had learned over the past 2 weeks.

Here is the group of 7 children assigned to logical thinking brainstorming about how their exhibit should look and delegating responsibilities. I provided them extra copies of the puzzles (if needed) that we had done in class but, by and large, left them to coordinate and plan the presentation on their own.

By the end of the day, we had set up our corner in the shape of an 'L' with tables displaying the different puzzles that we had covered over the course. I added a small table towards the right that displayed the Thought Book, course expectation questions and feedback forms as I was responsible for talking about those elements of the course. Each of the 7 children took on a puzzle type and planned on how they would present it to the parents the next day.

On the morning of the Open Day, I wrote out a simple chart to display above our tables that explained the key principles on which the course was based. This was the lens through which I wanted parents to understand the course and I frequently referenced this during my discussions with parents when they visited our stall.

Kids started trickling in at about 8:30 a.m. (most of them came in assigned bus routes throughout the programme and they did the same on the Open Day) and the room was a buzz of lively activity with children setting up 7 stalls for the 7 different courses.

Here is a scene from the Logical Thinking tables. We also managed to get a group photo prior to parents coming in which was a good thing as the hall became rather packed in a matter of minutes!

Interacting with parents was a wonderful experience that took me back to my days as a teacher in Pune! 😃 It was heartwarming when they told me how their son/daughter had really enjoyed my course and that I was their child's favourite teacher! 😊 The parents' interest in understanding how they could continue to develop their children's skills in logical thinking was encouraging and suggested that I had, to some extent, succeeded in planting the seed of curiosity in the children's minds. 😄 It also got me thinking of how to enhance this course if I get the opportunity to teach it again and reinforced my belief in the importance of developing logical thinking as a life skill.

In the next (and final) post on the ASSET Day Scholar Programme, I will conclude with some personal reflections/musings that emerged from my 2 weeks at the programme.