Stories from our Schools – Aatmikhaa and the Mirror

We keep talking about how to make children love to learn. One of the quickest ways to kill this love for learning is to force a child to do something he or she doesn’t understand. At Wunderbar Kids, we believe in constructive learning, getting the child involved in the process of doing something an learning.

I recently came across a great example of one of these situations, and it heartened me to realise that our teachers take constructive learning so seriously that it has become method for them.

Pooja, from our team at Khargar-8 was working to help Aatmikhaa, who is in LKG, recognize her numbers. One of the worksheets we use has the numbers written wrongly (inverse or mirror images of the numbers), and the children are expected to re-write them correctly. In this way, children also learn cognitive concepts like ‘upside-down’ and ‘reverse’. It’s a fun, innovative activity, so Pooja was a little surprised at first when Aatmikhaa didn’t understand what to do here. She kept copying the numbers out as they were, and didn’t seem to recognize that they were mirror images of the numbers she knew! As they kept trying, both Aatmikhaa and Pooja grew tired.

Pooja kept trying to explain, but quite frankly, ‘inverse’, ‘reverse’ and ‘upside-down’ are complicated concepts for a 3.5 year old to grasp.

This was when Pooja decided to think out of the box. Instead of giving up, she gave the process some thought. She realised that Atmikhaa knew her numbers, and knew them well. What wasn’t working was for her was the process of the activity.

So she took Aatmikhaa to the Idea Station. At the Idea Station, she made flashcards of the mirror image numbers and asked Aatmikhaa to look into the mirror holding them. The minute Aatmikhaa realised what the activity was about, she was a different girl! She immediately started recognizing the numbers from the flashcards and writing them down.

I think what Pooja did here was commendable. She recognized the core of Aatmikhaas problem. She went out to her way to facilitate learning. She thought out of the box. She, in fact, made Aatmikhaa love to learn.