If you are aware of the very essence of ELI, you know that it stands for Experiential Learning Initiative. We choose to make the use of hands on and unique methods to make a point across. And the more creative the better.
As soon as a child enters the school, he/she notes down his/her attendance. Yes, you read it right- the children are the ones confirming their presence or even their absence- on the day after. Bristol papers are stuck on walls and a child marks a tick for being present or obviously, a cross for having been absent. As simple as it may sound, this simple want to see ticks near their names translates into a decreasing rate of absenteeism. In fact, ”I have more ticks than you do” or ”Look how many crosses you’ve got” shows how they themselves motivate their friends to come to ELI more often.
Games are what I consider my ideal way of educating the children at ELI. The first game I iniatiated was matching mathematical shapes to their respective names. It’s actually surprising how getting the answer right in a game makes a child break into a smile, rather than the traditional way of using blackboards and textbooks. My latest favorite game this week is basically passing the ball. But with a twist, as is everything at ELI. Whoever gets the ball thrown at him/her has to identify and point to the body part I mention. Not only does this help with their science marks but also with their memory. Subtle but efficient techniques like repetition have proven to be useful- if last week they confused ‘eyes’ with ‘ears’, this is no longer the case. i even throw in a simple just catch the ball game to end any boredom creeping on before getting on with this science game.
I loved marshmallows as a kid. Most probably so did you. Put a bag of marshmallows on the table and give the one who gives a correct answer one- you would be surprised by the continuously increasing number of children paying attention to you. They think they are concentrating merely for the delicious white and pink marshmallow but they are actually properly learning the lesson. This can be considered as a reward system, the children know they aren’t learning for nothing (If you’ve read http://www.eli-africa.org/2018/03/ill-grow-up-to-be-a-scavenger/ ,you’ld know why I’m talking of ”learning for nothing”)
Creativity and innovative ways not only make the class way more fun but also brings ELI a step closer to providing education to children.