Trip to Vartan Gregorian - 3.2.00

On the 2nd of March, we made a trip to Vartan Gregorian to observe the children for whom we will be writing the software. We spent about an hour in the school and interacted with the children on a very personal level. As we came in, the kids were splitting up into two groups - one to go to a science class, and another to gym. The four of us came along with the science students and found ourselves as teachers to them. The children split up into four groups and each of us worked closely with 4-6 students as a teacher. Our task was to show them what a cricket is and all the different characteristics of the cricket, including the fact that it has 6 legs, 2 eyes, a head, a thorax, and an abdomen.

What impressed us was the fact that the children had a varying ability of speaking English, yet all were forced to repeat such complicated words as thorax and abdomen. We all went into the science room where we helped the children to make color representations of the crickets using pieces of color paper and starch to glue them down. Many of the children, whose ages ranged from 4-6, were more interested in painting with the colored paper rather than gluing it, but most reacted well to instructions if those instructions were repeated more than once.

Aron observed that his group of kids enjoyed drawing with the paper and were fascinated by discovering that colors can be mixed, etc. Intellectual curiosity was different in different children, but most had a good time discovering and playing with new things.

Some observations we made:
  • Repetition is a tool that teachers use to help children memorize things and help them learn the language.
  • Children are curious and eager to learn.
  • Kids like to use colors and are most interested if the material is "fun."
  • Children sometimes learn things that are not necessarily intended by the teacher.
  • The kids get along well with each other and are eager to help each other out when needed.
  • We are working with a cute and sweet bunch of kids and we should have a lot of fun with this project.
We did not get a chance to observe the children in a computer environment, so we scheduled the next day to come back and see them using computers.

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