Sopaanam

Sopaanam is a progressive annual plan for schools to improve learning and behavioral outcomes for all students by introducing innovative teaching methods and pedagogical culture.

These workshops are ideal for about 40 teachers.

3 Orientation workshops – Overview of the program prior to start of school year

  • Simulation Lab – the Learning Brain

An experiential lab workshop where participants perceive the processes and difficulties involved in the learning process. Participants will get a sense of what visual and auditory processing, visual-motor integration (hand-eye coordination), hearing or visual impairment, fine motor difficulties, or sensory overload feel like, a personal experience. This will create knowledge of how to approach teaching in a more empathetic manner. 

  • Pedagogical philosophies and methods

A first course and overview of all pedagogical content that will be elaborated upon later in the year. Lesson planning, some subject methods, formative and summative assessments and grading will be addressed in an introductory manner.

  • Social/emotional philosophies for behavior management

This day-long workshop is customized for parents or teachers. It is an activity based session full of ideas and strategies that will equip the adults to help their children convey their needs in an appropriate manner. This workshop helps adults see how behaviors are a language that children use to communicate their feelings or needs. It helps parents and teachers understand the back-story behind any behavior. Parents and teachers will then be able to address it using a constructive approach.

9 Thematic workshops (order of the workshops to be determined before program commences)

  1. Values and personal philosophies

Teachers need to have a true understanding of their own philosophy of education in order to become effective with their students. We will probe deep self-reflective questions, and encourage teachers to know themselves.

  1. Classroom management

Classroom management is traditionally a difficult area for teachers teaching heterogeneous classes, or for new teachers having a sink-or-swim experience. This workshop equips teachers with tools and skills necessary to create a meaningful and successful learning environment for all children.

  1. Learning paradigms

Our classrooms are still very teacher-centered, and students are usually placed facing the teacher, and competitive learning rules the day. In this workshop we will explore other learning paradigms. How can the classroom become more student-centered? How can students learn collaboratively in groups? In the real world, one is required to work in teams and communicate their ideas successfully. We help teachers create different learning paradigms to prepare children for today’s work spaces.

  1. Active learning

In many classrooms, children are still viewed as passive recipients of knowledge or as empty buckets to be filled with information by teachers. Learning has an impact or sticks on only when a child is involved in his/her learning, and teachers need to engage students by employing active learning strategies. In this workshop, teachers will experience both passive and active learning strategies to understand how to create lesson plans with various modalities to ensure all children are engaged.

  1. Creating thinking classrooms

How much do students participate in their learning? Are they able to articulate questions about their learning? Are they able to  jump-start their learning with their own curiosity? This workshop helps teachers frame open-ended questions that fuels critical thinking in children. An inquiry-based approach to learning develops deep thinking in students where students define their own questions, and then investigate the solutions as well.

  1. Interdisciplinary learning

Encouraging teachers to discover how learning improves when content from different subjects are integrated or linked to each other. The context that the history lesson provides to a literature study is invaluable in improving the understanding of both the literature and history unit. We will be taking teachers through integration of nutrition with science, science with language, physical education with mathematics, language with history etc. During this workshop, teachers will work in multidisciplinary groups to create an interdisciplinary lesson on choice of their topic.

 7. Lesson planning for heterogeneous classroom

What is the teacher to do when there are students with varying abilities in the classroom? It is impractical for the teacher to write four different lesson plans every day. We will guide the teachers in how to modify and adapt the lesson plan to fit every student in the classroom. A good lesson plan is a strong classroom management tool and teachers will benefit from learning this skill.

  1. Assessment and grading

Teachers may be not be fully aware of what formative and summative assessments are. We will be covering a range of formative assessments strategies, and help teachers to use the assessment data to guide their teaching. We will also be addressing the question of what exactly the marks tell us about the student learning.

  1. Subject methodologies
    1. Language and Social Studies methods
    2. Math and Science methods

For this workshop, the teachers will be grouped accordingly to their subjects. We will help them with practical ideas of how some teaching strategies will be used in those particular subject areas.

*Flexibility in opting for number of and choice of topics possible before signing the proposal.