The Facts and finders Programme

The Facts and finders Programme

When an opportunity presents itself, don’t be afraid to go after it.

This year we had an opportunity; an opportunity to do something WE want-

the Facts & Finders programme. This programme, developed to build practical research skills in students, had two major goals:

  1. To encourage students to pursue their sense of curiosity about the world and identify their areas of interest. 
  2. To build the skills required to get access to the right information at the right time in this world of abundant information and misinformation and what lies in between the two.  

Students aren’t often given the opportunity to grow and learn in their area of 

personal interest. Every child is different, and a single curriculum, common for all does not do justice to individual curiosity. Research formalises curiosity. It is ‘poking and prying’ with a purpose.

 

Step 1 – Choose 

 

Pursuing your passions makes you more interesting, and interesting people

are enchanting. For that, first, we needed to be exposed to a whole bunch of information to recognise what our area of interest really is! We had to be taken to a point where we can ask ourselves ‘am I really interested in this?’. Recognising our area of interest was especially difficult, for all these years we’ve been told that this is what you are supposed to learn or pursue. Not often we are asked what we would want to pursue. 

What are usually quoted as ”hobbies” or “extracurricular activities” – those

interests that you want to take forward, or something that you just see or come across, heard in the car or you know somebody else who talks about it – it doesn’t matter where that interest came from, but the fact that we are willing to dig deeper into it was given importance. Most if not all our research topics were based on personal experiences. For example, Fatema Kagal had a very interesting topic which was about “Bullying and Peer Pressure”. She said: “I have personally been through it and wouldn’t want someone else to go through it, I would like to motivate them and wouldn’t want them to lose their self-respect and be confident”. Another topic was “Disneyland” by Sarrah Sakarwala. She told us – “I chose it because I visited Disneyland earlier which made me eager, seeing all the rides over there and all the management and stuff, I was eager to know more about it”. Stet Fernandes said, “When I was in the 6th grade that was the first time when I had seen an actual snake and that is the time I got very interested in them”. Some students took a different, more practical approach like Ruqaiyah Fahim, who said – “I chose Medical Science as a subject for my research project because I want to choose it as a profession”.

 

Step 2 – Minimise

 

After some intense thinking and the finalization of our topics, the next logical

thing to do was to minimise, narrow down to what exactly in the broader topic we were interested in, to a point where we had only one question which was then broken down into even simpler questions. We compiled it all in the form of mind maps, then criticized each others’ work in groups, took feedback, conducted sessions on how to ask good questions, etc. So, we realized that some questions gave us very superficial answers. If we put those questions on YouTube or Google, you would very easily find the answer. Is that really “research”? No, we need to ask questions that are a little harder or where the answers themselves are a little more complicated. So, we went through sessions on how to ask good questions, and went back to the drawing board, asked a central question and created sub-questions from that. We also went through the checklist that we had for a good question. 

 

Step 3 – Hurdles and Feedback

 

We then did a little bit of study on how to comment on google documents.

Rajani ma’am told us –  “ There are things we sometimes assume that we all know but through this process, I realised there were some students who didn’t know how to give a comment on google documents. So, I ended up teaching that explicitly, that this is how you give a comment and after giving a comment you can also reply. You can have a conversation in the comments”. There were always all these extra hurdles and little pockets of information. In the giving and taking feedback stage, we needed to learn what good feedback is, for example when you say “ this question is not good” it helps nobody. You have to reason it out and be precise about what is wrong or what needs changing.  This was inculcating vital collaboration and communication skills into the project.

 

Step 4 – Organise

 

Our questions were now looking all lovely. But what is a question without

answers? We had sessions about the reliability of sites and what plagiarism is and how it can be avoided. About making your research your own!

Once we sort of started getting a lot of information and answers to our

questions, we learned organization skills. Essentially, we learned the skill to take all the information and put it down in a usable manner. Sometimes it can be an information overload, so how do we avoid that and say this will go here – this will go here and this will go here? That is the organization of information. So, we did that through Wakelet and we had all our information and answers.

 

Step 5 – Present

 

The presentation was the overwhelming part, at least for me. This step

included a lot of writing-reframing things that have already been framed by professionals who wrote the websites in the first place but adding a little bit of ‘you’ into it. The topics we chose varied, so did our fashion of presentation. Some of us wrote\made presentations on Powtoon, or on PPT, or on Google Slides and some of us went outright and created entire videos on their topic. For example, there are a few students who chose topics which were easy to make – like a short film. So, they have enacted a few scenes out and recorded that. Essentially, all of that involves some amount of writing. You are taking all the information that you have found and you are thinking on how to present that in a creative and interesting way. For me personally, ma’am kept reminding me that not everyone who is going to watch your video will be interested in your topic but on the other hand, they are interested in the fact that YOU are the one making it, so bring a little bit of yourself into the presentation.

 

What did we learn?

We asked Rajani ma’am about what triggered this programme. Why did you

choose to conduct this little experiment on us? She told us,  “The trigger was definitely my conversation with students over the years, and there is no way that a set curriculum can actually address all the different interests that students have because no two students are alike. No student is the same, so there is no point in planning something that is the same for everyone. For that’s my biggest trigger. It is an area of interest for me personally to really get you guys to explore.” 

She also rightly pointed out that when I do something I am interested in on a personal level I am going to add more value to the world, I will not be doing it because “I have to”, instead because “I want to”.

Lastly, facts and finders were more than a research project. It was about

learning so much more. We learnt how to listen better. We played some GK games. There are a countless number of skills we will take ahead with us in our lives. From just a few classes a week and some flipped lessons, we are very proud to present not only a project but an entire experience!

Rajani ma’am has been the biggest inspiration to us throughout and we can

say that her “experiment” was a huge success for all of us. So congratulations to us for working hard and making our own way here! We cannot wait to start the next research project!

Khelo India Freedom Run 2020

Khelo India Freedom Run 2020

In today’s world where most of our time is spent in front of a screen, so much so that we don’t even have a choice to do otherwise. One of the many things being affected by this is our fitness, it’s being neglected. 

A wise man once said, “where there is a will there’s a way”. All that we need is a little bit of a push, some motivation and that’s exactly what the ‘khelo India freedom run’ is. It is the incentive for people to get independence from obesity, laziness, stress and anxiety. 

It is based around the concept of flexibility, another little teaspoon of freedom. It gives runners the choice to :

                 – Run a route of their choice, at a time that suits them. 

  • Break-up their runs. 
  • Run their race at their pace

Participants are meant to track km manually or by using any tracking app or GPS watch, then upload it.

 

With the number of fitness-related posts and videos dominating social media every single day, (not to mention the rising popularity of virtual gyms) you’d think that staying fit seems to be at the top of everyone’s priority, right? Wrong! In a recent pan-India survey conducted by Gympik, a fitness discovery platform in India, 53 per cent of respondents revealed that they are not disciplined enough to remain fit.

 The market research targeted cities like Delhi, Bengaluru, Mumbai and Hyderabad to infer the current fitness trends and habits among residents. The data collected from the research based on the responses of 1.06 million people, discovered that a shocking 53 per cent lack the time to exercise, 36 per cent lack motivation to enrol at a fitness centre whereas 14 per cent claim to be completely clueless about where to begin their fitness regime.

There is another interesting insight from the study that confirms the mentality of Indians regarding fitness. Men were three times more likely to join a gym to build muscle while women were more interested in weight loss. 58 per cent of men went for bodyweight training, while women were drawn towards dance exercises – 85 per cent for aerobics and 81 per cent for Zumba. BEING FIT DOESN’T MEAN BEING THIN!. This misconception leads women to lose their weight so much that they are then malnourished.

So India is in simple words, not a very fit country, and 14 percent of the people are completely clueless about where to begin their fitness journey from, but fortunately, we all have this amazing opportunity to go on this run, Now it doesn’t mean one run will make you in your best shape but this may be a start and an amazing opportunity to try something new. The COVID-19 is trying its best to stop us but, we have to try our very best on fighting it which is why, maintaining SOCIAL DISTANCING for yours and others safety is extremely important, but at the same time you should not wear a mask while running, The World Health organisation states that People should NOT wear masks when exercising, as masks may reduce the ability to breathe comfortably. Sweat can make the mask wet more quickly which makes it difficult to breathe and promotes the growth of microorganisms. The important preventive measure during exercise is to maintain a physical distance of at least one meter from others.

 

The khelo India freedom run will be held 19th, 2oth and 21st September 2020 it is preferred to be kept early in the morning.

 

                    Category                                                     Distance to run or walk

  1. a)    Students studying in grade 4 to 6                                     1 km
  2. b)    Students studying in grade 7 & 8                                      1.5 km
  3. c)    Students studying in grade 9 & 10                                     2 km

 

The above table shows the distance to run for different age groups.

 

“EVERYTHING IS POSSIBLE AS LONG AS YOU PUT YOUR MIND TO IT AND YOU PUT THE WORK AND TIME INTO IT”. – MICHAEL PHELPS.09i9

 

Sakina Baxajiwala and Alefiyah Pachorawala

Grade IX

D.E.A.R WEEK

D.E.A.R WEEK

Blog – Part one

“Try reading a book while solving a crossword puzzle. That is the intellectual environment of the internet” – Nicholas Carr.

Well if we refer to this quote in today’s time, I find it quite funny because haven’t we all become professionals in doing multiple tasks, especially on ‘the internet’. But, when it comes to reading, I am sure everyone of us likes at least one particular genre; be it sci-fi, drama, fantasy or even fan fictions and many more. Luckily, at Hasanat, we have our very own D.E.A.R week in which we just Drop Everything And Read.

Why should we read?  

Why are we always told to read? – 

To answer these questions, let me quote Yuxuan Wang, “We learn to read and read to learn”. Reading improves and develops vocabulary, and opens your mind to a whole new world of imagination and a sea of knowledge. Now the question is, why would you choose to read over gaming? Well, TV and computer games have their place, but they are more like an amusement. Reading targets a completely different area of your brain. It lets you imagine what a story can be or how the characters may look and how each scene may unfold, instead of feeding you others’ imaginations. All the consumable media we have at our disposal can destroy imagination and deflate attention spans significantly; especially in younger kids. It is necessary to feed your brain with a healthy balance of reading material and other media to lead your imagination to its utmost supremacy. 

 All the athletes out there know how important exercise is to maintain a good physique. Similarly, our brain is a muscle and requires exercise. “Reading is to mind what exercise is to the body” – Joseph Addison. Which means, the more you read the smarter you get, is that cool or cool. Good reading skills, especially in a phonics reading program, improve spelling. As students learn to sound out letters and words, spelling them becomes easier. So, the solution to your inevitable problem with typos is – JUST READ. 

Tip-The act of reading a text aloud is more effective in remembering information than reading it silently or just hearing it being read aloud. (let’s hope we remember things much better than before.) 

Blog Part 2

We talked about how important reading is, now let’s take a moment to ponder upon what to read (since we also talked about reading aloud helps you remember better, make sure to read this part out loud and clear). His holiness, Syedna Muffadal Saifuddin (TUS) says, “What you read is one of the 8 significant factors that model who you are or will be.” What you read is what you become. Everything you give your body and brain is what will develop your personality. The best way to ensure what you are reading is good for you is to check whether it coincides with the teachings and preaching of ‘Al-e-Mohammed’ and ‘Duat kiram’ – this will preserve your “Zauq-e-Saleem”.

“So please, oh please, we beg, we pray, go throw your TV set away, and in its place you can install a lovely bookshelf on the wall.” – Roald Dahl.

Little did Mr. Dahl know that we will have to read our books on screens. This year, it is going to be different like every other thing we’ve done, but it is going to be a fun filled experience like it always is.

We lied, it’s not going to be D.E.A.R week instead D.E.A.R Days beginning on Tuesday, 22nd September to Thursday, 24th September.

Each class will be reading at a different time and will have a different set of activities according to their age group.

For our youngest minds – there will be Read-Aloud sessions with a different theme each day. On one of these days, the older buddies will be called and the students will enjoy a read-aloud session by them. On another day, a guest will be invited for the same. And lastly, on the remaining day, a teacher will take over the session.

Now, for the higher grades – they will be prescribed carefully with selective reading material by their teachers. Grades Nine and Ten will be reading Shakespeare’s works. Other grades will be reading material parallel to their syllabus.  We are used to having a creative twist spun upon everything we do – and just like any other year, the aspect of buddy interaction is standing strong. Each class will also have creative activities with a learning element. The activities are a surprise for you. So are you curious about it? I am sure you must be, because curiosity is the very basis of education. 

Happy reading!

Sakina Baxajiwala and Alefiyah Pachorawala

Grade IX