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‘At Apeejay, my 4-year-old learned Math with ice cream sticks’

Shrishti Bhatnagar, mother of Anika, a KG student of Apeejay Saket, said the conventional approach of teaching, often referred to as the ‘chalk and talk’ method, won’t work in the online mode

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Shrishti Bhatnagar with her spouse Saurabh and daughter Anika

Shrishti Bhatnagar is a homemaker while her spouse Saurabh Bhatnagar is General Manager at National Council for Cement and Building Materials (NCB), a premier body under the administrative control of Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Govt. of India, for technology development, transfer, continuing education and industrial services for cement and construction industries. In an informal chat, Shrishti explains the tremendous progress made by Anika in different aspects of education since joining Apeejay. Edited excerpts:

What made you pick Apeejay?

Anika completed her nursery from a prominent school. It offers a good academic atmosphere, but there’s little or no scope for extracurricular activities. The holistic growth of a student is not possible if classroom teaching is not supplemented with co-curricular activities. In the formative years, these activities help students develop problem-solving, critical thinking, analytical, communication, and collaborative abilities. They also allow your child the opportunity to explore different areas of interest and unearth the hidden potential in each student. After all, we don’t want our child to be a bookworm. We had heard a lot from our peers and relatives that Apeejay is known for focusing on the all-round development of students. A class 12 Apeejay Saket student from my locality also strongly advised us to pick Apeejay. Hence, we got Anika enrolled in the school.

Has Apeejay lived up to your expectations?  

Of course! I am elated because Anika has learned everything that’s being taught in the last one year. Her cursive writing, which is very beneficial in furthering motor skill development, is excellent. I have a cousin whose daughter is of the same age as Anika and studies in a reputed school in Delhi, but her cursive writing is still a work in progress. Anika’s Math skills are fantastic too. She can write numbers in words and can do simple addition and subtraction exercises. She is so good in Math that she finishes her homework in the class itself when the teacher is engaged with other students. Her recognition and explanation skills and the ability to read and write complete sentences in English has improved drastically. She also enthusiastically takes part in co-curricular activities. It’s through her participation in such activities that I found out that she loves acting. All in all, I can proudly say that my daughter has made giant strides in one year.

How are teachers conducting online teaching during the pandemic?

Due to Covid, teachers have changed the way they teach. To make the online teaching-learning process more engaging and effective, teachers have come up with exciting classroom activities. Their emphasis is on activity-based learning. This approach is quite effective as children actively participate and are involved in learning at their own pace. What students learn through demonstration of activity gets imprinted in their minds for life. For example, addition and subtraction are taught using ice cream sticks. Phonics too are taught in a fun way and it has given students a leg up on writing and spelling. The conventional approach of teaching, often referred to as the “chalk and talk” method, won’t work in online mode. Last but not the least, teachers share an excellent equation with both students and parents.

Dheeraj Sharma is Asst. Editor (Newsroom). He covers events, webinars, conducts interviews and brings you exciting news snippets. He has over 10 years' of experience in prominent media organizations. He takes pleasure in the small things in life and believes a healthy work-life balance is key to happiness. You can reach him at [email protected]

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