Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Inventure students with Parikrama

The time we spent at the TNT Parikrama was very meaningful and at the same time it helped us realize how lucky we were to have a good family background.

We have parents who can afford to send us to good schools, we can afford to have 3 meals a day and even more if we wanted.

Helping these children builds up awareness in you, we realized that these children are no different from us they are exactly the same but they just have less opportunity that is the only difference.

So after doing this exercise we will now help them in the little ways we can on our own without being told to do it.

This was a great experience and we had a great time bonding with the Parikrama students and this exercise also helped us realize our inner self.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Multiple Intelligences Xplored

On 17th January, 2009, over 300 children from 9 leading Bangalore schools participated in Multiple Intelligences Xplored (M.I.X.) – an interschool event organized for the second consecutive year by Inventure Academy, Bangalore. Exclusively for students from grades 1-7, this event challenges the contestants across eight intelligence categories, as propounded by Howard Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences, and has been designed to distinguish inherent talents and bring about a powerful positive impact on the children’s self esteem. The unique events were conceptualised and designed by MI experts at Inventure.

The Think-a-thon!!! Event tested logical, interpersonal and spatial intelligences. A sample of the challenges:

Division 3 [Grade 5 students] had to construct a glider from a collection of materials like thick plastic sheets, broom sticks, plastic sticks, twine and wire. The glider would then be released from one of the buildings carrying two eggs and had to land as far away as possible, without breaking the eggs!

Division 4 [Grades 6 and 7 students] had to make a propeller powered boat using ice cream sticks, broom sticks, paper, rubber bands, twine, glue and cardboard!! The boats were tested in a huge roundabout tank filled with water.

Creative Sparks tested the musical, kinesthetic, interpersonal, spatial and linguistic intelligences; the different divisions were given different challenges.

Students of Grades 1 and 2 had to create a “vocal orchestra” – using just their voices to create the effect of a symphony!

Participants from Grades 3 and 4 had to actually create a set of musical instruments using plastic bottles, glass containers, coconut shells, coffee seeds, rubber bands, pins, buckets and water. They then composed songs [lyrics and music!] and performed with their “created” instruments as accompaniments!

Teams from Division 4 got 3 unrelated pieces of material – a prop, a CD with instrumental music and a message. Using mime or dance [no words permitted!], they had to convey their message using the prop and set it to the music on the CD! One team got a mop as a prop and a piece of fast-paced music to convey the message, “Sleepless!”

Wild Wide World tested the Naturalist intelligence of participants from Grades 1 and 2. They had to “create a new species of animal”, dress up a team member as that animal and get him/her to enact it. They were given old clothes, paint, thread and papers to “make their creature”.

Colours of Our World challenged the hidden artist and his spatial intelligence. Events varied from a rangoli based on tessellation patterns, rock painting using natural dyes, to wall painting and painting handmade paper with the aid of foot and hand prints! The themes for all art events were the core values / core purpose of Inventure Academy, phrased in a manner that could be understood by children of specific age groups.

Josh was the event for the sports oriented. The children had to run an obstacle course, do a complex route on the Climbing Wall, “cross a river ” suspended in mid-air, do some serious dunking on the basketball court, and sprint to the finish!

All by Myself was all about getting in touch with oneself and one’s inner strengths. This was an individual activity and required participants to design a Coat of Arms that portrayed them best. For the second year running, Inventure Academy emerged the overall champions!

Co-Founder and CEO of Inventure Academy, Nooraine Fazal, summed up the purpose and spirit of the day through her very apt words... “As members of the learning community, it is our responsibility to adapt to and promote new methods of learning, to acquire higher levels of achievement in education and prepare our students not just to survive, but to excel anywhere in the world. We have organized this event to make each and every one realize that they are gifted in some unique way, and equip them with the ability and conviction to realize their full potential.”

After much excitement, drama and competition, the day brought forth the following champions in the four divisions.

Annual Day celebrations at Inventure Academy

For its Annual Day celebrations, the primary school section (Grades 1 to 5) of Inventure Academy presented an adaptation of the musical ‘Beauty and the Beast’. It was a show stopper and will definitely go down as one of the finest in the history of the school. It was a proud day for Inventure Academy as the entire school community, from the CEO to the housekeeping boys, pitched in to put up a show that brought the curtains down and the audience to its feet for a standing ovation!

In the run up to D-day, the children were tireless in their efforts to put up a show to rival any on Broadway! 185 students pitched in to paint props, devise costumes, sing, dance and, of course, act! Their tremendous dedication and untiring efforts paid off as on D-day one was hard put to remember that the oldest actor on stage was all of 10 years old!

Everyone and everything came together that evening to create the MAGIC that, in the words of Beauty, “… is the beauty which lies within us”. As one of the teachers so aptly said, “It was an evening of splendor, tears and euphoria – a dream coming true beyond expectations”.

In a note to the entire team, a parent of the school summed the evening up beautifully: “Congratulations to you and to your entire Inventure team (students, faculty, support staff, administrative staff, nurse and every person involved) in staging such a wonderful show. The play had good humour, great songs, beautiful dances and colourful costumes. The technical aspects: audio, visual and even smell (agarbati) effect was excellent. The projector on stage (which showed the lyrics of the songs) was also a great idea. I could see that a lot of effort had been put in by every individual and I definitely agree with your statement that this is the best Beauty and the Beast adaptation I have ever seen. A lot of little details had been looked into and planned well for the comfort of the entire Inventure team.

We had a wonderful evening with the Inventure family… please reserve two permanent first row seats for my husband and me for every entertainment by Inventure”.

Special mention must be made of the production’s guiding forces, its directors Joseph and Joel. In the face of personal loss they gave new meaning to the adage that no matter what, the show MUST go on. The evening was as much a tribute to their dedication as it was a confirmation of the strength and commitment that the Inventure Academy family has always been associated with.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Inventuring Education

Inventive Thinking may simply mean the realization that there's no particular virtue in doing things the way they have always been done. (Rudolph Flesch)

May 2005, Nooraine asked me to run a month long programme to engage children, since the campus was not ready. Here was the perfect opportunity to realize a long cherished idea. Audacious though it was, I thought there was a distinct possibility of entwining experiential learning and an emergent curriculum to truly experience the power of constructivism. Thus a little inventive thinking got Xplore going! I thought, what if we took a group of children to a farm, exposed them to a new environment full of opportunities for learning and discovery and then let the magic begin!

Within a week, I got a team of like minded people together, we spent a day at the farm where the programme would be conducted and came back that evening excited with the manifold possibilities we envisioned. The critical part of the programme design was that there really was no design! My brief to the team was that we would have a broad objective in place but we could not direct the children towards our objectives. That had to emerge from the children.

Come June and we began our adventures in learning and connecting with a set of 28 excited children. The programme was aimed at letting each child learn to 'be'- with themselves, with others and with nature. The children realized that learning was not merely about what's written in textbooks. Each tree, flower, seed, bird, insect, rock and sand, the wind rustling through the leaves, the drops of water forming concentric circles in a ditch - each had a tale to tell, if only one was willing to hear. Their senses became their most powerful tools to learn and discover. These experiences led them to question, explore and create - a pond, a tree house, a hammock, a patch of cultivated land, models and drawings - all unique expressions of their learning.

Important concepts were explored - "Where does the water go when I pour it in the sand? How does the chameleon change colour? Will the patterns on the back of a tortoise help me know how old it is? How do plants grow? How do plants animals insects and birds depend on each other?"

Area and volume were not merely sums done in books. They were critical in determining how large a pond the children wanted to dig and how much water would be needed to fill it up. Concepts of air pressure and energy were revisited in order to design a water device, which would pump water from a nearby tank into the pond.

Each day would start with games, physical activities and challenges. Dodge ball became a fun and challenging way to stay alert and focused, while a simple game of Dog and the Bone taught lessons in honesty, sharing, patience and kindness to the little children. Rappelling down a 45 feet helped them overcome fears and trust themselves and others.

Project time was a time for fun, patience, perseverance and hard work. Each project was fraught with challenges, and when the spirits of some flagged, there were others who lent support. The children learnt much about teamwork and responsibility.

Choice time was a change from group work- each student chose an aspect of the farm to explore and research individually - the snakes, the tortoises, dogs and the chameleon on the custard apple tree, food chains around the pond. Discoveries were chronicled in their journals and discussed at Circle Time.

Circle Time was a serene end to a fun filled morning; it was a time for reflection, soul searching, a time for asking questions and seeking answers, a time for learning to accept others and gain acceptance.

The sleepover at the farm was a first for many of the children. They learnt to pitch tents, get a fire going, cook and clean and brave the lashing rains that did anything but dampen their spirits!

And that was what the Xplore programme was all about - youngsters learning to appreciate themselves and their environment. To engage in experiences and reflect upon their learning.

For me as an educator it was a unique experience, both humbling and exhilarating. A few months later I joined Inventure to continue the exciting journey we had launched upon.

The success of our first year ensured that the foundation programme- Inventuring as we now know it became part of our tradition. The programme is now conducted on our sprawling campus. It is the way we begin each academic year. New students and faculty are welcomed into the fold as we forge strong bonds of friendship and understand the way we learn. This paves way for the exciting year ahead.

As we have grown in numbers, the form or shape of Inventuring has taken differs but the soul and purpose remains intact.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Grade 3-Students Portfolios

Sky in My Pie

Waiter, there’s sky in my pie!
Remove it at once if you please.
I don’t want this wonderful scenery,
I ordered meatloaf and cheese.

I don’t care if the chef is an artist
Whose paintings are thought to be great,
I want my usual potatoes in gravy,
Not the universe heaped on my plate.

I don’t want green, minty forests
Or clouds all burnished with gold,
Your intricate breeze is disturbing the peas
And making my fries go all cold.

Okay, I’ll try just a bite,
I suppose I’ve got nothing to lose.
Mmmh.....the colours quite tickle the palette,
With a blend of delicate hues.

Freya S
Grade 3A

Swine Flu
It’s just as Dr.Jayanti said,
This virus is something new.
The disease is spread by flying pigs,
Because the swine flew!

If you search the sky at night,
Looking for the moon,
You might see a shadow with wings and a snout,
If you do you will surely swoon!

Freya S
Grade 3A

My World

A greenhouse is my heart,
Growing love and affection.
A landmark is my brain,
Leading me in the right direction.

The world is made of music,
Full of songs and notes.
Writing is also a part of it,
Brimming with stories and quotes.

Freya S
Grade 3A


Do oysters sneeze
Beneath the seas?
Oysters are creatures
Without any features,
So how can they sneeze
Unless there's a breeze?
They’re without a purpose
Under the surface.

Freya S
Grade 3A

Water, water what do you do?
I make life for all of you.
I'm in ponds and rivers too,
I'm the rain and morning dew.

Freya S
Grade 3A

Cypress Street

I took a walk on Cypress Street,
The hot sidewalk beneath my feet.
But when I got there, what did my eyes meet?
No cypresses left on Cypress Street!
So tell the mayor next time we meet
To name the place Concrete Street.

Freya S
Grade 3A

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Grade 2-Students Portfolios

We love to read,we love to draw,we love to sing, we love to dance, we love to play, we love to ..................

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Grade I -Students Portfolio

Theme-Based Learning in Grade 1 Theme in Progress - The Plant World A family that eats together stays together! We gather to eat breakfast together. This is how school begins!

Look-Listen-Think-Speak Circle time; time to discuss and share important things. What makes us happy? What makes us sad? Do we know what it means to be kind?

Assessment Time Today, it’s our English Unit Review. We ask many questions that help us learn to listen, understand and express ourselves.

Let the Games Begin! We do 15 minutes of PE Fitness using fun games, and exercises to make us strong and co-ordinated on the Adventure Course or the climbing wall, and then our favourite, a 20 minute fast game of soccer followed by a 5 minute warm down /relaxation exercise.

Math in the Real World As part of our theme we learnt how fruits and vegetables grow. Today in Math we are setting up shop to sell vegetables and fruits. The teacher gives us 50 paise, and 1, 2 & 5 rupee coins. We are very busy, making sales, calculating, writing out bills and keeping track of accounts. I discover I am quite good at handling money. Can’t wait to visit the market with my parents!

Art Attack! Ma’am helps us put final touches to our plant journal covers. I love to write my observations in it.

Learning about our Beautiful Environment We went on a field trip to a nearby farm last Friday. Today, in English, we complete our poems on “The Little Seed”. Later we will go and visit the plants we are growing in our little patch near the football field and record our observations in our journals.

The Journey of a Banana This week, we learnt about the journey of a banana from the farm to the table. We pretended we were monkeys and mimed climbing trees and eating bananas. Today we are exploring how bananas grow. Tomorrow, we’re going to try out a recipe for Banana Split in the dining hall!

Competing is Fun! Today we made teams for the upcoming Tournament of Minds. All the houses will compete with each other to win the trophy… music, dance, art, debates and quizzes, elocution, storytelling, clay modelling… each one of us will get a chance to show what we are best at. Snack time and off we go home. Whew! Lots of work…but school’s fun!

Inventure Academy

Inventure Academy was established by the India Learning Foundation in 2005. We offer Kindergarten to Senior Secondary school education, within guidelines set by the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examination (CISCE) and University of Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate (UCLES).

Inventure Academy is a progressive, learner- focused school that values the individual and believes in nurturing self-esteem, confidence and independent thinking, while also encouraging, self-discipline and responsibility. We have leveraged the best practices of both traditional and contemporary schools of thought in our specially designed curriculum.

We have created an atmosphere that is stimulating and also warm, open, caring and community-centric. Our brightly lit corridors, atriums and classrooms resonate with creative energy - showcased on the notice boards, in classrooms, in the murals created by students, and in the buzz of activity. Our programs allow children to explore, question and express their learning of the world around them.

Our sound educational approach is the result of investment in the finest pedagogical resources in the country today. We have on board, teachers and advisors from diverse disciplines, who bring commitment, creativity and stability to our efforts. Together, we represent the changing face of education today.

Our core purpose and values anchor us, while also providing us guidelines for change. quality objectives and strategies are put in place to ensure that we are able to execute our plans effectively.