Collaborative Article-Project

Author:

Armine Abrahamyan

Margaret Sargsyan

Part 1

Margaret Sargsyan presents:

Let’s speak about an experience in educational collaboration: an experience which was appreciated and which inspired all the participants.

Everybody’s enthusiasm, gratification and being interested in collaboration is important. According to the Educomplex Calendar the Review “We are reading Teryan, Tumanyan, Charents” starts in February-March. But that doesn’t mean that we didn’t read or didn’t read enough of these authors before the review. Now the learners of different ages are reading the works by these authors, and the project is rather a demonstration of unity. The learners of different ages beginning from pre-school groups to high schools and the college they read, perform, sing, analyze, criticize, paint and create their own Tumanyan. It is clear that they read different things but the spirit and literary aesthetics is the same: joint, combining, making the literary piece become yours. We were discussing the project in our Readers' Club. We were speaking about its shortcomings and possible developments, and then the discussion got a new continuation: the learners wanted to speak about fairy tales. We mentioned that we hadn't read fairy tales for rather a long time, and hadn't reviewed our ideas about fairy tales. We arranged to have a discussion-role playing-show on this topic at our next club meeting. It was decided that Vika Markosyan and I should conduct the discussion. The symbolism of fairy tales, reflection of what is national in fairy tales, wandering topics and heroes interested us a lot. The topic is extensive, liable to studying but not yet studied. At some stage we had an idea to talk to our junior friends about the fairy tales they had read, and this gave birth to our master class lessons with them.                            

Learners' working groups were formed, and there were learners who preferred working individually. The first attempt was carried out by Vika Markosyan, Davit Khalatyan, Liana Gevorgyan and Fred Sahakyan. The topic was the Fairy Tale  particularly Tumanyan's Fairy Tales. The working group chose the school and the age group of learners they would like to work with. Their chose Armine Abrahamyan's fifth graders.

They began working on the project presentation, its objectives and ways of working. On the appointed day the working group went to the primary school. The learners themselves are telling about the process and work results. Here is what Fred Sahakyan writes: “Vika made performances of fairy tales. Each of us worked with a separate group of primary school learners. My group decided that we should perform Tumanyan’s Unlucky Panos. We were short of time so we decided to perform only the beginning and the end. The learners were wittier than me and were able to self-organize. To tell the truth, I didn't organize anything, I was just trying to make them work less noiselessly. I was delighted with our learners. Each of us was able to stage a fairy tale in a short period of time. Everything could be explained with one word “Creativeness”. Each learner was spontaneously making up a thing. I was delightfully looking at them and then it turned out that it was time for us to leave. They met us with smiles and parted with us with smiles. We went to Mother School in high spirits.”     

Davit Khalatyan’s video film on the event was an interesting summary.  

The learners were actively responding, sending materials, pictures, and Vika Markosyan summarized this stage of the project: “I have been receiving letters for 12 days. The content was dreamlike, illusive and all about fairy tales. The learners who wrote so much and published these letters and their coordinator Ms Armine are worth being thanked as much. When we began the project, we intended to work only with the learners of Grade 5.1, but it happened so that Grade 4.2 also joined in, and the results were more than we had expected...”   

Nare Ghalamkaryan started and implemented another project “Games with Tumanyan's Fairy Tales”. Nare prepared for the project scrupupously, and that is typical of her. She worked on the project for a long time, read a lot, reviewed what she had read before. She chose the learners of Grade 2.3 of Junior Fine Art School. I knew about the content of the project: we had discussed it, made changes, agreed on the choice of the fairy tales, but I was not aware of the prize surprise. Nare had had a creative approach on this matter. She had made an interesting surprise box for each learner. The learner-participants and Armine Topchyan have already responded. Nare summarized the project and said that she would continue working on the project with other groups of learners. Let’s wait for the next event and, consequently, new responses.

Nare writes: “The aim of the game is to understand how much Tumanyan is understood by this age group of children at primary school, what the effectiveness of conducting lessons in the form of games is, what advantages and disadvantages this method has.

The game rules: the game has been constructed on the basis of the American game Treasure Hunt . Questions have been formed. Here is a sample question:

What will the ending of the fairy tale be? A) The king’s belly is torn, and the rooster frees itself. (Manik poghosyan) B)The king eats the rooster and the rooster shuts up. (Elina Simonyan) C) The king makes the rooster his servant. (Irina Apoyan) As we see the answers follow the question. Each answer has its corresponding teacher. In case the learner chooses the right answer, he/she is led to the right teacher and the latter asks  the learner the next question. The last question leads them to the reading hall where they are to find a word in Tumanyan’s book of fairy tales following the instructions and then they are to look it up in the dictionary. They find the final note on that page of the dictionary which leads the winning team to the pottery studio to get their prize. The prize was a packet of sweets which they would certainly like.”  

Emma Isakhanayan planned a creative reading game for the learners of Middle School. The preparatory work was long and concrete. At first she met the Middle School learners and explained the game rules. The game had three stages. During the first stage the learners had to read a poem by Tumanyan and try to understand the main idea of the poem and express it in a short written form. The second stage is based on quiz questions. Each team is to answer 5 questions on various topics as quickly as possible. Certain points are given for right answers. The third stage is a technological one.  The participant teams are to create physical images of different literary heroes using wires, stones, clay, glue, paper, thread, buttons, fabric and other things. They get points for their creations. The team having gained the most points is the winner and can get the prize. What can be highlighted here? Our High School learner can independently plan a project with certain aim and objectives and then realize it. The interesting process of the lesson is proved with the collages created by the Middle School learners and the positive responses made by Mariet Simonyan and learners.                      

 Some projects are still in process.

What do I highlight and why? I give much importance to mixing with each other and collaborative joint work. This work gives an opportunity to get to know the younger friends better, to value and assess our own achievemnts, to collaborate within an educational project, to listen to, help and support one another.   

Towards the May Gathering

Within the framework of the May Gathering we are beginning a collaborative-experimental working project with Armine Abrahamyan and the fifth grade learners of Primary School-garden.

 

Part 2

Armine Abrahamyan presents:

Collaboration as an active manifestation of unity

I was encouraged the moment I got a suggestion of collaboration from my colleague Margaret Sargsyan and her students known to me through media, Vika Markosyan, Fred Sahakyan, Davit Khalatyan and Liana Gevorgyan. I was sure that my interested and good learners would respond in the same way. The arranged meeting took place. We met within the project “Three apples off the sky …”. Yes, our High School learners surprised and really interested us as they were mysterious and interesting like fairy tale apples.

A group of learners of Grade 5.1 are telling about their impressions: “I like collaborating with senior students. I think that they gave me an incredibly good example. They were very well-prepared and they managed to do everything…. I enjoyed our lesson. We disclosed the secrets of various tales, made friends with senior students, and we also managed to do group work. The senior students were well-prepared and they helped us during group work. I wish we worked with our elders more often. I think they will also be encouraged and try to be more literate and serve us a good example….” Ellada Babayan  

“First of all it was a very interesting and different lesson. I learned to speak freely to elder friends. I have understood that I have to read a lot and listen to others. On that day I decided to read a lot so that some day I could visit the learners younger than me. Our group performances were the most interesting on that day because we managed to perform a tale within five minutes. We made new friends and learned new things. I want such lessons with interesting new people to be organized more often.” Grigor Arakelyan

“Several high school learners visited us a few days ago. They had an interesting lesson with us. I liked the contest organized by them. Thanks to this contest we assimilated the fairy tale “Nazar the Brave”  very well. Talking to them was very useful, and we understood that we had to learn a lot of things from them. I wish our meetings with our elder friends to be more often.” Respectfully, Tigran Loretsyan

Collaboration with a group of capable and gifted people would certainly be effective and perspective. Just from the very beginning of our first meeting I witnessed creative, freely thinking and quick-witted learners’ mutually beneficial collaboration. I was impressed by Vika Markosyan's daring and well-organized speech and manners, Davit Khalatyan's circumspectness and artisticism, Fred Sahakyan's emotional delightness expressed after each opinion of his junior friends, and, finally, Liana Gevorgyan's camera work let alone her almighty look... Isn't this the result of true pedagogy when the teacher has nothing to do but to observe and be delighted with the learners of different age groups so harmoniously collaborating with each other without being inferior to each other in any skills and filling up each other's gaps? I was immensely impressed... What did I have to do? I only had to collect and edit my learners' works. But the most important thing for me had already taken place.                            

What do I highlight and why?

I think that any collaboration is useful for both the teacher and the learner, because collaboration is first of all an opportunity to act together and to get to know each other better. Implementation of joint projects not only creates a natural link among the teachers and learners in different schools of the Educomplex, but it also makes the continuity and enhancement of author pedagogy in the Educomplex more prominent. It promotes sharing experiences, testing new subject syllabuses and educational projects. Learners are ensured that the roles of skills and knowledge transmitters and receivers, the roles of learners and teachers may constantly change. They get a real opportunity to transmit their knowledge and experience, and in the result of this they gain new skills: they learn by teaching. Finding themselves in the shoes of teachers they come across with some problems existing in the process of teaching (disciplinary, methodological) they find appropriate solutions or make important conclusions.              

Towards the May Gathering

Being open and well-informed has always been and is the main and obvious advantage. How do we use this advantage? Do we know each other well enough? To what extent do the teachers and learners of different age groups collaborate with one another? What unites and separates us? I think that each Sebastatsi should try to find the answers to these questions. The most effective way of new achievements, self-correction and self-perfection is an open and straightforward collaboration. The 10th annual May Gathering for me and my learners distinguishes itself with definite steps aimed at settling down these issues. We will accept any offer of collaboration and we ourselves will come up with such projects.  

 

 

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