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Friday, October 9, 2015

Visit to birds zoo with early year kids

The grace and beauty of birds give us simple aesthetic pleasure of enjoying. Diversity among their looks, color, their habits simply amazes us. Birds symbolize freedom for many because they fly with such ease. For some, it has spiritual qualities and evokes feelings of peace and tranquility.

Their exquisite plumage and vivacious songs enliven our sense of the magnificence and beauty of the world we share.

 Allah has created the birds, and their aerodynamic is a miracle of Allah.

In Quran, Allah says:
“Do they not see the birds suspended in mid-air up in the sky? Nothing holds them there except Allah. There are certainly signs in that for people who believe.” [Al-Qur’an: Surat An-Nahl (The Bee) – 16:79]

The way that birds comply with the principles of aerodynamics continues to astonish scientists. Using no form of trial and error, they cope with the laws of aerodynamics in the most perfect manner.

Few years ago, I heard about mini bird's zoo and got chance to locate that place which was situated at Sonargaon Road. I was amazed to see variety of birds at this privately owned zoo. There are various kind of rear and expensive birds which you cannot find anywhere else in Bangladesh.
As an educationist I believe that connecting with nature is the best way to teach kids. Nature itself is a teaching tool which can be effectively used by teachers.

We planned our visit to 'The Bird Zoo" with a small group of early year kids. Students were very excited learning about 'birds' in literacy, Science, or Bangla language classes.
Teachers told them stories, rhymes, facts about birds.

Our goal was to create an opportunity to learn about diversity in nature, Geography (relating our local birds to migrating or foreign birds), food chain ie, what they eat, prey, predators etc.
I was simply amazed to see so many vibrant colors in variety of birds. Chirping of birds was really loud when we entered into the wide open space of zoo. Our kids noticed their food which was served in their cages and it consisted carrots, apple, grains, nuts etc. We learned that birds are omnivores that eat seeds, nuts, fruit and insects. Some tropical birds eat small lizards and animals.

By visiting bird's zoo, kids learn about "environmental responsibility" for example, how environmental catastrophes, natural or man-made, can impact birds. As a result, we hope that children will learn to be more environmentally savvy in order to protect different bird species and their habitats.

Owner of the zoo, Dr. Abdul Wadud has a large collection of exotic foreign birds. The scarlet macaw, hahns macaw, Bourke's parakeet, rainbow lory, sun conure, African grey parrot, rock pebbler western rosella, port lincoln, electus parrot, kakariki, eastern rosella, chattering lory and black-capped-lory are some of the species in his collection.

The blue and gold macaws are the prime attraction of the zoo. These are the largest and gaudiest of all parrots, familiar worldwide as show birds. The highly intelligent and beautifully colored Macaw species come from deep within the Amazon rain-forest. The pattern of dark lines on the face of these parrots is unique to each individual bird.

How this mini zoo was started?

Rainbow Rosella
Dr Wadud's grandfather was a forest officer. Sometimes he visited the forest with his grandfather and observed birds. The bird chirping and twitting made him happy. Sometimes he used to draw birds in the pages of his notebooks instead of doing homework.

After finishing his academic career from Dhaka University he devoted his life for preserving various species of birds, especially exotic birds. He is a prominent bird specialist of our country who has been actively involved in collecting and preserving birds for the past two decades.

blue and gold macaws

National Bird of Bangladesh:
The Doel is the national bird of Bangladesh. The Magpie Robins are mostly known in Bangladesh as the Doel. Doel is a Bengali word.  The color of the male bird is a combination of black and white.

Many people keep the birds as pets in their homes. In Dhaka, Katobon is the most famous place to buy various kind of birds such as Bojrica, Fizz, Love birds, Pocatello, Java Sparrow, Parrot, Myna, Pigeon etc.
Australian Love Bird is a very popular species. Besides, Macao, Gray bird are very expensive species and these rare and expensive birds delivered upon advance order. Birds are mainly imported from India, Pakistan, Australia and China.

Bird watching as a hobby:

A bird watching hobby can be adopted by anyone as you can watch birds anywhere you like - even in your own backyard. those that take up a bird watching hobby are fascinated by different species of birds, their behavior, their color and migration patterns. Depending on which part of the country you live, you can see different types of birds every season as they migrate from north to south.

Importance of bird watching/Observing:

Bird watching also involves serious study of physiology, behavior and the role of birds in the ecosystem that sustains life.
Studying birds can teach kids great secondary skills, such as:
  1. Observation skills to find birds around their locality.
  2. Listening skills to identify birds by their songs 
  3. Deduction when comparing two challenging bird species 
  4. Research skills for following clues to a bird’s identity (linking to habitat)
We should not forget that birds are not just for enjoyment, but also because birds and wildlife need friends who care enough to protect them.

Few of 'Earth House Alternative School' pictures:

In Science class kids learning parts of the birds (before bird's zoo visit)
Bangla writing after story telling, relating to 'Bird' theme
Excitement of getting ready for visit to bird's zoo

Monday, May 18, 2015

Water play on a hot day at 'Earth House'

Today it was a hot day and perfect occasion for a 'Water Play'. Under hot, shining sun, kids enjoyed playing with water. The ground looked like a battle field where kids were shouting, running and throwing water at each other with their water guns.

We know that play is essential for children’s development and early learning. It helps children to develop and improve their gross and fine motor skills, co-ordination and concentration.

Importance and learning benefits of water play for kids:

Playing with water fosters learning in all developmental areas. It provides opportunities for children to experiment with math and science concepts, strengthen their physical skills, advance their social and emotional skills, and enhance language development.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

An adventure and learning tour of Earth House School

Earth House- Kashimpur (Gazipur District) was created few years back "to be a place where learning in natural environment takes place" 
Learning can be fun when it is integrated with play or leisure activities and creating links with real life situations and 'Earth House at Kashimpur is the place where it happens.

Our Friday 8 May 2015, trip was part of 'Adventure Journey' program for 'Duke of Edinburgh Awards' and as being an award leader, I was excited too.
Earth House- Kashimpur
We left Dhaka at 7.30 am (morning) and reached there at 9.00 am and the first view of the place was enough to refresh our minds and souls. After breakfast we were ready to explore the place and do some educational activities. The first part was to gather the group of our children and ask them to follow teacher's instruction while following safety rules.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Story of a travel and learning- Part 2

Manali (Himachal Pradesh)Tour:

Manali is a hill station nestled in the mountains of the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh near the northern end of the Kullu Valley, at an altitude of 2,050 m (6,726 ft) in the Beas River Valley. It is located in the Kullu district, about 270 km (168 mi) north of the state capital, Shimla.

This small town, with a population of 8,096, is the beginning of an ancient trade route to Ladakh and from there over the Karakoram Pass on to Yarkand and Khotan in the Tarim Basin.
It has become a tourist attraction in recent years.

Manali welcomed us in morning 9am with cold breeze
The climate in Manali is cold during winters, and moderately cool during summers. We visited Manali during first week of April, and it was cold there. Weather is very uncertain, as within few minutes, you can feel warm sun light and other few minutes, rain starts with cold wind.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Story of a travel and learning -Part 1

Someone said 'We wander for distraction, but we travel for fulfillment'. We four people traveled for around 15 days in neighbor country 'India' but cannot say for sure 'if we could feel fulfillment (deep inside us) or not',  but I can say for sure that this long trip gave freshness and vigor to our mind and souls.
I would start my post by referring to more quotes:
  • “Travel makes one modest. You see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.” – Gustave Flaubert
  • “The use of traveling is to regulate imagination with reality, and instead of thinking of how things may be, see them as they are.” – Samuel Johnson
  • “Travel and change of place impart new vigor to the mind.” – Seneca
Our travel plan was discussed few months ago, when my husband felt that he needed further medical checkup at Calcutta. We Bangalis frequently visit our neighbor country India to avail medical treatment and our closest and first destination is Calcutta.
I have visited Inida two times before, but it was long ago (once 15 and then about 12 years ago). Both times I could travel Calcutta and Darjeeling. This time our plan was different from the past ones. Our nephew searched online and found a ready made plan (many travel agents offers these kind of plans). It was a twelve days package including travel to Calcutta, Delhi, Agra, Shimla, Manali etc.
Manali (picture taken with a DSLR camera) 

Friday, January 16, 2015

Acupressure in classroom

'Use of Acupressure in classroom' may seem a very strange phenomenon, but it can help us dealing with the children having learning difficulties. During many years of my teaching I tried to apply variety of techniques to make my teaching effective and manage my classroom in the best possible way. For example applying 'Brain gym' exercises in my classroom proved a real success, as my early year students were more focused and less distracting. Acupressure therapy or massage is another alternative technique which can help children achieve metal and emotional health and create a healthier environment of learning.

A few words about Acupressure:
Acupressure is an alternative therapy developed over 5,000 years ago in China. It uses precise finger placement and pressure over specific points along the body. These points follow specific channels, known as meridians. Acupressure therapy can be used to relieve pain, reduce tension in muscles, improve circulation and promote deep states of relaxation. Acupressure can make you think clearer, be more creative and powerful.
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