Published: 10th February 2021
This DIET Lecturer from Gangavathi makes Maths models from wedding invitations, wooden sticks for government school kids
Kavitha Diggavi, a DIET lecturer at Gangavathi has been working to make Maths concepts easy for students and teachers by making models from invitation cards, wooden sticks and broken window panes
When children fear Mathematic and calculations, it is a teacher's responsibility to make the subject and concepts easy for students, believes Kavitha Diggavi, a lecturer at the District Institute for Education and Training (DIET) at Gangavathi in the district of Koppal. Last year, she was awarded the Best Teacher Award by the Karnataka Government for her unique methods and steps to teach Math at a Government High School in Gangavathi. Recognising her efforts in training the high school students for more than 17 years, the Government of Karnataka promoted her to the DIET department. Today, she trains students and teachers in other schools by teaching them some tricks to solve Math problems.
But what were the tricks? Well, that is an interesting story. Kavitha explains, "We observed that a lot of students in private schools get to learn concepts through experiential learning. But at the government schools, students come from poor families. I thought of ways to make Mathseasy for these students, but what could I do when the schools don't provide extra funds for our activities? That is when I noticed a bunch of wedding invitations that were lying on my table. I decided to make models like a cube, cuboid and so on out of these beautiful invitation cards rather than throwing them in the dustbin."
The very next day, Kavitha went to school and took the models she had made with her. The kids looked at her with curiosity and asked her what those were. She recalls, "I told them to open the chapter of Solid figures in Geometry and compare them. That day, I explained the concepts of area, volume, weight and more with the help of these models. Children related more easily to it."
While Kavitha was happy to see her students absorb the concepts easily, other teachers were surprised to see children waiting to attend Math class every day. "I would make different models for every chapter. Once the wedding season was done and dusted, I would look for broken wooden sticks, window panes and cartons to make models. I took them to schools and told children how they can make these models at home. Children started making models and showed it to their friends. That's how children in my government high school fell in love with the subject. Now, there are over 50 models in our school."
The word about Kavitha's models spread among other teachers and she went on exhibit her skills across other southern states representing Karnataka. She says, "Every year, teachers from across Karnataka whose skills in particular subjects are unique are selected to showcase their skills across different Southern states. I was selected six times continuously and visited different states including Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Goa and Kerala. During every visit, I ensured that my school children and I represent one unique concept in a unique way."
Though Kavitha was promoted to the DIET department a few months ago, her love for teaching students and making life easy for them continues to be the same. When the schools were closed for almost ten months during the lockdown, she and her husband conducted classes at her home for students for free. She says, "Except the schools, everything else had opened to improve the economy. Therefore, my husband, who is also a government school teacher decided to start free tuition classes for the students of our school. While he taught English and Social Science, I taught Mathematics. We maintained social distancing and wore masks even in our tuition classes. At least 50 students attended these classes. Now, schools have reopened but they visit us whenever they have doubts and as a teacher, I am available round the clock for them."