What is common between Edison, Wright Brothers, Mark Twain, Charles Dickens, G.B.Shaw and H.G.Wells? Well, they are all famous personalities and they all are also school drop-outs! Each and every one of the above eminent persons in that list dropped out of school aged 11- 14 and yet they had illustrious careers.

Does this mean we should endorse dropping out of school or shirking academics? No way! It just makes us a question – “Is education the only important thing for students?”

Education and Its meaning

Education is lately associated with  ‘academics’ and synonymous with books, exams, marks and ranks. Today it is all about cramming, learning by rote and just stuffing long-winded answers into the exam paper.

Education has become a rat race with competitive exams for each and every field. Children are forced to fill their heads with the information they have totally no clue about. For instance, Indian schools force students to learn about European or World history without enlightening them about the history of their motherland!

Even after all this memorizing and poring over books, schools churn out children who are far off from meeting benchmarks of self-confidence or impressive personality. Most of the children lack in confidence, communication and lack basic social or life-skills.

Yet another drawback in the current system of education is its lack of focus on morality. Children today are more disrespectful, arrogant, or wrongly diverted than ever before. The percentage of obedient and well-behaved students in a school is just a handful.

Is this the education we are aiming at for the future citizens of our country?

Education means ‘imparting inputs of information for the overall betterment of the individual’.

This should include instilling moral, ethical and social values in children.

True Education

In the days of yore, India had the system of ‘Gurukul’ where the student resided with the teacher. He assisted him, served him and did even menial duties to receive education from the teacher. This concept was not to enslave children or extract menial labour out of them. The idea of the ‘Gurukul’ system was to induce ‘obedience, humility, respect and discipline’ in children.

True education should include moral lessons in its curriculum apart from mere academics. The following aspects are a must for today’s children.

  1. Character

Children should be drilled this information-

“When wealth is lost, nothing is lost;

When health is lost, something is lost;

When character is lost, everything is lost!”

Yes, the integrity of character is a must for every individual. This includes many aspects like truth, honesty, loyalty, virtue and so on.

Children can be shown examples of men of illustrious characters like Sardar Patel or Lal Bahadur Shashtri to emulate and follow.

  1. Honesty

Children have come to think of the proverb – “Honesty is the best policy” as a title for essay writing. Teachers must emphasize the importance of honesty in daily life and also narrate real-life incidents to prove this.

Examples of honest police officers, politicians, and other people in a position of power can be narrated to inspire children. Honesty is a very important aspect of being a moral human being. Although there will be scenarios where you are forced to lie, it is best, to be honest as often as possible and not to cheat, lie, or deceive others. This should be required learning for students.

  1. Moral virtue

Every child must understand the importance of moral virtue and fidelity. Staying true to one’s family and partner in life is called moral virtue. Faithfulness is extremely important in today’s society, and you should not hide anything from your partner. This will be very useful later on in the student’s life. Children can be taught the stories from Hitopadesha, Upanishads, and from great Indian epics like Ramayana and Mahabharata to prove this.

  1. Humility

Children must be taught to be humble in lives and not boast of their actions. Pride is an evil intruder in a noble mind. Children must be taught that humility means ‘acknowledging the contributions of others without thinking too much of oneself’. They must be taught that humility makes them extend their performance and achieve more results. this is because humility tells us that ‘if we are good, there is always someone better than us’.

  1. Discipline

Under discipline comes obedience, punctuality, neatness, perfection, and other traits.

Obedience is sadly lacking in today’s younger generation. Children must be taught that obedience does not mean submission but acceding to authority. They should be taught that ‘one who follows today is bound to lead tomorrow’.

Punctuality is another thing which children do not follow today. They must be taught that every second they lose now is going to cost them dearly. this should be illustrated by real-life incidents counting minutes or seconds.

A famous proverb says ‘Cleanliness is next to godliness’. Unfortunately,  children of today are more keen on sporting style and fashion, rather than focussing on cleanliness. They must be taught that every person is judged by their appearance. They must understand that cleanliness of the self and workplace speaks volumes of their character.

Perfection is another point worth teaching today’s children. A job half-done is better not done. This must be emphasized and illustrated.

  1. Social & Interpersonal Skills.

Children must be taught about unity and team spirit. While leadership is an admirable quality, it is unity and team spirit that works in the long run. Illustrate this with examples. Students should be taught to communicate with others and work with them. Everyone has less work to do and the work will get done faster. Group projects are a good way to make students work with their fellow classmates.  

The point is that simply studying books and being book smart is great, but not enough. Students should be street smart as well and be educated on character and behaviour. All the above factors sum up the aspect of moral education. This should be made a part of today’s syllabus to achieve a better tomorrow.

However, education and studies are still important for students. Let’s Practise is dedicated to helping children learn in a better manner. We have practise sheets and model papers for math, science, English, and other languages. We have condensed the information to make it easily digestible for the students. You can contact us right now to begin!

 

What child would like to sit and stare at a blackboard rather than play a game online or romp outdoors? None.

Children often prefer games to school. This is because games, both indoor and outdoor are interactive and engaging. Children always like to do something while all they do in a classroom is sit and listen.

Listening to long lectures from a teacher is too monotonous and children may get easily distracted.  Then how to ensure that children stay attentive in class? How do we make children absorb all the inputs of classroom learning? How to transform classroom teaching to an interactive one? The only answer is technology.

How can classrooms use technology?

Classrooms must use technology in order to grab the attention of the students and make them retain what is taught in class. Technology today is highly interactive through the use of visual and multimedia and makes academics engrossing.

Let us look at some of the options of how classrooms can use technology.

  1. Powerpoint Presentations for Lessons

Certain subjects like history or geography can be fact-oriented and hard to retain. Children find it difficult to remember dates, details of wars and battles, names of geographical locations etc. Similar is the case with Biology too. Learning about the botanical and zoological names of plants and animals, associating them with the right species, remembering their characteristics, understanding human anatomy – a child’s head would definitely spin!

How to make it easier then?  A smart teacher can present these lessons as Powerpoint slides. Pictorial descriptions of historical events, geographical locations or biological data are more easily engrained in children’s minds.

Powerpoint presentations are visually communicating and can incorporate pictures, charts and graphs. They can even be copied or transferred as files for students to review and revise later.The teacher can use a projector to zoom it on screen or display on the laptop or iPad itself.

Powerpoint presentations are excellent alternatives to oral lessons.

  1. Allocate Assignments as Tasks Involving Online Research.

Every child has a passion for exploring. Tap this instinct of the child to make him go on an online search or WebQuest.

For instance, if the English lesson is a poem by William Wordsworth, allot an assignment where they have to make a biography of the poet or list his other works. Give them a deadline and ask them to submit it online. Award them marks for originality. Plagiarism can be avoided this way and children will also learn the values of punctuality and authenticity.

  1. Conduct an Online Poll to Develop their Reasoning and Decision-Making Skills

An online poll requires the student to think or dwell on the topic, analyze, reason and decide. This is a good practice in decision making.

Deploy an online poll on a topic in the subject lessons. It could be in English like  Should poems rhyme? or in History-“Was India right in agreeing for partition?”. Insist that every student should participate in the poll and support their answer with a valid reason award marks for the most credible logic.

Online polls create a feeling of participation and excite students immensely.

  1. Create an Assignment Activity Involving Blogging

Children have to learn the act of expressing themselves right through digital media. Assign essay work as blogging topics and ask each student to create a blog. Award marks for content, images, creativity and research. Motivate the children by publishing or sharing the article on prominent websites.

  1. Use Multimedia Videos to Explain Concepts

Math and Science are the storms looming over any child’s academic schedule. Children find it hard to understand theorems or geometrical constructions unless they are illustrated stepwise. This is possible only through multimedia animated videos. Imagine watching the construction of a quadrilateral visually. It would definitely get registered better in the child’s mind.

Similar is the case for physical phenomena and chemical experiments. Watching dispersion of light through a prism or a neutralization reaction would definitely make the child recollect it better.

Videos help the child to visually see, understand and remember stepwise the concepts illustrated.

  1. Initiate Online Classroom Sessions

To break the monotony of being confined to a classroom within 4 walls, initiate online classroom sessions.

Having an online classroom session allows students to break free from the classroom mindset. They also learn how to use web tools in joining the discussion forums.

Classroom online helps the student to educate himself in an informal atmosphere which is sometimes conducive to learning.

  1. Offer Recap of Lessons via Podcasts

For students who missed your classes or who wish to have a recap of their lessons, this podcasting feature is particularly useful.

Teachers can create a video of their lessons and upload it as a blog.  They can give an individual id and password for students only through which this podcast can be accessed. Students who wish to have a view of the blog must be asked to register online and use the facility on specific days.

blog help the students to supplement their missed portions or have a recap of the attended ones.

Technology is a valuable tool in the hands of the teacher. If used wisely, it can make classroom learning – informative, interesting, interactive and highly resourceful!

Here at Let’s Practise, we try to make learning fun and innovative. We have practice sheets and papers for many different subjects, from math to science to languages. Just take a look at all the many subscription plans that you can choose from. Just contact us today to get started.

Today’s children are at the crossroads of life. Technological advancement and heavy educational input meet at this crucial intersection. On one hand, technology has opened up wide avenues of both learning and entertainment to children. On the other hand, academic study-loads are back-breaking for kids. Both parents and children are in a fix as to keep up with both technology and studies.

A better solution is to educate your child using educational apps. This is the optimum approach as you are harnessing technology in a positive fashion.

What are Educational Apps?

Educational Apps are software applications created solely for the purpose of education. They can be downloaded onto your desktop or even mobile and accessed on the go. Educational Apps are developed individually for various subjects like Mathematics, Science or even Languages.

With interactive learning, concepts are explained using visual and graphic inputs. At the end of the session, a quick revision helps in the recap. Exercises are provided for practice and tests are conducted online to assess the performance of the student.

Take look at the top 7 Educational apps for kids aged 6- 8:

  1. Marble Math Junior

Math is one subject kid have to be strong on at a really young age. Build a strong foundation for your kid in Math using Marble Math Junior.

A younger version of Marble Math, this App has a highly interactive game which teaches your kid the fundamentals of Maths. It has a marble maze through which the kid has to find his way by solving Maths problems.

With easy instructions and a clear voice-over, players can just touch the screen to hear and solve problems. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, Kindle and Android, Marble Math is the best bet to keep your child engaged with schoolwork even on vacation or on the move. With exciting rewards that win the kid over, Marble Math is a bundle of Math Learning plus Fun.

  1. Geo Walk 3D World Fact Book

A mini-encyclopedia for kids is  Geo Walk 3D World Fact Book. Spin a globe and touch a spot to learn more about the city/country from A-Z. Geography is at the grasp of your kid when he plays Geo-Walk 3D World Fact Book. Not stopping with Geography, it gives inputs on natural science, talking about animals and plants as well.

History is also dealt with by Geo-Walk 3D World Fact Book in the form of historic events and personalities. Compatible with all Apple devices, Geo-Walk 3D World Fact Book is a handy tool for your kid any day.

  1. Shake-a-Phrase

A fun and engaging App for your kid, Shake-a-Phrase has a collection of 1700 words and definitions. Watch your kid widen his vocabulary as he uses Shake-a-Phrase in 4 engaging colour schemes. Upper elementary schools can also use this App to improve their grammar and creative writing skills.

This Apple-device compatible App has a structured approach and works on 3 levels – Vocabulary, Imaginative skill and Grammar. Easy-to-use and hard-to-resist, shake-a-Phrase will surely shake your child out of boredom.

  1. Thinkrolls

Rated 2nd among US App Stores, Thinkrolls is a series of science and logic games with two modes – early for young kids and hard mode for kids from 5-8, Thinkrolls takes your kid through puzzles and mazes kindling his thinking ability.

Available in English, Chinese, Dutch, French, German, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Malay, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, Thai versions, Thinkrolls is an Apple compatible Educational App ideal for your kid.

  1. The Robot Factory

Kids love Robots and your kid is surely going to like this one. The Robot Factory helps your kid create machines, locomotors, G-Force mixers, Zephyr mechanisms, hydrostatic tentacles and even basic exoskeletons.

Available for all Apple devices and featuring in around 59 language versions, The Robot Factory will surely get your child engaged productively and learn the fundamentals of robotics.

  1. Duolingo

The best Learning App for learning foreign languages, Duolingo is easy, smart, interactive and well-structured. starting from basics, it teaches your child conversational language skills at the same time enforcing phonetics.

With tests and revisions at each level, Duolingo is vouched for by even adults as equal to a university degree. Offering Spanish, French, German, Italian, Dutch, Irish and Danish, Duolingo is free to download, highly effective and easy-to-use.

  1. Lets Practise

Lets Practise provides Practice material for CBSE, ICSE and SSC Boards from Standard 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th. They have Question Papers, worksheets, Revision Sheets, Multiple Choice Online Assessments with detailed solutions prepared by qualified teachers and experts. There are over 4 Lakh questions in the database customized as per the curriculum followed by schools.  The purpose of this app is to inculcate the habit of everyday practice in children. This will help identify and remedy problem areas while the concept is freshly taught in school.

The above top 7 educational apps for kids have been chosen with great care to cover various subjects so that your child can perform best in all areas. Introduce these Apps to your kids and watch them make the best of both academics and technology for years to come.

You can download the Lets Practise app from the Google Play Store by clicking here. Be sure to contact us if you have any doubts or queries.

 

Teachers are like potters. They mould the raw clay of the minds of the children into beautiful pots or figurines that last a lifetime. The effort they take in moulding the mind of the child is reflected in his personality throughout life.

Like artisans chiseling a rock to carve an exquisite sculpture, teachers chisel away unwanted flaws in the mindset of the child to transform him into a creation of art.

The role of the teachers in child development is highly commendable. It is important that we understand why we should appreciate teachers, When children enter school, their minds are like a clean slate – fresh and impressionable. The positive inputs and knowledge fed by the teachers make the child develop into a strong personality.

Not just academics, teachers play a vital role in inculcating moral values, ethics and integrity into the child. One instance of proof is the “conduct certificate” issued by schools and colleges for students. When they issue such a certificate, they must also understand the role they play in shaping the child’s character and conduct.

Eminent personalities like Dr. Abdul Kalam, former President of India have always attributed their success in life to their teachers. Even current celebrities like Bill Gates of Microsoft, Hillary Swank of Hollywood, American Poet Maya Angelou and our own Bipasha Basu of Bollywood have credited their teachers for their fame and status in life. Famous Anchor Oprah Winfrey and Former American President Bill Clinton to do not miss lauding the contribution of their teachers at every interview. In fact, Clinton’s Teacher Mr. Sputlin was the person who identified  Clinton for his leadership qualities and convinced him that he was wholly capable of organizing things.

When you are climbing uphill, you need a stick to hold on; A teacher is that support. If for some reason, you slip and fall, can you, in any way blame the teacher? This is what most of us do. If there is any folly on the part of the student, we blame teachers.

Only a complete comprehension of the role of a teacher can make us realize their value. Let us look at five reasons why we should appreciate teachers.

  1. Teachers educate students.

Academic education is not child’s play. Mastering the rules of grammar for a language or the concepts of science or mathematics is a laborious task. Understanding alone is not sufficient. Trying to explain this information in a simple and easily understandable manner is more Himalayan.  Teachers do all this and more-

  • They teach fundamentals
  • Explain concepts
  • Clarify doubts
  • Formulate and conduct tests
  • Assess performance
  • Review results
  • Summarize the information
  • Improvise teaching techniques

The list is endless.

  1. They guide students

Teachers have been known to identify and tap the potential of the student. Teachers interact with students regularly and thus are able to assess their strengths and weaknesses. So they are able to easily divert the student into the right path, channel their energy and make them focus on their targets.

  1. They inspire students

Teachers lead by example. Often teachers are living role models for students. Children often imbibe the positive qualities of teachers. Great masters have had even greater teachers. Aristotle- the Father of Science, was taught by Plato. Plato himself was the student of the legendary philosopher Socrates.

  1. Teachers counsel students

Teachers do not limit themselves to the academic field of duty. Instead, they go a step further and take a personal interest in the lives of students. They devote time and patience to listen to children about their personal and family issues and counsel them accordingly. Teachers must have a psychological bent of mind in reading the student, understanding his problems and advising them accordingly.

  1. Teachers motivate their students

It is not enough to just coach, guide or inspires the students. Teachers provide unflinching support and motivate the students when their spirits sag. The faith of the teacher in a student makes him triumph when all else fails.

Teachers are instrumental in identifying the spark of genius or talent in us. They are the winds that fan the fires of passion. They are the light that leads us into the tunnel of life. It is a time we understand why we should appreciate teachers and honour them accordingly.

Our own Teacher-President Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan was such a living example and inspiration as a teacher that his birthday on September  5th is celebrated as ‘Teacher’s Day in India’. Let’s Practise is dedicated to improving the lives of kids and to enhancing the respect for teachers world wide.

 

Grammar is the backbone of any good conversation, writing or speech and this fact is universally applicable for any language. The grammatical usage of a person speaks volumes about his/her education, upbringing, social class etc. Then why take chances? Let us sharpen our Grammar skills to improve our verbal and written communication.

Like any other language, English too has its own grammar rules. What one should ideally do is identify the thumb rule of the particular context and stick to it, making note of the exceptions, if any. The only way to improve your grammatical strength is to make a conscious effort to work on your grammar literally, every day.

Let us begin by looking at some of the basic errors we commit in the usage of English Grammar.

1.AGREEMENT OF THE VERB WITH THE SUBJECT:

The subject of a sentence is a NOUN- meaning a person, place or thing.

The VERB is usually an ACTION word that follows the noun- it tells us what the subject is doing, has done or going to do.

For example- Peter ate his breakfast.

Here, ‘Peter’ is the SUBJECT and ‘ate’ is the verb in past tense.

Now the important THUMB RULE here is

THE VERB SHOULD AGREE WITH THE SUBJECT IN NUMBER.

Look at this simple table- it tells you how the verb has to agree with the subject.

Verb- to be        tense- present

Verb- to write         tense – present

Rule: SINGULAR SUBJECT TAKES ON A SINGULAR VERB.

PLURAL SUBJECT TAKES ON A PLURAL VERB.

Example: I am /You are/She is walking

They are walking.

  1. AGREEMENT OF THE VERB WITH SUBJECT FOR COLLECTIVE NOUNS

A collective noun is a term used to define a group of persons or objects as a single word.

Example: Crowd- a group of people

Some collective nouns are listed under:

Now the important THUMB RULE here is

ANY COLLECTIVE NOUN IS TAKEN AS A SINGULAR OBJECT AND MUST BE FOLLOWED BY A SINGULAR VERB.

For Example: An army of soldiers is passing by.

A bouquet is presented to every dignitary of the function.

  1. CONFUSION IN THE NUMBER OF THE SUBJECT WHILE USING “OF”

Generally, users of English make the common mistake of confusing themselves over whether the subject is singular or plural when “of” is used.

Example:

A shoal of fish looks colourful as it passes by.

Here “shoal” is a collective noun referring to a group of fish.

People often get confused becomes of the use of “of” after the subject. When the subject is followed by an “of”, learners assume the subject to become plural.

Now the important THUMB RULE here is

CHECK whether A COLLECTIVE NOUN appears BEFORE THE “OF”. Then it is SINGULAR.

Incorrect usage: A shoal of fish look colourful as they pass by.

Correct usage: A shoal of fish looks colourful as it passes by.

  1.  CORRECT VERB USAGE FOR 2 SINGULAR OBJECTS LINKED WITH

“EITHER/OR” & “NEITHER/NOR”

Sentences using “either/or” and “neither /nor” cause some confusion among learners. They are often unsure of how to use the following verb here.

Now the important THUMB RULE here is

WHEN 2 SINGULAR OBJECTS ARE LINKED USING “EITHER/OR” OR “NEITHER /NOR”, THE VERB WILL BE IN SINGULAR.

Incorrect usage:  Neither Sammy nor her mother are going to the party.

Correct usage: Neither Sammy nor her mother is going to the party.

Incorrect usage:  Either Philip or his dad are leaving today.

Correct Usage: Either Philip or his dad is leaving today.

  1. CORRECT VERB USAGE FOR 2 PLURAL OBJECTS LINKED WITH

“EITHER/OR” & “NEITHER/NOR”

When plural objects are used with “either/or” or” neither/nor”.

Now the important THUMB RULE here is

WHEN 2 PLURAL OBJECTS ARE LINKED USING “EITHER/OR” OR    “NEITHER /NOR”, THE VERB WILL AGREE WITH THE NOUN/PRONOUN THAT PRECEDES IT.

For example,

Neither the dogs nor the cat eats the food. – Here the verb “eats” is in agreement with the singular noun “the cat”.

Neither the cat nor the dogs eat the food – Here the verb “eat” is in agreement with the plural noun “the dogs”.

Keep these thumb rules in mind while you use nouns and verbs and surely, you will never go wrong.

English Grammar is like Algebraic Theorems- there are rules like theorems with exceptions like corollaries.

Just master the rules of English Grammar by memorizing them and use them wherever necessary. Like Math, you will always get it right.

Let’s Practise has a lot of study sheets and exam papers to help your child with their grammar. We assist students from 1st to 9th standard and have worksheets for CBSE, SSC, IGCSE, and ICSE Boards. You can check out the information about ICSE Board here.