Distractions Abound

Today’s children are distracted very easily. At home, there is the smartphone, computer, TV, tablet, and all manner of electronic technology that ends up wasting their time. These devices should be monitored closely, as we have talked about earlier in Keeping Your Child Safe Online.

At school, distractions abound in the form of uninteresting lessons, other students, mismatched learning levels etc. Keeping children attentive in class and engaging them in educational activities has become a Himalayan task for teachers. Often times, the students are lazy, tired, disinterested, or just don’t feel like listening. To counter this, teachers have to think of innovative ways to keep children focused on their lessons and take special efforts to get them involved in class activities.

One way of ensuring complete student participation in class is to implement some exciting and experiential learning activities like the following to engage students.

6 Learning Activities to Engage Students

Children are interested in anything new. Teachers can use their own original learning activities or look for some tips from online practice learning sites which suggest some novel learning tasks. Keep your students on their toes. If they’re having fun, they won’t even realize that they are learning new things.

1. Out With One Word

Teachers can use this unique and exciting game to make children understand and summarize topics. This game is highly useful while explaining science concepts in class. Let us imagine a situation where you are explaining a chemistry lesson on acids and bases. Each student must express loudly one word which he registered from this lesson. Suppose the student shouts the word “neutralization”, he is asked to explain it in a line. This word cannot be repeated again and the next student has to come up with some other word relating to the lesson.

By this, the teacher understands how much the student has learned from the lesson and also has a chance to correct the student for anything any conceptual gaps. The other students also get to learn all the important keywords in the lesson. This game summarizes the lesson or concept as a bunch of keywords which makes it easy to remember.

2. Up or Down

Use these simple yet successful concepts in trying to make children understand the differences between two core areas. Let us think of a biology class where the teacher is trying to describe the differences between flowering and non-flowering plants. Mention a plant and let the children stand up if it is flowering and remain sitting for non-flowering. The same class can be carried out in the school garden as well. The students get to learn in nature and helps the students get some fresh air.

This is similar to asking students to raise their hands in they agree, but with a twist. This active game not only gives the children some exercise for their minds but their bodies too. This fun game also clearly helps the teacher to understand how well the class has grasped this concept.

3. For or Against

History, politics, law or economics are sometimes boring.  Enliven these subjects by introducing a point of debate in the lesson and ask the students to group themselves as “for” and “against”. Each student must put forth a point and the other team should oppose it. Give each team member a chance to speak on both the sides.

Topics like “Was demonetization necessary for India” or “Has India improved after independence?” are interesting topics that come up with spicy arguments and also help students to remember their lessons. Keep things friendly so it doesn’t get too heated. Invite guest speakers or entrepreneurs to speak about these subjects. Practical examples are better teachers than textbooks.

Alternatively, if it’s a small classroom, you can ask an opinionated question and have everyone in the class answer it one by one.

4. Sum It Up A-Z

This is a great game for summarizing and revising lessons. After completing a lesson, the teacher allots an alphabet to each student from A-Z. The student then starts to summarize the lesson with his a sentence beginning with his alphabet.

Of course, some letters like Q and X will be tricky, but this lesson becomes easy for the student to remember as they have summed it up with alphabets. Children also have lots of fun, helping their friends and coming up with one-liners.

5. Word Linking

Also known as ‘word building’, teachers can use this game for memory improvement and lesson revision. Take a topic like “photosynthesis”. The teacher begins the game with a word like “plants”.

Next, the student has to form a chain with the next word beginning with the ending letter “s”, like “sun”. The next student suggests the next word as “nutrient” and so on. This word-linking and word chain is fun and helps students to master the lesson.

6. Picture It Out

Full of fun, this game (also called ‘pictionary’) gives the class a visual representation of any topic. Like the debate, divide the class into 2 groups. Each group makes a list of 10 words pertaining to the lesson. A member from the first group draws a picture of a word from the list.

The other team gets 3 guesses on what word is being drawn. Next, the second team draws while the first one guesses. The game is basically dumb charades with drawings. It’s fun to watch the children doodle the keywords and have a hard time guessing them!

LetsPractise Will Engage Learning

Al the above activities are group-based and focused on learning. Although most of the examples were for science, they can be used and modified for other subjects as well. These activities are also aimed at maximum student participation and engagement. Think of such fun-filled yet focused learning activities to keep your class engrossed in studies.

LetsPractise is a practise-learning site that is valuable and vital for student engagement. LetsPractise is a group of parents and teachers, so we know how difficult it is to keep students engaged in today’s climate.

We have test papers for a multitude of subjects, school boards, and classes. Look at our learning plans if you don’t believe us. We can help students pass exams with flying colours. More than that, we focus on lifelong learning and permanent knowledge of the subject. Contact us now.

LetsPractise wishes you a Happy Children’s day!

8 Awesome Things You Can Do On This Diwali Instead of Bursting Crackers

It’s time to take a break from studies as Diwali rolls around! Diwali is a festive occasion of lights and colours. Children look forward to getting up early, wearing new clothes and above all, bursting crackers throughout the day. But not this year, as the Supreme Court has limited the time for bursting crackers in India.

Come on, children, why the long face? Diwali can still be fun without bursting crackers all day long. After all, the court’s ruling is only to prevent pollution and protect your health. So, let us all welcome this verdict and plan this Diwali differently. There are many great Diwali activities you can still perform.

Awesome Things to Do This Diwali Instead of Bursting Crackers

1. Visit Friends and Relatives

The Diwali period is usually hectic with most of the time spent in bursting crackers and eating sweets. Why not take time to visit your close relatives and friends? Diwali is the right occasion to seek the blessings of elders. Enjoy this festivity with family and friends and revel in the warmth of their love.

2. Clean the House

Elders clean the house and get rid of all the dust and dirt to purify the atmosphere and usher in the lights and glow into their homes. Why not lend them a helping hand in transforming your house to give off positive vibrations? Help your parents clean the house and decorate it with lights and flowers to welcome prosperity into your home.

You can also volunteer to clean up a neighborhood park or eliminate trash at the beach. Who knows? You might make some friends in the process.

3. Make Your Own Diwali Cards and Gifts

It’s time to get creative this Diwali! We all know that an item being handmade instantly increases its value. This Diwali, make your own special cards and gifts and send it to your friends and relatives. Add your own colours, shapes, and designs. Watch them beam with pleasure as they see your thoughtfulness. They will surely be touched by this kind gesture.

4. Brighten Up Your Home with Colours

Now that you’ve cleaned your house and created colourful cards, why not combine them and colour your house? Spruce up your abode. Decorate your home with rangoli and flowers and place earthen lamps everywhere. Your home will look like heaven on Earth, and will surely amaze any and all visitors.

5. Try Your Hand at Cooking

Diwali is a sweet festival, especially with all those delicious sweets that you can just gorge on. Instead of buying a box of sweets at a store, make this Diwali special through cooking the sweets. You can take pride in making them yourself.

Easy recipes like dry fruit balls, chocolate peda, and more can be done with a little adult help. We found these 15 recipes for sweets that you can make at home. Make sure you cook in a safe manner.

6. Visit a Temple

Diwali is a joyful occasion marking the homecoming of Lord Rama to Ayodhya and the death of the evil giant Narakasura by Lord Krishna. This is why it’s the festival of lights and signifies the victory of good over evil. The religious overtones are very apparent.

Diwali is an auspicious occasion. Make it more promising by visiting a temple or holy shrine with your parents. Feel positive vibrations flow through you as you hear the tinkling of temple bells and breathe in the fragrance of ghee-lit diyas and agarbathis. Get energized in the presence of God during Diwali.

7. Spend Diwali with the Less Fortunate

Diwali is all about caring and sharing. Spend your time at an orphanage or destitute home with people who really need your presence to light up their Diwali. Make this Diwali memorable for them with your presence and presents. Donate to charity or perform other charity work.

You can also visit an old-age home or a hospital and spend time with the old or the ailing. Such people will truly appreciate your gesture as they long for company more than anything else.

8. Organize a Party

Diwali is a time for fun and festivity, and you don’t need crackers for that. Organize a party with a song and dance and invite all your friends and neighbors.  Add some games like musical chairs and antakshari or dumb charades to this event to make it more fun. To make it more electric, be your own DJ and play on some latest numbers from your music system. Rock on, Diwali is on!

Those were 8 awesome things you can do on Diwali that don’t involve bursting firecrackers.

This Diwali, inspire children to celebrate it in a different way with such awesome ideas instead of bursting crackers and causing pollution. Let children romp and play as the festivity takes over.

Let the sound of laughter be more powerful than the sound of crackers!

LetsPractise wishes you a safe and Happy Diwali!

 

Have you ever wanted to see Edison and Einstein, or Marie Curie and Maria Meyer? Well, you can now, in your own classroom if you provide the right environment and make science fun for students!

Science is intriguing and interesting if it is portrayed rightly to students. If science is made fun in the classroom, children would eventually develop a lifelong interest in the subject. This is how to make science fun for students.

Making science fun for students.

Science is an ocean of knowledge into with various streams like physics, chemistry, botany, zoology etc. Let us look at ways to make some of these subjects interesting for students.

1. Perform experiments in the classroom

If you want children to understand chemistry, it is best to demonstrate simple experiments in class. Demonstrating the presence of CO2 by passing it through the lime water to show its milky effect is one such example of a simple experiment that can be done in class.

When children watch the copper sulfate solution turn from blue to green on dipping iron nails in the solution, the excitement you see on their faces is amazing. Children are fascinated by such wonderful effects that chemicals produce. This instils an interest for the subject in the child.

2. Take children for nature walks

Want children to learn botany? The best thing is to take them for a nature walk. On the way, you can show them herbs, shrubs and trees. Point out ferns, mosses, lichens and even show how insect pollination occurs if butterflies are flitting about in the flower garden. Take a flower and show the petals, sepals, calyx and corolla. Your children will never forget the parts of the plants and flowers ever again.

3. Show videos of famous scientific experiments

Physics is fascinating if you demonstrate it to children. Videos are available on YouTube where modern science enthusiasts have tried to recreate Nikola Tesla’s attempts at wireless electricity. You can screen such videos to show children the power and potential of physics.

Nikola Tesla and the Quest for Wireless Electricity

4. Plan a trip to the museum

Subjects like Paleontology and Geology are best explained with a trip to the museum. Show children fossils or preserved skeletons of dinosaurs or show taxidermy specimens of extinct animals to explain the concept of extinction. Show children samples of igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks to explain geology. A museum would display many varieties and rare specimens and children would love this excursion as well.

5. A trip to an organic farm

Children love the outdoors and animals too. Use this to your advantage to teach them about organic farming by taking them to an organic farm. Teach them about the benefits of using organic fertilizers, herbicides and fungicides and show them how various agricultural methods are undertaken. Show them how cattle and poultry are reared. All this inculcates an interest in children towards ecological conservation.

6. A trip to the market

A market is a colourful place which children would love to visit. Take your young children to the market and show them rhizomes, tubers, legumes and bulbs. Understanding the varieties of flowers, fruits and vegetables are much easy and fun for children when they see them in person.

Science can be exciting or exhausting depending on the way it is taught and handled in the classroom. Teachers have to look at innovative ways to interest children in science and not just follow the routine rote method. Some ways of doing this are expressed above and teachers can learn more from useful practice learning sites that give useful tips.

Science is a subject that stimulates the mind. All children need is something to fuel the mind and science is full of this fuel. Teachers must light the spark to ignite the interest of the child in the subject.

LetsPractise is committed to helping students learn in an interactive manner. Science is a core foundation of education and must be treated as such. Just take a look at our page on ICSE Science for 1st to 10th standard students or all our Subscription Plans. Raise all our future doctors, physicists, and engineers right with educational practise tests and helpful plans. Contact us now.

Make science fun again with LetsPractise!

What is that on the paper which looks like a caterpillar’s crawl? Is that your child’s handwriting? Uh-Oh! It’s time then to get your child geared up for some activity to improve his/her handwriting. But is handwriting so important?

Why is handwriting important for kids?

A legible and clear handwriting is a must for kids because of it

  • Helps the reader to read/understand the content easily.
  • Offers a neat presentation to the text.
  • Makes the answer paper or notebook correction easier for the teacher.
  • Offers clarity to the writer to align his/her thoughts correctly.

A clear handwriting enables easy reading and hence gives a good impression to the reader. A neat handwriting with legible lettering is often seen as a “mark of perfection” by the reader. This is why most schools and even some colleges lay such strong emphasis on “good handwriting”. Some schools even award extra marks for good handwriting while some others prohibit over-writing and use of erasers.

Handwriting has gained such major importance in education that contests are held and prizes are awarded for good handwriting.

Let us take a look at some games we can use to shape your child’s handwriting.

Games to improve your child’s handwriting

Catching hold of your child and making him/her write cursive letters is not an easy task. no child would love to sit and practise handwriting while they can run out and play. So, introduce the idea of improving the child’s handwriting through fun games and watch your child transform his writing into a fine legible print.

1. Hangman

Hangman is a favourite game among kids. Use it to your advantage to transform your kid’s handwriting like this.

  • Hangman is a game where the one player thinks of a word and the other guesses it through clues or missing letters.
  • Ask the player to write down his guesses to turn this into a handwriting game.

2. 20 questions

Kids love this guessing game which can be turned into a handwriting game. One player thinks of a character- it may be a cartoon, film, mythological or real person. The others have to ask only 20 questions for which the player answers only with a YES or NO. Ask the players to write down the questions with affirmative answers. This comes up with a long list of character traits to guess the person easily. With this list, the child also practises his handwriting.

3.Passing the message

This game is surely a litmus test for good handwriting. Ask one person to write a message, number it and pass it to the next while a music is played. The next person rewrites the message, increments its number and passes it to the next person, putting the first one in a bowl. This goes on till the music stops. The final message is read out and compared with the first message. If the person gets it right, he opts out of the game else the game continues.

This game clearly reveals how a poor handwriting can lead to communication errors.

4. Scrabble Junior

Ideal for little kids, this Scrabble Game can be used to shape your kid’s handwriting by asking him/her to write down the word formed.

5. Scattergories

Scattergories is an awesome game for older kids and even adults. A lettered die is rolled and the players form words starting with this letter. Ask the players to write down the words formed. This game improves both handwriting,  general knowledge and vocabulary.

6. Dumb charades with writing

Dumb charades is an excellent game that can be used for handwriting improvement. One player thinks of a movie and acts out its name. Ask the kids to write their guesses for the names of the movies and show them instead of shouting out loud. Interesting and influential in improving handwriting, this game will really click!

7. Don’t say it.

Have a deck of cards with each card having one word and 4 other describing words that are not to be used. One player draws a card and tries to describe the word without using those on the card. Ask the others to write down their guesses. Instead of shouting their guesses out aloud, the children write down their guesses which improves their handwriting.

8. 5 Seconds

Have a set of topics. ask one child to draw a topic and the players have t write 3 things on the topic within 5 seconds. A quick game which teaches how to master handwriting skills even if writing is done at a fast pace.

9. Blurt

One kid takes a card and uses a phrase to describe the figure on the card. The others should not blurt out but write their guesses. This game is fun yet functional for handwriting improvement.

10. Pictionary

Kids love to doodle and they love Pictionary. One kid takes a card with a name on it. He draws and asks the others to write their guesses. Full of fun and laughter, this game is a big hit for both art and handwriting.

A child’s handwriting reveals the clarity and bent of his mind. Use such interesting games to improve your child’s handwriting and intellect by using such tips from Letspractise.

Vision is the light of our eyes but education is the light of our lives. Teachers are the candles that light up our lives by imparting education to us. The darkness of ignorance is dispelled only by the valuable tutoring of our teachers. This is why it is high time we venerate our teachers and appreciate their contribution at least on 5 October, which is the International Teacher’s Day.

But to appreciate the role of teachers in shaping a student’s life, one must first understand why teachers are important to children’s lives.

Role of teachers in the lives of children

1. As guides

Some children have a vision and a clarity of thought about their ambition in life. Some children cannot just make up their minds. They do not know what they should aim for or what they are good at.

Teachers are the best guides for children. They identify the unique talent, skill or strength of the child very early and encourage them to pursue that path to become successful in their career. Take the example of Guru Dronacharya, who identified the talent of Arjuna as soon as he met him to make him a master of Archery. This clearly shows the talent of teachers in identifying their student’s faculties and promoting them to achieve their ambition.

2. As believers

Most often, belief is all that is required to scale success. To know that someone believes in the child’s capability is what makes him/her strive harder and excel. Teachers act as great believers, having faith in their students and urging to perform better.

Celebrity anchor Oprah Winfrey claims that she owes it all to her 4th grade teacher Mrs. Duncan who believed in her and made her embrace the love of learning.

3. As  disciplinarians and role models

Children are prone to multiple influences – both good and bad and hence some are likely to go astray. Teachers act as great disciplinarians, bringing children back to the track. They advise, counsel and even reprimand children to see that they do not go wayward in life.

Senator John McCain attributes much of his success to his high school teacher William Ravenel. According to Mr. McCain, Mr. Ravenel gave him what McCain calls “some moorings and a compass,” as he taught not just English, but values, standards, and morals. Such teachers lead their students by example and teach them the virtues and values of life.

4. As coaches

Teachers help children by imparting the knowledge they have. Coaches help children to help themselves – by discovering their inner strengths and honing them. Teachers make excellent coaches by teaching children to become more accountable and responsible, thereby helping them become more professional as individuals.

Look at what Sachin Tendulkar has to say about his coach and mentor, Ramakant Achrekar-“A dream begins with a teacher, who believes in you, who hugs and pushes you and leads you to the next plateau, sometimes poking you with a sharp stick called ‘truth’.”

Teacher s not only help you learn from themselves but as coaches, they help children to learn from their own mistakes and move forward.

5. As windows of opportunity

Many teachers have opened up opportunities for their students to help them make their mark in life. Famous Hollywood actress Hilary Swank credits Mr.Sellerit, her elementary school teacher for giving her the first opportunity to act in the school production of The Jungle Book. This, she claims, opened up the doors of her acting career. Teachers are selfless individuals who spare no effort to ensure that their students come up in life, by being their windows of opportunity.

Teachers are veritably the friends, philosophers and guides for children.

  1. As friends-  Students find it easy to open up to teachers when they are under stress or have problems. Teachers are the children’s best friends, consoling and counselling them to help them solve their problems.
  2. As philosophers– Great teachers like Chanakya, Aristotle, Plato and Socrates have left behind a wealth of wisdom for children through their philosophies.
  3. As guides–  Teachers like Dr.A.P.J.Abdul Kalam have guided thousands of students through their subject knowledge and life experiences till today.

Teachers play an indispensable role in the development of the child, society and the nation. They are our only hope for transforming students into successful and noble human beings. On this International Teacher’s day, let us appreciate and applaud teachers for their contribution to the lives of our children.

LetsPractise is a site made from parents and former teachers who know what it’s like to imbibe knowledge into a child. We have practise sheets, mock tests, educational papers, and a ton of other study materials for students.

We have plans for CBSE ICSE, SSC, State Board, and IGCSE Boards for students from Class I – X. Contact for more.