Before we jump into a solution as to how to have an interactive class let’s learn of its importance. We are part of a ‘strawberry generation’ who dwell on the idea of individualism. It comes with both its pros and cons and therefore, it is not our role as teachers to put forth our ideologies onto our class hence, we ought to learn to adapt and adjust attitudes that best suit the students. It’s all about connecting with the class individualistically yet staying professional. A class is an environment for learning and it is left up to the teacher to bring out the best from these students.

We live in an information age and the information changes almost daily. Organizations change, facts change, discoveries are made, methods become outdated, what was true yesterday may be untrue today or worse yet irrelevant. Therefore, sticking to old methods and being set in our ways as teachers aren’t going to take us far. Just like the boring old lecture methods. Below are the top most effective strategies for having an interactive class. Implement them one step at any time and watch the change it would make in your classrooms teaching-learning process.

Let’s look at the best teaching strategies to keep a class interactive

1. Presentations, audio and visual aids 

With the constant exposure to screens, students tend to lack interest in regular classes that have adopted the lecture method. We are quite aware that we as teachers would like to give students a little time away from the screens in the classroom but let that be the parent’s responsibility to cut down on a little entertainment and use technology to our advantage. Students have responded quite well to audio and visual methods of teaching. It assists in better learning and understanding. This method of teaching suits students with various learning abilities. It could be a bit time consuming preparing these presentations, but it pays off as one of the most effective teaching methods by far.

2. Mind maps

Although many of us as students have made mind maps to remember the content that had to be learned and we know it has been effective, but it was never encouraged in a classroom back then. People in the education field have realized its effect and are slowly beginning to implement it in their classrooms. In the gradual progression of a lesson draw mind maps on the board in relevance to the topic of discussion and watch the students grasp concepts like they never had before. Students can contribute to complete the mind map instead of having the teacher feed them all the answers.

3. Think, pair and share

Give the students an analytical question based on the lesson that is currently being studied. Pair students up. Make sure while you do so there should be absolutely no room for discrimination based on the students’ academic performance. Grouping students based on academic performance is the first step to demotivating the average and lower performers in the class. This strategy allows students to think outside the box and speak their minds out loud being free of judgments. The progress over a period of time is drastic. You will find quiet students opening up with ideas and that they are more verbal and less afraid of making mistakes.

4. Debate

How often did we as students get a chance to have an opinion about anything? Be it political affairs or generic ideas. Debates are a way of allowing students to develop their own ideas on concepts and this also gives them a chance to voice out their opinions and better yet have reasons to validate their choice. Fitting in a session or two as a part of the lesson allows students to learn better and participate holistically.

5. Show and Tell

his strategy had has been an age-old concept that had been initially adopted in the West, and has gradually made its way to our classrooms. Giving students a live presentation always has a way of registering in students mind and this method is best used to at the point of introducing a new topic. Students are excited to learn as well as have a fun period.

Interactive classes are the best methods of teaching be it with technology or without. Both the teacher and the student have expressed fulfilment after an interactive class. Present days students do not want to be given a load of information on a subject as the internet hands it to them already. It is our responsibility as teachers to facilitate and usher students in the right direction in terms of education. Why don’t you try to include a few of the above-mentioned methods in keeping the class interactive?

Interactive Learning from Letspractise

Interactive classes are the best methods of teaching, be it with technology or without. Both the teacher and the student have expressed fulfilment after an interactive class. Present days students do not want to be given a load of information on a subject as the internet hands it to them already. It is our responsibility as teachers to facilitate and usher students in the right direction in terms of education.

Letspractise offers innovative ways for students to learn. For example, we have practice papers which you can use as mock exams. Our goal is to help your child succeed in school, not just get the passing marks.

We help students from 1st to 10th standard in English, math, science, languages, and more. CBSE, ICSE, State Board, and IGCSE board are all supported. Check out our subscription plans for additional details. Contact our team now for more information.

With the abundance of information available at the disposal of students, the need for a teacher to provide information on various subjects isn’t the need of the hour anymore. Teachers have now simply become facilitators, providing guidance and ushering students in the right direction.

Therefore, education has come to a point where self-study has become quite effective but it is quite clear that education can not take place without a teacher. In order to adapt to the current situation, it is the teacher’s responsibility make a class interesting and effective within the short span of time.

The best teachers are those that can make even the driest subjects interesting.

How to Make Teaching Interesting and Effective

Here are a few tips that you teachers could follow in order to adapt to the current need and make teaching interesting and effective.

  1. Engage With Your Students

We all remember that teacher who walked into the class, rattled off a few words, and in no time the class was over. Didn’t we sit there and want to make a change? Well, connecting and engaging with students are important. It is an art to allow students to feel that the teacher is speaking individually to each child, as opposed to the class as a whole class.

Everyone in a classroom is different. They learn in different ways and excel at different subjects. Letting the student know that he or she is important and that his or her learning is as equally important as the other children can have a major impact on them. Connect with them and you will notice that you would their undivided attention for the whole 45 minutes.

Suggested activity – Conducting of a spot quiz, where students are evaluated from the lesson taught in the days class. Factual questions should be avoided and analytical questions based on the lesson should be encouraged. Force the child to think and support their idea rather than just regurgitation. In this way, the students recollect information received and apply it to retrieve the answer.

  1. ALM

There has been a recent fuss about the Activity-based Learning Method (ALM). A few teachers have embraced the idea completely while others have chucked it. ALM is important. We are all aware that each child has a specific learning ability (auditory, visual, and kinesthetic). In order to suit each child’s need, the ALM has proven to be effective.

Activity-based projects such as ‘do it yourself’ science projects or individualistic analysis of a Shakespeare play has proven to make a class more effective rather than having a teacher stand in front of the class and demonstrate an experiment which does not involve the class or have some random person analysis of the play read to the class.

Suggested activity – Have a well equipped and safe lab arranged for students to experiment on a given science project. Provide them with basic information and equipment and allow them to complete the project with basic information. This encourages them to practically apply their knowledge on the subject.

  1. Brainstorming Sessions

During brainstorming sessions, the teacher becomes one with the class. It gives room for students to learn out of their own accord. Our education systems have turned into a mere process of testing a students ability to memorize and retrieval of this memory.

As a teacher, it is our responsibility to turn a classroom into a zone that allows room for higher order thinking. We must train students to think outside the box and to develop and enhance their creativity. Good marks are not everything, and just getting good marks doesn’t make a good student. Allowing students to think out loud in a classroom gives them room to develop higher cognitive abilities.

Suggested activity – Group students based on various learning abilities and have them have an open discussion on work of prose. Leave ample room for mistakes and shun the idea of a wrong answer. Students tend to withdraw when their thinking has been condemned in the past.

Inspire Students Through Interesting Teaching

Those were three ways to make teaching interesting and effective. Of course, they are all easier said than done. The above points have taken into consideration the various challenges a teacher faces in a classroom such as indiscipline, distraction, lack of interest, backlash, and the list goes on. However, at the end of the day, don’t we love our jobs? Don’t we sit back and cherish the fact that we are the major influencers in these children’s lives? Indeed!

Let’s take this passion into the classroom and awaken every future Doctor, Teacher or Lawyer in these children and set their foundations strong. Therefore, when they go out into the world, they aren’t just people who fit into society abiding by the norms but are individuals who stand out contributing to the society, just like their own teachers.

Interesting Learning Methods from Letspractise

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Ganesh Chaturthi is a festival that is celebrated almost in every state of India. Kids love this Elephant God Ganesh with his round belly and swinging trunk as he looks cute and friendly to them. Moreover, he is said to be the Vighnaharta – the remover of obstacles and this is why kids believe that praying to him, will make their life trouble-free.

Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated in the month of September with great pomp and show in India by creating idols of Ganesh, worshipping them and finally immersing them in water after the pooja. In Maharashtra, this festival is celebrated for 10 days and in South India, just for one day. Be it one or ten, it is a beautiful sight to see the procession of Ganeshas parading through the town on the final day of the visarjan or immersion.

With eco-consciousness being the need of the hour, people have stopped using paper-mache and plasticine for creating Ganeshas and are instead moving to eco-friendly options like clay, mud, etc. Let us take this opportunity to involve children in the spirit of this festival by teaching them to create Ganesh idols at home or school.

Creating Ganesh idols with kids.

1. Clay Ganesha

This cute Clay Ganesh is very easy to make and is ready within minutes. Small kids love to make this  Ganesha as it involves dabbling with clay.

Materials needed:  Potter’s Clay, Water,  small black beads, a bowl to mix, newspaper to spread

Procedure

  1.    Spread the newspaper on the ground or table.
  2.   Take the clay in the bowl.
  3.   Add water little by little to it and knead it to form a dough similar to the chapati dough.
  4.   Make 2 round balls- one big and one small.
  5.   Place the small ball as the head on the large ball which is the body.
  6.   Make four small balls of dough and shape them into carrots. These are the arms and legs of the Ganesh.
  7.   Place the 2 arms and 2 legs on the  body
  8.   Make another carrot shape and bend it to form the trunk. Attach the trunk to the face.
  9.   Make 2 small balls and flatten them as the ears. Attach the ears to either side of the face.
  10.  Lastly, make 2 small balls and shape them into 2 tusks- one long and one short. Attach them to the trunk on   either side.
  11.  Place 2 black beads as the eyes of the Ganesha.
  12.  Your cute little clay Ganesha is ready. Allow him to dry and then worship him with flowers.

2. Wheat Ganesha

This Ganesha is made solely of edible items like wheat flour, turmeric etc. which are available at home and are eco-friendly.

Materials needed: Wheat Flour, Turmeric, Peppercorns, cotton thread,  beetroot, kumkum, 2 small stick/ toothpicks.

Procedure

  1. Make a soft dough of Wheat flour with water.
  2. Now make 2  balls out of the dough – one small for the head and the other big one for the body.
  3. Place the small ball on top of the big one.
  4. Insert a small stick or toothpick into the head and body so that it goes straight through both, holding them together.
  5. Now merge the lines between the head and body by kneading.
  6. Make a small ball of the dough, knead it into a long tube and attach it to the face for the trunk. Fold the trunk to one side. Merge the trunk to the face and body.
  7. Form the head portion, flatten out the ears on either side.
  8. Make 2 small discs out of the dough – one large and one small. Place the large disc on top of the head covering the toothpick. Now place the smaller one. Cover this with a tiny ball of dough. This forms the crown of the Ganesha.
  9. Now make a small ball and place it in the bent trunk as his favourite sweet- the “modak”
  10. Then take some dough, knead it as a tube. Shape one end of the tube as a snake’s head. attach the snake to Ganesha’s waist.
  11. Place 2 peppercorns as the eyes of the Ganesha.
  12. Now make 2 small tusks from the dough- one long and one short and place it on either side of the trunk. Merge these tusks to the trunk and body by using toothpick gently.
  13. Your Ganesha is ready. Place him on a slice of beetroot as his seat with some rice and a coin underneath.
  14. Worship Ganesha with flowers and kumkum.

Make this Ganesh Chaturthi more special by getting kids to create their own Ganeshas at home or school and worship them heartily.

Letspractise wishes you all a Happy Ganesh Chaturthi

The term “Raksha Bandhan”, literally means, “the bond of protection”.

This is an event that is most looked forward to by the people of India and the only occasion that celebrates the relationship between a brother and a sister. Although there is a story that goes way back to why this practice of tying a decorated rope or a bracelet called ‘Rakhi’ around the brother’s wrist, the whole idea has been forgotten. To the forgotten few, there are a great many myths but this one stands out to honor the brother-sister like relationships is the battle fought by Alexander the Great. The people of India have been practicing this for decades from the Hindu, Jain and Sikh religious backgrounds but in the recent years, it isn’t about it being a religious practice anymore but simply the honoring of this special bond we Indians give the greatest importance to.

So the practice goes like this. After the ceremonial tying of the ‘rakhi’ around the brother’s wrist, the sister applies a tilak, a colorful mark on the brother’s forehead and wishes him a long and healthy life and in return, the brother pledges to protect her and take care of her come what may. The most exciting part is when the brother presents his sister with a gift and the ritual is wrapped up with the distribution of sweets.

Choosing a rakhi for your brother is quite a simple task but for the brother in order to pledge his love for his sister can clearly be done through the chosen gift. Now, this process could be quite tedious and we all know how it could possibly go down when a sister hasn’t been gifted anything close to her expectation. For all those brothers out there confused on what to get your sister this year.

Here are the top 3 items that you could choose from but whatever you choose make sure it’s personal.

Buying a gift for a woman can be quite a task and you could go wrong in a million ways but personalizing anything for a woman sends the message that says ‘you care’ and that you have taken the time to choose and not just something that you have grabbed off the shelf.

1. Photographs

Choose one of your best moments together, be it in your adulthood or when you were kids. Memories are always cherished. ‘Go big or go home’! In order to stay trendy and suit your sister’s apartment choose a canvas wooden frame. It’s trendy with a contemporary look. She could display it anywhere in her home and be reminded of the bond you share.

2. Jewellery

These are a girl’s best friend. From gold to silver to simply choosing from those fancy beady ethic works will bring a huge smile on her face but make sure you choose wisely where the gift is a reminder of your relationship and not just extravagant. Choose from daily wear where she will be reminded of your constant love and protection or jewellery that is to be used on special occasions as a way to cherish your bond on those special days.

3. Wristwatches

It has been a recent trend to gift your sister a watch. It is both symbolic as well as a necessity. When the watch ticks every day it will be a constant reminder that you are always around and only a call away. The watch companies have realized that this is one such gift that tops the list so there are various offers for this auspicious day. Don’t forget to choose based on her personality. If your sister is a tom-boy choosing a delicate feminine one could send the wrong message. Choose wisely!

Giving a gift to your sister doesn’t always have to be extravagant. It is a day where you celebrate each other, therefore, don’t sweat it if you have a low budget simply keep in mind to be that protective, loving and caring brother you ought to be. Take her out to lunch, get to know what’s going on in her life, show her your support. We are all clearly aware that all relationships are not perfect and if you and your sister had a tiff make amends, put the past behind as nothing is as strong as a bond between siblings.

August 15 is here. Schools often celebrate our nation’s Independence day by hoisting the tricolour flag, singing patriotic songs and delivering speeches on the nation’s struggle for freedom. If your child is going to be one of the speakers on Independence Day, you have every reason to be proud of him/her. But surely, your child might require some help here. So it’s time to help your child to prepare an Independence day speech and here are some tips.

Preparing your child for the Independence Day Speech

  1. A sense of pride and honour

First, instil a sense of pride and honour in your child. Yes, the very fact that he is going to deliver a speech on our nation on Independence day shows his contribution to the national spirit.  Appreciate this heartily and ask your child to look upon this speech as an honourable task. Your child will then take extra effort in ensuring a perfect delivery of the Independence day address.

  1. Recall history

Independence day is the occasion to celebrate our sovereignty as a nation and the freedom we gained through non-violence. The uniqueness of our freedom struggle in the Pacific path we tread, adhering to Mahatma Gandhi’s code of ahimsa and non-violence. Recall all the historical moments like the Sepoy Mutiny, the Non-Cooperation Movement, Jallianwala Bagh massacre, Civil Disobedience Movement and Quit India movement to trace the timeline of our freedom’s history. This will help the child to recall the main points while delivering his speech.

  1. Outline the facts

Our nation’s independence was won with great hardships and the united efforts of many leaders. Teach your child the facts about the freedom struggle like the names of the leaders, the important places of protest, the preamble of our constitution, the meaning of our national anthem etc. Learning this would make your child deliver an enthusiastic speech with an emotional overtone.

  1. Introduce sayings of leaders

“Swaraj is our birthright,” said Bal Gangadhar Tilak. Quotations like these had a great impact on the freedom struggle. Introduce quotations like these as part of your child’s speech to make it more relevant and convincing.

  1. Nurture values

Illustrate real-life incidents as examples of the values of honesty, truth, and patriotism from the lives of leaders like Gandhi, Nehru, Netaji etc.  Build a sense of patriotism by inspiring your child with their determination, courage and integrity of character.

Make your child understand that the independence we gained was not won easily. So the freedom should be exercised judiciously without harming others. Teach your child the qualities of equality and justice and how they play a major role in current society.

  1. Prepare rich content

A speech for Independence day must be power-packed with rich content consisting of historical facts, quotations, dates, statistics etc. The content should not only be informative but interactive and engaging. Create a unique and stylized content that impresses the audience.

  1.  Offer an easy flow of content

Help your child compile a speech in a simple and lucid language that is easy for him. Avoid using tough and bombastic words that are hard to pronounce. Using too much mathematical data in the speech also makes the speech boring. Allow your child to enjoy each and every word he speaks.

  1. Encourage inputs from the child

Welcome your child’s inputs and suggestions on the speech. Allow him/her to unleash their creativity and express in their own words. This builds their confidence and morale.

  1. Practise

Every child will be nervous when he/she faces the audience. Get your child to practise the speech in front of your family members and encourage the child to speak boldly. Practice makes the child perfect in the rendition of the speech.

  1. Motivate

Encourage your child to participate and perform in such public activities. Emphasize that participation is more important than winning and also underline the fact that with practice, anything can be achieved.

Prepare your child for the Independence day speech using the above tips and watch him/her emerge a sure winner, wishes from Letspractise