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.

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

Be it your children or your students, practise papers from Letspractise work great as a refresher course, for reviewing the material, or for exam preparation.

We have papers covering many subjects like (math, English, social studies, science, languages, etc.) for ICSE, CBSE, State syllabus, and more, and students from 1st to 10th can all use them. Look at the subscription plans we offer.

Parents and teachers should both opt for Let’s Practise. Contact us now to get started. Make learning great again!

In India, parents start planning for school admissions even before they beget babies! Yes. some schools ask parents to register for admission while the mom is pregnant. With such a rush for a place in the right school, infants are bundled off to play school even at the age of 2. But is this right- sending children to school even before they outgrow their infancy?

What is the right age for your child to start school, then? Let us discuss.

The right age to start school

A Stanford University study reveals that kids performed better when they were enrolled in Kindergarten at 6 years. Its results showed that kids had better self-control and test scores by the age of 7-11.

Our ancestors were probably right. Yes, ancient wisdom dictated school enrollment to be at 6 years. Until then, the home was the right environ for learning basic life skills. This approach is correct indeed for the brain development begins at birth, peaks at 3 and prunes itself to become adult-like at 6 years. By the age of 6, the child’s brain has developed definite cognitive abilities to understand the language of instruction and imbibe what is taught.

By the 1990s, pre-schooling ad steeped into India with several private pre-schools cropping up and enrolling kids at the age of 3. Today every child in an Indian home begins pre-school at 3 years. India also has the largest early childhood programmes in the world with 1.3 million government-funded anganwadis. All these facts point out to the kid starting his school/playschool experience at the age of 3.

Teaching methodologies for pre-school education

Kindergarten

Kindergarten involves guided learning through a play-way method of singing, dancing and games for the preschooler. This term was coined by Friedrich Froebel and has become immensely popular in India s the standard system of pre-schooling with Lower and Upper Kindergarten classes.

Montessori

Maria Montessori evolved this approach which is based on the natural eagerness of the child to learn. This methodology encourages children to learn by themselves while the teacher facilitates this process. This approach allows the child to learn at his/her own pace understanding his/her physical and emotional levels.

Waldorf

The Waldorf methodology introduced by Rudolf Steiner focuses on the imagination of the child which is encouraged with hands-on activities.

Whatever be the methodology of early education, it forms the basis for actual schooling at 6 years. PPlayschools focus on the process of getting the child ready to adapt to the system of formal education. They act as a stepping stone to actual schooling. Playschools go even the extra mile in teaching children personal hygiene like toilet training and social skills like interacting with other children to get them ready for school.

Schooling

Actual schooling from class 1 begins at 6 years and from then on, the child follows a curriculum of study like State Board, CBSE, ICSE etc. The child is tested for his basic cognitive abilities and then enrolled into the curriculum. It is not mandatory that the child should have followed a Kindergarten, Montessori or Waldorf system. Even homeschoolers can enroll directly in class 1 provided the child qualifies in the entrance tests for class 1. This is possible with the help of practice question papers available from Letspractise.

Children can practise basic Maths numbers and English words etc. using these practise tests and gear up for school in no time.

Getting children ready for proper schooling is a challenging task. Give your children a good start by enrolling them at age 6. Get them ready for school by enrolling them in pre-school or letting them enjoy homeschooling. Build a strong base with practise tests from Letspractise for a bright future for your child at school.

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