“Reading maketh a full man; conference a ready man; and writing an exact man.”

– Sir Francis Bacon

Your child studies well and knows the answer to the questions. However, the teacher cannot figure out what he/she has written!

Well, in this case, you cannot blame the teacher, as they can award marks to only what has been recorded on paper and not based on assumptions. Sometimes the child can’t read his or her own handwriting!

The only way to resolve this issue is to improve your child’s handwriting.

The Need to Improve Handwriting

From a very young age, children are taught to focus on handwriting by practicing cursive writing in a 4-ruled notebook. Still, some children do not take this exercise seriously and fail to work on their handwriting. Unknown to them at the time, this gross neglect of improving the handwriting will cost them dearly in their later years.

Unfortunately, they will lose precious marks for handwriting. Even a “-1” for handwriting can alter the grade grossly and no sincere student would be willing to lose that.

Before we think about correcting your child’s handwriting, let us take a look at the problem that your child might face while writing.

Problems in Your Child’s Handwriting

Your child might face the following problems in his/her handwriting:

1. Wrong grasp of the pencil

2. Poor pressure or grip on the pencil

3. Poor formation of the letters

4. Poor letter sizing

5. Poor spacing between the words

6. Wrong direction of writing

7. Indiscriminate use of capital and small letters

8. Difficulty in copying words

9. Poor motor skills

Identifying the root cause of the problem is the key to resolving it. This is known as ‘Why-Why or ‘5 Why’ analysis. Keep asking why until you get to the main cause of the problem. The same applies to handwriting as well. Once you do that, improving your child’s handwriting is simple.

Tips and Techniques to Improve Your Child’s Handwriting

So, why let your child feel depressed about something as easy as handwriting?  Let us help your children improve their handwriting with these following simple techniques.

1. Proper Pencil Grasp

Children may love crayons and sketch pens, but good handwriting begins with a pencil.

Poor handwriting result from weak motor skills which are exhibited through a poor or incorrect grasp of the pencil.

  • Teach your child to hold the pencil correctly between the thumb, index, and middle finger.
  • The pencil must be gripped gently and not tightly. Ask your child to relax the grip on the pencil and not hold it too tightly, or the lead tip may break. If the grip is tight, your child might be stressed. Ask your child to unwind, relax and then continue writing.
  • Buy some rubber pencil grips from the stationery shop to improve your child’ grip.
  • Some children hold the pencil too close to the lead tip. This will apply pressure on the lead, causing it to break often. Let there be a 1-2 cm distance from the lead at all times.

2. Use the Right Materials

When it comes to your choice of paper, pencil, and eraser, you and your child have to get it right.

  • The right pencil helps your child produce the right imprint without much pressure on it and without leaving dark smudges on the paper.
  • Let the pencil not be longer than 6 cm. However, extremely short pencils aren’t right either. Test different sizes and see which works best for you.
  • Everyone makes mistakes. That’s why there are erasers on pencils. However, your child should have a seperate eraser (or ‘rubber’). A good eraser removes all writing without leaving any dark patches on the paper or tearing it. Throw out a used eraser and get a new one. It will be worth it.
  • The best paper to begin handwriting practice would be a 4 ruled paper sheet and not plain white paper. This makes sure your child stays in the lines and all letters are of even height, making your handwriting legible.

3. Correct the Style of Writing

There is a right and wrong way to write.

  • There are 2 forms of handwriting: cursive writing and block writing. Cursive (also known as ‘running’) refers to the usage of joint letters while block writing has the letters not joined but separate from one another.
  • Teach your child the correct way to form letters, whether it’s cursive or block font. Encourage them to write legibly, neatly and boldly with the correct size and spacing.
  • Instruct your child on the proper use of capitalization and small letters and show them the difference in size between them.
  • Teach your child to write the letters upright and not in a tilted fashion.
  • Instruct the importance of allowing space between words for legibility.
  • Once the child gets used to a form of writing, as long as it is legible, they should stick to it so teachers also get used to what they have written.

4. Check for the speed of writing

Some children tend to write hastily. In this process, their handwriting gets spoilt.

  • Teach your child the importance of adjusting the speed to follow legible handwriting.
  • Slower handwriting is usually neater and easier to read.
  • In the beginning, let the child start off writing slowly and steadily.
  • Eventually, they can pick up the pace while their handwriting remains legible.

5. Improve Dexterity With Fun and Games

Strengthening finger and wrist coordination will improve dexterity and help in writing. The better control over fingers, the better control over the handwriting. Use these fun activities  to improve finger agility:

  • Coloring with crayons
  • Cutting paper
  • Clay modelling
  • Bead stringing
  • Playing with forks and spoons
  • Wooden block games
  • Word puzzles
  • Hangman
  • Joining the dots

Practice Makes Handwriting Perfect

For good handwriting, the right remedy Is practice. Ask your child to practice his/her handwriting daily. Download some fun exercises from online practice-learning sites like LetsPractise to help them improve their handwriting.

Unfortunately during exam time, they do not have the luxury of writing slowly, so it is essential to keep practicing on a regular basis. We offer practice papers for students from 1st to 10th standard, from many boards including IGCSE, SSC, State Board, CBSE, ICSE, and more.

Our ICSE English worksheets are very popular among students. You can take a look at all of our pricing plans and see which works best. For any questions, feel free to contact us.

The advantage of using such online practice learning sites like LetsPractise is that they not only enable your child to sharpen their academic skills but also hone their handwriting skills with regular practice.

Legible handwriting is important not only for exams, but later on in life as well. Cultivate neat writing from a young age. Encourage your children to improve their handwriting with regular practice and watch them embark on an excellent future with their impressive handwriting!

Parents are stressed out, teachers are tense to complete the portions on time, and students are under a huge amount of pressure. All this is because the 2019 Board Examination is just around the corner.

Exams are a part of every student’s life. Children are accustomed to hearing the words “test” and “exam” repeatedly. There are tests monthly, weekly, and daily. Then come the major Quarterly, Half-Yearly, and Annual Exams. Don’t forget about the surprise tests, slip tests, and periodic assessments, and so on.  

However, whatever name these evaluation procedures go by, the king of them all is the BOARD EXAM!

India is famous (or infamous) for its legendary Board Exam. There are encountered at 2 stages, Class X and Class XII. Whichever curriculum you follow, be it the State Board, ICSE, or CBSE, there’s no getting around it. All students absolutely have to face these two Himalayan challenges in their academic life.

Why are students so distraught about the Board Exam?

Students usually panic about the Board Exam mainly because of two reasons:

a) It involves a vast amount of study material (normally the entire year’s syllabus)

b) The marks scored usually decides the future of their academic and professional career

For these two reasons, it is imperative that the student performs well in the Board Exam.  

Precious Pointers to Help Students Prepare for the Board Exam

How should a student prepare for the Board Exam? Let’s take a look.

1. Outline a Study Timetable

Before you begin, take stock of the situation. Take each subject and note down the number of lessons, the difficult areas in each lesson, the lessons you know thoroughly, ones you have understood partially, and those which you have not touched throughout the year. You can also try ranking the lessons in order of difficulty.

Once you’ve assessed the situation, prepare a study schedule or timetable allocating one subject per day. Divide the day into pre-lunch and post-lunch sessions with portions clearly allocated for each. Evening sessions can be set aside for revision of the day’s study. While assigning the lessons, dedicate more time for difficult chapters and less time for the known or easy ones.

Always try to complete the portions a month ahead of the Board Exam so you can utilise the final month for revision and practise. Also, chalk out time for at least 2 sets of revisions compulsorily for each subject.

A correct schedule and clear plan of study will definitely get you well-prepared for the Board Exam.

2. Take Notes for Quick Study & Revision

Make ‘revision notes’ for each chapter. Revision notes should have a list of the topics covered in each chapter, important headings, and main points. These notes should have bullet points which succinctly recap the topic. Be sure to keep them short and to the point.

For subjects like History, you can mark important dates and names, whereas Maths and Science notes will have formulae. The idea here is to remember important keywords and talking points which can be expanded upon come Board Exam time.

It’s easier than memorizing huge paragraphs and also makes sure you don’t miss anything vital in your answer. These notes help to summarize the entire lesson in one go and also works great for last minute exam prep.

Note-taking not only helps in the recap but also retention of the lesson for a long time.

3. Use a Mind-Map or Flowchart

A mind map is a structured note-taking technique that simplifies the method of study for the student. It has a central node which is the main subject. From the subject, the student draws branches and marks related topics. While designing a mind map, you can use different colors for the subnodes and branches. It is an interesting and easy way of summing up a lesson and outlines the entire course of the lesson like a map. One look at it and you know all about the lesson.

A flowchart outlines the flow of topics in a lesson from start to finish.  It offers a quick summary of the lesson with a smooth flow of information from one topic in the lesson to the next. Through linking one concept to another, you can trick your mind into learning a vast amount of information with just one picture.

Teachers or parents can help students prepare such mind maps and flowcharts for difficult or exhaustive subjects like Chemistry or History.

Using infographic tools helps in summarizing the lesson and revising it visually.

4. Exercise Self-Control

The Board Exam is a one-in-a-lifetime experience, and it will either make or break you. You have to be prepared to make sacrifices in order to to achieve success.

First off, stay away from your television, computer, PlayStation, XBox, video games, mobiles, etc. They are all time-sinks. Shut them down and put them away, or give them to your parents. Even if you have to download questions online, do it from your parent’s mobile or laptop under their observation. Remain vigilant of electronics and don’t fall prey to temptation. Closing the door and putting a do not disturb sign outside is a good way to denote that you are busy.

You should still relax and enjoy yourself for half-an-hour in the evening every day during the study period, but not more than that. Also, let it be physical activity, and not online gaming. If you actually exercise by lifting weights, jogging, or going for a swim, even better. A healthy body leads to a healthy mind.

Avoid eating outside food from restaurants or roadside stalls as this may affect your health. You absolutely cannot afford to fall sick during the Board Exam and need to be in peak condition. For this reason, stay away from ice cream and cold juices.

If you feel upset that you are unable to enjoy these luxuries, remind yourself that it’s only temporary, and you are free to have fun after the exams are done and dusted.

A little self-control can reap in big rewards during the Board Exam.

5. Group Study With Caution

If you choose to group study, avoid idle chatter with your friends. Be sure to only focus on the task at hand. Your discussion should not deviate to other topics. Otherwise, you will notice that time has flown by without you learning anything. If you find yourself drifting into talks about cricket or movies, get back on track. The same applies to long discussions on the phone.

Group studying is a powerful strategy that will help uncover and fix your weaknesses quickly. However, it all depends on the type of people you decide to group study with. Some choose to avoid studying with their closest friends in order to stay focused.

For this reason, choose the studious people and class-toppers. It’s better to study alone and learn a little than study as a group and end up learning nothing. Group study should not end up harming you more than it helps you.

Beware of group studying. It can seem great at first, but it can easily turn into a time waster.

6. Don’t Stop Practising

It might sound repetitive but practise is the only way to get thoroughly prepared for the Board Exam.

Covering vast portions, memorizing formulae, cracking tough word problems, and clarifying doubts can only be done by through repeated practice. With practice, you can master even tough concepts with ease. Trying out different types of problems gives you clarity in the concepts and enables you to find the technique of solving tough problems easily.

Just make sure that you try different types of questions an do not stick to the same questions only. Spend at least one week on practising tough portions, old question papers, and solving complex problems.

Practice is the only way to perfect your Board Exam preparation.

Prepare for the Board Exam With LetsPractise

You have to gear up for the Board Exam. Prepare with precision for the Board Exam using the above pointers and make use of online practices sites such as LetsPractise to turn your exhaustive preparation effortless.

Online practice sites have a commendable collection of such varied question papers which you can make use of. Take model papers from our online practise site and time yourself to see how quickly and accurately you can solve them. View our learning plans right now.

You have to complete loads of papers and test sheets related to the Board Exam, and we can help. You can find the solutions to complex problems easily on expert online practice learning sites such as LetsPractise. Contact us now for more.

Ultimately, it all comes down to you and your willpower. You are your own worst enemy and your own best friend. If you are determined and resolute, there is no reason why you can’t crack the exam. Good luck!

Think of the Board Exam as an opportunity to advance Instead of a horrifying experience. It is a test that can lead you to success if you do well. Now, go forth and triumph!

Kids, especially young kids, love to ask questions. Children are curious by nature and their most favorite questions to ask are ‘why?’, ‘what?’ and ‘how?’. Children between the ages 5 – 6 ask the most questions. Unfortunately, most people shun children for their curiosity and it is misinterpreted as annoyance.

It is not right on our part as educators to dismiss the genuinely curious. As educators, why not use this trait to our advantage and get students to ask the right kind of questions, creating room for effective learning to take place?

There has been a decades-old misconception in our educational system that it is the teacher’s duty to do all the talking and students, the listening. With this in place, it is quite clear to us that learning takes place on a minimal level.  

Teachers spend hours of chatter and explanation, droning on and on about a subject. This is not welcome in a classroom any more and students have frankly been bored out of their minds. Students can be taught effectively only when they are interested in a subject.

Engaging Students Through Science

Science is beautiful because it is a field of study that raises one’s curiosity. We have written posts about science before, such as How to Make Science Class Interesting? and How to Make Science Fun for Students?

Science is a wonderful subject. However, because of the constant stigma about Science being difficult to master, there is a mental block in the student’s minds. This block limits their ability and decreases their interest in the subject.

This means that the methods of imparting education should be changed. Human beings are constantly evolving,  so why shouldn’t evolution take place in the teaching methods?

Here is a list of methods that could be adapted for your classroom in order to make Science more interesting for the students.

1. Experimental Methods

One way we can make Science interesting for students is by the good old method of getting one’s hands dirty.

Statistically, students have displayed progress at the rate of 52% towards the learning of science when experimental activities had been introduced to their class. We are not talking of complex experiments with many systems and tools, but encouraging students to understand concepts and thus, creating models from scratch.

Let them explore the surroundings. Let the students perform experiments and dissections. Take the students on field trips to farms, lakes, or even just the Science Lab. Once they aren’t just constrained to the boundaries of the classroom, they have room for understanding theories, and conceptual learning takes place.

2. Cultivate the Habit of Thinking

When the teacher rattles off about the theories and mechanics of physics or anatomy, students simply tune out after some time when the lesson gets monotonous. With this method of teaching adopted in almost every educational institution, students are barely given the opportunity to think. Therefore, instead of putting information out there, put forth questions to them that would require technical and logical thinking in order for them to come up with a solution.

Have you looked at a group of students react when a puzzle is given to them? They frantically search their minds for the knowledge they have acquired to apply and bring forth a solution. To them, it is a challenge, and they seldom turn one down. Science is a great opportunity for friendly debates and to question others. It is a good idea to have a Question of the Day or Question of the Week and let students figure out the answer themselves. This way, they are actively engaging in classroom sessions rather than just noting down whatever you say.

3. Bring in Technology

It’s the modern age, and the educators need to get with the times if they wish to capture the attention of their students. With the constant exposure of children to screens, we as educators opt to give them a break from screen time, thus shutting the doors to technological advantages in a classroom.

Give students the opportunity to learn Biology, Physics, and Chemistry through stimulators and activities. Diagrams of structures are precise and accurate, and showcase everything visually which will also make it easier to understand.

Utilize video facilities to demonstrate experiments in Physics and Chemistry. For a better understanding of the Periodic Table, you can use images, pictures, and infographics. There are also audio tools you can use such as songs for the Periodic Elements, songs about the Water Cycle, and more.

With all the above mentioned, allow your main aim to be the creation of a learning space that is free to think and speak, to question and to learn. It’s important to always keep an open mind. So, let students ask questions and listen to what they have to say.

LetsPractise Makes Science Fun

Whether it’s Biology, Chemistry, or Physics, Science will often leave you in awe and amazement. You can relate almost everything to science, so why not use this to your advantage? Dropping a scientific game or two will always shift the atmosphere of the classroom enabling students to embrace learning and enjoy it in the process.

Science is the study of life and universal laws and substances that surround us. Just like maths, it is absolutely important for the real world. Whether your child grows up to be a doctor, an inventor, or a programmer, they need to have a solid grasp of Science and a understand it well. LetsPractise can help you achieve this.

We are a group of teachers and parents who offer training in the form of practise sheets and test papers for various subjects, and practise papers for students from 1st to 10th studying Science in the CBSE, IGCSE, State, and ICSE Boards are one of our specialties.

We offer worksheets with challenging questions and puzzles. These are specifically designed to check whether students are able to apply concepts taught in the classroom and whether they have understood them. You can view all of our plans and find one that suits you. Contact us now for additional details or enquiries.

Eloquence in English is a desirable trait among students that can be developed by reading the newspaper. A newspaper also helps students stay informed with what is going on around them, nationally as well as internationally.

However, most children avoid reading to read the newspaper as they are unable to comprehend its contents. Added to this is the influx of the, especially social media which makes appealing visual content easily available with the touch of a button. Social media content is usually like junk food; tasty, quick, attractive and totally devoid of anything useful. As newspaper reading is a must for students to master the language.]

Activities to Help Students Understand a Newspaper Article

Here are some activities that teachers and parents can use to help students to understand articles in the newspaper and inspire them to read more.

1. Find Tough Words

Teachers or parents can take any article in the newspaper that is of interest to the children. Try topics on technology, sports, comic heroes, or short stories. Then, the students can read the article and make a list of the tough words they don’t understand. Once this is done, the parent/ teacher and student can look the words up in a dictionary. Finally, ask the students to read the article once again replacing the tough words with simple ones to test their understanding.

This activity is great for building the student’s vocabulary. You can make it more interesting by using markers to circle the word in the paper and asking the students to draw the words visually. This activity ensures that the students read the article thoroughly and internalize the content and language.

2. Quiz Whiz

Conduct a short quiz listing some tricky questions based on an article that interests the children. Distribute copies of the article to the class and give them time to read it. When they are finished, take the articles away and start the quiz. Only the students who read the complete article properly will be able to correctly answer the quiz questions.

This activity induces a competitive spirit among students and it gets them excited about reading articles. Students must read the entire article and hence have to grasp its contents. If the article is really interesting, it inspires them to read more.

3. Debate

Newspapers are always full of spicy news and controversy. Pick any one article with a current topic which is suitable for children to debate on. Make it interesting. Ask the students to read the article fully, jot down the points and then to align themselves. Divide the class into 2 groups (‘for’ and ‘against’) and insist on every group member expressing his/her viewpoint for just 1 minute. Declare that points should be original and clearly stated.

This activity requires the complete reading and article comprehension. Students love to debate as this gives them an opportunity to express their views and individuality. It tests their persuasion and ability to convince others and may result in some students switching sides. Be sure to choose a simple topic that is relevant to their level. Politics probably won’t interest 2nd standard kids!

4. What is the Headline?

This is an interesting activity that is apt for article reading in the newspaper. Select an article and remove its headline. Circulate it among students and ask them to come up with catchy and cogent headlines for the article.

This activity requires a knack for writing and a flair for the language. Children can hone their language skills as they have to read the article completely and coin some crisp headlines. You can also let students vote on the best headline and maybe give a prize to students who guess the headline correctly.

5. Match the Word

“Match the word” is a unique activity. Select a newspaper article and ask students to read it. Then, they are given a list of words for which they have to find the matching or equivalent pairs in the article. To achieve this, the student must read the article completely and search for the synonyms of the given word.

You can also choose a word with multiple meaning and see if the student can find the meaning within the context of the sentence.  

Give them options and ask them to select the answer they think is correct. Let the student guess and then look it up in a dictionary or thesaurus to see if they got it right. This ensures that the student understands the meaning of every word or looks for it in the dictionary or thesaurus. This exercise is excellent for vocabulary-building.

Don’t Neglect the News

Newspaper-reading must be made a daily habit for children to develop their language skills and awareness of world affairs. Teachers and parents must work towards encouraging children to read newspaper articles by frequently using interesting activities like the ones previously mentioned. Reading articles must be made a routine habit for children to practice daily.

Sure, comics, cartoons, and computer games are fun. However, knowledge is power and the importance of staying up to date with relevant issues cannot be understated. Reading will never go out of fashion and students must be made to understand the strength of the written word through article reading.

Another way to help children improve their English skills is through practice papers and mock tests. LetsPractise does just that. We are parents and teachers ourselves with plenty of experience in the area. English Grammar for ICSE Board is one of our most popular programmes. Take a look at all our plans and contact us to get started improving your child’s English today.

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!