Thursday, 28 June 2012

Tips for Reducing Anxiety before Math Exam

Mathematics has always been a dreaded subject for most students. In solving a mathematical problem, a child needs to apply his analytical reasoning to find out the solution. The methodical process of arriving at the answer may provide considerable stress and anxiety to the student, especially during the examination, as there is added pressure and time constraint. 

This exam anxiety further has a tendency to reduce the focus and clarity. It also causes physical discomfort to students, which prevents them from putting in extra efforts in performing the test. You need to be confident to solve math problems. Anxiety as often leads to self doubt. If self doubt arises, it becomes much harder to find the right answer. 

What Can Be Done?

Exam anxiety is a tricky thing to empower. It is difficult to ask a child to avoid anxiety, if he is struggling to solve a problem. Clearly, the best way for overcoming anxiety is to study and prepare beforehand. The more the student practices problem-solving, the less intimidating the problem becomes.

However, there are certain strategies that teachers and parents can teach for reducing the math test anxiety: 
Test Yourself Before the Final Exam 

Every student must test himself before appearing for the finals. This will not only give him an idea of how much he needs to study, but will also make him aware of his strengths and weaknesses.

Clarify your Doubts 

Once the student is aware of his weaknesses and the topics that seem difficult to him, he should not delay it further and must right away discuss it with his teacher. It will reduce his nervousness regarding that subject or topic. It will also give him an idea, if he needs to devote some extra time on the concept. 

Create a Strategy for Cracking the Exam 

Every student needs to devise a strategy to be successful in exam. Most children appear for exams with no prior strategy to attempt the question. Generally, when they struggle with a problem during an exam, they get nervous and have no idea what to do next. One of the suggestions is when one gets stuck with one problem. He must leave it and move on to the next one and come back to it later on. 

Try Relaxation Techniques 

Every student must be aware of some techniques to reduce his stress during examination. It’s generally harder to get children to adopt relaxation exercises, as they are not receptive as adults in performing   deep breathing or progressive muscle relaxation. But once they are able to imbibe in their life, these relaxation techniques decrease their exam pressure completely.

Friday, 11 May 2012

Enhancing Artistic Qualities: Teaching Children To Draw

Learning to draw is indeed fun and educational for kids. While teaching, teacher must make sure learning is balanced, and not too restrictive. Otherwise it won’t enhance their creative skills; the child should have some free time with no creative limitations. Your coaching should inspire the child to be imaginative and it must reflect in his drawings.
Drawing can encourage observation and recollection and it also is a medium to vent out ideas and feelings. Teacher must allow children to develop this through drawing and sketching.

Technique one: Teaching Drawing Using Observation and Recollection Method

The method aims to encourage children to perceive and to describe the world around them. Under this technique, you can give assignment to students to draw themselves by looking in a mirror, draw a map showing your route from home to school, and include local landmarks, draw an important event from memory or draw their favorite toy or superhero. Other interesting projects could be to draw bug collections or still-life display or use a magnifying glass to draw enlarged views of water drops, hair, plant leaves, etc.

The method: Ask child to do contour drawing of object displayed in the classroom. Ask students to do examine the object for one minute and then put the object away. Now, ask children to draw using their memory from what they remember about the object.

Technique two: Teaching Drawing Creative Expressions

The purpose is to encourage children to use their imagination and express their ideas and feelings through drawing. Teacher can ask the child to draw the expression he sees on people faces, to draw emotions of sadness, happiness, crying etc. Give assignments like – to design a machine to help the president or design a machine that makes peanut butter, draw an image to show how you would weigh an elephant, draw a picture of a chocolate factory, design an underground city, design a dog-exercising machine etc.

Benefits of Drawing for Children – Drawing helps children in plenty of ways but some of the core qualities developed by drawing are: 
  • It strengthens fine motor skills in children. 
  • Enhances creative and artistic skills. 
  • Also, helps in improvising reading and writing. 
  • Instills confidence in children 
  • Drawing helps children to identify emotions, feelings and sensations. 
  • Sharpens communication skills with others. 
  • Plays role in formation of personality and develops psychological maturity.
  • Drawing stimulates the brain to grow in the areas that shows how to observe.

Friday, 13 April 2012

Use of Problem Based Learning Method to Teach Students

Problem based learning is the new practical method that is used widely in schools today. It converts traditional classroom teaching into experiential learning experience for students.  In this method, instead of using lectures or assignments as a teaching mode, teacher provides students with a problem and asks them to work on it. Here no advance or beforehand material is provided to them. Rather, they are required to solve the problem using active learning and work on discovering new content for the solution. It is purely application of mind with no artificial help.  

Using this technique, students engage in complex problem solving by working collaboratively towards it. The mantra for breaking code under this method is to by applying disciplinary knowledge to real-world problems. Slowly and gradually – the motivation to solve a problem becomes the motivation to learn.

How it works? 

Working towards the problem, students identify, what they already know and what new information they require and its access in order to reach the resolution of the problem. Students while trying out the problem work self –directed. They move step by step refining the acquired knowledge.  Thus, PBL increases knowledge and understanding in children. PBL also teach children different methods of solving one problem i.e. varied solutions for one problem. 

How it benefits students? 

• Problem based learning provides you with learning that helps you discover what you need to learn. It is a kind of self – improvising technique. 

• Makes children more receptive, they become open to new learning and information.

• They become pro-active and become more supple in processing information and meeting obligations. Also, help students to develop effective problem solving skills, self-directed learning. 

• Enhances logical thinking and reasoning power. The aim of problem based learning is to help students develop effective collaboration skills and intrinsic motivation.

• It stimulates learning skills and aids learners to realize relevance of learning to future roles and maintaining a higher level of motivation towards learning.

• It also improves your communications skill and shows the learners the importance of responsible, professional attitudes.

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Tips For Reducing Teaching Stress

Teaching is one of the demanding careers that require you to deal with classroom stress. Not only does stress come from teaching, but also comes along when you juggle your personal and professional life. Stress is not just a mental factor, but it is a physical factor as well. Taking care of your body and mind is paramount and that's not an easy task.

Teachers have to deal with classroom hassles, afternoon meetings and have to complete obnoxious amount of paperwork and report cards; all this certainly lays immense pressure on them. Teachers must adopt strategies for avoiding burnouts and making improvements in their outlook and attitude.

Simple tips can be followed by them, which can be very helpful-

Engage Yourself In Connecting With students- Often when we get stressed-out, we tend to disengage ourselves from the surroundings. Organizing such activities allows you to relax and enjoy, thereby helps you to connect with students. Cooperative learning activities within the classroom or group discussions can prove to be highly fruitful for building the camaraderie between teachers and students. Also, such active involvement facilitates a sense of control and empowerment. 

Maintain Balance - Teaching job, no doubt is a delicate one. Therefore, teachers need to maintain psychological and physical balance. Our society expects teachers to be educationally and emotionally well.  However, teachers experience a number of varied pressures and stressors like taking work home, dealing with difficult students and pressure from parents, teachers’ evaluation, ongoing learning etc. They must learn to balance all these pressures and empower them.

Keep Yourself Motivated - Remember why you opted for this profession. Keep those reasons close to your heart while teaching and when you are stressed. It can really help you to remain motivated. Remind yourself about goals in life and set priorities. Having direction makes situation more meaningful.

Remain Positive -  Try and remain positive no matter what. Keep faith and believe in what you are doing. Time and again remind yourself, what impact your attitude is creating on kids who see you and idolize you in school.

Take a Break – Do things you like, for example:-go for travel, watch your favorite show or sitcom, listen to soothing music etc. A little time spent in joyful activities will definitely avoid any serious burnouts in future.

So, one must eat healthy and always remain optimistic which will certainly be beneficial in reducing stress. Try and implement couple of these ideas to make you feel more relaxed.

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Parent Teachers Meeting (PTM) Tips for Teachers

Parent–teacher meetings are essential component of ongoing home–school communication and it is vital for both sides to actively participate in it. It is but natural for newly appointed teachers to get understandably nervous about their first meet with the parents. Even experienced teachers may feel it to be a daunting and exhausting task. 

Some tips and preparations in advance can help you simplify the meeting process-

• To begin with, teachers must send home invitation for PTMs to parents and must ensure that they receive them. An additional exercise what teachers can do is send a brief questionnaire along with the invitation asking parents to pen down their concerns and questions about the child or school or any other specific area they want to talk about. It will make them prepared in advance for the big meeting and big questions.

• It is a cardinal rule. Teachers must always begin with something positive about the child in the meeting and then slowly move down to areas where their child needs to improve. Start with something positive and then talk about areas of improvement and then finish on positive note.

• Teachers must avoid being diplomatic rather they should be honest and truthful. Parents have right to get accurate information about their child but at the same time teacher must ensure not to use harsh phrases or comments for the child.

• Teachers must structure the entire session with parents. The agenda of the meeting must be highlighted at the meeting because that’s for what the meeting is arranged. Teachers must be prepared with work samples like homework or project assignments of the child.

• After highlighting the problems and key areas, teachers must offer a suggested course of action as well. This will help them to direct their children and they will appreciate your efforts. Teachers must also mention specific targets for improvement or changed behavior from last time.

• Teachers must also listen to what parents have to say.  You'll get more out of a parent conference if you really listen to what parents are saying to you.

• Teachers must record important points of the meetings. These details might prove to be helpful later to brief parents in future.

• Meet again if required. If you feel, you need more time, arrange another meeting with parents. It is duty of teachers to satisfy each query of them and problem solving is equally important as it may be crucial for the child.

To become a extraordinary senior secondary school teacher join The Knowlege Tree Academy - Tranforming Education

Monday, 5 March 2012

Women's Day: Women And Their Diverse Roles

As our society witnesses rapid changes, there is alteration in the society’s approach towards women. People have started accepting varied roles of women as professionals, as bread-earners in families and as an independent thinking individual. Crossing all inhibitions women have proved themselves as equals in varied line of works and in some occupations they are even regarded as better than men. The times are changing and so is the changing role of women.

The traditional role of a man has always been one of a figure running home and women have typically looked after house chores. But this situation is changing as women today are not only managing household but contributing to the expenses of running their homes as well. They in the present scenario are geared up in shouldering responsibilities with men. No doubt, women are shedding their typical roles and venturing into experimental roles.

Expanding Roles of Women in Society

The role of women is ever growing and has expanded a lot from what it was traditionally in the past. It varies significantly across the world. Women need to show substance in education, employment, and family roles and the interrelations between them. To achieve this, women have ventured beyond their traditional role of wife and mother, and have stepped out of their home for employment and careers. They are now actively participating in the economic and social development of the nation

Honoring Women Worldwide on Women’s Day

International Women’s Day on March 8th gives us an opportunity to honor women around us, who have significantly contributed in our lives. During this day several events are held worldwide to pay respect to women and celebrate their achievements. The International Women’s Day thus serves as a reminder to reflect on how much women across globe have achieved.

Origins of Woman's Day

The International Women’s Day originated way back in 1908, when  in New York about 15,000 women rallied through the city demanding for shorter work hours, voting rights and better pay. The owner of the factory tried to restrict these women in order to avoid publicity of the matter due to their demands and closed them in the factory. Sadly, fire broke up in the factory and 129 women died. In 1910 Socialist International in Copenhagen to commemorate this day, established International Woman's Day.

The occasion truly gives us an opportunity to express our gratitude to all the women who play vital roles as mother, sister, friend, peer and colleague. Let’s celebrate their spirit of womanhood.

Monday, 13 February 2012

Explore Career Possibilities in School Management

If you are working in the education sector or pursuing a teacher training course and wish to give your career a boost, then courses in school management is apt for you. This course allows you to develop an understanding about educational leadership and management by providing an encouraging environment with the help of professionals in the field.

Such courses groom school management skills, knowledge and attitudes in the students and provide them an opportunity to contribute their best in the schools that offer effective teaching and learning. The learning and experience will train you to apply basic management skills and guide you to manage school teaching staff. Such courses fulfill dreams of aspiring school managers when they take up posts like Heads of Department, Deputy Principals and Principals in leading schools.

The Knowledge Tree is one such academy that provides excellent school management course called as ‘Leadership Program in School Management’. The course equips candidates with skills that make them an expert in overall management. It nurtures skills like interpersonal skills, parent relationship management, use of technology and modern aids, presentation skills, etc. After completion of the program, candidates are placed at a leadership position in premier schools. This program covers areas such as school business management, human resource management finance planning in schools, facilities and office management, and entrepreneurship. Duration of this interesting course is six months.

The Knowledge Tree academy aims is to fulfill the need of professionals in the education industry. It is supported by team of skilled and experienced researchers, academicians and specialized staff who are aggressively working in planning and designing the curriculum of all the courses.