Pride Comes Before a Fall

Learnhive is running Think n Ink Contest- Creative Writing Contest for kids aged 5 – 15. We have lots of new entries and we’ll be uploading your work here. This is one of the write-up which was uploaded for the Think n Ink Contest. 

Essay by Shirin Laturkar of Grade 7 for Think n Ink Contest

A few months ago, my parents, cousins and I went on a trip to a hill-station. We had a lot of fun but something happened that made me a lot humbler than I used to be.

In the resort where we were staying, there was a waterfall that we all wanted to visit. It was quite small and there was a small river into which the waterfall flowed into. Across the river was a small, wood-like area with a lot of trees, making the area very shady. To cross the river, there was a natural stone pathway made of rocks a meter or so apart. One would have to jump on these rocks to get past. As the river was constantly flowing over the rocks, they were quite slippery.

On the day we visited it, the Sun was shining and it was a lovely day. So, we decided to take a picnic lunch and eat it on the other side of the waterfall. We were going to spend the entire day there. As I had an unusually good sense of balance, I crossed the river first and helped everyone across. After lunch all the parents started chatting about boring things like the stock market so us children started playing on the rocks in the river. Naturally, with my excellent balance, I won all the games that involved jumping from one rock to another. Finally, one of my cousins dared me to jump from one stone to another, while skipping a stone. This was obviously very difficult, but, feeling confident after winning all those games, I decided to try it. While jumping, I suddenly felt a bit nervous and I landed on the rock a bit awkwardly. While I was trying to regain my balance, a large wave crashed on the rock I was standing on. Shrieking, I lost my balance and plunged into the water! I was alright, unhurt except for my bruised pride. As I climbed out of the water, soaking wet, I was so embarrassed. If only I hadn’t tried to jump.

The above incident is an outstanding example of how pride comes before a fall – literally!

About Think n Ink: 

Learnhive is running Think n Ink Contest for Kids aged 5 – 15. Encourage your children to participate. You can register for Free! The prizes will be given in 4 categories and the best original written piece will win cash prizes and certificates. Closing date for this contest is May 22nd, 2013.

Sign up for free, participate, and win prizes by clicking here.

Think n Ink Contest- Learnhive Summer Contest 2013

Article by a Seventh Grader

Learnhive is running Think n Ink Contest- Creative Writing Contest for kids aged 5 – 15. We have lots of new entries and we’ll be uploading your work here. This is one of the write-up which was uploaded for the Think n Ink Contest. 

Article by Prajna Chaudhary of Grade 7 for Think n Ink Contest

I’m a girl. 13 years old. I wear shorts and dresses. I own a mobile. I feel that a late night party are all right and so is roaming with guys. It is my life after all. My wish, whatever I want to do & whatever I do. But that doesn’t mean that any guy can rape me and ruin my life. All you rich modern people, sitting in your homes, watching TV, or chatting with your friends, its high time now. We need to do something. All of us need to pull up our socks. And when will we do that? When the rape victim is someone from our family? We are forgetting that children smaller than us are being raped. A 5 year old kid, then an 11 year girl and then an 8 year girl. Imagine, such a horrible thing happening to our moms, sisters or any dear ones (God forbidden). We need to change our mindsets. We may be modern in the way we dress or the way we talk, but let’s admit it we are still a little backward in our thinking. You might be thinking that I’m wrong, but I’m not. In a relationship girls are expected to say ‘tum’ to guys whereas guys call ‘tu’. Now, you must be wondering how this is connected rape. But let me tell you, it is, not directly but indirectly. Baby steps matter a lot. Yes, the rape victim is someone from my family. All the rape victims are because I belong to a family of humanity where everyone is equal. If girls can be raped, then why can’t boys be? Because, our ancestors had a thinking that males are superior to females.

Even though we are still schooling, we can do a lot for our country. Usually, the rapists are uneducated. As students, we can go to various NGOs or even chose a particular house in a slum and educate all the family members of the house. And, we can start this by teaching our helper (Yes, she is our helper and not our maid) and her family. Guys, please I make a humble request to all of you that this won’t get us anywhere, we need to take action. We sit in our air-conditioned rooms and blame the rapists. And yes, put “punish the rapists” statuses on Facebook and once in a while, go on a candle march. But let’s admit it, we go on a candle march, with our friends, nicely dressed and socialize and click pictures over there to upload on Facebook. We also criticize our very own country, even though we’re its own children (I’m not telling you to support politicians). We crib about our country’s low education percentage, its infrastructure, its poverty and the poor health of a large number of people but we are forgetting that we need are the ones who have to change all this. Do you know why USA is so developed? Because all the well-to-do and educated people of India go to US. Let me tell you India is a very diverse country with more than 200 languages and 100 religions. India has the best education worldwide, but unfortunately only a few get it. Please guys and girls, do something for your country. Its future is in our hands.

About Think n Ink: 

Learnhive is running Think n Ink Contest for Kids aged 5 – 15. Encourage your children to participate. You can register for Free! The prizes will be given in 4 categories and the best original written piece will win cash prizes and certificates. Closing date for this contest is May 22nd, 2013.

Sign up for free, participate, and win prizes by clicking here.

Think n Ink Contest- Learnhive Summer Contest 2013

Teeny Tiny

Learnhive is running Think n Ink Contest- Creative Writing Contest for kids aged 5 – 15. We have lots of new entries and we’ll be uploading your work here. This is one of the write-up which was uploaded for the Think n Ink Contest. 

Short Story by Ishaan Trivedi of Grade 5 for Think n Ink Contest

One fine morning in the forgotten land called Frugalatte, the baron was looking out from his balcony while thinking O, the lovely animals I shall catch today, for hunting was his favourite hobby. He had lots of spears, arrows, traps, swords and god knows what else. So, early that afternoon he rode on one of his finest horse to the forest.

Suddenly he spotted a deer behind a tree. He took out a sharp spear and quickly but quietly crept up to the deer. Even though he was silent the deer heard him and shot off like a bullet. The baron instantly mounted his horse and galloped towards the deer. As the baron chased the deer, he saw an enchanted mansion. Curious as he was, he went in.

He found a bug ray (which a time-travelling future scientist had forgot to take with him) and as he thought it was a doomsday device he started trying to destroy it with his spear and sword. While he was doing this he must have accidently pressed the ‘FIRE’ button because at that precise moment he turned into the size of a bug.

He shrunk so fast that he didn`t realise for a minute. Then he noticed that the grass was as tall as the trees and there were bugs crawling about on the soft soil that were almost the same size as him. As he was looking around a beetle came up to him and said “Hello, my name is Jimmy. You look like the rare bug ‘Optus muntus’ because of your colourful things you wear on you (clothes) and you have four legs but you only walk on two. I have a friend of you species. His name is David. As soon as he said David the baron realised it was his long lost brother. “Take me to David,” said the baron hurriedly. When he saw David he didn’t recognise him at first glance because he was old and beardy. “How did they know that we were that species when we aren’t and …,” the baron trailed off.  “I made it up so they recognised us and they attack if they don’t know our species,” replied David. “The device shrunk you too then, come to my house and we will talk.

As they arrived at David’s house the baron gasped in astonishment “How did you make this, it looks exactly like the palace,” spluttered the baron still staring at the wondrous building which was standing tall and strong. “It was the small replica you made and gave to me to keep for a few days. The day I was coming to return it I came across the device and you know what happened next don’t you,” sighed David. “What I don’t understand is why you are so old and beardy and you have been away for a month,” asked the baron, confused. “You get older quickly when you are bug,” replied David. They both went in. Inside was exactly like the palace as well. The baron was very pleased with his work. David quickly made some tea and they started planning. They talked and talked and talked until they had a brilliant plan.

The idea was the baron’s, he had remembered one of his hunting weapons was a sling and he had killed lots of small animals such as rabbits, hedgehogs and badgers.

The next day they set off, looking for the tools needed. It was pretty hard work and only after couple of hours of fruitless search the baron found an old piece of rubber band. They tied it together because it was in a broken state. “That’s one thing found another two to go but let’s have lunch first,” said the baron hungrily. “OK” replied David. They went home and had few crumbs of cake which made them quite full. They also had a drop of lemonade and felt fresh. In next part of search finding the stick and stones was easier. Partly because sticks and stones lay on the ground and partly because you can snap some twigs to the right size. They slept happily having completed the day’s work.

Next morning they got straight to work, putting the rubber band on the stick was the hard part. Once they had done it they took it to the device (shrinking ray) and started flinging stones at the ‘Reverse Fire’ button. In the end they finally hit it. The blue ray zapped them and they were back to normal size!

There was celebration and festivities when they came back. Everyone was happy. The baron thanked his child for keeping place. A courtier asked him “What happened to you, Sir?”  The baron looked at David and smiled.

About Think n Ink: 

Learnhive is running Think n Ink Contest for Kids aged 5 – 15. Encourage your children to participate. You can register for Free! The prizes will be given in 4 categories and the best original written piece will win cash prizes and certificates. Closing date for this contest is May 22nd, 2013.

Sign up for free, participate, and win prizes by clicking here.

Think n Ink Contest- Learnhive Summer Contest 2013

An Encounter with a Wild Animal – A Short Story

Learnhive is running Think n Ink Contest- Creative Writing Contest for kids aged 5 – 15. We have lots of new entries and we’ll be uploading your work here. This is one of the write-up which was uploaded for the Think n Ink Contest. 

Short Story by Rahul Menon of Grade 9 for Think n Ink Contest

It was the 4th of July, 2005 if I remember correctly. I had woken up early at two a.m and prayed to God that my birthday today would be very interesting, little did I know how “ wild an animal interesting was going to be .

I had left my wish list in a place I knew my parents would find it. I wondered what they were going to choose as I slipped back under my bed sheet. When I woke up again I quickly freshened up and went to the dining room and asked my parents what was the day’s surprise the next thing I knew, I was in a safari. I couldn’t believe my parents had actually got me here. That’s when I realized I had wandered off I couldn’t find my parents! I took a few tentative steps backward when I heard a growl from behind me; I turned around to see myself face to face, with a jaguar! I had heard more than enough about this man- eater that I was a goner. The panther was very beautifully in an “I’m going to rip your head off” sort of way. It had sleek back fur, a beautiful long tail and green piercing eyes. It started as it edged closer and I saw hundreds of sparkling white teeth and at the moment I knew those were the last things I was ever going to see. The leopard pounced and I raised my arm in defense. I felt the jaguar jaw lock itself on my arm in a steel grip. Pain surged through my arm as I felt flesh being separated from bone. It was at that moment I remembered the story of the man who had killed a tiger barehanded. I relaxed my arm and felt the jaguars jaw loosen a fraction immediately I pushed my arm further into the panther’s jaw blocking its windpipe. I cried out in pain as the jaguars jaw tightened like steel clamps. The jaguars started struggling like as if it’s tail was being ground , it was fainting, reaching deaths doorstep, I let go and just before the panther fainted it looked at me, gratitude in its eye. The next day the headlines were “6 year old boy triumph over jaguar “, my wish had been granted.

About Think n Ink: 

Learnhive is running Think n Ink Contest for Kids aged 5 – 15. Encourage your children to participate. You can register for Free! The prizes will be given in 4 categories and the best original written piece will win cash prizes and certificates. Closing date for this contest is May 22nd, 2013.

Sign up for free, participate, and win prizes by clicking here.

Think n Ink Contest- Learnhive Summer Contest 2013

Short Story by a Sixth Grader

Learnhive is running Think n Ink Contest- Creative Writing Contest for kids aged 5 – 15. We have lots of new entries and we’ll be uploading your work here. This is one of the write-up which was uploaded for the Think n Ink Contest. 

Story by Devika Sharma of Grade 6 for Think n Ink Contest

I couldn’t believe it. I had made it to the finals. “You’ve got this one,” coach told me. I could feel the wind blowing in my face, the warm glow of the sun. The one shrill note pierced the silence. Tweet! And I was off. Like a rocket. The sensation of the crowd cheering, my heart pulsing, was just overwhelming. One by one I over took the other sprinters. 50 meters to go.  My legs were threatening to collapse underneath me. Finally I overtook the last girl. Her eyes seemed to burn holes into my back. I could tell she hated me for overtaking her. I remember she once told me ‘no one cares about who comes second, only about who comes first.’ Now it was her turn to experience coming second. Then I heard a ripping sound. That could only mean one thing. I had won. I had been the one to tear the ribbon first. The crowd went into a frenzy.  “Devika! Devika! Devika!” they chanted. Then the tone became angrier. And angrier. Then I woke to find my mother above me, yelling at me to wake up.

About Think n Ink: 

Learnhive is running Think n Ink Contest for Kids aged 5 – 15. Encourage your children to participate. You can register for Free! The prizes will be given in 4 categories and the best original written piece will win cash prizes and certificates. Closing date for this contest is May 22nd, 2013.

Sign up for free, participate, and win prizes by clicking here.

Think n Ink Contest- Learnhive Summer Contest 2013

Save Earth – A Poem

Aside

Learnhive is running Think n Ink Contest- Creative Writing Contest for kids aged 5 – 15. We have lots of new entries and we’ll be uploading your work here. This is one of the write-up which was uploaded for the Think n Ink Contest. 

Poem by V.S. Manasa of Grade 10 for Think n Ink Contest

The green mother

Is choked with smoke

She is soaked in dust

She cries and yelps

Never do we help.

The earth is burning

Who is caring?

She filled our needs but filled we are with greed

Didn’t leave a seed

Didn’t do one good deed.

Her skin has lost its flamboyance

So part her with greenery

Fill her with scenery

Sketch her with lilies and roses

And, stuff her with tweets and growls.

Do not litter; make her glitter

Do not bore, just for an ore

Please do strive to make her thrive

Be her helper not her chopper

Let us be her lover, never let her suffer

Let her rivers flow gay never let it grey

Just be keen to keep her clean

Let seas flow free never let the wry

Reuse reduce recycle

Enjoy life with a cool bicycle!

.

Then my friend

You will see your mother (earth) twirl and sing

I am safe! I am safe!

No more wounds, no more cries

Neither will I brood nor will I sigh!

About Think n Ink: 

Learnhive is running Think n Ink Contest for Kids aged 5 – 15. Encourage your children to participate. You can register for Free! The prizes will be given in 4 categories and the best original written piece will win cash prizes and certificates. Closing date for this contest is May 22nd, 2013.

Sign up for free, participate, and win prizes by clicking here.

Think n Ink Contest- Learnhive Summer Contest 2013

Discovered But Still Unknown – A Short Story

Learnhive is running Think n Ink Contest- Creative Writing Contest for kids aged 5 – 15. We have lots of new entries and we’ll be uploading your work here. This is one of the write-up which was uploaded for the Think n Ink Contest. 

Short Story by Manaf of Grade 6 for Think n Ink Contest

Professor Jade is successful in making the potion. A potion consisting of chemicals, a dead rabbit, ants and a bumblebee’s eye. He also used some plants, a poisonous snake and his own blood in creating this mixture.

“Yeh! I have made it.” he shouted “just I need to try it.” No one is aware of what he has made .He went to the sea shore and put the potion on the sand.  What was this!?

A giant massive ball came from the sky and fell there and as it touched the ground it became as small as an ant. It again grew big but this time it rolled over Jade and became a perfectly fit spacesuit for him. The space suit made jade fly for a few minutes but then it took him to space. During his journey Jade wondered what was happening as he wasn’t aware of such a thing and finally landed on a vast, gigantic sphere.

“Which planet is this?”He thought to himself.

“Hmmm mars? No it is the red planet and has red soil whereas this planet has a yellow land.”

“Mercury? No it is the nearest planet to the sun and here in place of a sun I can see a brick kind of a thing.”

“Venus? No it is the hottest planet and here the climate seems to be pretty pleasant.”

“Jupiter? Nope it’s the largest of all whereas it has a moderate size”

“Saturn, Uranus, Neptune? No, no, no it’s impossible to live there.” he spoke to himself.

“Where am I? What is it? I just know that it is a planet as I can just see a few stars around me here”

“Oh, oh, oh” A wraithlike voice came from behind. He turned and saw it was a creature with a body made of ants which he had used in the potion. Its leg was a part of the snake and the face was of the rabbit killed by him. Well the hands were the only thing were the only thing not obnoxious. You must know what the hands were; they were the plants which he had plucked off.

“You created that potion using us. But you don’t know that when we fell on the scorching sand and because of your pungent chemicals and the red water, we got are life back just the fault was that we all have combined. Then also we are enjoying are lives on this fantastic sphere.” Its voice was like that of a bumblebee.

“According to logic I have created you and you shall accept me as your master.”Jade replied.

“Yes you are right we must accept you as our king, master, almighty et cetera. Sir I apologize for my rude behavior.”The creature said. “It’s ok but shall not be repeated next time.”Jade replied proudly. “Do we have the permission to touch your foot as you are the first king on this planet?”It asked. “You have the permission to” This time he spoke as if he was accepted the king of a galaxy and was speaking before a trillion men.

The creatures went under his feet and –

“Aaaaaaaaaah” The rabbit’s strong teeth bit him so badly that tears rolled from his eyes.

Jade did not further speak and then took out a carrot from his pocket and threw it on the land. Then he took out a rat (which was going to be a part of his potion) and threw it on the other side. The leg (snake) tried to be separated from the body with full pressure but could not move to eat the rat as there were no eyes with him.

The face (rabbit’s face) separated itself easily but fell on the ground as there was no support. All the ants started digging a hole to search for something sweet they could smell. The plants died because they were already getting less nutrition from the mud on the ants and when the ants went there was nothing for their nutrition.

“These useless creatures have died now I have to decide my way back home and then tell everyone about this awesome planet.” Jade said.

Jade was suffocating after speaking this as he was unable to breathe because there was no plant to provide oxygen. He died.

Instead of using his over intelligent brain if Mr. Jade would have told the creature the interdependence in nature they, would have agreed to allow mankind on the planet. The plants and animals are much more mature than we humans.

Well, the planet is still unknown, no one knows it. The secret of the potion is also a mystery. Maybe it was god who did this all purposely.

This was another example which proved man an over smart fool.

About Think n Ink: 

Learnhive is running Think n Ink Contest for Kids aged 5 – 15. Encourage your children to participate. You can register for Free! The prizes will be given in 4 categories and the best original written piece will win cash prizes and certificates. Closing date for this contest is May 22nd, 2013.

Sign up for free, participate, and win prizes by clicking here.

Think n Ink Contest- Learnhive Summer Contest 2013

Secrets of Learning!

By Crystal Maria Andrade,

You may be curious as to know how humans learn. The ability to create new memories, store them for a longer period of time and recall them when they are needed is something marvelous about human memory. But, how parents and teachers think about learning taking place in children is erroneous. Let’s look at what memory has in store for us. 

Learning is a continuous process which lasts life-long in humans. It begins right when the baby is in the womb till we die. There has been lot of research done as to how learning takes place in humans. Today, we find parents worrying that their children do not do well in their studies and some children find it difficult to grasp concepts and lag behind while others are fast learners and get bored or impatient as they learn quite faster than the others and don’t fit into their peer groups. Why do you think this happens? Do we not know that each individual differs from the other even in terms of learning and memory?

Learning is different for each individual because we learn in different places and situations. Learning depends on whether it is formal or informal. People learn through different ways like touch, auditory, visual, behavior, attention, rote memorization, observing, and perceptions and so on. Moreover, we learn through variety of formats like multimedia, books, lectures and the like. Our learning is influenced by our culture, family, social status, genetic traits, developmental ability and age. Thus, learning is unique to each individual. Furthermore, one needs to know that learning and memory are interdependent. Learning takes place because of memory and without memory you cannot learn.

Photo Credit: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/717339

Misconceptions about learning

The fact that everybody needs to know about how learning takes place is crucial in determining better results and how to overcome some common prejudices. Learning is not as simple as we think and it is much more than cramming. Teachers and parents make their students and children follow stringent studying habits without understanding the aspect of how learning takes place in children or humans in general. Learning is the result of memory and the process of learning depends on how the information in processed in the stages of our memory. The stages that makes memory is due to encoding, storing and retrieval. If we have learnt something then it is because there is a relative permanent change which has taken place in our behavior, mental processors and our perceptions about the concepts which is solely due to the result of our experience.

Stages of memory

What everybody needs to know is how the information is processed in our memory and how learning occurs in humans. The stages are as follows:

Stage 1: This is the first stage of memory and the information which we have perceived or seen is encoded for a brief period of time i.e. few seconds. This information must be either transferred immediately to short-term memory or else it is liable to be erased or ceased. This stage is called sensory information.

Stage 2: The second stage of memory lasts for 20 to 30 seconds. Some selective sensory information which is stored in our active memory or conscious mind is called as short-term memory. Most of the short-term memories are quickly forgotten, to locate them for future reference, one has to attend to this information so that this information moves to the next stage.

Stage 3: The final stage of memory refers to information which lies deep in our unconscious and can be retrieved whenever desired. It’s a stage where old information is replaced with new and the information stored here can be retrieved for a lifetime. It plays a vital role in learning without which our purpose wouldn’t be served. This stage is called long term memory. Information stored here is permanent.

Memory like music

Memory can be compared to music on your phone. If you watch a YouTube music video then it would be a sensory information for your phone. If you download a song and if it is in your playlist then it would be short term memory. Once the new songs are added, the old ones will be automatically moved from the playlist. If you keep playing the new songs many times, they will be on your phone as most played. Likewise, this is how memory works. The more you rehearse any information, the more you will be able to retrieve or recall the information later.

Goodbye to cramming

Now that you know how memory works and how learning takes place, you can get rid of your traditional ways of teaching or studying and say goodbye to all your prejudices about learning.  Cramming or rote learning entire night before the day of exam is not the right way to study. Doing this will only result in mental block or forgetting. Every time you sit for studying, remember that rehearsing the information you have learnt is very essential for learning to take place. This indicates that revising helps in recalling the information accurately. Only when the information is rehearsed in the short term memory, it will be transferred to the long term memory. When this happens we know that learning has taken place. Hence, practice is important so that your memory knows that this repeated information has a purpose and will be retrieved whenever you need it. So, your memory is like a field. The more you sow, the more you shall reap. Consequently, make your memory your good friend, as you’ll need its help for lifelong whenever needed.

About the Author:

Crystal Maria Andrade is a Content Developer at Learnhive. Nature, travelling, music, movies and fun interests her. She has a profound passion for writing. She believes making the most out of every opportunity. Her hobbies include collecting quotes, learning new words and playing crosswords and puzzles. She’s a fun-lover and is surrounded by fun-loving people. Spreading happiness is her mantra.

About Learnhive: 

Learnhive is a leading provider of technology based learning solutions for K-12 students, parents, and tutors. Our goal is to make curriculum based learning more effective and fun. We specialize in providing after school learning solutions for students and parents. Our flagship product, Personal Concept Tutor™ gives students the flexibility to learn concepts at their own pace using a wide variety of materials and resources suited for their individual needs. Our technology is compatible with multiple device formats such as desktops, laptops, tablets and smart phones to make learning more fun, interactive and available to students anywhere and at anytime. Signup for free to access the learning materials (lessons and exercises).

A Five Step Easy Guide to Solving Math Word Problems

By Jayana Desai,

Do you feel that your child is not able to do well in word problems compared to number problems? Do you think that your child finds it difficult to comprehend or understand math word problems? Leave all your apprehensions behind because here’s unveiling the 5 simple steps that will help your child to solve word problems confidently and smartly.

“The essence of mathematics is not to make simple things complicated, but to make complicated things simple.”  — Stan Gudder

Raj collects pencils and stores them in his favourite pencil case. Raj has 26 pencils in his pencil case. He puts 7 more pencils in his case. How many pencils does Raj have in his case?

Photo Credit: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/743218

While some may find math word problems easy and fun to solve, others may actually find them difficult and confusing. Which side of the spectrum does your child fall on when solving these types of problems? To help determine the answer, ask yourself:

Does your child stare endlessly at the word problem with no idea what to do? Does your child rush through the word problem just to get it wrong? Is your child showing signs of frustration or lack of confidence when solving word problems?  If the answers to these questions were a resounding yes, then rest assured. Here are 5 steps children can use to solve math word problems.

Five Step Guide to Solving Math Word Problems:

1. Think

What is the problem asking? (Look for key words to help answer the question)

2.  Figure it out

Choose a strategy you know (i.e. number line to count, double counting, splitting the numbers into parts, counting by tens and ones, child invented strategy, etc.)

3.   Come up with a number scheme

13 + 6 =? ; 16 – 7 =?

4.    Solve the problem

Use the strategy identified in Step 2 to solve the problem

5.    Discuss

Explain your reasoning and approach (i.e. the “whys”)

Now, let’s apply these five steps to the math word problem:

Raj collects pencils and stores them in his favourite pencil case. Raj has 26 pencils in his pencil case. He puts 7 more pencils in his case. How many pencils does Raj have in his case?

  1. Think: The key words “7 more” tell me the number of pencils will be greater than 26. So, to increase the amount I will need to add the two numbers.
  2. Figure it out: Number line to count strategy
  3. Come up with a number scheme: 26 + 7 = ?
  4. Solve the problem:
  5. Discuss: I chose addition because the problem stated there will be “7 more” pencils. This means Raj will have a number greater than 26 pencils. I chose the line strategy to help me add. I started the number line at 26 and I needed to add 7. I know I can skip count by 2’s until I get to six, and then I can add 1 more increment, i.e. 2 + 2 + 2 = 6 +1 = 7. I apply this method to my number line (i.e. 26 + 2 = 28; 28 + 2 = 30; 30 + 2 = 32; 32 + 1 = 33). The total number of pencils in Raj’s pencil case is 33.

That seems simple, right? Well, at first it may seem daunting to a child as anything new does. However, encouraging your child to practice the 5-steps will gradually erase any fears, and rather build self-confidence in solving math word problems.

So, take this time to introduce your child to the 5-step guide of solving word problems, and witness your child swing to the other side of the spectrum; finding math word problems easy and fun to solve!

Now it’s your turn! Does your child apply one, some, or all of these 5 steps when solving math word problems? What strategies does your child use when solving word problems? How do you see the 5-step guide helping your child solve math word problems? Post your burning comment, thought, or question and let’s engage in an open dialogue!

About the Author:

An avid professional in the field of International Education, Jayana Desai hung up her investment banking heels of 13 years to pursue her dream of educating children. She holds a Master’s degree in International Education from New York University, Steinhardt. She has taught children at the primary grade level in both India and in New York. Her passion for educating children can be seen in the curriculum materials she develops, as well as in her love for teaching yoga to children. Being able to empower children with knowledge through positive learning experiences is Jayana’s goal. She would like them to be able to develop their body and mind, while bringing joy to their lives. Prior to her experience in Education, Jayana worked at two prestigious Investment Banks- JP Morgan and Lehman Brothers. She held various leadership positions in managing strategic, global-scale initiatives.

About Learnhive: 

Learnhive is a leading provider of technology based learning solutions for K-12 students, parents, and tutors. Our goal is to make curriculum based learning more effective and fun. We specialize in providing after school learning solutions for students and parents. Our flagship product, Personal Concept Tutor™ gives students the flexibility to learn concepts at their own pace using a wide variety of materials and resources suited for their individual needs. Our technology is compatible with multiple device formats such as desktops, laptops, tablets and smart phones to make learning more fun, interactive and available to students anywhere and at anytime. Signup for free to access the learning materials (lessons and exercises).

Mathematics, why it is more than just 1+1!

By Jayana Desai,

Have you ever felt that math is nothing but numbers, calculations, constructions and formulas?  Have you ever asked yourself how will math help you in anyway or does it play any role in your daily life? If you are still wondering then read further because you’ll be surprised what miracles math can do to you and how it will help you in your academics as well as daily life. 

Photo Credit: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/658665

The only way to learn mathematics is to do mathematics” – Paul Halmos

Why is mastering the core fundamentals of math important? How can learning and practicing math exercises help children strengthen their math skills? How does math help children assess their knowledge?

Answering the whys and hows of mathematics may be as complex as the Merriam-Webster Definition of Mathematics: “The study of the science of numbers and their operations, interrelations, combinations, generalizations, and abstractions and of space configurations and their structure, measurement, transformations, and generalizations.” However, like any mathematical problem, we need to break down the whys and hows to fully understand what is being asked and to reap the benefits of studying math.

Why is mastering the core fundamentals of Math important?

When I think about the core fundamentals of math, I think about addition to determine the sum of two numbers or subtraction to calculate the difference of two numbers. I think about the memorized multiplication facts to simplify repeated addition or the use of division to split parts or groups equally. While these basic math concepts solve math problems, they also teach children basic life skills to be successful in everyday life. This revelation came to me as a teacher while teaching 1st and 2nd grade math. The most important concept I learnt is that math is directly connected to real life. The development of mathematical skills transforms to the development of life skills.

So, let me share the 5 skills that children develop in everyday life while doing math:

Number sense – Through math, children build their knowledge of numbers and their relationships and connections. They also develop the use of numbers in their physical and social worlds.

 Assessing knowledge – The “use what you know” strategy in math is a great example of how children reflect on the knowledge or information they have in their memory, which leads to building off their prior knowledge, and applying their knowledge to interpret, identify, and solve math problems.

Problem solving – Whether it is a simple addition problem or an algebraic equation, math is all about problem solving.

Critical-thinking – Studying math provides children with the opportunity to think critically and creatively to generate strategies that will solve math problems.

Communication – Though discussing math may not be a normal practice, children should be encouraged to share their approach and reasoning when solving math problems.  By talking about their thought processes, children are strengthening their communication skills.

Now take a step outside the classroom and into the real world and you will see that these skills are needed everywhere- at a food store buying groceries, qualifiers for a candidate seeking a job, conversing with a friend about a problem, or a leader guiding the way and making a difference. These skills are the cornerstones to living life.

How can learning and practicing math exercises help children strengthen their math skills?

They say, ‘Practice makes a man perfect’ and this is no different for math. By encouraging children to continuously practice math exercises, children are reinforcing and deepening their learning of mathematical concepts as well as further strengthening their skill set. They are also becoming more comfortable and confident with math and learning to enjoy doing math. Thus, in addition to the above skills, practicing math will:

  • Help children see patterns
  • Build children’s visual representation (i.e. 3 cookies + 1 more cookie = 4 cookies)
  • Lend to making connections with math
  • Support children’s ability to apply basic math skills to complex math concepts (i.e. x + y to y = m x + b)
  • Help children recognize the relationship between math and real life

Therefore, children should make the effort to take a few minutes of their time each day to do math exercises. Doing math will only have a positive impact on their learning of math.

How does Math help children assess their knowledge?

Working out math problems can help children see the progress they are making across a wide-range of skills. Thus, doing math on a regular basis can help children:

  • See their learning of concepts and formulaic procedures evolve
  • Recognize their knowledge of different strategies and appropriately use strategies for problem solving
  • Observe their use of patterns and connections when doing math
  • Check if their answers are reasonable
  • Determine if they are clearly expressing their thought processes and ideas
  • Comprehend the challenges they are facing in learning math

In a nutshell, doing mathematics is pivotal to our daily lives both inside and outside the classroom. Children will cultivate life skills and build self-confidence as well as develop a love for the subject. So, do not put off math any longer – take out a pencil and paper or switch on your computer and start solving math problems!

About the Author:

An avid professional in the field of International Education, Jayana Desai hung up her investment banking heels of 13 years to pursue her dream of educating children. She holds a Master’s degree in International Education from New York University, Steinhardt. She has taught children at the primary grade level in both India and in New York. Her passion for educating children can be seen in the curriculum materials she develops, as well as in her love for teaching yoga to children. Being able to empower children with knowledge through positive learning experiences is Jayana’s goal. She would like them to be able to develop their body and mind, while bringing joy to their lives. Prior to her experience in Education, Jayana worked at two prestigious Investment Banks- JP Morgan and Lehman Brothers. She held various leadership positions in managing strategic, global-scale initiatives.

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