Keep your concepts warm this summer with Learnhive!

By Arindam Nag,

Summer vacation is that time of the year when extra-curricular activities are in full swing. We at Learnhive encourage all to use this time to focus on hobbies and sports that may have taken a back seat, especially over the last couple of months of academic rigour. Take that art class or music lesson or enrol in your favourite sport camp.

 

But summer is also the time when we tend to forget some of the important concepts we may have learnt in Math and Science. This is where Learnhive can help you with the basic nourishment you need to keep your Math and Science brains sharp and be ready for the new academic year.

Each week we will send you a topic each in Math and Science that you need to revise and/or get introduced to a new topic for your upcoming year. All you have to do is 3 simple steps:

Step 1: You log in to Learnhive with your account

Step 2: View the video related to the topic, and play some games that are listed

Step 3: Take some fun practice exercises on the topic you just read or watched video on.

All it will take is an hour of your time per week. And you can do it at any time, anywhere on your PC or phone or even if you’re on a vacation, as per your convenience. And best of all it costs nothing! Also, you will earn points each time you view a video or take an exercise. These points will add towards the Learnhive Summer Contest.

You will need a Learnhive account to access this program. If you do not have one, sign up here for your account. We will send you a calendar listing the various topics being covered this summer to your email address. This program is presently targeted for students moving to Grades 5 – 10 in the coming academic year.

About the Author:

Arindam Nag is a  Founder and Director at Learnhive; he has over 17 years experience in information technology. He worked for over 13 years at one of the world’s leading investment banks, Goldman Sachs in various engineering and technology leadership roles. He has a Masters in Computer Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin. He is a recipient of National Talent Search Scholarship. He is a staunch believer in using technology to bridge the gap in the educational divide that exists not just in India but the world over.

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 any time. Signup for free to access the learning materials (lessons and exercises).

Secrets of Last Minute Revision before Exams

By Sampada Bidikar,

When exams knock on your door, you have to study more and more. When there’s hardly any time left, and you haven’t done your revision yet. Here’s a solution! Read over to find out the quickest way of revising before your exams.

That time of the year is upon us, the time of revisions, preparations and tensions. Exams are just around the corner and everyone is busy studying for them. Each one of us has our own way of studying. Some will make timetables, some might randomly read a chapter they find most difficult and then the read the easy ones, or vice versa. Few would like to study with a buddy. Whatever the method, we all have one goal, and that is to do well in the exams.

With all this preparation, there is always a last minute thing to be done. It’s always there. Just before entering the exam hall, you would want to take a final look at the formulae, revise an important concept, and discuss some queries with your friends.

And more often than not, this last minute revision helps. With a proper last minute revision you enter the exam hall with confidence.

When you look at the question paper, you are confident about some questions and answer them well, as you had just revised them. But there might also be a few, for which you are unable to recollect the formula or the answer and you curse yourself for not taking a look at it once more. Has this ever happened to you?  I am sure it has happened to most of us, and you are smiling to yourself thinking how true this is.

Most of us prepare for this last minute revision beforehand. We write down important formulae in a sheet of paper or we write down the page number of the concepts we want to take a look at one more time, we make mind maps, charts, tables, etc. All these things definitely help us to do well.

I would like to suggest another sure shot method to help you with your studies and make your life easier: The Smart Learning Cards from Learnhive. The perfect tool to help you revise better! These sets of card for each subject will cover all the chapters and concepts of your syllabus.  These concise, colourful handy cards have concepts arranged in different formats like mind maps, tables, flowcharts, graphs to help you understand and remember well. Each card is designed carefully by Subject matter experts, keeping in mind the best way to explain a concept, so that it helps the child understand better. You have everything you need in these cards, the definitions, formulae, diagrams, solved problems, procedures, steps and explanation of concepts.

                                    Math Concept Sample Smart Card

                                  English Grammar Sample Smart Card

 

                  Science Concept Sample Smart Card

These are powerful visualization tools that will definitely help you with your studies. So go ahead try them. They are freely available right now @ http://player.learnhive.net/#!/search/lessons/summary

Also pocket your own copy of these cards at http://www.learnhive.net/store/SmartLearningCards to help you with your last minute preparation, and to give you the confidence to crack the exams.

About the Author:

Sampada Bidikar (sampada.bidikar@learnhive.net) is the Team Lead – Content Development at Learnhive Education Pvt. Ltd. She has over 5 years of experience in Information technology and over a year experience in Training and development; has worked in the Health care and Power domain at Siemens Information systems Ltd. She has a Bachelors degree in Information Science. Having a passion for training and development, she did her Advanced Diploma in Training and Development and has worked as a trainer and content developer at Oscar Murphy International.

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 any time. 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.

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).

The secret to understanding fractions

By Arindam Nag, Founder, Learnhive

So your child can easily share half his cake or a third of his chocolate, but when confronted with adding 1/2 + 1/3, comes up with 2/5 ? Welcome to one of the most common mistakes that children (and perhaps even grown ups) tend to do while dealing with fractions.

Why are fractions so important?

World’s resources are limited and they have to be shared. We use fractions to do that. Fractions is the basis for mathematical concepts such as rational numbers, percentages, ratios, and proportions. Understanding of fractions and decimals is crucial for calculating simple and compound interest problems. Solving algebraic expressions requires knowldege of fractions. In Geometry, calculation of area and volume for any shape other than a square or rectangle requires knowledge of fractions. Fractions are an integral part of our day to day lives.

When do children learn about fractions?

In most curricula, the concept of fractions is introduced as early as Grade 2. It is repeated with increasing complexity every year until about Grade 7. The notation to represent fractions and categorization into different types of fractions is taught in Grade 4. Operations on fractions is done in Grades 5 and 6. Decimal notation of fractions is introduced around Grade 5.

What are the common mistakes with use of proper fractions?

The concept is usually introduced to children by showing them how to share a cake or pizza or chapati (Indian bread) which is pretty well comprehended by children. In this form, fraction is represented as part of a whole, a proper fraction.

Difficulty usually creeps in when the number notation is introduced. Is 1/3 more or less than 1/4? Children may divide something  like a sheet of paper into 3 parts and another one into 4 parts and count these parts and incorrectly say that 1/4 is greater than 1/3. What is important to explain is that they need to compare the resultant (as in size) and see which one is bigger or smaller.

When you compare natural numbers, you are comparing how many (count).

How many?

When you compare fractions, you compare how much (size or amount).

How much?

A similar complication arises while adding proper fractions. The most common mistake done by children is to add the numerators and the denominators separately treating them similar to natural numbers. Once the how many versus how much is well explained, they can then easily grasp why it is necessary to convert the various fractions being added to like fractions (denominator is same) . Multiplication throws up another interesting challenge. When you multiply natural numbers, the result is larger. Multiplying proper fractions gives you a smaller result.

How to explain improper and mixed fractions?

Improper (3/2) and mixed (1 1/2) fractions are explained best by giving another definition of fraction: as part of a collection. You have 3 slices of cake. How would you divide that amongst 2 siblings? Intuitively they know that can share one slice each and the third slice needs to be divided equally amongst them.

So, sound understanding of fractions is absolutely essential for children since not only does it form a pivotal basis for many of the other math topics, it is something they will use in their everyday lives.

What are other misconceptions have you seen children having with fractions?

About the Author:

Arindam Nag is a  Founder and Director at Learnhive; he has over 15 years experience in information technology. He worked for over 13 years at one of the world’s leading investment banks, Goldman Sachs in various engineering and technology leadership roles. He has a Masters in Computer Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin. He is a recipient of National Talent Search Scholarship. He is a staunch believer in using technology to bridge the gap in the educational divide that exists not just in India but the world over.

About Learnhive: 

Learnhive is a leading provider of technology based learning solutions for K12 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).