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).

How to prepare well for your exams?

By Captain Unni Krishnan,

When exams are around the corner, most students slip into studies and start cramming before the day of the exam. Some find it uneasy to follow a time table, some cannot concentrate, some have difficulties in remembering and others feel less confident. To help you cope with all your anxieties. Here are few useful tips that will help you to prepare well for your exams and be confident.

  • Make a revision timetable - Prepare a revision timetable. Try not to be too accurate and plan every minute of the day. This can be stifling and become boring quickly. Instead, make a list of subjects to be revised for that day, and how much time they need.

    Photo Credit: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1109777

  • Do lots of past exam papers - You need to be familiar with what the structure of exam will be, and what sort of questions will be asked. Time your solving of papers.
  • Take breaks – But not too many. One fifteen minute break for every hour of revision is fine, though if you’re younger and using this guide for other exams you’ll probably want shorter breaks more often – ten minute breaks for every half hour.
  • Drink enough water – But put it away from your notes in case you spill it! Refill it at breaks, and don’t drink too much or you’ll need the loo too often.
  • Eat well (Healthy food) – There are foods that boost brainpower – like peanuts, strawberries, banana, milk, dry fruits and fish. Avoid fast food – like pizzas and burgers and pastries that contain trans fats – a big ‘no’ to the brain and memory function.
  • Make time for exercise – It could be swimming or playing basketball or even yoga – coupled with mediation- has been proved to improve concentration.
  • Prioritize your subjects and their various topics to know which ones need the most work.
  • Get proper sleep, because then everything you revised will stay in your mind. Try not to stay up too long.
  • Have a daily routine -   For the basics of every day (this is easier if you have school, but during your leave follow this example-  ’Get up at 7:30, breakfast 7:45, lunch at 1:00, dinner at 6:00, bed at 9:00.’ It will get your body into a good routine for revising and stop you getting tired.
  • Study in a well organized, brightly lit room. Try changing your place of study – like the terrace, balcony, and the like instead of getting locked up only in your room.
  • Own schedule and not group schedule - It’s OK to do collective/group work to help each other, but do not do what they do, if you have English as a priority, and they have Math, do your English.
  • Get help from elders or your seniors who have done the same board exams before.
  • Be positive and confident about your exams.
  • Always be cheerful and learn to enjoy your study time. You don’t have a choice – you have to write your exams – might as well learn to enjoy study time.
  • Don’t be over confident, it’s better to be safe than sorry!
  • Create your own flash cards/ reference notes and refer them everyday. Five minutes with flashcards every day over a long period will be better than six hours cramming of science without breaks or rewards. You could also sum up what you have studied on post it stickers and glue them on your notice boards. When you revise again you just go through only that.
  • Set achievable and small targets- helps motivate you. Never target huge portions – when you don’t finish it, it will make you feel miserable.
  • Record things on to a phone or MP3 and listen to it overnight. That way, you will remember better. Record things you aren’t sure about.
  • Remember to be modest - if you brag about doing a lot of work and end up failing, it will be quite embarrassing.
  • Study everyday!

After Exam tips – Very crucial

  • Don’t create a panic. The work is done now wait for the result.
  • Don’t compare answers with those of other students – this can create negative feelings
  • Don’t rush to your textbooks to check your answers – there is no point at this stage
  • Focus on the next exam and how you might improve your exam technique
  • Have a quick look at your revision plan. See if you need to adjust it?
  • Think positive!

About the Author:

Captain Unni Krishnan is a Founder and Director of LearnHive; he is also the Founder and Managing Trustee of Primus Public School, Bangalore. Prior to that he was the Founder and Trustee of Indus International School. At Primus, he has been instrumental in implementation of new teaching pedagogies. He has seamlessly integrated the International and Indian syllabi to help prepare students for higher studies both in India and Overseas. Capt. is a ‘Sword of Honor’ from the prestigious Officers Training Academy of the Indian Army.

About Learnhive: 

Learnhive is a leading provider of technology based learning solutions for K12 students, parents, and tutors. Our vision to become the #1 trusted learning source for you. 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 available in computers, laptops, tablets and smart phones to make learning more fun, interactive and available to students anywhere and at anytime. Click here to signup for free to access the learning materials (lessons and exercises) for your children. As a parent you will receive regular progress reports, useful information related learning and educational boards.

10 Ways to Enhance Memory for Children!

By Crystal Maria Andrade,

You may wonder how you manage to remember information for a test. Parents often worry how well their children are learning and whether schools are meeting educational standards. Parents and teachers have big dreams that their children and students should become successful in their life. But, whether you succeed or not, all depends on this one aspect: your mind.  Your mind matters and what matters more is your memory. Memory has three stages which include sensory information (replica of what you see and hear/ also called encoding), short-term memory (active/working memory also called storage) and long-term memory (permanent memory/retrieval). Learning is the outcome of memory and learning depends on how well you have processed the information. As ability to recall information is needed for students, the information they learn should be passed on from the short term memory to long term memory in order to retain information during exams, tests or whenever required.

Photo Credit: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1056131

Here are some tips for learning that will enhance your ability to recall information and achieve excellent results:

How much is too much:  There’s a need to understand the span of attention of students and their capacity to store information in their working memory. It is not educationally sound to impose on the students huge amount of information for long period of time, this will leave them confused and clueless. Instead, giving them limited information for study and helping them to learn with vigour will aid in retaining the information for a longer period of time.

1. Adding Emotion: Anything taught with the element of emotion will be easily retained in our memory. This means students are likely to recall information that induces an emotional response. Teachers can use this tactic in English, History and Science classes. For example: if the lesson is on galaxy, the teacher can induce emotions in the students by showing them videos or pictures of the galaxy and stars.

2. Reading, writing and recollecting: Anything which is read out loudly will enhance your retention than just reading it. Writing down the important points or facts will help in retention and will be useful while studying for exams. Recollecting is the ability to retain the information after reading and writing. If you have encoded the information efficiently then you will be able to retrieve the information.

4. Rehearsal: It is said ‘Practice makes a man perfect’, therefore, rehearsing information till you master any concept is very important. Rehearsal improves your memory and gets etched onto your long-term memory. Also, rehearsing the right information is essential because unlearning the inaccurate information which is passed on to the long-term memory will be a challenging task. Hence, practice over time and ace your exams without cramming all information in one night.

5. Give meaning: If there is any subject which has many names, dates and figures; then it is always better to associate these facts with something. Giving meaning to meaningless concepts or information through ways such as poems, mnemonics, music and rhythm will improve retention of this information for future use. Nevertheless, you can use an aid such as chunking which plays a significant role in enhancing the short term memory transfer to long term memory. Chunking numbers, colours or aspects in groups helps in remembering and learning the concepts faster.

6. Make connections: It is vital to make connections or associations between the new information and the previously learnt information. The higher the number of associations made, the more chances of retaining that information easily and this in turn induces your memory power through which you can retrace the information easily.

7. Avoid distractions: While studying, choose a quiet and peaceful environment, comfortable seating and table, bright light, proper ventilation and avoid distracting things around you. Here, distracting elements include anything that diverts your attention, for instance: video games, T.V., music player, phones, and the like. While studying, if distraction persists then encoding the information suffers leading to forgetting. Hence, for encoding to be efficient you shouldn’t give ways to distraction instead concentrate and give maximum attention to avoid the inability to retrieve information.

8. Get some rest: Take a break between learnings. You have heard that ‘All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy’, so take breaks after few hours of studying and relax your mind. Not only breaks but physical exercise and sound sleep strengthens your ability to retain the information. Sleep is very crucial to boost your memory. Sleep helps us learn new information and pass the information to the long-term memory. However, for most of the problems including imbalance of mind and body, stress, preparing for exams- the best prescription commonly given is get some sleep! So, say goodbye to cramming all night.

9. Teach others to help you revise better: Whatever you have learnt will be useful when you share that knowledge to another person. So, one of the best ways to learn is to teach what you’ve learnt to another person. This is the reason why teachers have mastered the concepts they teach because they have to teach the same lessons and concepts to many batches in school. Adding to this, if the concepts are thought using real life stories and examples or experiments, then the students are likely to remember them for life because anything visual stimulates our attention and learning takes place faster.

10. Questioning enhances learning: Asking questions like why, how, what helps in learning concepts well because here the reasoning, thinking and analysis is involved. Anything which triggers our mental processors helps in learning the concepts faster and better. Finding answers to these questions makes memory work out as all the mental processors are involved making the memory charged and active. Besides, another way to ask question is by taking the quizzes or tests which will help in reasoning and in a way enhance your memory power. Here, the end process will be getting feedback from the tests which plays a vital role in knowing what is right and what is wrong. All this collectively heightens your memory power because your brain is at its maximum functionality.

These are the 10 ways which will help you learn efficiently and remember information so that they can be retrieved whenever in need. If these procedures are followed anyone can learn anything quickly and retrace the information efficiently. However, all these procedures have to be followed in a systematic way and one shouldn’t end up multi-tasking. The reason is because our brain processes and stores the information systematically. This is not practiced then certain glitches can occur in the process of learning which will lead to forgetting. Now, you know that the old myths of rote learning don’t work. These guidelines will help students as it will help them reason and learn using the above methods which will have a great impact on the way they can retrieve information whenever asked for. Therefore, retention depends on how well you make use of these sure-fire ways to become more effective learner by simply enhancing your memory power for excellent results. Ultimately, don’t forget that remembering is a skill that takes lot of practice and learning is a life-long process and has to go on for our existence on earth. So, happy learning as memory is like a computer, you need to press Ctrl + S (Save) for all important information, press Backspace for all irrelevant information and press Delete for unused/useless information. Now F5 (Refresh) your mind and practice these useful methods.

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).

 

Are you giving enough blended learning for your child?

By Jenna Murdoch,

Most of the parents feel that in spite of sending their child to tuition and school, the classroom learning has not made much of an impact on the child. The reason could be that the child has not understood the concepts or that they maybe exceptionally talented that they are bored of learning the concepts. This is due to being exposed to only classroom learning and not practical knowledge. Find out what blending learning is all about and how it will have a positive impact on your child’s learning.

Within the modern school system, students are arranged primarily by age rather than by ability. This originated with the industrial model of schools, where students were all trained in the same way to prepare them to take the place of another on the assembly line and are moved through the school years in lock step. Of course, we are no longer in the industrial age – we live in a knowledge economy where not everyone is expected to be on the same path, yet still, students are put in classrooms without full regard to where they stand on the learning spectrum.

Photo Credit: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1109761

Pitfalls in levelled classrooms

In order to adapt to the new economy, many schools have attempted to address students of differing abilities by creating leveled classes and introducing opportunities for more advanced students such as Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate programs. Further, teachers have attempted to design more “modern” curricula that deviate from the traditional industrial model by using new in-class methods that encourage collaboration and project-based learning. However, even within these leveled classrooms, there is considerable variance in students’ level of comfort with coursework – instructors still have to appeal to the most common denominator in order to address the largest audience possible. As a result, students who have trouble keeping up may give up on understanding the material while students who are exceptionally talented in a certain subject may become bored or even discouraged.

Online education aids practice and preparation

In many subjects, online education may be a way for students who don’t fit into the common denominator to complement in-class instruction. Online education is a particularly effective complement to work in mathematics, since mathematical reasoning involves practice and objective problem solving. Students who are having a hard time keeping up with their classmates can do online practice problems until they have a better handle on the material or watch tutorials that take them step-by-step through the process of solving certain types of problems. Learners who are ahead of most of their peers can use online education as a way to solve more challenging problems that can give them a leg up in preparing for future coursework and can even help get them prepared for the level of mathematical reasoning that is expected of students applying to top universities.

Optimizing online learning platform

Though online instruction can be an excellent complement for classroom materials, many parents and students have a hard time deciding what features to look for when attempting to choose an online learning platform. Many online education providers have extremely limited materials or demonstrate the same generalized approach that drives students to online resources in the first place. In order to maximize the benefits of complementary online education, parents and students should look for platforms that have broad content and have adaptive resources that track a learner’s progress and generate additional materials based on the user’s demonstrated performance.

Blending in-class and online instruction

Blending in-class instruction with adaptive online complementary resources can allow students to move at their own pace and can empower them in the classroom.

About the Author:

Jenna Murdoch is a student at Barnard College of Columbia University in New York City. She is an instructional technologist who is interested in evolving learning models.

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).

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.

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).

How To Beat the Fear of Learning History

By Ranjani Sastry,

Is writing a history answer a nail-biting finish for your children? Does your child feel that the subject history is beyond his/her understanding? Well, not anymore. Here are some tips for your long-awaited queries on how to study a subject full of dates, events, names and achievements. This detailed article will give you an insight into some innovative ways of learning the subject faster and smarter.   

Photo Credit: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1207518

Falling in love with history: It’s more than a subject of past, or dead and dry collection of facts.

We agree that history is a dry study of past or a collection of facts. Let us put it this way: One of my students expressed his views about the subject history as – ‘Ma’am, these are mere stories about dead people!’ Children are sure to get bored staring at the text book for long hours and trying to memorize what happened and who was involved. I think if you are a teacher or a parent of a student who finds it difficult to read and learn history, then it surely adds to your stress during examinations. But, it shouldn’t because why should you take stress when there is a solution for it. It is very important to generate interest in the child during the initial stage before taxing them to memorize for the sake of general knowledge into their little brains. All they have to do is have the will and love for history which will in turn generate interest.

Here are some sure-fire strategies to make history a fun subject. Let me explain by categorizing a student into age-wise groups:

1. For Children till 4th Grade

2. For Children up to 10th or 12th Grade

3. For those who are really interested in history and still read more about it

For Children till 4th Grade

Generating Love for History through your childhood stories:

It is important to tell your child stories of your childhood or your family history. These stories should have a moral lesson to teach and have a third person point of view. They should connect with your child’s feelings but not your perceptions about the event or life. You must be selective and choose what is worth telling. Initially, you must intrigue them to understand your past and your family bonding, likewise you can also generate interest in kings, kingdoms, and wars from the past. Wait for the child to ask questions to you.  Slowly, this may kindle their interest in learning about other happenings and events. This is called ‘transfer of learning’ in psychology. Children understand concepts better when those are connected with a story. There are many analogies you can browse through, or search for key words and events and create a ground for understanding them. This is just one way of making them interested in history. If family stories is not their kind, introduce them to all the fun stories from the past about their “liking.” This shall create a great interest.

Strengthening the power of different ways of questioning:

While reading historical facts, if you develop the questions of ‘Why’, ‘How’ and ‘For What reasons’, then you will sharpen your skills of reasoning. History provides this power of reasoning and logic.

The sense of ‘I’:

When you want them to learn about character sketches like: Akbar the great, Abraham Lincoln, Mahatma Gandhiji and other personalities, try to use the ‘I’ approach. For instance, If you want them to remember, ‘In South Africa Gandhiji organized (1907) his first Satyagraha [holding to the truth], a campaign of civil disobedience.’ Put it this way –ASK THEM TO BECOME THE CHARACTER AND SPEAK- ‘In South Africa I organized (1907) the first Satyagraha [holding to the truth], a campaign of civil disobedience.’ It shall create a great impact initially and they might have to unlearn the ‘I’ while writing it down which is very important. It creates a better picture and they can memorize it in a better way with ‘I’ creating its magic! Try once with difficult-to-remember paragraphs.

Imagining Cartoon characters:

Your children may have a fondness for cartoon characters. You can create actions like – wearing a crown while teaching them about king, action of putting veil on face while talking about queen and creating a drama stage in their study room while you teach them about characters. This shall definitely create an interest in them, likewise, they will learn to memorize names and events in a better way.

For Children up to 10th or 12th Grade

Students in to the middle or higher grades, have the compulsion to learn social studies. Even if it is their top most in the list of favorite subjects, these tips and tactics are going to be of great help to your children.

Photo Credit: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/278748

As students graduate to a higher grade, the pressure to learn many more lessons increases. Like in mathematics, you cannot forget the formulas taught in previous classes to perform better; similarly in history, you cannot forget the events been taught to you previously, for you to learn the current lessons better.

All you need to do is, take the page of a current lesson and read a paragraph, recall about the similar topic or the person who taught you. If you read about events – question the cause of the event and try to recall two important things:

1. WHY IT HAPPENED?               &               2. WHAT WERE THE EFFECTS?

Can’t recall? That’s absolutely fine! Google it. Read some relevant information. Read the questions given behind the lesson. ‘When’ and ‘Who’ are all questions that are fine. But, you must search for questions starting with ‘WHY’ as ’Why’ is connected with curiosity and anything you searched for with curiosity always stays with you. When you start answering the ‘WHY’ questions, you cannot deny the answers to ‘What’, ‘Who’ and ‘When’. Try this out and try some more mnemonics and local mapping technique and plotting on paper to recall better. I’ve observed that my students have no problem in remembering things but, the problem is in recalling. Why is it that during exams you tend to forget? It happens because in math, there are easy ways to remember sequence of formulas or theorems; but in history it is not so. In history, there are multiple people involved in an event and some lessons have biography sketches of leaders and prominent personalities. If you have observed, history is a fact that events have reasons. Only reading will not help, but questioning what you are reading and writing with a flow and rationalizing it will certainly help. Moreover, by questioning you answer to yourself and you will remember well.

Reference to the Context:

You can take one paragraph, read the topic thoroughly until a new topic starts; take one prominent line you feel is very important in the paragraph which is the best found cause for the event in the topic. If you are reading about personalities, take one simple line, a trait or work they did and draw a mind map on a paper. Once you generate this connection between their personalities, their work, you know their actual sketch of character! Later, read aloud their birth dates and parent’s name and their early life as a child.

Making Points:

There are many instances where you have points numbered as 1, 2, and 3 which helps you to remember easily. Jot down your points. Read each point aloud, close the book and recall the number you gave to that point. Repeat this for all points. You will surely remember those points. You can do this for all subjects. While remembering wars and some freedom struggle movements like ‘Quit India Movement’ or ‘Simon Go Back’, you can enact these to your parents and teachers. You can use your imagination and learn.

In history, you need confidence to prove your points and to do this you need to remember right facts and figures, therefore, more than ‘why’, you need to ask ‘who’, ‘when’, ‘where’, and ‘what’. These questions are equally important.

For those who love history and want to delve deeper into it:

Chalking out Strategies:

There are strategies to go about in history and learning about it. You can revive the Doordarshan serials, watch YouTube videos, read historical books and biographies by some amazing authors. If an author has written about an event or a historical figure, then try reading an article written by another author on the same fact. This may give you a different perspective. This could make things more interesting to you and might help you to get your own ideas without getting biased or judgemental . Nevertheless, you must read books of authors who have already done some research before writing down. They must have also referred to some other articles and books in their cross reference sections.

Photo Credit: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1219898

To friends and readers who are still struggling with reading, learning, understanding and remembering the vastness of the knowledge that history accounts for, you can think about this –

1. What is your favourite thought about history?

2. What exactly do you like in history?

3. Are you reading for a career in architect, archaeology or paleontology?

4. Are you reading to strengthen your knowledge about our country and talk to people about it?

5. Are you reading for some entrance exam, or to back your interview answers or write an article?

It depends on what you are reading history for. You will find that you can interpret history from any point of view i.e. social, economic, financial, behavioural, or even literature. For this reason history becomes an all-important and favourite in any time of life like mathematics and science. Though it is an art to study history, and it is a subject of liberal studies, it is after all a social science. Reading history gives you vast knowledge and sharpens your foresight. As I have mentioned about how you can win your heart to love history, I am sure you have decided to give it your best shot this time and in your future exams. I say – ‘The past is a past and it will always chase you’. Take a challenge as you know how history learning will help you now.

Go, Go, Go for History!

About the Author:

Ranjani Sastry has done her graduation in Psychology and diploma in Counseling and skills. Currently, Ranjani is pursuing her Masters in Public administration. She is a co-founder and an active member of ’Satori-let’s not yawn’*, a multilingual literary club based in Ahmedabad. She expresses her passion and compassion through reading, writing and involving herself in areas where she can contribute to personal growth. Her friends describe her as ‘if you meet her you will find someone who thinks out of the box and ideas galore’. Presently she is reading ‘I have a Dream’ by Ranshmi Bansal.

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).

 

5 Useful Tips for Successful Learning

By Pallavi Rudraraju,

Have you been worried that your kid crams all night to get good marks in exams? Do you feel that your child doesn’t do well in studies and does not have the right habits of learning? Here are a few quick tips for better and faster learning that will help your child to retrieve better during examinations.

As a student, months away from receiving a high school diploma, I feel like I have just the right balance of youth; yet modern experience in the current education system to offer you and your child successful learning tips. It is best to begin walking your child through these study habits once they begin their education, but any time is a good time to start with teaching learning routines for a happy, motivated student.

Photo Credit: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/472030

1. Select a time period during the day in which your child will learn and complete homework. Making a routine schedule is ideal for setting a habit and maximizing your child’s focus.

-It might be best to ask your child which time of the day they’d like to learn, but also consider the ideal time for you to be able to help them while determining a set study period for your child.

-If you have more than one child, try to keep study times similar, but allow more or less time for each child depending on individual learning pace or level of education.

-It is not a good idea to set study time right after school or right before bed as sleepiness or excitement might not allow your child to focus to the fullest extent of their abilities.

2. The length of time your child needs to complete schoolwork varies from child to child, along with the level of coursework. So, if your child needs more time, snacks and breaks then they are helpful to keep your child happy and focused.

3. Allow your child to work alone on homework, but help whenever he or she asks for it. Make sure your child does not become frustrated.

4. Always be patient with your child- if you are getting frustrated, perhaps, your child simply doesn’t comprehend the way in which you are trying to explain.

5. If you find for any reason you are unable to give your child time or help in certain subjects, look for a peer or even professional tutor that can simplify the process for your child.

The key to setting good study habits is to follow them regularly at scheduled intervals and maintain the happiness of your child to make sure he or she is engaged. As each child’s course load is different due to age, level, and understanding; it might take your child varying amounts of time to finish work. Nevertheless, if you allow study time to be fun, relaxing, and stimulating; you can guarantee that your child will enjoy studying while getting the best results out of it!

About the Author:

Pallavi Rudraraju is a student of 12th grade (High school) in Vienna, Virginia. She has a passion for singing and dancing on top of avid reading and writing – much of her time is occupied by singing in her school choirs and dancing Bharatanatyam under the tutelage of her long-time guru. She hopes to become an author and an English teacher following graduation from college. Starting this fall session, she will be attending The College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia. Bringing awareness and joy to people throughout the world, through writing, is her lifelong goal.

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).