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).

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.

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).

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).

Are Children Learning or Studying?

By Captain Unni Krishnan, Founder and Director, LearnHive

Children are most precious to parents and their future the top most priority for them. It is with the purpose of helping their child achieve great heights that parents seek the best possible education for them.

Having been educated in the post independence but pre economic autonomy era, I have experienced a system of education that is skewed towards marks rather than towards knowledge. Every opportunity of employment was governed by “What degree do you have?  What marks did you get?”. The questions “What is it that you know”? or “What is it that you can do”? had no relevance. This led to a single point of focus in education which clearly conveyed that “marks are not everything but they are the only thing”.

Admission to a good college ensures a good placement and in turn admission to a good college is based on the marks that you achieve in the Board Examination or the Entrance Examination.

In this age, when success is measured by remuneration, getting qualifying marks becomes all important. What this has done to the education system is that it has taken away the aspects of learning like  application, analysis, creativity and innovation and got students oriented to just studying for examination with the sole aim of getting marks. This has resulted in a rat race where education related discussions revolve only on cut-off marks. The effect of the percentage phenomenon has been such that it has engulfed even the education boards resulting in a cut–off at 100% this year. What next?

Let us ask ourselves, does a 100% mean the student has mastered that complete subject and is a pundit at it?

Childhood comes once in a life time and sadly the pressure of contesting at every step has taken away the social aspect of growing up with friends and appreciating others. All that matters is ‘I’ ‘me’ and ‘myself’. All assessments create a student represented just by numbers.

Sadly, in this whole journey, what we have left behind is the need for real education. Education was meant to help a child learn and then apply that learning to life in different situations that they would come across. Today, education has got limited to studying for marks and learning is of no consequence.

As per our philosophy parents and teachers are potters and are trying to give shape to their children. There is a Chinese saying “Give a potter a seed and you will get a Bonsai”. If you give a seed to a Gardner, you can have a tree that will give you flowers, fruits and even shade.

The same philosophy applies to business as well where it is essential to emphasize on creating a work ecosystem that provides every individual an opportunity to optimise their potential, work on their strengths and avoid areas of weakness; profits are bound to come in.

To prepare our children for the new era, let us try to get their focus on learning to experiment rather than just study for marks because this will help them be creative, innovative and in turn successful in life.

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 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).