Monthly Archives: April 2016

Math, anyone?

Somehow, mathematics continues to be one of the subjects that students most often consider themselves to be simply “good at” or “not.”

This is really an unfortunate way for children to think, especially as recent research shows that everyone is able to achieve mathematical thinking to a high level. It’s not that some children are more mathematically inclined than others, it’s just that the skills we require to reach these levels do need practice, (like with sports, or learning a new instrument, if we would like to get better at it).

Building on Number Sense:

Number sense here is defined here as the ability to use and think about numbers in flexible ways. More on this topic can be found in the link below.

Homepage

This week, we would like to share with you some links that can help students to learn to be confident using and manipulating numbers.  The links below can support any child to review number bonds, as well as strengthening their number sense through fun games available online.

Basic skills:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/ks1/maths/

http://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/ks2/maths/number/

Basic Operations bingo

http://www.aplusmath.com/Games/matho/Matho.html

Challenge:

http://nrich.maths.org/teacher-primary

For further reading on how parents and teachers can help to promote the development of positive attitude towards math:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/answer-sheet/wp/2016/04/25/stop-telling-kids-youre-bad-at-math-you-are-spreading-math-anxiety-like-a-virus/

Please enjoy!

ESL and TECHNOLOGY

Living as we do in the Information Age, it comes as no surprise to see children, as young as three, quite at home in using an ipad or even a computer. Children now function in a time where technology drives almost every aspect of their lives. With this in mind, integrating technology into the classroom has now begun to play an important role in schools.

Technological integration has numerous advantages when it plays an active role throughout the process of teaching and learning. In the case of ESL learners, technological integration increases student engagement and motivation, as it helps New to English learners overcome their shyness and motivates them in their language acquisition. It ensures that ESL students become well versed in the skills and language that requires them to function in a global environment.

The use of technology offers mobility. Teachers and students are not confined to a classroom. Lessons can be planned in such a way that it allows materials to be accessed through smart phones, laptops and tablets. All the online communication and alerts keep students thinking about the material long after the lesson is done. The benefits of the use of technology in learning, is that it promotes independent learning. Text-to-speech features, interactive text books etc. enable an ESL student to enjoy and read books above their level as unknown words can be defined.

Through technology, an ESL student gets to learn the language in a meaningful way and in context. Whether they are visiting social media sites, reading or listening to the news or participating in online discussions, this experience becomes rich and meaningful.

Given below are some content specific tools for our ESL learners:

Comic Maker – a great application, which gives students the independence to create their own characters and write their own comics. This gives them good reading and writing practice.

News in levels – designed specifically for ESL students, it includes relevant videos with each article. Readers can comment via Facebook on the article.

Re-Wordify – type, copy or paste difficult texts and it translates it into simpler language for the child to understand.

Books that grow – ability to change the reading level on the same topic.

CommonLit – free collection of poems, stories, articles, documents.

Windows Movie Maker – for creating video presentations.

Prezi – showcasing their learning through PowerPoint or Prezi presentations.

Reading is Thinking!

As parents, we have all looked forward to that magical time when we snuggle with our children and a good book and transport ourselves to another world. However we have also experienced the time when after a long, tiring day at work; we have found ourselves automatically reading an entire page or two while our brain has been simultaneously making a list of jobs still to do. It is not until our child asks a question or makes a comment that we realize we have no idea what we just read! This type of reading fluently without comprehension is simply ‘word calling’.

All teachers of reading evaluate both a child’s reading fluency, as well as, his or her comprehension. Some children appear to be good readers, but are reading on ‘autopilot’ with little or no comprehension. Reading is a complex, active process of constructing meaning.

When studying the behaviors of good readers as opposed to poor readers, researchers found that proficient readers continually monitor their comprehension. Lori Jamison Rog has developed a simple metaphor of a remote control to assist readers in monitoring their own comprehension. This simple intervention can be used as a bookmark to remind children to stop and reflect as they are reading.

Remote Control Bookmark for Comprehension