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Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Learn more about your computer!

Internet provides links to lot of useful FREE tutorials and lessons, to learn about computers. All the tutorials are free and start from basic learning skills.

* Learn about computers at BBC where 'Computer Tutor' teaches all the skills you need to use a computer. Computer Tutor is for people who don't know how to use a keyboard, mouse or computer screen.

If you're a friend, family member or tutor helping someone learn, all you need to do is choose your connection speed and press 'Start'.

- The BBC''s guide to using a computer"

* Build your own computer tips is a site providing lot of useful information about computers.
Robert Blackstone is the creator of this site.

Newsletter links takes you to the page, where you would be able to download 3 free computer building e-books.

The articles link provides link to many computer related articles.

* Download FREE e-book "A Guide To Using Your PC And The Web"
A Guide To Using Your PC And The Web is a 110-page e-book of computer tips, presented in an easy-to-read, step-by-step manner.

There is information on the basics of using your PC and Windows, tutorials for popular programs, online safety tips, and hundreds of links to useful web sites.

Because the e-book is a single small PDF file (less than 1 MB), it is easy to store or to e-mail to friends and relatives.

Downloading instructions: Once you have downloaded the e-book PDF file, you will need a PDF reader program to view it. PDF is a common type of file used for sharing documents on the Web.

The most popular PDF reader program is Adobe Reader which you can download for free.

Right-click the above link and select Save Target As or Save Link As to save the e-book to your PC.
- Downlaod FREE e-book

I would be updating this post, if I get more useful links. Suggestions from the visitors are also welcome.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

"Wonder Korner"- where education meets fun

There are a lot of sites at the internet which provide educational plus interactive material at the same time. So the sites are fun to browse not only for parents or teachers but for children also. Today's site "Wonder Korner" is equally informative and useful for teachers, parents and kids.

Wonder Korner is for book reviews, answers to kids question, tools for writers, teacher's classroom projects, parenting articles, family friendly links and crafts ideas.

It started in 1995 as a homework helper siteTeacher Korner provides you fun kids' crafts, puzzles, games, classroom projects, practical teacher-to-teacher tips, bulletin board ideas, helpful site links and more.

* Parent's korner provides helpful articles; parenting news; inspiration & encouragement; book reviews; and family activities like crafts, puzzles, and fun recipes kids can help make.
* Family friendly links provides you a lot of links for web exploration.

Useful links and resources for paper crafts!

I love making paper crafts, because it is easy to make, you don't have to bother about buying expensive supplies, and easy to discard, when you are finished with your projects. But first let us know about paper craft, as it is different from origami or paper folding.

Definition of Origami: "Origami, the art of creating various shapes from a single piece of paper, is a pastime that has been enjoyed in Japan since ancient times."

I have collected some useful links and resources, which are mostly FREE to use. There are a lot of ideas to keep your child busy and not only children but adults can also enjoy making these crafts.

1- DLTK's Crafts for Kids features a variety of fun, printable children's crafts, coloring pages and more including projects for holidays, educational themes and some of our children's favorite cartoon characters. The site is run by "Leanne, a mom with two girls and husband.

* DLTK's Crafts for Kids

* Note on Crafting with Preschoolers

2- Crafts bits provides resources for teachers, therapists, and craft enthusiasts. Craftbits.com is an independent craft website.
Site is created at sunny Brisbane on the east coast of Australia. At Craftbits.com you can find free crafts, free craft projects, diy craft gift ideas, christmas crafts, kids crafts, sewing crafts, candle making and more.
* Paper cragts page

* Kids crafts page

3- * Tips and techniques at paper crafts section at "Michaels.com.

4- Paper crafts magazine blog with news and paper craft ideas.
* Paper Crafts projects

5- 'Family fun.go.com" has some good paper craft projects at: 3D paper crafts for kids

6- "Creative Park" presents every kind of papercraft- from simple toys to intricate crafts, there's something for all the family! - and it's free to download!
Make fun with 3D paper craft
There are a lot of origami ideas and these ideas can be downloaded

Sunday, January 20, 2008

"Parents Centre"- helping parents to help their child

Upto now I have been reviewing many sites which were for students, teachers and parents. But "Parents Center" is specially for parents. As a parent I found this site really useful, easy to navigate, infromative and specific.
In short- A must visit site for parents!

ParentsCentre is an official Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF, web site for parents and carers.
ParentsCentre has been running since June 2003. It provides =Information and support for parents on how to help with your child's learning, including advice on choosing a school and finding childcare.

What is DCSF?
"www.dcsf.gov.uk" or "The Department for Children, Schools and Families" -leads work across Government to ensure that all children and young people:

- stay healthy and safe, secure an excellent education and the highest possible, standards of achievement, enjoy their childhood, make a positive contribution to society and the economy, have lives full of opportunity, free from the effects of poverty.

Mission of the site:
ParentsCentre has links to numerous relevant websites, both Governmental and non-Governmental. And they act as a reference book about education system, directig parents to sources of information and advice.

Start browsing the site from this link:
First time user

They suggest you to participate at the forums:

- Whether it's dyslexia, bullying, nursery education grants, choosing a school or antisocial teenagers, you're sure to find other users willing to add an opinion or offer advice.
Link to the forum: Parent's Views Forum

What you can get at the site?

- 1- This section helps you by providing article and links towards doing research for school and homework, gaming, online safety, and lot more.
Link: Using computers and the internet

- 2- "Education and learning" includes information and support on issues including choosing a school, types of school, curriculum and assessment, home education, reports and parents evenings, special educational needs (SEN), bullying, truancy and your rights and responsibilities.

The section includes a number of useful links to further information and organisations providing support.
Link: Education and learning

- 3- Links for age-specific information on:

Childcare - your options explained
Helping your child to learn - what you can do to prepare your child for school and build upon what they learn at school
Curriculum - what and how your child learns, as well as the choices they will have to have to make
Qualifications - the tests they will take and the certificates and diplomas they can achieve

Link: For age group

- 4- Behaviour and discipline: you'll find information about how schools deal with issues such as bullying, drugs and alcohol, truancy and disruptive behaviour.

You'll also find information on what your rights and responsibilities are as a parent or carer, with sections covering exclusions, parenting contracts, parenting orders and penalty notices.

Link: Behaviour and discipline

- 5- Worried about...Information, support and advice in dealing with some of the major issues affecting parents and their children for example bullying, sex, alcohol, drugs, anorexia, dylexia etc.

Link: Worried about

- 6- Webchats, interviews, videos: This section contains webchats (live, online Q&A sessions in which our users ask the questions), interviews and videos featuring a diverse range of experts across the parenting spectrum.

We include transcribed versions and endeavour to provide film streamings in different speeds and formats to enable as many people as possible to access them.

Link: Web chats, interviews etc

- 7- School holidays: Provide a range of ideas to help you keep your children occupied, whatever their interests.
Link: School holidays

- 8- Publications: guide to the current brochures and leaflets from the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF). All leaflets and guides listed here are available free.
Link: Publications

More free interactive kindergarten resources

Crickweb.co.uk is one of those sites which offer  free interactive resources and activities for Foundation Stage, Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2.
Subjects including: Maths, English, Science, History, Geography, R.E., D.T., I.C.T.

Explaination of key stages:

There are three education stages in the U.K. covering the following ages;
- Early Years/Foundation Stage for 4 to 5 year olds.
- Key Stage 1 for 6 to 7 year olds.
- Key Stage 2 for 8 to 11 year olds.

What this site offers?

* 156 free to use educational interactive resources for Primary Schools.
* 15 free to use fun games for children aged 4 - 11.
* 100 web links to other free interactive, image and software resources.

More page links from the site:
*14 Early Years interactive resources for Primary or Infant Schools.

"Topic Box"- A good resource for teachers!

This site is for primary school teachers. A lot of FREE resources which may help you in planning. Site also provides you with best available educational resources.

To my opinion a very easy to browse, useful and well designed resource for teachers.
You may start your search by selecting for your subject. Site links according the subject are selected very wisely and description helps to chose it for class room or teacher's personal use.

Link: browse the subjects

To get TopicBox newsletter: Subscribe link

I searched the site to see if they can help in planning for Islam subject and I was really amazed to see lot of informative material at this link. They provide a very interactive style link bos from where you can decide what topics you want to look for. You are then taken to that link or site : Religion-Islam

* Resources for foundation stage: Foundation stage
* Math links
*

Saturday, January 19, 2008

"Teaching ideas"- A free resource for primary teachers!

There is no end of creativity and innovation and with sharing we learn a lot more. Teaching profession is also full of innovative activities if you are dedicated teacher and want to produce creativity in your teaching, class room presentation etc.
Teaching idea.co.uk contains lesson ideas, activities and resources, and they're all FREE to use in classrooms for primary teachers.


* Part of the site "Display Photos" has lots of photos of classroom display. I searched for maths and found this idea:

Link to the page: Facigng picture shows the idea of ordering numbers


Teaching Forum has 267 members, where you can read other teachers ideas, share yours, but you have to register there. This forum is FREE to sign up. There are many useful ideas, links and resources at the forum.

* More teaching ideas contains assembly ideas, display photos, classroom management tips, and lots of other really useful ideas and resources for teachers.

* At Site map link you can search for subject based link of page. And every page brings a lot of ideas.

An internet learning site for children and teens!

This site is not only for children or teens, but teachers who want to guide their children about basic knowldge of internet and web, this site would be a good source.

“Welcome to the web” provides you step by step instruction based tutorial where you can lean about internet, web browsers, searching and researching the internet.

Welcom to the web is created by Mark Warner, and is a production from Teaching Ideas for Primary Teachers.

What you can learn from the site?

1- The internet section provides you with the information about the Internet, what can it do and how do you move around the internet.
* The internet

2- Guest book section shows you the use of guest book and also give you tips to be safe on the internet.
* Guest book

3- Web browser is an important section of this site, as you would get introduction of “web browser, use of it.
* Web browsers

4- Searching the net-Here you can learn safe use of internet.

* Search the net

5- “Researching on the internet” is basically about printing web pages, finding words on a page and how you can copy text and pictures from the web.
* Researching

6- And the most important part of the site is “Challenge”.
This will test what you have learned about the Internet and if you are good enough to succeed, you will get a special certificate to prove your brilliance!

*

Saturday, January 12, 2008

"Stree free school"-helping us improving academic achievement!

In my previous post "Do children and teens are affected by stress, anxiety and trauma?", I mentioned that like adults, children and teeens have anxiety in their lives, and as a result they suffer from anxiety disorders. And as research shows if children are not treated, their performance in school would be poorer.

To help our children keep safe from stress, depression, anxiety and similar mental disorders, we as a parent and teacher can take some action in this regard by first getting the knowledge of these conditions and then look for proper treatment process.

Stress free school.org is a site which provides Transcendental Meditation (TM) program for this purpose. It showcases 40 years of scientific and class room experience with TM method. I am also a regular practitioner of meditation, but I don't believe that only "Transcendental Meditation" technique can be a only solution for these kind of mental disorders. As to my personal experience, I participated in a "Quantam method meditation" 40 hours long course, and results were astonishing. I was very stressed and felt that I was losing my interest in life, before doing that meditaiton course. But just after completing it and practicing it on regular basis proved that I could get rid of my anxiety, depression and stress conditions. I could feel myself happy, satisfied, energetic and more creative than before. I was really feeling sick and physically exhausted before it, but gradually I could overcome these symptoms also. This post and review of the site is only an effort to create an awareness that we can help our children improving academic achiements. Mostly the mental disorder symptoms are not taken seriously, and results are poor performanc in schools, social behavior problems and so on.

What the organization does?

Education & Transcendental Meditation Research on improving Academic achievement by preventing and treating stress, anxiety and depression, and learning disabilities.

What is Transcendental Meditation?

The Transcendental Meditation technique is thousands of years old—it comes from an unbroken tradition of meditation instruction from ancient India.

What is the evidence that the TM technique works?

During the past 30 years, hundreds of scientific studies validating the benefits of the Transcendental Meditation technique have been conducted in 33 countries at 210 independent research institutions and universities, including Harvard, Stanford, and UCLA Medical School.
This research found that the TM technique produces a physiological state of restful alertness, distinct from ordinary waking, dreaming, and deep sleep. During practice of the TM technique, the physiology becomes deeply rested, as indicated by significant reductions in respiration, minute ventilation, tidal volume, and blood lactate, and significant increases in basal skin resistance (an index of relaxation). At the same time, the physiology is alert rather than asleep, as indicated by an increased abundance of alpha waves in the EEG.

More about the topic: Frequently asked questions

* For further posts go for their blog

More research links:
* University of California at Irvine Study Finds Transcendental Meditation
Reduces the Brain’s Reaction to Pain


* University of Michigan study finds improved emotional development in
early adolescent African children practicing Transcendental Meditation

Friday, January 11, 2008

"Child Study Center"- Giving children back their childhood

Being a foundation stage teacher, every session has some new challenges for us, as we have to deal with many kind of studensts. Many children show some "hype" attitude, where we use techniques provided by the school to treat these kind of children, but I really needed some more information about the children who are "hyper" or in other words have symptoms of "Attention Deficit Syndrome".
My only son was showing the same symptoms at foundation stage years, and as a parent, I was adviced to acquire some methods to help my son. Its been 3 years, and my son is better than before. Still I feel like that I should have some knowledge and research based study help to deal with the children with mental disorders. I was really amazed to know about "NYU child Study Center" which can help a lot to teachers and parents in this connection.

Research shows that over 75 percent of mental health disorders have their roots in the childhood and adolescent years, though fewer than one quarter of children or adolescents needing services receive treatment. Millions of children are never properly diagnosed or treated.

About our kids.org is a site by NYU Child Study Center, which was founded in 1997 to improve the treatment of child psychiatric disorders through scientific practice, research, and education.

Through their professional education programs, they provide physicians, educators and mental health professionals the tools and knowledge needed to promote the mental health of the children they serve.

For families pages provdes more links to:
- The Child Study Center offer you a comprehensive library of articles dealing with all the crucial elements you need to know for Keeping kids healthy

* Disorder treatments page provides advice on these areas:

- Their experts provide a wealth of information on common childhood psychiatric disorders. Learn the signs, symptoms, and treatment options.
Link:

-It can be hard to keep up with rapidly changing and jargon-filled vocabulary regarding mental health. This dictionary can help you make sense of some of these terms and participate in the discussion. The staff of the NYU Child Study Center has compiled this glossary to help you learn more about children’s mental health and disorders. Scroll down or click on the appropriate letter to find an easy definition of the term you are interested in.
Link:

- NYU Child Study Center provides an overview of most of the comon medications used to treat psychiatric disorders in children and adolescents. This guide is intended to be informative and useful, but it is not comprehensive. Children should take these medications only under the careful supervision of their physicians.
Link: Guide to Psychiatric Medications for Children and Adolescents

* Success stories

Read the Testimonial page before browsing the site, which says:
"Viewers of this website are advised that materials contained on this site are made available solely for educational purposes and as part of an effort to raise general awareness of the mental health issues affecting children. These materials are not intended to be, and are not, a substitute for direct professional medical or psychological care based on your individual condition and circumstances or those of your child."

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Interested in inventions, innovation and creativity?-Let's explore!

If you are interested in invention, innovation or creativity then you might enjoy browsing Invention At Play.
For students it's a fun but learning site, as you can search, learn and explore a lot at the site.

For teachers, "Invention at play" can be good source of learning and telling our students the stories of inventions.
Invention At Play deals in providing the information about creative plays and skills among children and adults. It also focuses on creative processes used by innovators in science and technology.

Resources link give you more links to sites about invention, innovation, and exploration.

What you can find at the site?
* You may explore the stories of invention, both famous or little known.
* There is a lot to read and learn

Each invention shed some light on the good intentions of the inventor and their quest to improve the quality of life.


* According to TIME: Best inventions of 2006

* The great idea finder was created to promote the progress of science and useful arts by providing a showcase for innovation.
Mission: "to provide inspiration to the "inventor" in all of us".

The site is developed and maintained by Vaunt Design Group, an Internet consulting company.

- History of inventions at "The Great idea finder.

For Teachers: FREE Edicational material(publications) about innovation and invention ,at:

The Lemelson Center, which is for the study of Invention and innovation

Sunday, January 6, 2008

"Education World" -A resource for educators!


As this blog is created by an educator, I try to include as many useful links, articles, sites or blogs, reviews which could help kids, students, parents and teachers in getting most from the world of internet. Internet is full of oppportunities for everyone, only need is to use the resources provided in a constructive way. So let's discover the world wide web:

Education World is FREE resource site for teachers and a search engine for educational web sites. It is a place where educators gather and share their ideas. What more you can get from "Education World"?

- a search engine for educational Web sites only, a place where educators can find information without searching the entire Internet;
- original content, including lesson plans, practical information for educators, -
- information on how to integrate technology in the classroom, and articles written by education experts;
- site reviews;
- daily features and columns;
- teacher and principal profiles;
- Wire Side Chats with the important names in education;
- employment listings.

Education World [www.educationworld.com], the Educator's Best Friend, offers teachers, parents, students, administrators, and school technologists a place where they can start each weekday of the school year with a wealth of new, practical content. Education World now incorporates SchoolNotes [www.schoolnotes.com], the leading school-to-home communications platform.

Mission: Education World's goal is to make it easy for educators to integrate the Internet into the classroom. With 98 percent of the nation's public schools connected to the Internet, the need for a complete online educational guide is evident.
More about the site:
About page

Site was created in 1996.

"Education World" has a lot to for teachers, just take time to search the site. Starting from lesson plans to school issues, there are tons of information to discover.

Link: Education World

Start from this page:
Site Guide

* Lesson planning
* Teachers tools and template

"Study Sphere"- providing learning resources!

I have been writing posts about resources and links which might be helpful in learning for students, teachers and parents. Mostly I review the sites or educational portals, where I find that source really valuable or free to access. And usually I include the important page links at each of my post to search fast.
Today's site is Study Sphere.com which is a search engine based learning portal for students, families and teachers.


Mission and goal: "StudySphere provides fast, easy and free access to a wide variety of research-quality child-safe websites organized for education online from home, school, study abroad and home school. StudySphere’s goal is to help students, teachers, librarians, and other researchers find both highly targeted and closely related information quickly."
StudySphere categorizes over 100,000 research-quality child-safe websites.

It is very easy to search for your favourite topic sites, as home page provides topic catagory, where you would get number of site links. For example I searched for
teachers resources and at the Teaching resources page there were a lot of site links divided into further catagories.

Site link:
Study Sphere.com

Effective use of Blogging in education

There is a wide usage of blogging in learning sector. I was really surprise to know that "blogging" is very effectively been used in education sector. Here are some links for teachers to create blogs for them or for their students. There are some article links which can guide you if you are in doubt to use "blogging" for educational purposes.

Education blogs are becoming a means for educators, students, and education administrators to interact more effectively than ever before. Technorati currently tracks 63.1 million blogs. Over 5,000 of them are about education.
There are over 30,000 blogs hosted at edublogs.org alone.
Link with 100 educational blogs list:
Top 100 Education Blogs

*** The largest education community on the internet, Edublogs was started on the 31st of July 2005 in Melbourne, Australia.. Now hosting over 100,000 blogs.
Edublogs.org

How?

* Sign up for a free education blog in seconds
* Use it to transform your teaching or talk to other teachers
* Powered by WordPress, the best blogging tool on the web
* Safe, secure, supported and free of any advertising
* Providing entirely free tools with no advertising, no fees and no limits on elements like bandwidth.They can even give you 100MB of upload space, completely free of charge.

* "Blogs in Education" is a page to provide you some resources if you want to start using blogs for yourself or your students. Options for instructors using blogs are:
- Content-related blog as professional practice
- Networking and personal knowledge sharing
- Instructional tips for students
- Course announcements and readings
- Annotated links
- Knowledge management
Stedents can use blogs in:
- Reflective or writing journals
- Knowledge management
- Assignment submission and review
- Dialogue for groupwork
- E-portfolios
- Share course-related resources
For resources and more details: Blogs in Education

*** Educational blogger network(eBN) is a community of teachers and education professionals and supporters who use weblogs for teaching and learning. The network assists members to advance weblog integration in education.
Mission:

"eBN is a collaborative of teachers and organizations using weblogs in education. Its purpose is to help its members, kindergarten through university, to access and use weblog technology for the teaching of writing and reading across the disciplines. The network provides a forum for educational professionals who use weblogs, an array of opportunities for teachers to continue their professional growth, and a framework for cooperation to deal with issues that affect the integration of weblog and other digital technologies into teaching and learning."

*** epals.com's motto is "Where Learner's Connect"
"ePals" is making SchoolBlog available at no cost to schools, districts, and learners globally.

What they say about themselves: "Our Global Community™ is the largest online community of K-12 learners, enabling more than 325,000 educators and 126,000 classrooms in over 200 countries and territories to safely connect, exchange ideas, and learn together. Our award winning SchoolBlog™ and SchoolMail™ products are widely used and trusted by schools around the world."

*** This is a pdf report which you can download by clicking right mouse button and then choosing "save as" for your hard disk drive: Blogging to learn

Read same report in html version: HTML version

*** E school News
A report published at "E school news:
Blogs are changing education (Winners of the first-ever 'Best of the Education Blog' Awards discuss blogging's impact on teaching and learning )

What is "eSchool News"?
"eSchool News" is a monthly print newspaper providing the news and information necessary to help K-20 decision-makers successfully use technology and the internet to transform North America's schools and colleges and achieve their educational goals.
The print newspaper is read by more than 300,000 school leaders, and a companion web site—eSchool News Online (http://www.eschoolnews.com ) is visited by more than 300,000 unique visitors each month, including 135,000 registered members.

Mission:
eSchool News — helping educators succeed by;

- Providing the latest news, resources and reports on the applications of technology to improve learning
- Providing resources and tools to evaluate the funding, purchasing and the evaluation of technology in the education systems.
- Assisting educators in forming collaborative alliances and providing a valuable resource bank for the exchange of information, ideas and best practices.

Few education blogs and articles:

* Brian's Education blog

* Dave's Educational Blog
About David: Dave is a Tech Coordinator at the University of Prince Edward Island. He is also the Education coordinator for the Worldbridges family of websites and cohost of edtechtalk.

* Adventure in educational blogging Susan Sedro is Technology Coordinator in Woodlands,Singapore.

*** Support Blogging has been set up to provide an opportunity for students, teachers, administrators, parents, and others to help promote an understanding of the benefits of educational blogging.
Explanation of Educational Blogging at "Support Blogging"

Link to the site:
Support Blogging

* An article about usage of internet blogs to enhance classroom communication and collaboration: Classroom blogs and Wikis

* "EDUCAUSE Review" is the association's award-winning magazine for the higher education IT community. Published bimonthly in print (21,000 distributed copies) and online, the magazine takes a broad look at current developments and trends in information technology, how they may affect the college/university as an institution, and what these mean for higher education and society. An article from "EDUCAUSE Review": Educational Blogging

* An article from the "emints": "The eMINTS" National Center is an independent business unit of the University of Missouri. eMINTS offers professional development programs created by educators for educators.
Teaching Tips: Using Online Journals and Blogs

* Edu Blog Insights is an educational blog from Anne Davis who works at Georgia State University in the Instructional Technology Center in the College of Education as an Information Systems Training Specialist.
He is an educator with over 20 years experience as an elementary classroom teacher, an instructional lead teacher, a reading specialist, and an instructional technology specialist.

His EduBlog is a place to reflect, discuss, and explore possibilities for the use of weblogs in education.
His article:
Rationale for educational blogging

* Another useful article from :Lorelle at Word press

* Cool tools for cool teaching-blogging

* Blogging Basics: Creating Student Journals on the Web

Saturday, January 5, 2008

"Science Master"-Learning science just got easier


"Science Master.com" is an educational "science learning" site, for students, parents and teachers.

Mission: To provide the best science resources for teachers, parents, hobbyists, and life-long learners. The ScienceMaster web pages include links to research sites, lesson plans, activities, and project ideas.

Goal: to excite young minds about science by integrating information, communication and community with compelling products and services all in a fun-to-use Internet network. The ScienceMaster team includes science professionals, educators, subject matter experts, and technical advisors who work collaboratively to bring you the best science resources.

ScienceMaster provides information, news, links, pictures, products and services, with the best content from NASA, the USGS, the EPA, NOAA & leading colleges & universities. You can learn about the universe, or space, find information on volcanos, and global warming, explore plants, animals or microbes, and study physics or chemistry.

Awards and achievements:
* ScienceMaster is winner of the Excellence in Education for All Best of the Web Award Winner for 2001 by The Education CoffeeHouse. This award is given to 100 websites that provide quality information to students, parents, and educators.
* ScienceMaster's A+ Learning Galleries has received the "Teacher Information Network Gold award" bestowed on sites which are utilizing the Internet as an empowering tool for quality education.
* ScienceMaster has been chosen as a Top Site by "Educating.net"!
Awards & Recognition

Main topic pages you may search:

- space
- Geology and earth page
- Biology and life page
- Physical Science page
- Tech learning
Science Master.com

Read very informative articles from teachers and learning professionals, scientists and parents: Link to Articles

Great images, sound files, software, try-outs all for free at:
Free stuff

Very interesting article about The human mind.

Yoga in an interactive way for children and teens!


It might be surprising to know that yoga can be used as an effective tool for relaxation of children, teens in a very interavctive way. But after searching Adventures of yoga, you would realize that yoga can be a fun, interactive and rewarding activity for parents, teachers and children.

For school teachers Adventures of yoga is a great way to introduce a new educating activity that can reinforce any theme you may be teaching while using story telling, music and movement.

Why yoga for children? (In their own words):
"In the American Heritage College Dictionary Yoga is defined as: "1. a Hindu discipline aimed at training consciousness for a state of perfect spiritual insight and tranquility.
2. A system of exercises practiced as part of this discipline to promote control of the body and mind. Yoga- Union, joining."

While we are not here to promote any type of religion, we have found through our experience that children are able to relax, and meditate, bringing to the awareness of their bodies, feelings and their health.

Many parents are concerned with the cognitive development of their children and spend time teaching them academic subjects. This of course is wonderful but we mustn't forget that their bodies are just as important as their minds and with out the free flow of energy and flexibility our cognitive development is limited as well."


More at this link: What is yoga and how does it benefit children?

The site helps children to concentrate by guiding them through the relaxation and using imagination. Through the imagination and concentration children are actually able to feel their body, or their energy because energy goes where your mind is.
More at: Relaxation and Meditation for kids

There are yoga games, warm up exercises which can be easily adopted as a form of physical light exercise, in a very fun way.

Do children and teens are affected by stress, anxiety and trauma?

Anxiety disorders, Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), and depression among our children are listed as top health problems in America and in rest of the world, situation is not different. But what are the symptoms of these mental disorders and how we can help our children and teens to keep safe from affects of stress, depression and other anxiety disorders?

"Children and teens have anxiety in their lives, just as adults do, and they can suffer from anxiety disorders in the same way. Research has shown that if left untreated, children with anxiety disorders are at higher risk to perform poorly in school, to have less developed social skills and to be more vulnerable to substance abuse.

Although children experience the symptoms of anxiety in much the same way as adults do, children display and react to those symptoms differently. This can lead to difficulties in diagnosis. It can also be difficult to determine whether a child's behavior is "just a phase," or whether it constitutes a disorder
."

For whole article at "Child Development Info.comAnxiety Disorders in Children and Adolescents

* Children also experience trauma in their lives. What is trauma and what can you do as a parent to help them? It can be traumatic for children to witness or experience violent crimes (e.g., kidnapping, break-in, attacks, and school shootings) or vehicle accidents such as automobile and plane crashes. Witnessing assault, rape, or murder of a parent can also be traumatic for children.
Children and trauma: How to help

* An article from BBC.co.uk-Parenting page:
Some estimates say that up to ten per cent of children in middle childhood may suffer from depression.

What might stress your child, Common causes include:

- arguments between parents or parents splitting up
- falling out with friends
- being teased too much
- being overwhelmed with work or homework
- school tests
- holidays

To read full article:
Moods, stress and depression in Primary School children by:Claire Halsey

* But how to help our children keep safe from stress, depression and other mental disorders?
"Lite Books" is a commercial site, but I saw very interactive books, cd's and other material, which can help us in this connection.

"Lite Books"was created to inform, educate and share ways we can counteract stress and give our children the tools they need to ease anxiety, manage anger, promote sleep, boost self-esteem and enjoy relaxation.
Even the most conservative, traditional parents are comfortable with our books, curriculum and "Indigo Dreams" CD Series. Proven techniques of breathing, visualizations, affirmations and muscular relaxation are recommended for:

ADHD, posttraumatic stress disorder or PTSD(an anxiety disorder associated with serious traumatic events and characterized by such symptoms as survivor guilt, reliving the trauma in dreams, numbness and lack of involvement with reality, or recurrent thoughts and images) , Aspergers, Autism, Night Terrors, Obesity, Self-Esteem, At Risk Teens, Stress Management, All Anxiety Disorders,Anger Management, Sleep Difficulties, Imagination Stimulation, Depression, Migraines, Stomach Aches, Bullying, Pain Management, Trauma, Focus, Hyperactivity, Increase Creativity, Addictions, Phobias, Panic Disorder.

LiteBooks.net - Stress Management books/CDs and other products for children, teens and adults.

Indigo Dreams: Adult Relaxation CD

Search for the kids sites at "Kinder Start"

Searching for kids sites at the net could be a time consuming task. Because if you search at usual broad search engines like Google, Yahoo or MSN, you would get thousands or millions of results, but as that search is not focused and it might take hours to search for the useful resources, better to search sites at specific topic search engines.

I have written posts about some search engines which provide the site links safe for children. Today I am here with a review of a directory plus search engine, which is focused on children 0-7 years on the net.
As far as I searched the site, there are lot of useful links and informative sites. It is the largest and most popular indexed directory and search engine for kids.
Site was created in May, 2000 with funding from a group of private investors.
Mission (In their own words): To provide parents, grandparents, foster parents and teachers with the most organized, and easiest to use index and search engine available.


Their motto or trade mark is: "Because Kids don’t come with instructions"

KinderStart.com has added resources for teachers of young children and even young users.

How to use the site: When you click on the home page link, you would be provided with topics, and each topic takes you to another page with a lot of site links. KinderStart has given some description of the site, so you can search for your favourite sites easily.

Sign up to receive their newsletter: link

Friday, January 4, 2008

"New Horizons"-- Effective teaching and learning resource!



It is a voluntary service (non-profit network), so access to the information is FREE.
This site deals in learning for all ages and abilities. Students, teachers, parents, professors, school administrators, equally can find useful information on this site.

Achievements:
New Horizons.org was founded in 1980. Since 1995, this website recieves around 8 million hits a month. It has received numerous awards, including the most recent from the International Society for Technology in Education as one of the best education sites on the Internet. More comments on this section

The Mission Statement of New Horizons for Learning:(In their own words)
New Horizons for Learning is an international network of people, programs, and products dedicated to successful, innovative learning. As such, this organization:
• Acts as a catalyst for positive change in education
• Seeks out, synthesizes, and communicates relevant
research and information
• Supports an expanded vision of learning that identifies
and fosters the fullest development of human capabilities
• Works to implement proven strategies for learning at every
age and ability level
• Builds support for comprehensive lifespan learning communities
• Sponsors The New Horizons for Learning website.
Our website has been created to focus on learning from pre-birth throughout life. Many of the areas on our site focus on the school years, but in this area, you will find articles and resources about early childhood and parenting, adolescence, and the adult years, including higher education, learning in the workplace, and the older years.
We believe that providing this context for our discussions about learning point to the fact that learning is a lifelong journey. It gives meaning to our lives and keeps us growing mentally, physically, and emotionally.


Sections of the site:
1- Teaching and Learning Strategies provides information on some of the best researched and the most widely implemented methods of helping all students to learn more successfully. The information includes a description of how the teaching and learning strategies work, where they have been applied, results, and where to find further information from experts in the field, books, websites, and other resources.

2- Transforming Education: Realizing a Vision This area of the website is devoted to the possibilities of creating new kinds of educational systems and learning communities for today's students now in the process of becoming the adults of tomorrow's world. How do we make systemic change in curriculum, teaching and learning strategies that make it possible for every student to be successful; time schedules that allow projects and exploration of a topic to be completed; environments that allow for both group and individual learning and that facilitate the active, participative, and interactive processes that bring learning to life?

3- Lifelong Learning In this area, you will find articles and resources about early childhood and parenting, adolescence, and the adult years, including higher education, learning in the workplace, and the older years.

We believe that providing this context for our discussions about learning point to the fact that learning is a lifelong journey. It gives meaning to our lives and keeps us growing mentally, physically, and emotionally.

4- News from the Neurosciences How would it affect educational systems if everyone truly believed that the human brain could change structurally and functionally as a result of learning and experience--for better or worse? How would it affect how we teach and how students learn if everyone believed that the kinds of environments we create for learning, how we teach, and the learning strategies we offer students could result in better mental equipment they will use throughout life? In News from the Neurosciences, you will find articles that support the validity of this concept, as well as articles of current interest on various other aspects of brain research and its implications for education.

5- Students with Special Needs In this area of our website we offer a comprehensive resource for parents and teachers of those who are challenged physically, emotionally, or cognitively.

We include information about gifted learners, who also have special needs that are not always acknowledged or met. You will find interesting and informative articles by specialists, stories of parents and teachers who have found successful ways of dealing with their children's needs, state and federal guidelines, links to related sites, and many other useful resources.

6- Student Voice in Transforming Education In this area of our website, we ask students to share their insights about what works and what doesn't work for them in school and other environments for learning. We are currently experimenting with different ways of interviewing them through video, as well as involving students themselves as interviewers and film-producers. We also include articles by educators about how to encourage student involvement and how to create more open and participatory environments for learning.

7- Perspectives on the Future How can we best prepare our children and our students, as well as ourselves, for a future that is difficult to imagine? How can we all learn to take an active part in determining a positive course for humanity? Homes, schools, and other places of learning must take these challenges seriously as we head for an evolutionary challenge early in the next century.

Every section has more links for articles, recommended readings and related links.

Few links at the site:

* Early Childhood/Parenting
* Learning in Adolescence
* Higher Education
* Learning in the Workplace
* Learning in the Senior Years
* English Language Learners

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Use of philosophy to develop thinking skills in schools


This pictures reminds me the time, when our grandmother used to tell us bed time stories. I was really addicted to those stories and I am not in doubt that that addiction converted in 'love for book reading", which is still have roots in me, although I am a teacher now. In our reception year classes, there is a conversation class, which I mostly utilize to talk with children and many times tell them stories. Their age level is around 4 to 5 years, and my story telling session is most interesting period for them. Involvement in story telling and then conveying them the moral of the stories helps a lot in character build up.

For teachers, using children's literature can be a way to teach philosophy to elementary school children. Children's books raise deep philosophical issues and children love to think about them.

Why we are talking and concerned about philosophy in schools?

Let's have a look at definition of "Philosophy" from "The College of Education and Human Services at Montclair State University":

"philosophy, among other things, is self-conscious inquiry into the meaning of puzzling and contestable concepts. In ancient times philosophy was known as a search for wisdom or meaning, and many of the concepts philosophers have thought about for thousands of years are ones we use to structure our daily experience. “What is justice?” “What is beauty?” “How can I be sure of what I know?” “What is the right thing to do?” “What is real?”

"Philosophy is also known for the cultivation of excellent thinking. One of the most ancient branches of philosophy is logic, which includes informal logic, or “critical thinking.” But philosophy is not only an intellectual pursuit. Philosophers have tried to improve their thinking in order to better explore the philosophical dimensions of experience, such as the ethical, political and aesthetic dimensions, and in order to improve their judgments and actions within these dimensions. Philosophy helps us learn to recognize, for instance, the ethical problems and possibilities in our experience, to think through them carefully, to make sound ethical judgments and to take appropriate action. This is why for thousands of years people have practiced philosophy, not only in universities but also in business offices, reading clubs and coffee houses."

Why ‘Philosophy for Children’?

"The last thirty years’ experience in doing philosophy with children and adolescents has shown us that they are not only capable of doing philosophy but need and appreciate it for the same reasons that adults do. Children think constantly, and reflect on their thoughts. They acquire knowledge and try to use what they know. And they want their experience to be meaningful: to be valuable, interesting, just and beautiful. Philosophy offers children the chance to explore ordinary but puzzling concepts, to improve their thinking, to make more sense of their world and to discover for themselves what is to be valued and cherished in that world.

The advent of Philosophy for Children also coincides with the recognition that emerged in the third quarter of the 20th century that children are capable of thinking critically and creatively, and that a major aim of education should be to help children become more reasonable—the “fourth R”. And as reading and writing are taught to children through the discipline of literature, why not make reasoning and judgment available to them through the discipline of philosophy? However, these benefits don’t come from learning about the history of philosophy or philosophers. Rather, as with reading, writing and arithmetic, the benefits of philosophy come through the doing—through active engagement in rigorous philosophical inquiry."



Read the full report here

* Philosophy in schools

* Philosophy for kids provides materials to use in doing philosophy with children.




* This site "Philosophy for children" (philosophical questions from children's stories) has been created and is maintained by "Professor Thomas Wartenberg" of the Department of Philosophy at "Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Massachusetts".

* Philosophy for kids-educators page
* Resources and links
* Kids page
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