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Monday, June 30, 2008

An ultimate resource for parents about child development and behavior

Internet is a rich source of information for teachers or parents in terms of guidance, tips, advice and expert suggestions. Every parent needs guidance on kid's development and behavior.

Your child is a site from University of Michigan Medical School and this site is especially designed for parents as a guide to internet iformation on kids development and behavior.

Mission/Vision:

"YourChild: Development and Behavior Resources is a Web site for parents. It is a clearinghouse for comprehensive information on children's development and behavior. We aim to help parents navigate the overwhelming amount of information available on the Internet and provide parents a means to link up with support groups, agencies, organizations, and other tools and resources. YourChild is a resource parents can trust, because University of Michigan experts have evaluated all our information and links."

What you can get from the site?

- Lots of parenting and child development and behavior resources:

- Information to help you better understand your child's development and behavior
Links to support groups so you can find other parents going through the same things as you

- Links to agencies and organizations that may be able to assist you
Recommended books

- Other helpful tools and resources

- Commentary from the YourChild team on controversial or important topics of the day

- Featured links to information about timely topics

- A guide to using the Internet to find the best and most reliable information about parenting and child development

Another source for parents:

* Center for effective parenting provides lot of information for parents and educators.

* A lot of printable PDF files on many topics:
parenting handouts

Saturday, June 28, 2008

"Scienc News" - A science news site for kids

It is easy to browse sites which provide specific topic information, such as kids sites which are based on learning, offer different interesting and interactive activity based games or information for them. I usually review the sites or blogs which are equally useful for kids, children, teachers or parents.

Science News for Kids is a new Web site devoted to science news for children of ages 9 to 14.

Goal:
Their goal is to offer timely items of interest to kids, accompanied by suggestions for hands-on activities, books, articles, Web resources, and other useful materials.

Their emphasis is on making the Web site appealing by offering kids opportunities to comment on and grade the subject matter, get ideas for science projects, and try out mathematical puzzles.

For teachers: They offer teachers creative ways of using science news in their classrooms

Society for Science & the Public, the publisher of Science News, is a nonprofit corporation based in Washington, D.C. Founded in 1921, Society for Science & the Public has the mission of advancing the popular understanding of science through publications and educational programs.

Science News for Kids Web site is devoted to particular interests.

At present, there are six zones:

1- a weekly brainteaser for those who enjoy solving and inventing puzzles (PuzzleZone),

2- Entertaining science-fiction composition exercises for those interested in writing (SciFiZone),
3- Weekly science fair profiles along with science project ideas and tips (ScienceFairZone).
4- The GameZone contains a small selection of logic and memory games, implemented as Java applets.

5- The TeacherZone has materials, including question sheets related to the feature article of the week, so that teachers can bring science news topics to the classroom.

6- The LabZone features a weekly hands-on activity or science project idea .

Thursday, June 26, 2008

FREE Download of video games and softwares

Are you one of the persons who browse the internet just to look for free stuff?
Yes there are many links and sites where you can get free stuff like articles, softwares, and games too. Not only kids but adults are also addicted to pc games. As I love to play puzzle, board and adventure games and if offered to download puzzle or adventure game, I won't miss the chance. Will you?

Most of the sites would be offering only trial versions. But I am talking about a site which offers FREE DOWNLOAD of pc games.
Don't believe?

You can get commercial software titles - for free. Every day they offer licensed software or games, you'd have to buy otherwise, for free at Game Give Away of the day

The idea behind this initiative is that many sites and publishers offer trial downloads; but only this site offer giveaway downloads.

How it is done?

Daily they nominate one software or game title that will be a Giveaway title of that day. The software will be available for download for 24 hours (or more, if agreed by software publisher) and that software will be absolutely free. That means - not a trial, not a limited version - but a registered and legal version of the software will be free for our visitors*.

The software product will be presented in its full functionality, without any limitations save for those mentioned in Terms and Conditions.

The download link will remain on our web-site for the agreed period of time, together with the review of the software product and the information about other products from the software publisher presenting the giveaway title.

How to get Free software or game?

The information about giveaways for upcoming week will be posted on our web-site; all of our subscribers will receive this information in their weekly newsletter. Plus, Giveaway Tickers will also help us spread the information around the world.

Visit the site frequently,
subscribe to the newsletter and stay informed.

Giveaway of the Day

* For FREE software downloads of the day

* For sharing your downloading experience of related topics, join the forum

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Art and craft activities help children with learning disabilities

Art, crafts or drawing are creative activities which help children in learning disabilies. Being an art/crafts teacher I have noticed that these activities are very helpful in skill development, which helps children in other subjects.

Learning Disabilities and the Arts

The arts are more than a fun, superficial way to keep kids occupied. Art activities can help children with learning disabilities begin to overcome the challenges they face in learning in many different ways. Of course, having a learning disability does not necessarily mean that a person has an exceptional artistic talent. However, music, art, crafts and dance can give students with learning disabilities a chance to express themselves through different media and gain confidence along the way.

Unlocking Confidence
A feeling of self-worth - the knowledge that you can do something - is a critical part of the learning process. Children with learning disabilities often come to think they are incapable of learning because of their ongoing difficulties in school. A paintbrush, a costume, a drum or paper, scissors and glue can be new tools for self-expression that boost confidence while providing opportunities for learning and practice.

Learning Through Art
The arts can open the world of learning to students who have trouble with traditional teaching methods. The arts are intellectual disciplines - requiring complex thinking and problem solving - that offer students the opportunity to construct their own understanding of the world.

* Drawing and painting reinforce motor skills and can also be a way of learning shapes, contrasts, boundaries, spatial relationships, size and other math concepts.

* Music teaches children about rhythm, sound and pitch. Beats can help children learn rhymes and other features of reading such as phonological awareness. Using repetitive songs to learn academic facts (like the alphabet song or multiplication tables) can make the learning experience easier and more fun.

* Dance provides children with a social way to learn about sequencing, rhythm and following directions. While developing coordination and motor control, students can also learn counting and directionality, which can enhance reading and writing concepts - such as understanding the difference between similar looking letters (like p/b/d/q) and telling left from right.

* Performing plays is an opportunity for children to immerse themselves in a theme and learn about it in a profound and personal way. Acting out historical or literary figures and events gives students a sense of ownership about what they've learned, allowing them to acquire a deeper appreciation of the subject matter.

* Crafts offer children the opportunity to express themselves in two- and three-dimensional ways. Students can develop vital problem-solving skills without having to rely on areas of expression that may be more challenging.
Arts as a means of assessment

Timed tests and take-home reports are traditional means of academic assessment that can be especially difficult for individuals with learning disabilities. Creative projects offer these students the freedom to show what they know without the constraints of printed text. Offering students art projects or multi-media presentations as a way to demonstrate an understanding of material they've learned can be an excellent alternative.

Because a person has difficulty learning through hearing alone or seeing alone does not mean they cannot learn. The arts offer individuals with learning disabilities dynamic ways of learning, and just as importantly, a way to fully discover their own self-worth.

Article is courtesy of "National Ceneter for learning disabilities"
- source link

"Ld Online"- A site helping us learn about learning disablities

More than 2.9 million school-age children in the United States – approximately five percent of the student population – are diagnosed with learning disabilities. Many more struggle in school but never receive a formal diagnosis.


LD OnLine is world's leading website on learning disabilities and ADHD. "LD OnLine" provides the parents and teachers of these children with accurate, authoritative information about learning disabilities so they can obtain the help they need.  It is serving more than 200,000 parents, teachers, and other professionals each month.


LD OnLine seeks to help children and adults reach their full potential by providing accurate and up-to-date information and advice about learning disabilities and ADHD. The site features hundreds of helpful articles, multimedia, monthly columns by noted experts, first person essays, children’s writing and artwork, a comprehensive resource guide, very active forums, and a Yellow Pages referral directory of professionals, schools, and products.


LD OnLine also serves adolescents and adults with learning disabilities. The site offers information and resources on the transitions from school to college and from school to the workplace, and on the issues faced by adults with learning disabilities.


It also offers three other comprehensive educational sites:
-ReadingRockets.org,


-ColorinColorado.org
and
-AdLit.org.


* Whether you're a general or special education teacher, principal, specialist or paraprofessional, you play a vitally important role in helping children with learning disabilities achieve their full potential.
LD OnLine has gathered many resources to assist you in your important job!
- educators


* Parenting a child with learning disabilities or ADHD is a challenge. To assist you, LD OnLine has gathered the following information to help you get started in understanding what your child needs, your rights and responsibilities in working with the school, and ways to support your son or daughter at home.
- parents


* KId's section has "art gallery", "your stories", "books" and "e-card" sections:
- kids


* Sign up to receive news and information about key issues in reading, learning disabilities, and other areas of learning. All of our publications are available at no cost.


- sign up link

Sunday, June 22, 2008

A "Child and Family Web Guide" about child development sites

There are many search engines, site which help teachers, parents or students in search for learning or learning related web sites. Because searching at a search engines can take hours to search for the specific information.

"Child and family web guide" is a directory of the sites rated by experts from "Tufts University" which is one of the premimier universities in the United States. It is non-profit resource, based on parent and professional feedback.

Child and family web guide evaluates, describes and provides links to hundreds of sites containing child development research and practical advice.

The goal of the WebGuide is to give the public easy access to the best child development information on the Web.

Who is the WebGuide for?
The WebGuide is an online rating and review guide for a broad range of audiences, from those familiar with the topic of child development who are seeking answers to relatively sophisticated questions, to those with minimal background who are seeking a basic understanding of a topic. Audiences that the WebGuide is intended to serve include:

* Parents of children from infancy to adolescence
* Professionals who work with children, such as teachers, pediatricians, counselors, day care providers and others
* Professionals whose work concerns children, such as government officials, social policy experts and journalists
* Students studying child development -- at the high school, undergraduate and graduate level

What you can get from the WebGuide?

There are five main categories of information:
- family/parenting,
- education/learning,
- typical child development,
- health/mental health, and
- resources/recreation.

The first four categories contain sites with research-based information. The fifth category, resources/recreation, contains sites with information about specific programs and things to do. The resources/recreation sites, which were added at the request of parents, do not contain research-based information.
The WebGuide also offers an option of searching for sites that are especially relevant to a particular age group :
topics by age offers several features requested by parents (e.g., ask an expert sites; research news sites).

- Medical pages provides links to child related medical sites.
WebGuide provides search engine boxes for searches.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Internet as a useful tool for learning

Most of the people search the web for the sake of information. Internet has provided lots of help in education sector. It would be interesting to know for teachers that
internet can be used as a source of quick information source helping us in learning and teaching. Students, teens are increasingly using internet for their school or college projects.

Pew Internet and American Life Project an initiative of the Pew Research Center, a nonprofit organization, that provides information on the issues, attitudes and trends shaping America and the world, explorinh the impact of the internet on children, families, communities, the work place, schools, health care and civic/political life.

"The Pew Research Center" provides a survery and research based report about the use of internet in education.

"The Internet and Education"

The Internet has become an increasingly important feature of the learning environment for teenagers. Research by the Pew Internet & American Life Project in November and December 2000 shows that teens use the Internet as an essential study aid outside the classroom and that the Internet increasingly has a place inside the classroom.

The Project surveyed 754 online youth ages 12-17 and their parents. Teens and parents report that Internet is vital to completing school projects and has effectively replaced the library for a large number of online youth. 71% of students report using the Internet at their primary source for their last major project, and they also report accessing online study aids like Sparknotes or CliffNotes. Beyond legitimate assistance with studies via websites, or email or Instant message communication with teachers, students also take advantage of the Internet to cheat, with 18% of students reporting knowing someone who used the Internet to do so.

Source: report

Monday, June 16, 2008

Craft activities improve student learning skills

There is a strong link between crafts activities and skill development among children of all ages. I am also a craft teacher and noticed it very often that many kind of crafts help in skill development which as a results produce good learning outcome in their other subject areas. Let's have a look at some research based studies and reports in this connection:

"The Academic Value of Hands-on Craft Projects in Elementary Schools"

Conducted in 2001 by ROCKMAN ET AL, an independent educational research and consulting company, the study revealed the following key findings:

* Student learning improves when classroom lessons incorporate hands-on craft activities.
* Students develop greater curiosity about the subject matter when craft projects are included.
* Student behavior and socialization skills improve when crafts are undertaken.'

Teachers regularly use craft projects to teach the core subjects and link the projects to state and national curriculum standards.
Teachers say learning through craft projects accommodates students with different learning styles.

Focus Group Research

In 2005 teachers from two different U.S. cities, Paramus, NJ and Cleveland, OH, participated in two focus group studies. Key findings of these studies include:
Crafts can enhance the lesson and the learning process and in many cases are vital to the learning process.
Crafts can be a break from some of the serious and boring academic activities
Through the use of crafts, teachers gain a better understanding of the child’s thought process
Teachers agree the average amount of time for a craft activity in the classroom is thirty minutes.
During the fall of 2001, the Hobby Industry Association (HIA) contracted [with] an independent educational research and consulting company, to study the impact of hands-on craft projects as an instructional method within the core curriculum. Additionally, they wished to determine ways this teaching technique links to state and national education standards.

As the only large-scale study of its kind, and one of the first efforts to investigate the area of hands-on projects and academic learning, this study found that a significant number of teachers use hands-on projects linked to core curriculum content to advance standards-based learning. Teachers said hands-on projects enhance the instructional process and help students learn both basic information and more complex ideas. Additionally, students develop important learning skills and the abilities to articulate complex ideas, to use appropriate and sophisticated terminology, and to integrate the ideas they have learned into their continuing learning efforts. This belief was confirmed by student data evidence collected in this study.

KEY FINDINGS

Student learning improves when classroom lessons incorporate hands-on craft projects.

Students who spent a greater proportion of their classroom learning time engaged in hands-on projects scored significantly higher on writing and drawing knowledge application tasks. In classes that spent almost half of instructional time on hands-on projects (48%), students scored an average of 83 out of a possible 100 on the knowledge application task. Comparatively, students whose classes devoted a low percentage of class time to craft projects (11.8%) scored an average of 75. The creativity and level of detail students demonstrated on the application tasks also indicated that the hands-on projects left many students with vivid and lasting understanding of both facts and concepts.

Teachers regularly use hands-on craft projects to teach the core subjects and link the projects to state and national curriculum standards.

Almost three-fourths (72%) of the participating teachers indicated that they explicitly and intentionally link their instructional units involving hands-on projects to state or national standards. In addition, writing, research and presentation skills are typically incorporated into the projects.

Students develop greater curiosity about the subject matter when hands-on craft projects are included.

Ninety-six percent (96%) of teachers agreed that students exhibit greater curiosity about the learning unit when hands-on projects are included in the instructional approach. Teachers also reported significant differences in learning behaviors when students are involved in hands-on projects. They reported increases in student motivation, willingness to ask questions and volunteer information, enthusiasm, and attention to assigned tasks.

Teachers say learning through hands-on craft projects accommodates students with different learning styles.

While 46% of teachers viewed hands-on projects as an effective learning technique for all students, 54% said this approach is particularly well suited for students who learned more effectively in non-traditional approaches, such as visual or kinesthetic learners, slow readers or writers, or non-native English speakers.

Student behavior and socialization skills improve when hands-on craft projects are undertaken.

Teachers reported enhanced cooperation, responsibility, dedication, confidence, and time management skills when students participated in hands-on projects. Eighty-five percent (85%) of the teachers said students work cooperatively on handcrafted projects, while only 50% of the teachers said they do so in non hands-on projects.

CONCLUSION


The study concludes that hands-on craft projects are an effective means of teaching a standards-based curriculum and that students develop both a greater appreciation for and understanding of what they are learning.

Hands-on projects appear to function as learning anchors that organize and integrate various classroom-learning activities.

By making the learning experience concrete, the dynamics of these learning anchors inspire students to enjoy learning, accomplish goals, take pride in their achievements, and persevere in their learning.

For the full 45 page PDF report: Download for FREE
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