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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Benefits Of Recreational Activities For Children

Hobbies, leisure or recreation activities are not only beneficial for adults, but they are very important for children. Participation in recreation activities leads to well-balanced, healthy and physically-active children.

Recreation activies provides fun learning environments for children. I take Nursery year classes and more I am learning about the importance of play and recreation activities, more convinced I am, that recreation and fun activities play a positive role in development of a child.

The early years are critical. Considerable evidence exists that circumstances in the first years of a child’s life have lifelong impacts on their health, learning, and coping skills.

Participation in recreation programs and activities benefits children in many ways:

* Promotes good physical and emotional development in children; develops motor skills and stimulates intellectual, emotional and social growth

* Develops social skills; i.e. relating to others, learning social roles and reinforcing behavioral norms

* Builds positive self esteem and self worth; children gain a sense of achievement from mastering skills which leads to higher achievement and better results in school

* Develops life and leaderships skills by participating in team and sport activities, being group leaders, making decisions and solving problems

* Facilitates long term health benefits; i.e. physical activity

* Reduces the risk of disease such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, obesity and osteoporosis

* Stimulates children’s minds and creative thinking through play, games and creative
programs

* Fosters an awareness of the larger community and cross cultural understanding

* Enables children with disorders to achieve the same level of social, physical and
academic competencies as their peers

* Develops positive attitudes towards the importance of recreation and leisure in
contributing to healthy, active lifestyles

Other benefits to children and families include:

* Recreation provides positive role models for children

* Recreation is a strong mitigating factor in reducing child and family poverty

* Recreation contributes to a healthier, stable family life when parents participate in their children’s recreation activities

Providing recreation for children is associated with good outcomes for mothers
Subsidizing recreation for children who cannot afford to pay, pays for itself through reduced use of social and health services.

Read the full report from Canadian site 'toronto': Pdf version

- The Campus of University of Cincinnati provides some recreational program which can be adopted by schools: Recreation Enriches Children

- According to NSW Child Health Survey 2001 at Centre for Epidemiology and Research, NSW Department of Health, 'Favourite activity among children aged 4-12 years', as reported by parents or carers, NSW, 2001 (per cent of parents or carers):

The question "What is [child]’s favourite activity when not at school or in day care?” was asked of parents or carers.

Just over 70% of parents or carers said their child’s favourite activity was
either:

- playing sport
- watching television, videos, movies and using a computer
- riding a bike, scooter, skateboarding or rollerblading


Related posts:

- Recreation, hobbies and leisures providing refreshment to life

- Benefits of hobbies and leisures

- The role of hobbies in our lives

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Join the Social Network For Learning - 'ePals'

ePals is a community of connected classrooms, which is equally beneficial for students and teachers.

It is fastest growing K-12 online community for meaningful learning. More than half a million educators and millions of learners across 200 countries and territories safely connect, collaborate and build community.

It offers classroom e-mail, blogs, online literacy tools and Web-based collaborative projects on subjects like global warming and habitats.

EPals says 125,000 classrooms around the world are using at least some of its free tools, reaching 13 million students, and its ambition is to become a global “learning social network.”

What you can do at ePals:

1- Collaborate with another classroom
2- Find great projects and instructional materials at ePals
3- Chat with other teachers
4- Share your successful lessons and resources
5- Connect Your Families
6- Have a say! Cast a vote in the Polls
7- Connect with Email
8- Protect your students with Monitored Accounts
9- Create a Blog - We want to hear what you have to say
10-Ask an ePals Teacher

There are many forums where teachers or students where you can ask questions, read the other member's opinions and place comments.

I could see many posts which are about learning a foreign language. Especially for the people who learn English as a second language

Click on the "support" link to see what you can get from ePals and how to start discovering what ePal is.

Teachers and schools can now create blog at ePal.

"ePals is now making SchoolBlog available at no cost to schools, districts, and learners globally. ePal wants to partner with the education community to speed the rate of safe and collaborative learning around the world.

Monday, August 18, 2008

How to detect early visual problems of your child?

This post would help you understand how to detect if your child is having visual
problems. Earlier you notice vision problem, easier is to cure. I learned this important lesson from my life, because my vision problem was not detected earlier and I spent about one years without realizing it. Later my mother noticed my watching tv from a closer place and consulted an optometrist.

Parents and teachers often have difficulty recognizing some visual problems because children don't necessarily know how or what they're supposed to be seeing, so it's unlikely they will clearly describe visual problems. A child who has never known normal vision or depth perception doesn't know what he or she is missing.

Early detection of visual problems greatly increases the chances of successful rehabilitation. Children should be examined by an eye doctor during infancy and preschool years to detect potential problems with binocular vision. This is particularly important if any member of the family has had ambylopia or strabismus. Testing of binocular teaming skills should be a part of every child's comprehensive eye examination.

Children should be examined by an eye doctor during infancy and preschool years to detect potential vision defects

Look for these signs and symptoms!

You observe the following behavior in your child:

- one eye drifts or aims in a different direction than the other (look carefully -- this can be subtle). This is significant even if it only occurs when the child is tired or stressed.
- turns or tilts head to see
- head is frequently tilted to one side or one shoulder is noticeably higher
- squinting or closing of one eye
- excessive blinking or squinting
- poor visual/motor skills (often called, "hand-eye coordination")
- problems moving in space, frequently bumps into things or drops things

While reading or doing close work your child:

- holds the book or object unusually close
- closes one eye or covers eye with hand
- twists or tilts head toward book or object so as to favor one eye
- frequently loses place and fatigues easily
- uses finger to read
- rubs eyes during or after short periods of reading

Your child frequently complains of:

- only being able to read for short periods of time
- headaches or eyestrain
- nausea or dizziness
- motion sickness
- DOUBLE VISION!

If your child reports seeing double, please take your child for a binocular vision evaluation immediately.
Source: Children special needs.org A site from "The Optometrists Network" which educates the public about visual health and spreads the word about unique aspects of optometric care. Provides patient education free to the public.

Helpful articles:

* Parents' Guide to Children's Normal Visual Development from Infancy to Preschool

Friday, August 15, 2008

Time management tips for kids

Time management is an acquired skill. Parents can help their kids learn to be better managers of their time. The first step to help them learn is to accomplish your own daily task on time. Because you are the first role model for them.

"The difference between successful and unsuccessful people, a lot of times, is their ability to manage time," says Severson, who is a chemistry teacher in a suburb of St. Paul, Minnesota. "Fundamentally, it's a learned skill."

Tips to learn time management for kids:

This report provides advice to parents on managing their child's time. It focuses on critical transition times across a child's daily life when parents say they have the most problems.

Most parents find that by using the following strategies, they are able to increase the amount of time spent on positive interactions with their children while greatly reducing the amount of time they spend punishing and scolding their children.

Most of these strategies require time and effort from parents in the beginning to get their children to follow a schedule. However, by following these strategies, parents often find that they end up having more time in the end.

Morning Routine

Here are some tips for establishing a more pleasant morning routine:

- Get up early. Make sure you wake up at least 15-20 minutes before your children so that you can focus on what you need to get done to prepare for your day.

Many parents find its easiest to complete the majority of their personal morning routine (e.g., shower, get dressed, etc.) before waking their children.

After waking the kids, parents work on making breakfast or lunches so they can easily check up on the kids' progress in their morning routine.

Make a chart. Parents often complain that their children always "forgets" to do something when they're getting ready in the morning. Truth is, many of us "grizzly bears" are forgetful in the morning.

Help your kids to remember by creating a morning routine chart. (Chart is included in full article.)

Include things like washing their face, brushing their teeth, getting dressed, making the bed, etc.

List all the morning activities you can reasonably expect your child to complete on the left side of a piece of paper.

List the days of the week across the top of the paper.

Give your child a sticker or a star for every morning activity they successfully complete on time.

- Reward them with praise each time you give them a sticker.

Give a bigger reward at the end of the morning, or for older children, at the end of the week, for successfully completing a number of morning activities on time.

- Some examples of rewards include:

- choosing a snack or dessert for lunch

- earning 5-10 minutes of free time before school

- and choosing a fun weekend activity (big reward).

Don't demand perfection, especially if your child has not performed many of these activities on their own before.

Reward them for improvements even if it just means completing one activity per day.

Focusing on progress rather than perfection encourages your children to become more enthusiastic and take pride in completing their morning routine.


This document is, one of a series of the Department of University of Florida.

Read the document in detail: Time Management for Kids

- Download 8 page-pdf version

More readings about the topic:

- Download another report from 'Indiana.edu: 'time management'

- Time management, have-to's, want-to's, and goals at: Pbs-kids

- At "Better homes and Gardens" magazine: (There are ads on the page, you can skip by selecting 'skip the page')Time Management for Kids

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Download Free 'Help your child' e-books

Parents who help their child in studies need some guidance which is usually provided by the schools, but for good grades, students need to search for extra resources and helping books. Internet is a rich source of information regarding educational stuff. But the information are scattered in a way that usually it is difficult or time consuming to find or search the material. I hope that this blog would be helpful for teachers, parents, or students in finding relevant information or resource links.

You can download these 12- "Helping your child" series e-books FREE. These are not educational or teaching syllabus books, but these books are a guideline for specific subjects. First 9 books are in pdf format, and you would get the downloading instruction from the post. Rest of the 3 books are in brochure form.

These e-books are provided by ED.gov a 'U.S Department of Education" site, to promote student achievement.
"The "Helping Your Child" publication series aims to provide parents with the tools and information necessary to help their children succeed in school and life. These booklets feature practical lessons and activities to help their school aged and preschool children master reading, understand the value of homework and develop the skills and values necessary to achieve and grow."

1- Helping Your Child Learn History

The booklet is designed to help families prepare their children to achieve the lifelong task of finding their place in history by helping them learn what shaped the world into which they were born. Employing the latest research, the booklet is largely comprised of activities that can be experienced at home or in the community for children in preschool through grade 5, yet also features information about the basics of history; practical suggestions for how to work with teachers and schools to help children succeed in school; and a list of federal sources, helpful Web sites and suggested books for parents and children
Download link: To download, click the right mouse button and select 'save as':PDF (2M)

2- Helping Your Child Learn Science

Every day is filled with opportunities to learn science—without expensive chemistry sets or books. Parents don't need degrees in chemistry or physics to help their children learn science. All that is needed is a willingness to observe and learn with them, and, above all, to make an effort and take the time to nurture their natural curiosity. This booklet provides parents of children ages 3 through 10 with information, tools and activities they can use in the home and community to help their child develop an interest in the sciences and learn about the world around them.
Download link: PDF (1M)

3- Helping Your Child Learn Mathematics

Our increasingly technological world demands strong skills in mathematics, not only in the workforce but also in everyday life, and these demands will only increase over the lifetimes of our children. The major portion of this booklet is made up of fun activities that parents can use with children from preschool age through grade 5 to strengthen their math skills and build strong positive attitudes toward math.
Download link: PDF (776K)

4- Helping Your Child Become a Reader

Other than helping your children to grow up healthy and happy, the most important thing that you can do for them is to help them develop their reading skills. This booklet offers pointers on how to build the language skills of young children, and includes a list of typical language accomplishments for different age groups, suggestions for books, and resources for children with reading problems or learning disabilities.
Download link: PDF

5- Helping Your Child With Homework

Homework can help children to develop positive study skills and habits, improve their thinking and memory abilities, and encourage them to use time well, learn independently, and take responsibility for their work. This booklet helps parents of elementary and junior high school students understand why homework is important and makes suggestions for helping children complete assignments successfully.
Download link: PDF (508K)

6- Helping Your Preschool Child

How well children will learn and develop and how well they will do in school depends on a number of things, including their health and physical well-being, social and emotional preparation, and language skills and general knowledge of the world. This booklet highlights techniques parents can use to encourage their children to develop the skills necessary for success in school and life by focusing on activities that make learning fun.
Download link: PDF (725K)

7- Helping Your Child Succeed in School

Every child has the power to succeed in school and in life and every parent, family member and caregiver can help. This booklet provides parents with information, tools and activities they can use in the home to help their child develop the skills critical to academic success.
Downlaod link: PDF (1,600K)

8- Helping Your Child Through Early Adolescence

Learning as much as you can about the world of early adolescents is an important step towards helping your child through the fascinating, confusing and wonderful years from ages 10 through 14. Based on the latest research in adolescent development and learning, this booklet addresses questions, provides suggestions and tackles issues that parents of young teens generally find most challenging.
Download link: PDF (2,090K)

9- Helping Your Child Become a Responsible Citizen

Just as children must be taught to read and write, solve math problems, and understand science concepts and events in history, so must they be guided in developing the qualities of character that are valued by their families and by the communities in which they live. This booklet provides information about the values and skills that make up character and good citizenship and what you can do to help your child develop strong character. It suggests activities that you and your school-aged children can do to put those values to work in your daily lives and tips for working with teachers and schools to ensure that you act together to promote the basic values that you want your child to learn and use.
Downlaod link: PDF (1,687K)

Few more brochures:

10- Help Your Child Improve in Test-Taking
It suggests some simple techniques parents can use to help their children develop the ability to do well on tests.
Link: Help Your Child Improve in Test-Taking

11- Help Your Child Learn to Write Well
This brochure gives parents simple and fun strategies for helping their children learn to write well—and to enjoy doing it!
Link: Help Your Child Learn to Write Well

12- Helping Your Child Learn Geography
Offers many simple, fun activities to teach youngsters the fundamentals of geography—from creating treasure maps to helping children find pen pals.
Link: Helping Your Child Learn Geography

Monday, August 11, 2008

Benefits of Access to Internet At Homes

There have been many studies in the UK and across the world on ICT's effect on learning and teaching, and on the importance of having access to computers and/or the internet at home, both for children and parents. ICT can improve the quality of teaching, learning and management in schools and so help raise standards.

Here are some of the key findings:

- used effectively, ICT can improve attainment
- using ICT at home and at school develops a key life skill
- pupils with supportive and involved parents and carers do better at school
- pupils enjoy using ICT and find it both motivational and fun
- parents like to use ICT to communicate with and learn more about school, and want to use it more
- using ICT provides access to a wider and more flexible range of learning materials

How does learning from home using ICT and the internet benefit pupils/students?

Home use of ICT by pupils:

- improves their ICT skills
- provides more options for what they learn and how they learn it
- supports homework and revision
- provides increased motivation, and more efficient and improved presentation
- connects learning at school with learning at home
- makes learning more fun

All this can lead to better performance at school and an imporved standard of work in assessments and tests.

What about parents?

Parents can:

- find out information about current and prospective schools through websites, etc.
keep in touch with educational and social events being organised by the school
- play a more active role in school life, find out about the work of the governors, the parent-teacher organisation and more
- get details about their child's lessons and homework, and where to get help and useful background information
- keep in touch with the school, individual teachers, clubs and other parents
- access - from some schools - information about how well their child is doing, behaviour and attendance information, sporting and creative arts success, and details of personal assignments and homework

TIP 1: Sometimes speaking to parents and carers who have experienced the same issues as you can be a great way to get valuable advice and information. Read, respond or ask a question in the 'Using computers and the internet'section of the ParentsCentre forum.

TIP 2: Benefit from the advice and tips given by our experts by reading or asking a question in the Experts' views forum

source: Using computers and the internet:

Related study material:

* Pdf file: DOES ICT IMPROVE LEARNING AND TEACHING IN SCHOOLS?

* Impact of ICT on Learning and Teaching

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Create your own free 'Blog'

Are you new to internet and don't know how to start a 'blog'?

When you log on to "Blogger", you are provided step by step instructions to follow. But if the process is still difficult for you, then the resources given at this post would be helpful for you to start your own blog.

- Blogger help page can help you in creating your own blog. But if you still need help, then 'The step by step guide provided by " Michigan State University" can surely help you :
- How to Establish a Blog

- A step by step guide to create blog

- Another tutorial at 'Digital divide': How to create your own blog?

- How to create and promote a blog?

- The Blogosphere and Creating Your Own Blog

- How to Create a Blog With WordPress

Saturday, August 9, 2008

"Gayle's Preschool Rainbow" - For themes based activities

"Gayle's Preschool Rainbow" is one of the sites where teachers, students and parents can learn a lot. I have searched the site and found a lot of ideas, tips and themes, to keep children busy while learning. Drawing and art teachers can get ideas for their craft projects, and even these topic based ideas can offer us many bulletin board ideas.

Pre school rainbow offers Preschool education activities and early childhood education lesson plans that give preschool children choices. Ideas for pre-k and kindergarten teachers that enrich classroom curriculum are arranged by theme. Plus easy at home fun learning games.

Author of the site says: "Preschool Rainbow is my attempt to celebrate the dedicated teachers that I have worked with and to share a few ideas that I have collected during the past 30 years as an early childhood educator. Because parents often ask teachers to suggest fun things that they can do at home with their young children, I've included lots of easy to do ideas for them in Home Activities."

There are informative early childhood education sites for teachers to visit in the links page. Look closely and you'll also discover a free, just for teachers offer. There's a section for parents in the links page too.

He says:

Years ago early childhood educators were considered babysitters, not any longer. With the recent scientific findings in brain development the value of early childhood education is becoming increasingly apparent.

From the list of themes, you can estimate, how many kind of thems based activities are offered at the site. Now only teachers but parents can get ideas and tips from this section:

Alphabet Theme,
Animal Activities,
Back to School Theme,
Book Themes,
Counting and Number Theme,
Dinosaur Theme,
Easter Theme,
Fall Theme,
Spring Theme,
Summer Theme, Winter Theme,
The Five Senses,
Holiday Craft Activities,
Home Activities,
Indoor Activities,
Toddler Theme ,
Preschool Rhyme

- Brain Growth

Sites points out to other resources: links to other sites for teachers and parents

* Lesson plan ideas for teachers from Scholastic

Friday, August 8, 2008

7 Activities to stimulate creativity

Can we develop the creative skills?

Yes, there are many activities and games which can help us make ourselves or our children more creative.

A quotation about 'creativity':

- The creative is the place where no one else has ever been. You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. What you'll discover will be wonderful. What you'll discover is yourself. (Alan Alda)

Now read the 7 activities which parents or teachers both can use to stimulate creativity among children.

Brain storming activities

These group activities are rooted in the practicalities of real life. They can be used to help students see how original and creative thinking can be applied to their daily lives.

1- Not Just for Breakfast

Place a box of ready-to-eat cereal (like Cheerios or Trix) on a desk or ledge at the front of the room. Ask the students to generate as many uses for the product as they can in two minutes. (Some of the more creative suggestions students might come up with—using the cereal as fertilizer or a component in jewelry.)

2- New Devices

Break students into groups of three. Have each group member draw a picture of someone doing something. (The ideal subject will be someone caught mid-movement.) After all the drawings are complete, have the students study them with the object of creating for each a device that will support the position shown in a steady state. Explain that the devices the students create can be made of paper, wood, plastic, or metal. (What the students will end up with are various forms of furniture, but they will have designed their creations without limiting themselves to their prior knowledge of furniture. The object of the exercise is to show the value of ambiguity in stimulating creativity.)

3- Troubleshooters

Once again, break the students into groups of three. Name a problem with which everyone is familiar—say, how to reduce the number of homeless people on the streets. Then assign each group a familiar figure from history, fiction, or current events, and have them determine how that person would solve the problem. For example, what if Martin Luther King, Jr. were to tackle the homeless problem? What if the Ninja Turtles were to try it? Barbara Walters? General Schwarzkopf? As a starting point, suggest that the students consider what particular expertise the person would bring to the problem and what his or her objectives would be

4- What If?

Divide the class into brainstorming groups of about ten students each. Ask the students to come up with the most unique "what if" question and answer they can think of. (In other words, start with "what if" and finish with some unusual situation.) Here are some examples: What if people didn't need to sleep? What if we "elected" presidents by lottery? After the groups have settled on their particular questions and answers, have the class compare them and vote on the most creative.

5- Questioning Authority

Divide the class into small groups (4-6 students). Have each group make a list of ten unwritten rules that they seem to follow each day. Examples might be where they buy groceries, what time they get up in the morning, and what television programs they watch. Have the groups discuss why they follow these "rules" and what it would take to get them to break them. Alternative: Try the same sort of activity, this time having students list beliefs they accept without question-truisms like "Recessions are bad" or "It takes money to make money."

6- Unusual Analogies

Divide the class into brainstorming groups of about ten students each. Have each group develop as many clever or unusual analogies as they can. For example: Going to school is like riding an elevator-some days you're up, some days you're down, and some days you get the shaft.

7- The Roots

Divide the class into small groups (4-6 students) for some problem analysis. First have the groups compile lists of problems their members face, such as poor grades or neighborhood vandalism. By way of analysis, have the group ask (and answer) the following questions:
Where does the problem happen?

When does it happen?

How does it happen?

To whom does it happen, and who causes it?

Have the groups finish by using the Toyota Suggestion System and asking Why? four times. For example, using the problem of poor grades:

Why did I receive a poor grade on the history test?
(The teacher is a hard grader.)

Why is the teacher a hard grader?
(She expects a lot of her students.)

Why does the teacher expect a lot of her students?
(She knows we can do it if we study hard.)

Why does she know we can do it if we study hard?
(She has seen students like us do it in the past.)

Source link: glencoe

- Creativity is a type of learning process where the teacher and pupil are located in the same individual. (Arthur Koestler)

Related posts:

Games That Stimulate Creativity

* The HEART of Creativity: Questions to Stimulate Creativity Training

* A very interesting story: How to stimulate creativity?

Reawakening the creative mind

Creativity - Its Place in Education (PDF document; 120kb)

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Art teaching ideas for art teachers

Creating an atmosphnere of creativity for art or drawing classes is important because you have control over what you want to teach to your students. In nursery class, I let my students to do drawing or art at their own way, and soemtimes the results were amazing. Last year a girl draw a sky or cloud like picture. I asked the student 'what you have drawn?'. Her answer was quite interesting, she said: "dream!

These few ideas or tips can help the art teachers to get new ideas for art, or drawing classes.

For example "Drawing emotions" offers these tips:

1) Discuss emotions with the class. What emotions are there?

2) Ask the class what these emotions feel like? Do they feel nice or horrible? What is their favourite emotion?

3) Ask the class to choose one emotion and draw or paint what they think that emotion looks like. Get them to think about what kind of colour that emotion might be.

4) When the children have made their pictures, compare those pictures which portray the same emotion. Do the children's pictures have similarities?

5) Discuss the kinds of colours we associate with emotion (red = anger, green = jealousy, white = peace etc.). Do any of these colours appear in the children's pictures?

- Feelings Flowers - A wonderful way of encouraging children to think about their feelings.

- Drawing Emotions - How can you draw an emotion? What does "happy" or "angry" look like?

- Name Designs - Use this simple procedure to create some fabulous designs, based on your own name.

- Our Lives so Far... - A great Art activity, illustrating key points in the lives of your class.

- Making Personal Flags - Make flags which represent each child in your class in a unique way. An excellent way to decorate your classroom.

- Draw a Story - Draw the events of a story on a storyboard, and get another child to make up the text.

- Observing in Detail - Activities designed to get children to look at things more closely.

- Activity Cards - A set of activity cards to base lessons on or to use as imaginative time filler activities for children who finish their work early.

- Craft Activities Pdf file - A selection of craft activities which can be used as part of work on lots of other concepts.

There are more activities and ideas at the source link page.

- source link

Monday, August 4, 2008

Games That Stimulate Creativity

Everyone has some degree of creativity. But you need to stimulate your skills to be creative. This post would suggest you many simple games or activities which can be easily adopted as a skill development tool by teachers. It is teacher's involvement which can make these games more interesting and fun.

Each of these exercises will help your students increase their ability to solve problems creatively. While completing the exercises, students shouldn't race through just to see the answers. They should work at each game until they develop the perspective necessary to play it well. Each exercise is designed to demonstrate an important point that should be mastered before going on to the next challenge.

Try to keep students from becoming discouraged. In learning to master creative problem solving, the best way—and sometimes the only way—is to learn through mistakes. Fear of making mistakes is often the most inhibiting attitude to effective problem solving.

Exercise #1: Kindred Relationships

There have been many efforts to define or explain the creative process. Psychologist Sarnoff A. Mednick of the University of Michigan thinks of it as the forming of associative elements into new combinations or arrangements.

That may not be the whole story, but the person who can marshal a great number of associations and ideas and bring them to bear on his problem has the best chance of coming up with an original solution.

In this exercise, think of a fifth word that is related to the preceding four words. (Compound and hyphenated words or commonly used expressions are allowed.)
Examples:
Elephant, bleed, lie, wash
Answer:White (white elephant, bleed white, white lie,
white-wash)
Sleeping, contest, spot, shop
Answer: Beauty (sleeping beauty, beauty contest, beauty spot, beauty shop)
Now train your own associative powers with the following sets:

1. bug rest fellow cover ____________________
2. cross baby blood ribbon ____________________
3. see carpet hot cent ____________________
4. touch palate soap sell ____________________
5. easy hush belt order ____________________
6. tree cup cake forbidden ____________________
7. wagon stand aid dance ____________________
8. dust movie gaze sapphire ____________________
9. tooth talk potato bitter ____________________
10. alley date snow spot ____________________

Answers: 1. Bed 2. Blue 3. Red 4. Soft 5. Money 6. Fruit 7. Band 8. Star 9. Sweet 10. Blind

Exercise #2: More Than Meets the Eye

One of the most useful of all thinking modes in creative problem solving is visual thinking. It is especially effective in solving problems where shapes, forms, or patterns are concerned. To improve your powers of visualization, concentrate on the accompanying illustration.

The question usually asked in connection with this design is whether you see either the vase or the two human profiles. A mentally flexible person will see both. For purposes of this mental exercise, however, try to see as many additional items in the picture as you can. Look at it from many different points of view and from as many angles as you wish. Then check the list below. Some of the items may seem far—fetched. But, remember, the idea is to use your imagination freely.

Answers: 1. An anvil. 2. An overpass pillar on a highway. 3. Champagne glass. 4. Piano stool. 5. Tower with revolving restaurant. 6. Minute-timer. 7. Propeller. 8. Chess-game rook or castle. 9. Fruit holder. 10. Bird bath. 11. Chalice. 12. Rubber grommet. 13. Keyhole slot in door. 14. An extrusion die. 15. Two Pontiac automobiles about to crash head on. 16. A screw jack. 17. An arrowhead going into an object. 18. Two girls sitting back-to-back and holding parcels on their heads.

Exercise #3: Loose Ends

Defining a problem too narrowly can inhibit and delay finding a solution. The creative problem solver tries to state the requirements as broadly as possible at the beginning. If, after a reasonable time, no solution presents itself, he tries to restate it in such a way that a new avenue of approach becomes available.

Less successful problem solvers, on the other hand, persist doggedly in the same direction, even when the difficulty does not yield to their efforts. They are blocked from considering new directions by stubborn commitment to the old.

Look at the first sketch and imagine that you are the person shown standing in the room. You have been given the task of tying together the ends of the two strings suspended from the ceiling. The strings are located so that you cannot reach one string with your outstretched hand while holding the second in your other hand. The room is totally bare, and you have only the resources you would normally have in your pocket or handbag. How do you solve this problem?


Most people will see the difficulty as a shortness of reach. That is, they state the problem to themselves as: "How can I get to the second string?" The consequence of this perspective is that all effort goes into vain efforts to find a means of making one of the strings longer. But the "givens" of this problem make such a solution impossible.

If, however, you define the problem as "How can the string and I get together?", another sort of solution may occur to you. The solution requires that you see the difficulty in terms of getting the second string to come to you. If you tie a small object-say, a key or a ring-to the end of one string and set it swinging like a pendulum, you can grab it while still holding the end of the second string in the other hand.

Exercise #4: Breaking Out

Most of us impose too many imaginary boundaries, restrictions, and constraints upon our problems, and hence fail to solve them.

The problem: Draw four straight lines through the nine dots without retracing and without lifting your pen from the paper.


The key to the solution is, of course, that the imaginary boundaries formed by the dots need not be observed. Once freed from this restriction, you will find the solution easy, as shown here.

Researchers at Stanford University have come up with an even more interesting solution to this puzzle. One subject realized that it wasn't necessary to draw four lines through the centers of the dots; the problem can be solved with only three lines.

Exercise #5: Nature's Inventions

Biology and zoology are considered by many to be rich sources of analogies from which significant inventions can be derived. One of the most celebrated cases is the invention of the telephone. As Alexander Graham Bell wrote: "It struck me that the bones of the human ear were very massive as compared with the delicate thin membrane that operated them; and the thought occurred to me that if a membrane so delicate could move bones so relatively massive, why should not a thicker and stouter piece of membrane move a piece of steel." Thus was the telephone conceived.

Here is a list of animals and the inventions they exemplify. Try matching the animal with the invention.


1. bat ( ) parachute
2. armadillo ( ) snowshoes
3. chameleon ( ) anesthetic
4. fish ( ) helicopter
5. flying squirrel ( ) suction cup
6. squid ( ) hypodermic
7. hummingbird ( ) radar
8. scorpion ( ) camouflage
9. snake ( ) electricity
10. abalone ( ) tank
11. caribou ( ) jet propulsion

Answers:

1. bat (5) parachute
2. armadillo (11) snowshoes
3. chameleon (9) anesthetic
4. fish (7) helicopter
5. flying squirrel (10) suction cup
6. squid (8) hypodermic
7. hummingbird (1) radar
8. scorpion (3) camouflage
9. snake (4) electricity
10. abalone (2) tank
11. caribou (6) jet propulsion

Exercise #6: More or Less

We frequently fail to solve problems because we approach them with prejudgments or unwarranted assumptions. These assumptions restrict our thinking processes and hamper our imaginations.

When doing this problem, try to defer any prejudgments that pop into your mind and try to deliberately change your point of view: Add one line to the roman numeral XI, and end up with the number ten. Try for at least three different solutions.

The most obvious solution is to add a fraction bar, X/l. Other solutions:


The solutions shown above are just some of those that involve the use of a straight line. However, the problem statement was: "Add one line.. . " With no qualifications as to the shape of the line, it would be an unwarranted assumption to try to solve this problem with only straight lines.

As long as we produce a mark with just one sweep of the pen, without lifting the pen from the paper, that is "one line." With this in mind, the following solutions are permissible:

Exercise #7: The Collected Works

We are frequently hampered in creative problem solving by our habitual ways of looking at things. The more familiar a situation or an object is, the harder it is to see it differently. Creativity, however, requires a "fresh" pair of eyes.

While this problem looks deceptively simple, it is actually quite diffficult. There are four volumes of Shakespeare's collected works on the shelf.


The pages of each volume are exactly 2 in. thick. The covers are each 1/6 in. thick. A bookworm started eating at page 1 of Volume I and ate through to the last page of Volume IV. What is the distance the bookworm covered?

Exercise #8: Joined Together

Most people rush in to tackle a problem without considering the alternatives and without attempting to understand what is involved. As the result, they waste a lot of time and effort.

To illustrate the importance of analysis, copy this design and keep track of how long it takes you. (Tracing is not allowed.)


If it took anywhere from one to three minutes, try a different approach and copy it again to see if that new point of view helps you copy the design more quickly.

The design can be copied easily and accurately in less than 15 seconds. One step-by-step approach is as follows:

Another imaginative solution occurs when you recognize the pattern as being made up of four identical parts. Drawing them one after another and rotating each successive part 90 degrees makes a speedy reproduction:

You can tape two pencils together and zip through to a speedy solution.

The answer is five inches. If you had trouble with this one, you were probably trapped by a conventional way of visualizing. We are accustomed to seeing a book in a certain position—facing us, with the first page near the left hand cover and the last page nearest the right hand cover. But it was specified in this problem that the volumes were on the shelf. With the backs facing you, the order of pages is reversed.

In creative problem solving it serves well to heed this warning: The more familiar the object, the harder it is to see it in another context.

Exercise #9: Concealed Colors

This game is designed to increase your flexibility and your ability to overcome the restrictions of habit. The name of what color is concealed in each sentence?

1- Newspaper editors decided to go on strike. (Red)
2- The cab lacked proper brakes to stop at the intersection. (Black)

Now try these:
1- A big, old, hungry dog appeared at our door every morning.
2- The cop persuaded him not to create a disturbance.
3- The Brazilian student Paulo lives around the corner from us.
4- You shouldn't let an upstart like him bother you.
5- He let out a big yell, owing to the injuries he received when he fell.
6- La Jolla venders decided to cut their prices in half.
7- Long rayon fabrics were loaded on the truck.
8- The Austrian physicist Wolfgang Pauli lacked the requisite documents to enter the U.S.
9- You shouldn't sell this fossil very cheaply because it is a rare specimen.
10- The new law hit everybody's pocketbook pretty hard.

Answers: 1. Gold 2. Copper 3. Olive 4. Tan 5. Yellow 6. Lavender 7. Gray 8. Lilac 9. Silver 10. White

In order to identify the hidden colors, you have to disregard the signs that say "stop"—such as word spacings, periods, and commas. People who are habit-ridden will find this exercise very difficult.

Exercise #10: Scams

The purpose of this exercise is to build your fluency of thought and expression. At first, you might find that you can think of only a few sentences but, if you persist, many more will occur to you.

Write five-word sentences from the five given letters, one letter for each word.
S C A M S

Here are a couple of examples:
1- Senior citizens arrange maximum security.
2- Sarcastic comments are meant seriously.

Now see how many sentences you can produce in exactly five minutes, then check some of the possibilities given below.
1- Sleepy cats always move slow.
2- Singing cellos alter mood substantially.
3- Sabotage caused army's move southward.
4- Spoiled children angered mother steadily.
5- Straightened circumstances affect man's stability.
6- Strike caused austerity moves subsequently.
7- School classes appear moderately satisfying.
8- Studious children always merit success.
9- Sly crocodiles attacked migrating settlers.
10- Siamese cats age much slower.

Exercise #11: A Woman's Ingenuity

With some problems, a creative solution can only occur after the elements or parts of the problem have been reorganized into a different pattern. This requires that you juggle the parts in your mind's eye. With this in mind, see if you can solve this problem: A businessman brought back from Europe four pieces of chain in solid gold, each consisting of three links.

He wanted to keep them as an investment, but his wife felt that—joined together—the pieces would make a lovely necklace. She went to a jeweler and said, "I want you to connect these pieces to make a necklace. How much will it cost?" The jeweler laid the individual pieces of chain out in this pattern:

He told the lady, "I charge $2.50 to break a link and $2.50 to melt it together again. Since you have four corners, it will cost you $20." The lady said, "That's too much. Actually you can do it for $15." The problem, then, is to construct a necklace, breaking and joining only three links. How would you do it?

As long as you think of the segments of chain as four sides of a square or as segments of a circle, you can't solve this problem. The moment you shift your focus and regard one of those segments—not as an immutable structure—but as a stockpile of individual links, you've made the necessary breakthrough. At the woman's suggestion, the jeweler placed three segments in a triangular pattern, took apart the remaining segment, and used those three links to close the three comers of the necklace.

Most people will have to juggle the elements visually, drawing them in different arrangements before arriving at the triangular pattern that leads to solution. This juggling of the parts of a problem results in a reorganization. But before that can happen, you have to feel free to destroy the original pattern in which the problem was presented.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Free tutorials about internet and World Wide Web

Internet has become a source of information and if we want our children to use the internet for constructive purposes then we have to guide them and let them learn about "internet". This article offers you useful links and resources to learn about 'Internt' and 'World Wide Web.


1- From "Infomat": What is 'Internet'?


The Internet is a huge collection of computers around the world. These computers (there are millions of them) are all linked together, and they communicate with each other, sharing information. If your computer is connected to the Internet, it can connect to millions of other computers, in many different parts of the world.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

How to help your child with 'Home Work'- Tips for parents

Parent's involvement in child education can bring positive results in child's grades. And starting point to guide or taking interest is to look how you can help your child in 'home work'. These few tips would help you guide your child in home work, letting him/her get ready for future success at school and in life. It is a fact that 'family involvement is crucial if we want our children to succeed in education and throughout life'.

Tips for Parents

Homework is the ideal opportunity for students to learn and for parents to become involved closer in their child’s education. A parent’s interest can spark enthusiasm in a child and teach one of the most important lessons of all – that learning can be fun, is important and is well worth the effort.

Children do need to know that their parents think homework is important. If they know their parents care, children have a good reason to complete their homework and hand them in on time. It is important that parents show they value education and this can be done in a number of ways.

* Set a Regular Time
Finding a regular time for your child to complete their homework is very important. The best schedule is the one that works for your child and your family. What works well in one home may not apply in another – every home and child is different. It may well be that your child works well immediately on returning home from school or alternatively; it may be that your child needs to play for an hour and then complete their homework assignment.

aOutside activities, such as sports or music lessons may mean that you need to adopt a flexible schedule throughout the week. If there is not enough time for your child to finish his/ her homework then you will need to discuss dropping some after school activities. You must show your child that homework is a priority.

* Pick a Study Place
Ideally, a dedicated homework area is the best way for your child to focus. However this may not always be possible. It is more important that the study area has the right components;

- good light

- study supplies at hand

- be fairly quiet

* Remove any Distractions
A study area should not be next to a television set (obvious we know). Mobile phones should be switched off and social calls banned during homework.

However a phone call to a friend regarding homework will be beneficial.

Some children do work well with soft background music (not a blaring stereo barking out the latest hits).

* Provide Supplies and Identify Resources
A good starting point for this is all the obvious supplies that your child will need to complete his/ her homework – pencils, pens, paper, glue, stapler, scissors etc..

Although please be aware that there may be specific assignments where other supplies are required.

For information resources, break them down into the different types:

- books, available at home, school or the library?

- Internet – available at home, school, or the library?

- A phone call to the local library is very much worthwhile – they may have a dedicated homework area and have computers that can be used by pupils.

It is also worth speaking to the school about any ground rules they may have regarding Internet access to students.

* Set a Good Example
Children will be more responsive to homework and studying if they see their parents undertaking tasks that require effort, reading and writing. Talk with your child about what you are doing even if is something relatively minor and simple. Encourage activities that have an educational application – for example going to the zoo, watching educational programmes on TV, museums etc and so on.

* Show an Interest
Discuss your child’s education at the dinner table, what did they do at school today? Did they have a lot of homework? Was it hard/ easy?

These are all relatively simple points but they do instil a sense of support and interest.

Always attend parent- teacher nights to discuss your child’s work and it is a great support if you are able to attend school fairs, sports day etc…


Other Ways in Which Parents Can Help
Here are just some other points that will help in your child’s education and particularly their homework assignments:

1. Ask about the School Homework Policy (Be aware what the school expects from homework.)

2. Be available: Be available to your child should they have any questions regarding their homework assignment.

3. Look over completed homework: Read the homework assignments before and after the teacher has seen them.

4. Monitor Television Viewing: If the figures are added up children spend more time watching TV than doing homework. It is no surprise that if they are watching TV then they are not studying.

5. Study your Child’s Study Habits
See what works best to get the best out of your child.

6. Help your Child Get Organised
Help them organise a schedule and homework area.

7. Encourage Good Study Habits
Show your child how to break down tasks, understand them and what they are supposed to achieve.

8. Discuss Assignments
Talk about the homework that has been given.

9. Give Praise
Praise your child when they get good marks and work well. Everyone responds to praise - it is a great motivational tool.

10. Share any concerns with the School
Go and talk to the teacher in question about any concerns you may have. It is a good idea to speak to the teacher involved before going to the head teacher.

11. Work with the School: If there are problems with homework then work with the school for a solution.

12. Share Feedback to the School:Communication with your child’s school is only a good thing.

Source:


infomat.net - The Education & Entertainment Network


Useful links and resources where you can get home work help on the net:

* Homework Help on the Web
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