Education and Learning

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

TPR Warm Up Game!

Humanizing Human Beings, To Be Little Candles for Others

Target English: Greetings, verbs

This is a game that is great do at the beginning of nearly every lesson. Its gets the kids lively and active and helps their listening skills, and if they can learn to stand up and sit down quickly you won't be wasting time later on in the lesson! From then on you add in new words each week, and is really effective. It's basically TPR, total physical response, although with limited class time it's usually better to get the kids repeating the words as soon as you can.

At the beginning you simply shout out commands at the kids. First of all simple things like "Stand Up" or "Sit Down" are OK

As you meet the kids more you can add words such as JUMP, SPIN (a big favourite), EAT, DRINK, CHEER, CLAP,

Later BOY, GIRL can be added (much laughter when boys stand up when you say "GIRLS STAND UP"). Also BIG, SMALL e.g. BIG JUMP, LITTLE JUMP and QUIET, LOUD e.g. QUIET CLAP, LOUD CHEER.

Or try using "PLAY" e.g. "Play Piano, Play Tennis" or things like "Watch TV"

For "Clap" or "Cheer" get them to vary the volume as you raise or lower your arm - it's a great "volume control" for the moments when you do want them to be quiet!!!

Monday, January 22, 2007

Risk Taking

To Be Little Candles for Others

Risk taking is the willingness to make mistakes, advocate unconventional or unpopular positions, or tackle extremely challenging problems without obvious solutions, such that one's personal growth, integrity, or accomplishments are enhanced.

The very nature of learning requires risk taking. Asmall child would never learn to walk, talk, or socially interact without taking risks, experiencing successes and failures, and then monitoring and adjusting accordingly.

Quantum leaps in learning, solving problems, inventing new products, and discovering new phenomena require risk taking. Risk taking within the learning environment requires a willingness to think deeply about a subject or problem, share that thinking with others to hear their perspectives, listen to their critiques, and then build on those experiences toward a solution or solutions (Dweck, 2000; Weiner, 1994). Too often, students are engaged in learning activities that focus on the "right answers." Instead, students should be encouraged to engage in discussions about numerous approaches—and potential solutions—to a problem (Brophy, 1998; Vispoel & Austin, 1995).

In order to take risks that lead to intellectual growth, students must be in environments that they perceive to be safe—places in which to share ideas, reflect on and discuss perspectives, and learn new things. Research shows that students learn more when they are engaged in intellectually stimulating assignments where they engage in meaningful, intellectually stimulating work in which they construct knowledge (Newmann, 1996; Newmann et al., 2001). This research applies to all students regardless of socioeconomic status or prior academic achievement.

Friday, January 19, 2007

The Art of Parenting

The relationship between the child and his parents is primarily based on love, freedom and a total acceptance of the child as an individual. The parent's core philosophy, in dealing with their children, should be a deep trust in children's natural intelligence and their ability to make their own decisions based on awareness and understanding.

The relationship between parents and children should be such where children should be able to express themselves with honesty and integrity, have trust in themselves and understand that their lives, actions and feelings are their own responsibility, and have a non-serious, zestful, confident, creative and fearless approach to life and learning.

The parent's main focus should be to help children transform their natural curiosity into a strong inner discipline and motivation. Parents should understand that each individual child comes with some gift, some treasure. It may be academic, it may be practical, or it may be artistically creative. Parents should try to provide as much space and as many opportunities as possible for the child's individuality and creativity to unfold.

Parents should not use comparison and competition as stimuli for achievement and performance. Life is so vast, individuals so unique, and there are so many human gifts that cannot be quantified, tested or measured: for example, a loving heart, sensitivity, courage, awareness, honesty, vitality, being generous or understanding. All these qualities are valued as precious, in fact priceless.

Parents are the first teachers of the children and their homes their first classroom. Parents should help in every possible way to give freedom, to give opportunities for personal and spiritual growth to their children.