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Ekya / February 20, 2018 Posted by : administrator

It’s never too early to read to your little one. As soon as your child is born, he or she starts learning. Just by talking to, playing with, and caring for your child every day, you help your tiny tot develop language skills necessary to become a reader. By reading with your little one, you foster a love of books and reading right from the start. At Ekya, we have compiled five reading tips that offer some fun ways you can help your little one become a happy and confident reader.

Start young and stay with it

  • Snuggle up with a book: When you hold your child close and look at a book together, your little one will enjoy the snuggling and hearing your voice as well as the story. Feeling safe and secure with you while looking at a book builds your child’s confidence and love of reading.

  • Choose child-friendly books: Books with bright and bold or high-contrast illustrations are easier for young children to see, and will grab their attention. Books made of cloth or soft plastic (for the bathtub) or “board books” with sturdy cardboard pages are easier for  them to handle.

  • Keep books where your little one can reach them: Make sure books are as easy to reach, hold, and look at as toys. Remember, a young child will do with a book what he/she does with everything else — put it in his/her mouth. And that’s exactly what they are supposed to do, so you may only want to put chewable books within reach.

  • Develop a daily routine: Routines can soothe a child and let them learn to predict what will happen next. The ability to predict is important when your child is older and is reading independently.

  • Sing, Read, Repeat: Read favourite stories and sing favourite songs over and over again. Repeated fun with books will strengthen language development and positive feelings about reading.

Parents, we recommend you to try a new reading tip each week and see what works best for your child.

For more reading tips, click the following links:

Reading Tips for Toddlers
Reading Tips for Kindergarten

Explore more

Ekya / February 15, 2024

How to Instil Road Discipline in Your Children: A Guide for Parents and Teachers

We are always around kids during their childhood years, but as they grow, we allow them to play and roam with friends. Practising road safety is essential for the safety of both passengers and pedestrians. According to the research, road crash injuries are the leading cause of death aged 5 to 29. It is quite tough to be around the kids all the time, hence it becomes imperative that children be aware of road discipline. To ensure the safety of children, parents and teachers must know how to instil road safety discipline. But the question arises, what is involved in road safety? Here is the comprehensive guide for parents and teachers about how to teach road safety rules to children;

How to Ensure Road Safety for Children?

Teach them basic signals

First and foremost, teach the kids about the traffic signals and lights and what they mean;
  •     When the signal turns Green, that means ‘go’.
  •     When the signal turns red, that means ‘to stop’.
  •     When the signal turns yellow, that means ‘to slow down’.
  •     Only walk when the ‘Walk’ sign appears, but look right and left before crossing the road.
  •     Do not cross the road when the sign says ‘Don’t Walk’.

Cross the road at the Zebra crossings

Teach the children to cross the road only at Zebra crossings, and guide them that they are meant for the safety of pedestrians. Help them understand the speed of a vehicle and that they can only cross when it is at a safe distance

Equip the children to understand signboards

To understand signboards, give your kids a mini-guide or pamphlet in which sign boards are explained in a way they understand.

Avoid using mobile phones

In this era, even kids are using mobile phones. Teach the kids to strictly avoid mobile phones while on the road or roadside.

Ride Bi-cycles carefully

Guide the kids to wear proper gear while riding bicycles, whether with friends or going to school. Make them wear helmets, elbow and knee guards. If they are riding bicycles in the dark, make them wear bright-coloured shoes.

Do not jump traffic lights

In any situation, do not jump the traffic lights, teach the children to follow this rule as it poses a risk.

Avoid playing on the road or roadside

Children are always excited and start running wherever they find the way. Tell them not to run and play on the road or roadside, it is always risky.

Stand out of blind spots

Teach the children to never cross a road from in between vehicles or any other object, that is always dangerous. Guide them to always cross the road when it is clear.

Follow bus safety tips

Guide the children about following the bus safety tips every time they travel on a bus.

How Can Adults be Role Models for Children?

By following these steps, adults can teach children about road safety rules and discipline;
  •     Teach the child to understand basic traffic signals and signs.
  •     By frequently checking whether the child stops, looks, listens, and thinks before crossing the road.
  •     Explaining road safety rules in simple language.
  •     Walking on the road and following the road safety rules together
  •     Do not use phones and other devices when walking on the road or around vehicles
  •     Always hold the child’s hand on the driveway or while crossing the road
It is not possible for parents and teachers to constantly supervise their children when they are out on the road. So children must be taught road safety standards from an early age. We at Ekya Schools believe in instructing children in these areas and by following the road safety etiquette, they feel responsible towards themselves and others. There are many ways we teach the students about road safety. We incorporate easy understanding for the children, like using age-appropriate behaviour, making the learning fun, using visual aids, appreciation to practise in real-life situations. We cover it all.

Ekya / February 15, 2024

How to Foster Active Listening Skills in Your Child: Tips and Strategies for Parents and Educators

Active listening is way more than just hearing. It is an intentional act to engage, understand, and reflect. Active listening plays an essential role in building a student’s communication and language skills. During the early education period most learning is done in the verbal format so, parents should pay more attention to developing active listening skills in their kids. In the longer run, it will be quite helpful for students as they can perform better in their academics and also do justice with their relationships. Being one of the  leading CBSE schools in Bangalore, we understand the importance of active learning and hence sharing a few tips on improving listening skills for children:
  • Always maintain eye contact while speaking: Parents and guardians should make eye contact with their kids. Making eye contact boosts their child's confidence and improves active listening skills which makes them more enthusiastic during conversation.
  • Repeating the key points: During the conversation, parents should pay attention to the things their children are more focussing on and if they want them to focus more on a particular point, it should be repeated again and again. This will feed it into their subconscious mind.
  • Ask multiple questions: Asking multiple questions during the conversation is a good way to develop listening skills among children as answering requires active listening. This is also a good way to develop inquisitiveness among them.

Here is the list of different types of listening:

  • Critical listening: It involves listening and analysing both the positive and negative aspects of any topic and synthesising the information to form a point of view.
  • Discriminative listening: In this type of listening interpretation is done by considering sound and body language rather than the words. 
  • Aesthetic listening: It involves enjoyment. Aesthetic listening is often used by parents or teachers to make the education fun and more engaging. 
  • Biased listening: It is also known as selective listening as the listener only focuses on a particular part of the communication. It leads to distorted information leading to communication.
  If you are a parent and wondering how to teach listening skills to your child, here is a list of a few exercises:
  • Take the help of audio resources: Children like to listen to audio clips as they find it more interesting and engaging. So parents should use audio resources for teaching different subjects. Nowadays audio resources are made using such special sounds that the brain finds more appealing. Such types of audio clips can be used to improve the active listening skills of children.
  • Conduct regular listening activities: It is one of the best parenting tips for listening. Listening activities can be made in the form of games to make it more engaging and fun. Once a week it can be done as a group activity in school. This way children can not just participate but also learn to reflect on certain topics.
  • Take regular feedback: Parents and teachers should be involved in taking regular feedback. This will make the students more responsive and attentive during teaching sessions as to provide any feedback it is essential to be attentive and actively listener.
  • Include short questions in between conversations: It is one of the best active listening strategies for teachers and parents. Short questions in between learning sessions encourage the students to be an active listener and more attentive. This also promotes an inquisitive nature among students.
  • Maintain a relaxing environment: It is one of the most essential points that parents and teachers should never miss out on. A relaxing environment promotes the holistic development of students. It enhances the confidence and promotes the participation of students in discussion sessions which further enhances the active listening skills. 
It is advisable to promote active listening skills among students as it not just be the building block of their communication skills but will also help them perform better in their academics. As per a study, there is a direct correlation between active listening and academics. Active learning skills boost student’s overall development which will help them in becoming a holistic individual.  If you are tired of searching the internet with terms like the best schools in Bangalore or the best CBSE schools in Bangalore, consider visiting Ekya Schools. With over 30 years of education legacy, it makes us one of the leaders in the education sector. All our 5 campuses across Bangalore follow the Understanding by Design (UbD) Framework which is based on research pedagogy. Our teachers are well qualified and go through rigorous year-long teacher training programs. This makes them well-versed with modern education techniques over conventional rote learning methods. UbD framework focuses on special learning techniques that focus more on practical knowledge given through various activities to make the learning fun and more engaging which further enhances the active learning skills among students.

Ekya / February 15, 2024

How Ekya School's After-School Program is Nurturing the Next Generation of Leaders

Ekya Schools is a vibrant community of children, educators, and parents present in various parts of Bangalore City. The school believes in a holistic education that goes beyond textbooks and exams, focusing on the overall development of each child. Holistic development is crucial for students as it allows them to develop into a well-rounded person. Through exciting after-school activities like Robotics for kids, Visual arts programs, and sports in school, Ekya Schools offers a platform where young learners can explore their interests and reveal their talents.  As one of the best CBSE Schools in Bangalore, we will delve into how these programs are shaping the next generation of leaders. 

Design Thinking

The Design Thinking Challenge is held annually at Ekya Schools and is a fun opportunity for kids. They get to work on socially relevant problems like Environmental Awareness, Animal Welfare, or Bullying Prevention. They get to use their imaginations and team up with friends to come up with ideas that can make things better for everyone. It's not just about finding the right answers, but learning from mistakes and sharing thoughts.  With design thinking challenges, our goal is to create new leaders who are good at solving problems and making the world a better place.

Robotics

Co-curricular activities at Ekya schools, like Robotic Programs, play a crucial role in the holistic development of students. These programs give them valuable knowledge about robots, automation, and engineering. They get to use what they learn in physics and engineering by creating their own robots.  By doing this, they become better at thinking creatively, understanding science, and learning visually. At Ekya schools, we make sure these activities are fun and easy for students.

Quiz Programs

Quizzes can greatly enhance the learning and development process for students in several ways. They make kids remember and understand what they have learned before. It also teaches kids how to make good choices and think critically. When students work together in a team, it helps them cooperate and learn from each other.  At Ekya schools, we have a fun quiz called the Mock GK Quiz for kids in Grades 1 to 6. It has different types of questions and teams get points for answering correctly. This quiz is a great way for students to show off their knowledge and skills. 

Visual Arts Program

Visual Arts classes are a perfect way for students to express themselves creatively and develop skills that go beyond what they learn in the classroom.  At Ekya Schools, students who are interested in honing their skills in visual art can join our after-school activities for Visual Arts. These classes teach different techniques like abstract art, canvas painting, glass painting, Madhubani, and more. By exploring these techniques, students develop their creative skills and learn to communicate their ideas visually. 

Sport activities

Playing sports isn’t just about running around and getting exercise. It also teaches important skills like teamwork, staying determined, and keeping a positive attitude.  Ekya Schools offer a variety of sports coaching programs, including basketball, karate, gymnastics, skating, badminton, table tennis, and cricket, to help students develop these important skills. We also provide access to indoor games like chess and carrom, as well as yoga, to ensure that all students have the opportunity to engage in physical activity and develop healthy habits.

Music

At Ekya Schools, we think every kid is special and has things they're good at. That's why we offer Performing Arts classes. In these classes, students learn about Music and Dance or Performance Arts. It's a fun way for them to show what they can do and learn new stuff too.

Conclusion

In conclusion, schools aren’t just about math and science, they are about learning many things. At Ekya Schools, we are committed to offering our students an overall development learning experience through a wide range of extracurricular activities including music, sports, design thinking, and other engaging pursuits. For the best holistic education, consider Ekya Schools, one of the top IGCSE Schools in Bangalore.
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Exploring Design Thinking at Ekya Schools

What is Design Thinking? Design, in its most common use, is understood to describe an object or an end result. Design Thinking, on the other hand, is an action. It is a protocol or process used for solving problems, discovering insights and effectively capitalizing on new opportunities. Through design thinking, students acquire skills like research, organization, empathy, creative thinking, problem-solving, collaboration, public speaking and presentation techniques in a hands-on manner. They work on a socially relevant topic and get the chance to build a solution for it. In an information-packed, technologically driven society, design thinking skills build confident, creative young leaders that are capable of achieving success in a climate of change. Why is Design Thinking a part of a school's curriculum? Through the inquiry-based curriculum, schools around the world are already using design thinking in classrooms and empowering students with skills to solve real-world challenges. They work with multiple perspectives, learn to access and make sense of information, apply critical thinking and intuition, iteratively learn from failure and create solutions that integrate the emotional and the analytical. Design Thinking and Ekya Schools The first design thinking challenge at Ekya was piloted at Ekya School ITPL. The objective of the challenge was to find solutions to the garbage crisis that plagued Bangalore and its citizens at the time. With 4 years of teaching experience and having moved to developing curriculum thereafter, Ms. Shobha Sivaramakrishnan, has been part of the design thinking team since its infancy.  Speaking about how the concept of human-centered design intrigued her in the beginning, Ms. Shobha recalls, “As a curriculum developer, I have spent a lot of time researching and integrating processes focused on Inquiry-based learning and STEM (Science/Technology/Engineering and Mathematics) into the Primary Science curriculum. My introduction to Design Thinking was by participating in a ‘wallet challenge’. The exercise helped me understand the role of design thinking as a creative problem-solving tool and how it can help students solve real-world problems.” At the Ekya ITPL Design Thinking Challenge, Ms. Shobha noticed how students and teachers made use of the design toolkit to come up with umpteen solutions to a variety of problems. “My belief in the idea of design thinking was strengthened when we conducted our first design challenge. Our students set up campaigns to educate citizens, designed special clothing for garbage pickers and planned effective distribution of excess food and unique waste disposal methods.”
Watch how our design thinking showcase unfolded at Ekya ITPL
After a successful pilot, the design thinking challenge came to Ekya School JP Nagar. The school’s students were tasked to find ways to integrate the elderly better into the society. “Through the challenge, our children develop empathy for the elderly. They really understood how the user was key to the design thinking process and used their empathy muscle by looking deeper into the lives of the elderly in mind while designing solutions. Students thought of ways to get rid of loneliness that older people are likely to face, planned virtual reality tours for those who could not travel much and devised applications and instruments that helped with mobility, health, and lifestyles.”
Here's a round-up of our showcase at Ekya JP Nagar
These tools not only helped teachers and students with the challenge at hand but also with their everyday list of things to do. Talking about how the use of design thinking tools stood out, Ms. Shobha highlights that the process matters as much as the end product – “Everything on the toolkit can be effectively used in real-life scenarios. I was able to build and integrate some of these design principles into the Primary Science Curriculum that I was working on”
With the design thinking challenge, it is not just the destination, it is the journey that counts. It focuses on a student’s ability to come up with solutions and pays equal importance to how you come up with these solutions.
This is one of the reasons students are asked to save all their work and not focus on how pretty their model or submission looks. As Ms. Shobha adds, "Through the process, students brainstorm, categorize, organize information, conduct research and interviews, ideate and make prototypes which gives them a sense of ownership and they are proud to put it up for others to see. Students use feedback from peers constructively and it helps them look at their solutions critically; in turn, they learn to take criticism in a positive manner. This helps build confidence in students and helps them see others point of view as well.” How are different grades at Ekya Schools incorporating Design Thinking?
    • Problems are situations: Engineering design in the earliest grades introduces students to problems as "situations" that people want to change. They can use tools and materials to solve simple problems, use different representations to convey solutions, and compare different solutions to a problem and determine which is best.
    • Years ahead: At Ekya and its sister institution, CMR National Public School, providing students with a foundation in engineering design allows them to engage in and aspire to solve the major societal challenges that they will face in the years ahead. Students work with different materials and tools in the Makery which will allow them to see their ideas come to life.  
    • Part of the curriculum: Students use principles of design thinking while learning science concepts in order to apply their skills in a meaningful way. The Science curriculum focuses on design thinking as a process and not just the end-product.
This year, as part of the Science curriculum, students of Grades I through V participated in workshops to develop solutions to specific problems by using the processes from the Ekya Design Thinking toolkit. Students from Grade I were challenged to redesign their classroom experiences. They spent a good chunk of their time observing their classmates and peers in their campus and gained insights about problems students like them face in school.
Students developed valuable insights through their observations, for example, the process of losing stationery was proving to be a costly affair and also meant resources were being wasted. Their solution was robotic cups built to hold stationery that go from student to student, as and when they needed a particular item.
Students in Grade II looked at creative solutions to help stray animals and developed empathy for the animals in the process. One of the student groups designed collars with sensors that would detect if the animal was in danger, alerting the local rehab centre to come to its rescue. Students of Grade III were given the challenge to solve the traffic congestion in Bangalore. In order to understand the problems at hand, the children interviewed with people who battle traffic woes on a day to day basis. A group came up with the idea of installing automated underground gates at every zebra crossing to protect pedestrians and keep the drivers more cautious about traffic signals and rules. Grade IV and V students came up with creative solutions for the garbage crisis and the issue of food wastage that plagues Bangalore city. Ideas from automated garbage trucks and smart lunch boxes were brought to light, with the former collecting and segregating waste across town while the latter designed to detect waste of food.

Importance of Reading to Your Child – Ekya Recommends

Why is reading important for infants and young children?

Reading aloud and sharing stories with your child is a great way to spend time together. Reading and storytelling also help promote language, literacy and brain development. Research also proves that children who enjoy reading do better at school in all subjects. Sharing stories, talking and singing every day helps your child’s overall development in a number of ways. Reading and sharing stories can:
  • help your child become familiar with sounds, words, language and the value of books
  • spark your child’s imagination, stimulate curiosity and help his/her brain development
  • help your child learn the difference between ‘real’ and ‘make-believe’
  • help your child understand change and new or frightening events, and also the strong emotions that can go along with them
  • help your child develop early literacy skills like the ability to listen to and understand words.
Just by looking at books with your child, you can be a great storyteller and a good model for using language and books. Your child will learn by watching you hold a book the right way and seeing how you move through the book by gently turning the pages. Reading stories with children has benefits for grown-ups too. The special time you spend reading together promotes bonding and helps to build your relationship. This is important for your child’s developing social and communication skills. At Ekya Schools we inculcate the habit of reading right from the Early Years, in Kindergarten and Montessori. There is a lot of focus on reading in the library, at the storytelling sessions and puppetry classes. For primary, middle and senior school, there is a designated reading week during which there are activities like Book Reviews, D-E-A-R (Drop Everything and Read) and Mystery Readers being conducted annually. The English Language Program at Ekya also offers a wide range of texts from all genres to further the interests of the students and encourage them to delve deeper into the richness of the language. As a parent, there is no more important activity for preparing your child to succeed as a reader than reading aloud together. Fill your story times with a variety of books. Be consistent, be patient, and watch the magic work. We have compiled a set of reading tips that can help parents of Infants Toddlers Kindergarteners First Graders Take a look and happy reading!

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