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Ekya / March 29, 2023 Posted by : administrator

Ken Robinson famously suggested that creativity is the heart of all successful learning experiences. Creative teaching provides learners rich and varied contexts for developing their subject knowledge and encouraging critical thinking.

In physical schooling, we have a classroom environment that promotes creativity. Students have opportunities to converse and stimulate innovative thinking. As we moved to a physical classroom, I faced the enormous challenge of transforming my virtual class into an environment that could stimulate creative thinking. And I found three ideas suggested by Robert.J.Sternberg to nurture creativity in the classroom and promote it as a habit to be highly useful:-

Opportunity to engage in creativity – Students need varied activities to engage in creativity through interactive and engaging lesson plans. So, I make sure that I plan a few hands-on activities for creative exploration; performance activities like role play and character study to develop a deeper understanding of the concept. Using tools like ‘Do Now, Think-Pair-Share, Put on your Thinking Caps’ allows students to follow along and participate creatively in our lessons.

Encouragement to participate in the opportunity– Sitting with students 5 minutes before a session for an early chat with classmates and I has proved to be a great way to build informal connections in my class. Open discussions on any topic help students think critically, and open-ended questions help students think out of the box and develop innovative solutions.
Allowing students to make even seemingly small choices can be motivating, like letting a student choose which song to play before the lesson starts.

Reward when they respond– Recognising all types of achievements, not only academic but non-academic, has played a vital role in tuning in. Rewarding gives students a sense of pride and an incentive to continue doing great work.

Learning and teaching may seem complicated, but they are much simpler when we use the right tools and teaching strategies. By focusing on the needs of our students and preparing our materials well in advance, we can ensure that our classroom remains creative and rewarding.

Ms Shanthi Shetty
PPM Facilitator, Ekya BTM Layout

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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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#StudentBlogger: How Physical Exercise and Meditation Can Help Manage Stress By Dwijesh Bhaskar, Grade 12D, Ekya School, BTM Layout

College life can be challenging, with multiple responsibilities such as classwork, homework, project work, and examinations all piling up simultaneously. It's no wonder students can feel overwhelmed and stressed. However, learning to manage this workload is vital for success in academics and maintaining mental well-being. Fortunately, there are various methods of managing stress, but physical exercise and meditation are some of the most effective.

Physical exercise has been known to produce endorphins that help reduce stress and relax the mind. Training can take many forms, such as running, swimming, cycling, or playing sports. A simple 30-minute workout every day can go a long way in helping a student cope with academic pressure. Regular exercise can also improve physical health, further contributing to mental well-being.

Meditation, on the other hand, is a mindfulness practice that focuses on the present moment and trains the mind to remain calm and centred. Regular meditation has been found to reduce stress and anxiety levels significantly. Meditating for ten to fifteen minutes twice a day can help improve concentration and boost productivity, which are crucial for academic success.

Combining physical exercise and meditation can produce even more significant results. Physical activity before meditation can help reduce mental chatter, making it easier to focus and remain calm. Moreover, exercise can help release tension from the body, making meditation more comfortable and practical.

Apart from physical exercise and meditation, students can manage stress in other ways. Some of these include getting enough sleep, eating a balanced diet, and seeking support from family and friends. It's crucial to remember that managing stress is not a one-size-fits-all approach, and what works for one person may not necessarily work for another. Therefore, students should experiment with different stress-management techniques and identify what works best.

In conclusion, stress is a common experience among students, but learning how to manage it effectively is essential. Regular physical exercise and meditation can significantly reduce stress, improve mental well-being, and boost academic performance. However, these are not the only ways to manage stress; students should experiment with different techniques to find what works best for them. With the right tools and strategies, students can overcome academic pressure and maintain their well-being.

-Dwijesh Bhaskar XII D

How do children benefit from bilingual education?

Teachers insisting students to speak solely in English while they are on school premises has been a common scenario in the past few decades. ‘’ Do not speak in vernacular languages’’ used to be written on posters indicating the significance of communication in English. But in the recent years, there has been a major shift towards bilingual education, wherein teachers use more than one language in their instructional techniques. 

What is a Bilingual Education? 

Bilingual education refers to utilising two languages throughout the academic cycle, so the course syllabus is designed accordingly, enabling students to master a second language through their academic studies. As a result, they develop comprehensive abilities in four crucial faculties, which are listening, speaking, reading and writing, all the while improving their proficiency in the first language. 

Why is Bilingual Education so Important? 

Why should the best CBSE schools in Bangalore or any primary and secondary school emphasise bilingual education? The answer lies in student learning outcomes and the fact that it would help to improve students’ analytical skills. Besides, mother tongue or regional languages are more than mere languages; it is their cultural and social identity.  Unfortunately, the universal superiority of English as one of the primary languages tends to overshadow the regional languages. Thankfully that will change, given the increased interest in bilingual education.  Furthermore, the National Education Policy 2020 aims to change the landscape of the Indian education system, and establishing a strong primary and secondary level education is central to it. Therefore, the policy clearly pointed out that the medium of teaching delivery till classes 5, 8 and beyond will include the regional language of students. Also, the use of a second language as aunique instructional technique might become customary in the future, something which the  Montessori schools in Bangalore acknowledges as it leads to mental growth.  

Benefits of Bilingual Education 

  • Increased Cognitive Development 
Children who learn a second language and become proficient in it demonstrate cognitive development in terms of efficient task completion. In addition, their creative thinking aptitude enhances and becomes capable of finding unique solutions to problems. Consequently, their problem-solving skills improve, and they gain greater linguistic awareness. 
  • Improved Memory  
Recent studies and research work suggest that one of the pivotal benefits of bilingual education is improved memory. When students study in two languages simultaneously, their brain observes and activates memory-boosting physical changes to the human brain. Consequently, they demonstrate the following: 
  • Improved overall brain function and health 
  • Enhanced executive function 
  • Strengthened connections between neurons
  • Better Academic Achievement 
When students receive education in their native languages, it becomes easier for them to understand concepts. Besides, they take an active interest in their learning and are able to analyse, critically examine and think about the topics further.
  • Increased Economic Opportunities 
The sole supremacy of the English language is no longer relevant in the ever-evolving world, which presents new challenges with every passing month. For instance, the corporate sector requires a multilingual workforce and the ability to execute a given task in more than one language. Therefore, it’s hardly surprising that the importance of bilingual education has been noted by most schools. 
  • Cross-cultural Appreciation 
Inculcating an inherent tolerance and appreciation of diverse cultures is paramount from a very early age, something which Ekya schools puts an emphasis on. Hence, the schools should include students’ regional languages to foster a meaningful cultural exchange. For example, the classroom activities can include songs, idioms, and folk tales, enabling students to experience different cultures within one space. 
  • Improve Social and Cultural Life 
Growing up speaking more than one language encourages students to develop a deep understanding and appreciation for other languages. Moreover, it will improve their interpersonal interactions, boosting their confidence to speak with people from different social and cultural backgrounds. Also, one might refer to it as the social benefits of bilingual education, which positively impacts a person’s professional and personal life. 
  • Potential to Learn More Languages 
If children from an early age are taught two languages, they will have improved focus, helping them make the right decision during any task. In effect, it will also ignite the curiosity to learn additional languages after they have mastered the two. 

In Conclusion 

Bilingual education provides comprehensive development of children from an early age because it enhances their learning and understanding levels. Therefore, when schools incorporate it in their teaching and learning mechanisms, it helps boost critical thinking and problem solving skills.

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