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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Why Proper Development of fine motor Skills is Important?

A motor skill is simply an action that involves your kids using his muscles. They are divided into two groups: gross motor skills and fine motor skills. Both types of motor skills usually develop together, because many activities depend on the coordination of gross and fine motor skills.

Gross and Fine motor skills have become an important parameter for assessing the development of the child. So it’s important to develop these skills in them which will in turn help them to perform better academically and physically too.


Gross motor skills involve the large muscles of the body involving physical movement of the child like running, jumping, hopping etc. These require balance and coordination skills.
Fine motor skills are the collective skills and activities that involve the small muscle movements using the hands, fingers with vision. 
Today we are learning about 'fine motor skills', and its importance. Moreover what tasks your kids can perform if he/she has developed fine motor skills properly.


Fine motor skills are the coordination of small muscle movements especially the coordination of finger movement with vision to perform precise and refinded movements. These skills are acquired as children, and humans secure and perfect them throughout life.

Importance of fine motor skill development:                                    
 Properly Developed Fine Motor Skills Are Important To Every Day Living. Parents can help their kids to practice, enhance, and evaluate fine motor skills. Fine motor skill development is not only essential for handwriting; it is a necessity for daily living: dressing, eating and computer use.


Fine motor skills require a child to manipulate and gain control over a range of materials and tools. These are often for communication purposes both functional and expressive, eg writing a name or message, manipulating a computer mouse, creating a sculpture. Opportunities to develop these skills exist in all six key learning areas of the primary curriculum. 


Fine motor skills typically develop in a reasonably consistent and predictable pattern in the early years of childhood (from birth through to mid primary school). The process begins in infancy when a 2- to 3-month-old baby first bats at a toy, then progresses to grasping, releasing, and transferring objects between their hands). They then progress to using fingers to manipulate and explore things, stack blocks, self-feed, and dress, and as time goes by, during the early childhood years, use ‘school tools’ such as scissors, markers, crayons, pencils, and glue. Weaknesses in fine motor skills can affect a child's ability to eat, write legibly, use a computer, turn pages in a book, and perform personal care tasks such as dressing and grooming. 


To have fine motor control, children need:
Awareness and planning 
Coordination 
Muscle strength 
Normal sensation 


The following tasks can only occur if the nervous system matures in the right way: Cutting out shapes with scissors Drawing lines or circles

  • Folding clothes
  • Holding and writing with a pencil
  • Stacking blocks
  • Zipping a zipper
The components of fine motor skills can be considered to be:
  • Grasping -eg using a crayon, pencil, brush, glue stick, beater, blocks 
  • Manipulating - eg playdough, clay, unifix, centicubes, paper, sewing, scissors, fingerplays 
  • Hand-eye co-ordination - eg writing, cutting, threading, moving a cursor, using a glue gun
The building of fine motor skills in children will enable them to perform a variety of important functional tasks.
  •  tying shoes
  • zipping and unzipping
  • buckling and unbuckling
  • writing legibly and without significant muscle fatigue
  • playing games that require precise hand and finger control
  • drawing, painting, and coloring manipulating buttons and snaps putting small objects together
  • doing puzzles
  • making crafts
  • using scissors
  • manipulating small objects such as coins opening and closing objects
  • picking up and holding onto small objects
  • developing and maintaining an effective and proper pencil grip
  • pinching objects between fingers using locks and keys being able to isolate finger movements (i.e., using one finger at a time, such as in playing the piano or typing) turning things over or turning pages of a book
  • holding and using utensils properly and effectively
  • screwing and unscrewing
  • doing ANYTHING that requires small precise hand and finger movements
Early developmental skills and milestones work together to provide a solid foundation for the more integrated motor skills required in upper grades.
These higher-level skills include being able to write fluently and focus on writing content (such as conveying information, thoughts, and ideas) rather than on the mechanics of writing, which involves pencil grasp, letter formation, spacing, and sizing.


First published at 'Factoidz'



Useful links:


* How to build fine motor skills?


* The Secret To Making Fine Motor Skills Activities For Children Fun

* Fine Motor Skills and How to Improve Them

Sunday, January 29, 2012

How to adopt brain gym in classroom to boost skills among students?

I am adopting brain gym exercises before starting my class and noticed that these simple body movements help students become more focused for the learning. Brain gym is most effective when used in the classroom as part of the learning process. These physical activities help the chemical and electrical processes which take place during mental and physical efforts.

Brain gym is the easiest and fastest way to shift students from scattered to focused, from confused to clear, and from tense to relaxed. A typical classroom experience lacks the quantity of movement required for healthy physiological development. Brain gym can be effective in changing attitudes and the classroom atmosphere;

 To be successful, it is important
* that the teacher is confident with the Brain Gym exercises and has an understanding of underlying concepts on which Brain Gym is based;
* any initial resistance to using the exercises by students feeling embarrassed is recognised.

When to apply brain gym?
These and other brain training exercises are especially effective for children with learning difficulties. A good time to perform them is right before learning activities. It seems your students are too lethargic and need a bit of revitalization to be ready for learning Or when you see they are too nervous and restless so that they can calm down... and you as well!

Centralization: These are mostly relaxation exercises which help to reestablish the neural networks between brain and body and, this way, facilitating the passage of electromagnetic flow through the body.

Brain buttons: One hand massages two spots below the clavicle while the other rests on the navel. The movements stimulates the carotid artery and this way enhances the blood flow to the brain.
It activates the brain for:
• reading skills
• memorization.                                                                                  
 Earth buttons: One hand fingers rest on the lower lip while the others stay on the pubic bone. While having the sensation of a better connection between the upper and lower parts of the body the students feels more stable and centered.
It improves:
• reading skills.
 Balance buttons: These buttons reestablish balance in every dimension: left-right, above-under, behind-before. The student massages the spot where the skull is attached to the neck and, at the same time, the navel.
It improves the next learning skills:
• critical and decisional capacities
• spelling accurateness
• Maths calculations.
 Space buttons: One hand rests on the upper lip while the other lays on the back-bone.
It activates the brain for:
• relaxation and concentration
• eye-contact in communication with people
It improves these learning skills:
• focusing during a test
• reading
• motivation and interest.
 The thinking cap: This activity helps the student to focus attention on hearing. It also lessens tension in skull bones. The student gently pulls ears backwards and unrolls them with fingers. They start from the top of the ear, massage them delicately and end on the lobe.
It activates brain for:
• hearing one's voice
• short-term memory
• inner dialogue and thinking .
 Hook-ups: The exercise can be done while standing, sitting or lying down. Students cross the left ankle on the right one. Then they intertwine fingers and bring them near the chest. They close their eyes, breathe deeply for a few minutes and relax. Then students free hands and legs and finger tips touch gently while they keep on breathing deeply.
Hook-ups help:
• mind and body relaxation
 The energetic yawn : Don't get angry at your students if they yawn during English classrooms! Not now that you know that scientific research has proved yawing to be a perfect exercise which brings oxygen to the brain and so enhances learning performances!



Related post: What is brain gym and how to integrate it in classroom to enhance learning abilities of students?

Useful links:

* Brain Gym's Energy Exercises. Energy Exercises help to re-establish neural connections between body and brain.
*  Brain gymnastics therapy can reduce autism symptoms

Monday, January 23, 2012

Negative influence of ads on children and why parents need to teach them to become wise consumers?

As parents or guardians we needs to educate ourselves and our kids about the purpose of ads.
We need to train them to become wise consumers to make healthy choices. We can help your kids get better at assessing ad messages by encouraging them to talk with you about what the ads are really trying to say.

A Stanford University study had kids taste food in McDonald packaging and unmarked packaging and asked which they preferred. The kids preferred the McDonald packaged food not realizing that they went for it because they were conditioned to believe "it must taste good."
Advertising campaign can affect a child's social, emotional and physical health, in various ways like:
  • Advertising can encourage a child to believe that his/her personality and likeability can be expressed in things.
  • Excessive materialism can affect the development of children's self-image and values.
  • Aggressive marketing of fast food commercials featuring candy and soft drinks contributes to overweight.                         
Advertising is powerful – that’s why companies pay millions for it – and it is especially effective on kids.
Troubling about all this advertising exposure is that young kids are not so good at telling fact from fiction. They don’t understand that the ad’s purpose is to sell, and they often accept advertising claims and images as the truth.

Teaching kids how to look at advertisements with a critical eye for the truth can be very effective in reducing some of the negative effects of advertising.

Intention and purpose of advertisers:
Advertisers target at children because of their high disposable income, their early establishment of loyalty to certain brands and a conventional wisdom that young adults buy products on impulse. Many parents and critics fear that children are susceptible to commercial appeals because young viewers lack the necessary cognitive skills to process the highly persuasive messages and make appropriate judgements about them.

Educators and researchers have attempted to design programs that will teach children about the intent of advertisements and help children construc defenses from commercial messages. To get more information about it you may search at following sites:

Helpful websites

Don't Buy It!

MediaWatch.com Negative effect of advertisement on children

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Basic drawing practice tips to improve your drawing skills

I am a drawing teacher and love to see kids learning and enjoy drawing class. Sometimes teachers want to enhance their own skills in particular area, so there are lots of online sites offering free tutorials to improve at drawing.

These basic drawing tips and tutorials can be adopted in classroom to teach basic drawing process to students.

Tips to help you with practicing drawing:

Prepare the essential drawing tools for drawing which are pencil, eraser and paper. HB pencil is probably the most popular hardness of a pencil, because it is neither too soft nor too hard. It allows you to draw a large variety of pencil drawings and sketches and, is excellent for shading.

Sketchbook, notepads, chalkboards, whiteboards, the backs of receipts, you may use anything to practice drawing.

How to hold the pencil? 

The most common way to hold a pencil is the basic tripod grip. The basic tripod grip is the same as the one you probably use for writing.

This grip allows the pencil to be finely controlled by the fingers, so holding a pencil this way is ideal for drawing fine detail. The upright position of the pencil allows for accurate shading with the tip, rather than side, of the pencil.

There are more ways to hold the pencil. You may notice another way of holding pencil for shading in facing picture.

While practicing drawing, don't be so concerned with how the finished product will look. Instead, be open-minded as to how your drawings may turn out.


The lines we draw are representative of the thoughts we think. And in realizing this connection, it's important to be able to both think and draw creatively.                       

Take on a more 'free-flowing' approach with respect to the lines you put down on paper. Instead of fixed, rigid lines — switch over to quick, wispy, sketchy ones, gradually bringing the desired image into view.

You should have less focus on how your drawings will look when they're finished, and more focus on the process at hand — that of being creative.


Learning and improving at drawing is an ever-changing process, one that always has the potential to yield a number of different results and every drawing will be a learning experience for you.

Treat each new drawing as a stone on the pathway to success and with each new creation, you'll be one step closer to your goal. Draw in the moment!

Free download:

'Learning how to draw' 133 pages of pdf  file (2.27 M)

Download link

*** You may like to use online lessons to learn to draw at 'Draw Space'

YouTube video: Drawing lessons 

Useful links:

* 'Learn to draw' 

* 'Drawing coach'  offers free lessons on drawing techniques.

* 'Easy drawings and sketches' has many tutorials to learn drawing. You may check this site.

How many kind of pencils you can find and what are the uses of pencils?

There are many kinds of pencils like common lead pencil, colored pencil, mechanical pencil, etc. And there are many uses of pencil despite of the fact that we are now more attracted to computers, notebooks or hand held devices and use fingers or mouse. Let's learn more about pencil, kind and uses of pencils.

According to wikipedia: A pencil is a writing implement or art medium usually constructed of a narrow, solid pigment core inside a protective casing. The case prevents the core from breaking, and also from marking the user’s hand during use. Now we have a new look of pencils, mechanical pencils which are easier in use.

At the moment you can obtain 3 different varieties:
the traditional one (graphite refill encapsulated inside a wooden wrapper of cedar),
the propelling pencil (pens with very fine refills of graphite) or
the bar pencil (Similar to the propelling pencils but with thicker and more resistant graphite bars. Approx.. 5 mm in diameter).

According to 'Pencilopedia there are many kind of pencils like:

  • Indelible Pencils                                                  
  • Copying Pencils 
  • Drawing Pencils 
  • Drafting Pencils 
  • Woodless Pencils 
  • Checking Pencils 
  • Colored Pencils 
  • Writing Pencils 
  • China Markers 
  • Hydro Markers 
  • Carpenter Pencils 
  • Penny Pencil 
  • World War II Pencils 
  • Golf Pencils 
  • Sketching Pencils 
  • Highlighter Pencils                 
How people use pencil?

Writers (drafts of novels, stories, plays)
News reporters and newscasters (interview notes)
Engineers (plans and drawings)
Carpenters (plans and drawings, estimating)
Composers (creating music)
Scientists (experiments)
Teachers (lesson books)
Business people (meeting notes and memos)
High school and college students (class notes and homework)
Golfers (scores)
Parents (grocery shopping lists)

"What are Pencils Used for?

Student—Homework
Artist—Sketch Pad
Carpenter—Wood Board
Waiter/Waitress —Order Pad
Make-up Person—Eyes
Sports Scorekeeper—Scorecard
Architect—Blueprint

Links for more information:

* How Pencils Are Made?

* Office museum' explains the 'pencil history'

* 'Pencil History'

* The Pencil  a resource for pencil collectors or enthusiasts, information related to pencils.

* An interesting article: My Pencil Made Me Well

* Creative uses for colored pencils

* The Unleaded Pencil-Making your mark with graphite or color pencils

Thursday, January 19, 2012

What is brain gym and how to integrate it in classroom to enhance learning abilities of students?

Teachers can use 'brain gym' activities or exercises to enhance the learning abilities of students. My kids of Nursery class love brain gym exercises and I ask them to do it usually before starting my maths class. I have noticed that when students are introduced to brain gym, kids become more focused and more enthusiastic for learning.

What is Brain Gym?
Brain Gym was developed in the 1980s by Dr. Dennison, an American teacher with an interest in the effect of movement on his students’ ability to learn.


Brain gym is an energising program of movement designed to release tense muscles, improve brain and body communication, create a state of active relaxation, and improve concentration, organisation and co-ordination.
Brain Gym movements prepare the brain and nervous system for optimal performance. They are ideal for anyone undertaking a learning activity.                                      

This movement-based system activates and integrates the brain and body by:

* Enhancing learning ability and academic performance
* Balancing emotion and behavior
* Improving physical coordination and sports performance and
* Developing an overall state of wellness and momentum in any area of life

Those educators who have incorporated the techniques and activities into their classrooms report good results.

How to integrate Brain gym into the classroom?


  • Many exercises can be performed while sitting at a desk. Children can be taught to engage in them when they feel their attention drifting or when they are feeling fatigued.
  • These exercises can be done as a group during a lesson break.
  • Brain gym helps in developing motor coordination and skills to follow directions.

Benefits of brain gym for learning:

* Academic skills - for example, reading, writing, spelling and maths
* Memory, concentration and focus
* Physical co-ordination and balance
* Communication skills and language development
* Self-development and personal stress management
* The achievement of goals - both professional and personal

This movement-based system offers additional assistance to children with learning difficulties and helps them achieve the best of success in their academic paths.

Useful links:

* Brain exercises that keep your brain sharp

http://www.poipassion.com/DyslexiaBrainGym.htm

Brain Gym International

Brain and Body Connection

* Brain Gym - Simple Body Movements to Boost Learning Process

* Brain buttons

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Interesting facts about learning disabilities in children every parent should know

These are some interesting facts about children having learning disabilities.
A Learning Disability may mean you have difficulty with:
  • spoken language;                               
  • written language; 
  • coordination;
  • self-control; 
  • organizational skills; 
  • attention; or, memory.
Guardians and teachers can help them learn how to cope with their learning problems better by teaching them applyhing strategies that can minimize their effect   There has been remarkable new research in the field of Learning Disabilities and brain function that show how the brain works. As a result, we are now better able to assist those with Learning Disabilities.

Interesting facts about learning disabilities:
  •  People with Learning Disabilities often excel in their chosen fields. 
  •  Those with Learning Disabilities can and do learn, just differently. 
  •  Conservatively, 10-15% of the population has Learning Disabilities. 
  •  An estimated 25% of the population is considered “at risk” for Learning Disabilities. 
  •  Early identification and intervention reduce the risk of school failure to less than 5%. 
  • In 1877 the term “word blindness” (wortblindheit) was coined by Adolf Kussmaul who recognized that there are individuals who can see perfectly well - but are unable to “see” written words. 
  • Dr. Albert Einstein famous for the theory of relativity 
  • and winner of the 1921 Nobel Prize in Physics had speech difficulties and never completed high school. Later he wrote, “The spirit of learning and creative thought were lost by strict rote learning”.
  • No one knows the exact cause of LD but it is believed to be a problem with the Central Nervous System, meaning it is neurological. 
  • LD also tends to run in families. You may discover that one of your guardians or grandparents had trouble at school.
Famous people with learning disabilities! 

Do you know that Albert Einstein couldn't read until he was nine? 
Walt Disney, General George Patton, and Vice President Nelson Rockefeller had trouble reading all their lives. 
Whoopi Goldberg and Charles Schwab and many others have learning disabilities which haven't affected their ultimate success.

Useful links:
* Learning Disability Fast Facts

* Facts and stats about LD PDF report.

* 'LD success.org' offers load of information about this topic. They provide guideline of teachers and parents

* Read the news about disabilities. 

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Online Resources for Parents to Deal with Children Having Learning Disabilities

This post is about resources and online sites which offer useful information about children with learning disabilities. You get some basic information about 'learning disabilities' and at the end of post there are online resources list to get more help about this important issue. Parents should book mark these sites so that in early stages you can figure out what kind of learning disability your child has and how to deal with it?

A learning disability can't be cured or fixed; it is a lifelong issue. With the right support and intervention, however, children with learning disabilities can succeed in school and go on to successful, often distinguished careers later in life. Parents can help children with learning disabilities achieve such success by encouraging their strengths, knowing their weaknesses, understanding the educational system, working with professionals and learning about strategies for dealing with specific difficulties.

If you think your child might have a learning disability, it’s important to face the problem early on. You can start by studying up on learning disabilities and pinpointing the specific learning challenges your child faces. With the right support and training, children with learning disabilities can tackle the obstacles they face in the classroom and thrive in all areas of life.
School teachers can also get help from these resources as they also need to check if any of the student have symptoms of learning disability!

 Common learning disabilities:
 Dyslexia – a language-based disability in which a person has trouble understanding written words. It may also be referred to as reading disability or reading disorder.
 Dyscalculia – a mathematical disability in which a person has a difficult time solving arithmetic problems and grasping math concepts.
 Dysgraphia – a writing disability in which a person finds it hard to form letters or write within a defined space.
 Auditory and Visual Processing Disorders – sensory disabilities in which a person has difficulty understanding language despite normal hearing and vision.
 Nonverbal Learning Disabilities – a neurological disorder which originates in the right hemisphere of the brain, causing problems with visual-spatial, intuitive, organizational, evaluative and holistic processing functions.

Useful links and online resources for parents and teachers: 

ISER (Internet special education resources) is a directory of professionals, organizations, and schools that serve the learning disabilities and special education communities. They help parents find local special education professionals for learning disabilities and attention deficit disorder assessment, therapy, advocacy, critical teen issues, and other special needs.

* 'Dystalk.com''s motto is "helping your child learn better." It's for parents of children who are looking for information on how to optimise their child's learning. DysTalk provides information on specific learning difficulties that may be undermining a child's performance as well as learning strategies that can potentially be applied to all children of all abilities.

* 'Our Kids.org' work with children with physical and/or mental disabilities and delays.

* 'The teacher's guide' offers 'special education' resouces.

* 'LDonline' a website focusing on learning disablities and ADHD * 'Learning Disabilities in Children' from 'Help guide.org'

Friday, January 13, 2012

Efficient use of eye contact as a non-verbal teaching tool

We teachers get the opportunity to participate in workshops, seminars or training sessions to improve teaching skills on regular basis. Effective use of eye contact is part of 'classroom management' techniques which every teacher should learn.

Eye contact is a very important non-verbal teaching technique, which not only enhanced students’ attention in the classroom but also helps teachers in the attainment of desired student results.

Efficient use of eye contact in the classroom as a non verbal teaching tool:

In classroom, eye contact performs a very significant function as non-verbal communication.

Eye contact makes so much difference: if students feel that the teacher is actually talking and engaging with them, they are more likely to engage with teacher and listen what they’re saying.

Eye contact also helps to convey that all-important enthusiasm and passion that can bring the topic to life.

Teachers can use eye contact for the enhancement of learning of the students in various ways. Wainwright also highlighted six different functions of eye contact: seeking information; showing attention and interest; inviting and controlling interaction; dominating, threatening and influencing others; providing feedback during speech; and revealing attitude.

Teachers often complain about discipline, about lack of attention, about the use of L2 in the classroom and many other problems, many of which amount to a breakdown in communication between teacher and students or between students themselves. It is well known that speech is only one part of communication, yet teachers often forget about or underestimate the importance of non-verbal communication in their own and their students' performance.


One aspect of non-verbal communication is the use of the eyes to convey messages. The eyes are a powerful tool for both the teacher and the learner, yet much classroom time is spent with eyes firmly fixed on the book, the board, the floor, the window, or roaming randomly around the teaching and learning environment.

Teachers working in all disciplines in secondary schools have always been advised to develop 'the look' as part of their teaching persona. 'The look' ranges from 'be quiet please', through 'I'm not going to tell you again' to 'don't mess with me, sonny', and in this respect is seen as having a disciplinary function. Meanwhile, the business world has accepted eye contact as an important component of achieving success in giving presentations and improving rapport between representative and client, while these days it is possible to find many websites offering advice on how to forge personal relationships through the judicious use of eye contact.

Researchers and practitioners in Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) have brought the notion of body language and eye contact back to the attention of language teachers, but largely in the context of providing clues to the nature of the learner rather than in terms of a teaching tool.

Establishing a management role in the classroom involves eye contact from the outset.
  • Be in your classroom before your learners, and welcome them individually with a combination of eye contact and their name as they enter the room. 
  • Talk to your learners, not to the book, the board or the screen. 
  • Eyes can set the tone of a lesson. As the lesson starts, walk around the room looking to check whether the learners are ready -- books out, pens and paper handy, mobile phones off. 
  • If not, eye contact should suffice to rectify the situation. Try teaching part of a lesson without saying anything. This should remind you of how important paralinguistics is as well as helping to control your teacher talking time.
Good eye contact does not mean staring or gazing. Many learners are likely to find this uncomfortable and consequently avert their own eyes and lose concentration. Neither does good eye contact mean eyes darting from learner to learner around the room -- this has no effect whatsoever.
  • It is recommended that there should be three to five seconds eye contact for non-verbal communication to take place. Watch your learners as well as listen to them, particularly while they are performing tasks. Look for signs of being bored or being lost. 
  • Encourage your learners to make eye contact while they are working together in pairs or groups. Start by training them to listen to each other using non-verbal responses only. 
  • Research shows that there is a strong link between the amount of eye contact people receive and their degree of participation in group communication -- in the number of turns taken in a group conversation for example.
The NLP(Neuro-Linguistic Programming) approach to eye contact is holistic and individualistic, but is soundly based on the premise that good eye contact increases rapport. Save time and effort with specific messages delivered by eye and facial expression.
Show praise, encouragement often, and disapproval occasionally.
Remind learners that they ought to know an answer or that they could provide a response if they tried.
Use eye contact as a correction technique.
Nominate and invite responses by eye. If the nominee is not watching, someone will give him/her a nudge.

Eye contact is, fundamentally, time and effort saving. Teachers can use their body movements, eye contact, facial expressions; smile; anger; frown, pitch of voice, and spatial distance for better understanding of the concepts of students. In the classroom setting eye contact of the teacher, as non-verbal cue, is very vital and directly affects the learning of the students in addition to the classroom management. Eye contact is a tool of teaching, which a teacher can use very efficiently and effectively for the enhancement and achievement of students’ learning outcomes (SLOs) 

More reading and useful links:

* Eye contact as an efficient non verbal teaching technique

 * Eyes Talk Hongshen ZHANG Fujian University of Technology

 * The Importance of Eye Contact in the Classroom

* Non verbal communication (An article at 'Teaching English-BBC)

* Body Language- Speaking without words

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Making crafts with paper strips and newspaper

Paper is easily available product which can be used in variety of ways. You can encourage and help kids in creating crafts with newspaper or paper strips. Usually I keep a stock of colorful paper strips. At crafts class kids love to touch and feel paper strips and they love to create shapes or different objects. This article offers few tips and ideas how you can keep your kids busy with these paper crafts or sculptures.

Newspaper can be used to create crafts and paper sculptures.  “Newspaper sculpture” is a way for kids to create an art piece with tightly rolled-up pieces of newspaper. 


With a “newspaper sculpture,” children will use their hand-eye coordination. Encourage them to make their own sculpture. 
Before you begin the activity, prepare by having several wands of tightly rolled newspaper pre-made. This way, the children can dive right into the activity. Place the wands of newspaper rolls standing up (like a flower arrangement) in a bucket or container so they are easy for the children to grab. Lay out lots of rolls of masking tape of different colors.


 Bring the kids over to your activity area and let the kids start creating their own sculptures. Encourage them to bend the wands of newspaper into different shapes. Have them use the masking tape to help retain the shape of their sculpture and to tape together different pieces of newspaper rolls. You may offer idea of making a weaving mat using newspaper wands.
Learn more at: 'A place of our own.org'



Children love to use the paper strips.   Many objects, figures, shapes or 3D shapes, or mobiles can be made by just tying strings to them. This is a great way to teach children about 3 dimensional figures and space…. not to mention teaching them their basic shapes.


Just show them a few examples of figures or shapes and kids would come up with more ideas. 

Stars and Stripes or Shape Sculptures:   Cut different size strips of red, yellow and blue paper.
Fold some strips into circles, some into squares others into triangles. Cut out large shapes for a base. Arrange shapes and strips on your base and glue into place. 


Cut free-form shapes of varying sizes from colored card stock or scrapbook paper (ours measure 3 to 5 inches wide and 3 to 8 inches long). Snip two to four 1-inch slits into the sides of each shape. Build a sculpture by interlocking the pieces along the slits. 


 Useful links: 
 * Paper Flowers – Anyone Can Do That 
* Recycled Paper Weaving in Grade Two 
* Art Lessons For Kids 
* Summer Crafts For Kids: Sculpting With Paper Strips

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Role of classroom decor in classroom management


There are many elements of classroom decor that can affect a student’s ability to learn. Colors in a classroom can make you more receptive to be in the mood to study or learn. Classroom decor plays an important role in class management.

A mural at Play class wall- showing Islamic culture and nature
Simple and organized decorated classrooms enhance calm learning environments. Children are attracted to bright colors, but use the bold palette sparingly. Guide students’ attention to specific points you want them to retain, and use the bright colors there instead of anchoring the room in bold yellows or reds.

 A preschool classroom is a lively and energetic place. Preschool children are naturally curious and creative, so the decor of this classroom should showcase their creativity and challenge their curiosity. Make sure that the decor is colorful and placed at a level that makes it possible for small people to see and appreciate it.

You can notice the decor of play class in our school. Hanging paper plates are in various colors with numbers. Other resources and decoration around this classroom corner fulfill the purpose of interactive learning.

The artwork or posters on display on the classroom walls encourage learning and creativity, or act as a distraction. Most teachers carefully select this part of the décor and usually try to play towards their students’ imagination. Students need to feel comfortable with a nice balance of decor they can relate to. Students enjoy seeing their papers hung up around the room, reminding them of their other good grades.

The biggest focal point in the classroom is the bulletin board and it should be the backdrop for your room’s theme. Educational supply stores carry many popular theme kits, everything needed for decorating a classroom - borders, posters, bulletin board content and suggestions for fun classroom activities, but don’t go overboard with the decorations. Strike a balance between the décor, the color scheme and the educational information. 

Useful links and resources:

What You See Is What You Get In The Classroom

*  Classroom Decor Themes and Tips DIY Classroom Decorations

 * Classroom decoration themes and ideas

* Classroom decoration ideas

* Creating a cozy classroom

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Crafts and origami learning with kids

It is fun to teach crafts and origami to kids ( at early years).  I teach easy origami to kids in my Nursery class. I believe that origami helps in development of fine 'motor skills', intellectual abilities and creative abilities. As kids in our Nursery class are from the age group of 4 to 5 plus, even easy origami projects are sometimes difficult to follow, and kids need help at later steps for completing these tasks.

As you can notice from facing picture that I have mixed the drawing and origami together to make an interesting crafts.

As the outcome of this crafts was amazing, we selected it as a folder cover which we hand over to parents at 'Parents teachers meeting' as a record of kids learning.

How this crafts project was created?

1- First I teach them to make a simple house.
2- In second art/crafts class I told them to make a tree.
3- Third stage was to fix both origami projects at art book and finish it by drawing clods, grass, flower etc.
4- We fixed some pencil carving at the roof of the house to make it more attractive and appealing.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Early year display boards

In reception years, we teachers decorate our bulletin boards for display at the occasion of parent teacher meeting. Parent teacher meeting is held after every two months in a year. As we have completed our first term (Whole year is divided into two terms), our bulletin boards were showing the process of learning.

In our play class English board was showing 'Dolche Words':



These colorful display boards are used as a helping tool for learning. 

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