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Category: Learning

Being You

Being You

Gy, you know I love you. I try to show it every single day.

But for the days that I don’t or seem to be showing it less, I’ve written this out so you’ll know that I don’t ever stop loving you for who you are. Being you is so immeasurably satisfying and I want you to believe that always.

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Cambridge Young Learners: Learn English the fun way

Cambridge Young Learners: Learn English the fun way

Kids can find English challenging given its various twists and turns but let’s face it, English is a must-have skill in the world today. It’s one of the most widely spoken languages in the world coming in third after Mandarin Chinese and Spanish. It’s also the language many of us use to express ourselves when we write or speak.
Suffice to say that it’s a very integral part of our lives and going forward, the new generation must be aware of the language and everything about it for them to thrive.
* Fun Fact: Did you know that a new word is added to the English language every two hours?! *
 Quality English learning opens up different options for kids at varying levels of education. So how would you feel about a programme that not only teaches English but makes kids fall in love with the language right from the word ‘Go’?
The Cambridge English:Young Learners series is targeted at lower secondary and primary school children. It comprises a series of interesting English language tests designed to help them improve their language skills.

Cambridge English young learners_Feature image

Kids who are currently enjoying their summer break will find this programme both enriching and entertaining. Why, you ask? Think of it as a great way to introduce and strengthen the child’s language skills while proactively learning something new.
This programme is a part of the not-for-profit wing of the University of Cambridge and intends to help children communicate effectively in English and enjoy the learning experience in the process through fun games and activities.
Here are some details about the programme that will help you understand it better.
What does it test:
All the four core skills for language development, namely, reading, writing, listening and speaking are covered in these tests.
What’s the format?
The tests are either computer-based or paper-pencil tests. Each test is for an hour and 15 minutes.
What does it contain:
These activity-based tests are of three types: Starters, Movers and Flyers. As the names imply, they are designed keeping in mind the level of comfort the child has with the language.

Cambridge English Starters:  

Cambridge English young learners_Starters
Starters is for kids who have little or no knowledge of the language and who are looking to improve the same. Familiar topics and concepts are introduced to make them comfortable.
Cambridge English Movers:
Cambridge English young learners_Movers

Level 2 of the Young Learners programme, Movers,tests children on their spoken and reading skills, while helping them build confidence in their own abilities.
Cambridge English Flyers:
Cambridge English young learners_Flyers

Flyers is for the advanced group of children who have achieved sufficient mastery over the basics of the language and can now be tested on how well they do in the four core skills of reading, writing, listening and speaking.
Who can take the tests:

Students from all over the world can attempt the tests since they are now available on computers and tablets worldwide. Here’s a short video to give you a quick overview of the programme.

What’s great about the tests:

  • They are extremely intuitive and adaptable to the learning level of the child.
  • There is no pass or fail where these tests are concerned. Anyone who attempts the test gets a certificate.
  • What is rewarded is learning, which ideally, should be the focus of all education.
  • Day to day situations are used to bring out language learning scenarios. Kids can relate to them instantly.
  • Both American and British English are covered in the tests.
  • It is fair to students of all linguistic and national backgrounds
Helpful resources for parents:

Here are some things you can do to get your child started.
  1. To register for the Cambridge English young learners programme and find out if your region has an exam centre for the Young Learners programme, please click here.
  2.  Find multiple resources, links, videos and activities at the Young Learners portal as well as the main page.
  3.  Get your kids to attempt the learning tests on this page, especially those geared towards levels A1 and A2.
  4. You can also download the Cambridge Young Learners practice apps on your iPhone and iPad from the App Store here.
This is a sponsored post.
All images and  video courtesy Cambridge English Young Learners, a division of Cambridge English.

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MyPedia Review – A complete learning solution

MyPedia Review – A complete learning solution

Pearson has been a global leader in the books space and they are slowly expanding into various other areas of academic interest. The MyPedia programme is a comprehensive one that covers everything that will cater to students, academicians, teachers and parents.

Earlier this month, the MyPedia team invited me to a presentation on the core concepts that make up their vision to make learning both fun and interactive. Mr. Ujjwal Singh, head of MyPedia, engaged with us and patiently answered every query we had on the various aspects of this programme.

MyPedia Featured Image, Shailaja V, Doting Mom

What MyPedia involves:

MyPedia is a complete learning solution. From providing textbooks that include concepts to a home-based app that allows parents to review their children’s performance, it’s got everything you’d need.

Students benefit by learning at a pace that is comfortable for them. Teachers are trained in the material as well as understanding the assessment rubric and learn to work with the students and the parents in a collaborative manner. Parents are directly in touch with the student’s rate of learning.

MyPedia, Properties, Doting Mom

MyPedia works with schools within the curriculum framework (currently CBSE) and figure out a universal learning programme that will help their students aspire to the best of their potential. Their aim is five-fold:

  1. To provide integrated learning tools within a classroom
  2. To help build stronger concepts and skills instead of rote learning
  3. To loop parents actively into the learning process
  4. To address remedial learning challenges a student might face
  5. To enable love for learning that goes beyond classrooms

How it’s different:

Whereas other learning tools  take care of one issue, MyPedia attempts to harness them all under one umbrella. So, instead of getting the textbooks from a vendor, a training programme from another, an assessment rubric from a third person, MyPedia combines it all in a single package.
MyPedia, Advantages, Doting Mom
These kids, parents and teachers seem to enjoy the MyPedia programme a good deal, as the video testifies:

What I liked about it:

  • Active parental involvement: The home app on the parent’s phone is the best way to track exactly what your kid is learning at school. Real-time feedback from the teacher gives the parent an individualised report and tailored remarks on the child’s performance.
MyPedia, App, Doting Mom, Shailaja
  • Helps all kinds of learners: Gy is a visual learner, as I have mentioned before on this blog. Mr.Ujjwal Singh very neatly pointed out the way classroom assessment typically works. A child who is good at writing may score very well in a written assessment. However, a child who is better at speaking or play acting may score low on the writing scale. MyPedia helps to balance out the scoring and awards children based on their individual strengths. Teachers then work with the specific concepts in the grading rubric and assess how to help each child develop their complete potential.
MyPedia, Assessment, Rubric, Doting Mom, Shailaja

Questions I had:

  • Screen time for kids: I’ve always been very conscious about keeping gadget time at home to an absolute minimum, especially for kids below the age of 12. The MyPedia app’s videos are all short and play for a limited time, say, about 5 minutes overall.
  • How many schools have adopted it? Pearson says that over 250 schools across India currently implement the MyPedia programme and are very happy with the way it is shaping the way kids learn.
  • How do they manage teacher training? Pearson has specific teacher-training programmes for every school that adopts the MyPedia module. The interesting thing is that they do follow-up sessions once in 3 or 6 months as the learning curves vary across schools. This helps them assess any loopholes in the material or the pedagogy and address them efficiently.

If you think you or your school would be interested in the MyPedia programme, contact them here.

DISCLAIMER: I was privileged to be among four bloggers invited to attend a closed conference on the MyPedia learning management tool developed by Pearson. The views expressed in this post are my own. 

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Fun and Learning with letters

Fun and Learning with letters

Are you in the mood for a game? Word games, to be precise. Then, you’ve come to the right place 🙂

So, as you all may know, it is summer here and the kid has her vacation going on. Those who follow the blog will also know about my Something New, Something Fun  post, which talked about activities to keep kids happy all summer long 🙂

Well, today, Gy came up with an interesting game which we played for over two hours. Goodness, where did the time go!?

You’ve all heard of anagrams or jumbled letters. It’s pretty easy, right? You just get a word, change the letters around and then guess what the original word is. 

Like this one:

Oh, that was an easy one, right?

How about this one?

I bet that took you about 5 seconds, eh? 😉

All right, just to change things up (pun intended) try your hand at the new one below:

Did you get it yet? What’s it been? 15 minutes now? Chances are you didn’t get it at all. And you know why? It’s got a wild letter in the mix.

WHAT! That’s not fair. Ah, but that was the game we played today. She took a word and jumbled up the letters and added one extra letter which doesn’t belong. Talk about pressure!

First, you have to find the rogue letter and eliminate it. Then, you unscramble the mix. Pretty cool, huh? If you manage to do that, you get full marks. If not, you ask for the rogue letter to be removed and then get only half marks for unscrambling.

So, I didn’t get the rogue letter and I had to ask her to remove the letter. Would you like to know the rogue letter? Or try your hand at it first?

I am waiting to see the comments on this one! Make sure you unscramble all three words above!

Happy anagram time, everyone 🙂

Footnote: This was actually a totally, spur-of-the-moment post for J! 

I had already written one for the day , J is for Joking 🙂

Written for the A to Z 2014 Challenge

J is for Jumble

Also linking this to the Ultimate Blog Challenge for April


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