The Best Things you can do NOT to have your Kids Develop Bratty Behaviour

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notlistening

As parents we are all biased. We see our children through our loving eyes. To us, they can do no wrong. They are innocent and vulnerable. Be that as it may, it in our lapse of judgment in small everyday mundane things that eventually lead to kids doing all the things they do to get on our already frayed nerves. Among the many misdeeds that become a hot topic of conversation with other parents are:

  • constantly lost in their cell phones
  • answering back (with a hurtful tone)
  • heeding the advise of the cool friend over yours
  • not sleeping/ eating/ doing homework on time
  • throwing tantrums/ showing sass
  • rolling eyes

Any of that sound familiar?

Most of it we can chalk off to growing pains and a right of passage. As they get older and into their teens, we can also blame a part of it on raging teenage hormones. But the bitter truth is, some of the blame falls neatly on our shoulders too.

So how can we minimise this troublesome behaviour? Let’s look at it from the the perspective of teachers who spend a handsome amount of time with your children. Truth be told, most teachers I have worked with over about eight years are honestly on your side. They care about the overall holistic growth of the students they teach. However, the natural love a parent has for his or her child is a factor that is not present (although there is a great deal of fondness and adoration), and thus the bias I spoke about earlier does not get in the way of an objective assessment on how a child, your child can work to realise his or her true potential.

If there were a ‘wish list’ that teachers could share with parents, these little pointers would be on it: Continue reading

Getting Kids to Write Better (and Grammatically Accurate) Sentences

Sentences

Teaching high school children how to write is a huge task. When I first got into the game, I was appalled at the sheer lack of sentence variety, let alone the heinous mistakes in construction of even the simplest sentences.

 

So I did what any new teacher would do and lost my cool. I couldn’t understand it.

But soon I realised that mere speculation wasn’t going to solve the crux of the matter: the students just couldn’t handle manipulation of clauses and the punctuation that goes with it. Further, it doesn’t come intrinsically – not all the kids anyway.

Soon I started looking around the blogosphere; where there others like me out there, and if there were, what were they doing about the problem?

It wasn’t long before the solution presented itself – well part solution. The kids needed to be taught sentence structure explicitly. There was simply no other way. But here was the conundrum (to put it mildly): there was no time. With exams just a couple of years away, how was I going to take on this immense task AND get through with the curriculum too?

So desperation led me to embed certain practices in my teaching that certainly did help. Continue reading

Classroom Discussion Tokens- Take Your Students to a Whole New Level of Discourse

Tokens

If it’s the one thing I’d really like to improve this year, it would be me speaking less- a lot less, and my students speaking up a lot more. However, teaching students with such diverse backgrounds, especially with English being their second and even third language, I know that is no easy task.

Children of all ages have so much to say, but can’t say it for a number of reasons:

  1. They are afraid of being ridiculed for lack of accuracy in the way their articulate their thoughts.
  2. They think they may be wrong altogether and feel like the safest thing to do is stay quiet.
  3. They feel like they don’t have a voice- that their say is irrelevant.

Whereas numbers 2 and 3 are the product of teacher attitude, number 1 can definitely be improved upon by a little nudging. Continue reading

Honest Review: The Four O’ Clock Faculty

This book is not for the faint of heart. If you are in the teaching profession, but aren’t intrinsically motivated, passionate, sincere and willing to take risks, there is no point in picking it up. Just move on.

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I received this game-changing book a month back. I owe my brother in Qatar a huge debt of thanks for ordering it off Amazon and having it shipped to Karachi. (Due to some technical issues, I couldn’t do it myself.) After having read rave reviews on Twitter, I was more curious than anything else on how this could possibly benefit me as I have to deliver a session for the annual INSET at the beginning of the new academic year at my school. And we all know how teachers feel about attending these sessions… not very good. It was as if the author of the book had reached into the recesses of my heart when he wrote about how frustrating it can be when teachers have to sit through endless sessions of irrelevant jibber jabber when there are so many other things to get done.

In my 7 years of teaching (3 as head of the English Department) I have found very few workshops/ sessions that have provided me easy-to-access and ready-to-apply tricks of the trade that would lead to immediate results. I have always tried to emulate the environment of those sessions- but for the most part- I was operating blindly- until I read this book. Continue reading

Urdu Practice Worksheets for Year 1

With thanks to Resource Creator Azeema Yousuf.

After looking for hours on the internet for printable worksheets for practicing Urdu (especially for entrance tests), my sister drew up a big fat nothing (great). As usual, this prompted her to make her own, and then upload it for all the other parents who need help in this department.

So enjoy!

Urdu Snapshot

Handy Thesaurus for Children- Get them Writing with Flair

CoverTeaching children to write is a daunting task. One of the most frustrating aspects of teaching young writers is that they just keep repeating the same words over and over again. They love ‘like, big, small, funny, said, sad and happy’.

In their defense however, I would still ask if they are exposed to alternative words and to what extent. With this in mind, I have designed a little free to download thesaurus. It can be used in a number of ways in class or at home to enhance vocabulary and hence develop flair in the children’s literary work.

On ideas to maximize use out of this 30 word thesaurus, just keep reading and you can get the free download at the end of the post.

Continue reading

Assessment for Learning

ResourcesJohn Hattie, a renowned researcher in the field of education conducted a study in which he put forward his findings on those parameters that make the most dramatic impact on the learning of students. Read it HERE.

Needless to say, giving kids effective, precise and timely feedback lies right there almost at the top. One facet of doing this is to make ‘learning visible’ by showing students the process of learning through self-reflection.

I have taken the most popular self reflective exercise completely free for you to download.

They are pretty self-explanatory.

So enjoy. Download them by clicking on the picture below, completely free!!
AfL

Growth Mindset Brag Tags

growth-mindsetBuilding a growth mindset in kids has been all the rage for a while now. It fosters grit- the voluntary choice to improve performance through a long term dedicated work ethic.

When children are taught that set backs do not have to define them, that hard work and perseverance will get them to places they want to get, they develop the will, the passion to succeed.

Whereas there are wonderful Pinterest boards and plenty of sites honoring this revolutionary concept, I felt there was a lack of resources that showed appreciation whenever a child made an effort to act accordingly.

Continue reading