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Competencies and Capabilities

Competency is to do something successfully or efficiently. The person must have the necessary ability, knowledge, commitment and skills to do the task. These come from learning and regular practice. Whereas the meaning of capability is the condition of having the capacity to do something. What versus How What, is the task at hand. Does…… Continue Reading →

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Feedback Ladder- Balance, Order and Harmony

Giving and receiving feedback is something that we encourage our students to practice as they engage in peer assessment. In fact, we give feedback to one another all the time informally. Therefore, learning how to feedback can enhance communication skill. Giving or receiving feedback is an art. Good art will always have Balance, Order, and…… Continue Reading →

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Evaluating sources

From experience I have noticed that most students are not able to transfer and use the knowledge and skill gained in one subject effortlessly into another subject. They tend to compartmentalize the subjects. This becomes more prominent when teachers do not collaboratively plan and execute their lessons leading to loss of opportunity for students to…… Continue Reading →

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Graphic organizers -KWHLR chart

Most of us understand and value the use of graphic organizers. It’s real value lies in the fact that it encourages thinking skills. A skill that can be learnt. However, the real value lies in its use. Deliberate and frequent use. And that is what students need practice in. Graphic organizers are like maps. They are…… Continue Reading →

Active listening skills

While in school, staff rooms, workshops, every where teachers talk about education, there is a growing understanding of active teaching and active learning. But both cannot happen if there is no active listening skill. People may hear but not necessarily listen. Hearing is the receiving of aural stimuli and listening is receiving and interpreting that…… Continue Reading →

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SAMR- Meeting needs

Most often two processes, auditory and visual come into play for learning to take place. The information is received and processed cognitively to create knowledge structures. With the past paced growth of technology in the field of education, it is now becoming more and more important to decide and select the ed tech tools that…… Continue Reading →

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Cognitive load

I have always found the experience of conducting lesson observations and class walkthru’s a learning experience full of insight and an opportunity for engaging in action research. For me lesson observation is not necessarily about observing the teacher but largely about observing the students. After all that is why it is called lesson observation. How…… Continue Reading →

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A lost opportunity

The recent news of parents paying bribes to get their children into top colleges was shocking and indicative of their strong desire for ‘brands’ which is not just restricted to fashion but also to the kind of school that they want their children to go to. The US Justice Department charged dozens of parents of sneaking their…… Continue Reading →

Direct experiences-Anecdotal records

Regular classroom teaching throws up innumerable direct experiences that are priceless opportunities for us to understand student learning and behavior. Just observing those and not recording them for better planning and preparation is very often a lost opportunity. Anecdotal records are one such method that I have often used when teaching. Observing the students working on…… Continue Reading →

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Daily Sponge Activities

Sponge activities are great fillers and intentional activities, for that time in the class when you still have some minutes to spare or are at that juncture where you wish to capture the thoughts of the students to evaluate their learning. Sponge activities work brilliantly for reflection time and critical thinking. As teachers, depending on…… Continue Reading →

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Why facts don’t always change thinking- The Backfire Effect

Our experiences help us develop our own world view or beliefs. New experiences not only help us strengthen that same world view but also at times help us modify the existing. But seldom so. When an argument, rationale, information, data is given to us as evidence that contradicts our belief, we very often, instead of…… Continue Reading →

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College Readiness Skills: Ability to Think, Read, Write and Present

Many times, teachers assume that the students are skilled in reading a text, understanding the same and critically analyzing it to draw their conclusions. However, what they can do is basically just read the text and develop some basic understanding of what the writer is saying. I have seen students struggle to analyze poetry and…… Continue Reading →

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Learning for learning’s sake

Recently read somewhere (can’t remember where though), how parent’s role has changed over the past few decades. The article stated that parents must love and discipline their children, but more recently they have also taken the responsibility of entertaining them. That thought has lingered on with me and made me reflect on how I have…… Continue Reading →

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Gagne’s Nine Levels of Learning

As I read about theories in education, I feel that teaching is, to quite an extent intuitive. Perhaps it would be safer to say that we do follow the process of teaching even though we  may not know the research behind why we do, what we do.  Therefore, theories create a shared common language for…… Continue Reading →

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Strength, Courage and Speed

A visit to the Hoysala temples bring forth the architectural wonder of the 11th and 14th century. The language of art is used to depict the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. The striking decoration of the molding comprising of figures of elephants, tigers and horses, depict strength, courage and speed respectively. Not only were these three attributes…… Continue Reading →

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Writing Style- PEEL

One of the challenges that I face with students is to get them to write an essay. While essay writing is taught in school from junior school, somehow students always find it a challenge because they do not understand and implement a ‘writing structure’. Pattern and symmetry do not exist only in math or arts……. Continue Reading →

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Financial literacy for students

As early as 2005, the OECD recommendation advised that “financial education should start at school. People should be educated about financial matters as early as possible in their lives” (OECD, 2005a). It is important to establish early foundation in financial literacy as children today will not only experience complexity in financial products but also bear…… Continue Reading →

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What we measure is a reflection of what we value

In schools we measure student achievement in academics, sports and co-curricular. We measure number of admissions in an year. All this data gives you a good indication of perhaps how effective the school is. But does this indicate how successful the school is? To measure how successful a school is, should we not be looking…… Continue Reading →

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Fake environment

Candor is a virtue not respected enough. In our desire to be nice, polite or protective, we miss out on the opportunity to be honest, frank and helpful. Nothing is more dangerous to a students’ /child’s well being or ability to improve than creating a fake environment around them. An environment that screams, you are…… Continue Reading →

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What can middle school students do to be college ready?

You don’t prepare for college when in college. Most often than not, students , parents and schools, start their career counselling programme from Grade XI. Some schools focus from Grade X. However, the right time to engage students in a meaningful dialogue about their aspirations is in the middle school. Here are our 10 suggestions…… Continue Reading →

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How strong are my aspirations

Aspirations give us the motivation to do something. Aspirations come from our dreams and unmet drams can lead to frustrations. The question therefore is what are we doing to fulfill our dreams? Research suggests that our aspirations go through a U-phase. As we reach mid twenties our aspiration peak and sometime during our fifties it hits the…… Continue Reading →

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Digital Dilemma

Research indicates that cellphones cause distraction leading to stress and frustration as students loose valuable time. Humans tend to calculate or observe small shifts as manageable. Something that can be controlled or rectified when ever we want to. It is when a dramatic, unannounced (really?) gigantic shift occurs and kicks us in the stomach that…… Continue Reading →

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Wake up and smell the coffee-‘REMAIN TEACHABLE’

This one comes straight from my experience. I believe that pressures, hardships, austerity and challenges only make us better and more resilient. They help us grow. Today one of the pressures that teachers face is that of how to continue to stay relevant. The students siting in our classroom no longer need to be there…… Continue Reading →

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Storm in a Teacup

Yes, deadlines have a habit of creating that. The art of managing deadlines is prioritization. A skill students must be introduced to in school from the time (at least) they learn to pronounce it. Important and urgent. Essential Time allotment 5 % Important but not urgent. Necessity Time allotment 75% Urgent but not important. Distractions Time…… Continue Reading →

The Tribe: Talent, Skill and Knowledge

Knowledge you receive. It could come from anywhere and anyone. Be on the lookout. Knowledge can be gained and developed through personal and shared knowledge. Skill is developed with practice. It is teachable and can be learnt. You have to invest time, be intentional and gritty. Remember, the bottom line is, it can be learnt!…… Continue Reading →

E-Mail Etiquettes

Being inundated with countless emails daily is in itself a challenge. Coupled with that, what can be most frustrating is, receiving emails that one has nothing to do with or that which requires a couple of reads to understand what it means! A simple checklist that can come handy:  State a meaningful subject line. It…… Continue Reading →

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DRAW YOUR THINKING

I got introduced to ‘sketchnoting’ fairly recently. However, as I investigated and practiced, I realized that I had actually been doing sketch noting from childhood. Writing small notes for myself in the margins of my notebook in school or making a square or a circle around the text that I wanted to highlight, or simply…… Continue Reading →

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Padlet For Collaborative Learning

While I have been using padlet in my classroom teaching, I was only recently introduced to it being used for teacher training when I did my Cambridge Professional Development Qualification training recently. Padlet is one of the easiest tech tool to use in a classroom or a training programme. Let me share some of the ways…… Continue Reading →

THE VALUE OF RECESS

From 30 minutes to an hour, schools provide free play time to the students during the day. Some schools also incorporate a short recess of 10 to 30 minutes is provided in addition to the lunch recess for students to have a quick breakfast or water or just rest before they head to their next…… Continue Reading →

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Book Review: Teach Like A PIRATE

Writing a Book Review is a piece of cake only if you have devoured a book because you couldn’t put it down!  The book is a must read for teachers old or new to the profession. For experienced teachers, it helps in ‘sharpening the axe’ and for the new, a treasure that will ignite the…… Continue Reading →

Feedback or Feed-Forward

While driving on the road, the driver checks in the rear view window to see the approaching traffic. An important activity if the driver wishes to take a turn or brake. However, for driving forward, he looks forward through the windscreen. He looks at possibilities and opportunities ahead. While feedback is important, it is feed-forward…… Continue Reading →

Learning style- Metacognition

The process of learning is very unique to each of us. While we may all use the technique of metacognition, it is important to understand what it means so that we can use it as an effective tool to modify our own learning behavior. Many people think of metacognition as a process of thinking about thinking…… Continue Reading →

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Our V.U.C.A World

Our complex world these days is often explained by the acronym V.U.C.A. Meaning, volatility, uncertainty, complexity, ambiguity. The four different types of challenge demand four distinct types of approach (HBR 2014). The acronym was introduced by the US American army war college to describe the world after the end of cold war. The word gained accepted…… Continue Reading →

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FLIP CLASSROOM

Learning is very individualistic. We all learn at our own pace, when we want to learn and have different styles for learning. Given these challenges how can we then enhance the learning experience of our students. Almost all schools follow a structured timetable and therefore this is one challenge that cannot be overcome easily, but… Continue Reading →

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Sustainability is about simple understandings

For schools education should not just be about strategy but also about content. As rightly said, strategy can only help in the process of communication. Content on the other hand is about introducing concepts and building knowledge through them to create new knowledge. Resources, that enable learning to take place, technology that motivates young learner…… Continue Reading →

The Ethics of Trust in Teaching- Part 1

“A sense of responsibility in teaching pushes us constantly to think about and promote the best interests of our students. In contrast, the demand for accountability often induces mere compliance.” Nel Noddings The teacher-learner relationship is fragile in nature. It is based on trust and empathy. Pupils learn best when they feel cared, protected and…… Continue Reading →

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The Skill-Development Initiative

The recent report published by FICCI (2013-2014), states that the percentage of formally skilled workforce available in India stands at 2% vis-e-vie n 96% for South Korea, 80% for Japan, 75% for Germany and 68% for UK. The initiative taken by the central government and by the state governments is commendable. It is forecasted that…… Continue Reading →

Teaching and Learning with Technology

How can one define technology? Dictionary meaning of technology refers to development of apparatus and equipment using scientific method for human use. If that the case, why are teachers so uncomfortable with the notion of use of technology in teaching? have teachers not always used technology to transfer information to their pupils? The use of…… Continue Reading →

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