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Simplify Fractions

January 22, 2015

Struggling with simplifying fractions ? Using this trick. Below you can see how it works :


There is a rainbow for both the numerator and the denominator.The rainbows always start with 1 and the number itself on the first arch. Then each arch underneath progresses with the next largest factor. With the 15 rainbow, 2 was not a factor, so we skipped to 3. Three and 5 are factor pairs. We could then try the factor of 4, but the only other number that could be a factor would be 4 itself. We know 4 x 4 is 16, so that won’t make 15. Then we could move on to a factor of 5, but we know that 5 has already been used. When the factors repeat in the rainbow, then we know we have found all of the factors. To simplify fractions, circle the largest common number in both rainbows (GCF) and divide both the numerator and denominator by the largest common factor.

Thinking Time – A Puzzle

January 21, 2015

This is a motivating speaking activity for lower levels to develop fluency. Students are given plenty of support and use ‘thinking time’ before the speaking task. The lesson is usually successful with adults and teenagers because of the ‘puzzle’ element. The only materials you need are a box of cocktail sticks.

Activity type: Working out a ‘cocktail stick’ puzzle /pair work

Level: A1-B1

Age: Adults or senior

Preparation :

Take a box of cocktail sticks into the classroom. Arrange students around a central space with a table.

Introduction :

1. Use the cocktail sticks to make simple geometrical shapes and symbols. Point to each shape and ask What’s this? Elicit an answer orally each time. Suggested shapes: A square, a triangle, a rectangle, a cross, a star, a diamond, a hexagon, etc.

2. Appoint a student to be your helper. Tell students that you are going to explain how to make a star shape with the cocktail sticks. Each time students hear a verb they should repeat it and the helper should write it on the board.

3. Make a star shape with the cocktail sticks, giving simple ‘instructions’ as you make each move. Use as many different verbs as possible. Use affirmative and negative examples. E.g. Take a cocktail stick, place it here, put it there, pick up this cocktail stick, add another cocktail stick, don’t move the other cocktail sticks, join these two sides, take away these two sticks, etc.

Procedure :

Part 1: Model the activity

Tell students they are going to do a puzzle. Make this shape using 12 cocktail shapes.


Write the ‘puzzle’ on the board:

Remove two cocktail sticks so that there are only two squares left.

Tell students to think carefully about how to solve the puzzle and to think carefully about the language they need to explain the solution. Elicit the answer orally. Students can point at cocktail sticks and give clear instructions to solve the puzzle. But they shouldn’t do any of the actions themselves.



Increasing student interaction

January 20, 2015


Most teachers have experienced classes in which student interaction has been more limited than they would like, with students becoming reticent when asked to ‘talk to your partner about’.

Why student to student interaction is desirable :


Most people agree that learning anything involves participation. You can’t learn to play a musical instrument without actually picking up the instrument and similarly it is difficult to learn a language without engaging with that language. Given that language primarily exists to facilitate communication, interaction in that language must have an important role to play in developing a learner’s ability in that language. In other words, teachers need to promote learner interaction in order to help the learners succeed.

Maximising practice time

Learners need to practise as much as possible if they are to be successful. Interaction through pair and group work maximises the opportunities to practise as more learners speak for more of the time.


Collaborative learning, particularly through the use of collaborative tasks, has been shown to foster language development since learners can see a reason to use language in order to interact.


Related to the concept of collaboration is that of socialisation. Interaction does not only promote language development but it also fosters the development of social skills (e.g. politeness, respect for others) that people need to operate successfully in any culture.


Motivation is a fundamental aspect of successful learning. Interaction gives learners the opportunity to use language successfully and to measure their progress which in turn should lead to an increase in motivation.

Problems faced when trying to increase interaction :

Student Resistance

It is unfortunately true that some learners are not enthusiastic about pair and group work, particularly in mono-lingual classes in which it is a little unnatural to communicate to someone who speaks your language in a language you are both less proficient in!


Many learners become very nervous and embarrassed when asked to speak English.

Large classes

While theoretically the more students there are in a class the more possibilities for interaction there should be, this is not the case in practice. The more learners there are, the more difficult developing interaction can be since there are more people to monitor and, therefore, more chances of problems

Mixed abilities

Pairing and grouping students appropriately in classes that have a wide variety of levels (e.g. secondary schools) is much more difficult than in small classes of a homogenous level.

Lack of motivation

If learners have no need to interact or don’t want to, they probably won’t.

Insufficient language

Perhaps the most common reason for interaction in English breaking down, or indeed not starting in the first place, is that the students don’t have the language they need to interact and, therefore, complete the task successfully.

A List of 20 Free Tools for Teachers to Create Awesome Presentations and Slideshows

January 17, 2015
Below is a list of some of the best free tools teachers and students can use to create awesomeslideshowand presentations.

1- SlideShare

It Offers users the ability to upload and share publicly or privately PowerPoint presentations, Word documents and Adobe PDF Portfolios.

2- Animoto

Animoto turns your photos and video clips into professional videoslideshowsin minutes.


VUVOXallows you to create interactive slideshows and presentations from photos, video and music from Flickr, Picasa Web Albums, YouTube, Facebook and more.

4- Knovio

Knovio gives life to static slides and with a simple click you will be able to turn them into rich video and audio presentations that you can share with your friends and colleagues via email or popular social media websites. Knovio does not require any software installation
or download, it is all web based.

5- Ahead

Ahead is a great presentation tool for educators. It works in such a way that it instantly transforms your layouts into a zooming presentation. Check it out its is great.

6- HelloSlide

HelloSlide is a cool web tool that allows its users to create awesome slidestogetherwith voice narration.

7- Jux

Jux is one of the best showcase for your stories. You can embed videos and photos from your hard drive or from a URL.

8- Slidestaxx

Slidestaxx is a great presentation tool. It allows its users to create amazing social media slideshows. You can now gather media from
different sources and put them together in an engaging slideshow using Slidestaxx to embed it in your blog, website or wiki.

9- Present.me

It allows its users to record and share their presentations using their webcams.

10- PhotoPeach

PhotoPeachis a free online service that allows it users to create media rich slideshows.What i like the most about this tool is the fact that it supports background music .Integrating audio into photo slideshows makes them quite engaging and presentable

11- Slideboom

Slideboomis a slide hosting service where you can store your presentations and share them with the rest of the world.

12- Zentation

Zentationis one of the best video presentation tools . It combines both videos and slides into presentations making out of them engaging pieces of multimedia in education

13- Empressr

Empressris a rich media presentation tool .It allows you to share and create high quality online slideshows and presentations.

14- VoiceThread

Voice Thread is a digital media discussion service . It allows you to create engaging interactive slideshows using different types of media .

15- Slidesix

It enables users to share multimedia presentations using a rich web based application where they “ they can import presentation material and personalize their message by narrating each slide with video or audio.”

16- Zoho Show

It helps you create interactive presentations using simple yet sophisticated tools .It has several features that sets it apart from other presentation applications.

17- Prezentit

It allows its users to create alone or with others , share and show online memorable presentations . It is a very handy tool that we can use with our students.

18- Popplet

Poppletis a unique web2.0 tool. It is one of the best applications for visual ideas . It combines presentations , mindmapping and online bulletins.

19- AuthorStream

This is a platform for sharing PowerPoint presentations on the Internet. authorSTREAM makes it easier to share your PowerPoint slideshows through blogs, websites, on YouTube and even via iPOD.

20- SlideRocket

SlideRocketis an online web2.0 applicationthat facilitates creating and sharing online presentations in the form of slides .

21- Prezi

Preziis a cloud- based presentation software that opens up a new world between whiteboards and slides. The zoomable canvas makes it fun to explore ideas.

Teacher-Tested Time-Saving Tips

January 16, 2015


  • Use a daily planner. Keep all your “to do” lists there. Or, keep one calendar handy and write everything on it that you need to accomplish. Memories fail at times. Some teachers keep a planner on their desk at all times, some use large desk calendars. Whichever type you prefer, use it.
  • Do not try to accomplish difficult tasks when you are tired. Save those for your peak periods.
  • Do not waste class time by calling out students’ names in order to take roll. Once students are at work, take roll. If you have a seating chart, you can see who is absent in one sweep. Elementary teachers have many options: You can write each student’s name on a clothes pin and pin it to a chart near the door. As students come in, they place their pin in a small bucket. Or, vice versa. The pins could be placed in the box and the student takes his or hers out and places it on the chart.
  • At the beginning of the year, assign each student a number which corresponds to the number in your roll book. (Roll books usually numbered lines for students’ names.) Instruct students to put their numbers (along with their names) on their papers. Then, when you collect the papers, simply have one student put them in numerical order. Marking grades in the book then becomes a snap because you are not jumping from name to name trying to find a particular student.
  • If you have never tried “gradebook software” you may like it. It can save you time by tallying grades, curving grades, allowing you to print the grades for a particular student (along with absences), quickly seeing what assignments a particular student is missing, etc. Some are better than others. Ask for recommendations from your colleagues.
  • While waiting for a parent conference, meeting, etc. try to accomplish those small, “interruptable” tasks.
  • Remember: Every single paper-and-pencil task a student completes, does not have to be graded.
  • Allow students to self-grade or peer-grade when appropriate.
  • Create a generic “Classroom Procedures” list for substitutes. (Include schedules, important points to remember, the process of taking roll, etc.) This can then be attached to specific lesson plans.
  • Keep a small area set aside where you store often-used supplies for students to use.
  • Keep a supply of notebook paper handy. Tell students they make take a sheet when necessary
  • Make transparencies for directions to tasks.
  • Pull out of storage all material that you will be distributing that day and place it in one area. Think through the lessons you will be doing and what materials you will need for each one.
  • Distributing material. You may want to assign a student assistant to distribute material for you (makers, rulers, art paper, newspapers). Talk with the student about how to distribute the material and how to pick it up and put it in its proper place. Some teachers find it handy to have a number of small containers and fill each one with the needed materials for each student. (For example, they will place in the container a pair of scissors, glue stick, markers, etc.) They then simply distribute the containers.
  • When students pass in papers, tell them to pass them across the rows instead of passing them forward. The people in the row to whom the papers eventually come can then pass them forward to one person. (A side benefit of this is less poking.)
  • Create a list of classroom routines and procedures that will make the day flow smoothly. Go here for some ideas.
  • Make a “To-Do” reference sheet for events. For example, you may want to have a list for field trips. Include on the list everything that must be done before, during, and after the trip, then check off as completed. Make copies of your reference sheets and use them as necessary.
  • Create templates for materials you create regularly. For example: Store on your computer a lesson plan template, then use “save as” to name the lesson plan.
  • Keep a file folder handy with copies of forms you normally use.
  • Keep like items together. For example, you can buy (or sew) an overhead fanny pack.
  • Keep a log of phone calls made to parents. You can make a form which includes the name of the student, phone number, reason called, results.
  • Assign tasks to students. If a student can do the job just as well as you can, then let her or him do it. Most students love having responsibilities. Some teachers for example, have a classroom librarian whose job it is to be in charge of the classroom library. They shelve and straighten books, recommend titles, and keep the area organized.
  • Learn to say no. Admittedly, this is not easy for some people. Remember though that your time is valuable so guard it wisely.
  • If you are planning a big project or unit, keep a box handy for the materials as you procure them. Label the box and place everything in there that you will need. Or, alternatively, you may only need a file folder.
  • If you find yourself constantly running to the office or media center or any one particular place, try to consolidate trips. Place the material you are taking with you in one area and limit yourself to one trip.
  • When making phone calls, write down the points you want to discuss ahead of time so you can “get to the point” as well as remember what you wanted to talk about.
  • If you are constantly losing your seating chart or other paper that you use daily, attach it to you chalkboard with a magnet. You may also want to buy some magnetic tape (available in school supply stores) if you don’t want to (or can’t) use the traditional magnets. Some teachers, for example, will place magnetic tape on the back of a plastic pencil cup holder, fill it with pencils, and place it on the board for handy use.
  • Before you dismiss the students have them look around their desks and pick up any trash, papers, or items on the floor. You can assign one student to pick up “wandering items” and put them in their proper place.
  • Allow students to create one or more bulletin boards. Most children enjoy this.
  • Keep a large calendar handy for noting make-up assignments for students who were absent. Instruct students to check the calendar when they return from an absence. Place any materials they will need near the calendar. Assign one student to be “in charge” of telling returning students what they missed. If you are a middle school or high school teacher, make a file folder for each of your classes and put the missing student’s work in the folder with his or her name on it. Tell students that it will be their responsibility to check the appropriate folder when they return.

Difference between a Guru and a Teacher

January 14, 2015

The relationship of guru and disciple depicts the only real way to retrace the truant soul’s footsteps back to God. In the beginning it is wise to compare many spiritual paths and teachers, but when the real guru and the real teaching are found, then the restless searching must cease.

The thirsty one should not keep seeking wells, but should go to the best well and daily drink its nectar. That is why in India, in the beginning we seek many until we find the right path, and the right master, and then remain loyal to him through death and eternity, until final emancipation.

We can have many teachers first, but only one guru, and no more teachers afterward. Teachers call those who come to learn from them, students, but a guru calls the spiritual aspirant who comes to him, a disciple. Jesus himself said, “None cometh unto the Father but by Me.” This signifies that human souls are mostly truant children of God roaming away from Him in the wilderness of suffering.

Such souls are impelled by the scourge of sorrow to have faint glimpses of their lost home of spiritual blessedness. They begin to long for God, and inwardly pray for a way out of the conundrum of life and then, when the prayers of such errant children become deep and strong enough, God is touched and sends help. It is then that the one Father of all sends a superman on earth to give help to the lost seeking souls.

Such a man, ordained by God to help the individual in response to deep prayer, is not an ordinary teacher, but a guru, or a vehicle, whose body, speech, mind, and spirituality God Himself uses to bring the lost souls back to the home of immortality.

We meet little teachers in the beginning through our vague desires to know truth. But the guru (or preceptor) is the living embodiment of scriptural truths and is the agent of salvation appointed by God in response to a devotee’s demands for release from all the bondage of matter. It is very difficult to choose the right path from the many religious paths and varied religious opinions.

Most people, who wander from church to church seeking intellectual inspiration, never find God, for intellectual inspiration is necessary only until one begins to “drink” God. Otherwise, intellectual inspiration, (when it forgets to taste God), is detrimental to Self-realization.

It is more easy to follow a living, breathing, talking man (who lives truth) than to follow mute scriptures. If a saint has reached his goal, whether by the shorter yoga route, or by the long spiritual-prayer way, he experiences actual Self-realization. Anyone following him certainly will reach the goal by using either method.

Unlike ordinary prayers, real prayers, which alone can bring conscious response from God, must be offered in meditation, intensely, for many hours continuously until divine response comes. Usually, there is instantaneous recognition between guru and disciple, but sometimes it takes a long time to remember consciously that past close friendship, or to recall the forgotten memory of past incarnations, so long buried beneath ash-heaps of ignorance.

Source: http://anandaindia.org/


January 12, 2015

Most teachers take on a variety of roles within the classroom, which role do you think most defines your role in the ESL classroom?

1. The Controller : The teacher is in complete charge of the class, what students do, what they say and how they say it. The teacher assumes this role when new language is being introduced and accurate reproduction and drilling techniques are needed.

In this classroom, the teacher is mostly the centre of focus, the teacher may have the gift of instruction, and can inspire through their own knowledge and expertise, but, does this role really allow for enough student talk time? Is it really enjoyable for the learners? There is alsoa perception that this role could have a lack of variety in its activities.

2.The Prompter : The teacher encourages students to participate and makes suggestions about how students may proceed in an activity. The teacher should be helping students only when necessary.
When learners are literally ‘lost for words’, the prompter can encourage by discreetly nudging students. Students can sometimes lose the thread or become unsure how to proceed; the prompter in this regard can prompt but always in a supportive way.

3.The Resource : The teacher is a kind of walking resource centre ready to offer help if needed, or provide learners with whatever language they lack when performing communicative activities. The teacher must make her/himself available so that learners can consult her/him when (and only when) it is absolutely necessary.
As a resource the teacher can guide learners to use available resources such as the internet, for themselves, it certainly isn’t necessary to spoon-feed learners, as this might have the down side of making learners reliant on the teacher.

4.The Assessor : The teacher assumes this role to see how well students are performing or how well they performed. Feedback and correction is organized and carried out.

There are a variety of ways we can grade learners, the role of an assessor gives teachers an opportunity to correct learners. However, if it is not communicated with sensitivity and support it could prove counter-productive to a student’s self-esteem and confidence in learning the target language.

5.The Organizer : Perhaps the most difficult and important role the teacher has to play. The success of many activities depends on good organization and on the students knowing exactly what they are to do next. Giving instructions is vital in this role as well as setting up activities.

The organizer can also serve as a demonstrator, this role also allows a teacher to get involved and engaged with learners. The teacher also serves to open and neatly close activities and also give content feedback.

6.The Participant : This role improves the atmosphere in the class when the teacher takes part in an activity. However, the teacher takes arisk of dominating the activity when performing it.

Here the teacher can enliven a class; if a teacher is able to stand back and not become the center of attention, it can be a great way to interact with learners without being too overpowering.

7.The Tutor : The teacher acts as a coach when students are involved in project work or self-study. The teacher provides advice and guidance and helps students clarify ideas and limit tasks.

This role can be a great way to pay individual attention to a student. It can also allow a teacher to tailor make a course to fit specific student needs. However, it can also lead to a student becoming too dependent or even too comfortable with one teacher and one method or style of teaching.

How to Write a Resume Career Summary

January 10, 2015


Take these six steps to create a winning career summary:

1. Conduct Research on Your Ideal Job

The more closely you can target your profile to the employer’s needs, the better your results will be. Start by searching jobs for your ideal position. Compare the ads and write a list of common job requirements and preferred qualifications.

2. Assess Your Credentials

Based on your research, how do you measure up? How would you help potential employers meet their goals? Besides the qualifications described, do you offer any added bonus? If you are lacking in one area, do you make up for it with other credentials?

If you are having a hard time assessing your skills, get help. Ask your colleagues, instructors and supervisors what they see as your key qualifications. Review your performance evaluations. What do others say about the quality of your work? Then write a list of your top five marketable credentials.

3. Relay the Value You Bring to the Table

The next step is to weave your top credentials into your summary. Keep in mind that the summary helps the hiring manager determine if you should be called for an interview. Include a synopsis of your career achievements to show that your dedication to results is transferable to your next employer. Explain how you would help solve their problems. Ask yourself, “How will the employer benefit from hiring me?”

4. Add a Headline

A headline, or resume title, hooks your readers and compels them to continue reading. A headline should include your job target as well as the main benefit of hiring you.

5. Focus on Your Goal

The most effective summaries target one career goal. If you have more than one possible objective, consider drafting different versions. Your profile can also include a bulleted “Key Skills” section, which provides an easy-to-read listing of your core capabilities.

6. Proofread, Refine and Perfect

First impressions are lasting impressions. Is your summary persuasive and free of errors? Is your tone appropriate for your career field? Avoid empty, generalized statements such as “excellent communication skills.”


Activity Ideas to Learn Days Of The Week with Lyrics and Actions

January 9, 2015


1. Make up your own gestures for each day of the week. Start by talking with the children about some of their daily activities. Many of your students may have soccer practice, piano practice, English class, etc. throughout the week. Select one activity and associated gesture to go with each day. Then, do the gestures as you sing.

2.Have the students point to the days on the class calendar as you sing. Or, each class session, select a different student be the song leader and point to the days of the week on the calendar.

3.Stop the music during the song and see if the children can say the next day. Or tell the kids to do different actions when they hear different days. For example, stand up on “Tuesday” and sit down on “Friday.” These activities help students internalize the order of the days of the week.

4.If you are using the song in class, assign each student a different day of the week and give them the flashcard for that day. As the song plays, each student must stand up and sing his/her day at the right time. After singing the song, mix the students up and then have them put themselves in the correct order, starting from Sunday. Mix them up again, have them trade flashcards, and then have them put themselves in the correct order again, this time starting from Monday.

This is one vocabulary topic that benefits from repetition, a song is a great way to reinforce this language. Be sure to play it often.

How to Teach the Multiplication Tables to Your Child

January 8, 2015


Know the tricks

Luckily, math is full of shortcuts. Teach your child these tricks and they’ll be impressed and, hopefully, quite thankful :

• To memorize the 9’s tables, use your fingers. Spread them all in front of you, palms down. For 9×1, put your left pinky down. What do you have showing? 9. For 9×2, put your second finger down (the left ring finger). What do you have showing? 1 and 8. 18. Put your third finger down–2 and 7. 27. This works all the way up to 9×9 (8 and 1. 81).

• If your child can double a number, the x4’s will be easy. Just double the number and double it again! Take 6×4. 6 doubled is 12. 12 doubled is 24. 6×4=24. Use this to make the answer become automatic. Again, this is about memorizing.

• To multiply anything by 11, just duplicate the number. 3×11=33. Two 3’s. 4×11=44. Two 4’s. The answer is in the question, just twice.

• If your child is a math genius, teach them this trick to multiply 11’s by double digit numbers. Take the double digit number and split it up. 11 by 17 is 1_7. Add the double digit number together and put it in the middle: 187.

Make it fun.

Have your child make a set of flash cards. Write the problem, like 4 x 9, on the front and the answer, 36, on the back. The act of writing out the multiples will provide another repetition/reinforcement. Use a timer to see how many cards they can go through in a minute. Can they beat that score tomorrow?

You could also do this with a blank chart. That’s an easy way to monitor which ones they’re struggling with.

Grab a deck of cards. You each get half the deck to place face down in front of you–don’t look at the cards! Each player flips their first card simultaneously–the first person to say the answer based on the two numbers gets both cards (the object of the game is to win them all). If the two of you flip a 7 and a 5, the answer to shout out is 35. For Jacks, Queens, and Kings, you can use 11, 12, and 13, use them as 0’s, or take them out entirely.

Say a number, like 30. Can they list all of the possible combinations that multiply to it? 5 x 6? 3 x 10?

Say a number, then ask for the next multiple. For example, start at 30 and ask for the next multiple of 6. Or start at 18 and ask for the next two multiples of 9. You could even start at 22 and ask for the next multiple of 4, even though 22 is not a multiple of 4. Be tricky once they have it.

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