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Launching PracTutor

What started as a seed of an idea over a coffee table discussion about 16 months ago have taken the shape of a product.  We discussed about the problems the elementary and middle school kids faced in Math and English and how there were so many yet so few effective websites out there to address this problem.

I am so thrilled today to share the first version of PracTutor – www.practutor.com to address some of those problems and give the power back to the parents.  We spent about 16 months discussing, ideating, developing, fine tuning and making sure everything worked and finally seeing it live feels like magic.

Its like becoming a father after 16 months of anxiousness.  However, like all father know, this is just the beginning. I still have to ensure my baby learns to walk, speak the first words and then run and grow.  I would need every single users’ support to ensure this happens. So please call me (502-400-9374), email me (hardik@practutor.com), send me feedback, concerns, questions, likes, comments, tweets whatever to make PracTutor grow.

I would like to thank the entire team who made this happen.

We opened PracTutor to the world on June 2, 19.32 hours and since then we have got 5219 people registering on PracTutor which feels very good.  I would like to have continuous feedback from you to ensure we make it better to suit your needs and make it the perfect solution to help you and the kids.  If you think it can benefit others, please share it with your friends.

I want to ensure that your experience with PracTutor is as awesome as was ours while developing it.

Thank You,
Hardik Parikh
Proud parent of PracTutor

Conceptual strategies to change the way students express learning.

Increasing student confidence and being a motivator is a core and a vital part in being an honest teacher. The high of teaching is the amount of respect you get from your students. It is each teachers dream to see his student be a great achiever.  The aim of this article is to explore new method for students to learn better. Effective learning ensures dialogue and communication and must constantly flow between teacher-student paradigms.

Advances in each scientific discipline and knowledge technology have the potential to remodel education and coaching in ways that was previously impossible. If students aren’t encouraged to be told then they’re possibly not concerned within the lesson and if they’re not concerned within the lesson they’re rather more likely to cause management issues within the class rooms.

Therefore, it’s essential for academics to extend student motivation to be told and also the best method to change the way our students express learning so as to spark student interest at the initial stage of each lesson.

Below given are methods for motivating students to change their learning strategies:

1. Use essential thinking queries; the good factor regarding using these varieties of queries is that they do not essentially have a right or wrong answer thereby inspiring students to express their own opinions.

2. Use music to show ~ Music is one in all the foremost underrated learning tools and could be a good way to spark student interest. As an example, once teaching a lesson on the traffic a teacher of mine introduced the subject by enjoying the Marley songs “Buffalo Soldier” and “Catch a Fire”. It has till date stuck with me.

3. Use video ~ Video is one of the most misunderstood teaching tools and is commonly abused. However, if used properly video may be an excellent tool to increase student. The secret is to use short clips from movies and documentaries at the starting of lessons instead. Hollywood movies form great example for this, however you’ll use documentaries, famous speeches and entertainment to show a style of literature.

4. Associate what students learn compared to what’s occurring within the “real world”. This can clearly accomplish some subjects than others, however it may be done. Students ought to grasp “why” they’re learning one thing.

5. Associate what students learn to what is vital to them. The trick here is to urge to your students to grasp and encourage them to study more and more topics of their own interest.

6. Use technology, not just for the sake being modern but realize and apply it to save time and increase efficiency. Do measure application of technology at regular intervals. The periodic assessment will help you ensure that it actually does solve your purpose or the amount of revision required for better output.

7. Educators should specialize in new competencies and should be constantly researching as well as testing their research in practical markets. Changes at such huge magnitude need accepted wisdom of education both in terms of the syllabus as well as within the development of pedagogies.

The constant researches will insure that each student acquires the high level of skills required to thrive within the dynamic world of the twenty first century.

8. Technological fluency needs to be a basic ability. As assured user of technology, we must be able to use computers and internet to derive information and as we use to from a library at our schools. Technology is setting new records each day and is progressing and penetrating deep in even third world countries. To get our students to be techno-savvy is one of our greatest achievements as well as a constant challenge at Education Avenue.

9. Education should prepare students not just for jobs but for real excellence. If our challenges are restricted to getting ready folks for the styles of jobs accessible these days, we’d still have plenty of labor to try to. Honestly our challenge as an educator is far more bigger and it is our genuine duty to ensure that our students actually adapt to the challenge of changing times.

How to Develop Vocabulary in Students?

When it comes to expressing ourselves, it is the fluency over our language of expression that makes the major difference whether what we are saying is perfectly put across or not. And so as to interact with maximum precision, it’s quintessential that our vocabulary is strong.  Most of us learn the basic words and expressions of our mother tongue simply by listening to the interaction between our elders and – others in our circle. So, from a tender age unknowingly we start collecting the treasure of words in the chest of our memory.

During our student life we are exposed to better set of words and our vocabulary increases further. Even though, a teacher teaches all the students in the same manner, there are very few who really can recall the right word during communication. And when you fail to construct a proper meaningful sentence due to lack of vocabulary, you lose confidence to speak amongst your friends and social circles. If this problem is not tackled at the right time, then it can continue to overshadow your performance all through your career making you take a back step every time its time to confront any issue publicly or in a group.

That is the reason, why, parents and teachers together should find ways of enhancing the vocabulary of students and encourage them to put in more efforts to learn better words through direct or indirect techniques. Reading and writing are the rudimentary steps which can be followed on regular basis to increase the proficiency of a kid in a particular language.

One of the best ways is making the kids read a particular story or a comprehension and make them rewrite the whole thing in their own words. This way you can evaluate how much they have understood through reading and how effectively they can express their knowledge. Organize regular essay or letter writing sessions to inculcate writing habit in the kids right from young age and make them read their written work in front of everyone to build confidence. Regular writing and reading aloud contribute in enhancing the prowess of a kid in that particular language. During these practice sessions a teacher can clearly analyze the drawbacks of the students including their vocabulary strength and accordingly take decisive steps to help them increase their skills.  Stated below are some techniques teachers can follow these are highly effective and remain with the students as a perpetual habit. They also help in contribution to the overall growth of a child. With personal experience, I would surely recommend these steps to be followed by teachers,

  • Ask the students to read a lesson one by one in the class.
  • Tell the students to underline any word which is new to them.
  • Now, ask the students to find the meaning/ synonym of the words and also its antonym as a home-work and advise them to go through the thesaurus for better understanding of its presentation and placement in the sentences and phrases.
  • The next day ask the students to write sentences using the difficult words,  their two synonyms and antonyms.

This way, the students are introduced to new words. If, during each lesson students find at least five difficult words, their vocabulary can be increased by 25, by the time you end teaching the entire lesson.  You can follow the same technique for teaching/ learning all different languages as well.

However, just increasing word knowledge is not enough. Students should also know how the same word can be used differently depending upon sentences. For example, when you say ‘God blessed me’ (here, blessed is used as a verb), while when you say ‘I am the blessed (ble-ssed) one’ (here, blessed is used as a noun).. For proper diction and pronunciation one should take help of audio CDs and teach the kids the basics of phonetics. Only then   he will be able to speak confidently in the public.