# Pre-math Activities for Pre-schoolers

Math! Is it too complicated a subject? Well actually not if the seed is ingrained in kids early on by parents from their pre-school age. When taught in a fun environment using exciting play activities and hands on techniques, it enhances their cognitive and motor skills. It shapes their young minds and gets them thinking. They develop the confidence to accomplish tasks. They learn and grasp tiny yet important concepts in an interesting way. Mentioned below are some enjoyable pre-math activities for your children. So, whether you enroll them in a class or incorporate these engaging games at home, your child is going to love it and so will you, when you see them perform.

### Match the Shapes

Kids get a chance to work with shapes in assorted colors. The activity is executed by using a hexagon framework which has shapes of triangles and diamonds inside the main outline of the hexagon. They will fit the pieces of the triangles and diamonds into its empty shape brackets and slots to fill and complete the hexagon. Mathseeds too has a fun way of teaching patterns. Hop along with dancing and singing characters to find & match patterns and shapes.

### Matching Objects with Numbers

This is one of the most popular and loved activities among pre-schoolers. They first get to count the number of objects present in a given box and then declare the numeral. So, if there are 8 balls in a box, they count them and then match it to numeral 8 given in the chart of numbers. If your child gets bored of matching objects physically, an alternative is to download the Mathseeds App and practice the same. It has become quite popular in the Middle East, UAE, Dubai, and GCC regions.

### Fill and Empty Cups

This one is an interesting activity that requires pre-schoolers to multitask. So empty cups numbered from 1 to 10 are placed on the table in random order. With a bottle of water handy with them, on instruction they would be made to fill water in the cups. So, pour water in cup 3, next in 7 and so on. The exciting part here is another simultaneous instruction is whether to fill the cup full or half. In between they would be asked to pour water from any filled numbered cup into an empty cup. So, it’s constantly challenging them to identify numbers, remember instructions and gauge measurements.

### Sing Number Songs

Kids are taught to memorize and sing math songs in this interactive activity involving numbers but definitely not without actions and it gets even interesting when visuals and objects are teamed up to match the lyrics and make it an entertaining learning experience.

### Labelling with Numbers

This is an activity where pre-schoolers are required to count objects placed in various cartons. They are then made to tear out numbered stickers and stick the corresponding number with the right carton matching the number of items. Then post the sticking of numbered labels they would write the word of the numeral next to the label and complete the carton labelling.

### Number Jumble

Where most activities usually aim to match the numbers with the same denomination of objects, this task is amazingly tweaked for kids. So, 5 jars are kept in a row, numbered from 1 to 5. A pack of 15 straws are given to the kid. The teacher / parent then calls out numbers in no particular order. They would then ask them to put 1 straw in Jar 6 and 2 straws in Jar 5 and so on. This number jumble focuses them to count, identify and match even mixed match number combinations.

### Tally Marks Fun

Learning to count through tally marks is introduced to kids in this innovative activity. Using chalk or pen to draw plain sticks would be quite mundane but when their favorite fruity lollypop sticks are added to demonstrate this concept, learning does become delightful.

### Mixed Bag

This is an activity involving multiple little objects placed in a bag in various colours and denominations such as buttons, bows, hair ties and clips. Upon instruction the kid would accordingly have to remove the said item correctly based on denomination and colour. So, it could be removing 2 white bow ties or remove 1 pink clip and so on.

### Number Dessert Mania

This lovely activity involves pre-schoolers to sort and pack already baked chocolate cookies that are present in shapes of oval, circle and square. So, they are assigned to make sets of 9 cookies per box with 3 cookies of each of the 3 shapes. So, count cookies, sort the shapes and pack them with colorful ribbons tied to boxes and at the end of the class, take a box home and share the chocolate cookies with family.

Involving children in such playful tasks naturally help them understand beginner Math with ease and thereby establishes their foundation to achieve larger goals in life.

# Why Harp about Digital Assessment Tools in 2021

Technology has changed the way we do everything. How we communicate, how we experience the world and even how we learn. Markezy is a digital platform that allows educators to create and grade assessments for students. And never has the need for such a functional tool been this high. With remote education picking up pace and even replacing offline schools in some cases, the other parts of education too have to move online.

Unlike physical assessments, digital ones are quick, convenient and far more precise. And with digital assessments educators can ensure the students are tested and well checked on their abilities and knowledge even with remote learning.

## Ease of use

One of the primary advantages of Digital assessments is the ease of use. Being digitized the assessment can be created, reviewed and graded, whenever and wherever convenient to the educator. The digitization also ensures that all tests are accounted for and fairly graded. Another benefit of having digitized assessments is completely eliminating paperwork. As done in several industries across the world, reducing paper usage is not only a need but a responsibility to be carried out by organizations. Digitizing thus is a much greener option and helps eliminate the cumbersome paperwork.

## Accuracy

Digitization naturally also makes the scoring of the assessments accurate and easy. The computerized process evaluates based on parameters designed by the educator themselves, thus allowing a great deal of modularity.

## Various test patterns

With the digital way educators can also include various types of scoring methods with ease. Multiple choice questions, matching, fill in the blank and more. This range of test patterns enables an overall assessment from the scores, which is calculated automatically. The automatic calculation takes away the possibility of wrong grading and scores, thus making the digital assessment far more accurate than regular ones.

## Simplicity

Educators across the world have been adopting digitized assessments due to their nature of being simple and direct. With countries like the UK, USA and UAE adopting technology into education, digitization is the easiest and most effective solution forward.

## Improved learning outcomes for students

As beneficial for the educators, digitized assessments are great help to learners as well. They improve learning outcomes by delivering accurate scores on subjects and assessments types that allow for a fair judgement and analysis of students’ knowledge in the subject. The students are better able to improve on sections of the course they lagged behind on, by receiving feedback from the assessments. This feedback being objective, allows them to take measures and get better at subjects and programs altogether.

# Convenience of review for student

Digitization also makes sure that all course work is in a single place and preserved like it should be. Having access to the entire semester’s worth of work and assignments gives the learner a wider perspective into their course program, and also helps them keep track of their performance and understanding level, thereby promoting self-study and improvement habits. The online portfolio also gives the student a deeper understanding of the course they are in, which helps them achieve the desired goals through it.

# Object insights for students

Another plus side of having digital assessments is that it provides the learner with specific insights into their performance in the curriculum. The feedback received by the learner helps them improve in specific terms and adds a great deal of modularity in the learning process. The insights since based on individual performance are created only to cater to the student, making the experience personalized as well.

As similar to the educator, the learners have access to the assessment and feedback anytime and anywhere they like. This gives the learner an opportunity to improve their performance and create a better learning experience. Quality of learning is also improved with unbiased and objective feedback that in turn improves the quality of education.

Markezy with its tech-based assessments and transformative analytics makes online learning or remote learning as effective, if not more than, the standard education practices. Improving one online assessment after another with usable and functional tools, Markezy aims at making the education experience better in places where remote learning is already on the rise, such as North- America, the Middle East and Asia Pacific

# Early Literacy Fun Activities for Toddlers and Preschoolers

We have heard the saying; practice makes a man perfect. In early childhood years, ongoing repetition is the foundation for learning. Repetition helps to improves confidence, reinforces learning, and increases the fluency of the child.

At the preschool stage, students learn to speak, read and write. Educators and parents must take every opportunity to develop the child’s language skills in order to help him communicate his thoughts & feelings better.

Complementing preschool studies with fun & games at home is one of the most effective ways of practicing letter sounds, words, syllabus, and much more.

No matter what time of the day it is, your little one will never refuse a game or two. Enlisted here are simple early literacy games that you can design for your children at home without much hassle and get started right away!

## Flip Over Cards

Select about five to ten words from a book that your child has just read on the Kutubee app. Write down each word on a piece of card paper and arrange them neatly in a row with the word hidden under. The child flips two cards and reads the words on them. He decides whether the words match or are they different. Continue this activity until the child finds a pair to each of the words. This game is great to boost memory power and improve recognition of word skills.

## Sort as per the Letter Sounds

Choose a few letter sounds and write them down on separate flashcards. Write down 5 words along with its corresponding picture, to match each letter sound. Jumble the flashcards and ask the child to sort the words that belong to a particular letter sound. This increases the child’s phonemic awareness as he places an ‘arrow’ card under the /a/ sound.

## Rhyming Word Game

Rhyming is an important skill to master for reading. Words like ‘cat’, ‘pat’ and ‘rat’ or ‘cook’, ‘look’ and ‘hook’ can be identified under one rhyming family. The parent can use scrabble pieces and arrange them to form a word. The rhyming sound can be separated from the rest of the word by spacing the pieces of scrabble blocks. For example: J – UMP | L- UMP | B – UMP or L – OVE | D- OVE | GL – OVE. The child follows the pattern and constructs similar words that fall under the word families. This activity will positively lead to reading and writing success. You can also use fill in the blank sentences, such as; The __ is fat. The child fills the blank with rhyming words like ‘cat’ or ‘rat’.

## Syllable Counting Game

Syllables are nothing but breaking down the word into ‘chunks’ to help the child pronounce the word correctly and later spell it appropriately. Display a few words from a storybook he has just read on the Kutubee app on a whiteboard and ask the child to break it up as per the syllable. Some words have only one syllable and others may have up to three in them. The words ‘took’ and ‘book’ are examples of single syllable. While words such as; ‘banana’ – ‘ba/na/na’ or ‘bicycle’ – ‘bi/cy/cle’ have three syllables. Play a clapping game with your child and clap out every syllable in the word. In the word ‘picnic’, clap once on ‘pic’ and then clap again while pronouncing ‘nic’. Once the child gains confidence, ask him to look around, shout out words and count the syllables by playing the clapping game.

## Magic Letter Tracing

Anything that appears and disappears is magic! How about a letter appearing and disappearing in a tray full of ‘magic sand’? This makes for a great pre-writing activity. The toddler takes a while to develop the ‘pincer grip’ by which he can hold a crayon or a pencil in hand. These fine motor skills slowly start evolving as the child practices writing ‘letters’ in sand or salt and then running a finger over it multiple times to practice the pattern.

So, are you ready to utilize your little one’s energy and leverage it by making ‘play time’ a fun-filled learning experience?

# LEGO® Education SPIKE™ Prime Set: A Must-Have Kit for Every Middle School Student

Being in middle school means learning to become more confident and mature individuals. Most middle schoolers are between the ages of 11 to 15 years and would be in sixth, seventh or eighth grades. These young adults are constantly growing, each at their own pace, both physically and emotionally.

There are certain skills that a middle school grader is expected to develop to ready themselves for the complexities of the 21st century world. Some of the cognitive milestones that are achievable in this age bracket are:

• Improved decision-making skills
• Enhanced reasoning capacity
• Effective problem-solving
• power Constructive creativity

## Tapping the developmental skills of a middle school students

Incorporating the STEAM system of learning, Lego® Education introduces the SPIKE™ Prime Set which is go-to kit for every 6th to 8th grader. Students always seek newer opportunities and learning techniques to sharpen their skills. It is every educator’s prerogative to provide ample hands-on project-work opportunities to encourage the students to use their creativity and imagination.

The classroom is like a playground where the foundation of a great future is anchored. When the playground is powered by the right tools such as the SPIKE™ Prime Set, it develops a pathway for correct attitudes and behaviors needed to be successful individuals in future.

## Brining Ingenuity to Classrooms

Ingenuity means being clever and original. We are aware that products which are innovative, sell faster in the market. So why not ask our young adults to be inventive and design their own product solutions by using the LEGO® Education SPIKE™ Prime Set.

With every unboxing, students discover a whole array of possibilities with the multipurpose LEGO® bricks, easy programmable features, multi-port hub, and simple drag-drop coding language based on Scratch.

Put on your dancing shoes and get ready for a dance-off. Something as cool as a dancing robot can be built from basics in merely a 45-minute session by the students from the SPIKE™ Prime Set.

If you think being a parent you have the right to mess with your teen’s belongings, you might want to think again. These mighty geniuses are busy constructing their own ‘safety vault’ and it’s almost impossible to crack-open the treasure by figuring-out the correct ‘secret code’.

By getting an opportunity to design, code, and market products, teens learn to think critically, analyze data, and solve complex problems with real world relevance.

## The All In One Box

The SPIKE™ Prime Set comes in an attractive box which comprises the following hardware and software:

Programmable Smart Hub

At the heart of the SPIKE™ Prime system comes a brick shaped programmable smart hub with rechargeable battery life. It is powered with 6 input/output ports, 5×5 light matrix, Bluetooth connectivity, a speaker, and 6-axis gyro.

Highly accurate Motors and Sensors

Children get together and brainstorm on what model of robot, or which dynamic device, do they wish to curate with the help of high-quality motors and sensors accompanied by the colorful LEGO building elements.

The new and improved set includes 500 vividly colorful LEGO Technic elements. The 3×3 frame is an excellent spacing element and permits a smooth change in the direction of the build, such that students spend less time constructing and more time learning.

Storage Box and Sorting Trays

Wise men say, there is a place for everything and everything must be in its place. To keep each component of the SPIKE™ Prime Set safe in its allocated place, the kit comes with a sturdy storage box and sorting trays, so that one doesn’t have to play a game of hide-and-seek just before starting with the project.

## Making the right start

• Students learn to code with an easy drag-and-drop coding feature based on the Scratch programming language, used by millions of children around the world.
• Effective STEAM learning is incorporated in a 45-minute session, with focus on Engineering and Computer Science.
• The essentials debugging is important for the success of any project. Students learn to fix the bug and move ahead with the planned strategy without hesitation.

The well-structured online lesson plans and interactive support materials, aid educators to deliver planned lessons to students. Learn more about SPIKE™ Prime Set and order your first set delivered to your doorstep in Dubai and all over the Middle East.

# Geography and Cultural Learning in Early Childhood: Children’s Literature

What do you think Geography is? Is it the study of maps? Or is it where you’re taught which water body is called what? While it is both those things, Geography is much more. It is the study and understanding of lands, seas, features, and even people and their interlinking cultures and relationships. Simplified, it is the study of a planet, with all its layers and aspects included.

## Why teach Geography?

In various grades the student would be taught various things about the planet we live on and the planets around us. At a younger age the student would be introduced to the concept of the Globe, a place common to us all and the ways it exists. With increasing grades, students move up to exciting phenomena like weather, topography and culture. Here’s where Geography takes a turn into the social science that it is known as. And the understanding of the subject is important because it gives you a perspective! History gives us lessons to learn from, Physics gives us an understanding of why things happen, and Geography is what quantifies all of it. How big is the world, how does the weather change, how do the sea waves work, how are cultures different, what kind of food do people eat, all of these questions are answered by Geography.

## Teaching Geography in early childhood

Clearly with such vast and varied concepts, Geography should be an advanced subject, right? Wrong! Geography gives us the understanding of the world we live in and who needs that the most? You guessed it! Young children. Learning about the world they live in, animals and environments and very importantly cultures.

## Culture and its understanding in Geography

Like the way art is a form of expression for individuals, culture is the way a society expresses itself. Culture defines how the people live, what the people eat, and why they engage in the activities that they do. Since culture changes with regions it is often attributed to a region like topography or climate. Building this link and understanding in early childhood, ensures that the student builds on a fuller understanding of the world they live in.

## Picture Books for Geography

How do you teach a child anything? By making it fun! And looking at beautiful pictures and drawings is definitely fun for the children, as is stimulating for their minds. Books although seem like a tool of the past, picture books are still as relevant in this time of technology. And here’s why:

Great to look at

Getting the obvious out of the way, picture books are great to look at! Majestic landscapes, interesting diagrams, visual cues to all ideas. They just add an entire dimension to the information in the book.

Easy to follow

The books with pictures tend to have a higher completion rate. You know why? Because they’re not intimidating. The illustrations and images can make the most complex ideas look like simple facts. This also helps the reader retain most of what they’ve read.

Interesting

Picture books are built to add interesting visual representations of ideas presented so they can clearly communicate the concept or the information. For example; it’s great to hear that Mount Everest is the tallest mountain in the world but a diagram comparing it with the world’s tallest buildings seems far more interesting, right?

KutuBee is an interactive platform built to achieve this for the young readers of the new generation. Containing more than 1,500 books KutuBee is set out to use the wonder of picture books with Technology. The books in languages such as English, Arabic and French enjoy a great young audience in the Middle East, especially so in urban regions of Dubai, Abu Dhabi and so on. The books are online renditions of the best of Arabic and International publishing. Bringing the delight of reading with imagination to the young generation.