Building Blocks of Science, a New Generation of Sky Watchers

Building Blocks of Science, a New Generation of Sky Watchers

Building Blocks of Science, a New Generation of Sky Watchers

What does your child want to be when he/she grows up? Momma, I want to be an astronaut and go to space, said one of the young dreamers. Children are fascinated by stars, space, rockets, and everything celestial. But they barely understand how the movement of planets affect day & night, changes in weather and how seasons pass by. Therefore, Carolina is on a mission to make Sky Watching a passion, through its Building Blocks of Science Sky Watchers 3D Kit.

The Sky Watcher Kit is an essential tool in today’s era of rapid technology. This kit comes with all the necessary learning aids required by a student to understand important concept of the universe. It not only helps students with the required knowledge, but also engages them in a fun learning experience to connect theoretical explanations to practical lessons. The kit is designed by taking all the considerations from the basics of space science to the application of learning; hence it is beneficial for all students in elementary school and beyond. Let us help you unravel the kit, to understand the essence of it.

Components of the Kit

The components that make the kit handy include; 24 chalks, assorted colors, 2 bulbs of 60 Watts, strings, super twine 200ft roll, sixteen rubber bands, a classroom set and a solar system. All these components make the kit application-oriented.

The Sky Watchers kit is promoted across IB Schools in Middle East, including Dubai, GCC, within the UAE. The kit opens-up to a teacher’s guide, miniature space models, and equipment for a class of 24 students. During their learning period, students are advised to observe the sun, moon, earth and solar system and spot the difference between them.

The behavior of each of the 8 planets and how it affects the other phenomena in space is explained using the accurately designed mini models and demonstrations. Some of the most important concepts such as; the Earth’s rotation on its axis, its revolution around the Sun, and its tilt relative to the Sun, is demonstrable, thanks to the Carolina’s Sky Watchers Kit.

Children also learn about the effects of the Sun’s light and heat on Earth, trace their own shadow, and understand the difference in temperatures in sunlight & in shaded spaces. Students study the Moon and identify the monthly pattern of its phases. Finally, they synthesize information about the planets and their relative sizes, to construct their own solar system models to take the first leap into Space Science.

Learnings of Sky Watchers Kit

Starting with the basic concepts of rotation & revolution, and then advancing into more difficult topics like; light, heat and gravity, the course encompasses all the learnings into one kit. It touches upon important Science and Engineering practices, crosscutting concepts like patterns, common language arts, mathematics and habits of mind. The major part of the kit deals with understanding the universe, energy transformation, the motion, change and scale of the solar system using Sky Watcher Kit.

Here’s a topic-wise summary of your reference:

  • Becoming curious observers, students study the sky during the day and at night, and learn to identify stars, planets, clouds, sun, and moon.
  • Using demonstrations students understand Earth’s rotation on its axis and the phenomena of day and night.
  • With the help of strings and the planet Earth’s model, children figure out how revolution around the sun affects seasons on our planet. This is followed by an outdoor activity, where students use a chalk to map the functioning of the solar system and the position of Sun and Earth.
  • The amusing concept of how shadows are formed can also be understood using this kit. The effect of heat and light in relation to the Sun’s position on Earth due to the planet’s rotation is understood via experimentation. Children set up a sphere model outdoors at a spot that is dominated by the rays of the sun and analyse the shadow’s position over the course of the day. Later, students discuss how shadows change direction depending upon the angle of sunlight falling on the Earth’s surface.
  • Children observe the waning and a waxing of the Moon over time and understand the pattern through the Moon’s phases. A comparison between full moon and new moon is discussed in class using the kit. Students start to understand the movement of the moon in relation to Earth and Sun using the 3D models made available in the kit.

The Sky Watcher Kit is a modern tool designed to make today’s generation learn about Solar System. Students are intrigued by hands-on techniques and the approach of application-based learning creates a conducive learning environment for them. While doing experiments and project work activities classmates are encouraged to interact with their peers and discuss, thereby improving their communication skills. To get clarity and make things easy for students in their learning process, the teacher’s guide is also provided. We conclude by wishing our young Sky Watchers a bright future, as bright as the shiniest shining star!

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Simple Practices to Improve your Child’s Reading Fluency

Simple Practices to Improve your Child’s Reading Fluency

Simple Practices to Improve your Child’s Reading Fluency

Does your child fumble when asked to read? Are you able to comprehend the mumbling words & sentences your little emergent readers utter when attempting to read aloud from a book? Well, if you have been trying to improve your child’s reading fluency, but not been too successful with it, we are here to help.

What exactly is reading fluency?

Reading fluency is when the child is able to read accurately, using proper pronunciations without faltering in the middle. Fluent reading feels smooth, almost as if someone is conversing with you. A fluent reader understands punctuations and knows where to pause for a bit, before resuming the sentence. With some practice, the child even learns to add expressions and voice modulations to reading. This stage is reached only when the readers are able to comprehend the meaning of words and make sense of the printed characters before them. As they read, they need to be able to apply their existing knowledge and concentrate on the comprehension. Even the pace at which the child reads is important to note. Reading too fast or too slow won’t solve the purpose. So here are a few tips that can help you as parents of educators to improve upon the child’s reading skills

Here are a few tips to help your child read more fluently:

Read Aloud to Your Child Daily

We are aware that children mimic adults and hence one needs to be at their best behavior especially when your child is watching you. The same is applicable for reading. When you read with fluency, the child observes and tries to copy the same. Chalk down a schedule and allocate 15 to 30 minutes each day to sit by your young reader and read a story aloud. As you read aloud the child picks up new words, thereby increasing his vocabulary. And as the pool bank of words increases, the child will be in a better position to read accurately sooner than others. To make this daily reading session more participative, take turns to read. Maybe you could read a page aloud, and then ask the kiddo to read the next page aloud. Parents can use the Reading Eggs App or subscribe to physical copies which features numerous kid-friendly books and increase the level of difficulty as per the pace of the child. This multi award-winning app also features a read aloud option where the audio recording helps children hear fluent, expressive reading.

Allow the Reader to Choose a Book

No one likes to read a novel that is of interest to them! Similarly, children have their set of preferences. Some like to read about adventure, some like stories that teach a moral, while others like to escape into fantasy land. Give the child a book he wants to read and you will notice how engrossed he gets. The Reading Eggs App and book packs spoils them for choice, as there are dozens & dozens of age-appropriate books which capture the reader’s interests right away. Do not worry about the authenticity, as many Schools across the Middle East including UAE, Dubai, and GCC, recommend Reading Eggs to parents to improve their student’s reading skills. Developing an interest in a particular genre at first, may positively impact the child’s interest in learning to read correctly.

Use Echo Reading Technique

Echo reading is a technique where you read a sentence aloud to you child and then ask him to read it for you. Run your finger under the word that you are reading, so that your child replicates the same and develops a habit to do so. Start with short sentences, and then proceed to echo read paragraphs. While you read ensure to take pauses wherever required, and use correct expressions, because this is what your child is going to pick up. The way you read is creating a foundation for your child, so make sure it is a strong one.

Keep the Excitement Alive

Anything that becomes mundane, is no fun! Even reading can become boring at some point. So, bring about variation by introducing games and activities to spice things up. For example; If you are using the Reading Eggs App, the child can be asked to solve a word puzzles, challenge their classmates by competing over educational games, and solve worksheets. By this the child develops confidence and proactiveness. Another recommendation is to record the voice of the child as he practices reading and then play it aloud to him. This helps the student become aware of his own glitches and the adult can recommend suggestions to improve the level of fluency.

Practice and Repetition is Key

Practice makes a man perfect, and definitely does greater good for kids! Fluency comes with practice and the most fluent readers weren’t born in a day. So, do not skip even a day of reading. Encourage your child to read sign boards when you go out with him. Get them to help you shop at a supermarket, by asking him to read the label on various products. When reading from a book, practice reading the same passage twice-trice or even ten times, until your kid gets comfortable reading it without any breaks. The ultimate goal is to make reading as effortless as possible.

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WEBINAR : Making Maths marvelous with Just2Easy

WEBINAR : Making Maths marvelous with Just2Easy

Webinar: Making Maths marvelous with Just2Easy

If you are teaching maths, you may have used a wide range apps, resources and activities grabbed from all over the web. Don’t miss out on this webinar as we will explore how so many features in one easy to use platform provides most tools and delivers huge benefits for teaching and learning maths, remotely and in class.

Using a SAMR model of integrating technology we will explore just2easy’s maths tools from easy and effective to advanced and astounding, covering K-8 and beyond.

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Team Building Activities with LEGO®

Team Building Activities with LEGO®

Team Building Activities with LEGO®

What is LEGO® to begin with? The LEGO® Group is a Danish toy production company best known for the manufacture of LEGO® brand toys. They consist of multi coloured interlocking plastic bricks which can be assembled to construct figurines called as minifigures, well known monuments and iconic structures and various other objects. The brick pieces have a unique connective grip. LEGO® products are considered to be safe and durable. Playing with LEGO® offer numerous benefits to young minds. It sharpens the brains of children and adults alike. It benefits children in the areas of Math and it enhances their motor skills and early engineering skills. It increases their ability to move quickly and easily and strengthen their finger grip along with hand and eye coordination. Children love playing with these LEGO® because it unleashes their adventurous side. Schools across Middle East, UAE, Dubai, and GCC promote working with LEGO® and even have dedicated after-school classes where different aspects of the curriculum are integrated with LEGO® lessons. It lets them imagine and experiment and build on their ideas. They learn how to cooperate and solve the puzzle with team building which brings us to the main topic as to what team building activities can be performed with LEGO®. Let’s look at some of them below.

Tower-up Challenge

We have all at some point in time enjoyed constructing tall towers using colourful LEGO® bricks. This time we give it a twist. Divide children into 2-3 groups and allocate 5-7 minutes for them to creatively build a LEGO® tower. The team that manages to construct an impressively tall structure wins the challenge. However, the condition is also that the LEGO® Bricks should withstand the test of time. It should not collapse under 1 minute. Different criteria for judging can be applied. For example; points for creativity and team work makes it even more competitive for children to push themselves to use their skills effectively. The same activity can be done by asking children to blindfold themselves to add a level of excitement.

Speed Racer Competition

Children are amused by fast cars and often pretend to be race-car drivers by dragging their toy car swiftly all over the house. LEGO® presents an opportunity to construct, design, and power vehicles that fascinate young learners. The speed racer competition is a chance for every thrill seeker to unleash their creativity and put their capabilities to test. The LEGO® MINDSTORMS® EV3 kit sets the right pace for some serious competition. Divide the class into two teams with 3-5 children per group. The teams need to device a strategy to construct a vehicle from scratch and device a robust coding program to power up the batteries to gain enough speed to beat the other team-mates. Here children are applying principals of force, motion, and energy as well as experimenting with various design engineering concepts & problem-solving techniques. The team-building activity promotes brainstorming of concept & allocation of roles in order to complete the activity within time. A sort of race track is designed and the team whose car finishes fastest wins the competition.

Depict a Fascinating Storyline

Children have vivid imagination and are always looking for an outlet to release emotional catharsis. Their dreams are limitless and at this stage they need to be given every opportunity to display it creatively. Lego® Bricks provide unimaginable prospects so that young learners can wear their construction hats and start to build great things. Do a random chit selection in class and group children in teams. The team can pick a name for themselves like; mighty achievers, or inventive storytellers, etc. Now the team has to present a ‘themed story’ with LEGO® construction toys, something on the lines of an amusement park, playground, or a vacation resort, etc. To materialize ideas, the team delves on different topics, discusses details, and uses imaginative techniques to create and present the ideas in front of the jury. Add an element of fun by making boats sail or swing the ride. The group that displays the most creativity is declared as champion.

These are just a few ideas to promote team spirit and inculcate the habit of working in a task force, much like an office set-up. At early ages children learn to co-operate, be open to ideas, solve problems-together, and share recognition equally. As the saying goes ‘Great things in business are never done by one person. They’re done by a team of people.’

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Secure Payment Gateway for Smart Schools

Secure Payment Gateway for Smart Schools

Secure Payment Gateway for Smart Schools

Education has been able to evolve with the rapid advancements in technology, and that has given birth to a number of smart schools. Now smart schools all across the globe with technology to make the learning experience better and more effective for the students. What if we told you it can be better for the school management and administration as well? Technology can and is making the experience for school management and administrators across the globe and here’s how Next Learning Platform is making it happen.

The Next Learning platform is not just a solution to digitize learning for the students but is a tool to digitize all the school’s operations and processes. The cloud-based solution integrates planning and delivery of teaching content with administrative processes of the school, making it a hassle free and streamlined experience. With the fee management module, Next Learning Platform integrates the payment management also into this great eco-system.

The benefits of it are:

Simplifying payment and ease of setup

Payment gateways have a single job to do; delivery error free operation. Since the Next Learning Platform is a complete ecosystem, the payment gateway through the fee management module is able to integrate well with existing systems and operations. Giving the seamless transition and operation a payment gateway requires. The Next Learning Platform also provides end-to-end assistance and guidance in setting up and management of the module. Digitising payment of fees makes it a hassle-free experience for the guardians by providing a one-stop solution, while also being a tool for the administration for its ease of usage and management.

Easy to use for users

The interface of the Next Learning Platform is designed to be user friendly. With the cloud-based system that can be accessed at the user’s convenience at any time and place, the platform creates a seamless user experience for payment and fee management. This ensures a high value experience and eliminates any fraudulent or malicious activities. The tracking mechanisms created for the platform also help keep a continuous track on the fees and its management of the payment.


A digitized payment platform allows a greater degree of transparency in the payment mechanisms of the smart school and enables the institution to maintain its standards of conduct. All the parties involved in the institutions are able to be involved with greater efficiency when such a degree of transparency is maintained. Since all transactions are linked to a unique ID, that is further linked to transaction details and other information regarding the fee and payment mechanisms. The same unique ID is also used to create a receipt for the payments made, completing the cycle of the transaction, all while maintaining a high degree of transparency.

Access to guardians or parents

The digitized system ensures there are multiple login accesses to the system, which I turn gives parents and guardians of the students direct access. This role-based access system allows the parent or guardian to make payments seamlessly on the same platform, either via the website or even the mobile application.

Data security

The encrypted payment gateway makes fee payment safe. The PCI DSS compliant gateway ensures the industry standards of payment gateway is maintained. Bringing the school’s administration to the safest alternative in online payments.

The Next Learning Platform’s payment gateway integration in school management software enables the school to be completely digitized. Right from content delivery to management and even fee management, all of it gets taken care of with the software. With the current global situation, several schools across the Middle East have digitized in places like Dubai, GCC, and other cities in the UAE.

Having an integrated payment system doesn’t just make the operations easier but also makes the experience friendly for the parents and guardians of the students of a smart school. In turn helping the school be more technology driven and more up to date with the current times.

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