Some Phonics Rules To Keep in Mind While Teaching

Some Phonics Rules To Keep in Mind While Teaching

Some Phonics Rules To Keep in Mind While Teaching

Phonics is matching the letter sound to the individual letter or group of letters for the child to be able to start the process of reading, and then writing. It is a very systematic approach by which learners are taught to decode the words by simply giving it a glance. We would like to enumerate a few benefits of teaching phonics, which has now become a common practice across K-12 schools in Dubai and other GCC regions. Phonics helps build spelling proficiency, recognition of words becomes easier, vocabulary is enhanced, and students feel more comfortable while conversing and reading in English.

To become an Ace at phonics, there are some basic rules that need to be followed such as;

#1 Short and Long Vowel

Sounds We know that in English there are five vowels ‘a, e, i, o, and u’. Phonics emphasizes on the correct pronunciation of these vowels, based on their position within the word. Seems a bit confusing! Let us illustrate the same with some examples;

When the vowel is usually (not in all cases) preceded by another vowel next to it, it takes the long vowel sound:

/a/ – rain

/e/ – tree

/i/ – ride

/o/ – soap

/u/ – tube

Long vowels resemble the actual letter name of the vowels: A, E, I, O, and U.

When the vowel is generally preceded by a consonant it takes the short vowel sound. Most CVC words follow the short vowel pronunciation pattern.

/a/ – man

/e/ – ten

/i/ – iguana

/o/ – mop

/u/ – sun

As the name suggests the short vowels have a shorter emphasis while reading the word and they are generally shorter sounding than long vowel sounds. It is said to be a monophthong, which means it is a pure vowel sound that has a single auditory note.

#2 Schwa: The Lazy Vowel Sound

You must be wondering what this odd-sounding word Schwa is? Well, Schwa is commonly referred to as the lazy vowel sound. But why does it have a reputation for being lazy? The vowels A, E, I, O, U, and sometimes Y is included in the rule and when the word requires the reader to pronounce the vowel more silently, putting less emphasis, it becomes the Schwa sound. When referring to Schwas you represent it by writing it in such a manner ‘ə’, an upside down ‘e’. Some examples of Schwa sounds are.

salad (the second a is Schwa)

lemon (o is Schwa)

pencil (i as Schwa)

syringe (y as Schwa)

item (e as Schwa)

supply (u as Schwa)

Try pronouncing the word banana (you would notice that while saying the first ‘a’ you are not stressing on it, but while reading the second & third ‘a’ you put more emphasis). This means that the first ‘a’ in ‘banana’ is the Schwa. It goes fast and the mouth doesn’t open widely to spell the Schwa letter. Most K-12 schools in Dubai and other Middle East regions, teach children phonics, as it is a sure-shot approach to building a strong foundation over the language.

#3 The Silent ‘e’ rule

Make things interesting for kids by telling them a story about the ‘magic e’ sound. The ‘e’ is very much there in the word, but no one can use it while reading the word aloud. Why does it magically disappear?

VCE (Vowel – Consonant – E) is a concept when the word ends in E and is preceded by a consonant. Some of the examples are as follows;





When the silent ‘e’ appears, it makes the other vowel in the word before it say its name (long vowel form – letter name).

In Phonics there are 44 sounds, and we can see how important it is to apply the above rules in order to correctly spell words and recognize them easily. Phonics is an evolving extension to language development and the Reading Eggs platform, which is popular in the UAE, is making sure phonics learning is made accessible and fun for all students. Under its Fast Phonics section, children can subscribe to online phonics games and attempt to complete 20 levels, each one getting more profound than the other. Access their full library of videos, books, and activities, which are used even by tutoring class educators in GCC regions. Children love Fast Phonics, so start your mission of educating students, one day at a time!

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Video Advertising is the Future of Digital Marketing

Video Advertising is the Future of Digital Marketing

Video Advertising is the Future of Digital Marketing

While streaming a YouTube video there is a point where the viewer is supposed to be patient and allow the Advertisement to feature, until one can resume watching again. These online video Ads are dominating the digital space, be it in-app ads, social media ads, or Google ads. The consumption of visual content is increasing and according to statistics 85% of people want to access video content, be it for education or entertainment purposes. Keeping in mind the growing preferences, marketers are drawn towards producing stories in video format in lieu of assuming 52% of video content consumption is further shared, thereby increasing brand reach and accessibility. To delve deeper into this topic, continue reading through the pointers enlisted below, before you plan your next big Video Marketing Campaign!

Allow for Creativity to Flow

A one-liner message on a flyer vs. a short video commercial, which option sounds exciting to you? The answer is very apparent, video Ads are always the winner. The scope for storytelling to convey the USPs of a product/service gives marketers an opportunity to create meaningful narratives that captures the interest of viewers and gets them excited to learn further. When people feel emotionally connected, there is a greater chance of recalling the advertisement and perhaps even considering making a purchase decision. There are so many new online tools and software that support professional video editors and motion filmmakers which cuts down the time of conceptualization & execution considerably, thereby giving the opportunity to produce more videos in a shorter duration. The use of VFX (Visual effects), AR (Augmented Reality), and 360-degree video creation gives the users an immersive experience and creates an impression that induces impact. Playing around with fonts, animations, and sound, is so much fun & rewarding.

Widespread Reach

The chances of video content going viral are potentially greater, as we already pointed out that most online netizens prefer content that can easily be streamed. Did you know that YouTube is the most popular (second-largest) search engine in the world and has a widespread reach in UAE across the Middle East? Around 2 billion users are active on YouTube from around the globe, because it is extremely mobile-friendly and people can watch videos while traveling around GCC regions, while multi-tasking at work, or even before bedtime. Such versatility is rare to adopt with TV commercials, billboard Ads, or other traditional forms of marketing. Another interesting fact we would like to draw your attention to is that Facebook users spend 100 million hours watching videos each day. So, if you want to be seen, heard, and recognized, it is a must, to capitalize on video curation.

SEO Friendliness

Although many marketers have started exploring the video format, they are unaware of the importance of SEO that videos can bring in. Marketing managers are often invested only in producing blogs, articles, email newsletters, and WhatsApp content, to score higher on their SEO ranking, forgetting the importance of video Ads. The reason for this maybe that it seems expensive to invest in Video Content. However; that is simply not the case anymore. Even a collegian can create videos within 20 minutes to an hour, without having prior experience, with the help of numerous video-making tools. To make videos SEO-ready, the appropriate keywords, and phrases are to be used, such that when Google crawls through the pages, your video shows up on the first few pages. Even the thumbnail must be carefully chosen by the creative person because as we know it, the first impression is the last one! Incorporating a click-button on the video makes all the difference, to increase CTC and help users navigate to the landing page.

Now that we know why Video content is so important in today’s day and age, wouldn’t it be wise to introduce our school-going children to some techniques of video making, such that it helps them in the future?

Educators and parents in UAE trust TechnoKids, a platform that offers Digital Literacy to K-12 schools, based on STEM curriculum. It is a well-structured tool offering computer training modules to children of different grades, primary, junior, intermediate, and senior, as follows. The upcoming TechnoAd lesson plan is a part of the ‘senior student’ curriculum and familiarized learners with animation and video production. Thereafter, students are expected to complete the project task of creating a real-life video commercial on which they would be evaluated.

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How Worksheets Play A Vital Part in Learning

How Worksheets Play A Vital Part in Learning

How Worksheets Play A Vital Part in Learning

Worksheets are valuable teaching aids that benefit students across different grades. Schools and tutoring classes assign worksheets to students at regular intervals, often immediately after a particular concept is taught, such that they get a chance to put their knowledge to test. Attempting a worksheet provides clarity to teachers on whether learners are on-par with the rest of the class and if otherwise, then, provide extra attention to those who are struggling with studies.

Different Kinds of Worksheets

There is no thumb-rule as to the kind of worksheet that works best for students. It really depends on the grade of the child and the complexity of the subject matter. There are worksheets that are available online and Mathseeds is one such platform that allows teachers to print readymade worksheets for the benefit of the class. If you don’t wish to opt for the pre-designed worksheets, you may choose to prepare one yourself on MS Word.

Labelling Worksheets

Surprisingly, a labeling worksheet is multi-faceted, and not only do kids enjoy labeling, but even senior class students find it handy to remember things like; different parts of the heart & the brain, and also labeling different components of a male and female flower. This kind of worksheet is usually used for Science subjects, and even for Geography. For example; identifying major cities in the Middle East on the region’s political map, or labeling the locations of the Seven Wonders of the World on the Atlas, is part of the deal. When children attempt to label objects their visual memory is used optimally and recalling important information becomes easier.

Multiple-Choice Questions (MCQ) Worksheet:

MCQ or multiple choice questions are fun and seem more like playing a game of quiz. Worksheets that are dedicated to MCQs can judge the student’s confidence and learning capabilities by throwing tricky options that are tough to tell which one’s right from the other. Sometimes, MCQs are more strenuous than essay-type questions, as the likelihood of guesswork doesn’t apply here and there is only one right answer that can earn you marks. MCQ worksheets are suitable for all subjects be it; Math, Science, Social Studies, and even Language. With the advent of digital teaching aids in K-12 schools across Dubai and other parts of the UAE, MCQ worksheets are designed online and children are asked to finish the test by attempting to answer questions from their tabs or laptops, rather than the pen-and-paper format.

Logic Worksheets:

Brain teasers help stimulate the child’s cognition and make them think differently. Problem-solving techniques are not learned from a textbook, but such activities as brain teasers allow children to think out of the box. The deeper you think, the more profound you become. This method also enhances the concentration capacity of students and they start to become more sincere with time. Parents in GCC regions motivate children to sign-up for after-class sessions where ‘an hour’ is dedicated to teaching children logical reasoning. The worksheets may comprise; crossword puzzles, Sudoku, sequential sorting, word riddles, matching & correspondence, probability, and many other interesting activities.

Motor Skills Worksheets:

When children learn to practice their tripod grip they need lots of patience and concentration. To upskill your little toddlers, introduce them to worksheets that have different line-forming patterns. In the beginning, one can start simple with straight line formation, and as they start getting the hang of it, give them the confidence to form zigzag lines and curvatures. Simple exercises such as these come under the pre-writing phase of learning development. Thereafter, writing letters both capital and small on paper become easier, and transitioning to the red and blue book seems no big a deal!

To conclude the blog, we would like to enforce the importance of Worksheets as a teaching aid to students and highlight the numerous benefits that are derived from them. Worksheets train students to become active learners, reinforce concepts, gain confidence, become more apt with time management skills, and develop active independence.

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Counting: Learning the Basics and Adopting Various Techniques To Familiarize Children

Counting: Learning the Basics and Adopting Various Techniques To Familiarize Children

Counting: Learning the Basics and Adopting Various Techniques To Familiarize Children

Parents often complain of having a tough time coping with their children, as they refuse to study math, always giving excuses to drop math classes. To combat the ‘math phobic’ phenomenon, it is vital to have kids love the subject and develop an interest towards it right from the beginning. So as to say, the foundation should be strong, which is set during the Early Year schooling of children. Children start by learning ordering of numbers, just as they learn to recite A to Z. Counting 1-10 is learnt via the rote learning method and repetition is key.

After being comfortable with identifying numbers, children are introduced to counting. Counting essentially means being able to put a figure to the number of items that are before you. In our daily lives, we count money and calculate the change the shopkeeper owes us. We require math to figure out how much time it will take to finish a job task at hand and thereby count & estimate the number of hours required. Counting comes in handy even in sports matches, where the referee is actively involved in announcing the score, to determine which team is leading the game. These are just a few examples of how counting is so important, and acing it will only do us good.

Different strategies to learn to count:

There are different strategies and stages of counting that were formulated to make it easy for children to grasp the concept. Read further to understand and apply these simple methodologies while teaching your children the correct techniques of counting.

Stable Order

When objects are counted in a fixed or consistent manner, it is referred to as Stable Order Counting. The order in which the objects are counted is important, as it starts from 1, 2, 3, and goes on in the normal way of counting. Here each object is assigned a number on a one-to-one-correspondence basis. For example; place 5 apples on the table and give children a set of number cards that they will place under each apple starting from left to right or top to bottom depending on whether the apples are positioned horizontally or vertically. This is the most commonly taught method to students in Schools across Dubai in their early years and children as young as 3 years of age should be able to understand and apply stable order counting techniques. Preschools in UAE and across the world use different teaching aids such as; colorful objects (cups, pom-poms, different fruit replicas, etc.) to make stable order counting easy to follow and implement.


Cardinal counting or numbering is a simple process by which the child assigns cardinal numbers to a set or group of objects. By doing so, we can determine the quantity or amount of items that are present in the set. When questioning the student ask the following; ‘can you tell me how many articles are there in this sample collection? By cardinal counting, we can know and compare the number of objects in each set. This method is even used by economists and mathematicians to analyze things like; the population of one region than in the other, the batch of shoes in one box as compared to the other, and so on.

Conservation Counting

Let us dive into an example to explain the concept of conservation counting more meaningfully. Just close your eyes and imagine there are 5 ping pong balls kept in front of you, now move the balls slightly away from each other or change the pattern in which the balls are placed. Does that affect the count of the balls that were originally given to you? The answer is No! This can teach our children that the size of the object does not mean that the count is more. When there are 3 real cars and 3 toy cars kept before you, it does not mean the 3 real cars are more in number than the toy cars, just because they are big. It is just larger than the other, but the count remains the same. Mathseeds is a prominent Math digital platform that encourages children to grasp basic math concepts in a fun & engaging manner. Suited for kindergarten and primary school-going lads of ages 3 years to 9 years, Mathseeds has earned a reputation in GCC regions of the Middle East. We urge you to try out their one-to-one lessons and motivational modules, to believe it for yourself.


To make the process of counting faster, for large quantities of units, unitizing comes in handy. If you were working in a candy factory that produces lakhs of sweets per day, how is it possible to count each unit? In order to do so, the units are grouped equally having the same count. You may want to create groups of 10’s, 20’s or 40’s and use the skip-counting method to create the packages.

Having a strong hold on counting can go a long way in understanding more important math concepts that will be taught in higher grades like; multiplication, addition, fractions, place value, and so on. Once your kid starts doing well with counting, celebrate the milestone and reward him for all his achievements.

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Teaching Kids to Spell Words

Teaching Kids to Spell Words

Teaching Kids to Spell Words

Languages can be one’s best friend when the techniques of learning it are taught in the right and fun manner since childhood. Having strong communication skills, half the battle is won and any given task can be achieved. When a child learns English or any other foreign language or even a local language of Dubai or the Middle East, the key to master it, would be to have control over the words that make up the grammar and the meaning and eventually which forms the sentences to be able to write and speak. Bringing several letters together and the formation of words is the main crux of a language and for that it is very important that the spellings of these words are accurate. When children are made to learn in an enjoyable way, they will never forget the spelling of a word however tricky it may be. There are creative methods to teach kids how to spell words. We have listed few below.

Break Down Words

The simplest way to learn spellings would be to break down the main word into two or more parts or syllables. The broken-down parts of the word separately may or may not make any sense in meaning on their own but when the syllables are joined bit by bit, sounded and pronounced together, that is when the entire spelling comes together with the formation of the whole word. It gets easier for kids to remember syllables rather than memorizing a whole word at once. The next time they may forget what was probably mugged up but, the different syllables which are broken down, they will always find ways to connect them and remember their words and never make a spelling mistake.

Jot down tricky words

Usually it is always said, first start with the difficult task and then progress to the easy one. When your child is reading any text, you may often come across certain words that you know they find it tricky to spell and pronounce. They always get stuck with that particular word or similar kind of tough words. The best thing to do would be to jot down those list of words, constructively work on them to learn them and the next time the kids find those words in their text they will read them like a pro, the spelling will be remembered and the pronunciation will too come together correctly. They can jot or note it down in their books, on colourful pieces of paper, on a slate or on their palms. The association of these elements with the written down words will help children to memorize spellings easily.

Pictures Speak a Thousand Words

We have easily heard this phrase and it is indeed a well-known factor that pictures have lasting impressions on one’s mind. To help kids memorize spellings and remember the word, it would be apt to associate certain words with their relevant picture. While reading the text, they may forget the word initially, and would take some time to remember the spelling but while learning, if that same word was connected with a prominent picture, they would easily recollect the word associated with that image and not forget the spelling too. Using pictures, flip cards can also be made. The kids can be made to play a guessing game. Just the first letter of the word could be revealed with the picture and the child has to guess the full correct word present behind the picture of the flip card.

Play Games

Learning is always fun when combined with play. Much as outdoor games are crucial for physical activity, indoor board games prove to be a great stimulator for the minds of the children. Scrabble and Boggle are amazing word games to play with them from a very small age to help increase their vocabulary and polish their spellings at the same time. Apart from board games, parents and teachers can also make the children play word search. They may give them a grid of letters and ask them to search for words hidden in the grid. In that manner, they are going to learn the spellings of the words and remember those better next time. You can also give them newspapers or magazines and have a time-based activity to find certain words inside the text. This way they will again learn words and memorize spellings creatively.

Use of Audio-Video

You have played around with just text, pictures, and board games with your children. Another way to help them memorize their spellings is through videos since it has sound and visuals. You can make videos of your children learning spellings with those same picture cards and textbooks, reciting the spelling of the words loudly. They have to call each word out or mainly the difficult words and you will record it. They will watch their own videos shot by you and will never forget the spellings of words learnt through this activity. Even if you have poems in video format, play them on the screen, the words and sentences of the poem running on the screen like a ticker along with the song playing together, kids retain such learning for a long time and spelling words will never be a worry.

“Reading Eggs” is an online reading programme for kids aged two to 13. Their team consists of highly experienced educators, animators, and web developers. The programme has been used by over 20 million children in 169 countries including the UAE and the GCC region. Their mission is to create better ways for children to learn. The online games and activities motivate children to keep exploring and learning. It is self-paced and highly engaging. By incorporating “Reading Eggs” into your child’s daily routine, you will be helping to prepare them for the same structured learning they will need to succeed and feel confident at school.

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