Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Keeping the examination blues away - Lawrence High School

With the board exams looming large, can the stress and anxiety be far behind? Examinations are considered a stressful affair for both-the parents and the children. I think it is more to do with the approach rather than the exam by itself. A healthy and clinical approach will help both parties arrive at a neutral feeling and will be able to cope better during examinations.

As an old saying goes, preparation is the key to success. Preparing well in advance will naturally keep the stress levels at the minimum. With no surprises staring at you at the last minute, you are well-equipped to carry on the revisions before the examinations. Parents can help students achieve that by helping them prepare a schedule well before and tackle the difficult and tricky topics in advance.

Keeping distractions at bay should be the next important thing to do during the final count-down to the finals. Mobiles, internet, Facebook, chatting (even if it means discussing studies) should be kept at the lowest minimum. Too much of discussing about how much each one has studied and how much one needs to catch up only raises the anxiety levels.

Allowing time for recreational hobby is not a sacrilegious thing to do. In fact all study will bring down the absorption levels after a point. The mind needs to recharge with something creative or stimulating. It could be anything- a favourite sport, painting, music, dancing or even cooking.

Keeping realistic expectations and having a clinical approach is one of the best methods of approaching any exam. Parents and children need to bring down the expectation levels to match the capacity of the student, keeping past performances in mind too. An overall 60% achiever cannot top up his scores to 85% just by cramming in the last few days.

Finally, parents need to befriend their children and win their confidence. They need to demonstrate that exams and their results is not the end of the world-even if they are board exams.  

Thursday, 14 February 2013

The need to switch off - Lawrence High School

We have come a long way in the world of technology in terms of being connected. Those were the days of landline telephones and snail mails. The walkie-talkies, then the mobile phones and then the internet caught up with us and enveloped us all in a single enormous wave. We cannot function without google, Facebook and WhatsApp now.

While, the technology did bring in a lot of good, somewhere the social behavior in the real sense is being eroded, especially with young children and the teenagers. These have fallen prey to the technology in a not-so-positive way. Socializing has taken a new meaning for these youngsters, wherein they are extremely comfortable carrying on lengthy conversations with a stranger on the internet but clam up or turn into a recluse in real life.

Many youngsters can be seen poring over their smart-phones (who carries a basic cell phone these days?!) updating their Facebook statuses or chatting or browsing the net. Even when in the company of close family members, they seem uncomfortable to part with their gadgets. A pending online presence seems more important than conversing with parents or siblings or socializing during family functions. And, it is not uncommon to see young kids playing games on iPhone's or even being given a gadget as a treat for being good.

While, not everyone falls in the extreme case where medical help is needed, this phenomenon is slowly catching up to alarming levels. Even adults are not spared of being caught in the technological quick-sand. We are simply unable to switch off!

It is all about taking a deep breath and having a quiet introspection about our priorities. Is it really all that important to answer that email or respond to a Facebook status immediately? Will something untoward happen if the activity is pushed to some minutes later? We, as adults and parents serve as examples to our children and when we set ourselves boundaries, the children will follow suit or at least be willing to hear us out when they are pointed out to be in the wrong.

So, resist the urge to be a virtual person at all times and start living in the real. 

Friday, 8 February 2013

A trip to the “Indian institute of astrophysics” - Lawrence High School

The students of classes VIII, IX and X were taken to The Indian Institute of Astrophysics at Koramangala, Bangalore for a field trip on 28th January 2013. Below is the account of the trip by a student.
Our trip to the IIA was extremely educative while at the same time full of fun and it brings me great joy to recount the high points of our trip.

We were first taken to the auditorium, where a presentation was shown about the SETI – Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence, by Dr. Jayant Murthy. It was indeed wonderful to learn about the lesser known facts about the UFO sightings, including communication with outer space to search for extra terrestrial life and loads of other information.

After the presentation, a short but fun quiz was conducted to assess whether we had grasped the basics of the Universe.

After a short break, we were taken inside a dome-shaped structure-situated on top of the building-that had a telescope among other machines. A technician explained to us about the structure and the functioning of the telescope. It was a very interesting experience for us to see a live working telescope which had an amazing feature of self-detection of celestial bodies in space.

We were then shown a “balloon experiment” performed by Mr. Sreejith. This experiment covered factors like altitude, temperature, pressure and mass, friction, etc. Although the experiment was a complicated one, Mr. Sreejith explained the analysis of the experiments to us in a simple and effective manner.

The next stop was at the “Photonics division” of the institute where we were familiarized with various kinds of lenses used in the telescopes.

We came back to the auditorium to watch a video clip called “Powers of Ten”. The feature dealt with how huge numbers can be represented by powers of 10. We were greatly benefited by this video as it explained the concept in a way that was simple and easy to understand.

At the end of this session, we had a question and answer session with Dr. Jayant Murthy. This gave us a chance to raise the many questions that boggled our mind, to which Dr. Jayant Murthy gave satisfying answers.
The trip was amazing as we not only gained precious knowledge but also had a wonderful experience in learning valuable pieces of information from the vast subject of astrophysics.

Friday, 1 February 2013

Lawrence School Activity Round-up (January 2013)

Spell-Bee for our Tiny Tots         

We held a Spell-Bee competition for our Kindergarteners on 3rd January at our school. 30 kids from the KG classes and 8 students from the Pre-KG classes took part in an event that included coloring, filling in the missing letters, arranging words and pictures in alphabetical order, joining the dots and identifying pictures. The kids enjoyed the different challenges and every participant walked away with a Gold medal. The winners of this Spell-Bee competition now move on to the next level where they will pit their wits against kids from other schools. We wish them every success!
 The event was conducted by Marrs International.
 The English Language Classroom Workshop 

An interactive and informative workshop was held to help our English teachers understand and handle the challenges of teaching the English language. The workshop focus points were:

·         How to be an effective teacher of the English language, and
·         The challenges in a contemporary classroom

Many creative ideas and solutions were generated to tackle language challenges. The ideation included deciding on the course material for different classes, the SMS language, teaching vocabulary and writing effectively.

The post-lunch session focused on group discussions on two streams: 

#1: Who is responsible for the problems associated with teaching of English and why? 
#2: Why do so many of our schools fail to meet the objectives of teaching-learning English?

A lot of what was presented and discussed could actually be translated into tactical classroom techniques. The areas covered included:

  • Using different approaches to learning English
  • Listening and speaking skills for effective communication
  • Integrating different approaches in teaching grammar and vocabulary
  • Critical thinking and assessment
  • Writing as a process
The workshop was a great learning experience and our English teachers had many key takeaways that they plan to apply in their classrooms.