Exploring Minds is an organization for education. Its primary focus is on play based curriculum. It’s aim is to create awareness about process oriented learning. On Explorimind.com website you will find information about kindergarten readiness, creative writing and bilingual learning. Though the site focuses on Hindi English bilingual resources, the tips here are useful for any second language learning. We are also adding some French learning resources.
Madhavi Sudarsana is the founder of Exploring Minds. She is a lecturer who specializes in multi-cultural and bilingual education. She has created her own multi-sensory program for teaching Hindi as a second language to children and adults. She currently teaches early childhood education at an undergraduate level in California Community colleges. She also works as Parent Educator, and PITC (Program for Infants and Toddler Caregivers) trainer. She has masters in psychology and a certificate in Educational Therapy.
She along with Shruti Piduri also teaches creative writing to upper elementary school children. Shruti is a highschool senior who has also written a few sight word books. She is the contributor for French part of this website.
In the previous post the kindergarten math standards are discussed in details. In this post, the focus is mainly on incorporating the same standards in informal way, without really preparing for specific activities. It is like making math a part of the routine.
Counting:Children at this age should be able to count items up to 10 with one on one correspondence. They should know number up to 20. To facilitate this count everything with children. Count at circle time, count at snack time; count when children play (jumping jacks)
Classifying: Pre k children should be intentionally able to see the differences and similarities between objects. When children are playing with toys you can ask questions about how two objects are similar or different.
Geometry: Shapes are something that children love to look for naturally. Point out shapes in the environment. For e.g. you may say, door is rectangular and the window is square. Puzzles develop spatial awareness so have them always available for children.
Money is the concept that young children do not grasp. For them 2 pennies are more valuable than the dollar bill just because pennies are more in quantity than the bill. Just encourage them to use play money when they are playing with the cash register.
Time is another concept that children do not get. So just talk about routines like nap comes after lunch and then also mention time but do not insist on making them understand the concept.
You will learn to read Hindi vowels and consonants in the next several posts. Each post will focus on one group of consonants. Listen to the sounds in the video and also practice writing those letters. Video also has pictures.
Help children to connect pictures and words. Usually young children have good picture memory. You must have noticed how even two years old can recognize their regular shops like Target or restaurants like McDonalds.
Children love to read road signs and this can be a good game when they are in car.
Make signs for everyday routines; for e.g.
EXIT for the door
BUCKLE on the car seat
BRUSH TEETH on the mirror
ICE CREAM on the fridge door
Play games like;
Buried treasures game: Take a tub if sand. Burry a few letters in the sand. Ask child to find them with the magnetic wand. Talk about its name, features. Start with the letters in child’s name Coupon match: Cut labels from the food container boxes. Find coupons or advertisements that match those products. Draw child’s attention to the details of similarities Object hunt: Pick one letter and go around the house to find objects starting with it. You can use it while shopping too Making books: Make a book with household items. Write your child’s name for e.g. “Tony’s house”. Children love to read books that include their own names Make a book that describe child’s daily routine or familiar places. Label those. Encourage child to read. Walk a letter: Make a big letter on the floor with masking tape. Ask child to walk over it, touch it
You can get ideas from your daily life. You can turn your common experiences into appealing stories. The ideas can come from;
Daily experiences at home/ school
Special events like birthdays/ holidays
Something that you do in your family like a family tradition. It can be anything like a traditional holiday or a simple game night.
Special places like vacations
This class is designed for children between 4th and 6th grade.
Over the course of four weeks, students will be introduced to a variety of poetry styles and techniques. Each week, students will practice writing both rhyming and free verse poems in a variety of styles including Acrostics, Haikus, Narrative Poems, Odes, List Poems, Persona/Metaphor Poems.
At the end of the course, students will share their poetry with the rest of the class, and will have the option of self-publishing the poems they wrote throughout the course.
Description: This class is designed for children between 4th and 6th grade. Over the course of four weeks, students will write and illustrate their own picture book, which they will then publish as a book for Kindle. Though the focus of this course is to write a picture book, students will also be exposed to different writing techniques, and will further develop their creative writing skills. After the fourth week, parents will receive a file from the instructors containing their child’s book, as well as instructions for publishing the book for Kindle.
Students can expect 2-3 hours of homework per week.
Class size is restricted to 4 or 5 students, maximum.
Each week student will do a variety of creative writing exercises in class and at home while working on their books.
Week 1: Brainstorming
Homework: Come up with 3 story ideas.
Week 2: Plot and Character Development
Homework: First draft and start illustrations
Week 3: Illustrations, Cover Page, and Editing
Homework: second draft
Week 4: Final Edition and Reading
Students will write and illustrate a complete picture book.
You will learn to read Hindi vowels and consonants in the next several posts. Each post will focus on one group of consonants. Listen to the sounds in the video and also practice writing those letters.Video also has pictures.
The research shows that the children who read early are the ones who were read to from early on. Reading is a source of enjoyment for both parents and children alike.
There are several benefits of reading aloud to children.
Early reading experiences are also about physical intimacy with the parent. The young child always sits in a lap while being read to. This kind of cozy interaction creates a positive emotion towards reading.
It’s a way to enrich child’s vocabulary. Reading introduces formal book language. A child comes across several words that they start using in their own conversation, even when they may not fully grasp the meaning of it. They also develop awareness of differences between similarities and differences between spoken and written language
They develop print awareness; for e.g. They understand that the letters can be grouped to form words and the words have meaning. They can identify the beginning and the end of the book or the sentence.
Choosing books to read aloud.
Do not under-estimate child’s taste. It is very likely that if you do not like some book, they may not like it too. Usually, good books are the books that adults like reading too. Children love to hear these books again and again
While choosing books for children see if they match their developmental level. The topic should be interesting and developmentally appropriate for the children
Usually younger children like the books that rhyme while older children like the books that revolve around their everyday experiences.
How to read books to children?
Point each word while reading. If possible sound out some of them. It develops phonological awareness.
Draw children’s attention to illustrations. Ask children to guess what story is about or ask them to read it to you by looking at illustrations.
Talk about the story as you read. You do not need to read just what is written. It can be more of conversation. Ask Open ended questions that involve why, where, who, what and how.
Ask children to predict what will happen next in the story.