Written by |Nov 12, 2015|0 comments
As children, there is little space in which we don’t fit play. Truly the only time we don’t play during childhood is when we are at school or when we are doing homework. What if it didn’t have to be so? Furthermore, what if the way we have been thinking about school as opposed to play was actually wrong? What if play and games can hold more or just as much educational value as what we consider “academic learning”?
As internet and mobile device usage becomes more widespread through students of all ages, educators must be prepared to adapt to the needs of the digital native generation. Games might just be the solution that teachers need. Games can provide a more engaging learning experience by allowing the child to discover and explore a new medium, rather than having all of the answers presented to them.
Games help children develop, in addition to cognitive skills, non-cognitive skills that are even more important when predicting future success in life. Games teach children patience, discipline and how to learn from their mistakes. Through not realizing the “seriousness” of the learning process that takes place in when playing a game, children are actually more inclined to try and retry.
Why should we use game based learning?
• Gets students more engaged. Students easily engaged to game activities due to their willingness in playing.
• Makes learning an enjoyable, fun activity. The use of games encourages students to keep learning and to erase the idea that learning is boring.
• Provides Quick and Specific feedback. Which enables students to figure out the right way (or a right way) to succeed
• Encouraging learning through trial and error. Using games enables children to understand the consequences of their choices. Students can learn through experiences. Games offer a safety environment to test and learn through mistakes so the information becomes meaningful when students understand its use.
The digital environment provides numerous opportunities for using game based learning. Fusing educational games and more traditional learning practices can improve classroom engagement and can provide a positive learning experience.
Written by |Nov 02, 2015|0 comments
Now that the trick-or-treating is over and everyone is counting their candies, we can take the time to actually reflect on the meaning of Halloween. Is this celebration really just about dressing up in scary costumes and going out to ask for candy or is there more to it?
Origins of Halloween
The origins of this holiday have long been disputed. While some hold the belief that the tradition of Halloween comes from Ireland and is mostly pagan, some claim that the celebration is a catholic one and is in close relation to the All Hallows Day and the All Souls Day. The truth is that both of these holidays have probably merged to create a new tradition.
In the celtic tradition, people dressed as evil spirits at the onset of winter. They were marking the end of the harvest season and the beginning of the “darker half” of the year. The celts also believed that the souls of the dead were returning to the living world on this particular night and that they must be welcomed and celebrated. People would also dress up and go around town singing and reciting verses in exchange for food, the belief was that they were winter spirits asking for rewards in exchange for good fortune.
Today’s Halloween traditions have likely been influenced by Christian beliefs. Halloween is the evening before the Christian celebrations of All Hallows’ Day on 1st of November and All Souls’ Day on 2nd of November. Because of this, the 31st of October holiday the name of All Hallows’ Eve which probably became Halloween over the years. During these days the Christians honor the saints and pray for the recently departed souls who did not yet reach heaven. Christians also exchanged food during this celebration in a custom known as “souling”. Christians would bake soul cakes and would gift them to poor people who would, in exchange, pray for the souls of the dead.
Halloween in America
In America, there is no indication of the fact that Halloween was widely celebrated until the 19th century. The Irish and Scottish immigration from the 19th century turned this day into one of major celebration.
Written by |Oct 30, 2015|0 comments
We’re teaching preschoolers basic science concepts through GazziliScience. But what happens when you want to take the concepts presented in the app and demonstrate them in the real world? Don’t worry, we at GazziliWorld have it covered. In this article we’re going to present six experiments to help you teach science without a mobile device.
Plants is the first activity from GazziliScience. In it, your child learns about how plants grow and the resources they need to do so.
What you will need: 1 small pot, soil, a couple of wheat seeds, water
Fill the small pot with soil and put the wheat seeds at the top. Afterwards, water the seeds and cover them with soil. Place the pot near a window so the plants can have enough light and make sure the pot is placed in a warm area. Water the seeds daily, heavily in the first 3 to 4 days. After 7 to 12 days you should begin to see little sprouts.
This one is a little trickier to exemplify, but you could easily teach children what it happens when it rains.
For this you would need: A big jar, water, shaving foam, food coloring.
Fill the jar with water, leaving little space at the top. Then, on top, put shaving foam in a thick layer. Have your child pour liquid food dye into the shaving cream until it starts to color the water below. You can explain to your child that this is what happens when it rains as well, when water droplets and ice crystals continue to collect in a cloud, they get heavier and heavier. They will eventually become too heavy to float on the air. Water droplets will fall to the earth as rain.
Make this one a yearlong experiment.
You would need: a calendar, pen.
Introduce the idea of temperature by exemplifying it through clothes. Create a calendar and let your child write down the temperature and what he wore that day. You can even use special symbols, such as stars, to mark the first day your little one had to wear a sweater because the weather was cold or the first day he has to carry an umbrella. This activity can also be used to teach and repeat vocabulary related to weather: How was the weather today – cold or chilly? How about yesterday?
Living and Non Living
What you need: time to explore
Teaching your child the difference between living and non-living thing can be difficult. Most preschoolers can tell right away if things are alive or not, but it is hard for them to understand why. For this experiment, ask your child what he thinks living things have in common. Write down every single thing he says (even if it’s not right). Then do the same for non-living things. Afterwards, take your child out for a walk and observe living and non-living things, how many of the things he said does he still find true? What others did he discover? Write down the new ones and cross out the ones that were wrong in the beginning. Then, make a recap of the traits that all living things have in common, do the same for non-living things.
Sink or float
What you need: an empty soda can, a diet soda can, a regular soda can, apple, orange, an empty water bottle
Fill the sink with water and make your child put the objects in the sink to see if they float or sink. Before placing each object in, ask your child if he thinks it will float or not. Once you get to the diet soda, you will have a surprise, it floats! Diet soda is less dense than regular soda.
Put your child’s senses to test with the following experiment.
What you need : a sensory bin with different colored elements (this rainbow rice one is just awesome); different types of squeaky toys, savory, sweet and bitter foods.
This will probably end up in different experiments, since it is hard to put all the five senses at play with only one experiment. To make your child aware of it’s vision and sensory sense use the rainbow rice sensory bin, talk about how the rice looks (what are the different colors?) and how it feels when you touch it.
For hearing use different squeaky toys, squeeze them to make noise without your child seeing which one you are actually squeezing. Have him guess which toy it was after each round.
Smell and taste are the most fun senses to play with. Have a selection of sweet, savory, sour and bitter foods ready. Make your child close his eyes and have him smell all of the different foods and ask him what he thinks they are going to taste like, after that, have him taste it and see if the smell matched the taste. Talk about the connection between smell and taste.
Written by |Oct 23, 2015|0 comments
It’s a Sunday afternoon and the seats on the side of the soccer field are starting to fill with parents. Each of them proud, each of them ready to see their child compete against another team in a sport. Parents talk to each other and wave to their kids from the sides. This would seem like the perfect family activity for a Sunday afternoon.
After a couple of minutes, the players come onto the field and the game starts. Everybody is cheering and the children run around happily, everyone is having a good time. The problem starts a few minutes into the game, after the happy cheers are overtaken by critics shouted at children from a handful of parents unhappy with the performance. The shouting on the American soccer field has become so widespread that one wonders if parents ever stop to think about what they are doing. When parents are shouting at children from the sidelines, they are basically interrupting the children’s playtime. It’s like being on the sidelines of the children’s playground in the park and yelling at a child for not playing well enough with his toy truck. No parent would do that. So why is it that they find it acceptable to shout at children on the playfield?
Trying too hard to win, means not focusing on the process
It’s normal for parents to want their children to be successful. But when we are pushing children too hard in sports, we might take away that very chance from them. In shouting at them from the sidelines we steal from them the possibility of learning something from their failure. Children need to understand that failure is temporary and can be overcome through hard work and dedication. This is what makes and individual successful. Making your child understand that he can become better at something through practice is far more important than winning a football game.
Sideline coaching is also detrimental to your child’s independence and self-esteem. In the end, if your child is going to become a good player, he needs to understand what is happening and make decisions on his own. The best players are the ones that use their time more wisely and sideline coaching not only distracts them, but it also makes them feel as if they need someone to tell them what to do in order to be able to play. This diminishes the benefits that children get from playing sports, it undermines a kid’s ability to think strategically. In other words, it sabotages the very motives for which a child gets enrolled into a team sport in the first place.
Furthermore, when parents proceed to direct and instruct children on what to do during the game, they might actually be sabotaging their own child’s performance by not allowing them to concentrate. In soccer this example is very prevalent, as one of the most successful tactics of scoring is to get close to the goal keeper and not rush the ball. A very difficult task to do with aggressive “go for it” shouts coming from the spectator benches.
Studies have shown that when children are pushed too hard in sports, they stop enjoying it even if they were doing well. As many as four in ten children have reported to be put off of sports because of too competitive parents.
Bullying in Sports
Sometimes, over competitive parents will not only try to coach their child from the sidelines, but also other team members. Often times they would yell and shout mean things to kids that are just trying to enjoy a game. This behavior not only ruins the game, but oftentimes it turns into borderline bullying. There has been a lot of attention brought to the issue of bullying in recent years and a lot of efforts have been put into combating it. It is very surprising to see adults behaving like bullies towards children publicly. Not only do their actions ruin everybody else’s good time, they also send the wrong message to children. In the fight against bullying, adults need to lead by example, which is not what they do when they shout and yell at other kids during a sports game. Nor is it any more acceptable that a parent would yell at a referee or at the opposing team.
Sportsmanship : a lost concept
In all of this rising bad sideline behavior, one very important lesson that children learn from sports is forgotten, and that is the lesson of good sportsmanship. Teaching children how to be a good sportsman is very important, it teaches respect for others and helps children become a responsible member of society. By behaving badly towards an opponent or a teammate, we are teaching our child that they are more important than the other person and that they do not need to respect the other person because one time they happened to be on opposing teams. Ultimately, children need to understand and believe that they are responsible for their own success and failure and that they can work to become better. This will not only help them in sports, but it will also help them further in life.
Getting children to participate in team sports is a great opportunity for them to develop crucial fitness and social skills. Sports can also be a very good tool for teaching discipline and respect, but that does not happen when the playtime is interrupted by shouting parents. Maybe we should fight harder to end sideline yelling and improper behavior from game watchers at a children’s sports event, a team could even impose rules to prevent such occurrences. Adults can be held accountable for their behavior and penalties can even be imposed, parents could be asked to stop disturbing the game and could even be asked to leave if they do not comply.
We would like to hear from you. Have you ever seen a “side coach” in action? What do you think should be done to stop the improper behavior of parents on the playfields?
Written by |Oct 21, 2015|0 comments
Ah, Fall… The season that turns parks and streets into scenery for beautiful and colorful pictures. The season that turns every sweet into pumpkin spice and brings us closer to nature. Whether is by picking apples, carving pumpkins or taking long walks in the park, Fall will probably have you spending more time outside. While we love for kids to learn about nature by using our GazziliScience app, we must admit that getting them outside of the house can prove for a great learning opportunity as well. Since trees are one of the stars of this season, we are choosing a leaves and trees match game that will have your children learn about how diverse nature really is.
Here is what you need to do:
- Take a look at the set of pictures posted below
- Look at the legend at the end of the article to find out each tree’s name
- Along with your preschooler try to match each tree with a leaf
- While doing the matching, make sure to pay attention to the differences between each leaves
- After matching each tree to a leaf, try to guess in which season the pictures were taken
*6. Post your results in the comments below
*7. Share with us a picture of trees and leaves you can find in our area and see if we guess their names
Legend : a. = Sycamore Tree, b. = Scarlet Oak, c.= Black Ash, d. = Pine, e. =Cucumber Tree, f. = Cherry Tree, g. = Butternut Tree
We’d love to see your results.
Other leaves and trees activities we like :