Category Archives: Learn & Teach

Organizing Activities for Kids to Have Fun 

Problem-based learning is one of the most popular teaching strategies these days. Instead of simply giving lectures, it allows kids to have more fun. It also gives them the chance to discover facts instead of having someone else explain those facts to them.

This is why it is important to give them the chance to learn in different ways. There should be activities that are out of the usual to keep them excited. Take note that kids have very limited attention span. If you don’t give them exactly what they want, they will move on doing other things.

Start by organizing a field trip where you expose kids to deeper scientific knowledge. Instead of simply showing them photos of animals, why don’t you visit zoos or museums of natural history? This will make them more excited. They will easily understand the concept as well. For kids who are considered visual learners, it is the chance for them to learn faster.

It takes time to organize this kind of activity. Of course, you can’t do it on each lesson. The point is for you to organize a unique activity every now and then.

Another option is to go to a concert. This is for music subject. It is boring to just teach them how to read notes or ask them to watch videos of performers. If you want to keep their interest alive, let them watch concerts. There are concerts that are designed for kids. Some artists have songs that are perfect for this type of audience. You can check out Global Music Revolution for a list of artist that you may contact if you want to let kids watch actual performances.

Don’t let kids get bored

It is difficult keeping up the attention of these students. There are a lot of instances when they are no longer interested to listen. They will just sit down and do nothing. If this happens, bringing their interest back could be a challenge.

This is why you have to do everything so they won’t get bored. Even if you have to argue with the school administration about these plans, you should still pursue it. Think of the bigger picture. You can stay inside the class and keep doing the same things you do on a daily basis or find an activity that everyone will have fun with.

This should also be explained to parents. To them, the goal is to simply let their kids learn. Some of them don’t necessarily understand holistic learning. They also don’t understand that there are different learning styles. Not all kids learn in an academic environment. If parents become more supportive of these unusual, but interesting activities, it would be easier to push through with the plans.

You will see the progress in these kids’ academic performances as soon as you implement these changes. Just don’t expect everyone to have the same reaction. The point is that you vary the strategies and be more passionate on how to make these kids find something more interesting outside the class.


Natural History

Explore-The-Natural-History-Museum-Of-New-York-City-3Natural history is concerned with study and research of organisms as they move in their environment; the method of study used is more observational rather than experimental. Scientific research is involved, results of which are often covered in magazines. Natural history is broad, covering ancient Greco-Roman era, Arabic world, up to the European Renaissance. Persons involved in these studies are known as naturalists or specifically, natural historians. Naturalists observe living organisms directly and a study of fossils is often necessary.

Originally, natural history covered humanities and studies of nature. In recent years, it mostly revolves around geological and biological sciences, while natural philosophy is around chemistry and physics.

From a modern viewpoint, natural history would be confined to the study of life and how each organism relates to each other and to the environment. The origin, evolution, behavior, and relationship to other species are the focus. Natural history museums are put up all over the world, and they deal with the study of Paleontology, Geology, Astronomy, Botany, as well as Zoology.

In recent news, one historic Wells Fargo stagecoach took residence at Utah’s Natural History Museum last June 17, 2014, in time for a special exhibit which will run from July 21 until Jan 4, 2015. The role of horses in Utah will be highlighted during the exhibit as well as hand-painted dioramas of the evolution of horses. Various breeds of horses will be introduced. Other exhibit items would be cultural objects worldwide.

In other news, the American Museum of Natural History, located in Paris, received the first-ever ‘trans-Atlantic scent message on June 18. This event is connected with iPhone’s launching of a ‘scent-messaging’ app call OSnap. The app enables users to tag photos with more than 300 thousand scents, transmittable via hotspots, thru Facebook and Twitter. David Edwards and Rachel Field co-invented the messaging platform ( Edwards is the founder and administrator of Le Laboratoire, Paris, a science and design center.

In more news, The Natural History Museum of London is in need of PR help. The museum accommodates over 5 million visits yearly. It has launched a program on profile raising and strategy. Joe Baker, head of external affairs stated that there is a need to be more relevant and accessible to society in general; this will allow fundraising needs to be met. The Natural History Museum Development Trust deals with all fundraising efforts; it was organized 2 years ago. The Museum strives to remain relevant by contributing to awareness on climate change and disease control, as well as the problem of a growing population. The Museum is also focused on efforts in improving visitor interaction and experience, as well as improvement and development of its galleries.

In related news, an exhibition featuring coral reefs is scheduled for Spring 2015 at the Museum.

Panoramic views of reefs and over 200 specimens via HD 180-degree screens will welcome visitors on their visit. Specimen collections by Darwin between 1831-1836 will be included, Turbinaria Coral (a giant one), blue-ringed octopuses, and small sponge crabs.

The Coral reefs house living species of our seas, which millions of people depend on. People benefit on it for fishing, tourism, storm protection, and many other aspects. Reefs appear rock-like but are in fact, colonies of tiny animals with limestone skeletons; such are related to jellyfish. Growth is very slow, about 1-2 mm yearly. They are highly sensitive to ocean changes like temperature, acidity, pollution, and others. It is estimated that a quarter has already been damaged beyond repair.

Meanwhile, a Dino Jaws exhibit is on in Leeds this summer. It’s been the first time again in 3 years that this popular exhibit has returned to the UK. The exhibit features a giant T-Rex, about three-quarter life sized. 10 animatronic dinos are also featured.

In another museum, difference among races is discussed. The Carnegie Museum of Natural History located at Pittsburgh holds an exhibit that focuses on how race is defined and the impact it has on people. According Cecil Shellman, a communications specialist for the Museum, the goal of the exhibit is to raise awareness on diversity and to eliminate racism. The exhibit fosters openness and appreciation for differing races.  Part of the exhibit will be some artifacts and photos that aid in the examination of various races and the issue of racism in the US. The exhibit is held on weekends between 12-2 P.M. Visit the Museum at Carnegie Museum of Art, 4400 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15213. Parking is spacious, a six-level parking facility can park vehicles.

The American Museum of National History will open a ‘Spiders Alive!” exhibit on July 4, 2014. A comprehensive look into the fascinating world of arachnids will be granted opportunity. Over 20 species of live arachnids will be present for the exhibit. Anatomy, behavior, and other unique features will be discussed. Life-sized models of spiders will be seen during the exhibit and visitors will be granted a chance to behold live arachnids up close. Myths will be debunked.  The museum actually holds the largest spider collection worldwide. It has lead in the study of spiders for over 75 years.  It’s estimated that more than 45,000 spider species have been discovered to date, and many more remain to be documented. Norman Platnick curates the exhibition. Catch the exhibit along Central Park West and Columbus Avenue.

At Albuquerque, fossils discovered in New Mexico were put on display at the Museum of Natural History last June 17. The exhibit also featured a footprint reported to be 280 million years old. Also, a 2 million year old mastodon tooth was shown.  Paleontologist Spencer Lucas thinks that Mexico is rich in fossils, with a whole lot still to be discovered.

In relation to fossils in Mexico, about 275 square miles is declared as the largest gypsum dune field worldwide; this is found in Tularosa Basin, New Mexico south central. It’s reported to be over 8,000 years old as a result of water evaporation from large lake surfaces, causing gypsum to crystalize. The field is actually located within the protected area of White Sands National Monument (Otero Country).