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Life Lessons & DIY ‘Watch & Make’ Session From Harry Potter Films For Kids

A way to teach important life lessons while letting the children enjoy some movie time!

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Watching movies and entertainment series online more frequently has become a part of the ‘new normal.’ Keeping up with the trend, teachers can encourage their students to watch children-friendly movies that can also bring some kind of information or a lesson to them.

Family-fantasy is a genre of shows/movies that explores the imagination of the viewers as well as entertains them. Children’s films made by, for example, Disney have some deep-rooted meaning to their scripts. Also, consider the Harry Potter franchise. The third movie in the series, Harry Potter And The Prisoner of Azkaban, has many interesting lesson points if read between the lines. 

Check them out here:

  1. Make your own future: A character in the movie called professor Trelawney teaches young witches and wizards the art of predicting the future. At one point, they realise that even after predicting the future, it isn’t always accurate. This shows one shouldn't listen to what others say about their future. As teachers, you can explain to the students about how it's up to them to choose their ultimate path.
  2. Focus on the good: When Harry (the protagonist) casts ‘The Patronus Charm’ to wad-off dementors (creatures of negative energy), he needs to think of his happiest/positive memory to conjure the charm. It shows how being positive or recalling good memories can change one’s mood because “happiness can be found in the darkest of times if one only remembers to turn on the light."
  3. Keep an open mind: Don't believe everything you hear. During the film, we find out Sirius Black (the prisoner) isn't who Harry thought he was. Teachers can tell the children that there's always more than one side to a story and that they shouldn’t jump to conclusions or judgment until they've received all the facts.

Students could also be motivated to indulge in some DIY activities inspired by the Harry Potter franchise. Here's how:

  1. Make a magic wand: One of the first few cool things about Harry Potter is the wands all witches and wizards use, and so can your students and you! Take a chopstick (wooden), a thread to ⅓ of the top and paint it a wood-brown colour. They could take inspirations from the different pictures of wands of the Potter franchise.
  2. Talk about boggarts: A boggart is a shapeshifter that turns into your worst fear. Sit down and talk about fears with students, and to make it more fun, tell them to think about what their boggart would turn into after using a Riddikulus charm. Act it out or draw it if you want to have a good laugh. 
  3. Platform 9 ¾: The King’s Cross Station in London is a magical portal to reach to platform 9 ¾ for the Hogwarts Express that takes you to the magic school Hogwarts. Take a large chart paper, dip a sponge (anything rectangular-shaped) in colour and print bricks on the chart. Cut the chart in the middle and write ‘Platform 9 ¾’ on it, for your own portal to Hogwarts Express!
  4. Pumpkin juice: The characters mention pumpkin juice and are seen drinking it many times. Making your own Potter-special drink should be fun and, in fact, there are more dishes that can be inspired by these films. Make a tall glass of cold-coffee/shake (yellow/cream coloured) and put some whipped cream on it to make your pumpkin juice/shake!
  5. Floating candles: The Hogwarts great hall ceiling is shown holding charmed candles that float in the air. Your students can have their own floating candles, too. Draw candles on a white chart paper, cut them out and paint the flames. Then thread a thin string from the flames and hang them.

There are many more ideas that can be checked on YouTube/Pinterest for your students to have a fun art lesson. This could be an interesting ‘Watch & Make’ session while learning a thing or two about the real world through a world of fiction which Author JK Rowling has so wonderfully penned down. In fact, her life story and achievements so far in this patriarchal world have their own lessons to inspire youngsters. 

Source Credit: https://www.chicagoparent.com/play/indoor-fun/watch-this-do-that-harry-potter-and-the-prisoner-of-azkaban/

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Embracing Emojis in the Classroom: A Fun and Polite Approach to Modern Learning

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Today, on World Emoji Day, let’s celebrate these small, expressive icons that have become an integral part of our digital communication. While some argue that emojis threaten the sanctity of language, there’s a fun, quirky side to these tiny pictures that can actually enhance classroom interactions, making them more relevant, polite, and engaging.

Remember the thrill of getting a gold star on your homework? That star wasn’t just a sticker; it was a symbol of achievement, recognition, and encouragement. In many ways, emojis serve a similar purpose. They convey emotions and reactions succinctly and can add a personal touch to written communication. So, why not harness the power of emojis to make our classrooms more dynamic and student-friendly?

1. Enhancing Feedback: Traditionally, teachers use phrases like “good job” or “well done” to praise students. But imagine the added excitement if those words were accompanied by a clapping hands emoji 👏, a star ⭐, or even a trophy 🏆. Such visual cues can amplify the impact of positive feedback, making it more memorable and encouraging for students. Conversely, gentle reminders can be softened with a thoughtful emoji. For instance, a neutral face 😐 or a thinking face 🤔 could be used to indicate that a student might need to revisit a particular concept without causing undue stress or discouragement.

2. Encouraging Polite Communication: Emojis can also help maintain a polite and respectful tone in classroom discussions. For example, if a student disagrees with a peer, using a handshake emoji 🤝 or a smiling face 😊 can convey their differing opinion respectfully. This approach can foster a culture of kindness and consideration, crucial for productive and positive learning environments.

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3. Making Learning Fun: Integrating emojis into lesson plans can make learning more interactive and enjoyable. Teachers can create emoji-based quizzes where students match emojis to historical events, literary characters, or scientific concepts. For example, an apple 🍎 and a book 📖 could be used in a quiz about famous inventors, prompting students to guess Isaac Newton. These activities not only make lessons more engaging but also encourage creative thinking.

4. Bridging Language Gaps: In classrooms with diverse linguistic backgrounds, emojis can serve as a universal language, helping bridge communication gaps. A thumbs-up 👍, a heart ❤️, or a smiling face 😀 can convey appreciation and support across different languages, fostering inclusivity and mutual understanding.

5. Digital Citizenship: As students increasingly navigate the digital world, teaching them about appropriate emoji use is crucial. Educators can incorporate lessons on digital etiquette, highlighting how emojis can enhance communication when used appropriately but can also be misinterpreted or cause misunderstandings if overused or used incorrectly.

6. Custom Emojis for Classroom Culture: Teachers can create custom emojis that reflect their unique classroom culture. For instance, a specific emoji could symbolize a class mascot, a special event, or a unique classroom achievement. This personal touch can strengthen the sense of community and belonging among students.

In conclusion, emojis are not a threat to language; rather, they are an evolution of it. They offer a unique and fun way to enrich classroom communication, making feedback more impactful, interactions more polite, and learning more enjoyable. So, on this World Emoji Day, let’s embrace these expressive icons and unlock their potential to make our classrooms brighter, kinder, and more engaging places to learn. 🌟🎉📚

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Navigating Teen Emotions: The Essential Lessons of ‘Inside Out’

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Inside Out 2 | Source- Disney Movies

Amongst all other animated movies, ‘Inside Out’ not only stands out due to its new way of telling stories but also for its profound study into the human mind. It was a 2015 release from Pixar Animation Studios that looked at emotions in a very complicated manner, focusing on how an 11-year-old girl called Riley operates internally. As I saw the sequel “Inside Out 2,” in a theatre full of parents, kids, and young adults, it is important to revisit what we learnt in the original film and why it should be watched by teenagers and their parents.

“Inside Out” personifies five primary emotions: Joy, Sadness, Anger, Fear and Disgust. These are the characters that walk with Riley through life’s difficulties especially after her family moved to another city. This movie ingeniously demonstrates this emotional rollercoaster which accompanies such major changes making it relatable for children as well as adults.” Inside Out” helps adolescents who often cope with multiple emotional issues identify and understand that they are real.

Teenagers usually feel overwhelmed by growing up’s flood of emotions. The transformations accompanying the shift from childhood to adolescence are generally confusing and hard to express in words. “Inside Out” addresses these changes by showing that it’s normal to experience a wide range of emotions, sometimes all at once. Riley’s journey teaches teenagers that it’s okay to feel Joy, Sadness, Anger, Fear, and Disgust; these emotions are all part of the human experience.

Among the most touching messages of the film is that one must accept all the emotional states, not only positive ones. Joy, at first, tries to put Sadness aside and believes Riley should always be happy. Eventually however Joy realizes Sadness is vital for Riley’s emotional health. This could be a great revelation for teenagers who are mostly pressured to maintain an image of being ever-happy. “Inside Out” teaches them that it’s okay to feel sad and that acknowledging and expressing this emotion is a crucial part of emotional well-being.

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As for parents, “Inside Out” serves as a gentle yet powerful reminder on why empathy and open communication are important in parenting. With our curriculum known for its single-minded commitment towards good grades and high moral standards, mental health has often been pushed aside. This movie indicates that one way of doing this is by understanding the children’s emotions’ needs. Parents can watch Inside out with an aim of learning how they can create an atmosphere where their children will have freedom to express themselves without fear.

The characters’ interactions in Riley’s mind might help parents understand how complex their teenager’s emotional world can be sometimes. As soon as they see that each emotion contributes to Riley’s overall wellbeing, parents may grow more patient and empathetic toward their children’s emotional struggles. This understanding is pivotal in nurturing a child’s emotional health and building a strong, supportive relationship.

“Inside Out 2,” introduces new emotions like Anxiety, Envy, Ennui, and Embarrassment, and makes it clear that the emotional landscape becomes more intricate as children grow into teenagers. The sequel delves deeper into the emotional challenges that accompany adolescence. A memorable scene from the upcoming film features Anxiety taking over from Joy, emphasising the need for more sophisticated emotions to navigate Riley’s more complex life. This transition is a stark reminder that growing up is not just about physical changes but also about evolving emotional needs.

One of the critical aspects of “Inside Out” and its sequel is the portrayal of anxiety. In the sequel, Anxiety explains that Riley’s life now requires more sophisticated emotions. This portrayal can help teenagers and their parents understand that anxiety is not inherently bad. Instead, it’s a natural response to challenging situations. The film can be an essential tool in discussing mental health issues like panic attacks, which are often overlooked in Indian communities.

By presenting anxiety as a part of Riley’s emotional toolkit, “Inside Out 2” can teach teenagers to listen to their inner voice and reassure themselves that everything will be okay, even in difficult situations. This understanding can help them develop healthier coping mechanisms and reduce the stigma associated with anxiety and other mental health issues.

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Inside Out is more than just an animated film; it serves as an important resource for teenagers and parents alike. It allows viewers to have a nuanced understanding of emotions; stresses on embracing all feelings and assists them in becoming empathetic as well as encourages open communication. Now that Inside Out 2 has been released and is currently running at theaters across the country, this may be a good time to take the kids to watch the film or to revisit the original movie so that our kids and their guardians can watch it.

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A Story About Turning Math Anxiety into Achievement

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“Grow up dear and start solving your own problems”.

This popular meme floating on social media always triggers my thinking. It seems to be an age-old way to vent out the stress created by the subject. The last few decades have seen so much shift in the teaching-learning pedagogy, however, the math phobia remains. Researchers have proved that around 50 percent of the population is affected by math anxiety. It is more prevalent in women than in men. Also, it can start as early as age 5 when numbers are being just introduced. Philosophers and thinkers list various reasons for the same. Going through all those reasons I realized that teaching-learning practices are at their core. We need to update them and sync them with needs of the Gen X.

Thus began my journey of unlearning and relearning my math skill. I had to do it for my students, to ensure no stress classroom during math lessons. I started reading, exploring experimenting to have students love the subject. As Math skill will go with them beyond schooling years, for which they need a strong base.

Enters Shriya, whose smile seems to vanish as soon as she heard me say “Let us start with Math now”. Shriya, generally a regular and independent student, who actively took part in various class engagements frequently missed online math lessons. When approached, she very happily would blame it on the net or state some random excuse.

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But then started her ordeal of physically being present in my class after the schools reopened post-pandemic. Her parents had already confided in me about her math phobia. Shriya too very innocently stated that “It’s so boring, I cannot even mute the call, close the screen, and have to listen to you”.

OK Dear!” was my reply. “Let us make the class a little interesting for you. Would you like to give out numbers to classmates to solve?” With a heavy heart, she came forward and picked out the number card and flashed it for her peers to note and start their calculations. While I was busy interacting with other students Shriya sat silently looking at the numbers she had picked. Students around her were busy playing with numbers and trying to solve the given task. Once the class completed the task, we all thanked Shriya for taking those numbers out for us. As the task had turned out to be easy because of that. We collectively decided to make her the star of the day.

I started involving Shriya more and more during the math lesson, giving her responsibilities and involving her in various simple random tasks. To my surprise, Shriya would wait for taking out numbers for the upcoming math lessons. However, as a class rule, we could not give her a chance again, so she decided to sit and be on the other side. I quietly whispered into her years that she could pick her own numbers to do the task. And am glad I did that as she picked up easy numbers to solve the given task. Though she missed out on getting the golden star, which I give out for all correct, I asked her to draw out an ice cream cone for herself for a good attempt. “Do colour the cone with your favourite ice cream flavour” And she smiled.

During the morning circle time, I started with simple math based games, like boom bam, make a sentence, and math magic tricks with students. They really liked it and tried to guess the solution. They started asking friends from other sections and became math magicians. Shriya however still did not have the courage to approach peers as she was not confident with her calculations. So she took the trick home and tried it with her family. She practiced it a couple of times before she confronted them. I was her first audience. Even with her first few fails, I could read her eyes, how much she wanted to taste success here. As a result of emotional learning curriculum being done in school, peers too came forward and supported her. The encouragement she got from there boosted her morale so much that she could not stop talking about it in class.

Then came the concept of fractions where all-time favorite pizza is frequently used as an example. I used stories as a tool to introduce the concept. Students were involved in a follow up activity, which gave them hands-on learning experience of the concept. Once the basics was understood, I moved on to using pizza as an example and every time Shriya would solve fractions properly, I would message her mother, who in turn would cater for a pizza meal.

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“My family sat around the table and I had to give one fifth of the pizza to all members”, reported Shriya, the very next day. Great dear, today try eating two thirds of apple pieces at home. I was confident that Shriya would be able to calculate how many pieces of apple to eat, as I had already messaged her mother to cut the apple into six pieces. Shriya was able to make 3 groups of  the given apple pieces, but not able to decide how much to eat, so she send me a pic over WhatsApp. I just replied with a guiding question and next minute got a smiling picture with correct apple pieces next to a smiling face.

Shriya then volunteered to take a flip classroom for the next math lesson on fractions. She not only prepared herself for the explanation but also got worksheets ready for her peers. Shriya even gave out stars to all students who deserved them as per her, and in turn, she got the gold star from me. I had to encourage her for her efforts.

Next few concepts, saw Shriya taking a keen interest in the subject and trying her level best. Stumbling at places, this new Shriya did not mind redoing the task. She now had understood that understanding basics were the key to success and that one day she would get the gold star for all correct tasks.

I on my end kept on with my research and tried to make my lesson more engaging, interactive and one with which students could connect with. A mock market was set up in class to practice the concept of money. A number line was made on the floor for understanding decimals. Hopscotch was used for jumping on place values in the international number system.   Students played the game of battleship after understanding the coordinates. The class game of Housie was customized to revisit and recap the concepts done. “Who will become the next millionaire” TV show was enacted in my class with a student sitting on the hot seat till they give correct answers to mathematical questions.

Finally came the day, Shriya not only earned her golden star, but it did not stop there, as she was now aiming to get the Math Marshall badge I gave out to students who not only mastered the concept but were ready for peer teaching. And the day she did that, I realized that Math had itself solved its own problem by being supportive in Shriya’s journey from a math hater to a math lover.

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Authored By- 
Smriti Sajjanhar,
PBL Coordinator,
Bugle Editorial Board, Genesis Global School, Noida

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World Theatre Day: Let Theatre Arts Make Classroom’s Showtime Spectacular!

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As we roll out the red carpet for World Theatre Day, celebrated every year on March 27, let’s shine the spotlight on the dazzling world of theatre arts in education—a realm where creativity knows no bounds, and every student gets a backstage pass to explore the endless facets of their personality. Theatre arts isn’t just about taking a bow on stage; it’s a grand production that includes acting, scriptwriting, directing, set design, costume creation, and even the magic of lighting and sound effects. It’s where the shy kid in class becomes a roaring lion, and the daydreamer directs their first masterpiece.

Diving into the eclectic mix that is theatre arts, students embark on a thrilling adventure into storytelling, embodying characters from realms far and wide. But wait, there’s more! Ever fancied crafting a world from scratch? Set design and costume creation offer a canvas for the wildest imaginations, turning dreams into tangible realities. And for the tech-savvy, lighting and sound effects provide the perfect playground to amplify the drama or set the mood. It’s like being the wizard behind the curtain, where a flick of the switch can transport the audience to another dimension.

But theatre arts in schools is more than a ticket to the creative Olympics; it’s a masterclass in life itself. Through the laughter of improvisation and the discipline of rehearsals, students learn the art of expression and the power of voice. Theatre teaches us to walk in others’ shoes, sparking empathy and understanding in a performance that extends beyond the stage and into the corridors of daily life.

And let’s not forget the standup comedians, the jesters of the modern age, who wield humour like a sword, cutting through tension and bringing light to the darkest rooms. Standup comedy, an exhilarating facet of theatre arts, schools students in the art of storytelling and the bravery of vulnerability, proving that sometimes, laughter truly is the best medicine.

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Integrating theatre arts into the curriculum is like adding a pinch of magic to the mundane, transforming the classroom into a space where learning is an adventure, not a chore. It’s where students can be themselves (or someone else entirely) in a judgment-free zone, discovering their potential and pushing boundaries, one act at a time. Schools that embrace theatre arts offer students a safe space to explore their identities, confront societal issues, and express themselves authentically. Through theatre, students learn the importance of voice and agency, discovering their capacity to effect change in their communities and beyond.

So, as we celebrate World Theatre Day, let’s champion for theatre arts to take centre stage in schools. After all, in the grand theatre of life, we’re all players, and what better way to prepare for the world’s stage than by embracing the creativity, collaboration, and sheer joy of theatre arts? Here’s to the scriptwriters, the directors, the set designers, and the stars of tomorrow—may your light shine bright, both on and off the stage.

In the immortal words of Shakespeare, “All the world’s a stage,” and it’s high time we all play our part, ensuring that the wonders of theatre arts are not just an act, but a fundamental chapter in the story of education.

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Lessons Beyond a Cricket Pitch: An IPL-Inspired School Curriculum

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“As we tune into the electrifying atmosphere of the Indian Premier League, where the clash of willow against leather sends pulses racing, we’re not just spectators of a thrilling spectacle. We’re witnesses to a living, breathing classroom where science dances with agility, leadership commands the play, and economics paints the bigger picture. Today, let’s embark on a journey beyond the boundary ropes, exploring how the IPL isn’t merely a cricket tournament but a dynamic, fun-filled educational odyssey.”

The Science Behind the Ball and Bat

At the heart of cricket lies a ballet of physics, each ball bowled a lesson in motion, energy, and force. The journey of a cricket ball, from the bowler’s hand to the bat, is a vivid demonstration of aerodynamics in action. Factors like air resistance, spin, and the Magnus effect collaborate to dictate the ball’s trajectory. A spinner’s delivery, curving through the air, isn’t just a challenge for the batsman but a practical example of physics. The materials of the game, especially the cricket bat made from willow, offer insights into material science, chosen for their capacity to absorb the shock of the ball’s impact and minimize damage to the hands.

The biomechanics of players, whether it’s a batsman executing a perfect cover drive or a bowler’s seam position at the point of delivery, are a testament to the human body’s potential when understood and harnessed through the principles of physics. Integrating these aspects into the curriculum can transform a standard physics lesson into a riveting session that connects students’ passion for cricket with the wonders of science.

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Leadership on and off the Pitch

The IPL is a crucible of leadership, each match a case study in strategy, decision-making, and human management. Players like Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma, with their tactical acumen and ability to inspire their teams, embody the essence of effective leadership. “Sports has taught me a lot. It helps reveal character. Sport teaches you about facing challenges, overcoming challenges on a regular basis which apply to every work of life.” Kohli once remarked, encapsulating the spirit of sportsmanship that transcends the cricket field. This philosophy can seamlessly be integrated into educational discussions, illustrating how leadership isn’t confined to high-pressure matches but is equally relevant in group projects, student councils, and beyond. MS Dhoni, a legendary cricketer and former Indian cricket team captain also believes that it is important to push every youngster to take up sports. “Be it, mentally or physically, sport teaches a lot to the students and that actually helps in practical life. Sports should play a big role in students’ life and everyone should be pushed to it,”

The Economy of Runs and Rupees

The IPL, a dazzling spectacle of cricket, is also a multi-billion-dollar industry that serves as a fascinating model for financial literacy and understanding the global economy of sports. The auction room, where players are bid on like prized artworks, offers a live demonstration of market dynamics and valuation. Sponsorships, media rights, and merchandising around the IPL introduce students to concepts of branding, revenue generation, and the economic impact of sports on national and global scales. It’s a practical lesson in economics, illustrating how supply and demand, investment, and financial management play out in one of the world’s most popular sports leagues.

IPL: A Classroom Without Walls

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The IPL’s fusion of high-stakes cricket with lessons in physics, leadership, and economics presents an unparalleled opportunity to make learning interactive and engaging. It encourages students to see the relevance of their studies in real-world scenarios, thus igniting a passion for subjects that might previously have seemed abstract or disconnected from their interests.

Incorporating IPL-themed lessons into the curriculum can transform the traditional classroom, making learning a lively, participatory experience. As students analyse match strategies, calculate batting averages, or explore the economic model of the IPL, they’re not just learning; they’re engaging with the material in a way that’s both meaningful and enjoyable.

Cricket commentator and former cricketer Ian Bishop‘s words resonate deeply here: “The heart and soul of the game is what makes it so special.” In the context of education, the IPL embodies this spirit, proving that when you blend passion with learning, the classroom becomes a place of endless possibilities and discoveries.

The Indian Premier League offers more than just entertainment. It provides a vibrant, multifaceted platform for learning, encompassing physics, leadership, and economics, among other subjects. By viewing the IPL through an educational lens, we can inspire students to engage deeply with their studies, showing them that education, like cricket, can be filled with excitement, challenges, and lifelong lessons.

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A Voice for All Ages: The Enduring Legacy of Ameen Sayani in Indian Education

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In the echoing halls of Indian broadcasting, the voice of Mr. Ameen Sayani resonated with a warmth that touched millions, uniting a diverse nation in the golden era of radio. Today, at the age of 91, as we bid farewell to this stalwart of the airwaves, his absence leaves a silence that is palpable and profound. Mr. Sayani was not merely a radio presenter; he was a cultural icon who personified the soul of India, a voice that became the soundtrack of our collective memory.

The voice of Mr. Ameen Sayani has been a familiar comfort in the homes of countless Indians, a testament to his incredible journey in broadcasting. He is best known for his work on “Binaca Geetmala”, a radio program that became a weekly ritual for listeners, showcasing the latest and greatest in Hindi film music. His distinctive voice and charming style turned the show into an institution, one that charted the musical landscape of India for years. His journey in the world of radio began at a young age, and his natural ease behind the microphone made him a household name. Through his programs, he didn’t just play songs; he wove tales around them, connecting with his audience on a personal level, making each listener feel as though they were a part of a larger Indian family.

Why should Mr. Sayani’s legacy be a part of our schools and colleges? It’s simple: he was a master storyteller and communicator, whose skills go beyond radio. He showed us the power of reaching out and touching hearts, of crafting stories that linger in the memory. These are the kinds of lessons that are vital for every student, no matter what they want to do in life.

Mr. Sayani’s voice brought people together, crossing barriers of region and language. His approach to communication is something we should all try to learn from – it’s about engaging with others, being culturally aware, and building a sense of community with our words.

His radio shows did more than entertain. They taught listeners how to listen to each other, to share in the joys and sorrows of others, reflecting the society of the time. As educators, we should aim to teach our students not just to be good at a job, but to be good people – and Mr. Sayani’s life and work offer rich lessons in this respect.

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To include Mr. Sayani in our curriculum is to honor a man whose passion became the heartbeat of a nation. We should use his story to inspire students to find their own voices, to tell stories that matter, and to understand the incredible impact they can have on the world.

As we remember him, let’s bring the spirit of his work into our classrooms, so that the power of his voice continues to inspire future generations to make their own lasting impact.

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Integrating Startups in School Projects: The Sign of an Effective Curriculum

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Forget boring textbooks and dusty lectures! In India’s classrooms, the future of education is sizzling hotter than a samosa fresh out the fryer, and it’s all thanks to the entrepreneurial spirit of students. Startups are no longer just America’s playground – they’re popping up in schools like mango trees after monsoon season, and guess what? They’re changing the game! Integrating startups in school projects is a great way to teach entrepreneurship to students and help them understand the value of problem-solving. It also makes the projects more practical and engaging. In this article, we will explore how startups can be integrated into school projects and assignments.

As we celebrate National Startup Day on 16 January, in the Indian context, the Make in India campaign has given birth to a startup culture that is thriving. According to Statista, India has emerged as one of the leading startup ecosystems in the world, with over 61,000 recognized startups spread across 55 sectors and 635 districts . The Startup India initiative intends to catalyze and incentivize the startup culture through tax exemptions, funding, and support for incubators and accelerators.

Bonus fun fact: Did you know that India is now the 3rd largest startup ecosystem in the world? That’s right, these young entrepreneurs are shaking things up on a global scale!

Startups have become a major part of modern classrooms, and for good reason. They offer a unique perspective on problem-solving and innovation that can be applied to a wide range of subjects. For example, a startup that focuses on renewable energy can be integrated into a science project on climate change. Similarly, a startup that focuses on healthcare can be integrated into a biology project on human anatomy.

To integrate startups into school projects, students can work on various startup projects, appeal for funding, and then execute a whole idea in an assignment. This approach can help students learn about the various aspects of entrepreneurship, such as ideation, market research, funding, and execution. It can also help them develop skills such as critical thinking, problem-solving, and teamwork. Some successful startups working towards transforming education are:

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From coding wizards to eco-warriors:

Imagine learning to code by building your own robot that plants trees! That’s what WhizKid, a student-led startup, is all about. These tech whizzes are using their coding skills to tackle climate change, one line of code at a time. Fun fact: Their robots can plant a sapling in under a minute – faster than you can say “chai time!”

Turning science into superhero adventures:

Remember those boring biology diagrams? Not anymore! Tinkerly is turning science into a real-life Marvel movie. With their DIY science kits, students can build their own microscopes, dissect volcanoes (safely, of course!), and even create their own mini-ecosystems. Get ready, lab coats and goggles – science class is about to get epic!

History that rocks your world:

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History buffs, rejoice! StoryWeaver is weaving magic into the past. This platform lets students write their own historical fiction stories, collaborate with classmates, and even translate their tales into different languages. Imagine learning about the Mughal Empire through a rap song or the French Revolution through a graphic novel – history has never been so cool!

Another way to integrate startups into school assignments is to invite startup founders to speak to students. This can help students learn about the challenges and opportunities of entrepreneurship firsthand. It can also help them develop a better understanding of the startup ecosystem and the role of startups in the economy.

Integrating startups into school projects and assignments is a great way to teach students what lies beyond the world of their textbooks and the space outside of the walls they live in. With the right approach, startups can be integrated into a wide range of subjects and projects, making them more engaging and fun for students.

These are just a few sparks of innovation igniting in India’s classrooms. With the support of initiatives like Make in India, students are finding their entrepreneurial wings and building a future where education isn’t just about memorizing facts, but about creating solutions, solving problems, and having a blast doing it. So next time you hear the word “startup,” don’t just think Silicon Valley – think of the young minds in India, dreaming up the next big thing, one school project at a time!

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Target Publications hosts workshop for grade 10th and 12th students of Snehasadan Shelter Homes and Reap NGO

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Target Publications Pvt. Ltd organised a workshop for grade 10th and 12th students from Snehasadan, shelter home for homeless and Reach Education Action Programme (REAP) NGO. The workshop, held at Snehasadan, Andheri East, on January 14th from 11am to 1pm, aimed to offer useful tips for effective board exam preparation.

Experienced expert & state board Moderator, Mr. Ravi Dharma, who has 34 years of teaching experience and 30 years in paper correction of the Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education (MSBSHSE), explained important aspects of exam preparation. The workshop served around 40 children, providing helpful knowledge on board exam readiness, time management strategies, stress management techniques, and practical demonstrations of how answer papers and question papers will look. The session also covered examination dos and don’ts, along with guidance on dealing with potential challenges like reaching the exam centre on time and understanding permissible materials at exam centre. Students received guidance on effectively memorising maps and were instructed on writing answers strategically in their answer sheets and to attempt all questions to increase their chances of scoring full marks in exams.

After the event, the students had the chance to interact with Mr. Ravi, asking for advice on board exams, and explore a variety of books provided by Target Publications designed to enable a smooth and successful exam experience.

“Hosting this workshop for the students from Snehasadan and Reap NGO has been a rewarding experience. At Target Publications, we believe in supporting every student, regardless of their background, to excel in their academic journey. Seeing these determined young people eagerly learn insights on effective board exam preparation fills us with satisfaction. Their achievements in board exams will always reflect as a proof of the impact of education as a catalyst for positive change.”Tushar Chaudhari, Executive Director, HR & Creative, Target Publications Pvt. Ltd.

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Echoing Chaudhari’s sentiments, Mr. Ravi Dharma, the mentor who conducted the board exam preparation workshop, said, “Education is a powerful tool, and this session aimed to equip these young minds with effective strategies for board exam success. The enthusiasm and receptiveness displayed by the students were truly inspiring. With Target Publications’ commitment to making a difference, it’s a collective effort towards supporting these students for a brighter academic future. My gratitude to Target Publications for creating an environment where knowledge is not just imparted but also becomes a stepping stone for transformation and success.”

Father Wellington Patil from Snehasadan, Andheri, said, “Engaging in activities related to board exams instils confidence in our 10th and 12th-grade students. Target Publications conducted this workshop at the right time, providing valuable assistance that will surely benefit our students.”

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Edutainment

10 Unforgettable Films That Celebrate Inspiring Teachers

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Lights, Camera, Learn!

As we celebrate Teacher’s Day in the month of September, here are the list of films that featured some stories and teachers who left an indelible mark on the audience in cinema, showing the world how it only takes one teacher to inspire a million lives…

Dead Poet’s Society (1989): “Dead Poets Society” is an acclaimed drama film about an unconventional English teacher who inspires his students to embrace poetry, think independently, and seize the day. It explores the conflicts between personal aspirations and societal expectations, offering a thought-provoking exploration of individuality and the pursuit of dreams.

Where to watch- Disney + Hotstar
Directed by- Peter Weir

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The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (1969): “The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie” is a captivating tale of a passionate and unconventional teacher who leaves an indelible mark on her students at an all-girls school in 1930s Edinburgh, empowering them to embrace their individuality, challenge societal norms, and strive for greatness in a world that seeks to confine them.

Where to watch- YouTube
Directed By- Ronal Neame

Stanley Ka Dabba (2011): “Stanley Ka Dabba” is a heartwarming film that tells the touching story of Stanley, a young boy with a vivid imagination, who faces adversity when his schoolmates try to steal his lunchbox (dabba) every day. With the compassionate guidance of his teacher, Stanley finds solace, resilience, and the power to overcome obstacles, showcasing the transformative impact of friendship, mentorship, and the indomitable spirit of childhood.

Where to watch- Disney+Hotstar
directed by- Amole Gupte

“A Beautiful Mind” (2001): A biographical film that chronicles the life of mathematician John Nash. The story explores Nash’s struggles with mental illness and the challenges he faces in differentiating between reality and hallucinations. Supported by his dedicated wife, Alicia, Nash perseveres and makes significant contributions to the field of mathematics.

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Where to watch- Amazon Prime Video
Directed by- Ron Howard

English Vinglish (2012): A heartfelt film that revolves around the transformative journey of Shashi, a middle-aged Indian housewife who embarks on a trip to New York and enrolls in an English language course. With the guidance and encouragement of her patient and understanding teacher, Shashi not only improves her English-speaking skills but also discovers her self-worth, gaining confidence, and finding her voice in a world that underestimated her.

Where to watch- Jio Cinema 
Directed by- Gauri Shinde

Black (2005): A film that explores the life of Michelle McNally, a visually and hearing-impaired girl, and her relationship with her teacher, Debraj Sahai. Through their unconventional bond, Debraj strives to break through the barriers of Michelle’s disabilities, guiding her towards education, communication, and self-discovery, ultimately illuminating the triumph of the human spirit and the power of perseverance.

Directed by- Sanjay Leela Bhansali

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Super 30 (2019): “Super 30” is a film based on the true story of mathematician Anand Kumar. The movie depicts Anand’s journey as he establishes the “Super 30” program, where he selects talented but underprivileged students and trains them for the highly competitive Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) entrance exams. With his unconventional teaching methods and unwavering belief in his students’ potential, Anand empowers them to overcome social and economic barriers, offering them a chance at a brighter future. The film highlights the transformative impact of education, determination, and the power of dreams.

Where to watch: Disney + Hotstar
Directed By: Vikas Bahl

Taare Zameen Par (2007): ” A film that revolves around the story of Ishaan, a young boy with dyslexia, and his journey of self-discovery. When Ishaan’s struggles with academics and unconventional ways of learning go unnoticed by his family and teachers, a new art teacher enters his life. With his understanding and compassionate approach, the teacher helps Ishaan unlock his hidden potential, allowing him to thrive and shine in his own unique way. The film beautifully explores the importance of recognizing and nurturing the individual talents and strengths of every child.

Where to watch- Netflix
Directed by- Aamir Khan, Amole Gupte

Hichki (2018): “Hichki” is an uplifting film that tells the inspiring story of Naina Mathur, a woman with Tourette syndrome who dreams of becoming a teacher. Despite facing rejection and discrimination due to her condition, Naina secures a teaching job at an elite school. She takes on the challenge of teaching a class of unruly and privileged students, using her determination and unique teaching methods to break through their barriers and make a positive impact on their lives. “Hichki” portrays the power of perseverance, inclusivity, and the ability to overcome adversity.

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Where to watch- Amazon Prime Videos
Directed by- Siddharth P. Malhotra

Parichay (1972): Ravi, a struggling job seeker, reluctantly accepts the daunting task of tutoring five unruly and privileged children who have managed to intimidate their previous teachers. As he navigates the challenges of teaching this challenging group, Ravi’s unwavering determination and unconventional teaching methods begin to transform not only the students but also his own life.

Where to watch- Zee5, YouTube
Directed by- Gulzar

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Edutainment

Screen Time that’s Worthwhile: 8 Best Educational Shows for Kids

Here are 8 shows—a cross-section of educational TV in terms of STEM, history/culture, the arts, and more—for toddlers to early teens

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In today’s digital age, children have access to an abundance of entertainment options, including TV shows and movies. However, not all of these options are created equal when it comes to providing educational value. As parents and educators, we want to ensure that our children are spending their time on shows that are not only entertaining but also offer educational benefits.

Luckily, there are plenty of excellent educational shows for kids of all ages available today. These shows are designed to engage and inspire children while providing them with valuable knowledge and skills that can help them in their academic and personal lives.

Here are 8 shows—a cross-section of educational TV in terms of STEM, history/culture, the arts, and more—for toddlers to early teens.

  1. Ask the Storybots

The show follows the story of how some friendly, funny bots discover the answer to a “big question.” The magazine format of this show allows for music videos, letter rhyming, songs, and field trips to different places within the episodes. Find it on Netflix, suitable for ages 3+

  1. Julie’s Greenroom

Julie Andrews plays a performing studio owner and stars alongside original puppets from the Jim Henson Company (as well as some high-power actors) as she teaches kids all about putting on a stage show. Find it on Netflix, suitable for ages 4+

  1. Rosie’s Rules

In addition to learning Spanish language skills and being exposed to Mexican traditions, Rosie’s Rules teaches children about cultural diversity with easy-to-understand lessons. The show is wholesome, educational, and entertaining. Find it on PBS Kids, suitable for ages 5+

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  1. Baymax!

Loveable and huggable, Baymax is more than a cute, cuddly robot. He helps people stay well. Each episode teaches children about living a healthy life. Find it on Disney+, suitable for ages 5+

  1. Wild Kratts

Saturday morning never had it so good. In this animated series, kids are introduced to a variety of wild animal species and learn about science concepts such as animal behavior, habitats, and adaptation in this show which is brimming with real-life zoologist brothers Chris and Martin Kratt’s trademark humor and sense of adventure. Find it on PBS Kids, suitable for ages 6+

  1. Brainchild

This science-inspired educational series uses experiments and creative presentations to teach about concepts like the senses, neurology, marine biology, and gravity, all at a level relatable for kids—especially tweens. Find it on Netflix, suitable for ages 7+

  1. El Deafo

According to Common Sense Media, “this beautiful three-part miniseries feels like an animated diary as the show uses audio effects to help viewers understand what the world sounds like with hearing loss. The combination of these effects and the narration helps kid viewers really feel Cece’s joys and struggles.” Find it on Apple TV+, suitable for ages 8+

  1. The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder

Relatable stories, good role models, and zany comedy made The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder a great show for tweens, teens, and young adults. Find it on Disney+, suitable for ages 10+

 

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