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SITCOMS, Then and Now

There are shows out there that are experimental and might not suit kids at all. An example for a completely inappropriate show for kids is the Game of Thrones (GOT).

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Hey, psssttt….let me tell you a secret. I was a kid of the 80's, yeah!!! That’s right the 1980's. I know what you'll are thinking “that's old”, well let me tell you and believe me those were simpler times. We weren't house bound too much since we didn't have all the gadgets and technology lying around. We did have a TV and a VCR, with video tapes to watch from, no CD's. We didn't even know those round holographic discs were, coz they didn't exist. When we had the time to watch TV we had one channel Doordarshan. One channel, that's it. What's that you’re asking? “Oh! How did you survive with just the one channel?” Well we did and it was awesome. We had a variety of shows to watch from. Let me take you back to our time and tell you about a few of them…

AlifLalia: A show with a green genie in it. This was way before we knew the Hulk.

Byomkesh Bakshi: The Sherlock Holmes of India

Chandrakanta: hahahaha… what can i say….we had a villian named Kroor Singh who probably should have had his eyebrows tweezed.

Chitrahaar: Our dose of those filmy songs.

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Fauji: aaahhhh!!! Those glorious days when we got to see the now superstar Shahrukh Khan in his army avataar.

Mahabharat: who can forget those Sundays when the entire household would come to a standstill to watch the show sharp 10:00am.

Jungle Book, Haddi Raja, Surabhi, Malgudi days (my favourite show), Shaktimaan, the list goes on…

Then came the age of cable TV. Now this was a stage where things started taking a turn. Cable TV gave us the option of more than one channel. Families fought for the remote. Decisions couldn't be taken as to which channel should be watched. We had shows like The Wonder Years – the story about a young boy, his friends and his relationship with his family.

Small Wonder was about a girl named Vicky, who actually was a robot that was created by the father and posed as the daughter in the family. Bizarre, but it looked so real that all of us were enthralled.

Indian shows came up bigger and better. We had Antakshari on the Zee channel that became very popular, they took a simple household game and gave it a glamorous makeover.

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Aahat: you guys might laugh but it gave us the chills those days. The show haunted the audience across the country and we would talk about how we had goosebumps the next day to all our friends.

And the most super and successful show Kaun Banega Crorepati. The phrase “computerji lock kiya jai” entered the Indian lexicon and gave a new life to Amitabh Bachan's career.

Fast Forward…

…to the new generation. Not only are there hundreds of channels to choose from on television but also they are streamed on the internet. Sites like Youtube are hugely popular as any missed episode can be watched there with the click of a button and finally there is an option of downloading TV series even before the shows are officially released in India.

The 80's and 90's era really had no need to monitor the content that was being aired because all the shows were there for the viewership of the general public, kids and adults alike. Some series that are now being aired are so mature and explicit that there is little or nothing left to the imagination. I am guessing it’s every parent’s nightmare to allow kids to be around television, laptops or iPads without their supervision. But then again this generation is so different; kids minds develop more quickly than any of us did at their age. They are also exposed to a lot more things. This is due to the easy access to information., thanks to the net. Having said all that, I must say that most of the shows that are being aired are just about brilliant. So many genres, comedy, thrillers, romance, sci-fi and drama. With so much to choose from I’m sure all of you must have watched some or maybe all of these different shows.

How about the series F.R.I.E.N.D.S.? Most of us are guilty of watching this series over and over again. The story revolves around 6 friends so very different from each other. When the show came out with its pilot everyone was hooked. Monica the obsessive one and Chandler's wife. Ross a paleontologist, Monica's brother and the intellect of the group.  Rachel with her sense of style and Ross's love interest. Chandler, Monica's husband who has a job whose name no one could remember. Phoebe, the quirky one with the weird dressing sense and an even weirder collection of art. A masseuse by profession. And lastly Joey; who doesn't love him? The popular one with the ladies and his “How you doin?” was loved by one and all.

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Such was the impact of the show that almost everyone could either relate to one of the 6 characters or wanted to have a group of friends just like them. The entire cast stole our hearts and left us feeling empty when the show finally ended after their 10th season, a show that had a perfect balance of humor, sarcasm, romance and emotions.  

The Big Bang Theory created by Chuck Lorre and Bill Parady was another series that has a clear hold on the audience for the 10th year running. The light hearted series features an endearing cast of Sheldon, Leonard, Howard, Raj and Penny. They fully embraced their genius and social shortcomings. Even though the world thought differently about them, they stayed true to themselves and understood the value of friendship and loyalty. More characters were added to the series as the years went by and they merged into one happy family. For the fans of The Big Bang Theory I bring to you some facts that you knew or didn't know…

Did you know that Kunnal Nayyar who plays Raj Koothrappali was hired coz he was 'charming'?

The show had 2 pilots before the show was picked up to become a series.

A new jelly fish was discovered and was named 'Bazinga'

Mayem Bialik who plays Amy Farrah Fowler, Sheldon's girlfriend in the series has a ph.D in neuroscience in real life (it's true, I’m not kidding).

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Jim Parsons(Sheldon Cooper) has never watched Star Trek, like ever. Surprising really.

The phrase 'BAZINGA' caught on like wildfire. It was used by Sheldon many a times on the show to denote that whatever he said before it was meant to be a joke. The origin of the phrase was coined by Stephen Engle a writer for the series who would use it whenever he'd play a prank on a fellow writer.

Some kids felt that they needed parental guidance for the first few episodes of the series as it contained mild sexual content which raised a lot of questions. The show was generally watched by kids at an age of 10+ years and was considered inappropriate for the younger ones.

The series helped many kids to embrace their nerdiness and social awkwardness. It helped them feel better and other kids accepted them to be a special lot. Thanks to the show.

Other shows that were wildly watched were Modern Family, FamilyGuy, Suits, Sherlock Holmes, Breaking Bad, The 70's show and so many others that have gone on to be super successful with a large audience .

Asking a kid whether it was appropriate to watch these shows which had sexual innuendoes or foul language, he told us it was not anything he hadn’t heard before. He says he's given permission by his parents to watch these shows. And if he doesn't “get it” what was being said, he says that he can approach his parents and have an open discussion with them. I guess parents are being more vocal with their kids as they feel they can be better teachers in explaining than wanting their kids to get the explanation from elsewhere.

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Closer home, TV content in India is censored to a 'T'. Foul language beeped out and certain scenes don't even make the cut. But Indian audiences from the teens to the adults are no more considered “Innocent”. , they are open to watching shows with all the gore. Since there can be no censorship on the web, series that have bold content and those that address issues that the country faces and could be a complete no-no otherwise for television make their presence felt online.

Soap operas like BalikaVadhu and Sasural Simar Ka on Indian TV are not only what's gaining viewership. TVF Play, almost everyone has heard of it, if not it’s worth it if you could look it up. They have come up with various series that have been brought out on the web. Watch the first season of TVF Pitchers, about the trials and tribulations of 4 young entrepreneurs who quit their day job to pursue their startup venture.

Permanent Roommates is another show by the TVF team about a couple in a long distance relationship for years and face the prospect of marriage.

Humorously yours, follows the life of standup comedian Vipul Goyal and the tagline of the show is “The drama behind the comedy”

Scoopwhoop's Baked Chronicles explores the misadventures of three university flat mates who decide to start a midnight food service.

Bang Baaja Baraat, Not Fit, a Dice Media and TVF collaboration bringing India a mockumentary.

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All these shows bring about some life lesson to take away, but yet again for what age is it appropriate?

There are shows out there that are experimental and might not suit kids at all. An example for a completely inappropriate show for kids is the Game of Thrones (GOT). It showcases violence. But it’s all left up to the parents isn't it. Some parents feel that it is ok for kids to be exposed early to the things happening around them and to have a very open take on various things coz sooner or later it’s all going to come out in the open. Schools, friends, the net, TV are all places for kids to pick up on things that might not be fitting.

Others are more conservative in their approach in bringing up kids. They follow the policy of everything has a right time and place to learn. They would like to shield their children from what's out there.

There is no right or wrong here, but when the time comes hope that you understand that your parents are the first teachers you've ever had and they can give you the best possible guidance. Yeah, sure we know you've done and watched things on the sly (haven't we all). Well parents have been there and done that way before you, though they will completely deny it. Signing out with one last thought, though there are a never ending number of series out there to watch, do keep in mind they are make believe and reality is a completely different ball game.

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Paytm Founder Remembers The Struggles Faced In School & College Days

I went from being a school topper to failing in subjects because I couldn’t understand the language.

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In a recent interview with India Today, Vijay Shekhar Sharma, now one of India’s youngest billionaires and Founder of Paytm, remembered his days as a student and the struggle that he went through during everyday classes.

He recollected his years as a college student in Delhi, sitting in the front row of class and staring blankly at his teacher, who was teaching in a language. Despite being the only student from his school to qualify in the competitive exam and getting admission in DCE, he faced a language barrier in the new city. Since he had a Hindi-medium education background until high school, it became a struggle for him to understand the lessons which were majorly delivered in English.

He grew up in Harduaganj, a small town near Aligarh, with his father (a school teacher) and mother (a housewife). As he met with a language barrier in his engineering classes at the Delhi College of Engineering (DCE, now Delhi Technological University), his life in the premises became intimidating for him. He suffered from anxiety, the feeling of being an outcast, suffered a lack of friends and worried about getting a decent job.

He said, “I was the second engineer to graduate from my school. The first was in 1964. I see myself as an underdog, I was not supposed to be here. In school, I read a lot of books in the library; I read a lot about the glory of India but also realised that the glory was in the past.”

“I believe that whatever comes my way, whatever I do, is part of god’s plan. If there is a challenge [before me], I am meant to solve it. Whatever comes my way is a tool or a resource for me to fulfil my purpose. It is surreal to believe that I am here,” added the tech-entrepreneur.

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Shy and overwhelmed, he spent most of his time in the library or the computer lab. “I didn’t understand what the teacher was saying in the classroom. I never felt one with my peers. I couldn’t speak or understand their language. I was a failure in my class but a hero in the lab. I started to worry about whether I would get a job. I went from being a school topper to failing in subjects because I couldn’t understand the language.”

But what inspired him amidst this chaos were the stories of Silicon Valley entrepreneurs, who had made it big without a college degree. He got encouraged to start something of his own and even started a company out of his hostel with his few friends, named XS Corps. Their business card carried the address of their hostel and a phone number for the DCE’s computer centre.

Later, he went on to grab an on-campus job. “I took the job with the clarity that I had to learn how to run a company, like understanding what departments exist, etc. I did three stints in different companies, learning different aspects of running a business," he stated. 

Rest is history when, in 2001, he took an Rs 8 lakh loan and started One97, the parent company of Paytm. In 2010, he launched Paytm. In 2014, the company launched Paytm digital wallet. In 2016, demonetisation happened that helped Paytm grow tremendously. In 2017, Paytm became India’s first payment app to cross over 100 million app downloads.

What does his story teach us? That no matter how big a failure you may think you're in school, your determination to polish yourself afterwards and perseverance towards that mission is all that matters.

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Top Entertainers That Educators Should Follow On Social Media

Meet the most entertaining and humble comedians, talk show hosts and musicians like Ellen Degeneres, Ru Paul, Joe Dombrowski, Eddie B, BTS Band and One Voice Children’s Choir.

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Meet the most entertaining and humble comedians, talk show hosts and musicians like Ellen Degeneres, Ru Paul, Joe Dombrowski, Eddie B, BTS Band and One Voice Children's Choir.

Who: Ellen DeGeneres

Bio says: Comedian, talk show host and ice road trucker. My tweets are real, and they’re spectacular. 

X-Factor: Quirky observational humour  

Viral post: There are hundreds of episodes that go viral from The Ellen Show but we remember the one when she met pre-K/Kindergarten teacher, Azel Prather from DC, who, after learning that many of his students couldn’t afford haircut because they belonged to low-income families, teamed up with local barbers, hairdressers, and nail technicians to pamper his students. On the show, Ellen surprised him with a brand new Hyundai Sonata and $20,000 for his NGO The Prather Foundation!

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Favourite hashtag: #BurningQuestions

Top 5 accounts followed: Justin Willman, Earth Wind & Fire, The Real Talk Show, Hillary Clinton, Brielle

ScooNews loves: The episode with Memphis high school teacher, Michael Scruggs, who is known to start his class every day with a special mantra – “I am number 1, we all are number 1. Scholars get scholarships, we all get scholarships.” He’s been motivating his students every morning like this for almost a decade now. Go, watch it on YouTube now!

Follow at: @theellenshow (IG & Twitter), @ellentv (FB)

Who: RuPaul Charles

Bio says: You're born naked & the rest is drag

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X-Factor: One of the wittiest and most compassionate LGBTQIA+ artists to bring Drag-art to the international platform

Viral post: When RuPaul scared Jimmy Fallon on ‘The Tonight Show’ that mom Jimmy Fallon genuinely thought he’d been cancelled for calling RuPaul a ‘drag queen’. But RuPaul was just joking and the video got millions of views overnight.

Currently talking about: Entering the Guinness World Records list for winning the most number of Emmy awards for Outstanding Host for a Reality or Competition show

Favourite hashtag: #DragRace

Top 5 accounts followed: J.K Rowling, Moira Forbes, Salon, Ts Madison, The Cut

ScooNews loves: RuPaul educates not just adults about the LGBTQIA+ community in an interactive and colourful way but also children. He/She recently inspired author Maria Isabel Sanchez Vegara to write a book called ‘Little People Big Dreams,’ which explains children about the LGBTQIA+ community in a friendly manner. 

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Follow at: @rupaulofficial (IG), @RuPaul (Twitter & FB)

Who: Joe Dombrowski

Bio says: Comedian from the 313 currently residing in the 206 which unfortunately doesn’t sound nearly as hard

X-Factor: This educator and comedian is famous for his funny education-related social media content and most notably for his Spelling Bee prank video

Viral post: When he gave his students a fake spelling test 

Current talking about: His Social Studies Podcast

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Favourite hashtag: #TeacherHumor

Top 5 accounts followed: Andy Kindler, Gerry Dee, ClassCast Podcast, NatGeo Education, Meghan Mangrum

ScooNews loves: His teacher-memes like this one – “I’m not poor because I’m a teacher. I’m poor because of Amazon’s ‘Buy Now’ button…and I’m a teacher.”

Follow at: mrdtimes3 (IG, FB & Twitter)

Who: Eddie B 

Bio says: Eddie B is comedy on steroids. He started comedy in his senior year in college and never looked back. He has entertained crowds all over the U.S…funny and real!

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X-Factor: He’s a school teacher turned stand-up comic. He developed himself as the voice of teachers with his brutally honest comedy.

Viral post: “What teachers really say”

Currently talking about: His virtual comedy show “Unmuted & Virtually Confused” 

Favourite hashtag: #BoredTeacher

Top 5 accounts followed: Hilariously Infertile, MEL Science, Teach.org, Teachers Pay Teachers, Teachers Tips and Fun

ScooNews loves: His current take on homeschooling, Google classrooms and virtual learning while schools all over the world are shut down due to the COVID-outbreak

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Follow at: @eddiebcomedy (IG & FB)

Who: BTS

Bio says: This is the Official Instagram for #BTS, 'Life Goes On' Out Now

X-Factor: 7 member band has immense love for each other, world-famous but humble. Lovely voices and mad dance skill.

Went viral: A mash-up video of members Jin, Suga, RM, J-Hope, Jimin, V and Jungkook dancing to a Bollywood song ‘Des Rangila’ surfaced on 15th August 2020 on IG @filmforfare. The video was dedicated to Indian Independence Day and read – ‘Here’s BTS and Team Filmforfare wishing everyone a very Happy Independence Day in India’.

Currently talking about: The band regularly talks about mental health, they believe those who have an international platform and millions of listeners should talk about these pressing matters.

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Favourite hashtag: #BTS

ScooNews loves: Their lyrics usually focus on the themes of mental health, troubles of school-age youth, loss, the journey towards loving oneself, and individualism. Also, listen to the speech BTS delivered at the United Nations Group of Friends of Solidarity for Global Health Security.

Follow at: @bts.bighitofficial (IG), @bts_bighit (Twitter), @bangtan.official (FB)

Who: One Voice Children's Choir

Bio says: We hope to spread a positive message and inspire the world with our music. Singing to make the world a better place!

X-Factor: Synchronisation, melody and a whole lot of adorable children all dressed in the colour theme performing a vast selection of music

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Went viral: In 2014, the choir received national attention after releasing their performance of the Disney song "Let It Go"

Currently talking about: Christmas holiday music ‘Mary, did you know’ and ‘The More You Give The More You’ll Have!’

Favourite hashtag: #OneVoice

Top 5 accounts followed: Good Morning America, The Ellen Show, The New York Times, The Tonight Show, Disney

ScooNews loves: This non-profit organisation brings together children and teaches them good music. The members meet up every week once to practice and perform over 50 times a year. The songs always mean more than the lyrics, the children bring a sense of unity for the world to see.

Follow at: @onevoicechildrenschoir (IG), @1VoiceChildrens (Twitter), @OneVoiceChildrensChoir (FB), One Voice Children's Choir (YouTube)

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6 Times Kindergarten Teachers Turned Halloween Into Class Lessons

Let’s learn some cool DIY lessons!

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We love how innovative and interesting teachers are. They always know how to manifest their best at every occasion, don’t they? 

Recently it was Halloween and boy, did they surprise us again! Internet is flooding with unique pictures and videos of creative activities that some pre-primary/primary school teachers pulled for their beloved students making the celebration scary-fun for everyone. 

While some of their innovated kids’ activities involved easy mathematical problem-solving and science lessons, others taught life skills like observing shapes and colors of this huge, orangish-yellow fruit.  

From DIYs to science experiments to even motor skills, here are some super fun classroom glimpses commemorating the end of October.

1. This one is using art to teach math. To set this up:

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  • Lay some butcher paper on the table.
  • Draw some Halloween shapes all over it.
  • Write down a number on each picture.
  • Put out some festive counters.

This activity teaches kids number recognition, sequencing, colour recognition, and motor skills. 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

SPOOKY HALLOWEEN MATH ???? ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ This tabletop butcher paper activity is one of my favourite ways to present Math to my kiddos. It's not only quick, cheap, and easy to set up, but provides an opportunity for the kids to do Math while using their artistic flair! ???? ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ The concept is simple – use the Halloween accessories to decorate each picture with the correct number of things! (i.e. see a drawing of a bone with the number '5' on it, decorate it with five of the mini bones! ☠) ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ To set this up: 1. Lay some butcher paper on the table. 2. Draw some Halloween shapes all over it. 3. Write down a number on each picture. 4. Put out some festive counters. ???????? ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Lots of fine motor work goes on here, in addition to number recognition, counting, sequencing, ordering, colour recognition, and just plain #Math. For such a simple activity, there's a lot packed in! ???? ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #MomHacks #EverydayInvitationToPlay #PerfectPreschoolPlans #EverydayPlayHacks #InvitationToPlay #EarlyMathSkills #MathSkills #PreKActivities #EarlyEducation #EarlyLearning #PlayAllDay #BoredomBusters #PlayBasedLearning #PlayMatters #EYFSIdeas #ECE #EarlyYearsEducator #EarlyChildoodEducator #PreschoolActivities #Preschool #Montessori #MontessoriAtHome #SimplePlay #HomeschoolPreschool #EarlyMath #HalloweenActivities #HomeschoolActivities

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2. Pumpkin carving is fun but have you tried teaching them pumpkin’s anatomy? This educator has taken the opportunity to tell her little learners about the inside parts of a pumpkin. See how words like skin, pulp, seeds, stem, fibre strands, etc. are taught here.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Turn pumpkin carving into a science activity with a color-cut-and-paste PUMPKIN CARVING activity. As kids carve their pumpkins they can learn what to call all the parts inside like the pulp, skin, seeds, and fibrous strands. Just imagine them saying, "Mom, can you please help me remove all the fibrous strands?"–So smart!!! Get this FREE printable. Search "LEARNING ABOUT PUMPKINS" on our blog or click the Holidays-Halloween tab to find this idea and more. Post Url: https://alittlepinchofperfect.com/learning-about-pumpkins-explore-color-and-label-free-printable/ SAVE this idea for later & follow us for more Kids Activities ⭐️@alittlepinchofperfect . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . #alittlepinchofperfect #carvingpumpkins #pumpkincarving #pumpkins #homeschool #homeschooling #homeschoolmom #homeschoollife #schoolathome #homeschoolfamily #homeschoolfun #homeschoolers #homeschoolrocks #homeschoolcurriculum #scienceiscool #sciencefun #scienceforkids #preschool #kindergartenfun #kindergartener #preschooler #kindergartenactivities #preschoolactivities #firstgrader #firstgradeactivities

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3. With the help of a simple Halloween-themed paper cut-out, this activity involves finding the same letter that’s spread all over the design, amidst the various other letters. Looks easy? We think not. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Working on letter P identification and came across this idea to make it into a Halloween themed cut out and mixed in random letters. This was a HUGE HIT! What Halloween or fall themed activities are you doing this month? ???????? . . . #otmamacita #otmamacitamomhack #halloweenthemedactivities #letterrecognitionactivity #phonics #phonicsforkids #letterrecognition #preschoolactivities #prekhomeschool #prekactivities #kindergartenteacher #kindergartenactivities #preschoolteacher #holidaythemedactivities #occupationaltherapy #occupationaltherapist #occupationaltherapystudent #cota #otactivitiesforkids #otactivities #earlylearningactivities #earlyreaders #visualperceptualskills #visualmotorintegration #finemotoractivities #pencilgrasp

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4. How to better your students’ observation skills? Simple – place pumpkins of all shapes and sizes in front of them and let them draw the way they see this fruit! Here are some adorable results:

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5. This teacher has integrated math, science, and social studies together into the thematic activities. One such game includes measuring the circumference of the pumpkin using chain-links and comparing the result with the figure they estimated before doing so. 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

???? Pumpkin Week ???? is one of my favorite weeks in October! Teaching thematically and immersing my students in this topic helps increase motivation and student mastery of skills, while allowing me to hit multiple content areas and standards. Plus, these pumpkin investigation activities are just plain FUN! The kids love Pumpkin Week! Some years, we will complete our pumpkin investigations before Halloween. Other years (read… when we run out of time), we complete them just before Thanksgiving. That’s the beauty of pumpkin season… It really lasts all fall long! In the past, I have always used yarn to measure the circumference of a pumpkin, but last year we used chain links. Let me tell you… the chain links are a total game changer! They are so easy for the kids to hook together, fit around the pumpkin and count how many! I’m sharing how I integrate math, literacy, science and social studies into our pumpkin investigation activities on the blog. Click the link in my profile to see all 20 activities! Let me know your favorite pumpkin week activity ???? in the comments! #pumpkin #pumpkinseason #halloween #halloweencrafts #kindergarten #kindergartenteacher #kindergartenclassroom #kindergartenactivities #firstgradeteachers #firstgradeclassroom #firstgrade #firstgradeteacher #1stgrade #1stgradeteacher #teach #teachersofinstagram #teacher #teachers #teachersofig #iteachtoo #iteachfirst #iteachk #onesharpbunch

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6. And here comes our favourite teacher. This one may not be teaching any new skill to her students this Halloween but is making sure they become confident and content individuals and keen learners. She believes that like other subjects, art, too, requires step-by-step guidance. She calls this ‘Directed Drawing.’ According to her, drawing may not come naturally to many kids but with right guidance, they definitely can learn! We second her. 

 

 
 
 
 
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ScooReview: ‘I Am Kalam’ is a Riveting Story of a Child’s School Dream

The film is about an impoverished village child who calls himself Kalam after the former Indian President because he wants to become like him.

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I Am Kalam is a beautiful film produced by the non-governmental charity called Smile Foundation. The reason behind making this movie was to bring awareness to people about the educational inequality prevailing in India.

I Am Kalam is a 2011 film, which was way ahead of its time. This is the story of a boy from a poor family who works as a child labourer at a highway-side cafe (aka dhaba). Irrespective of the problems in his life, he is a happy child with a simple dream to become someone like Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam. 

The plot has the protagonist Chotu being sent to a dhaba to work and earn for the family. Here, he befriends the royal heir, Rannvijay, of a neighbouring resort's owner, who’s his age. Every day, Chotu dreams of wearing a tie and uniform to go to school, just like Rannvijay, as he has an unusual thirst for education and knowledge. He then chances upon the Republic Day Parade and Dr. Kalam’s salutation march. Curious, he finds out about the President and instantly decides to become like him. From here, he begins to call himself Kalam.

As the story progresses, he meets a foreigner woman who tries to convince his mother to let him study as he is a bright kid, but since the family's circumstances aren’t in favour, he is denied an education. As a consequence, Chotu aka Kalam decides to run away to Delhi to meet the President and give him a letter. In this, he writes about how he wants to become like the President of India and thanks Dr. Kalam for making him realise his dreams. Meanwhile, every one from his family comes running after Chotu to find him in the new city. They finally track him down and a relieved Rannvijay and zealous Chotu hug each other with joy.

In the end, Rannvijay’s father offers Chotu’s mother work at his resort and agrees to pay for Chotu’s education and send him to the same school as Rannvijay’s. That is when Chotu says he wants to pay for his education on his own and the movie ends with both Chotu aka Kalam and Rannvijay boarding the school bus in their school uniforms.

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Conclusion:

The plot shows that equality in education is still a mere thought and that ideas are still being built around the education for underprivileged. The movie is, without a doubt, an eye-opener for the education sector in India.

The child named Chotu, with the sole dream of education, depicts the scenario of the underprivileged communities in our country and the inequity of education a majority of kids his age face. With this film, Smile Foundation wanted to press on the matter a decade ago. Clearly, the great scientist, an exemplary leader and a visionary teacher, Dr. Kalam, is a huge inspiration behind the script. The film ends on a promising note that where there’s a will, there’s a way. But most importantly, it teaches us that nothing can stop a child from grabbing his right to education if his determination is strong.

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Wisconsin Teacher Sings FRIENDS Parody Version For His Students 

Paul Miller, a teacher in the United States, welcomes his new class for a new (remote) session in a very delightful and interesting way

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Who doesn’t remember the iconic 90's American sitcom F.R.I.E.N.D.S about six friends living in New York, that was premiered for almost a decade? Recently, a teacher in the USA went viral after he used its famous title song to cheer his students up while the schools are closed. 

Paul Miller, a teacher of Appleton East High School in Wisconsin, created a parody of the FRIENDS theme song ‘I’ll be there for you’ to virtually welcome his students in the new session. His parody implied that he shall always be around to support his students and that they can count on him even if they cannot meet him in person. 

His song's lyrics say – “So no one told me that life was gonna be this way. I got my lessons ready, but the students are MIA… I’ll be here for you when you’re learning at home. I’ll be here for you, and you’ll watch me on Chrome.”

Since his school decided to reopen remotely for the new session, this English teacher’s efforts felt right in every way to bring hope and joy among the excited young students. 

Miller said that his ‘welcome ritual’ has been consistent over the years, though this year he did have to be a little extra creative. How amazing that he chooses to sing to his students every year, right?

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He said, "Obviously, I am not an expert musician. My intent is to show them that I am not afraid to take a risk and I want them to push themselves as well. This year, I have no live students because our district is fully virtual. So, I decided to put the ukelele down and make a music video to send home to my students.”

Well, we must say his artistic imagination was surely loved by his pupil as well as the people on the internet. See for yourself!

 

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ScooReview: Coach Carter, A Film Based on The Beautiful Mentor-Mentee Relationship in Sports

Its time to watch a sports movie, Coach Carter, starring none other than Samuel L. Jackson

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Coach Carter, directed by Thomas Carter and starring Samuel L. Jackson as Coach Carter, is an Americal film in the genre of sports teen drama. 

The film is based on the true story of Richmond High School in California and their basketball coach, Ken Carter. They made headlines in 1999 for suspension of the undefeated high-school basketball team due to poor academic results.

The story revolves around Coach Carter and his basketball team in high school. He gets hired as the coach because of being the alumni and ex-team player for the school. Though hired only to better the game of the team, he takes care of their academic scores, too, and makes them abide by a contract which obligates the players to maintain a minimum academic grade if they want to play for the team.

But Coach Carter, when learns of bad grades of the players, suspends the team from playing. He asks the performers to improve their grades as he wants them to have other options than basketball in life. Initially misunderstood and opposed by the board, Coach Carter’s intension and motives get clear to the players and they finally begin to strive hard to advance their academics to be able to play again.

Eventually, all the delinquents and rowdy students realise what their coach has been saying all along, and although they do not win the final game, they get praised by their opponents and coach for the brilliant show and team spirit.

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Lesson

There can be times when students reject teachers and their philosophies and not understand what they are doing and why. The moral of the movie is that teachers always think ahead for the betterment of their pupil. With this film, we learn to invest trust in our educators and develop the patience to understand their motives. Because, at the end of the day, teachers only love to see their students succeed, don’t they?

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5 Indian Podcasts For Teachers & Students on Wildlife, Feminism, History, Science & More

Here is a list of some Indian podcast channels to introduce your students to, talking about animal cruelty, history and science

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The Podcast culture is not a famous one in our country but a budding one for sure. A podcast is an episodic series of spoken word digital audio files that a user can download to a personal device for easy listening. 

While the schools are closed, take this opportunity to introduce your students to Podcasts as they learn some hard facts about the most pressing issues in our country and the world at large.

Wildlife SOS was established in 1995 by a small group of individuals inspired to start a movement and make lasting change to protect and conserve India’s natural heritage, forest and wildlife wealth. Today, the organisation has evolved to actively work towards protecting Indian wildlife, conserving habitat, studying biodiversity, conducting research and creating alternative and sustainable livelihoods for erstwhile poacher communities or those communities that depend on wildlife for sustenance.

https://wildlifesos.org/get-involved/podcast/

Mick Sullivan created The Past and The Curious in 2016 and it is a work of love.  Since then people from the founder’s friends and family have joined in as well.  A History Podcast for kids, parents, teachers alike.

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https://thepastandthecurious.com/

The Life of Science is a travelling feminist science media project run by Aashima Dogra and Nandita Jayaraj which tells the story of women scientists around India. It is a good way to introduce children to our country’s most prominent women from science and their accomplishment, and parallelly tell girls what they can achieve.

https://ivmpodcasts.com/thelifeofscience

Kidnuz podcast, a new Podcast channel, that introduces children to current affairs of the world in a kid-friendly manner. No, they do not talk about crimes or any other hard-hitting topic, but positive and inspirational news that are age-appropriate.

https://www.kidnuz.org/podcast

But Why is a podcast for curious kids, the ones who are highly observant and curious about the most trivial things in their surroundings. In this podcast, kids lead the episodes by asking questions about anything that tickles their fascination. Answers to such questions are then followed up on the podcasts. 

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https://www.vpr.org/programs/why-podcast-curious-kids#stream/0

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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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10 Educational Netflix Series: Must-Watch For Students & Teachers

Learning is not limited to the classroom. For a more vivid and enriching experience, these 10 Netflix Series are a must-watch for every curious being.

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Netflix has been streaming movies, documentaries, and tv-series of multiple genres, attracting people from different walks of life. There are some series and documentaries which are quite fascinating for classrooms as well. They talk about multiple issues and concepts from wildlife protection to gender-based issues that can educate the young students. Here is a list of 10 such programs which are a must-watch to enhance our knowledge banks. 

1. Our Planet: Our Planet, narrated by David Attenborough, is a ground-breaking and honest series on the flora and fauna. It reflects on the issues that have been intentionally or unintentionally skipped in other series under this genre. It has been filmed in more than 50 countries and covers the diversity of species from coastal areas to grasslands. 

2. Chasing Coral: Directed by Jeff Orlowski, it is a compilation of hard work done over a span of three years, with 500+ hours of underwater shoots, across 30 countries with the support of more than 500 volunteers. The movie sheds light on the depleting number of coral reefs and tries to find the underlying causes of such activity. The team’s work did not end with just this movie, they went beyond and started an impactful campaign afterwards. 

3. 13th: The movie 13th by Ava DuVernay is inspired by the 13th Amendment to the American Constitution. It is a depiction of racial inequality, unjust system and police brutality. The documentary has testimonies from different advocates and scholars on this topic and reasons for a large number of African-Americans in the prison. The message of the documentary is lucid and a must-watch. 

4. Knock Down the House: Directed by Rachel Lears, it is the life-story of four women who aspire to change the face of American Politics and enter the field in 2018 for the Congress race. This emotional and touching documentary follows their life-struggles, their effort and campaign stories.  

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5. Period. End of the Sentence: This documentary film by Rayka Zehtabchi is focused upon menstruation, which ideally should be listed as one of the important issues but has been ignored for decades, especially in the Indian context. The plot of the film is set-up in rural India, where stigmas and taboos over period persist and people prefer not to discuss it. The film is about a group of women who revolt against the existing treatment to menstruation and create an impact by producing sanitary napkins at lower costs to ensure their feasibility for all. 

6. The White Helmets: The White Helmets is a British short film on the work done by a relief and rescue crew in Syria and Turkey. The film has been directed by Orlando von Einsiedel and reflects on the daily operations and struggles of the Syrian Civil Defence, also known as The White Helmets. 

7. Zion: Zion is a short film by Floyd Russ about a teenager Zion Clark who was born without legs and has lived in foster care for years. It is an inspiring story of a determined young man who wanted to make it in wrestling despite all the odds. 

8. Explained: Explained is a series by Vog Digs, where a plethora of topics have been discussed from politics to music. It aims to explore cultures, trends and anything relevant happening across the globe, with interviews and explanations by experts in the areas. It touches upon when sound becomes music or why women are paid less or the growing water crisis in the world. It is a well-research series and highly recommended for the inquisitive young minds. 

9. Abstract: Abstract by Mark Mothersbaugh is a series about the aspects of design and its existence in our daily lives. It dives into a different inspiration of designers, who changed the landscape and our perspective of seeing the world. It has talked about Tinker Hatfield’s experiences which shaped his ideas about the Air Jordan series to Es Devlin stage designs. 

10. Babies: It explores the life of infants in the first year of their life. The series is based on ground-breaking science and reflects on the statement of ‘what it means to be a human can be found in the youngest creatures.’ The series observes the emotional bonding between the parent and the child and how it affects the baby’s crawling, first words and sleep patterns. 

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ScooNews’ Tribute to Irrfan Khan: Hidden Lessons From His Films For Educators

Here is a list of top movies starring Irrfan Khan followed by the lessons in them, we believe, the education sector can benefit from. 

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Here is a list of top movies starring Irrfan Khan followed by the lessons, we believe, the education sector can benefit from. 

Life of Pi (2012)

Pi Patel, brilliantly portrayed by Irrfan Khan, tells his story of surviving the Pacific ocean when he finds himself amidst a shipwreck and alone in a lifeboat that is adrift in the middle of nowhere. He soon realises that he is in the company of some wild animals, especially a Bengal tiger, and despite being frightened, he fights against the odds. When he shares this story with a few friends years later, he is met with scepticism and disbelief, post which he changes the animal characters to humans and lets the listeners choose as to which story to believe.

A lesson to learn: The character Pi, in the end, says "and so it goes with God,” which, in all likelihood, meant that the final choice lies with us, the humans. Whether to choose rational reasons or a fanciful narrative is upon us. It isn't unheard of that an educator’s beliefs are motivated by the subject he teaches or is most close to. As a mathematics or science teacher, he might be more cogent. On the other hand, an art teacher could be more inspiration bound. But is it the absolute truth? 

It is one of the greatest powers of a teacher to let go of their personal belief and teach their pupil the truth, what is good, what is right and more importantly, what is ethical. It is simple, as crucial as it is, to educate children about rationality, logic and scientific meanings. It is also equally important to guide and advance their curiosity, perception and imaginative psyche.

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Jurassic World (2015)

A theme park showcasing genetically-engineered dinosaurs turns into a nightmare for its tourists when one of the deadly dinosaurs escapes its enclosure. After the escape, the park owner Simon Masrani, played by Irrfan Khan, realises how risking it was to develop these modified animals that humans could not comprehend completely and contain. It shows how one’s mistake to achieve fame and success could lead to so many lives lost and brutal destruction.

A lesson to learn:  Expansion of science and eventually, the world has always been on priority for human beings, but at what cost? In order to progress, we are somehow forgetting humanity, that is, development should not be achieved at the expense of virtue. It is necessary for educators to remember to teach the younger generations the mistakes humanity has already made, how not to repeat them and be analytical of risk factors.

Educators are the crafters of the young minds who’re tomorrow’s scientists, mathematicians, architects, painters, photographers and more, absorbing everything that their teacher teaches them. One of the responsibilities of the educators in the present is to help develop a better world by crafting progressive yet compassionate, sensible and social humans out of their pupils. 

Inferno (2016)

Latest in the Dan Brown novel’s adaptation, this movie revolves around Prof. Robert Langdon after he awakens with amnesia in a hospital. He teams up with Sienna Brooks, one of his doctors, to protect the world from the evil plan of a mad scientist. Harry Sims, played by Irrfan Khan, the CEO of a private security company called "The Consortium,” ultimately joins hands with the protagonist to save the world, after resisting his choices for long. 

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A lesson to learn: There are always two sides shown in movies, the protagonist side (positive character) and the antagonist side (negative character). What is uncommon is showing a side that shift’s loyalty towards the good side when they realise what is at stake without a personal interest. The character played by Irrfan Khan teaches how it is necessary to know which side to choose at what time in one's life. 

Similarly, in educators' life, there will come times when they need to be stricter with students regardless of how callous they may seem, and there will also come times when they need to be tender. The key is to perceive the right move at the right moment in order to see their students thrive, without any gain or, perhaps, that is the gain.

Hindi Medium (2017)

Raj, played by Irrfan Khan, and Mita, are parents of a little girl named Pia. They yearn to get their daughter educated from a reputed school, which is more status-friendly for them. When they learn that their background is holding her back, they do everything to ensure that she gets into the school including posing to be poor, in order to exploit the government rule of Right to Education. 

A lesson to learn: RTE quota is a reservation category that helps children from poor families study in prestigious schools. The exploitation of this category is a criminal offence and in this film, it’s shown how the parents are so adamant on getting their child in that particular institution that they take illegal measures. Clearly, it isn’t for the child’s benefit because she’s seen happy studying with her friends in a government school. The problem is how her parents perceive status and being elite, a necessity. 

Considering the kind of Educational Divide that prevails in the country, what we need are the kind of educators who would consider it their duty to bring forth any such activity if they suspect so, and support the RTE Act. This rule has been established for the betterment of society, nation and the coming generations, regardless of rich or poor.

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Angrezi Medium (2020)

Irrfan’s character, Champak, an unassuming mithai shop owner and single father, is set to fulfil his daughter's dream to study in London. Though the girl in the movie studies hard to make her dreams come true, a single mistake by her father makes the administration so angry that they refuse to approve her admission, indicating a judgement lapse on the administration’s part. Later, certain misadventures lead him and his family on a new quest, one which renews their relationships and bonds.

A lesson to learn: It is very evident that the movie’s leading concept is around foreign studies, how much students get invested in the thought of going for education abroad and the misgivings of being “independent.” It is important for the elders, parents as well as teachers to explain to the children that studying out of the country does not equal success. 

Also, one can notice in the film how no other faculty was shown stepping forward in support of the girl whom they saw working hard for the admission. It is necessary for the educators to support their students, boost their morale, and guide them, especially when they see real efforts. At the same time, educators should explain to their pupils how studying in a particular country does not make a difference, the way of implying one’s academic knowledge does.

Note: Irrfan Khan, the beloved actor, passed away on 29 April 2020 due to an illness that was beyond cure. Much like ScooNews, he, too, was born in Rajasthan. To give a tribute to this eminent actor and magnificent human being, our team decided to dedicate this space to his irreplaceable art. If you, just like us, are a fan of his artwork, here are some of his other movies worth watching – The Namesake, Piku, Lunchbox, Slumdog Millionaire, Madaari, Paan Singh Tomar, Maqbool, and Amazing Spiderman.

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