How Schools Could Use Social Media

Social media offers new opportunities for soaking up knowledge for students as they are now more inclined towards using the latest technologies in their daily lives.  The vision of students has gone far beyond than books & assignments. Students now enjoy learning with new forms of communication. Social media, without any doubt, has become the most effective tool of interaction. The web of social media has tangled the students to an extent that it became an addiction for them. This addiction cannot be immediately stopped however can be utilized to effectively retain information.

Here are some ideas on how schools could use social media as a new form of communication:

Web Engagement:

workplace-1245776_960_720

We have witnessed the increased online presence of students on regular basis. For instance, if there exists a website or social media account of a school on the internet, it provides a great opportunity for students to share their reviews or take part in group discussions. It is the most effective way to help students keep moving in all walks of their life. Moreover, the admin of the social media accounts can easily regulate rules & regulations to keep students well-informed about current circumstances.

Hosting Online Competitions:

When it comes to online competition, a school can use social media as the most powerful tool to unlock the potential of their students. For instance, a competition held for digital content creation, photography or animated videos can offer a great chance for students to showcase their talents.

personal-2923048_960_720

Student Counseling:

Many students hesitate to express their views about the problems they face in their schools. A social media account dedicated to uplift a student’s performance can be very beneficial in this regard. This can not only help in safeguarding the privacy of a student but also helps in regaining their lost confidence by bullying or peer pressure.

Interaction With Parents:

Gone are the days when parents canceled all their appointments to attend the parents-teachers meeting. Social media has greatly helped in sharing the feedback of a student’s performance on regular basis. Schools can use social media accounts to update parents about their child’s progress.

cellphone-3658089_960_720

Leveraging social media accounts, let school’s administration to take ownership of their school stories & spread the word of their students’ success worldwide.

Advertisements

Why you should be reading more

Reading is a hobby which allows you to cut off from the world and immerse in a new, more exciting world. If you’re reading this, then you’re probably a regular reader. People do it for enjoyment purposes or to pass their time. But do you know why reading is important? Here are the top 4 reasons why you should be reading more.

reading 1.jpg
1. Reading reduces stress
This reason is no shocker to us as many of us, including myself, retreat to reading because I was some relaxation and quiet time. This is backed up by the fact that by reading a book or newspaper for just 6 minutes can lower people’s stress level by 68%. In fact, this is more effective than going for a walk, drinking tea of coffee or listening to music.

readin 3.jpg
2. Reading improves language skills
A human development professor named Donald Bolger says that reading is like a snowball effect. The more you read, the more words you learn. And the more words you learn, the better you are at reading and comprehending.

reading 4.jpg
3. Reading can shape a person
When you read, your mind expands and takes in different aspects of reading. While reading, you experience a spectrum of emotions, and you experience it very intensely. You learn about different personalities and how they feel throughout the book, hence you become more sensitive to other people and think twice about how your actions can affect them.

readin 5
4. Reading improves focus and concentration
One of the major contributors to short attention span and poor memory is the lack of concentration and focus. If you want to improve your concentration, then you should try reading. You’d be surprised how reading just for a few minutes improves your focus throughout the day.

reading.gif

DIY Mid Autumn Moon Festival Lantern

Schools these days expect kids to complete projects that are extremely difficult for their age. So, a lot of times, parents end.up.doing those or they hire someone to do it for them.

Last week, my 5 year old.daughter was asked to make a lantern for the Mid Autumn Moon Festival celebrations at her school. As the lanterns started coming in, I noticed the lanterns to be extremely compliand probably too difficult for my 5 year old tpanage even if I helped. Choosing any of those designs would have meant that in fact I would have to do most of the work. That was not something I was willing to do because I wanted my daughter to contribute in a meaningful way in this project.

A search on the internet led me to am extremely simple design which only required paper of different colors, glue stick and scissors. Thats it.

Steps to follow:

  • Take a colored piece of paper, make some design on which woud be easy to cut.

IMG_20180912_113130.jpg

  • Once done, roll the paper into a cylinder and stick the ends with glue stick.
  • Take another paper, draw parallel lines on it (I drew the lines) leaving a little space on both ends and cut along those lines (my daughter did all.te cutting). We also made holes using a punching machine. My daughter had a lot of fun doing this.

IMG_20180912_113523.jpg

  • Roll up this piece of paper on the cylinder.

IMG_20180912_114322.jpg

IMG_20180912_115025

  • Cut and paste the handle to enable easy holding.

IMG_20180912_120935.jpg

Actually, I was quite happy with how it turned out and it only took us around half an hour to get it done.

I think I will be making more of these lanterns with the kids, especially for Eid celebrations at home.

Do try these at home with kids and let me know what you think.

 

 

 

The Easiest Vanilla Cake Recipe

So yea, I am new to baking…and cake decoration. Till now I.hav only depended on Boxed cake mixes but I feel I need to learn to make some cakes from scratch before moving on to decoration.

I opted to try our family favourite, vanilla cake, first. I tried a few different recipes of vanilla cake over the last 10 days and the following recipe turned put to be the best.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 cup butter at room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs at room temperature
  • 1 cup buttermilk at room temperature
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Simple Buttercream icing

Method

  1. Pre heat oven at 180 C and prepare the baking pan.
  2. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Whisk and keep asida.
  3. In another bowl, beat butter till fluffy. Add sugar and mix until combined.
  4. Add eggs one by one and mix well.
  5. Add flour mixture and eggs into the butter mixture, alternatively. Combine them all properly.
  6. Add vanilla extract and mix thoroughly.
  7. Pour into pan and bake for 30-35 minutes (when toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the middle of the cake.
  8. Let it cool for 10-15 min before covering it with simple buttercream icing.
  9. Enjoy with tea or coffee.

IMG_20180916_094530.jpg

The recipe is easy and fool proof. The cake came out soft and absolutely delicious. Highly recommended!

 

So I made a birthday cake…. First time ever

And surprisingly, it was edible!

I have never been a cooking and baking enthusiast. I am a stay at home mom and do all the cooking myself but kitchen is definitely not the place where I feel home.

But last week I decided to make a birthday cake myself. All I have ever done (and also messed up) is bake cakes using boxed cake mixes.

So, of course, I started with watching a million YouTube videos and seeing how complicated the whole procedure was, I decided that it would be best to keep the budget minimal (but realistic), make use of the utensils/tools I have already and buy ready made stuff as much as I can to ensure the process can be simplified as much as possible.

A day before I was supposed to have the cake ready, I decided to drop by a supermarket nearby to get the boxed cake mix. I chose chocolate because I know that chocolate hardly ever goes wrong. However, I was not able to find many other stuff which I required. I then headed off to another shop that I thought would have most of the items I required. I decided against buying expensive tools like Cake rotating stand or the cake leveler. I was just unsure how the cake would turn out and whether I would be making another cake ever in my life. But I did buy ready made fondant and some reddy made gum paste flowers.

That same day I decided to get the cake baked with the help of my kids. That was such a fun activity as the kids got to crack and eggs themselves and they helped me stir all the ingredients together.

IMG_20180830_171107.jpg

As I didn’t buy a spatula or a new cake pan, I just used the cake pan I already had and poured in the batter with a simple spoon. Thankfully, the cake came out perfectly.

IMG_20180830_181313.jpg

I left it overnight in the fridge so that I could get down to decorating it the next morning.

So next morning, after dropping off the kids to school, I took out the cake and cut it in half to put in the icing. Meanwhile, I had kept the butter outside so that it would melt. Then I made my first ever icing.

IMG_20180831_111401.jpg

It was actually simpler to make then I had anticipated. I put it on one layer of cake, put on the other layer and covered the whole cake with the icing.

IMG_20180831_114806.jpg

Next, was the turn to cover it with fondant. Now as I mentioned earlier, I had store bought fondant, which apparently I only had to roll and put it in the cake.

IMG_20180831_124431.jpg

I started by dusting off my counter with corn starch and started rolling the fondant.

IMG_20180831_124909

It was all white and a little boring and so I added just a few drops of red food color… Which turned it into pink.

IMG_20180831_125748.jpg

I then rolled on the fondant onto my rolling pin and stuck it onto the cake.  As my cake was not exactly high, it didn’t prove to be as difficult as I expected.

IMG_20180831_130728

Now I just needed to stick my decorations to the cake but I realised I didn’t know how to do so. A quick Google search helped me find out the easiest and the most economical way… Just use a little water. The kids were back from school by then and they helped (added on) with the decorations and they were quite proud of it.

IMG_20180831_165202

So the cake turned out OK. It didn’t look awesome but hey, it was just my first attempt. I made a few mistakes and I will be sure not to do the same in the future. Of course, next time I will try and bake the cake from scratch as well just to challenge myself a little further.

Top 10 Must Watch Kids Movies

Television has long been a source of entertainment and a way to wile the hours away. The prime objective of TV shows and movies has always been keeping the audience’s interest. But this platform has also been a strong proponent of positive messages, good vibes and lessons to learn. You and I have grown up watching some of the most classic children films and they remain to be some of the best movies of all time.

It’s not about the jaw-dropping graphics or the melodious soundtracks; it’s about the character development, the solid plotline and a positive life lesson that makes these movies stand out from the rest. While there are many titles that fit this description, here are top 10 children movies that have outshined through decades and must be watched with your kids before they turn twelve.

#1: The Lion King

Ah, who can forget this timeless Disney classic? This isn’t only a story of courage and how to fight for your people. This is a story that teaches children how to deal with loss and of course – how to put the past behind them.

_20180904_104541.JPG

#2: Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory

Adapted from Roald Dahl’s best-selling children’s novel, Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory is about the adventures of an unprivileged boy into a magical chocolate factory. This movie not only keeps children entertained and humming the Oompa Loompa songs for days, but it also makes them understand the importance of humility. Charlie’s patience, humbleness and kindness brought him riches in the end unlike all the other bratty kids in the movie who met a more or less dreadful end to their chocolate factory tour.

_20180904_104821.JPG

#3: Toy Story

Toy Story has seen many different sequels but the ’95 Disney film remains to be the best still. Toy Story is a fun concept with a strong message. Woodie’s dedication to protect his friends and Buzz’s show of courage are all inspiring themes that children are sure to pick on.

_20180904_105033.JPG

#4: Akeelah and the Bee

This relatively contemporary movie blew up the box office charts in 2016. Akeelah, a young girl with a broken household, find an opportunity to break free from her circumstances through a Spelling Bee competition. With the help of Dr. Larabee’s coaching, Akeelah learns how she can become someone she can be proud of.

_20180904_105219.JPG

#5: Brave

As the name implies, Brave is a story about courage and strength. Forced to marry at an early age by her parents, Meredith breaks the customs of her family tradition and pursues her passion instead – archery. Brave is a story that highlights and strengthens a mother-daughter bond and teaches both children and parents to understand the other person’s point of view.

_20180904_105428.JPG

#6: The Iron Giant

Inspired from Ted Hughe’s award-winning novel, The Iron Giant made waves back in 1999. This story about friendship and sacrifice will leave tears in your eyes but a lesson that you will remember for years to come – a perfect kids move indeed!

_20180904_105627.JPG

#7: Matilda

Another Roald Dahl adapted movie, Matilda narrates the story of a gifted yet misunderstood girl. Her struggles against the prejudice from her family and the cruelty of her school principal are short. Matilda soon realizes she has the power to stand up to all that don’t believe in her. This strong message of self-esteem, self-love and courage is extremely essential.

_20180904_105831.JPG

#8: E.T the Extra-Terrestrial

This heart-wrenching timeless movie remains a favorite for many adults still. When a young boy befriends a gentle alien, new bonds are made and new adventures are embarked upon. The powerful message of sticking up for your friends is both a tear-jerker and uplifting.

_20180904_110035.JPG

#9: Charlotte’s Web

Charlotte must do everything in her power to protect her bovine friend Wilbur from getting slaughtered– even if it means constructing an elaborate spider web. Children will learn how important it is to help out those in need from this film. They will also learn the true meaning of friendship in Charlotte’s Web.

_20180904_110336.JPG

#10: Wizard of Oz

Possibly one the most oldest and yet still one of the greatest classic children films is the Wizard of Oz. The plot follows Dorothy, a girl lost from her home because of a tornado, and her quest to return to her family. With her friends she finds embarks on the way back home but this road isn’t simple. Dorothy must act intelligently, with courage and kindness to make it through. The Wizard of Oz is truly one of the most inspiring kids’ movies of all time to date.

_20180904_110602.JPG