With the holiday season approaching, it’s good to add some fun into teaching to keep your students engaged and motivated. We’ve created 12 simple classroom activities and tips that you can carry out with your primary class to encourage them to be good.
Reaching exam success with happiness and wellbeing in mind
Are you or your students preparing for an exam like The International Certificate (PTE General)? If so, you might find that things are more stressful than usual or that motivation is starting to lack. When preparing to take an exam, it’s easy to overlook the fact that people also need to destress and relax a little.
Exam preparation is an important period. That’s why we’ve come up with some tips and advice that will help increase happiness and well-being. It will also help develop good study habits and ensure you or your students remain happy right up to their exams and beyond.
1. Create a study plan
A clear plan can help you get off to a positive start. At the same time, it will inevitably lead to more confidence and better results on the big day. Make sure to gather all the materials and equipment you will need (or provide your students with a list of what they need to gather). Once prepared, set up a comfortable workspace where you will feel happy to spend time. If you’re a teacher, you can ask your students to describe their ideal study spaces in class – this will help them visualize what they need to do at home!
It's also helpful to create a schedule where you write down what you need to work on and when. Try to include all areas of the exam but prioritize those areas that may need more work and improvement.
2. Take time out
If you're starting to feel anxious or stressed as the exam day comes nearer, here are some ideas to help manage:
Take a break
It’s better to study for short periods rather than spending hours on end at their desk. It’s a good idea to break up study periods and take a short break at regular intervals. If possible, also go outside and get some fresh air at least once a day.
Try mindfulness techniques
Guided meditation apps such as Headspace or Petit BamBou can help reduce stress and prepare learners to focus better on their studies. You can also find guided meditation videos and audio tracks on Youtube or Spotify.
Remember how far you’ve progressed and celebrate what you can do, and if you’re an educator encourage them to visualize themselves confidently completing the exam.
3. Have fun!
Although exam practice and reviewing are important parts of preparing for an exam, you can also have some fun. Play games and base activities around a variety of different media, including short videos and podcasts and other forms of entertainment.
Make English a part of your leisure time. Watch series or films in English, listen to music or choose podcasts related to your interests. A good tip is to look for English-language alternatives to any materials or media usually consumed.
4. Stay healthy
The stress caused by exams can result in bad habits, and eating unhealthily – fast food, snacks and caffeine can provide a false sense of energy. However, the food we eat and drink can greatly affect our body and mind. A healthy diet can improve our mood, our memory and our levels of concentration:
- Healthy carbs such as brown rice, pasta, whole grain bread and cereals will provide the necessary energy to allow students to keep working through the day.
- Oily fish like salmon and sardines are great for the brain, heart and joints, as well as increasing serotonin which makes us feel good!
- Other sources of Omega 3 such as nuts and seeds are a great substitute for vegans.
- A variety of fruits and vegetables will ensure that students have a balanced diet that will improve memory, brainpower and mental agility.
5. Get a good night’s sleep
Sleep is essential for learning to take place. The time you spend asleep is just as important as the time you spend awake. You should aim to sleep for 8 hours a night. This will help your brain to recharge, allowing you to start the day with energy and focus.
It’s especially important that you sleep well the day before the exam. This will help you relax and ensure that you are alert and ready to give your best performance.
6. Offer incentives
If you are studying intensively or for a long time, motivation levels may start to drop. If you’re a teacher and you see this is the case, your class will need some additional support and encouragement to help them keep going. Small rewards can help with this.
Teacher: You can offer rewards in class by allowing students to choose an activity they enjoy, but it’s also useful for students to give themselves rewards for any goals they set and accomplish. This personalization will make the reward even more satisfying.
Self-learner: When you get to certain checkpoints of your study make sure to reward yourself with something small that you enjoy. Small rewards include things like listening to your favorite song, eating a sweet treat or watching a funny video.
7. Reduce the workload
As the exam approaches, make sure to gradually slow down. Rather than trying to learn something new, spend the last few days reviewing what you’ve studied and practice English as much as you can. On the day before the exam, do something completely different, like go for a long walk or watch a good film. Just to get your mind to wind down and relax before your exam, which will likely be quite demanding on the brain.
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In the fast-paced world of business, there is one undeniable fact that holds true: employees are the key to success. Their commitment and expertise propel organizations towards their objectives, which is why investing in a learning culture is essential. The advantages are numerous and include improved staff retention, increased productivity and the goal of higher employee engagement.
You may have heard the term learning management system (LMS) at work or perhaps during your time in education. For many, this throws out images of clunky, outdated systems that clumsily distribute course materials and are tough to use. But that is no longer the case. Modern LMS's are far more user-friendly, and it's time to relearn what you thought you knew about these tools.
In this ultimate guide, we will look at everything you need to know about learning management systems and why they are so beneficial.
What is a learning management system?
The idea is that these LMS platforms offer one central place for users to manage and access courses and learning materials. Depending on the user, this could be anything from self-paced e-courses to classroom training.
This can help facilitate a range of training, studying and skills development, as well as assessments, exams and certification management.
Who uses LMS's and why?
There are many great uses for learning management systems but these are used primarily by businesses and educational establishments. Here are some of the most common use cases for these platforms:
Employee onboarding - Those starting a new job may be given training via an LMS; this can make the onboarding process much quicker and simpler
Compliance training - Lots of roles require compliance training, for example health and safety training, and this is a great way for businesses to stay up to date and ensure everyone complies with regulations
Customer support - Some businesses use learning management systems to onboard customers or clients. This might include sharing user manuals and product guides. Plus, sales professionals might also use them to train new partners or clients in using their services or platforms.
Classroom learning - Lecturers and teachers can create and share course materials and align content and tests from one place. These can also be used to put a twist on traditional classroom learning.
Blended learning - Schools, colleges and universities may use these for online lessons and blended learning, particularly for remote students
Volunteer training - Charities and non-profits may also use an LMS to educate volunteers and keep them motivated about the cause
Of course, these platforms can and will be used in other ways, but these are some of the most common and beneficial uses for LMS's.
Who has access to LMS's?
In most cases, learning management systems will have two primary user groups: administrators and learners.
Administrators are the people who create, manage and deliver e-learning. They may use these platforms to upload their own learning materials, or they may select courses and materials from an existing list given by the provider.
On the other hand, learners are the professionals or students who will use these platforms to train, study and gain new skills. Many modern LMS's allow multiple learners to train or access materials at the same time.
However, there is a third and final group that we have yet to mention: the parents of students using LMS's, particularly outside of school hours. In some cases, parents may have access to these systems to support students, track their progress or look at feedback from the teacher.
Key features in modern LMS's
There are a variety of learning management systems out there and some are more advanced than others. That being said, many modern platforms will share similar features to ensure they stay competitive. Some of these key features may include:
Authoring tools that allow administrators to upload or build their own courses
Access to subject matter experts who can contribute to learning and development activities
Automated workflows that allow for the creation of personalized learning journeys
A resources library that holds all relevant learning materials, such as guides, video clips and courses
Quizzes and surveys for a more fun and engaging way to assess learners
Compliance features, such as automatic reminders that notify learners when it is time to retrain
Certificates and diplomas that give learners recognition as they study and meet their targets
Insights and analysis for individual progress and results, allowing administrators to identify gaps or areas where support is needed
Compatibility with mobile devices for studying on the go
Integrations with other internal systems and software
This is by no means a complete list and different platforms will have different functionality. However, these are some of the most common and beneficial features of many modern LMSs.
The benefits of using learning management systems
Saving time and money
First and foremost, an LMS can be an excellent way for businesses to save time and money on training.
Of course there is an initial investment in the platform, but training can be expensive and time-consuming, particularly if it must take place in a location outside of the workplace. Therefore, this can be the more cost-effective solution. Not to mention, the materials are quick to access and can save time and effort.
Ensuring compliance training is completed
These platforms are an excellent way to ensure that all mandatory training is completed on time and to the highest standard. For example, industry-specific training such as fire safety or cybersecurity training.
Provide accurate data
Administrators can access data and insights into their employee's learning. This can be a great way to see where more support is needed and to identify any skills gaps that need to be filled. Similarly, teachers can get to grips with how well their students are doing and if they need extra help in any subjects or areas.
Improves the learning experience
Whether in school or the workplace, LMS's can be a great way to improve the learning process. It allows users to study and access learning materials from one accessible location. Plus, through a multimedia approach, they can use guides, videos and more to help them learn. This can ensure they engage with the materials and stay motivated.
Finally, an LMS can make communication between students, teachers, employees and employers far simpler. For example, automated reminders keep everyone in the loop and ensure all training is completed on time. But more than that, there is one central place to communicate, review feedback and access the same materials.