Monday, July 30, 2012

Foods for Child's Healthy Lunchbox


Everyone struggles with what foods to pack for their kids. So here is a kids' menu, highlighting some of the best foods for fueling young brains. Make sure your child's lunchbox has these three healthy foods to help him or her stay focused all day.

Reams of studies show that fueling the brain with breakfast is important for thinking, acting, and learning. And children who are undernourished perform poorly on cognitive tasks.
But not just any breakfast will do: Research shows that fueling your kids with slower-burning carbohydrates (also called low-glycemic-index foods) like oatmeal instead of faster-burning, or high-glycemic-index, breakfast foods (think: sugary cereals) helps them to maintain their concentration and attention throughout the school morning.

New studies show that being even mildly iron-deficient affects learning, memory, and attention. (About 10 percent of young women are anemic — because of their monthly loss of iron-rich blood.) Luckily, restoring iron levels to normal also restores cognitive function.

During childhood and adolescence, the body uses calcium to build strong bones — a process that's all but complete by the end of the teen years. Giving your kids enough calcium at a young age will help prevent osteoporosis later on. Yet more than 85 percent of girls and 60 percent of boys aged 9 to 18 fail to get the recommended 1,300 milligrams of calcium per day (kids aged 4 to 8 years old need 800 mg; toddlers aged 1 to 2 years need 500 mg).
The 2005 Dietary Guidelines recommend 2 cups of low-fat or nonfat milk or dairy products per day for children 2 to 8 years old and 3 cups for children 9 years and older.

Reference:  Hearst Communications Inc, 2012, 
School Lunch 101: 3 Must-Have Foods for Your Child's Healthy Lunchbox, [Online] Available from:

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Weather, or Not?

It is Hulhan'gu! (Monsoon season in Maldives) The winds are traveling fast! Yesterday, winds were blowing at 45mph! It also is nearing Ramadan. We have only 13 days till the Holy Fasting Month. 

Many Maldivians will be traveling over the sea to their home island for Roadhayah (Fasting Month). They often travel in ferry boats, fishing boats (mas dhoani), and by plane (jet and floatplane).

Each of these transports, as a preventative measure,  have to provide safety for their passengers. Life vests and/or inflatable vests as well as life rings may be on board to assist in emergencies.

KAAFU Swim-n-Survive Program trainees, Liusha - Rifga - Mary - Naaby - Azmeen
offer a word of caution in their poster to all: 

  "Even a good swimmer can drown. 
Everyone must take preventative measures."

If you are traveling over water:
  1. Identify where your life jacket is.
  2. Identify where exits are on board.
  3. Make sure there are available vests for any children accompanying you.
  4. Know how to put on any floatation device before departure.
  5. Know important emergency numbers.
  •  Police: 119
  •  Fire: 118
  • Coast Guard: 191
  • IGMH: 3316647 / 3335335
  • ADK: 3313553

Monday, July 16, 2012

Thinking Skills

Thinking Skills are the mental processes we use to do things like: solve problems, make decisions, ask questions, make plans, pass judgements, organize information and create new ideas. 
Often we're not aware of our thinking - it happens automatically - but if we take time to ponder what's going on then we can become more efficient and more creative with our minds.

Strategic and Reflective Thinking Skills

This is meta-cognition - thinking about thinking. 
It can involve planning, monitoring and evaluating your use of the cognitive skills above. 
A good way to introduce young thinkers to reflective thinking is by making a display like the one below.

What is in your head?: A photo of a display of silhoette heads with a collae of pictures of their thinking inside thier heads 

Reference: Aspiro Education Limited, 2009, Thinking Classrooms, [Online] 
Available from:

Monday, July 2, 2012

Inductive and Deductive Instruction

Two very distinct and opposing instructional approaches are inductive and deductive. Both approaches can offer certain advantages, but the biggest difference is the role of the teacher

In a deductive classroom, the teacher conducts lessons by introducing and explaining concepts to students, and then expecting students to complete tasks to practice the concepts; this approach is very teacher-centered. 

Conversely, inductive instruction is a much more student-centered approach and makes use of a strategy known as ‘noticing’. Let’s take a closer look at the differences between inductive and deductive instruction, and find out how noticing can be used in the language classroom to better facilitate student learning.


What is deductive instruction?

A deductive approach to instruction is a more teacher-centered approach. This means that the teacher gives the students a new concept, explains it, and then has the students practice using the concept. For example, when teaching a new grammar concept, the teacher will introduce the concept, explain the rules related to its use, and finally the students will practice using the concept in a variety of different ways.
According to Bob Adamson, The deductive method is often criticized because: 
a) it teaches grammar in an isolated way; 
b ) little attention is paid to meaning; 
c) practice is often mechanical.

This method can, however, be a viable option in certain situations; for example, when dealing with highly motivated students, teaching a particularly difficult concept, or for preparing students to write exams.

What is inductive instruction?

In contrast with the deductive method, inductive instruction makes use of student “noticing”. Instead of explaining a given concept and following this explanation with examples, the teacher presents students with many examples showing how the concept is used. The intent is for students to “notice”, by way of the examples, how the concept works.
Using the grammar situation from above, the teacher would present the students with a variety of examples for a given concept without giving any preamble about how the concept is used. As students see how the concept is used, it is hoped that they will notice how the concept is to be used and determine the grammar rule. As a conclusion to the activity, the teacher can ask the students to explain the grammar rule as a final check that they understand the concept.

Source: lenkaBilash, 2009, Inductive and Deductive Instruction [Online], Available from: