Monthly Archives: September 2015

SKIDOS Family Time

Today is kids & family movie night: Inside Out!

By | Parenthood | No Comments
PopCorn TimeFamily time

It’s Friday! Time to make plans in family and enjoy the spare time.  Enjoy at the playground or take a walk around the city are good plans.  It can also be time to relax at home: take the blanket and feel the coming fall on the couch. For that, is there a better plan to do than watch a family movie with your kids?

There are movies that you see with your children and you’ll love they remember them for the rest of their lives. You know why? Because they are that special, they teach us valuable lessons!

Animated movies are the kind of art that children can understand and appreciate. There is an entirely amazing genre of entertainment – animated movies you should enjoy with your kids, family and beloveds. We want to help you to build quality time with your kids.

Our recommendation for this weekend is…

Inside out characters
  • Title: Inside out
  • PG
  • Rate: 8,5/10
  • What will tell to your kids: Riley is uprooted from her Midwest life when her father starts a new job in San Francisco. Riley is guided by her emotions – Joy, Fear, Anger, Disgust and Sadness. The emotions live in Headquarters, the control center inside Riley’s mind, where they help advise her through everyday life. As Riley and her emotions struggle to adjust to a new life in San Francisco, turmoil ensues in Headquarters. Although Joy, Riley’s main and most important emotion, tries to keep things positive, the emotions conflict on how best to navigate a new city, house and school.
  • Why we like it ~ Lesson: The film has some deep things to say about the nature of our emotions. Its fundamental messages about emotion are consistent with scientific research: happiness is not just about joy, don’t try to force happiness, sadness is vital to our well-being, mindfully embrace—rather than suppress—tough emotions. Inside Out has artfully opened the door to these conversations, some of the most memorable scenes in the film double as teachable moments for the classroom or dinner table.
  • Curiosities: Director’s inspiration for this film came from watching his own daughter go through this turbulent part of growing up. The dinner scene where Riley’s mom tries to get her husband’s attention came, also, from Pete Docter’s own experience.

Now, grab the popcorn and settle in for a magical movie night with the family.
Share with us your impressions about Inside Out!

By Ángela R.

Source: imbdGreater Good

Help your students through gamification (II)

By | Gamification | No Comments

Gamification IILet's play!

Gamification (article here) has been one of the most effective learning methods for over 15 years now. Gamifying the learning experience increases learners’ levels of goal achievement, engagement, interactivity, and motivation. What more would any teacher ask for?

Last week we share some ideas (here) about how to use gamification with your students,in this post we want to complete the information with more useful tips, let the game begin!


  • Resembling real-life situations and experiences.– The game has to contain the essential elements of gamification, including goal-setting, an instant feedback system, interactive competition, virtual rewards, and “leveling” up within a program or application.

  • Overcoming prejudices and accepting that traditional teaching needs to change. Play is important for learning. When children exploring the world, they literally kill themselves out of curiosity. If we destroy their natural curiosity, they will become unengaged and cynical. A traditional education system wastes a tremendous amount of human potential and it’s time we upgrade education system to the 21st.
  • Getting learners involved and learn by doing. Students learn by doing, and can experience frustration in the process of finding out what works.  They experience the challenges and dilemmas that all the learning process has.
  • Illustrating progress, increasing engagement and creating challenges. Gamification can make learning beautifully intuitive. For example, building in “levels” is not just a great way of showing progress; it also allows you to start with the basics and get more complex as their understanding of the content develops.
  • Empowering learners to feel like heroes. Play is the highest form of research. We have new cultural and global problems to solve and educators agree that there is room for improvement in engagement levels; this is where education and games diverge. The main way gamification reshapes learning is by permitting learners to set and understand their own goals; by re-defining failure; and by changing feedback to be fair, frequent, granular, and not fully contingent on the teacher.
  • Asking students to practice outside the classroom. Besides teaching regular content CV in a class, teachers can ask students to practice at home and send snapshot of their performance. Although not all of them may like this kind of competition, most of them could feel that this is a motivating factor for more hard work and participation outside the classroom.
  • Deconstructing games and reverse-engineering what makes them successful to engage, challenge, and keep focused. Games are artificial learning environments. There is no game without a challenge. Humans love to be challenged. Our brain is a learning engine and it was developed only for this one purpose. Why blame a game for being so engaging and motivating that school seems to be so damn boring in comparison to it? Shouldn’t we learn from the best and try to fix what’s wrong with education? Or in a nutshell: Don’t blame the gamer, blame the “game”.
  • Motivating the acquisition of tacit knowledge. Tacit knowledge is that we cannot describe and is not a realm of formal study. However, this is the most impactful on productivity and retention. Game mechanics help attract, direct, and engage people in behaviors that drive organizational learning and the spread of tacit knowledge. The existence of games is incredibly effective in motivating behaviors designed to encourage the spread of tacit knowledge.
  • Providing ongoing motivation in order for learners to stay engaged in a long-term endeavor. The game’s challenges and feedback kept them highly engaged.

Do you already use any of those ideas in your classroom?

Share your experiences with us!

By Ángela R.

*Source: E-learning industry


SKIDOS Learning Math

Is math an universal language?

By | Education | One Comment

Football and mathMath time!

Watching college football games as math assignment? For the fifth-grade students at Woodward Elementary School this is a reality. Students were asked to score the plays and keep track or yards, points and time. They translated this data into fractions and percentages which were used as mathematics learning tools. 

​The goal of this activity was to reach across the socio-economic and language barriers between the students. 

Math is better understood through a real-world assignment. At Woodward, math became a universal language in the classroom since 95% of the students is learning English as a second language. Statistics tell that one-fifth of the people in the U.S do not speak English at home, so it becomes a problem in the classroom.

Dual-language programs have long been the trendy tactic for bringing down language-learning barriers. But is math the real answer?

President Obama’s Race to the Top initiative emphasizes STEM learning, particularly in mathematics, in order for more students to make it to high school graduation and the college degree beyond it. That push is founded on facts. Take Rhode Island, for example. In the state, poor math performance in high school is linked to lower enrollment in college and failure to complete college. 

Imagine then the ramifications of that statistic on more diverse, urban K-12 classrooms? The good news is that urban school districts, though still often underperforming in math, are showing the greatest positive improvement in math achievement. Large cities are making progress more quickly than the nation as a whole. The students who speak English as a second language in these urban settings are improving at a faster rate in math than their native English-speaking peers around the country – and that speaks volumes to the power of math as a universal subject and equalizer.

There are certainly programs that target urban students when it comes to math, and other STEM, learning but that much of that progress is a direct result of the teachers in the classroom. There is no way that one math-learning or ESL initiative drawn up by a district or the state can adequately address the students that need the extra boost. Individualized plans, like the college football scoring assignment, are what really get through to students and bring them to a place of better long-term comprehension. Instead of being a learning complexity, innovative math learning initiatives are the key to overall K-12 academic improvement. Math is a universal language and one that needs practical applications to really have an impact. That starts with the teachers but needs support from the decision-makers to truly make a difference. 

How do you reach your students when it comes to math learning? 

What innovative ways help you?

By Ángela R.

Source: The Edvocate

SKIDOS teacher image

How to be a good (new) teacher?

By | Education | No Comments

New teachersSkidos Learning

As a new teacher, facing new students is always challenging, so get ready to make a great impression on your new students. Here are some tips that can help you be a star teacher from the first day and win all your students over.


1. Establish the ground rules

By being clear about your expectations, you provide students with boundaries for class behavior. Once you have introduced yourself, communicate the basic rules for behavior, policies, interactions and permissions that will be used throughout the year.

Detail: polices for attendance, homework, passes to leave the classroom and the use of electronic devices; also detail the possible consequences in a positive manner.

You may still have to reiterate these rules for the first couple of weeks.

* Tip! You can plan a quiz or classroom activity on the dos and don’ts in the classroom, to make sure everyone understands your expectations.

2. Practice what you preach

Some students are likely to test the limits. Be sure to be consistent in what you say and the manner in which you act. Other students may test the limits also if they see that the consequences are not what you told them.

3. Get to know your students

To build a personal relationship with your students is a process that will take you much longer.  But, making an initial effort to get to know your students can define how comfortable students will be in your class. In today’s online world it might be a good idea to send an email welcoming them to the new school year and to your class.

* Tip! Create ice breaking activities to learn something about each student,  between them and also about you. Favorite online activity, favorite books, places they have visited and extracurricular interests… But refrain from getting too personal.

4. Dress and act appropriately

Do it in a manner that inspires confidence. Being in class on time sets an example. Never play favorites and always speak positively about other students and your colleagues. Always be professional, and never talk badly about another class, student or teacher to students.

Becoming a good teacher can changes your life and the life of all the students that can pass through your classroom, so don’t let the challenging moments to be a barrier to improve yourself as a person and a professional.

Do you agree about those tips?

What tips you have yourself as a teacher?

By Ángela R.

*Source:  The ed advocate

SKIDOS Family Time

Today is kids & family movie night!

By | Parenthood | No Comments

PopCorn TimeFamily time

It’s Friday! Time to make plans in family, enjoy the spare time. Visiting a museum, going to play Frisbee to a park or take a walk on the beach… Those are good plans, but also it can be time to relax at home. For that, is there a better plan to do than watch a family movie with your kids? 

There are movies that you see with your children, share with them and pray that they will remember them for the rest of their lives. You know why? Because they are that special, they teach us valuable lessons!

The most important reason parents should expose their kids to animated movies is because they represent the kind of art that children can understand and appreciate. There is an entirely amazing genre of entertainment – animated movies you should enjoy with your kids, family and beloveds.

Our recommendation for today is…

Princess Mononoke

  • Title: Princess Mononoke
  •  PG - 13
  • Rate: 8,4/10 
  • What will tell to your kids: On a journey to find the cure for a Tatarigami's curse, Ashitaka finds himself in the middle of a war between the forest gods and Tatara, a mining colony. In this quest he also meets San, the Mononoke Hime.
  • Why we like it ~ Lesson: Princess Mononoke is a film that stands against intolerance in all its forms and demands coexistence and understanding from its audience. How bold for what is, in its most simplified definition, a cartoon. Hayao Miyazaki has transcended the limitations of anime, cartoons, and the modern designation of animated feature. Through Miyazaki’s singularity as a storyteller and artist, his brand of animation, the high art of his medium or any other form of cinema, he offers an arena where the most unlikely of stories can be told, and they often are.
  • Curiosities: Princess Mononoke was the highest-grossing Japanese film of 1997. It became the highest grossing film in Japan until it was surpassed by Titanic several months later. It was the top-selling anime in the United States in January 2001

Now, grab the popcorn and settle in for a magical movie night with the family.

Share with us your impressions about the Princess Mononoke movie!


By Ángela R.

Source: Wikipediaimbdmycity4kids


Help your students through gamification

By | Gamification | One Comment


Gamification (article here) has been one of the most effective learning methods for over 15 years now. Gamifying the learning experience increases learners’ levels of goal achievement, engagementinteractivity, and motivation. What more would any teacher ask for?

Here you have some ideas about how to use gamification with your students, let the game begin!

  • Improving an existing training program, by empowering proactivity.
  •  Promoting social interaction, by simulating the actual tasks they will perform in a safe virtual environment.
  • Mimicking real life challenges with increasing levels of difficulty, by introducing different challenges with increasing levels of difficulty.
  • Adding gamification elements to learning for those with various learning disabilities, in order to keep them motivated.
  • Using game-based simulations, to improve the general performance of the group.
  • Simulating reality in different/new environments, so the concepts become active and independent of the environment.
  • Allowing students to collect badges by completing certain tasks, so the achievement is more tangible.
  • Using game elements during lesson’s explanations, to avoid bored minds.
  • Enabling learning in a forgiving environment, which allows for risk-free mistakes.
  • Tapping into intrinsic motivation. Create an context and narrative, and then select the most appropriate game elements to create an immersive experience to take a player on a journey.

Do you already use any of those ideas in your classroom?

Share your experiences with us!

By Ángela R.

Source:  e-learn Industry

The importance of math and science in life

By | Education | 2 Comments

Math and science are two very important subjects, not just in school but also in our lives. We are surrounded by math and science in our everyday lives making them essential parts of our existence. Whether calculating the monthly expenses or understanding healthy food habits, math and science surround us in so many ways that we take them for granted.

With changing times, arts have become an important subject to develop necessary life skills. But math and science are not far behind. Trying to calculate the monthly EMI on that home loan? That is math. Looking at the calorie content of your favourite dark chocolate? That is science and math. Cooking for your family with that perfect amount of salt and the irrestible crispiness of the chicken skin? Well, that’s science. Adults need to understand that math and science are not tough subjects. In fact, all they need is common sense. Only then can they make it easy for their children.

The first rule of making children understand the importance of math and science is never to tell them how bad you were at school or how you hated the subject. Children tend to mirror their parents. If they hear you speaking about your bad grades often enough, they will consider it alright to not work hard for the subjects. Genetic coding is no excuse for not trying hard. But this should not mean that they feel the pressure to perform on your behalf as well.

Make the importance of the subjects clear to them so that they find it useful and interesting. Make them active participants in everyday activities that involve math and science. Let them match the number of items on the shopping list to the number of items in the bag. Or let them add the total of the bill to make sure there are no mistakes.

Encourage your child to play with their ice cream or chocolate bar so that they can see solid change to liquid. Or let them drop the aspirin into the glass of water so that they can witness it dissolve. Children learn best from experience so give them the experience that they will enjoy.

Often children shy way from trying hard because of the popular stereotypes. Math and science are only for intelligent students. Football jocks can’t be good with numbers. Engineering and medical are best suited for boys. Explain to them that everyone is intelligent. Grades don’t prove intelligence, actual implementation does. Are they able to apply the basic knowledge in their everyday life? Then they are as good in the subjects as the students who gets straight As.

A football jock is the best person to do a mental calculation of the speed of wind, the number of players defending the goal post and the required speed for the ball to take a certain trajectory. If he’s not good at math then no one is. Names like Marie Curie may be few and far between but their contribution is as significant as that as Einstein’s. That is why, engineering and medical are suited to any child who takes interest in the subjects.

End of the day, we need to treat everything as a learning experience and concentrate on the everyday implementation of math and science in our lives. It is only then that we can encourage our children to look beyond the grades and work hard to grasp the basics.

SKIDOS Kangaroo

As a Mom, What’s your Animal Spirit?

By | Curiosities | No Comments

Take the Mom Test Quiz time!

Human nature is related to animal instincts in many more ways that we know.

Shopping in the supermarket, someone’s trying to take advantage in he line, you prepare to protect your space… It’s your right!

Walking on the street, some strange walks too close to you: your adrenaline is ready to make you react, run or avoid any attacks.

The most clear example is when becoming a parent makes you change your perception of the world… Parenthood makes you analyze situations to find the potential dangers for your offspring. The parenting way to approach life changes from person to person.

We want to help you to find your Animal Spirit with this fun quiz. We have studied mothers behavior in the Animal Kingdom. Now you can know what kind of Animal Spirit you have as a Mom!

Have you tried it yet?
Go for it: Take the MOM test!