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How writing haikus can benefit your child
In the twilight rain these brilliant-hued hibiscus . . . A lovely sunset - Matsuo Basho Poetry can be overwhelming for young children, with its flowery writing and loose structure, but if you want them to move on from Dr. Seuss’s fun rhymes, you know what makes the perfect stepping stone? Haikus, the concise form of poetry created by the Japanese. Traditional haikus follow a rigid set of rules. Each one is composed of three lines. The first and third lines must include exactly five syllables while the second line must have seven. Introduce your child to the unique art form this month to celebrate National Haiku Poetry Day on National Poetry Month! There are many benefits to doing so... Can be therapeutic Fight anxiety and fear with haikus! Haikus are about the here and now; they ask you to view your situation objectively. The focus on the present and “what is” rather than “ what ifs” is a great way for your child to practice mindfulness instead of regretting the past or worrying about the future. Maybe before they take an important test, they can write a haiku first! Fosters an appreciation for nature Haikus are not only about the present moment but also nature, from flowing rivers and towering mountains to blossoming flowers and iridescent moons. This asks children to observe their surroundings and grow more interested in their home, the earth. Having children dedicate these poetic homages to nature will get them to see the beauty of their natural surroundings. Provides a fun challenge The set rules of structure for haikus enable children to improve their language skills and gain confidence in expression. Children face the challenge of fitting what they want to say within the 5-7-5 syllable format. This experimentation with syllables should inspire children to look up new words or synonyms and stretch their creative minds. Helps ease them into poetry Writing haikus allow children to express themselves creatively, yet in a more cut-and-dry fashion than more complex forms of poetry may allow. The set rules for the structures of haikus make them great stepping stones into forms of poetry with much looser structures, which could initially be overwhelming for children. Start with haikus, and then give your child free rein to experiment with all different forms! #JEIHaikuChallenge If you are you up for a challenge, this weekend, take your child into nature, whether it is your favorite hiking trail or the backyard, with a pen and paper. Then, share what s/he wrote on social media using hashtag #JEIHaikuChallenge! We look forward to reading your child’s masterpiece! If you want to further your child’s study of poetry, literature, vocabulary, language, and writing skills, JEI Learning Center provides great programs that will do just that! Visit a center near you to find out more about the JEI English and JEI Reading & Writing programs.
2019 #JEIMathOlympiad winners announced!
We want to congratulate everyone who participated in this year's contest. JEI is proud to announce this year's Math Olympiad grand-prize winner, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd-place winners by grade, as well as those who were awarded for their merit. We encourage all JEI students to continue practicing their math skills and challenge themselves every day! Grand Prize Winner (8th Grade): David Lee (Austin, TX) EAST COAST WINNERS: 1st Grade: 1st: Ian Schlicht (Eagan, MN) 2nd: David Seok (Cresskill-Tenafly, NJ) 3rd: Ashkan Ahmed (Hillsborough, NJ) 2nd Grade: 1st: Victor Xu (Warren, NJ) 2nd: Sidharth Tumu (Parsippany-East, NJ) 3rd: Paravi Jain (Old Bridge, NJ) Award of Merit: Sahasra Chennady (Cumming, GA), Ved Jhunjhunwala (South Plainfield, NJ), Kavya Mehta (North Edison, NJ) 3rd Grade: 1st: Arusha Bhargava (Hillsborough, NJ) 2nd: Sribala Arunachalam (Cary, NC) 3rd: Ishanth Movva (Cary, NC) Award of Merit: Aryan Mittal (North Edison, NJ), Myra Vankar (Princeton, NJ), Connor Li (Livingston, NJ) 4th Grade: 1st: Sathvik Kasarla (Bedminster, NJ) 2nd: Anish Krishna (North Edison, NJ) 3rd: Haripriya Arulprakasam (Eagan, MN) 5th Grade: 1st: Aryan Ahire (North Edison, NJ) 2nd: Ryan Zhu (Livingston, NJ) 3rd: Aaditya Mittal (North Edison, NJ) 6th Grade: 1st: Ishan Raghavenda (Princeton, NJ) 2nd: William Jin (Princeton, NJ) 3rd: Gurkeerat Singh (North Edison, NJ) Award of Merit: Swathi Bodduluri (Levittown, PA) 7th Grade: 1st: Saaketh Ananthoju (Levittown, PA) 2nd: Kevin Ha (Livingston, NJ) 3rd: Ashwin Guda (Levittown, PA) 8th Grade: 1st: Jack Xu (Livingston, NJ) 2nd: Ashrith Athmaram (East Brunswick, NJ) 3rd: Mishty Mishra (Levittown, PA) WEST COAST WINNERS: 1st Grade: 1st: Koyel Das (East Fremont, CA) 2nd (tie): Aadi Dixit (Union City, CA) 2nd (tie): Arya Kantamaneni (East Fremont, CA) 2nd (tie): Danielle Manford (Folsom, CA) Award of Merit: Colin Seungwon Cho (Austin, TX), Sritan Kudaravalli (South San Jose, CA) 2nd Grade: 1st: Thaman Venigalla (Milpitas, CA) 2nd (tie): Anika Chaurasia (East Fremont, CA) 2nd (tie): Elaine Gu (Dublin, CA) Award of Merit: Ananya Ganji (East Fremont, CA), Tanush Kondragunta (East Fremont, CA), Claire Moon (Austin, TX), Amrutha Padmaraju (South San Jose, CA), Sriya Ailnani (Austin, TX), Atiksh Jena (Cupertino, CA), Sania Pandya (East Fremont, CA), Sanvi Sharma (East Fremont, CA) 3rd Grade: 1st: Anthony Wan (East Fremont, CA) 2nd: Varun Harith (Austin, TX) 3rd: Nikhil Srinivasan (San Diego, CA) 3rd (tie): Sudhish Siddan (San Ramon, CA) Award of Merit: Spoorthi Madhava (San Ramon, CA), Akhil Gupta (Folsom, CA), Diya Sharma (Folsom, CA), Kenneth Kwon (Austin, TX) 4th Grade: 1st: Sanjay Harikumar (East Fremont, CA) 2nd: Arjun Thakur (East Fremont, CA) 3rd: Benjamin Oh (East Fremont, CA) Award of Merit: Mihir Das (East Fremont, CA) 5th Grade: 1st: Allen John (Pleasanton, CA) 2nd: Ritvik Urkude (Pleasanton, CA) 3rd: Hiresh Siddan (San Ramon, CA) 6th Grade: 1st: Julian Yang (San Diego, CA) 2nd (tie): Tvishi Medathana (East Fremont, CA) 2nd (tie): Mahathi Harith (Austin, TX) 7th Grade: 1st: Claire Shin (San Diego, CA) 2nd: Minseo Kwon (San Diego, CA) 8th Grade: 1st: Alicia Shin (San Diego, CA) 2nd: Yeonsoo Kang (Coquitlam, CAN) CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL OF OUR WINNERS!
Must-have skill for children #1: reading a road map
In today’s digital age, does your child know how to read a road map? What may be considered a dying skill in this digital age, is still an extremely important skill worth having. Life is full of adventures, and what better way to navigate one than with a handy map on National Read a Road Map Day! Many may be content using a GPS to get from point A to point B, but it is not the most reliable tool without basic skills as back up. What if your child cannot recognize the symbols the GPS uses? Is that a railroad track or a bridge? Who knows? Not to mention, this technology typically relies on some type of power and/or the Internet. Without one or the other, a GPS is practically useless. How would your child get out of a rut in the future without a handy physical map in the car? Apart from the obvious practical aspects, learning how to read a map at an early age helps children with their education. At a young age, they are only just developing their spatial awareness and intelligence. Adults may take this for granted now, but children are still learning about positions, locations, and directions! It is hard for them to merely envision these concepts, which is why the JEI Learning Center’s program, Brain Safari, encompasses workbooks dedicated to mastering them. Children can learn the difference between North, South, East, and West with maps provided in the specialized workbooks provided throughout the program. In order to read a road map, children will learn not only about positions, locations, directions, and distances but also symbols and compasses. The legend, or map key, is a box on a corner of a map that shows what each symbol means. The symbols can vary depending on what sort of map it is, so it is important to look at the legend first. Check out the example of a simple legend below! This should help children recognize landscapes and realize that symbols are stand-ins for real objects and concepts. The dashed line is a symbol for a real road in some cases or a dirt path in others. An arrow pointing one way on a street means that is a one-way street, which is another important distinction. The compass rose (example blow) also on the map should help children learn the directions north, south, east, and west, further increasing spatial intelligence. Some map compass roses may show only “N” for “north,” so make sure your child knows all parts of one to be prepared for any situation. Pair up the map with a compass, and your child will be a navigating master in no time! Keep in mind, though, that for some children, it is easier to navigate by landmarks while, for others, it is easier to navigate by directions. Practicing both will be the most helpful! On top of that, JEI Math introduces the Metric System and the concept of distances as maps are scaled versions of the real world. A map may have a scale of 1 cm to 1 km, meaning 1 cm on the paper map would be 1 km of ground in real life. This is a fun way for children to apply math and number concepts to daily life. To have your child interested in reading maps, there are many fun ways to go about this and apply it to real life. You could have a scavenger hunt or create a fake treasure map! Your child could even draw her/his own map for an imaginary or real area. Children sure love national parks and amusement parks--but a GPS is useless there. Have them grab a map when entering the park and use that to find the best way to landmarks or favorite rides. For more real-life application, whenever going on a familiar route, say aloud the directions so your child can learn how to get there and consequently feel confident about learning directions to somewhere new in the future. For example, in the car, you can narrate, “And here, at this corner with the church, we turn right! At the next stop sign, we turn left onto Cranberry Avenue and keep going past the bagel shop until we see JEI on the right.” Reading physical maps is a lost art, but it is a fun and important skill to tackle nonetheless! To further amplify the talents that reading a map entails, such as following instructions, figuring out directions, and learning distances, take a look at the Brain Safari and Math programs offered at a JEI Learning Center near you.