“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”
Adding “Do you agree with the following statement,” to the beginning of axioms such as this is a good way to create sample essay topics if you’re taking or helping someone practice for the SAT, GRE, or other test with a writing component.
doesn’t make you smarter. There are, however, things you can do actively to stimulate cognitive development. According to this article, joining a drama class or other social activity, or learning a musical instrument has more effect on development than simply listening to Mozart.
And as far as I know, listening to Mozart while doing those other things never hurt anyone.
The signs of dyslexia go beyond abilities of decoding symbols. The International Dyslexia Association covers some of the other common problems people with dyslexia encounter including memorizing number facts, learning a foreign language, and correctly doing math operations. Check out their website for signs of dyslexia among adults, very young children, and older children.
They also have a frequently asked questions page if you are interested in learning more.
Here are some fun facts about English:
- The letters H, I, O, and X are the only letters that look the same if you flip them upside down or view them from behind.
- “Queueing” is the only word with five consecutive vowels.
- The only city in the United States whose name is spelled using only vowels is Aiea, Hawaii.
- The longest one-syllable words are “screeched” and “strengths”.
If we were tasked with teaching our future the same set of shared values and if every student valued them in the same way, then it would be a piece of cake.
But, we’re not. In the heterogeneous society in which we live, where cultural values vastly differ in even one classroom let alone from district to district, addressing each student’s unique background is essential for their success. For example, the value of how money is made, shared, and spent might vary from family to family; the scientific method, while awesome, has the potential to negate some personal religious beliefs.
These contradictions can be confusing for a young person who, developmentally, is still only wired to see the world in terms of right or wrong. If one student places more value on what is taught in the curriculum (My way is right according to this system), it puts the student who comes from a culture that doesn’t value what is taught in the curriculum at a disadvantage (My way, that my parents have taught me, is wrong according to this system). Enter identity crisis.
That said, I don’t disagree with Seth Godin’s post titled What’s High School For? I just think it may be a little romanticized. It’s certainly necessary to maintain hope and to endeavor towards this business-centric utopia. But let’s at least begin the endeavor with a list of values that considers the students’ background and interests. Or, better yet, as a starting point, let’s use the students’ lists.
From Seth’s blog:
- How to focus intently on a problem until it’s solved.
- The benefit of postponing short-term satisfaction in exchange for long-term success.
- How to read critically.
- The power of being able to lead groups of peers without receiving clear delegated authority.
- An understanding of the extraordinary power of the scientific method, in just about any situation or endeavor.
- How to persuasively present ideas in multiple forms, especially in writing and before a group.
- Project management. Self-management and the management of ideas, projects and people.
- Personal finance. Understanding the truth about money and debt and leverage.
- An insatiable desire (and the ability) to learn more. Forever.
- Most of all, the self-reliance that comes from understanding that relentless hard work can be applied to solve problems worth solving.
If you’re looking for something to do with your time off this winter break, this webinar is, well, educational…
Answer: Make lists!
If you’re a student, and your teacher has been telling you that you need to practice more, or you need to work on your vocabulary (you know who you are!), make a list! This will help you with classification as well as vocabulary growth. Do you need to go to the grocery store? Make a list! Would you like to learn what’s going on in your neighborhood this weekend? Make a list!
Teachers, if you have an additional 2 minutes in class, it’s easy to have students divide into partners that compete to write the longest list. It helps students organize their thinking for classification essays, builds their vocabulary, and adds a little friendly competition to make the class a little more challenging.
Click here for the link that describes one version of this activity.
The content in the video How do you support second-language learners in the classroom highlights some of the more important, and very easy, things that can be done to create an additive bilingual environment.
Sometimes, the easiest thing I can do with my students is ask them to share a word or phrase with me from their language, which I then try to say. Whether they laugh at my most earnest attempts or sympathize with my errors, the result is usually an instant trust, and from there, they will learn.
Some ideas on how to use news articles in lessons are: