Monthly Archives: September 2017

Teaching Strategies for Reading

It simply means attainment of language, sharing of information, communicating, and comprehending it the right way. It is an individual activity, and has to be done on your own for better comprehension. Literacy, in the true sense, is the ability to absorb the content that has been read. Such is the importance of reading in one’s life. With the invasion of technology, today, it’s more of electronic display, in the form of computers, tablets, television, mobile phones or eReaders that have been a part of people’s lifestyles. But thankfully, technology hasn’t yet taken over the traditional method of learning through books. It’s important to imbibe in children at a relatively tender age the fruits of embracing books. Now, if you find it boring, difficult, or simply tough to channelize and motivate your kids, here are a few tips.
Effective Strategies
To start with, one must know the language relatively well. Phonics are very important, as they help you connect with the sounds of every letter or group of letters, hence, clubbing them together to produce the correct pronunciation of the unknown words. The instruction begins with phonics, and kids learn to read simple text even before they complete the phonological knowledge. Composition of sentences, phrases, pronunciation of words, spelling and punctuation follows the phonological study. Prefixes, suffixes, compound words, and other parts of speech come in next. You need not master the language, but at least get the basic crux of the language to make it interesting. The comprehending part is the most tough, because you cannot expect anyone to comprehend certain things in the way you comprehend them. Some people, or kids for that matter, read for the heck of it without proper comprehension. At a very early age, if students are given suitable tips and instructions, it is helpful for them to monitor their comprehension. The last being summarizing, that is remembering what is read and being able to connect to the main ideas and central plan.

Top-Down Method
A top-down approach is essentially very basic and for beginners. In this approach, you are supposed to break down the task into sections and sub-sections. These sections and sub-sections should then be given greater focus and concentration. This aims at reducing the entire process to absolutely specific and basic elements. For example, a chapter is cut down into smaller chapters and then focused upon. One can then monitor his comprehension and is able to review content. It makes it easier to know where lies the difficulty and when does he actually lose interest, hence, making it easy to fix these problems. It also makes them think and search. Reading small portions and identifying with the main idea does not tax them, and kids may find it interesting and would want to involve themselves more in the process.

Elite universities U.S.A

If you are American, chances are you don’t believe that there is such a thing as an academic elite in the United States. This is because Americans strongly value the idea that the United States is a meritocracy – a society where anyone can get ahead based on their talent and hard work alone. For this reason, Americans tend to deny any kind of nepotism or elitism, since it shatters the idea that everyone in the United States is equal.

What Does the Ivy League Mean to the Americans?
In one word, precious. Located in the northeastern corner of the United States, the Ivy League is an athletic conference, comprising teams from eight private academic institutions. These include-
Brown University
Columbia University
Cornell University
Dartmouth College
Harvard University
Princeton University
University of Pennsylvania
Yale University
Seven of these institutions were established during the colonial times, and have consistently ranked among the best colleges in the world ever since.

Besides athletic tussles and an exemplary academic tradition, these colleges carry quite the reputation for being nitpickingly selective and elitist.

Power and Elite Universities
Consider this one question: How many high-power politicians and businessmen do you know of that did not attend Harvard, Yale, or another big-name school in the Ivy League or on the West Coast? It’s likely that the answer is zero or nearly zero. You might claim that this is because only society’s brightest and most talented people are suitable for those roles, and the brightest and most talented people usually attend elite universities. On the surface, this argument makes sense, but if we dig a little deeper, we’ll see that it’s not quite that simple.

The High Cost of Success
The common assumption that society’s super-intelligent members all attend Ivy League schools ignores one very important factor: money. It’s true that a very small number of outstanding students receive scholarships and grants to attend big-name universities, but not everyone can get a scholarship to Harvard. In fact, most Harvard students pay staggeringly high tuition fees. Including room and board, books, and other expenses, a Harvard undergraduate might pay $60,000 per year to attend the school.
Who are Ivy League Students?
Not everyone can afford to go to elite universities, and not all smart, talented students can get scholarships. These aren’t exactly wild claims, but they point directly to the existence of the academic elite I mentioned earlier. People without the means to attend big-name schools are excluded from what many have called the most important aspect of an Ivy League education: the network. It has been remarked many times in the past that, while an Ivy League education is good, the opportunities afforded to students simply by being part of the exclusive “club” of Ivy League graduates is much more valuable than the quality of the education. It is not too surprising then, when we see that Ivy League schools have an acceptance rate that hovers anywhere between 6 to 16%.

Learning Disabilities

I totally agreed with Scott Hamilton when he said that the only disability in life is a wrong attitude. I strongly believe that disability is not a curse or punishment from God for some wrongdoings. No, I feel these people can live a normal life just like any normal person. In fact, people with disabilities are more determined to overcome this barrier and do not want to gain sympathy from people. I remember watching a video clip of a differently abled person who didn’t have hands but was writing with the pen held in his mouth. These people really inspire us to work harder and convert the weaknesses into strengths.

While choosing a college there are certain points which a differently abled person should evaluate before applying to the desired college.
Easily accessible campus and 24×7 buses available with special needs.
Offices having full-time staff for answering the queries of differently abled persons.
Help available in form of attendants or nurses for people with severe disabilities.
Course curriculum and extra tutoring for those who lag behind in class.
Extra curricular activities designed for people with disabilities and coaching for these people who are capable of entering into paralympic Olympics.
After considering these factors the next step is choosing from the list of best colleges which have great programs for differently abled persons.

University of Arizona,Tucson

The Strategic Alternative Learning Techniques Center popularly known as SALT has been the oldest in rendering best programs for people suffering from ADHD and other learning disabilities. This institute offers world-class workshops with well equipped computer labs. The tutors in this program are well experienced and many hold doctorates in their respective fields. The tutors are CRLA (college reading and learning association) certified and render expert services in Maths, Science and other courses. The fee structure for undergraduate lower division and upper division varies from $1000 to $2500 per semester. The tutoring fees is extra $20-25 per hour.

Wayne State University, Detroit

This University located at Detroit offers best facilities in off campus programs, pre – enrollment counseling, ASL interpretors and volunteer note takers. The average tuition fee for undergraduate lower and upper division ranges from $450 to $6000. Known programs like business administration and fine arts are rendered through the campus. The institute also offers excellent placement opportunities and has efficient staff in tutoring and career counseling.

University of Connecticut, Storrs

One of the top ranked public university this institute offers world-class program B.O.L.D (Building Opportunities for students with Learning Disabilities). This program is specifically designed for psychiatric, ADHD and LD disabled students. Through this program students are encouraged to improve their skills in order to gain employment. The average tuition fees for first semester is $1600 and for rest of semesters it is around $1100. The tutoring fees are extra $45 to $51 for a course. The college also provides SEAD program specially designed for autistic students. Through this program the student is encouraged to make transition to college level courses and instill positive attitude among students to achieve their goals.

Creating a Reader-friendly Home

Somewhere in the rush to keep up, all of us have forgotten about reading. I see a lot of you disagreeing with me because I know a lot of avid readers too. But there is this other lot that has long-forgotten and probably even misses the joy of reading, so the idea of passing it on to their little ones may be out of the question. While our lot may be able to revive this habit at some point in the future, it is important that it at least be inculcated in children. The benefits of reading have been experienced by us adults at some point in time or the other. So that these benefits are availed by the younger generation too, here’s how we can encourage kids to read, by creating a suitable environment home.

Creating a Desirable Reading Environment at Home

Before we discuss the importance of developing a good physical environment to read, you ought to understand that forcing this habit on kids is going to yield nothing. In fact, it may lead them to despise reading. No one likes to be forced to do something, even if they secretly enjoy it. So coax them into it, don’t nag them to do it. And here’s how you can go about it.

The Reading Room/Area
Don’t you love a little area where you can snuggle up with a cup of hot cocoa and your favorite book? Don’t you want to create that same little haven for your child? Some kids are resistant to reading, so you have to lure them with other elements that will get them to pick up that book. Here’s what you can do:
If not a whole room, you can definitely designate a small area that becomes a reading zone in your house.
This reading area should be well-lit, naturally and artificially.
Add color to the area so that it becomes appealing. The color should not be jarring, but bright enough to attract someone into the zone. If you are doing this specially for kids, keep the colors bright, but don’t overpower with color. Let books, posters, rugs, and lamps add to the color, rather than painting a wall in a loud color or having a bright-colored bookshelf.
Maintain comfortable seating; a desk, a chair, a bean bag, a rug with floor cushions, or a recliner – anything that will make your child comfortable enough to read without badly affecting her/his posture is a good choice.
Keep seating for at least two people. The joy of reading together is greater than that of reading alone.

Leadership Activities for High School

The school is a place where a child can learn much more than the structured courses included in the curriculum, provided the right training is given. There are many leadership ideas for high school students which can help develop their confidence and make them assertive. As self-awareness is the key to development, leadership activities help in self assessment and personality development. Developing these skills in children from the high school days is very important.

Various leadership activities for students can inculcate personal assessment, and help develop potential leadership skills along with a sense of responsibility and identifying their leadership style.

Defining the term leadership is a difficult thing to do. However, it could be described as the process by which one influences people in order to get them enlisted in an activity for achieving a particular objective.

The participants for this activity could be from a minimum of 4 to 20 at the most. It takes around 1 hour to complete this activity. The objective of conducting this leadership activity is to help the participants identify their development needs and work towards the path of personal development. The activity is started with a group discussion on self assessment followed by a questionnaire to be completed by the participants. The questions included in the questionnaire could be such that they test a person’s behavior. One can prepare his own list of questions for the test (for example, which thing holds more importance to you, self-esteem or power). The questions may or may not be provided with multiple-choice options. The participants should be asked to work in pairs and carry out the assessment of their peers. This leadership activity enables the participants to identify their strengths and weaknesses. It is necessary for a leader to understand his strengths and weaknesses before thinking about leading a group or a team. The ‘Learning to Lead’ activity thus, proves to be the first step in the development of leadership in students.
The students are divided into groups of three in this activity. Objective of the activity is to enable the students to share their experiences and build rapport. A list of situations is provided to the students and they have to think of an experience similar to these situations. Here is a list of some of the situations provided to the participants:
Something that generated a great deal of excitement.
A pleasant surprise.
A creative twist on a situation or issue.
An ‘Aha’ moment.
A clever improvisation.
A really tough situation.
A breakthrough insight or solution.
A conflict resolved.
An emotional situation.
A blindside experience.