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Posts Tagged ‘writing’

Ten Ways to Improve Writing Skills

Saturday, June 29th, 2013

Why is writing important? It is functional. It helps us get practical things done. It is stimulating. Writing not only helps provoke thoughts, but helps us organize those thoughts in a logical, concise manner. It is therapeutic. It allows us to express feelings that may not be easily expressed in face-to-face communication.

  • Spend time on activities that require real writing rather than on short answers and fill-in-the blank exercises.
  • Spend time putting thoughts on paper in a logical, well-organized way.
  • Include research and brainstorming as part of writing.
  • Make writing useful.
  • Use drafts. Revising and editing are done by all good writers.
  • Respond to the ideas expressed in writing. The true
  • function of writing is to convey ideas.
  • Write about something that is of interest.
  • Take advantage of skills that lead to writing, such as, rhythms, reading, music, listening.
  • Reward writing that is clear and concise.
  • Write for real world applications, such as a letter to the editor, writing a resume or a job application.

Gifted and Talented

Monday, May 21st, 2012

Although we place high hopes for a worthwhile future on the gifted and talented youth of today, we often neglect this group.  Many gifted children are left to their own devices in school as well as at home.

Contrary to the popular misconceptions that they will do better without interference and that they will succeed on their own, some gifted children experience academic, social, and personal problems when they do not receive support from society and parents.  Gifted children display their abilities in a variety of ways, each unique to the individual child.  In general, for most children, giftedness is demonstrated by performance of tasks and understanding of concepts usually associated with much older children.  Reading signs, magazines, and books, and performing mathematical computations at ages three to five; speaking complete sentences and using abstract vocabulary at age two and three….all indicate superior intellectual abilities.

Often the gifted child feels isolated from the rest of the world because of the exceptional abilities he or she possesses.  Facing these feelings of difference alone can create emotional problems, disruptive behaviors, or withdrawal from the frustrating situation.  Parents play an important role in the development of exceptional abilities in children, especially in encouraging a favorable attitude toward these tendencies.

Because of their heightened perceptions and sensitivities, many gifted children need an environment that is secure emotionally and stimulating intellectually to allow their abilities to flourish.  Too many adults overlook their needs, however, assuming that these children already have advantages other lack.  Consequently, much is left to parents to provide for the gifted.  Working with the child and with other parents, they can accomplish this awesome, often frustrating, task.

Summer School Activities – Ninth Grade

Thursday, May 12th, 2011

Good VRead new words.ocabulary Skills are Essential

Learning and using new vocabulary is an area of the curriculum that is often neglected by high school students using online learning programs such as eTutor.    Sometimes students and parents are not sure of how to use new vocabulary words or words they are not familiar with.  Practicing vocabulary and word usage skills  will  help students go far beyond the particular subject or topic they are working on.

Vocabulary is essential to comprehension.  Students need to apply strategies before, during and after reading to understand the written word.  New words should be reviewed and used in a variety of ways.   Students might use the following ideas to build and extend their vocabulary skills:

  • Use definitions of words to create word riddles.

    New words are important to learning.

  • Group words based on similarities and/or differences.
  • Draw pictures that illustrate the vocabulary word.
  • Play a variation of the card game, Go Fish.  Prepare a deck of word cards with five or more sets of four related words in each set.  Duplicate the cards so that at least each student has a deck for the game.   Try to build sets of like words, ie, antonyms, synonyms,  nouns, verbs, adjectives, etc.
  • Go beyond definitions in the dictionary.  Explore ways to describe the associations that cluster around the word.
  • Choose a vocabulary word and then answer the following questions:  How would a scientist describe this word?  How would a judge describe this word?  How would a poet describe this word?  How would you describe this word?
  • Make new words.

    Organize a collection of words:

    • Reference Book:   Create vocabulary pages for a three-ring binder.
    • Word Wall: Display collected words and definitions on a bulletin board.
    • Word File: Record words, definitions, and context-rich sentences on index cards.  Place them in a recipe box that organizes the words alphabetically.

Students should not skip this important skill work.   Learning new vocabulary is essential to learning.