Success is never final and failure never fatal. It's courage
If stimuli are not
meaningful for a learner, the stimuli will be given little attention or
ignored. It is crucial, therefore, that when students encounter
literature, they perceive meaning in it for themselves. Great
literature often comments on the human condition; it addresses the
thoughts and feelings that are common throughout humankind. It can
give readers insights into other people's lives as well as their
own. When readers see meaning for themselves in literature, they
will not have to be coaxed to read it; they will become actively
involved and will take personal responsibility for selection and
In presenting literature to
learners, the affective domain is sometimes left in the the
background. There is nothing wrong with reading literature for
enjoyment that it gives. Most adults read literature for just this
reason; entire courses for adult learners are built on the appreciation
of a particular literacy genre.
Reading literature should do
more than temporarily remove us from our environment. If the
learning from literature is truly meaningful, the learners will discover
human commonality in it and will develop an appreciation for literature
that they will carry with them throughout their lives.
Adapted from Silver Burdett
In my mind,
talent, plus knowledge, plus effort, account for success.
Four High Pay-Off Work Habits
The chaos in Marianne
Clark's kitchen is worse than usual today. Earlier this morning
her husband left for a business trip and she has a sick child.
Her sink is buried in dirty dishes and her three children have
interrupted her as she frantically searches for the field trip
permission slip for her third grader.
Next door, Linda Mitchell,
a single mother also has a sick child. But she is able to get
her children's lunches ready, has reviewed homework for two of her
children and even has found time to listen to one of the
Like Linda Mitchell, you
can initiate procedures to improve daily routines at home.
Develop work habits that will pay off for you. Here are some
suggestions that may help:
Be accountable for
outcomes. Take responsibility for the results you
produce. When the results aren't good, do what you can to
correct the situation.
Treat barriers as
opportunities. Proactive people pursue the intended results
despite lack of time, breakdowns, unproductive moods, or difficult
Show a desire to
learn. Take immediate action. Buy a book, sign up for
a workshop, or ask someone to teach you a new skill.
for clear communication. Let your family know what you
expect from yourself and from them.
Adapted from The Office Professional
In anything we do there are three
attitudes guaranteed to generate low moral, low productivity and
inability to be effective. They are:
- Believing our efforts are for
- Believing there is a result that is
- Believing there is some needed
effort that is not my job.
Being told to try to solve a puzzle
produces very different results than to try it because we personally
feel challenged to do so. We can't be forced to work smarter, or
more creatively, or more passionately. That comes from inside.
The most important contribution one
makes to their own goals are being made at their own discretion.
Those who excel have an ongoing commitment to doing the very best they
can. As soon as someone says "that is not my work," or
"that is good enough," everyone suffers. The message
implies lack of personal involvement with what is going
Adapted from The Pryor
Planting the Seeds of
Studying isn't something
we do only as a student. Good study skills benefit us throughout
our life....because learning is something we will continue to do,
regardless of our age.
For example, the same
skills that make you a better student also help you do your job
better, no matter what your profession is. Suppose you are asked
to write a company report on an unfamiliar topic, learn a new computer
system, or prepare a budget for future years. You will need to
know where and how to access needed information and apply it to the task. Outside of work, you might use study skills to learn more
about a fun topic that piques your curiosity or to accomplish a
personal goal such as reading a work of literature or speaking a
Improving your study
skills is time well spent. You will get more out of your education,
have more time to pursue things you enjoy and be on your way to
success in anything you choose to do. Remember, smart is not
something you are.....Smart is something you become with
work and effort.
American Association of
Keep your eyes on the stars and your feet on the ground.
'That' or 'Which?'
We have been asked several times in the last month to explain the difference
between "that" and "which" and to show how to use
these words properly. By coincidence, we came across an
excellent explanation in the University of Puget Sound Law
Review. In the article, author Robert C. Cumbow accuses the
legal profession of confusing these words and potentially sabotaging
"the very meaning of the law itself."
The article offers these
"Except when it
is the object of a preposition ('in which we serve'), the word
'which' nearly always follows a comma and introduces a phrase that
provides additional information not essential to the
meaning of the sentence...."
'that," on the other hand, introduces a phrase that is
essential: to the meaning.
had two windows, which looked onto the parking lot."
had two windows that looked onto the parking lot."
The second sentence means:
"Her apartment may have had many windows. Only two of these
windows looked onto the parking lot."
In a legal case, the
article adds, the ambiguity concerning the number and location of
windows "could result in a miscarriage of justice."
Read Books Aloud
Books educate, entertain
and stimulate the imagination. Reading books out loud will put a
new spin on togetherness. A great gift idea is to buy a book,
record it on tape, and then give both. The whole family can make
a tape together, each taking turns reading parts of the story, playing
the part of one or more characters, or reading with a funny
voice. Tapes make a much better baby-sitter than the
television. Certainly turning off the television and reading
books is better for nerves, not to mention the mind. You can do
this for your child or with your child; make one for the
grandparents....it's a personalized gift to last a lifetime.
Wonderful Ways to Love A
Child, Judy Ford
What's a Kid to Do When School Is Out?
Nearly 80 percent of your children's
walking time is spent outside of a learning environment. Now
that summer vacation is here, does it make any difference how they
spend this time?
It certainly does, says Joan M.
Bergstrom, author of the book, School's Out.....Now What? Free
time offers great opportunities for children to learn from new
experiences and develop a sense of competence, self-esteem and
"These activities must be
meaningful to the child," she says. "The activities
should be carefully chosen on the basis of the child's own
inclinations. Every child needs the chance to become good at
Bergstrom suggests that you ask your
children questions to help determine what their inclinations
are. What are they good at? What do they wish they were
better at? What do they wish they could do that they don't know
how to do now? What do they do in school that they would like to
do out of school? What places would they like to go to more
In case you or your children have
trouble coming up with ideas other than television viewing, Bergstrom
offers literally dozens of creative choices for afternoons, weekends
and vacations. Here are just a few of her examples:
- Athletic activities - badminton,
tennis, aerobics, gymnastics, hiking, wrestling, baton twirling,
bicycling, bowling, fishing, kite flying, sailing, horseback
- Arts and crafts - cake decorating,
calligraphy, mathematical art, carpentry, photography, model
- Collecting - bugs, butterflies,
rocks, shells, model cars, coins, dolls, stamps
- Income opportunities - cleaning,
babysitting, pet care, mowing lawns. Also setting up own bank
account and keeping track of spending.
- Game playing - backgammon,
billiards, card games, checkers, chess, cribbage, puzzles
- Special interests - cooking and
culinary arts, genealogy, archeology, home movie making, model car
racing, learning a new language such as sign language
- Places to visit - planetarium,
aquarium, farm, zoo, airport, botanical garden, bakery, courthouse
or state capitol, historical site, museum, top of the highest
building, parents' places of employment
Perhaps after reading through these
suggestions, and running them past your children, you will manage to
think up a few more. The possibilities are endless. You
may even find that you and your children spend less time in front of
the television set getting bored or playing the same old computer
School Public Relations
Don't listen to
those who say, "It's not done that way." Maybe it's
not, but maybe you'll do it anyway. Don't listen to those who
say, "You're taking too big a chance." Michelangelo
would have painted the Sistine floor, and it would surely be
rubbed out by today.
don't listen when the little voice of fear inside you rears its ugly
head and says, "They're all smarter than you out there.
They're more talented, they're taller, blonder, prettier, luckier and
they have connections. They have a cousin who took out Meryl
Streep's baby sitter....."
I firmly believe
that if you follow a path that interests you, not to the exclusion of
love, sensitivity and cooperation with others, but with the strength
of conviction that you can move others by your own efforts, and do not
make success or failure the criteria by which you live, the chances
are you will be a person worthy of your own respect.
Drug Abuse and Your Teens:
Parents Should Know
How can I tell if my child is abusing
drugs or alcohol?
If you find alcohol, drugs or drug paraphernalia in your child's
possession, there's a strong probability that your child is using
drugs. Certain behaviors also can warn you that your child may
be involved with drugs:
- Abrupt change in mood or attitude
- Sudden decline in attendance or
performance at work or school
- Impaired relationship with family or
- Ignoring curfews
- Unusual flare-ups of temper
- Increased borrowing of money from
parents or friends; stealing from home, school or employer
- Heightened secrecy about actions and
- Associating with a new group of
friends, especially with those who use drugs.
While these behaviors may indicate drug
use, they may also reflect normal teenage growing pains. By
observing your child, getting to know his or her friends and talking
to your child about problems including drugs and alcohol, you should
be able to learn whether he or she is involved.
What do I say if I think my child is
In a straightforward way, tell your child about your concern and the reasons
for it; taking drugs is harmful to one's physical, mental and social
well-being. Tell your child that you are opposed to any drug use
and you intend to enforce that position.
Remember, if your child is using drugs,
she or he needs your help. You may want help also. Seeking
the support of other parents in your community will enable you to
handle this problem in a more understanding and helpful way.
Don't be afraid to be a strong parent.
Excerpts from National
Character is the real foundation for all worthwhile success.
When Parents Talk With
Their Children......Discipline At Home
Beyond using certain
emphatic, precise words in the imperative sense, it is crucial that
parents say things in unambiguous terms. The child must know
that his or her parents really mean what they are saying....that they
are not asking the child to do something; that they are not
merely wishing that the child do something as they are not
telling the child to learn, try, or understand
something. Rather, the child must know that the parents are
saying that the child do (or not do) something
To convey urgent meaning,
parents may have to play the villain and even use an emphatic tone:
"Get down off that roof!" "Get out of the street
now!" But what about all those warnings that it is not good
parenting to demand things of children in an angry tone? By
trying to remain calm, the parent could be sending a message that is
less than imperative....just another statement without any real
potency. In that case, the child tends to think she or he can probably
get away with not doing what the parent wishes, and then the parent
(who did not want to et angry) ends up losing his or her temper
That doesn't mean all
demands of children need to be made in a stern tone of voice.
Circumstances differ and different approaches have to be taken with
different children at different times. Most often, a firm tone
and a serious look will effectively indicate to the child that the
parents' message is one that is meant earnestly.
Yes, it is hard
work. It is, therefore, essential to establish priorities in
using such an approach only for those behaviors that are most in need
of change. The child should know that his or her parents can
require certain behaviors but that certain other behaviors are the
prerogative of the child. In that way, children learn what their
parents value as important....that there are certain things the
parents believe they need to decide for their children and that there
are also some things about which they believe their children have the
ability and maturity to make independent decisions.
Explore Cornell: This
is a multimedia magazine dedicated to Cornell University research,
instruction, and facilities. The mission is to increase public access
to the university's most valuable asset: knowledge.
Yuckiest Site on the Internet:
First there was mud. Then there were worms, and now there is
Yucky! Test your skills with X-Terminate. Plus mad
scientist fun in Yucky Labs! Part of the larger
discoverykids.com site, there is a lot here and you will need time to
Columbia News Video Briefs
Archive: From Columbia University, Office of Public Affairs,
an archive of brief annotations, video clips and related links on a
variety of current events. You can use either Real Player or
Quicktime to view the videos. Not an attractive site; but could
be useful in instruction as an introduction or explanation on a
Nobel e-Museum: This site
offers information on all Prize Winners to date, the Nobel
Organization, Alfred Nobel, and Nobel events, as well as related
material and games. The games are located at http://nobelprize.org/games_simulations.html
and they are educational. They provide information, simulations
and challenges on: Microscopes, Lasers, the interior of matter,
energy, X-rays, accelerators and vacuum tubes. The site requires
Shockwave. A novel approach to what could have been a dry
ArtsConnectedEd: This is a
product of a partnership between the Minneapolis Institute of Arts,
the Walker Art Center and MCI. Part of a large site, The
Classroom portion includes a tool for searching more than 80 online
lesson plans and standards-based curriculum units.
Quest Atlantis: Quest
Atlantis (QA) is a learning and teaching project that uses a 3D
multi-user environment to immerse children, ages 9-12, in educational
tasks. Building on strategies from online role-playing games, QA
combines strategies used in the commercial gaming environment with
lessons from educational research on learning and motivation. It
allows users to travel to virtual places to perform educational
activities (known as Quests), talk with other users and mentors, and
build virtual personae. A Quest is an engaging curricular task
designed to be entertaining yet educational.
Earth Troop: A noisy,
Flash-based effort to educate children regarding the
environment. Through cartoons, music, videos, games and
activities they try to show how ordinary people, both children and
adults, can safeguard the Earth and make it a better place.
Sponsored by General Motors.
EduPuppy: This site links
to exceptional Preschool-Grade 3 sites providing wonderful content and
resources to inform and enrich learning. The site allows users
to search by categories, keywords, and grade level. Their team
of educators are always searching for content rich lesson plans and
units, technology and integration sites, educational articles and
research, ECE theories and practice, developmentally appropriate
practices, special education materials, clipart, web quests and more.
Enjoy This Month
From the Staff at Knowledge
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