Tuesday, July 31, 2007

The School Teacher Resume

What does your resume say about you?

A school teacher resume has to focus on what you have done well in the past. It must focus on educational background, experience (subject area), professional development, special skills and more! School administrators want to know what has made you successful in the past. It is commonly believed that if you have done well in the past, you will continue to do well in the future. So, you have to show them what you have done in order to convince them of what you can do for them.

Here are two things you must do well in order to impress school officials with your school teacher resume.


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First, identify your qualifications for the position you are seeking. While education is a field that is typically always looking for qualified applicants, the competition can be tough for jobs in good school districts. If you know at what you excel, then you can create a resume that reflects those outstanding abilities and make a solid, positive impression.

How do you accomplish this?

Know what the school district is looking for by asking questions, making phone calls, talking to other teachers in the district. Find out in what officials are most interested then meet those needs in your resume.

Second, show how you enhanced your former students' academic, social, creative and technological skills as a teacher. Success almost always follows success as a good school teacher has the ability to take what they have learned (that works) and apply it to a variety of school settings.

How do you convey all of this on a resume?

The key is to show, rather than tell. Achievements and awards are excellent for this. If you are able to show the school administration that you have excelled in previous teaching settings, then they will expect you to do at least as well, if not better, in the position they have available.

A school teacher's resume should always include these items:

1. ability to communicate with people at all levels (children, parents and school officials)
2. your ability to instruct children of diverse backgrounds and educational levels with a variety of differing approaches
3. accomplishments, awards, goals reached, specialized training, etc.

When you tell the prospective employer how you can meet their needs (what you can do for them), then you are one step closer to getting an interview. That is the whole point of creating an outstanding school teacher resume.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job market for teachers "continues to vary by school location and by subject taught" but "job opportunities for teachers over the next 10 years will vary from good to excellent."

Finding a job isn't going to be the tough part. It's finding the job in the school district you WANT that is going to cause the most worry. Competition will always be fierce for those coveted positions. That's why your resume has to be excellent.

Be sure to include the information that school administrators are seeking and your resume will make a great first impression. After that, you will be well on your way to a great job.

Carla Vaughan, Owner/Webmaster Professional-Resume-Example.com

Carla is the owner of Professional-Resume-Example.com, a web site devoted to assisting candidates in the job-search process. She holds a B.S. in Business from Southern Illinois University and has authored several books.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Carla_Vaughan

Friday, July 27, 2007

Things You Need To Know About Praxis Ii

In the same way that products have to pass quality standards, teachers undergo the same thing, through qualification exams such as PRAXIS II. PRAXIS II has been set as the standards which aspiring K12 teachers have to go through. In this type of examination, thorough knowledge of various subjects, as well as understanding of the principles of teaching and learning methods will be measured. The results of the said test will determine teachers' future employment and affiliation to different professional groups.

Given the importance of PRAXIS II, it is but proper for the test takers to know more about it. Here are some frequently asked questions regarding PRAXIS II.



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- What are the subjects I have to study for a Teaching Foundation type of exam?

The Teaching Foundation Examination consists of five areas that the examinee has to study: Mathematics, Language Arts, Science, English, and Social Science. The question comes in multiple choice and constructed response.

- What are the options of taking PRAXIS II exam?

Examinees have two options of taking it: computer-based and paper-based examination

- How do I register for PRAXIS II examination?

Those who intend to take the examination can register via mail by downloading and printing the registration form from the PRAXIS website and mailing it together with the other requirements stated in the form.

Examinees can also register by logging on at the official PRAXIS website and filling up the necessary information.

- How can I pay for the PRAXIS II examination?

Payments can be made thru credit cards (in the case of online registration) or by checks and money order (if you registered thru mail).

- How will I find out about the things that I need to study?

There are "Test at a Glance" sections that you can refer to. This section includes an outline of the things that will be covered as well as guide questions. You may also find this section helpful because of the tips that it gives in choosing and finding the right answers for the questions.

- How can I prepare for PRAXIS II?

Basically, the things that you discussed during your training will cover the things you need to know. It only takes a few reading and scanning of old notes for you to recall all the information.

It also helps to answer sample test questions and mock exams to see how much you recalled and forgot.

- What are the things that I need to bring for the PRAXIS II test?

These things should be brought on the day of the examination:

- The admission ticket
- Forms of identification
- Soft-lead pencils (mechanical pens are not allowed), eraser and black pen

These things must be brought at the testing centers because these will not be supplied to you. Other personal belongings will be left at the designated lockers and cannot be accessed while the examination is going on. Please avoid bringing excess stuffs since the locker space is limited.

There is no easy way to pass the standards for educators than to become a teacher credible and qualified enough to handle the job. Hard work is needed, but it sure will lessen the load up a bit by knowing the things that need to be prepared and done for the PRAXIS II test. Good luck!
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Pass Praxis In Flying Colors! Tips In Acing The Praxis I Exam

Students are not the only ones who should ace in an exam; those who aspire to be teachers are faced with the same challenge come licensing and qualification exam such as PRAXIS I. Therefore, ardent preparations should be made so that these teachers-to-be can prove themselves worthy to educate others.

To prepare for the upcoming PRAXIS I exam, here are some tips that you have to keep in mind.

1. Determine the subject areas that you need to study.

It is a good habit to write a list of the topics that will be included in the subset that you will be taking. This habit brings a lot of advantages, some of which are as follows.

- It allows you to save time.

Reviewing time must be maximized to achieve best results. In as much as you want to know all, the tests are taken in subsets, and it is focused on certain topics.

It will also allow you to cover all the things that you have to know, because as soon as you have listed all the topics, you can divide your time to review it all.

- It allows you to master the topic at hand.

You will know more form a certain topic if you focus mastering it and ignoring other facts that would just confuse you.


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2. Collect your resource materials way before starting to study.

It would be more advantageous if the resource materials that you need have been listed and sorted according to the list of topics that you have prepared. In this way, you know the materials that you still need to find, and at the same time, it will save you time in looking for notes you need from a pile of reading materials.

3. Compare previous results to assess how you are faring so far.

Previous results of tests, may it be mock, review, or the actual PRAXIS (if you will be retaking the exam) should be kept for you to know your weaknesses, strengths as well as improvements. This will give you a hint regarding the topics that you need to focus on.

4. Condition yourself for studying.

The best way to have time for studying is to make it a part of your system. A good study habit will do you good since it is easier for your mind to cooperate with your will to review.

To create a study habit:

- Assign a certain place for you to study only.

This place should be conducive enough for reviewing. And it should only be associated to studying only. Therefore, there should not be any source of interruption such as television, phone and the likes.

- Create a study schedule and stick to it.

Schedules are worthless if you do not adhere to it. So there should be minimal diversions from the study plan. To help yourself adhere to it, you should be able to know the time when you are most efficient to take in information, as well as the time when you are most tempted to take a nap or break. In this way, your study schedule is patterned after your own activities.

Studying for PRAXIS I exam is like studying for any other examination, But this preparation time should be given a more serious approach since it is your future to become teachers that is at stake.
http://www.articlesbase.com/education-articles/pass-praxis-in-flying-colors-tips-in-acing-the-praxis-i-exam-187690.html

Elementary School Teacher - Get Help With Elementary Lesson Plans

Are you an elementary school teacher or a home school mom that is burned out of coming up with elementary lesson plans for your students? I'm quite sure that no one except teachers has any idea of how difficult and sometimes stressful it is to come up with great elementary lesson plans for each subject and each day you plan to teach.

I recently retired from teaching after having a fourth grade classroom for nearly thirty five years. I loved teaching more than anything else, but planning elementary lesson plans nearly did me in a few times. At several times throughout my teaching career I would come home and complain to my husband that I wanted to be done. The job was too hard, the pay was too small, I was underappreciated, and I had to spend hours each week making elementary lessons plans that half of the time I didn't even follow.



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Five years before retirement another teacher gave me some of the best and most relieving advice of my teaching career. I'll admit that I was a little upset that I hadn't heard this news thirty years before, but I was grateful nonetheless to get all the help I could. This teacher suggested that I start looking for other ways and sources of getting great elementary lesson plans for my classroom.

At first I laughed at her and responded with a simple "yeah right." I had myself convinced that I was the only reliable source of elementary lesson plans and that my classroom would fall apart if I didn't have the perfect plans going into each morning. I was wrong. My teacher friend suggested that I utilize resources that other teachers have made in my own classroom. She suggested that I look for elementary lesson plans at bookstores, teaching stores, and even on the internet.

I began to look around for other sources of elementary lesson plans during the summer between two school years. I was skeptical about finding something that worked, yet I found the idea intriguing enough to be worth my trying. What I discovered as I really began looking for elementary lesson plans was unbelievable: there really is a wealth of information and resource available for teachers in the area of elementary lesson plans. I had no idea how much work had been written and published in this area. I stumbled upon a treasure house of solid information that changed everything about the last five years of my career.

So teachers, regardless of how long you've been in the classroom, start looking now for great alternatives for elementary lesson plans. You'll be glad you did.
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Thursday, July 19, 2007

Effective High School Math Teaching: A Recipe for Success

Why is math so hard to teach and why are there so few good math teachers? Whether you are a student, parent, or yes—even a math teacher—you know how true this question is. Effective math teaching requires more than just a good handle on the subject. A great high school math teacher must be a great salesperson; moreover, effective teaching—period—requires that the teacher be a better salesperson than the students. For if you can sell the students your bag of goods successfully every day, then your knowledge of the subject becomes a secondary attribute. Additionally, if you manifest a genuine concern for the individuals that you teach, mix this with a little humor, present the material with a commanding knowledge, and show enthusiasm for what you are selling, then the victory will be easily at hand.

Anyone who can teach a bunch of high school kids on a daily basis—let alone a subject like algebra, geometry, or integrated math—is worthy of some kudos. Teaching effectively on a daily basis is worthy of adoration. An effective salesperson must win over his clients and close the sale. A great teacher must win over his students and “close” their education. Once a teacher closes his students, disciples are made and the rest is easy. Closing one’s students requires a passion for math, a genuine concern for their person, and a willingness to take risks in one’s approach to teaching.




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Days and months could be spent on all the reasons that the teaching profession is hurting: why there are so few good math and science teachers; why math test scores are sinking; why students are not achieving like their Asian brothers and sisters are; on and on and on. The purpose of this article, however, is to get right to the point: effective math teaching begins with a burning passion for the subject in question and an intimate connection to the dimension within which the “mathematical spirit” resides. Without either of these two qualities, you will not be an effective math teacher: without passion, you will never be able to repel the daily buffets of the students; and without that spiritual connection, you will never be able to tap into that higher realm, where magical discoveries are made and serendipitous insights are yours for the asking.

You want to teach math effectively? Forget remembering formulas and rote ways to solve problems. Tap into a higher consciousness. Develop a zeal for the mysteries that this subject unfolds. Let your students sense this ardor. Be a great salesperson. The rest will be simply magic.


Joe propagates his teaching philosophy through his articles and books and is dedicated to helping educate children living in impoverished countries. Toward this end, he donates a portion of the proceeds from the sale of every ebook. For more information go to http://www.mathbyjoe.com

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Joe_Pagano

Mathematics for Elementary School Teacher

This page offers good places to begin looking for collections of elementary-level lesson plans. For more sites, see our page of individual elementary-level lesson plans, or you can browse all lesson plans, or search the Forum's Internet Mathematics Library.
http://mathforum.org/teachers/elem/lessons-collections.html

The First Day of School - How To Be an Effective Teacher

The first day of school is always exciting. It can be a bit frightening as well, both for the teacher and the student. Everyone wants to make a good first impression and it can only happen once. Here are some suggestions for that first day you may want to consider. For me this has been a wonderful way to start out the school year.

It is most important on this day that you be warm and friendly, yet establish early the fact that you are organized and in control. You are the teacher. One way to establish your leadership in a firm, yet friendly, way is to form a welcome line as the students enter the classroom.

Meet your students at the door, introduce yourself, ask their name and shake their hand. The first person then stands next to you. Meet the next person, shake their hand, and introduce them to the first person standing next to you. The second student then shakes hands with the first student and stands next in line. Each person, as he enters, is warmly greeted by the teacher and the introduce to the first student, who in turn introduces him to the next student, and so on, forming a line all around the outside of the classroom.



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When all of the students have entered the classroom and have shaken hands with all of the other students, the teacher then greets them again and has them sit in pre-assigned seats. Having students sit in alphabetical order makes it easier to learn their names quickly.

Some of the advantages of a “welcome line” and “seating chart” the first day are:

1. All students have met each other and the teacher.

2. It establishes order and puts the teacher in control.

3. You do not have students scrambling for the last seat and to sit by their friends,

thus “nipping” any potential discipline problem before it arises.

4. Students feel more secure when they see the teacher is organized.

You may also find it helpful in learning students names quickly with a “picture seating chart.” If you have access to a yearbook with student pictures, you can photocopy the pictures, put the name of the student on their picture, and place them in the seating arrangement you desire.

It is a good idea to then photocopy your new “picture seating chart.” Using the photocopied chart has the following advantages.

1. You do not lose the picture.

2. Pictures cannot be moved by an unauthorized student.

3. The original picture stays in good shape.

Hopefully these ideas will help you start the first day of school in a fun, well organized manner. For me, it worked smoothly every time.

Merlin Frei has been a religious educator for over 36 years and is now sharing "frei" information on his website. You can read other articles there and/or register for his newsletter.

Religious Art:http://www.scriptureteachers.com/home.html

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Merlin_Frei

Elementary School Teacher Tips: Improving Social Skills in ADHD Students

Thank you to all of our professional educators who dedicate themselves to our children! We know how difficult it can be working with ADHD children, so here are your teacher tips for the week, brought to you by the ADHD Information Library and ADDinSchool.com. This is a sampling of over 500 classroom interventions for your use at http://www.ADDinSchool.com.

Here are some tips on Improving Social Skills:

Provide a safe environment for the child. Make sure the child knows you are his friend and you are there to help him. Treat him with respect. Never belittle him in front of his peers. Both he and the other children know that he stands out, and if the teacher belittles the child, then the rest of the children will see that as permission from the teacher to belittle the child as well.



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Students with attentional problems experience many difficulties in the social area, especially with peer relationships. They tend to experience great difficulty picking up other's social cues, act impulsively, have limited self-awareness of their effect on others, display delayed role-taking ability, and over-personalize other's actions as being criticism, and tend not to recognize positive feedback. They tend to play better with younger or older children when their roles are clearly defined. These students tend to repeat self-defeating social behavior patterns and not learn from experience. Conversationally, they may ramble and say embarrassing things to peers. Areas and time-periods with less structure and less supervision, such as the playground and class parties, can be especially problematic.

Enlisting the support of peers in the classroom can greatly enhance your student's self-esteem. Students with good social awareness and who like to be helpful can be paired with him. This pairing can take the form of being a "study buddy", doing activities/projects, or playing on the playground. Cross-age tutoring with older or younger students can also have social benefits. Most successful pairing is done with adequate preparation of the paired student, planning meetings with the pair to set expectations, and with parental permission. Pairing expectations and time-commitments should be fairly limited in scope to increase the opportunity for success and lessen the constraints on the paired students.

Students with attentional problems tend to do well in the cooperative group instructional format. Small student groupings of three to five members, in which the students "sink or swim" together to complete assignments/projects, encourage students to share organizational ideas and responsibilities, and gives an ideal setting for processing interpersonal skills on a regular basis.

Small "play groups" of two to four students can help your student to develop more effective social skills. These groups are most effective if socially competent peers are willingly included in the group. The group should be focused on activities that stress interaction and cooperation. Board games, building projects, and sessions that promote frequent verbal interactions provide the greatest opportunity for learning appropriate social skills and controlling impulsivity. Your student would benefit most when the target social skills are identified and practiced with them prior to the activity and processed after the activity.

Many students lack friends to be with outside of the school-setting. It can be beneficial to strategize with your student and his parent on developing a "friendship plan" for the home setting. Sometimes the goal of establishing one special friendship is ambitious and sufficient. This could include steps of identifying friend possibilities that might be available/accepting, practice in making arrangements using the phone, planning an activity or sleep-over that is structured/predictable, and tips on how to maintain friendships over time.

A subtle way for your student to learn social skills is through the use of guided observation of his peers on the playground. Accompany them on to the playground and point out the way other students initiate activities, cooperate in a game, respond to rejection, deal with being alone, etc.

For many students, thirty minutes on the playground is beyond their capability to maintain peer relationships successfully. If necessary, break up the recess into ten minutes of activity, a ten minute check-in with the teacher/playground supervisor, then another ten minute activity period.

Restricting the area available for your student during recess can increase the contact with adult supervision and lessen the complexity of social decision-making. This can be done privately with your student prior to recess. Many students welcome this manner of simplifying their social interactions during this period of low structure.

It is helpful to meet with your student prior to his lunchroom/playground period to review his plan for recess activity and with whom he will sit during lunch. Have him ask peers in advance of the recess block to do a certain activity with him. Process the activity with your student after recess and make suggestions for the following day.

Hopefully these will help the ADHD students in your classroom to be more successful. You can learn more about Attention Deficit Hyperactivity disorder at the ADHD Information Library.

Douglas Cowan, Psy.D., is a family therapist who has been working with ADHD children and their families since 1986. He is the clinical director of the ADHD Information Library's family of seven web sites, including http://www.newideas.net, helping over 350,000 parents and teachers learn more about ADHD each year. Dr. Cowan also serves on the Medical Advisory Board of VAXA International of Tampa, FL., is President of the Board of Directors for KAXL 88.3 FM in central California, and is President of NewIdeas.net Incorporated.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Douglas_Cowan,_Psy.D.

Elementary School Teacher Tips: Organizing Your ADHD Students

Thank you to all of our professional educators who dedicate themselves to our children! We know how difficult it can be working with ADHD children, so here are your teacher tips for the week, brought to you by the ADHD Information Library and ADDinSchool.com. You can read over 500 classroom interventions at http://www.ADDinSchool.com.

Here are some tips on Organizing Your ADHD Students:

See what you can do to help organize the ADHD child's environment. Use dividers and folders in his desk so he can easily find things. Teach him how to organize himself better. These are skills that he does not know, and needs to learn.

Help the child to organize his written work or numbers. Allow the child to move a pencil or his finger across the page while reading. If he's writing, allow him to use one or two fingers for spacing between words. During math, graph paper may be very helpful to organize his numbers and columns.



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Your student will function better when able to anticipate times requiring increased concentration. A visual representation of the day's schedule will provide another opportunity to internalize classroom routine.

Completing school work and maintaining behavior during the school day can be exhausting experiences. Large homework loads on a regular basis can become discouraging for him and very stressful for the parent involved. Attempt to have homework reduced, if possible, and limited to guided practice on material that he has begun to master. Attempt to break down long?term assignments into steps to lessen your student's feeling overwhelmed. Consider having the student complete every third problem, instead of answering each one.

Emphasize practice and assignment completion on the word processor to lower the frustration many students feel with written work.

Model an organized classroom and model the strategies you use to cope with disorganization.

Establish a daily classroom routine and schedule. Show that you value organization by following 5 minutes each day for the children to organize their desks, folders, etc. Reinforce organization by having a "desk fairy" that gives a daily award for the most organized row of desks.

Use individual assignment charts or pads that can go home with the child to be signed daily by parents if necessary. Develop a clear system for keeping track of completed and uncompleted work such as having individual hanging files in which each child can place completed work and a special folder for uncompleted work.

Develop a color coding method for your room in which each subject is associated with a certain color that is the that subjects textbook cover and on the folder or workbook for that subject.

Develop a reward system for in-school work and homework completion. One example of a system that reinforces both work quality and work quantity involves translating points earned into "dollars" to be used for silent auction at the end of grading period. For children needing more immediate reinforcement, each completed assignment could earn the child a "raffle ticket" with her/his name on it . Prizes or special privileges could be awarded on the basis of a random drawing held daily or weekly.

Write schedule and timelines on the board each day. Provide due dates for assignments each day. Divide longer assignments into sections and provide due dates or times for the completion of each section.

Tape a checklist to the child's desk or put one in each subject folder/notebook that outlines the steps in following directions or checking to be sure an assignment is complete. Provide study guides or outlines of the content you want the child to learn, or let the child build her/his own study guide with worksheets tat have been positively corrected.

Be clear about when student movement is permitted and when it is discouraged, such as during independent work times.

Your student should be encouraged to utilize assignment sheets, broken down by day and subject. He or his teachers can record assignments at the completion of each task. An organizing time at the end of each day can be helpful to gather the necessary materials for the assignments and develop a plan of action for completion. This will greatly aid the development of the "executive processes."

Your student can become overwhelmed with floods of paper and be unable to find the needed materials. It is often helpful to carry only two work folders, one that contains work to be completed and one with work to be filed. Reviewing these work folders should become a regular part of the daily routine, with irrelevant work removed.
Some students now take a small dose of their medication when they come home from school to aid in studying/homework completion. Check with the doctor about the time period of maximum medication effectiveness to help set?up a sensible homework schedule.

Quite often, variability in work performance will be related to the teacher's style and your student's temperament. Teachers tend to instruct using their own preferential learning style. Sequential teachers may help by providing more structure for him but the teacher may become frustrated with his disorganization and behavior. Random teachers, while not providing external structure, may be more likely to utilize flexibility in adjusting to his needs. Attempt to place your student with teachers who have similar styles that have proven effective for their particular needs. Some teachers have received training in dealing with students with attentional problems that would make them a particularly effective resource.

One of the simplest interventions with the most power is to have an extra set of textbooks at home to minimize the problem of not having the necessary homework materials.
Since fine motor activities and spelling can be a problem, consider a major emphasis on using a word processor at an early age. Software to practice keyboarding should have stimulating graphics to motivate their use. Using a "spell check" program is critical.

Along with the "executive process" of organizing for homework at the end of the day, a daily check-in time at the beginning of the school day can be helpful in preparing for a successful day. Checking the previous night's homework, highlighting changes in the daily schedule, and even pre?teaching some of the lessons for the day can ease stress.
Your student should have a regularly scheduled time for cleaning his desk at least once a week. This will improve his ability to find his materials. It may, however, require the assistance/instruction of an adult to make this a successful experience.

Hopefully these will help the ADHD students in your classroom to be more successful. You can learn more about Attention Deficit Hyperactivity disorder at the ADHD Information Library.

Douglas Cowan, Psy.D., is a family therapist who has been working with ADHD children and their families since 1986. He is the clinical director of the ADHD Information Library's family of seven web sites, including http://www.newideas.net, helping over 350,000 parents and teachers learn more about ADHD each year. Dr. Cowan also serves on the Medical Advisory Board of VAXA International of Tampa, FL., is President of the Board of Directors for KAXL 88.3 FM in central California, and is President of NewIdeas.net Incorporated.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Douglas_Cowan,_Psy.D.

School Teacher - How to Teach to a Diverse Classroom of Students

Each year teachers are faced with the daunting task of teaching to a classroom of 20-30 individual students, each with their own learning styles, interests, and abilities. Providing optimal learning for such a diverse group can seem overwhelming. But, there is a simple approach that can be used which will enable all students to succeed, and that approach is simply using variety and choice. Not only does this approach address the multiple learning styles of students, but it also aides in making them independent learners.

While the classroom still needs to have structure (routines, rules, procedures), providing variety within that structured environment can aide in providing optimal learning for all students. Using a variety of instructional approaches such as lectures, PowerPoint presentations, inquiry-based instruction, hands-on experiments, project/problem-based learning, or computer aided instruction, not only addresses the various learning styles of the students in the classroom, but it can help learners become more flexible in their learning. Most learners do have a preferred learning style, however this does not mean they are strictly dependent on that style to learn. They are also comfortable with and able to learn from several other styles as well. Exposing students to a wide variety of learning styles will enable them to become more flexible learners.



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It is also beneficial to vary the input devices used and the resources made available in the classroom. Children have a wide variety of preferred learning devices, therefore making as many available as possible provides for this diversity. For example, when presenting information use audio (songs, speeches, interviews, etc.), video, books, posters, hands-on manipulatives, food, and smells. Technology has made available a wide range of resources, such as PowerPoint presentations, live video feeds, chats, and communication. PowerPoint presentations are a great way to present information using a mixture of audio, video, animations (movement), and text. These presentations can also be made available to the students via the computer for them to review at their own pace. The internet/ computers also offer interactive learning activities that combine movement, visuals, and sounds, such as virtual science experiments. These allow students to conduct experiments never before thought possible due to danger or lack of equipment. Virtual experiments can be found at http://www.explorelearning.com .

Pre-exposure to material also aides in learning. The more familiar students are with a subject the easier it is for new learning to occur. Therefore, providing students with a variety of pre-exposure materials can better prepare them for new learning units. For example, monthly calendars that list the upcoming themes, a classroom website with links to various websites related to upcoming themes, books, magazines, maps, posters, computer software, and manipulatives can be provided for students to browse at their leisure. Providing a variety of materials takes into consideration the learning preferences of all students.

Novelty can be used to gain and keep students’ attention. People usually only pay attention to things that are of value or things that are personally meaningful. Therefore, relating learning to your students’ real life experiences or interests can catch and keep their attention. “Shock” them with an unusual noise, experiment, video, song, etc. You can also present them with a problem or project that relates to their real world in order to gain their attention and interest at the beginning of a unit. Issues such as environmental problems, problems with long lines in the cafeteria, designing the perfect playground, planning a field trip within the budget, local traffic issues, etc. can all be considered. Making learning meaningful, relevant, and interesting to your students not only gains their initial attention, but keeps it throughout the lesson.

When planning your lessons it is beneficial to try to include as many of the senses and/or Gardner’s multiple intelligences (verbal-linguistic, logical-mathematical, kinesthetic, visual- spatial, musical, interpersonal, intrapersonal, and naturalist) as possible. You can do this by using a variety of activities in your plans such as songs, games, experiments, field trips, real world experiences, interviews, guest speakers, physical movement/exercise, small group activities, individual activities, partner activities, cooking/food/snacks, hands-on experiences, etc. Providing a variety of activities will enable students of all ability levels to succeed.

Not only do students have diverse learning styles but varying bio-cognitive cycles as well. Some students learn best in the morning, some in the afternoon. Therefore, having a flexible classroom schedule can provide for these differences. Also, varying the times and types of assessments can give all students a fair chance of showing their true abilities.

When applicable, it is beneficial to give students choice in activities and assessments. This provides students opportunities to showcase their individual talents and can aide in classroom management as well. If students are constantly dictated to and not given a voice or choice they can grow resentful and “act out”. Provide a variety of classroom activities for students to choose from during structured and unstructured times, give them several projects such as posters, PowerPoint presentations, reports, interviews, videos, brochures, etc. to choose from when assessing their knowledge. Giving students choice provides them with a sense of empowerment over their learning and can aide them in deciding what learning styles and assessments work best for them, thus helping them become more responsible for their own learning.

It would be a pretty boring world if all learners were the same. Diversity makes the classroom more interesting and exciting. Teachers should honor and respect the uniqueness of each student by offering variety and choice in their classrooms. Not only will this address the diverse needs of the students, but it will also help them to become independent learners as well. After all, is that not the goal of education?

Tina O'Block holds a Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction and a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education. She has been teaching for 13 years.

She is the author of Now I Know My ABCs and a Whole Lot More: Alphabet Activities for Preschoolers and Kindergarteners which is available at http://www.oblockbooks.com and the article, How to Help Your Child be Successful in Kindergarten.

You may also contact her at oblockbooks@worldnet.att.net.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Tina_O'Block

School Teacher - Home School Progress Check - Parent-Teacher-Student Conferences

Aren't you glad you don't have to endure parent-teacher conferences? It's just one of the blessings for those who home school. The purpose of parent-teacher conferences is to check the progress of the student for the current school year. You may love the fact that you don't have to stand in lines, hear how others think your child is doing, or try to reason with another teacher, but you may want to consider conducting a progress check of your own. You could call it a parent/teacher-student conference.

First, decide when the appropriate time is to review this year's progress. It may be once a quarter, twice a year, or as a year-end evaluation.

Second, you need to decide what your objectives are. Do you want to evaluate your curriculum to see how well it fits your children? Are you checking the progress your children are making, to see how they handle the subjects or if they are staying on grade level? Maybe you just want to see how your children perceive they are doing. Before you move to the next step, choose which items you want to include in your conference.

Third, keep in mind that this is not a test. This is a conference, a progress discussion. Don't administer tests, but be prepared to look at or discuss recent homework projects, tests or grades.

Fourth, make up a questionnaire for your children.. Remember, it's not a test. Give them the questionnaire a couple of days before you plan to meet, so they can be thorough and have time to remember everything.




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Here are some questions you may want to use:


On a scale of 1 to 10 (10 means “perfect,” 5 means “okay,” 1 means “couldn't be much worse.”) how would you rate ___________________ ? You can use this to evaluate each subject, specific projects, or a certain period of time.


Name three things that you think were the best learning experiences. Be ready to tell me why each one was so good when we have our meeting.


List one thing you think we could do better. Do you have suggestions for how we could improve it?


Which subjects/topics/projects are you very good at? Which ones do you struggle with?


If you could learn about anything, what would you pick?


What are some of your goals? They don't have to be school-related.


What changes do you need to make to be more successful?


What changes do you think our family may need to make to help you learn better



You can add your own questions to evaluate your unique situation. You may choose to have students fill out the questionnaire ahead of time or just think about the answers, so you can discuss them together.

Fifth, set up your conference and be prepared to listen to each child separately. Try not to be defensive; just listen. You may disagree with the child's self-assessment. If that is the case, you can share what you think, but try to phrase it in a way so your child will listen. Perhaps something like this: “That is a very interesting observation, Emily. I have some other thoughts to go with it. Can I share them with you?” Then, proceed to share your concerns, and be prepared to listen again.

With some honest discussion, you will be able to evaluate your home school situation and your children's progress. Allowing them to give you feedback empowers your children to be even more involved in their own education. You will all be rewarded by the experience.

Visit Stephenie's site http://faith-filled.com/Faith-filled_Classroom.html for specific tips tailored to classroom teachers and homeschooling parents.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Stephenie_Hovland

Monday, July 16, 2007

Los Angeles Schools Run Nation's Second Largest District

In terms of numbers, Los Angeles Schools make up the second largest public school district in the country. Only New York City Schools top them. The issues of running any urban system are complex, but in massive districts the numbers make efforts even more difficult.

Los Angeles Schools Struggle with Graduation Rates

Simply getting students to graduate is a challenge for the Los Angeles Schools. A 2006 USA Today study reported that Los Angeles Schools were among several large urban districts with less than 50% of its students gradating from high school on time. That report put the number of graduates in Los Angeles Schools at 44.2%. This is well under the California state graduation rate of 71%.

Another report released from Princeton University in 2005 estimated the lost income of these dropouts at over $36 billion. These numbers are not surprising to educators in the Los Angeles Schools. Numerous studies over the years have confirmed what Los Angeles Schools teachers know. High School drop-outs are far more likely to become teen parents, commit crimes, and use government funded social and medical services. Graduates have higher incomes, raise better-educated children, and experience other social benefits.



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Los Angeles Schools Receive Funds

As the result of a 2005 lawsuit filed by State Schools Chief Jack O’Connell and the California Teachers Association, some of the poorest rated Los Angeles Schools were awarded extra funding in May of 2007. The lawsuit was filed in 2006 against California Governor Schwarzenegger and the California Department of Finance. It alleged that they had failed to appropriately fund Proposition 98 during the 2004 to 2006 school years.

O’Connell is using the lawsuit’s awards to provide $2.7 billion to some of California and Los Angeles Schools’ highest risk schools. The funds are part of a program called the Quality Education Investment Act. The funds will provide chosen Los Angeles Schools with additional per pupil funds of $500 for k-3rd grade, $900 for 4th through 8th, and $1,000 for 9th through 12th . Los Angeles Schools intend to use the money for hiring more teachers, addressing class size concerns, professional development, and hiring in-school counselors.

Los Angeles Schools are in need in many areas. The national achievement gap is huge here because of a large population of English Language Learners, and a low socio-economic population. One concern of the Princeton study mentioned above is that it pointed out huge discrepancies in graduation rates between white and non-white students. African-American students and Hispanic students have the lowest graduation rates; and Los Angeles Schools are largely made up of these student minorities. Over 100 Los Angeles Schools will receive the additional funds over the next seven years.

Patricia Hawke is a staff writer for Schools K-12, providing free, in-depth reports on all U.S. public and private K-12 schools. For more information please visit Los Angeles Schools

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Teacher Tips 101 - Things You Need To Know About CSET

Education can be considered as a basic need- more than a necessity rather than mere luxury. That is why it is very important to ensure the quality of education that teachers get for them to be able to carry on a noble task- the task of molding others' future.

In this regard, the California Commission on Teachers Credentialing (CCTC) continues to facilitate the CSET (or California Subject Examination for Teachers) for California students to receive instructions of great academic standards. A teacher has to be competitive in all aspects; something that CCTC has to ensure. And aside from the reviews that teachers have to make, they still have all the procedures that they have to follow to take CSET.



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Here are some things that teachers have to keep in mind when they are intending to take CSET.

- What are the CSET tests that a teacher can take?

Teachers can choose from the various CSET programs: the Multiple Subjects Test, the Preliminary Educational Technology Test, the Writing Skills Test and the Single Subjects test.

- What are the differences between the test types?

The Multiple Subjects Test allows the bearer to teach all subjects that he or she is qualified in teaching in a classroom. This style has been commonly used in Elementary settings. The students learn most basic subjects (if not all) from one teacher.

A Single Subject Test, in turn, allows a bearer to teach a certain subject of expertise in a departmentalized setting, most commonly seen in secondary schools. In this kind of setting, students receive instructions from teachers specialized in handling a certain subject.

- Do I need to take the Preliminary Educational Technology Test?

Even if a teacher has been certified to be proficient in a certain subject, he or she has to be proficient enough to handle the technologies used in teaching; The CSET Preliminary Technology Test handles that task.

- Where do i get review guides for CSET? Teachers have options in getting review guides. There are review guides which you can buy. However, you can save money by checking the electronic review guides available at the CSET official website.

- How do I register for CSET?

Here are the steps that teachers have to follow in registering for CSET. Teachers who intend to take the CSET exam can visit the CSET website. Registration is available all the time. However, the cut-off time to be observed is 5 in the afternoon, Pacific time.

Registration forms can also be sent by mail, but the 5 p.m. cut-off time still applies.

Another option to take into consideration would be to call the CSET hotline to register via phone. Please refer to the CSET website for the numbers to contact.

- How do I pay for CSET?

CSET takers can check the CSET website for specific payments. The payment dues can be paid via MasterCard of Visa if the test taker registered online or thru phone. For test takers who registered thru mail, payments can be made thru personal checks, and money order, aside from the options available to those who registered online.

The task of educating others toward their future is a hard task indeed. But teachers do not have to worry, for CSET would just be a breeze, if you take these things in mind.

Mario Churchill is a freelance author and has written over 200 articles on various subjects. For info on passing the Praxis II and studying for the Praxis exam checkout his website today.

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Tips on Taking A Distance Learning MBA

Although the concept of distance learning is not a new one, many professionals who already have bachelor's degrees are taking advantage of off-site learning opportunities to attain a distance learning MBA.

Many accredited universities are beginning to offer distance learning MBA courses in an attempt to reach students who are not able to attend on campus classes for a wide variety of reasons. Many institutions that offer distance learning MBA courses are considered a distance learning college, but many traditional educational institutions are also offering distance learning courses that allow alumni to get a distance learning MBA from their alma matter. However, many times a degree from a distance learning college carries the same weight as a degree earned by students who had the opportunity to attain the same degree in a traditional classroom setting. In fact, some employers and industries actively recruit graduates from a distance learning college because of the ability and discipline it takes to graduate from a distance learning program, especially a distance learning MBA. Graduating by taking advantage of distance learning courses also shows a lot of determination and the drive to succeed, which are the kind of qualities many companies like to see in their new recruits.


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However, because of many factors, there are many different distance learning formats you can take advantage of to get your distance learning MBA. Correspondence courses have always been very popular, but many distance learning colleges also offer e learning courses, which mean that it is a strictly online class. Many professionals with busy schedules prefer e learning courses because of the convenience and the ability to access class information from any location with an internet connection.

Other programs take advantage of a technology called Live Interactive Television. Live Interactive Television allows students to view a real time lesson by an instructor in a distant location. This technology makes it possible for students to ask questions and interact with instructors, which bridges the distance that separates them. Although this format takes some time to get used to, it can allow an instructor to reach a very large audience, as well as exposing students to instructors and guest speakers that they normally would not have access to. It also allows much of the structure that comes along with a traditional classroom.

Many distance learning MBA programs may televise the lectures so that students can watch or record lectures without physically being in class. In many ways, televised courses are better for many students than Live Interactive Television although they do not have the opportunity to ask the teacher questions.

Although many people settle for a bachelor's degree, getting an MBA can open a lot of career doors and provide better pay for nearly any job. For many people, a distance learning MBA is the only option that makes sense.

Nic Haffner helps his readers to learn more about online accredited degrees by providing them excellent online degree information.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Nic_Haffner

Superstar Teachers - 7 Inside Secrets for Superstar Teaching

"Teaching is more than a piece of paper or a position. It is a need that develops in the heart. It is a gift, not a learned action and only a true teacher can understand the feelings and needs that come from teaching."

Superstar teachers have control of their classroom, mastery of their material and the respect of their students. However becoming a superstar teacher isn't easy. It takes hard work, perseverance and determination.

Here are 7 secrets of superstar teachers.


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1. Know Your Why

It has been said that if you have a big enough "why" you can accomplish anything. So, know why you want to be a teacher. The reason must be bigger than life if you are going to stay motivated.

2. Prepare Your Priorites

In order to make decisions you need to develop a set of predetermined priorities. Knowing your priorities will help you focus on doing first things first. Most people don't do what is important, they do what is urgent. So, decide what is most important to you and prepare your priorities.

3. Determine Your Destination

If you are going to lead your students to an understanding of your subject matter, then you need to know where you are going. So, take the time to plan out your year and then prepare an outline for your students. This outline will serve as a road map for the upcoming year and everyone knows where you are going and what to expect.

4. Choose Your Battles

You must learn to choose your battles, not every thing is worth fighting over. If you make it your habit to fight over every little thing you will eventually lose the war. Believe it or not, there are situations you might want to ignore and let it go for the time being. But when you do choose to take on a battle, you had better win. If you lose a battle, you will lose respect with your students.

5. Know Your Audience

Spend some time getting to know your students. Ask questions about their families, pets, hobbies, likes and dislikes. The more you know about your students the better you can prepare your lessons to fit them. Besides know one cares about what you know till they know that you care.

6. Work on Yourself

It is very important that you work harder on yourself than you do on job. You must have a plan for personal growth that includes books, CDs, DVDs, seminars and classes that will improve your skills. So, try to read at least one professional book a month, attend at least two seminars a year and try to take one class a year.

7. Ignite Your Passion

It is very important that you teach with passion. If you don't have a passion for teaching, please stop teaching. Effective teaching is done with passion and you must work at keeping that flame burning. One of the best ways to ignite your passion is to watch uplifting movies about people who made a difference.

Movies like: Mr. Holland's Opus, Stand By Me, Man Without a Face or Stand and Deliver

Another way to keep your flame burning is to create a victory file. The victory file contains the notes, cards and letters from your students over the years. This is a powerful tool for maintaining your passion.

Teachers are underpaid, underestimated and unappreciated. Yet, to the true teacher it doesn't matter they continue to teach because it is a fulfillment of their destiny.

Learn more by clicking on the following link Inside Secrets for Superstar Teaching or for more about science teaching go to N-SECS.COM

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School Teaching Money -Pursuing Novel Teaching Methods With Differentiated Education Grant Money

With differentiated education grant money, schools can provide individualized attention to students' learning.

What's Differentiated Education?

Teachers and school professionals are starting to realize the value of breaking away from conventional teaching methods which consisted of pre-packaged lectures and assignments that don't take into account a student's individuality.

Indeed, more and more studies are pointing out that since each individual student has his or her own learning style, using the a blanket teaching approach for all students has less than positive results.

Education of the Future

Differentiated education counteracts the old unproductive method. Students learn the way they learn best and at different levels. For instance, some students can learn grammar skills by simply being shown examples in a workbook while other students will read a story and attempt to pick out parts of speech. When it's time for assessment, students are tested differently as well. In order to show that students have grasped a particular geometrical concept, for example, one student might be asked to solve a math problem, while another student may be asked to build a mathematical model.

In order to put in place differentiated education programs and have the resources necessary to address all learning styles, schools can request differentiated education grant money.



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What goes into a proposal for differentiated education grant money?

As with any other grants, the institution seeking grant money must show in a proposal why the money is required and how the money is used towards furthering the goals of the differentiated education grant. Money will be only be allocated after a detailed proposal review.

The proposal must:

- provide background information,

- detail the objective of the grant,

- describe why differentiated education grant money is requested,

- say in which areas the grant will be used

- and for which target group,

- describe the plan to implement the grant,

- list the personnel involved

- explain the methods for evaluating the success of the project,

- and include a budget.

Depending on the specific project, there may be other, more specific requirements.

Where to apply

Differentiated education grant money can be disbursed by the federal or state government, non-profit organizations, academic institutes, research centers, funding organizations, corporations, and private individuals. Start your online search with grants.gov; this is a site listing all Federal grants available - $400 billion are available. Take a look also at Ed.gov, the US Department of Education website. Or simply sign up for our free report on education grants which lists excellent sources for regarding how to get differentiated education grant money.

One of the best offline ways to research grant opportunities is to visit your regional foundation library, located at most major universities. Your local library also has books listing grant opportunities, just consult with the librarian. Alternatively, these kinds of books will also be available either at your high school counselor's office or your university's financial aid office. You can purchase these books at book stores or do a search on Amazon.

For more information, visit http://www.i2lifeeducation.com, a premier site that provides free resources to help you choose an online education course, and find education grants and scholarships.

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School Teachers - There's Never Been a Better Time to Pursue a Career in Teaching

Nothing is quite like the feeling you get when you lead a group of eager students to a new level of understanding. If you've ever considered becoming a teacher, there's never been a better time than now to follow your dreams. With an explosion of new growth in the field, you'll love the opportunities available to earn your degree online.

What Makes Teaching So Special

Without a doubt, teaching is a career with a social conscience. It takes passion, persistence, and a real desire to help young people succeed. Being a teacher means holding a position of responsibility and authority in society. Teachers are the professionals that ready our children for a challenging world. Also, teaching is a career that will preserve your youth. When you spend your life around kids, their enthusiasm and curiosity is entirely infectious.




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How to Become a Teacher

There are a variety of ways that you can earn the credentials you need to become a teacher. Bachelor degrees are the minimum educational standard for entry into the profession. To increase your salary, master's degrees in a variety of specialties will show your expertise in your particular subject of interest. Accredited online colleges are a great way to earn the basic and advanced degrees you need to follow your dream and become a teacher.

The Looming Teacher Shortage

At a time when education is at the forefront of our national concerns, a teacher shortage is imminently on the horizon. There are a variety of factors contributing to this professional challenge. Retiring baby boomers that have held classroom positions will be easing out of the field.

Also, for some new teachers, the stresses of the position have influenced them to find other means of employment. And the explosion of neighborhoods across the country has increased the demand for qualified teaching professionals.

What Are School District Doing to Attract Talented Candidates into the Classroom?

Signing Perks

School districts nationwide are providing a number of perks for qualified candidates who accept teaching positions. School boards see these signing benefits as a real opportunity to increase recruiting and teacher retention in their counties.

# Student loan forgiveness for teachers in low-income neighborhoods
# Signing bonuses
# Leadership opportunities
# Tuition reimbursement

Housing Subsidies

Housing subsidies, normally associated with international teaching opportunities, are becoming increasingly available for qualified teachers. Public and private school systems are providing free or reduced housing to their teaching candidates as a way to encourage application and retention. This can mean a serious boost to the financial status of a teacher who is concerned about the expenses of buying or renting in their school's area. Housing subsidies could mean thousands of dollars over the course of a fiscal year.

Easier Qualification

Another strategy that is being used to increase the opportunities in teaching is to make qualification for the position more streamlined. Accredited online colleges allow potential teaching candidates to earn a bachelor's degree in less time than the traditional campus program and at a reduced cost.

Benefits of Online Education Online colleges provide a range of benefits over the traditional campus route that will interest you, including

# Faster graduation rate
# Lower tuition
# Customizable class schedules
# No dreaded campus commute

If you have an interest in this exciting career field, find out how you can get started today earning a respected education degree from one of the top accredited colleges or universities in the nation. Discover your possibilities at an accredited online college or university and get started today on a rewarding career path.

Nancy Lambert is an executive for Accredited-Online-Colleges.com. From online certificates to Associates, Bachelors, Masters and PhD degrees, Accredited-Online-Colleges.com provides information on hundreds of degrees offered online through accredited colleges and universities and helps students and adults discover the advantages of earning their degree online. Prepare for a great career today with an online degree in education.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Nancy_Lambert

Teaching Our Kids - The New Education

Teaching our Kids

When our kids go to school, what do they learn? They learn from two levels, one level is from the schools curricula, the other from their peers, but it’s not so much what they learn, but how they learn to learn.

Learning “what” involves remembering what happened yesterday. We don’t have to create a new writing system every year, we can use the one developed years ago. In the same manner, we learn how to become engineers, doctors, and attorneys. This is one level of necessary learning; by memorizing the past.

There is another level of learning, however, a level that in many ways is far more important than any other – a level of insight. Insight is another way of saying spontaneous discovery without books or lectures; a discovery about ourselves and about life.

At this level of insight, a student might be studying about world wars, which would be about yesterday. Then, suddenly, the student might spontaneously question the whole concept of war itself. He or she might even come to a conclusion that war is caused by individuals, the microcosms of countries that fight with each other. This might in turn challenge the student to discover a solution, within each individual, to mankind’s Achilles Heal; the wars that tear humanity apart.



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This type of insight and inquiry is quite removed from dreary memorization, so mundane, yet admittedly necessary in education. This insight is the life that is missing in education, and why students are dropping out in droves. The spontaneity of life, the adventure, and discovery of life is missing, and we search for ways to instill this passion that students so need and deserve.

So, how do we promote this spontaneity among our students? How do we encourage them to think for themselves instead of conform to a failed system that turns its back on life’s realities and continues to promote illusions through dry concepts and dated ideology? It all begins with each teacher letting go of his or her past.

The past is tradition, security, and beliefs, and completely ignores this very moment and what is actually happening in it. The teacher that teaches current events from a standpoint of teaching how the past influences current human behavior does a service to her students, but if that teacher has not gone deeply inside of herself, and discovered her own thoughts and feelings, and how her thoughts and feelings create the hypocrisy of tradition and the illusion of security in beliefs and ideals, then she can never teach passionately, and passion is the difference.

When she sees clearly that conformity in education is safe, that it is risk free, but that it is also killing all hope of positive change in a world that is becoming more aggressive and violent each year by spitting out little automatons that recite the dogma of economics that so separate us, only then will she teach differently.

Street smart, intelligent kids aren’t buying it anymore, even though they can’t communicate what they are feeling. It is an isolation from life that they feel in our educational institutions, an estrangement, a disconnect, and they are simply dropping out. This is what is actually happening, and the drop outs aren’t unintelligent; in many ways they are heads and shoulders above our outdated systems.

The kids want to know why we are struggling to make so much money, why things have become more important than people. Is it because we are fearful that we don’t have enough? The dress codes of our kids, the old, ragged, baggy clothes, are a dead give away of their feelings. They are mocking our values.

Our kids want to know, for themselves, what life is really about. But since their educators have never taken the time to find out for themselves what life is all about, and are themselves simply products of the establishment, we are in a gigantic “Catch 22” with no way out. But our kids are taking a way out; they are dropping out.

As with many things, such as health care and a basic, respectable standard of living, this article will be ignored by policy makers, the ones in power, the ones perpetuating an educational system that is a dinosaur. Nothing changes until change is forced upon us, because we become comfortable. “Let them drop out, who cares? Let them live on the street and starve, who cares; I am taken care of.”

It’s only when the tide becomes overwhelming that the ones in power are replaced, but if the students still have not learned to go deep within themselves and actually question power, and question the hatred and greed that separates us, then the new ones in power will only succumb to the same pressures as their predecessors, and humanity will continue down the same road of violence since the beginning of time.

Who will instill in our kids the passion of discovery, the challenge of the inward journey so that things can change? What religious institution is teaching this instead of indoctrinating their youth with stale ideals and rote dogma? Who has the courage to forge a new, brave world?

Who will teach our kids to awaken themselves and discover their real potential, not the potential to be a successful businessman, but to be a human being, a potential that lies dormant? How do we teach our kids to be visionaries, fearless and unencumbered to change a world that is on the verge of self-destruction? We need visionaries, not robots.

Teaching our kids begins with teaching ourselves anew, in radical ways that we have never before considered. It takes warriors.

E. Raymond Rock of Fort Myers, Florida is co-founder and principal teacher at the Southwest Florida Insight Center, http://www.SouthwestFloridaInsightCenter.com His twenty-eight years of meditation experience has taken him across four continents, including two stopovers in Thailand where he practiced in the remote northeast forests as an ordained Theravada Buddhist monk. His book, A Year to Enlightenment (Career Press/New Page Books) is now available at major bookstores and online retailers. Visit http://www.AYearToEnlightenment.com

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School Teacher - Teaching Reading to English Language Learners

There is an increasing amount of English language learners represented in our schools for whom a unique approach to developing literacy is necessary. The development of literacy by English language learners (ELLs) includes all of the challenges implicit for English speaking children literacy attainments, and is additionally compounded by a diversity of linguistic, cognitive and academic variables.

In general, the following are critical variables that need to be targeted in effective reading instruction:

Phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary development, reading fluency, including oral reading skills, and reading comprehension strategies. The National Research Council’s Committee on the Prevention of Reading Difficulties in Young Children recently completed the most authoritative, comprehensive review of the research on normal reading development and instruction and on preventing reading difficulties in young children1. This study documented a number of important findings about teaching English reading to language-minority children. These include:


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- English-speaking children making initial attempts at reading understand, if they are successful, the products of their efforts; they read words they know and sentences they understand, and…can self-correct efficiently. Non-English speakers have a more limited basis for knowing whether their reading is correct because the crucial meaning-making process is short circuited by lack of language knowledge.

- Giving a child initial reading instruction in a language that he or she does not yet speak can undermine the child’s chance to see literacy as a powerful form of communication by knocking the support of meaning out from underneath the process of learning.

- Initial reading instruction in the first language does no harm. To the contrary, it seems likely both from research findings and from theories about literacy development that initial reading instruction in the second language can have negative consequences for immediate and long-term achievement. Primary language and reading literacy is critical and should be strongly encouraged.

It was highly recommended that "initial literacy instruction in a child’s native language whenever possible" and suggested that "literacy instruction should not be introduced in any language before some reasonable level of oral proficiency in that language has been attained."

On the question of which language to use when teaching English language learners to read, the committee recommended the following guidelines:

- If language minority children arrive at school with no proficiency in English but speaking a language for which there are instructional guides, learning materials, and locally available proficient teachers, then these children should be taught how to read in their native language while acquiring proficiency in spoken English, and then subsequently taught to extend their skills to reading in English.

- If these second language children arrive at school with no proficiency in English but speak a language for which the above conditions cannot be met and for which there are insufficient numbers of children to justify the development of the local community to meet such conditions, the instructional priority should be to develop the children’s proficiency in spoken English. Although print materials may be used to develop understanding of English speech sounds, vocabulary, and syntax, the postponement of formal reading instruction is appropriate until an adequate level of proficiency in spoken English has been achieved. In other words, the instructional priority need to be to develop spoken oral English prior to attempting to facilitate reading in English.

This author has used this approach with many second language children and has developed effective methods to facilitate literacy in English language learners based on these recommendations which have been associated with high levels of efficacy.

Deborah Jill Chitester received her Masters of Science in Speech-Language Pathology from Adelphi University in New York and was granted her Certificate of Clinical Competence (C.C.C) by the American Speech and Hearing Association (ASHA). She has 10+ years experience working with all age levels both mono-lingual and Spanish speaking, having received special certification by the State of New York as a Bilingual (English/Spanish) Speech-Language Pathologist. Deborah has worked with all age levels and all disabilities. She began her practice in New York, where she worked with both private patients as well as with the major school systems and corporations.

In her practice, Second Language, Literacy and Learning Conection LLC she treats both monolingual and Spanish speaking clients of all ages and disabilities and utilizes some of the latest computer based treatment especially designed to promote optimal language development. Her expertise in second language learning is extensive and as such, she is currently publishing a resource guide to be used by educators in "connecting" with ELLs.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Deborah_Chitester

 

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