Frontloading: Taking a Sneak Peak

images-96‘Frontloading’ lays a foundation for comprehension

There’s a bear in a plain brown wrapper doing flip-flops on 78, taking pictures and passing out green stamps.”

Does the above sentence make sense to you? What does it seem to be about? How confident are you of your interpretation? Is there anything difficult about this text? Do you understand all of the vocabulary?

What if I provided a hint for your comprehension: CB (Citizen Band) radios? Now what sense can you make of that sentence? Many of you will immediately recognize that the sentence is CB lingo, used by truckers and other travelers, and popularized in the 1970s by a series of “Smoky and the Bandit” movies featuring Burt Reynolds. You could fairly confidently translate that passage into: “There’s a state patrol officer in an unmarked car going back and forth across the median on highway 78, using radar and passing out speeding tickets.”

Continue reading

Previewing: Getting a ‘Read’ in Five Minutes

86b9f0744db2e229a98a84afdbdba253Think about standing in front of a bookstore rack teeming with titles on a topic about which you want more information. Or scanning through possible sources in the electronic card catalog that might be appropriate to your needs. Or perusing the stacks of professional resources on display at a educators’ conference or convention. How do you decide what to pick up? How do you determine what is worth reading?

Often, our dilemma is not that there are no resources available. Instead, we are more likely to feel inundated by possible materials that could meet our needs. You may be forced, perhaps within a limited time period, to make a choice, and in some cases spend money.

Students experience a similar challenge when they undertake research projects. They may confidently sally forth to the library, only to discover a few minutes later that there are more potential sources related to their topic than they can possibly handle. Overwhelmed, many adopt a default strategy to make their choices, settling for the source that appears to be the easiest. The rest are relegated back to the shelf, even though some of them might have been better suited for what the student was looking for.

Teaching/Learning Activities

How can you get a “read” on a book before you actually have to read it? Helping students size up a possible resource is a critical component of the research process. Take a look:

Continue reading

Highlighting: Yellow Marker Syndrome

Hand holding a piece of paper with Teaching printed on it.

Hand holding a piece of paper with Teaching printed on it.

Text highlighting is a skill

Think back to your days as a college student. For many of us, buying used books was a significant way to reduce expenses. If we weren’t careful, however, we might arrive home with books previously owned by sufferers of “yellow marker syndrome.” This university malady is easily recognizable: whole passages of text are randomly colored yellow, the legacy of a confused student with a highlighter pen.

College students rapidly discover that one of the most effective learning strategies is to mark as they read. Highlighting, underlining, and annotating can all help students cull what’s important from difficult text and organize it for review. Unfortunately, this highly used strategy is also one of the most abused – students really struggle with making intelligent decisions about what to mark and what to overlook.

Teaching/Learning Activities

Students need not wait until college to develop effective text marking skills. Although we cannot usually allow students to write in their textbooks, we can help build these skills in a variety of ways. Here are a few great tips:

Continue reading

The Three-Minute Pause

images-95Take time to think it over

Time Out! In the midst of a frantically paced basketball game, a player signals a “T.” Or at a crucial juncture during a football contest, the coach wants the clock stopped to talk it over. During athletic competitions, coaches and players need to periodically halt the proceedings so they can take stock of what is happening and plot necessary adjustments to be successful.

Classrooms can also benefit from a “pause” button. There are times during that ongoing flow of new information and ideas when students may need to signal “time out” so that they can collect their thoughts and reflect upon what they are learning. Like athletes, they may need to “catch up” with what is going on, raise questions, clear up confusions, and set their minds for what will happen next.

Teaching/Learning Activities

Different variations of the Three Minute Pause activity can provide a structure for these reflective breaks during classroom learning. Experts recommend establishing a regular pattern of brief interruptions during class to allow students to process what they are learning. Here are the steps to be taken:

Continue reading

Why I curse public transportation

download-43Well, it’s really not all that bad. I discovered yesterday afternoon that one of my friends at work coincidentally happened to have her car in for service this week, too, so we were able to T it together which took the sting out of it a bit. We also then conspired to both get off at the same stop and hit Ann Taylor. Again, all in the name of reducing the sting of taking the T.

I managed to pick up a pink cashmere sweater that had originally been $158 for $39.99 – go me. As my friend said, you just can’t afford not to take advantage of a deal like that. She got 2 sweaters and some excellent shoes. Then we ventured home, agreeing that we really needed to get our cars back, since we could not afford to take the subway together every day. Bad influences.

This morning was not quite as fun. It is absolutely freezing here. I wore the heaviest cable knit sweater I own and I was still so cold. The sidewalks aren’t exactly shoveled on my way to my office so navigating the slippery street was an exercise in anxiety. Continue reading

The Words That Change Paths

Sticks and Stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me . . .the biggest lie there is.

download-44So I’m working on a system out on the border of the US and Canada. Trucks are coming in with all kinds of cargo. My coworker is yelling at the machine we are trying to fix (They said the laptop was broken; it was much more than that.) I’m speaking to a young man, he’s 19. He has two kids and a wife.  Two kids. A wife. He had his first kid at 17. He would be the same age as the students I worked with. And then it hits me like a ton of bricks.

I’m twice his age.

We were talking about future plans and he wants to head to culinary school, but was afraid. He actually said, “I’m afraid to go to college.” I did not even complete my high school education. Now I want to earn my GED, and I’m taking internet lessons at this website http://mycareertools.com/ged-online-classes/

Why are you afraid?

Continue reading

Guide to Best Performance

online-business-tipsTo establish strong CPA networks and succeed with affiliate marketing your business lives and dies by the actual affiliate offers that you are promoting. If the products and services that your affiliate paying website is pushing customers towards fail to provoke spontaneous purchases then your CPA network if defeating its own purpose.

CPANetworkReviews.com has prepared a multi-part series of steps that any affiliate business should be partaking in to solidify their productivity and increase their bottom-line – profit.

Target Metrics

Don’t worry CPA networkers, this is not about to go from affiliate economics to a complicated report for math nerds. Target metrics, as they pertain to affiliate marketing, are simply systems or formulas you can utilize to project potential profits and earnings. The most common affiliate target metrics systems include:

Clickthrough Rate (CTR) traffic derived from participants of your affiliate site that click their way over to the affiliate offers you provide via banners or text links:

Continue reading

Elton John’s Guide to Business Success

images-90Elton John and Bernie Taupin wrote some bitchin’ songs. “Take Me to the Pilot”, “Tiny Dancer”, “Candle in the Wind”, “I Guess That’s Why They Call It The Blues”, “Sad Songs (Say So Much)” All awesome, but I’m partial to Border Song. It’s moody. It’s dark. It’s soulful. It’s a great song. Except for that third verse. Which might be one of the worst things. Ever. And I don’t just mean in music.

If you’ve never heard Border Song, or haven’t heard it since it was new, I’ve included the video for your viewing pleasure. (And because Elton John’s hair makes my Salvidor Dali photos look fricking fashionable.) Give it a listen and then come back. I’ll wait.

Bad Lyrics = a Prime Business Lesson

The last verse is vague, trite and unimaginative, but what can it teach you about running your business? A lot. See, when Bernie and Elton wrote together, they did it separately. Bernie worked in one room. Elton in another. Bernie wrote lyrics. Elton wrote music. When they eventually put them together, something amazing (usually) came out.

Continue reading

Right Timing is Everything

clock-largeThis morning I talked with Emily from MyCareerTools about promoting their free GED help tools and was blown away. Sell your stuff where they buy it she said. Pretty simple for most businesses right? If I sell gum, I sell it at convenience stores, grocery stores, candy machines, vending machines in the workplace, etc…

NOT GOOD ENOUGH! What do you mean not good enough… right? Well, I guess I should say, not obvious enough. It is not only where your customers are buying, but at the most opportune time as well.

Emily explained that instead of normal ads she decided to promoted their practice tests for the GED test on career websites. People who are looking for a better job might realize that having a GED diploma will help them to get a better job! Get the point now? Get obvious about where your products are on offer. So, not only where your customers are buying, but at the most opportune time as well.

Continue reading

Us Vs. Them: Variations on a Theme

best-time-to-send-email-campaignSeptember was a rough month for our college family. We were hit with the one-two punch the anniversary of 9/11 and a tragic van accident which resulted in the deaths of 3 of our friends. Soon after our campus was besieged by a plague of hyper-Calvinism. For awhile, it seemed like every other week another friend was “coming out Calvinist”.

I couldn’t help but feel that this was an emotional response to recent events. Naturally, they believed my rejection of these doctrines was emotional as well. I was so adamantly opposed that one student suggested I might be a vessel of wrath. The arguments had become ubiquitous. Charity, civility, and friendship were casualties. It wasn’t long before I grew weary of fighting and so I retreated from fights believing they could not accomplish anything.

“Peace, peace’ they say, ‘but there is no peace.’” Jeremiah 8:11

Continue reading