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Tuesday, February 26, 2008

"School for Champion"- A site helping you achieve your goals

School for champions is an educational site providing you articles on different topics relating to teaching and schools. How to be successful and achieve our dreams is the main focus of the site.

What it means for "Champion", site explains it:

"Being a champion is about doing your best to achieve difficult goals. Our concept is that by optimizing your health, knowledge, excellence, value to others and character, you have a better chance of achievement or even winning. These are called the 5 Powers of a Champion™ and they can turn our students into champions in whatever they do."
Mission:
To help you achieve your dreams, in these areas:

- Assisting you with basic education and strategies for success,
- Providing you with principles to help you become a champion in whatever you do, and
- Encouraging you to champion worthy causes by helping others

People access lessons over 500,000 times each month. Students and teachers from many colleges, high schools, and middle schools use the site.

Check their blog for reader question and feedback

How to be a champion?
(Suggestion)

Live Your Life as a Champion:
1- Have Vitality
2- Have Knowledge
3- Have Excellence
4- Have Value
5- Have Character
Be a Champion!

There are a lot of article links at left side bar. I searched for few links and there were number of more articles relating to that topic. As I clicked on "mental healt"h link, resulting page was a series of articles on these topics:
- Understanding mental health
- Maintaining mental health
- Healing mental wounds
- Specific ailments
and more.

Link:

Monday, February 25, 2008

Speed reading tips and techniques


Adults or students who need to read a lot, feel the pressure of time. Reading faster may be a solution to the problem,
but how speed reading techniques help us achieving more within short time?

According to Wikipedia:
"Speed reading is a collection of reading methods which attempt to increase rates of reading without greatly reducing comprehension or retention.

It is important to understand that no absolute distinct "normal" and "speed-reading" types of reading exist in practice, since all readers use some of the techniques used in speed reading (such as identifying words without focusing on each letter, not sounding out all words, not sub-vocalizing some phrases, or spending less time on some phrases than others, and skimming small sections). Speed reading is characterized by an analysis of trade-offs between measures of speed and comprehension, recognizing that different types of reading call for different speed and comprehension rates, and that those rates may be improved with practice.

Speed Reading expert Don Wetmore says:

The average person spends about two hours per day reading at the rate of about 200 words per minute. If you can double your reading speed, you can cut your reading time in half. What takes two hours can now be done in one hour. An extra hour a day for you. Seven hours per week and 365 hours for you over the next year. That’s the equivalent of nine additional workweeks over the next year to spend time with your family or hobbies or work on those important tasks that are being neglected."


Full article link: speed reading

I have searched for sites which provide FREE tips, techniques to learn speed reading, and present it for students, teachers and parents who want to read more at speed and learn more.

Links and sites providing tips, technique for speed reading!

* Read fast now provides many articles on reading, teaching someone to read and speed reading methods.
-In one of the articles "Reading Fast – Why You Might Want to Think About Speed Reading" it says:

"Your Comprehension and Retention Will Improve
One of the main reasons you’ll want to think about learning how to speed read is because your ability to comprehend and retain the material you read will be increased when you know how to speed read. Speed reading is far more than just learning how to read fast, but it is a technique that helps you learn to pull out the important information as you read and how to retain it as well. So, instead of reading through some information only to realize you don’t remember a word you read, speed reading can help you comprehend what you read and retain it for future use.

You’ll Save Time
Another benefit of speed reading that definitely makes it worth your time to learn is that it can really save you a huge amount of time. You can read a book or other document in just half the time you used to if you learn how to speed read. Speed reading allows you to ready quickly and to just skim the material in order to get the information that you need from the material. So, whether you are reading material for work, school, or for pleasure, you’ll be able to do it in just a fraction of the time it used to take you.

Reading Will Become Enjoyable
People who learn how to speed read also find that they start to enjoy reading. For many people, reading is a task that is less than exciting to them because it takes them so much time. However, when they learn how to speed read, instead of feeling that reading is boring and time consuming, they begin to find that it is enjoyable and interesting. Not only will you find that you enjoy having the opportunity to read, but you will also find that you increase and develop your intellectual skills as well.

Grades Can Be Improved
If you happen to be in high school or even in college, you can also benefit from learning how to speed read. Many students feel overwhelmed with the amount of information they are required to read, absorb, and learn; however, speed reading can definitely help. There have been many students who have been able to increase their comprehension and therefore their grades by learning how to speed read. So, if you want to improve what you gain from your education and also your grades, speed reading is a great skill to take advantage of.

Increased Vocabulary
Learning how to speed read can also help you to increase your vocabulary as well. As you become a better and faster reader, you will learn more words and build up the vocabulary that you have. You will not only increase your vocabulary, but you will also enrich your knowledge as well. So, speed reading is a great way to improve and enhance your knowledge and education as a person.

So, as you can see, there are many great reasons that learning how to speed read is an excellent choice. With all of these excellent benefits presented to you, no doubt you can see why it is so important to take a course in speed reading on your own. There are many excellent speed reading courses available to you today, some free and some you may have to pay for. Taking the time to learn the art of speed reading will benefit you in your personal life, in your life at work, and it can also help you as you pursue a higher education as well."


* dictator is a program for on-screen reading of text files, developed with the intention of making it easier to read some of the fine electronic texts available on the net.
The problem with these texts is that reading them on-screen the conventional way is a drag and printing them out is time-consuming, costly, and wasteful. Dictator provides an alternative approach called Rapid Serial Visual Presentation (RSVP) in which words are displayed consecutively in the same place at a user-controllable rate. This method prevents unconscious re-reading of adjacent text and decreases the tendency of the reader to oralise the text, allowing for increased reading speeds. RSVP also permits the use of larger fonts for text display which improves text clarity. While it does take some getting used to, with a little practise you may find that reading with Dictator becomes faster and easier than reading from a book.

Double Your Reading Rate is from "Scott H Young" blog. He himself tried the speed reading methods and now he is a faster reader. He says that he could read at 450 words per minute before using the techniques, but he could increase that rate to around 900 words per minute.
He suggests six major keys to improve reading skill, which are:

1- Reading is Not Linear: You can skip down to read only my main bullet points, or read them in practically any order.
2- Stop Subvocalizing: Subvocalizing is the saying of words aloud or in your mind. It slows down your reading speed.
3- Practice Reading: Practice reading means reading faster than you can actually read.
4- Use a Pointer: You should use your finger as a pointer. By moving your finger faster than you can actually read, your eyes get used to viewing text faster than your brain can process what is written down
5- Eliminate Distractions: Avoid internal or external distrations.
6- Find Your Motivation: If you can connect what you are reading to a deeply held motivation, and determine your specific purpose for reading you can maintain a very alert and focused state.

Full article link: Double Your Reading Rate

* Speed Reading and Speed Listening at "Getting things done" blog. It also suggests 6 tips which are:
1- Take a few minutes to “get to know” the book
2- Decide which parts of the book you are going to read
3- Sit up straight in a suitable environment
4- Keep moving your eyes no matter what!
5- Don’t mutter under your breath or in your mind
6- Stay focused and monitor your comprehension
Full article link: Speed Reading and Speed Listening

* 4 tips for reading better and retaining more at "Gear fire which provides tips for academic success.

* An article at "Study skills" blog: 4 tips - Catch up with speed readers

* How to Learn Speed Reading at "WikiHow"

* Improving Reading speeds at "Speed readin.com

- Speed Reading - Learn to Read Faster at the same site.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

"Team Nutrition" A resource for kids nutrition education

For teachers and school management this resource can provide lot of information and guidance relating to the health and nutrition of the school going kids. There is a lot to learn for parents who are concerned about their child's eating habits and nutrition education.

"Team nutrition" is from USDA 'United States Department of Agriculture' providing an integrated, behavior based, comprehensive plan for promoting the nutritional health of the Nation's children. This plan involves schools, parents, and the community in efforts to continuously improve school meals, and to promote the health and education of 50 million school children in more than 96,000 schools nationwide.

Mission:

To improve children's lifelong eating and physical activity habits through nutrition education based on the principles of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and MyPyramid.

How it works:
Team Nutrition uses three strategies to change behavior:

1. Training and Technical Assistance for Healthy School Meals:
- Planning and preparing healthy meals that appeal to ethnic and cultural taste preferences in all Child Nutrition Programs;
- Linking meals programs to other educational activities, such as learning in the classroom and developmental progress in child care;
- Providing nutrition expertise and awareness to the school or child care community; and
- Using sound business practices to assure the continued availability of healthy meals and the financial viability and accountability of school meal programs.

2. Nutrition Education:

Through fun, interactive nutrition education children are encouraged to:

- Eat a variety of foods
- Eat more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains
- Eat lower fat foods more often
- Get your calcium-rich foods
- Be physically active

3. School and Community Support:
School and community support for healthy eating and physical activity focuses on three behavior outcomes for school and community leaders:
- Adopting and implementing school policies that promote healthy eating and physical activity;
- Providing school resources adequate to achieve success; and
- Fostering school and community environments that support healthy eating and physical activity.

Mor links about nutrition:

* The University of Illinois Extension Family Nutrition Program(FNP) Promotes safe and healthy eating for families on a budget.
- Provides nutrition programs for families.
- Education programs:
- Healthy eating
- Safe eating
- Food budgeting
- Monthly and seasonal topics

Friday, February 15, 2008

Review: "What is"- An internet and computer information site!

From beginners to professional level, everyone can learn and master new concepts, technologies, skills and a lot more at the site. This site provides FREE content.

"WhatIs.com" is a knowledge exploration and self-education tool about information technology, especially about the Internet and computers.

It contains over 4,500 individual encyclopedic definition/topics, a number of "Fast Reference" pages and learning tools. The topics contain about 12,000 hyperlinked cross-references between definition-topics and to other sites for further information.

When it was Launched in September 1996, it contained 350 alphabetized words about computers and the Internet. But by late 1998, WhatIs.com's audience grew rapidly, reaching one million page views a month.

In 1999, PC Magazine editors voted WhatIs.com one of the five best sites about information technology.
By September 2003, WhatIs.com was being visited over a million times a month, serving over 50,000 visitors each business day, and delivering five million page views a month.

learning tools:
There is a series of fast education 10-step "Learn IT" pages that explain, summarize, cross-refer, and test the reader about a complex subject.

Fast Guides:
For doing specific tasks, quizzes, a series of Learning Paths in which you can learn by reading definitions in sequence, and a number of popular Fast References, including Every File Format in the World, Mathematical Symbols, and The Speed of...(a table comparing data rates).

Awards and recognitions:
link page
Site link: What is.com

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Few resources providing FREE tutorials "To learn Drawing "


I am a drawing and art lover and from my childhood I was among few students who were interested in drawing, art and crafts, and their work was always appreciated. Even now I am taking art, crafts and drawing classes at my school. I still search for art and drawing links at the net, and now it's time to share those links with other teachers and students who love to draw. Most of the given links are FREE.

1- Drawing tutorial at "South wind" by "Rebekah Lynn"
Includes:

* Basic drawing steps
* The tools
* Understanding the art of shading

You may subscribe to their newsletter if you want to be informed of new art from SouthWind!

2- Kinder art.com is the largest collection of free art lessons on the internet. It started in 1997, providing an opportunity for parents, educators, artists, students to have fun while exchanging ideas, finding information and learning.

Mission of the site is to make art lessons and educational information accessible to all. They offer printable activity pages, the art kitchen, educational links and articles, early childhood education resources and much more.

JANTJE SAYS:
"Let children try. Let children fail. Let children succeed. Give them the freedom and they will create."

* art lessons
* drawing
* Articles on art education and profiles of young artists. Includes ways to cultivate creativity in children, over 200 things you can do with an art degree, Tips for Teachers and Children & Their Art at: Art speack
* Recipes galore so you can make your own art materials and/or some yummy treats to fuel your creativity: art kitchen
* Tips for teaching ECE: Tips

3- "Artists Helping Children" is a Children's site dedicated to comforting children by empowering artists and others to donate artwork, donated murals, donated art supplies, donated toys and a lot of love to sick and needy children. Artists Helping Children also helps artists by giving them information on how they can help the sick and poor children by volunteering to paint murals and other art for hospitals, shelters, clinics, etc.
We also have filled this site with free coloring pages & coloring printouts for children to color with as well as 1000s of free arts and crafts projects for kids to use when they need some crafts ideas.

4- Drawing curriculum, art lessons

5- Creativity portal provides lot of resources.

6- Drawing coach Learn how to draw and improve your skill in no time with the help of an online coach. Whether you're an art teacher, art student, or just a hobbyist artist you will find the step by step education that will give you the ability to bring those images in your mind into paper reality.
monthly newsletter, Just Draw It. It's delivered at the end of each month and will inform you about new info that has been added to the site. It's a great way to keep up with the latest an greatest drawing tutorials from the coach.
- drawing techniques
- Subscibe to their blog

7- Study sphere

8- draw

9- Free drawing lessons

10- Drawing techniques

12- Drawspace is the largest and fastest growing recreational art education website in the world. The site owner, Brenda Hoddinott, is a world renowned artist and art educator, and is the author of two internationally published books on drawing.Free lessons

13- Back in the mid-1980s, a young man named Mark Kistler took up a cause. He envisioned that every child would be able to expand their imaginations by using art. He believed that the key to understanding art was to teach children how to record their art on paper in a meaningful way, which in his mind meant learning how to draw three dimensional pictures. Mark's teaching methods found their way into the world of public television. His "The Draw Squad" series of 44 video lessons is the highest quality TV production Mark has ever done. It includes Mark's standard 7 Seven Magic Words of Drawing format AND high tech set design with backgrounds and animated characters flying around while he enthusiastically teaches kids how to draw.
Link to the site:
- draw squad

14- It is one of the TV show which features art and craft projects. You may find some drawing techniques from the link below.
-Art attack

15- This is a free site for students who want to learn 'how to look' and teachers who require practical drawing and painting lesson notes. Cowdisley Lessons are currently being used by over 1000 US and international schools, colleges, universities and ateliers by teachers for their classroom lesson plans. We aim for a world of greatly improved visual 'literacy' and begin here with the basics.
- Drawing lessons

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Amazing paper craft blogs

Paper craft is not only limited to the paper folding or origami. You would be amazed to see the work poeple do with simple papers, as I was astonished to see the artistic creation. It is simplt ab art
According to Wikipedia

"Origami (折り紙 origami?) (from ori meaning "folding", and kami meaning "paper") is the ancient Japanese art of paper folding. The goal of this art is to create a given result using geometric folds and crease patterns preferably without the use of gluing or cutting the paper medium.

Origami only uses a small number of different folds, but they can be combined in a variety of ways to make intricate designs. In general, these designs begin with a square sheet of paper whose sides may be different colors. Contrary to most popular belief, traditional Japanese origami, which has been practiced since the Edo era (1603-1867), has often been less strict about these conventions, sometimes cutting the paper during the creation of the design. There are many different designs such as the traditional crane or the very confusing flower."

1-"Paper forest"
The name of the blog is "Paper forest" and it is for paper craft lovers. It might be surprising to know that origami or paper folding seems child's play, comparing to the craft shown at this blog.

Blogger "Jaime Zollars" is a painter and she loves making, constructiong paper mechanical toys or writes about them at blog. More about her at her blog: Jaime Zollars blog

Blog Paper Forest provides a lot of paper projects you may try to make yourself. There are other paper craft site links at the blog. There are lot of paper craft projects which are FREE to use, and every post or paper project is unique.

2- Peter Callesen.com

Peter Callesen is from Denmark, and he is a paper magician, becaue the craft he has created from flat piece of paper into a 3D form is unbelievable.

He uses the A4 blank sheet of paper, which in his opinion gives the paper sculptures a fragility which underlines the tragic and romantic theme of the works.

* Samples of his magic art work with A4 paper

3- Paper kraft.net is to guide people find the best FREE papercraft on the web promote the works of prominent and up-and-coming paper modelers.

Blog is created by Ron Rementilla.
Main focus of this site is on 3D (three-dimensional) paper models. Whenever you see the word "papercraft" it refers to "3D paper models". The types of genre included are anime, manga, video game, PC game, cartoon, and film. Also included are origami, paper automata, pop-up cards, and dioramas.

4- Paper craft world provides free paper models and papercraft goods.

5- Paper box world presents boxy paper toys, available for download free of charge.


6- SS42.com is directory of very talented paper model artists from all over the world that have created and offer free printable paper models, paper toys, cut-outs, paper dolls, printable paper crafts of cars, buildings, spacecraft, animals and more.
-Origami projects

7- Paper arts links at Craft pop.com

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Learn origami at the internet!

There are many sites, which provide you step up step tutorials or lesson to learn origami which is called paper folding.

1- Origami club is a free site where you learn origami.

Origami club belongs to City plan.co.,Ltd and is a resource site to learn origami for FREE. There are lot of origami projects which can be made and even you can take a print out of those easy instruction based diagrams.
Few pages:

* fun origami
* fruits and vegetables
There are 2 ways to learn origami, first is animated way and second is diagram of step by step instructions.

These are few of the pages, you may find artwork for cloths, furniture,

Site is updated monthly and several new origami artworkds are produced, so better to keep checking for it.

2- Various articles on different aspects of origami and related subjects Joseph Wu Origami

3- Folding paper toys that you can make yourself at: The toy maker

4- Learn about the history of origami, how it relates to math, and about Eric's work with origami; as well as, order books and learn to fold insects, dinosaurs, and other objects.
- Eric's Origami Page
- Diagrams on paper folding
- Origami organizations
- Personal origami pages

5- A site created by Melissa Johnson. These links provide information for the origami enthusiast or the beginner.Origami Sources on the Web
* This page provides links to web sites and pages dedicated
to using Origami in the classroom.
- Origami in the Classroom
6- Best Paper Airplanes .com is a free site that illustrates how to make unique folded Paper Planes that you'll find nowhere else - because these ten paper airpcraft models are original, copyrighted designs. Some are easy to bulid, some are flying origami as well as paperairplanes, but all are fun to fold and fly.
- Best airplanes.com
7- George Ho gives information about the benefits of origami.
- Origami & Mental Therapy

8- Formerly "Jasper's Guide to Paperfolding Instructions on the Web"
If you follow along with these handy guides, you can make your own beautiful models in just a few minutes
- Folds.net

9- You may find diagrams, puzzles, resources and news about origami.
- Origami-usa.org

Build your own web site!

Learning is really fun, as it is a creative process which should continue. When I started surfing the internet, I was really amazed to see that there is a lot to browse and learn. But I was still not sure that I can do something with creating my own site or blog, until after reading a lot of free stuff about web sites and blogs, I started my first web site and then blog. The journey continued, and I gradually but slowly kept on learning new and basic things about internet, browsing, web development, blogs, blogging etc. It has been more than 2 years when I started my first blog with a blogging network, who provided me basic guidelines to start and develop it. Few months passed, but I was not very much serious about it. Its one year ago, when I realized that I have learned enough to start my own blogs. About 8 months ago, I started my first "WordPress" blog Reviews and ramblings around the blogsphere! and as the response was appreciating, I started more blogs, which are getting good exposure.
I told you my own blogging story just to show that if you are also interented in web searching or developing your own site or blog, it can be a fun. Even though I learned from lot of mistakes, but now at this stage I can provied you enough useful stuff which can guide in making or creating your own web site.

Do it yourself web site
* Writing HTML
If you are facing problems while learning to build your web site:
Read the frequently asked question page

"What a site" -helping teachers locate web resources


Finding specific information at the world wide web is a time consuming matter and even after spending and lot of time and efforts, we are unable to find the relevant piece of information. As a blogger I could get in touch to many web resources, which helped me in starting this blog and I could organize my resources or links for other teachers or parents. But still if you are an IT teacher and for your students if you need to create a tutorial, then "What a site" can be a solution to your needs.
Even teachers can learn from this tutorial.

This site is created by "Maricopa Center for Learning and Instruction (mcli)" at the Maricopa Community Colleges, and provides support innovation in teaching and learning, promoting the use of technology to enhance teaching and learning.

What a site helps the teachers to learn finding, evaluating, and integrating useful content in your specialty area.

In their own words:

"The Web is a huge, vast resource of mostly disorganized information. We cannot do much about that.
But for advancing the process of learning, we as educators can do more than sending students out to a search site or just providing them a laundry list of hyperlinks. We can create activities that leverage the wealth of content "out there" while at the same time promoting higher order thinking skills or integration with activites we already know work well. All it takes is a bit of homework and some creative thinking on our part.

The purpose of "What a Site" is to help teachers locate, evaluate, and integrate web resources for their area of interest-- the subjects that they teach."


"What a site" has organized a tutorial where you will be able to locate examples of full web courses, course materials, web activities, and key reference/resource web sites in your subject area. You can then help your students in your teaching area by sharing your findings into a searchable web database.

*** Start your step by step tutorial here:
introduction
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