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Sunday, April 25, 2010

Learn the proper way to write letters

Letter writing is a process of showing your emotions, your feelings and your intentions. You can show your gratitude by writing thank you letters, but you need to learn the proper way to write a letter. Tutorial based tips, ideas and sample letter provided by 'Thank You Letter' site can help you a lot.

Here are few tips about writing 'thank you letters' from the site:

Both business and personal Thank You letters should be written with tact, sincerity
and sensitivity.

Sending Thank You letters: It is important to promptly send out a thank your letter. Take steps to send your thank you letter as soon as possible (within 24
hours) after you get through that particular business or personal situation. It
shows that you are sending your positive sincerity. On the contrary a delayed
thank you letter will seem like a binding afterthought to the reader.

Write appropriate content: Make sure you are writing a thank you letter for an
appropriate occasion or an event. A thank you letter for a regular task dilutes its importance and does not make sense. Same way a generic letter with regular
words and tones will show your laziness and your activity would be considered a
general routine. Therefore, write noteworthy points about the event for which
you are thanking.

Remind the audience: Begin your letter by introducing that you are writing a simple Thank you letter pertaining to a specific person and event or situation. Don’t leave your audience guess what you are writing about.

Write to the point and be brief: Thank you letters should not exceed one page and
address direct points with sincerity. Use typewritten letters for business purposes. Personal letters can be either handwritten or typed. Thank you letters
are always written to a person. Make it personal.

Not only thank you letters but you can get sample letters in these categories:

  • Business letters
  • Hardship letters
  • Holiday Letters
  • Invitations
  • Job Letters
  • Love Letters
  • Missing you letters
  • Resignation letters
  • Sales Letters
  • Sample Cover letters
  • Special Occasions letters

Useful links and other site links:

* 'The art of letter writing'

* 'Writing Help Central' offers tips, advice, pointers, information and templates for all types of personal, business, and educational writing.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Get the answers of your questions at - Hints And Things

There are many wiki guides, sites, and question answer sites around the net where you can find the relevant information regarding your inquiries. 'Hints And Things' is one of those sites where you can find useful information, and tips.

'Hints and things' offers information on a wide range of subjects including stain removal, DIY, motoring, hobbies, pets, children, and lots of more topics.

The site design is very simple but user friendly, and it may take some time to search for any specific information but you if start navigating through different rooms then you may reach your destination soon. There are 14 different rooms like cleaning/stain removal will be in the Utility Room, anything to do with cars, transport etc., will be found in the Garage whilst parenting and child related topics are in the Nursery.

June Jackson is the author and creator of this site. There are over 900 pages on this site covering a diverse range of subjects. So there is a lot of stuff to discover and information you can find at one place.

Check: 'Content list' to find the topic you are interested in.

If you can't find the answer on Hints and Things try their sister site at www.askjune.com where you would get responses to questions on a daily basis.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Learn to be a great teacher

Do you think that the profession you have adopted suits you best and you are doing justice to your profession? I believe that education is a noble profession and it is my opinion that you should be an educator if you really love to teach.

What are the qualities a great teacher should have or learn? There are no specific rules, but devotion to your profession is the most important thing which can help you be a good or best teacher. There are many tips which you are get from other teachers or online resources like 'So You Want To Teach'.

'So you want to teach' is an educational blog from a teacher who has a mission to be a great teacher. The blog is reflection of Joel's (the blogger and teacher) ongoing story of his quest for educational excellence. There are many topics which may attract other teacher's attention like: 'Classroom Management, New Teacher & Student Teacher Tips, Total Teacher Transformation, Why Do Teachers Quit? and more. I hope that this blog is helpful for established or new teachers who want to learn more about this profession.

Few popular post titles are:

1. 9 Reasons To Quit Teaching (And 10 Reasons To Stick)
2. 5 Character Traits Of Great Teachers
3. How Do I Keep My Students Quiet?
4. 5 Habits of Highly Effective Teachers
5. The Single Most Important Advice Anyone Can Give To A First Year Teacher
6. Do What You Can
7. 25 Free Apps And Websites For Tech-Loving Teachers
8. Habit 2: Classroom Procedures
9. 50 Reasons To Love Your Job As A Teacher

There are over 400 posts on the site so it would be time consuming to look for specific topics so better to go to the link:

* 20 Classic SYWTT Articles And Series

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Explore ways to use your mind effectively at 'Litemind'

"It is not enough to have a good mind; the main thing is to use it well."( -Rene Descartes)

If we want to accomplish anything in life and realize our full potential, we must have some life skills. You must know who you are, what you want, and what you are capable of. One of these life skills is the best use of your mind effectively. There are many strategies and techniques, you can use your mind effectively and these simple tips, and suggestions can definitely enhance your mind powers.

'Litemind' is one of those self help blogs which helps you in this regard. More topics covered at the blog are creativity, problem-solving, visual thinking, self-mastery, motivation, time management and more. Teachers or parents can browse through 'archive' page to narrow their search either going directly to tags, category or monthly posts.

Blogger 'Luciano Passuello' is a 33-year-old Brazilian who says: 'I firmly believe that our own minds are the greatest tool we have to achieve anything we want.' He further says:

Every event, feeling, problem or opportunity only exists through the filter of our minds. Putting simply, your mind is the world you live in. All results you get are directly related on how well you use it. But very few people actively pursuit ways to fully develop their potential through a more efficient use of their minds.

Why ‘Efficiently’?

Did you know that the brains of more intelligent people are actually less active than usual?

That suggests that these people, when using their minds, have a higher ratio of output to input; in other words, their minds are more efficient. There is a minimum of waste in energy or unnecessary effort. That means less stress while getting more higher-quality results.

Why ‘Explore’?

I believe that an exploration mindset is the most important thing to have if you want to improve on anything.

I am no expert on the mind and don’t have all the answers. He is trying to maintain the mindset of curious exploration – and that is the driving force in creating and maintaining the site 'Litemind'

Join the newsletter from the site for free and get free ebook 'The Very Best of Litemind' by signing up.

Useful links:

* 'Essential Life Skills' Helping you explore essential life skills for personal development.

* 'Brain Training 101' offers tools to increase your brainpower and enhance your memory plus a source for Brain Training Resources, Tools, Product Reviews and Brain Games. Get free 'Brain Training Power Pack' including a brain training guide and brain booster audio by submitting your email and name at provided place (left side bar).

* '10 Amazing Tricks to Play with your Brain'

Friday, April 9, 2010

Online Interactive typing lessons for kids

Now kids are learning to use technology and they are learning a lot about computers and internet. Typewriting is an added skill for computer users as it speeds up your work. Learning or practicing typewriting is a boring task but many sites have made it very interesting by adding attractive tools for kids.

This post is about online typing lessons in interactive way so that kids or young children learn in a fun way. Best thing about these links is that these online typing practice lessons are free.

* 'Dance Mat Typing' at BBC.co is provided with animation and games introducing touch typing to children aged 7 to 11. ... Meet the gang and learn to type. Make your way through all 12 stages.

* 'Free typing tutor online with free typing lessons' from 'Powertyping' which is an educational web site for kids, students and adults.

* Learning to keyboard and free typing games for kids!

* 'Kiran's Typing Tutor' is a free keyboarding program for children and adults that includes more than 500 typing lessons, practice, and tests. Each lesson calculates and shows accuracy, words-per-minute, keys-per-minute, as well as typing speed and errors for each letter.

* McGraw-Hill- Glencoe's Online Keyboarding is an online typing tutor for kids or adults that is divided into 16 individual typing lessons ranging from Home Keys and Spacebar to Symbols. Each lesson includes a demonstration movie, typing exercises, a drill, and a printable lesson report to show completion of the lesson.


* E-Learning for Kids Keyboarding Skills is an interactive typing tutor where your child can participate in the Type-E-Chi Virtual Typing Tournament. :E-Learning for Kids Keyboarding Skills -

* 'Learn to type online FREE typing':
Sign up for a FREE kids account and join 4894314 other registered users and learn typing! Take the online Typing Test to check your speed.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

How teacher can help nurture creativity among kids?

Parents or teachers can play a big role to develop skills among kids. Creativity is one of those skills which can be nurtured among kids with some simple techniques. Being an educator I have noticed that encouragement and praise for simple tasks can help develop creativity among kids.

How teachers can help nurture creativity?

Teachers can offer a curriculum with plenty of opportunities for creative behaviors. They can make assignments that call for original work, independent learning, self-initiated projects, and experimentation. Using curriculum materials that provide progressive warm-up experiences, procedures that permit one thing to lead to another, and activities that make creative thinking both legitimate and rewarding makes it easier for teachers to provide opportunities for creative learning.

The following are some things caring adults can do to foster and nurture creativity:

* We can teach children to appreciate and be pleased with their own creative efforts.

* We can be respectful of the unusual questions children ask.

* We can be respectful of child's unusual ideas and solutions, for children will see many relationships that their parents and teachers miss.

* We can show children that their ideas have value by listening to their ideas and considering them. We can encourage children to test their ideas by using them and communicating them to others. We must give them credit for their ideas.

* We can provide opportunities and give credit for self-initiated learning. Overly detailed supervision, too much reliance on prescribed curricula, failure to appraise learning resulting from a child's own initiative, and attempts to cover too much material with no opportunity for reflection interfere seriously with such efforts.

* We can provide chances for children to learn, think, and discover without threats of immediate evaluation. Constant evaluation, especially during practice and initial learning, makes children afraid to use creative ways to learn. We must accept their honest errors as part of the creative process.

* We can establish creative relationships with children--encouraging creativity in the classroom while providing adequate guidance for the students.

Back to the Table of Contents


What Can Parents Do?

It is natural for young children to learn creatively by dancing, singing, storytelling, playing make-believe, and so forth. One of the first challenges to creativity may be formal schooling. By this time parents, as well as teachers, appreciate conforming behaviors such as being courteous and obedient, following rules, and being like others. While these are desirable traits to some extent, they may also destroy a child's creative potential.


Creative Behavior of School-Age Children

Until children reach school age, it is generally assumed that they are highly creative, with vivid imaginations, and that they learn by exploring, risking, manipulating, testing, and modifying ideas. Although teachers and administrators sometimes believe that it is more economical to learn by authority, research suggests that many things (although not all) can be learned more effectively and economically in creative ways rather than by authority (Torrance, 1977).

Creative thinking and learning involve such abilities as evaluation (especially the ability to sense problems, inconsistencies, and missing elements); divergent production (e.g., fluency, flexibility, originality, and elaboration); and redefinition. Creative learning is a natural, healthy human process that occurs when people become curious and excited. In contrast, learning by authority requires students to use thinking skills such as recognition, memory, and logical reasoning--the abilities most frequently assessed by traditional tests of intelligence and scholastic aptitude. Children prefer to learn in creative ways rather than just memorizing information provided by a teacher or parents. They also learn better and sometimes faster.

Fostering Academic Creativity in Gifted Students

Related posts:

* "Encouraging Creativity in Early Childhood Classrooms"

Download pdf report: 25 Ways to Develop Creativity

How to Develop Student Creativity

http://trainyourbrain.wordpress.com/

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Useful tools and techniques to integrate technology in classroom

Integrating technology in classroom is only possible when teachers are well trained to adopt tech ideas and well informed about technology integrating techniques. 'Web Tech Vision' was an educational technology company offering Tools for TEKS:Integrating Technology in the Classroom'. Company is owned by Wesley Fryer who is still engaged in sharing information for

This website is now maintained for K-16 educators interested in the effective use of technology in the classroom.

Go to archive page directly to select the pages or tutorials you are interested in.

Other pages of the site:

* Tools

* 'Tools and techniques' covers all the topics which a teacher may need to learn for technology integration ie: Basics, Sample Lessons, Locating Websites, Multimedia, Print Publication, Creating Websites, Data Management, Computer Classroom, Administrative Resources, Intellectual Property, Good Websites, Internet Safety, Other Tech Tools, Handhelds in the Classroom, 1 to 1 Computing etc.

* Successful and Safe Educational Blogging

'"Moving at the speed of creativity" is Wesley Fryer's blog. He uses this site to digitally document his own journey of learning and collaborate with other educators and lifelong learners around the globe.

The blog focuses primarily on issues related to engaged learning, web 2.0 technologies, digital storytelling, educational leadership, literacy, blended learning, creativity, appropriate uses of educational technologies, digital citizenship, and educational transformation.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Use kids search engines to find child safe sites

Either you are a teacher, parent or student and scouring the internet for any kind of information, better to start searching at 'Kids Search Engines' which provide child safe and family friendly links. Kids or students are also advised to use these safe search engines for search purposes.
Source: 'Educational Search Engines'

Useful links:
* 'Kids search engines and directories

* 'Ivy's Kids Search Engine Resources

* 'Child-Safe Search Engines and Educational Directories'

* A List of Education Search Engines

Parents can help their kids be more creative

Creativity is one of those human skills which can be developed with simple techniques. Parents and teachers can play an important role for development of creativity among kids. As kids stay with parents for long hours, parents can help their kids become creative.

The following are some positive ways parents can foster and nurture the growth of creativity:

* Encourage curiosity, exploration, experimentation, fantasy, questioning, testing, and the development of creative talents.

* Provide opportunities for creative expression, creative problem-solving, and constructive response to change and stress.

* Prepare children for new experiences, and help develop creative ways of coping with them.

* Find ways of changing destructive behavior into constructive, productive behavior rather than relying on punitive methods of control.

* Find creative ways of resolving conflicts between individual family members' needs and the needs of the other family members.

* Make sure that every member of the family receives individual attention and respect and is given opportunities to make significant, creative contributions to the welfare of the family as a whole.

* Use what the school provides imaginatively, and supplement the school's efforts.

* Give the family purpose, commitment, and courage.

How Adults "Kill" Creativity:

* Insisting that children do things the "right way." Teaching a child to think that there is just one right way to do things kills the urge to try new ways.

* Pressuring children to be realistic, to stop imagining. When we label a child's flights of fantasy as "silly," we bring the child down to earth with a thud, causing the inventive urge to curl up and die.

* Making comparisons with other children. This is a subtle pressure on a child to conform; yet the essence of creativity is freedom to conform or not to conform.

* Discouraging children curiosity. One of the surest indicators of creativity is curiosity; yet we often brush questions aside because we are too busy for "silly" questions. Children questions deserve respect.

Creative Behavior of Young Children

Young children are naturally curious. They wonder about people and the world. By the time they enter preschool, they already have a variety of learning skills acquired through questioning, inquiring, searching, manipulating, experimenting, and playing. They are content to watch from a distance at first; however, this does not satisfy their curiosity. Children need opportunities for a closer look; they need to touch; they need time for the creative encounter.

We place many restrictions on child's desire to explore the world. We discourage them by saying "Curiosity killed the cat." If we were honest, we would admit that curiosity makes a good cat and that cats are extremely skilled in testing the limits and determining what is safe and what is dangerous. Apparently children, as well as cats, have an irresistible tendency to explore objects, and this very tendency seems to be the basis for the curiosity and inventiveness of adults. Even in testing situations, children who do the most manipulating of objects produce the most ideas and the largest number of original ideas.

Source: Fostering Academic Creativity in Gifted Students

Friday, April 2, 2010

Search engines for educational, academic and scholar research

Internet is a powerful tool for students, researchers, scholars and academics offering easy access to a wealth of information. But at first attempt it is really time consuming to look only for academic resources or educational stuff as search engines grab hundreds or thousands results which include relevant but paid search results which may not fulfill your needs.

All search engines do not search the same material. Some search engines are more useful to students and researchers because they search pre-screened material, including scholarly databases and government documents. Using academic quality search engines is important because not all information published on the Internet is authoritative and accurate. Collaborative websites, such as Wikipedia, can be edited by anyone and often are not reviewed by experts. Websites may be published online without an external review for reliability.

Many sites do not include information on their authors, which makes it difficult to assess the writer’s qualifications in the field. Some links returned by search engines lead to spam sites that contain off-topic or unhelpful information or advertising links.

Academic and educational search engines and web directories provide research-quality content from websites that are screened by educators and experts in a particular field. These search tools also search the “invisible web”, which is material not available through general search engines. The invisible web contains information included in search able databases and archives. By using these search engines and web directories, students and teachers can obtain research quality information without the difficult task of weeding out non-authoritative and spam sites. Users can be sure that these search engines will not return the spam sites, junk sites, or sites of dubious quality and research value that broader search engines may return.
  • Google Scholar: For broad searches of scholarly material. Returns journal article and book citations to point researchers to useful material. Users can set Google Scholar’s library preferences to include material from their institution.

  • Microsoft Academic Search: Allows users to search scholarly papers, journals, and conference proceedings. Also allows searches by author. Includes links to download full-text articles when available.

  • Internet Public Library: Resources reviewed by professional librarians. Search-able and organized by subject.

  • Infomine: Search university-level scholarly information including biological and medical sciences, business and economics, the physical sciences and engineering, government information, electronic journals, and the social sciences and humanities.

  • Intute: Search material evaluated by specialists in the subject.

  • Scirus: Research the content of scientific journals, patent information, and scientist’s websites.

  • Scitopia: Search online libraries of leading science societies, scientific journals, and conference proceedings.

  • GPO Access: Search United States government documents.

  • RefSeek: Subject directory and search engine, includes results from reference material. Allows users to search the web or documents.

  • Academic Index: Search within subject areas. Searches databases of research-quality material reviewed by educators and librarians.

  • The Infography: Search material reviewed by professors and librarians. Provides recommendations by specialists for further reading in a subject.

  • Directory of Open Access Journals: Search peer-reviewed scientific and scholarly journals.

  • Virtual Library: This search engine’s database is reviewed by subject experts.
Source: 'Start local' - Australian Business Directory & Local Business Search Engine

* Top 100 Alternative Search Engines list!

* SearchEdu.com – one of the best and largest educational and academic search sites

How search engines work and how to find specific information from search engines

To enter the world wide web you need to open a page first and enter the text or keyword to search for the stuff.  Search engines are meant to provides results within seconds but you should learn how search engines work and how you can find the specific information around the net without wasting your time.  You should also have a knowledge of topic based search engines because when you search for specific topics based information, it is advised to look for the search engines specifically dealing in those topics. If you need to search for educational links, 'Google' is always a best choice to look for any kind of information or links but if you want to omit unnecessary or prfessional links then better to go for educational search engines. At the end of this post you may check useful links section.

How Search Engines work?

 
Search engines look for your search term within the web pages they've collected and indexed. The results reflect the search engine's determination of how relevant the site's content is to your inquiry. But some search engines will rank sites higher in your results if the site pays a fee, regardless of its relevance to your terms. FTC officials say it's a savvy surfer who knows how search results are sorted and ranked. It can make a difference in which search engines you choose to use and how you interpret the results.

 
If you use Internet search engines, the FTC(Federal Trade Commission) wants you to know that:
  • Some search engines have programs for paid placement and paid inclusion. 
  • Paid placement means websites or URLs pay search engines for higher rankings or more prominent placements in search results.
  • Paid inclusion means websites or URLs pay to be included in a search engine's pool of results available for display, but not to be more prominent.
  • Sometimes, third-party partners, like other search engines or guide sites, provide listings to search engines. If a partner has its own payment arrangements with a website, it could affect the results on the search engine you use.
  • Many sites indicate whether a placement is paid for. If the search engine separates some search results as "Sponsored Listings," they may be paid for placement. But keep in mind that results may be grouped under other labels. Look for terms like "featured listings," "recommended sites," "search partner" or "products and services." If those sites are ranked higher than others or placed in a more prominent location than others, it could be a tip-off that the search engine uses a paid placement program.
  • You may find an explanation of the type of paid placement or paid inclusion program the search engine uses. If such a program is in use, the explanations should be easy to find and understand. If they're not and the omission bothers you, let the search engine know.
  • Paid inclusion programs do not guarantee higher rankings for listings and may provide features that are useful. For example, paid inclusion programs may provide consumers with better choices if the programs allow search engines to review URLs more quickly or review websites more deeply than they would otherwise.
  • You have a choice. Before you decide which search engine to use, consider whether the use of payment programs for placement or inclusion is important to you.
Download pdf version of this report: Being Frank about Search Engine Rank

 
These facts and tips are provided by ftc.gov (Federal Trade Commision) for the benefits of consumers, so you can judge how search engines work and to what extent you can trust at their results.

Useful links and resources:

* All of these links lead to sites that contain specific information that may not turn up when you do a general search of the Web using Altavista, Yahoo, and other search engines and directories. 'Specialized Search Engines and Directories'

* You can find catagorized list of search engines at: 'Search Engine Guide'

* 'Virtula Sites' presents : Education search engines

Thursday, April 1, 2010

A site for histroy enthusiastics - Random History

Learning about history or historical facts may seem a boring topic but it is true that ------

- 'History Helps Us Understand People and Societies'
- 'History Helps Us Understand Change and How the Society We Live in Came to Be'

'Random History' is a site which provides a selection of history facts on random topics.

What they say about them?

'We believe in advancing the place of history on the Internet and strive to fulfill this purpose. Each of our professionally trained writers and editors holds a Bachelor's degree in at least one of the following fields: history, English, or journalism. Many of them have even earned advanced degrees. Every history is carefully evaluated for accuracy and veracity and contains proper citations and references.'

Many histories and random facts available can be searched from top menu at home page. These facts and historical events are interesting and fun to read and learn like:

* Sharks have been called “swimming noses” because their sense of smell is so good (they smell with their nostrils but don’t breath through them). Some sharks can smell one part of blood in 100 million parts of water and can tell which direction that smell is coming from.

* Few Fast Food facts:

- In 1970, Americans spent about $6 billion on fast food. In 2006, the spending rose to nearly $142 billion.e
- During the early 1900s, the hamburger was thought to be polluted, unsafe to eat, and food for the poor. Street carts, not restaurants, typically served them.e
- Proportionally, hash browns have more fat and calories than a cheeseburger or Big Mac.b
- At some fast food chains, both in U.S. and in other countries, managers are rewarded bonuses when they reduce employee wages to save money.g

Useful links:

* Why study History? An article from 'American Historical Association' explaining the importanc of this subject.
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