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The Dr. Seuss Legacy

The legacy of Theodor Seuss Geisel, known throughout the world as Dr. Seuss, is as strong today as it ever was during his lifetime. His deceptively simple, rhythmic rhymes and imaginative illustrations have fascinated children over several generations. This March, you can celebrate the literature, art and legacy of Dr. Seuss along with librarians, educators and classes of children across America. Hosted by the National Education Association, March 2, Dr. Seuss’s birthday, has been declared Read Across America Day.

Origins of the Rhymes

During his childhood at the dawn of the 20th century, Dr. Seuss enjoyed listening to his mother chant rhythmic poems. She often quoted these verses to lull her children to sleep, and Dr. Seuss believed that early and repeated exposure to the rhymes and rhythms gave him a creative edge in his work.

dr seuss week 2

Early Publications

The early work of Dr. Seuss was geared toward adults, not children. He worked as a cartoonist for The Saturday Evening Post and other publications as well as on advertising for Standard Oil Company. Later, he contributed to such periodicals as Vanity Fair and Life. After being approached by Viking Press to illustrate a children’s book, Seuss began to actively pursue children’s literature.

Children’s Literature

The first children’s book that Seuss wrote as well as illustrated was And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street. He had difficulty finding a publisher and received 27 rejections before finding a home for the book with Vanguard Press.

From that time, Dr. Seuss began to focus on children’s literature. Informed by the soothing rhymes from his childhood, he crafted stories using easy-to-read words. His book The Cat in the Hat evolved when he received the request to write and illustrate a book for children using only 225 new-reader words. (Source: http://www.catinthehat.org/history.htm)The text included both simple phonetic words as well as basic sight words, and the rhyme scheme still helps new readers make associations with words that look and sound alike.

Learning to Read with Dr. Seuss

Children who are read to from a young age are most likely to develop an interest in reading and learn to read more easily than those who have limited exposure to books and other print materials. Additionally, young children love repetition. Books by Dr. Seuss often repeat key phrases as well as ending rhymes. The repetitive, rhythmic quality of these works stimulates young minds.

As children learn to follow along in a book that is being read, rhyming words have obvious similarities that help them develop phonological awareness. Even made-up words in books by Dr. Seuss help children learn to see and hear sounds together.

This March 2, take the time to read a few books by Dr. Seuss. Then let your imagine take you away. The creative genius of this man has left a legacy that will not soon be forgotten.

Benefits of a B.A. in Integrated Studies from SNHU

Are you tired of sitting in a classroom, studying concepts and theories with no opportunity to actually apply what you learned? Are you bored with classes you’re taking because you “have to”? Are you worried that college will not be any different? If you prefer a more hands-on experience to classroom lectures, fear not: there is a better way! Blaze your own educational path and get real-world experience with a B.A. in Integrated Studies.

What a B.A. in Integrated Studies Can Do for You

An Integrated Studies degree allows you to design a customized course of study based on your interests. What a concept! College shouldn’t be just like high school. It should be an opportunity to gain the knowledge and skill set you need to be successful in your chosen path. A cookie-cutter course list that involves several hours in the classroom instead of out there in the real world is simply incapable of preparing you with the tools you need to have success. Whether going onto a career or pursuing graduate studies, with a B.A. in Integrated Studies, you graduate with a comprehensive repertoire of the skills and knowledge needed to achieve your goals.

The College Unbound Program at Southern New Hampshire University

What do you want out of college? A worthwhile educational program gives you the knowledge and skills you need to be successful in your chosen field from the moment you enter the workforce. It also provides a vibrant learning community and supportive advisors who are dedicated to helping you achieve your educational and professional goals.

One such program is the College Unbound@SNHU program, which promotes a collaborative learning experience tailored around your interests. The College Unbound program at Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) is a three year, year-round program where you will earn a B.A. in Integrated Studies through project-based, “real-world” learning instead of classroom lectures. Here are the benefits of earning a B.A. in Integrated Studies at SNHU:

  • Focus on your interests with fewer prescribed courses.
  • Receive dedicated faculty support throughout the program.
  • Study on and off campus.
  • Participate in “live learning” internships that give you hands-on experience
  • Learn from and collaborate with entrepreneurs and innovators.
  • Tackle real-world problems and foster critical-thinking skills.
  • Engage in a vibrant learning community.

You deserve a program that truly puts your educational and professional objectives first. Attaining a B.A. in Integrated Studies from the College Unbound@SNHU program will give you the educational experience you’re looking for while preparing you with the skills and knowledge necessary to make a difference in your field of study. Don’t settle for traditional classroom lectures – go for the real-world experience at SNHU today!

This article was sponsored by Southern New Hampshire University – find the program that’s right for you today at www.snhu.edu!

Beyond Language: Eco-Immersion in Costa Rica

Travel abroad is one of the best ways to learn or improve foreign language skills. Navigating real life situations and listening to different accents and local idioms develop language skills in a rich way, often not possible in the classroom. Just visiting a foreign country can help students boost language skills, but for those seeking to maximize limited time abroad and gains in language proficiency, nothing beats a true immersion experience of living with locals in a homestay. When done right, a homestay immersion on a Costa Rica student tour can improve Spanish skills and leave students with a deep understanding of the culture, traditions, and language of this wonderful country.

Caribbean Coastline, Puerto Viejo

A language immersion experience, that allows travelers on Costa Rica student tours to live like a local in a homestay, exposes students to vibrant and varied vocabulary and conversation topics in a much different way than a preplanned classroom unit or lesson. Spending a few days or weeks with native Spanish speakers, students will be challenged to use and grow their language skills in a dynamic fashion – from learning their way around the village, to helping cook meals, to spending class time in the local school. New vocabulary words come to life when used in real life situations, from taking the bus to ordering at a restaurant.

Sharing Class Time, Tres Equis

A language immersion experience for students takes the vocabulary, conjugation, and grammar rules off the page and puts it all in a meaningful and exciting context. The personal connections formed with a homestay experience, where students are “adopted” by a local family, enrich the process of language learning in a much deeper way than typical classroom learning. The excitement of connecting with a Costa Rican homestay “brother” or “sister” while discussing a favorite food or sport sparks an interest in speaking Spanish in even the most reluctant language students.

An immersion experience also builds confidence more than a good grade can on a written test, oral exam, or essay in a Spanish class. The supportive family environment of a homestay helps encourage students to try out their language skills and learn through trial and error. The feeling of a breakthrough and achievement when students manage to communicate in Spanish can build confidence and inspire students to continue on the path to mastering the foreign language. The extended language immersion time is essential for students to truly “switch over” to operating in a different language, something that is not possible with limited classroom hours.

Cooking on Organic Farm, Puerto Viejo

The challenges and rewards of navigating everyday life in a different language are some of the richest parts of a student travel experience – there is no better way to learn than through experience! For students and teachers who want to take their Spanish language skills to the next level, a homestay immersion experience maximizes and multiplies skills learned in the classroom. When done right, a homestay language immersion on a Costa Rica student tour can improve proficiency and leave students inspired to continue with their Spanish study for years to come!

Crawford Hill is the owner and director of Costa Rican Adventures, an educational travel company focused on cultural immersion. An expedition leader, former biology teacher, and educational innovator, Hill has been guiding students and adults on wilderness adventures since 1974.

Survival Tips When Teaching in the UAE

With a shortage of hundreds of teachers in Dubai and the Northern Emirates and the growing tourist and hospitality industries, demand for native English speaking teachers from the UK, US and Canada is increasing. Living and working in the UAE where the culture is very different from the West can be a challenging life event. Here are some useful tips to help you get prepared.

Banking

The Central Bank of the UAE regulates the banking system in the UAE. In the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region, the UAE has the largest number of local banks like the National Bank of Abu Dhabi and international banks such as HSBC and Citibank. Opening a bank account is fairly simple. To open a current account, you must have a valid residence visa. You also need to bring your passport and salary letter or a letter of NOC (No Objection) from your employer to open the current account. Some banks make it mandatory to retain a minimum balance. When comparing bank accounts, check the fees that you’ll be charged. To avoid the hassle of opening the account upon arrival, why not open it before you leave?

You can also apply for personal loans, car loans, and credit/debit/prepaid cards with banks in the UAE. In 2011, the Central Bank of the UAE issued new regulations that allow a borrower to obtain a loan up to 20 times his/her salary or regular income for a maximum repayment period of 48 months.

In general, banks are open from 8am to 3pm (Sunday to Thursday) and close on Friday.

Visa

To work in the UAE, you need to be sponsored by an employer. You also need to apply for a residence visa and an Emirates ID card to live and work there. As the visa is granted by the separate emirates, you need to contact the regional UAE embassy or consulates to find out more about the rules. For example, if you’re going to Abu Dhabi, the residence visa is valid for two years. If you intend to take your family, you must have a minimum monthly salary of AED 4,000 (£670) or AED 3,000 plus family accommodation provided by your employers. The Emirates ID card is issued by the Emirates Identity Authority (EIDA). The charge is AED100 for each year of residence.

Survival Tips When Teaching in the UAE

Language

The language spoken in the UAE is Arabic. Although English is increasingly used in a business context, take some time to learn Arabic so that you can converse with the locals. It also shows that you’ve made an effort to learn about their culture. With many translation jobs available in the UAE, you can become a translator if you’re fluent in both English and Arabic. Acquiring new skills will open more options.

Health

Medical and health services across the UAE are broadly up to European standards. The UAE ranked 27 in the world health systems ranking of the World Health Organisation (WHO). All medical treatment is paid for in the UAE. You can choose either public or private healthcare facilities. While both offer high standards of medical care, the types and levels of services may differ. The majority of expatriates in the UAE use private ones. If you want to use public healthcare facilities, you need to apply for a health card to be eligible for government healthcare subsidies. Your employer should also provide private medical insurance for you.

Remember to ask for a copy of your medical records from your doctor before you move overseas. Should you need to see a doctor, he/she will have access to your medical history such as previous conditions, treatments and vaccinations.

Some prescription drugs and over-the counter medicines are considered controlled substances and are not permitted in the UAE. Produce a doctor’s letter or a copy of the original prescription if you intend to bring medicine into the UAE for your personal use. As a resident, you’re allowed to bring 12 months’ supply.

Dress code

Dress modestly at all times in public places. Men generally wear long trousers and shirt while women should cover their shoulders, upper arms and knees. Short skirts and dresses are not recommended in public. Most shopping malls will indicate the dress code that is considered permissible. Your swimming attire is appropriate on the beaches and in the swimming pools. Topless swimming and sunbathing are strictly forbidden.

Social life and etiquette

With a high proportion of the UAE’s population being expatriates, you’ll meet people from different nationalities. The UAE is becoming a popular place for expatriates from the UK. Since 2007, more than 10,000 Brits moved there a year. Most UK expats live in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah.

While living standards are higher in Abu Dhabi than other emirates, it’s relatively easy to achieve a higher quality of life in the UAE because there is no income tax on wages or salaries. During the weekend (Friday and Saturday), you can visit the beautiful beaches or the indoor ski slope in Dubai. To meet other expatriates, you can join business clubs such as the British Business Group Dubai that organises a broad range of hobbies and interests.

Avoid holding hands and kissing while walking in the streets as public displays of affection are considered disrespectful. Male business associates usually shake hands with each other but will shake the hand of a female business associates only if she extends her hand first. Do not be surprised if an Arab person pulls back his/her hand and holds it against the heart. This is a sign of greeting.

During the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, Muslims do not eat or drink between sunrise and sunset. Most restaurants are closed during the day and alcohol is served in some emirates only after sunset.

If you follow these tips, you’re well on your way to overcome the hurdles of moving to the UAE and enter a new phase of your life.

Originally from London, Jenny Smith has lived and worked in the UAE for four years

Image by Martha de Jong-Lantink used under creative commons licence

 

How Does Art Benefit a Child’s Development?

Children love art, it’s clear to see on their faces as they plaster their hands with paint and start printing their handprints onto paper.  Children find a great deal of pleasure as they finger paint, draw with crayons, play with clay and dough, it’s all good fun and experimental.  Watching children express themselves through art is a great pleasure for carers and parents too, but is there any real benefit to art or is it just a game?

Art is Important for Fine Motor Skills

There are many skills that can be learnt through art. The obvious one is the fine motor skills that are always given a workout during any artistic activity. Turning the pages of the colouring book, holding a paint brush and guiding it over the page, squeezing glue from the tube, it’s all helping your child develop their fine motor skills, getting them ready for school and life in general.

Problem Solving Skills

We like our children to feel confident and part of being confident is being able to try new things and attempt to solve problems as they arise. Problem solving and art goes hand in hand. Children try to make their creations using the selection of materials they have at hand. They may want to stick on a piece of felt to their picture in which case they’ll try to work out the materials that will make that possible, will sticky tape work well? If it doesn’t perhaps glue will be better? How about making different colours? What will happen if I mix red and blue? All these are little problems and children learn that there are many options available; it’s up to them to discover what will work best to get the results they want.

Communication Skills

Communication isn’t just about speaking or using hands to signal thoughts, questions and wants. Art is a form of communication too. Visual communication can be extremely important in children (and adults) especially when they have a hard time using words to express what they’re feeling.  Art as a form of communication can be an excellent tool, one used by many professionals, but it’s also useful for in the home.

If you think your child is having a hard time getting across their thoughts, handing over an empty piece of paper and some pens can be very beneficial. Children, often without realising it, will put their emotions, experiences and thoughts down onto paper giving parents an insight into what’s going on with them.  This isn’t just for young children; teenagers can often find it easier to communicate their emotions through art. Having access to paints and paper in the home can give your child a great outlet, even if they don’t intend on sharing it.

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Help Develop Your Child’s Creativity

Creative arts help children work through their emotions and discover more about the world around them. It can be used to improve fine motor skills, to work on the imagination or to communicate when words aren’t sufficient. Therefore it’s certainly worthwhile stocking up on some artist materials that your child can have access to in the home. Visit http://www.jacksonsart.com/ and invest in some equipment and start helping your children explore through art.

Image attributed to: freedigitalphotos.net Sura Nualpradid

Five Tips for Online Learning

Studying for any course can be difficult, but studying remotely through an online portal can be more difficult. Many things can go for and against studying alone; we’ve put together a small guide on what to do to make your life easier and hopefully gain that qualification you’re aiming for.

1. Set Realistic Goals Make sure you have a full understanding of the workload for each course online before you register. Those working full time might find it more difficult to balance their other commitments with the amount of time required to succeed in study. Each course should provide information about its necessary level of dedication, although remember that every student works at their own pace and the statistics given are an average.

2. Understand Your Motivation When learning online, the perseverance and discipline needs to come entirely from within. Some people find this daunting, and the challenge of maintaining motivation throughout the course can be difficult. However, the fact that you have shown your commitment to self study and the ability to successfully manage your time will be very desirable to prospective employees, to whom you will appear independent and efficient. When you are certain you are determined to gain a qualification, online learning is a perfect solution. For more information on motivating yourself and for tips on how to do it, visit:

  • Motivation Help

3. Make Use Of Support Each online study provider has their own methods of supporting their learners. For example, Kaplan Financial offer up to 16 hours of video tuition alongside a telephone and email support service, an online community through which students can interact with their peers and their tutors, and an interactive portal for further learning. This level of support makes it much easier for online students to succeed, as it reduces the risk of feeling isolated. Whatever kind of support is offered, be sure to make full use of services and to learn from others. For more information on studying and courses online go here:

  • Kaplan Financial
  • BBC Guide to Online Learning
  • The Guardian guide to Online Learning

online learning

4. Create A Routine If a student were to be attending a college class, there would be fixed points in the day which were specifically dedicated to study. For the online student, there is not this structure – but that means students need to generate their own timetable and follow it. Consider other commitments throughout the day, and allocate time in which you will focus on your learning. Some people perform well during the mornings, others work better at night. Plan to succeed by working at times of day that suit you personally, not when you know you will be too tired to put in the effort.

5. Reward Yourself Studying online does need discipline and hard work, and as a reward for this allow yourself to be proud of your achievements. When an assignment is submitted, allocate yourself a small treat. Some choose special chocolates or cakes, others an activity or excursion. Make time for these rewards as they are highly motivational. Studying remotely, and online shouldn’t be a chore nor should it be hard to find motivation and complete your studies. Hopefully these simple steps and guide should further your studying and help you complete your course.

Five things you have to do in student council

The student council represents the voice of the students in every campus or school. The council is composed of representatives that cater to the needs of all learning individuals. They propose projects to further improve the school and influence proper learning ethnics, growth and unity among the students. Being a part of the student council can be fun and inspiring but most of the time the tasks of the council can be tedious since it involves proposing projects and implementing them thereafter.

There are countless of tasks that a student council can propose to the school administration. Here is a list of five things you have to do in student council which are not only fun but also life-changing, meaningful and inspiring.

School events

Aside from worrying about attending council meetings that discuss about operational matters, representatives of the student body have to organize social events for students within the campus. Events may range from sports tournament to parties, games, dance, concerts and other school activities that promotes or enhance the talents, skills, and school spirit of the students. Some of these activities allow students to take a rest from the brain-wracking academic matters and encourage their social interaction with other schoolmates.

Events may also include supporting relevant advocacies that call for local or global changes especially for students or groups who need aid and assistance like supporting child labor programs or requesting the administration to allow students who lack books to use the library during lunch.

Campus cleaning campaigns

This campaign is a good idea if your student council wants to make a difference. The student council may propose a campaign that will motivate and teach students the significance of keeping the campus clean which is beneficial for them and the environment at the same time. The campaign may involve recognizing students who helps in keeping the campus clean by picking up some trash on their own or throwing their own trash in proper garbage disposal. Awarding character trait tickets is one way of recognizing those responsible students. Indeed, this campaign will help in emphasizing good character traits which should be instilled to every student since the goal of keeping the cleanliness of the school is usually crucial to implement.

Fundraising

The council may host fundraising projects or social events that may provide the council funds which will be used as donations to charities, school or class funds and other special projects. Also, fundraising activities are encouraged when the council deems it necessary for students to use some school facilities like student radio, computers, or canteens. You can find more on specific fundraising ideas for high school here: https://www.cherrydale.com/Blog/high-school-fundraising-ideas/

Public awareness of certain topics

Another life-changing project that a student body may implement is a public awareness program on certain topics like AIDS or cancer awareness programs, tutoring workshops, anti-bullying law awareness, teachers’ appreciation programs and many others. Projects like these are designed to increase the students’ awareness on topics which are relevant to know or be part with.

Community service

It is also good to invite students to get involved in community services and issues aside from participating in school activities. Student councils from different schools may coordinate with local youth councils in putting up a project that will be beneficial to the community and the students.

Choosing a University

When choosing which universities you are going to apply for there are many factors to take into consideration. Follow our useful guide to help you decide on the university that is best for you.

Where to start?

The first thing 75% of university applicants think about when choosing their university is which course they want to study. This may seem like a daunting task as there are so many courses to choose from. Try breaking it down by thinking about things such as what subjects interest you, where your strengths lie and what kind of career you would like to go into once you graduate. Obviously it is important to be realistic and look at the entry requirements for each course.

Of course, that’s not the only place to start. There are other factors to take into account, such as location and money. Consider the following:

  • How far from home would you like to live?
  • Would you rather live in a big city or a small town?
  • What kind of attractions and local facilities are there?
  • Are there any parts of the country you would prefer or want to avoid?
  • What are the costs of living?

If you are planning on living at home to save money, then that will considerable narrow down your university choices. Once you have made a list of universities you can then have a look at the courses on offer and find one that works for you.

The whole package

Although the course you study is an important part of university, being a student is about much more than that. You will spend the next 3 or 4 or even 7 years of your life there so you want to make sure the whole package fits. Help narrow down your choices by considering the other parts of your university experience.

Extra-curricular activities: You will want to start filling out your CV with additional interests and experiences from your time at university. Considerer which extra-curricular activities you would be interested in. If you have a certain interest make sure the university is able to cater for it. This can range from anything such as sports, drama, dance or politics. By pursuing these passions you will help get the most out of your university experience.

Housing: Housing is another important factor you do not want to forget about. It might not seem like a big motivating factor when choosing the right university, but it will make a big difference in your day to day life. Think about what kind of housing you would be most comfortable with:

  • Do you want to live in shared accommodation?
  • Do you want to live on campus?
  • Do you want to cook for yourself?
  • Do you have any special requirements that need to be catered for?

It will likely not vary a great deal from university to university, but certain requirements might not be met by all universities.

Final thoughts

It is not all about the degree, as we said before it’s about the whole experience. Think about what you are hoping to gain from your university experience and make sure the university you choose will be able to help you achieve this.