Archive for February, 2011

Teaching Editing

This article about teaching editing may not be applicable to every subject we teach. However there is something to learn in every article on education.

Teaching Editing

Author: Celia Webb

Writing which is well edited presents an author’s thoughts clearly.  There are no distracting errors in language, fact, or logic.  Writing and editing go hand-in-hand, though teaching children to edit can be a challenge.  Several factors might be at the root of the challenge — a reluctance to correct the work of others, the boredom of looking at the “same old thing”, or the attention to detail which is required.  Nevertheless, editing is a skill which can and should be mastered.  The following ideas will help.

Define a simple process.  Familiarize your students with the following editing process so they know exactly what to do.  This basic approach can be used by students at various learning levels.  Change the scope of step “b” as appropriate.  For example, a second grader should be working on spelling, punctuation, and capitalization while a twelfth grader should show competence in all eight areas.

    a. Read the piece to be edited.

    b. Read through it a second time and carefully mark possible errors.  Check the following:

        1.  Spelling
        2.  Punctuation
        3.  Capitalization
        4.  Grammar
        5.  Repetitious word use
        6.  Accuracy of statements of fact
        7.  Flow and consistency of the piece
        8.  Logic

   c. Research the possible errors.

   d. Mark the confirmed errors with suggested changes.

   e. In cases where the correction needs proof, include a reference.

Reference material.  Have the following references on hand for consultation by the students as they research the possible errors: an unabridged dictionary, a style manual, a synonym finder dictionary, and an atlas.  There are a number of style manuals available and because their guidance differs, specify which manual to use. 

English is a complicated language and there are situations where more than one approach is acceptable.  One that comes immediately to mind is use of the comma in a list and whether or not to put one prior to the final “and”.  Some style manuals recommend a comma at this point to indicate that the last two items are separate items; others do not, believing it to be unnecessary.  Consistency throughout a particular piece is important.

Book authors typically use “The Chicago Manual of Style”.  Journalists use the “Associated Press Stylebook”.  Students usually use Strunk and White’s “The Elements of Style”.  There are a number of other manuals available.  It is worth mentioning to your students that different style manuals are used by the various communities of writers in case some choose to become authors. 

Access to the Internet is helpful.  If available, be sure to point out how to use spell check and grammar check functions.  While not perfect, these functions can help a student spot an error and offer some possible fixes.  Urge caution, though, in their use.  These programs do not identify all errors (like when a valid word is used but it is not the correct word for the sentence) and in some cases they may identify items as errors when, in fact, they are not.

Choosing material for editing practice.  Finding material of interest to your students for their review will make editing practice more fun.  Search the Internet on the terms “editing worksheet” for printable worksheets.  Review blogs of celebrities, or sports heroes, or animal fans.  Newspaper articles often offer good material for review (probably not because they want to provide material in need of editing, but because their staff is small and they cannot edit everything submitted).  A common practice in many classrooms is to have students exchange work and correct it.  Students may feel uncomfortable pointing out the errors of their peers and as a result not offer their best effort.  Choosing material written by authors who are not personal acquaintances provides a less emotionally charged experience.

Techniques for teachers.  Here are several different approaches to teaching editing which have worked for other teachers.  Try out one or several.

            a. Write down an error-ridden sentence or paragraph on your overhead, chalkboard, or butcher block paper.  Tell the students how many errors there are.  Give them until the end of the day or the beginning of the next day to find them.

            b. When correcting student papers, put an arrow or dot off to the left hand side of the sentence containing the error.  Let the student figure out what the error was and how to correct it.  Have the student submit the paper a second time for review.

            c. Write sentences or paragraphs from the work of previous students on overheads.  Work through the corrections as a class.

            d. Post a chart of proofreading symbols in your classroom for easy reference by your students.

            e. Post a checklist of items for students to check.  Alternatively, have them fill out a sheet with their name, the title of the exercise material, and check the boxes as they complete their review of spelling, punctuation, capitalization, and so on.

            f. Have students read the material out loud slowly to check for doubled words, incorrect words, and missed words.

            g. Have students check their own work a day after they originally wrote it.  Have them highlight each mistake with blue highlighter.  When you do the final grading, use a different color highlighter to show any mistakes they missed.

            h. Pair students to form collaborative writing teams.  Have them do any of the previously listed exercises as a team. 

Checking flow and logic.  Two concepts students often grapple with are flow and logic.  Give a list of questions to your students to help them analyze what they are reading.  These questions will help them identify problem areas when reviewing a text.  The list might include:

            Was a complete thought contained in the paragraph?

            Did the ordering of thought or word choice cause awkward transitions from one paragraph or sentence to another?

            If the piece is in basic chronological order, do you notice any disruptions?

            Did the author build from statements of fact and from simple ideas to more complex ideas?

            Did the author clearly explain why?

            If you do not understand something in the text, why is that?  Where did you start to lose the thread of the author’s argument?

            Does the author follow the logical argument approach of, “if this, then that”?  If so, does the conclusion necessarily follow or are there alternative explanations or causes?

More Information for Students.  Many students want to move quickly through material, scanning rather than examining.  Spotting errors requires great attention to detail.  Students will find a number of tips and techniques for editing in my article “Editing Your Writing“.

Fact checking is a specific subset of skills within editing.  For more details on how to do this well, students can read “How to Fact Check“.

Like all skills, editing must be practiced.  Providing your students with many opportunities to edit will improve their critical thinking skills as well as their writing.

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About the Author

Celia Webb, President of Pilinut Press, Inc., publishers of advanced readers for children and ESL students. Check out for more free articles on developing reading-related skills, word games and puzzles, and activity sheets for the company’s entertaining and educational books.

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Music Teaching Resources Advance Strategies More Effectively

Amongst our articles on teaching, we thought we would include this article on teaching music. As always, if you have more to say on this subject please register as a member of this website. (You'll have to sign up for Active Minds newsletter first.)

Music Teaching Resources Advance Strategies More Effectively

Author: Music Teacher

Being a music teacher can be a challenging task. It involves a dose of time and effort to be spent on research, enhancement and upgrade in terms of your teaching strategies and methods. Since teaching and learning are both dynamic in nature, you as an educator must know how to advance your music teaching resources and techniques so as to become efficient and effective at all times.

In this article, you would be informed and updated with the latest resources and strategies on music teaching – suitable for all students from different walks of life. This also includes their corresponding benefits, advantages and corresponding approaches. Here they are:

Brainstorming among Students

This is a process that is designed for generating multiple ideas/options in which judgment is suspended until a maximum number of ideas have been made. Following generation of ideas, options are typically analyzed; the best solution is identified; and, a plan of action is developed.

Its advantages include:

* the active involvement of learners in higher levels of thinking;
* the promotion of peer learning and critical thinking; and,
* the creation of synergy, teamwork and cooperation.

To meet their sets of objectives, music teachers must use methods that would stimulate thinking, creativity, inquiry, and consensus. They should also provide clear instructions on how the process exactly works – ensuring that all students adhere to the rules.

Computer Simulation

In this context, such specific and practical examination, procedural training and data interpretation skills in realistic situations through the use of highly realistic computerized dummies and multimedia are utilized and applied accordingly to further teach particular music lessons.

Advantages of computer simulation are the following:

* Students can portray realistic situations, provide immediate feedback and inquiry, and most of all, can make use of such learning and acquisition in real life experiences.
* This also allows the learners to stay focused on such topic – eliminating irrelevant and unnecessary aspects.

Music educators must choose learning objectives that involve hands-on experience that can allow the students to have direct control and access to music technology. However, the faculty must be trained and equipped with such simulation skills so as to instruct the learners correspondingly and facilitate experiences and feedbacks accordingly.

Interactive Demonstrations and Games

These strategies pave way to activities where learners can observe how they are being done and administered in preparation to practical application. These may involve competitions, participations, drills and feedbacks into the learning experience as a motivating factor and a ground for application of principles.

It is really beneficial to both music educators and students to integrate such demo and games in the learning process. These help boost their self-confidence and broaden their attention span – targeting questions and answers. Such techniques also actively involve learners, regenerate motivation, provide challenges and express oneself while creating a fun learning environment.

These may be just some of the many effective music teachers’ resources and teaching strategies that are readily available online to help all music educators around the globe spread this message: Learning music is a rewarding and fun experience that can change and touch lives.

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About the Author

Be informed and get hooked with the most relevant and effective music teaching resources, visit this music teaching site now.

A Teacher’s Passion for Music

Well, what did you think of this teaching article about teaching music? Feel free to comment.

Teaching Asd Children – ABA Therapy Can Make a Difference For Children With ASD

Would you like to know more about special education? Kids (and their parents) seem to have a multitude of special needs today that we did not consider before. We include a number of special education articles for this very purpose. If you are a teacher, please sign up with us and feel free to add your own input. See below for details.

Teaching Asd Children – ABA Therapy Can Make a Difference For Children With ASD

Author: Autism Advisor

Teaching Asd Children

Autism Spectrum Disorder is a particularly distressing disorder for different parents. While not medically dangerous, autism can force it hard for parents to communicate with children. Many autistic children do not even notice when such a parents are in the room or speaking to them, that can be devastating for family members. For such parents, hope lies in a immensely researched treatment dubbed ABA Therapy or Applied Behavior Analysis therapy. Teaching Asd Children

ABA Training utilizes a very rigid and specific series of repetitive tasks and questions and reinforcements as well as rigorous data collection to help literally rewire the brains of autistic children. While most children learn simply by watching the world around them, children with an Autism Spectrum Disorder, or ASD, must be taught even the basics of behavior and critical thinking. ABA Therapy teaches these fundamentals while helping children develop a set of skills that will carry them through the rest of their lives and help make them more like their peers. Teaching Asd Children

While it is widely accepted that early intervention is the most successful way to utilize ABA Training, beginning when a child is in their most formative years, the method is rather successful at any age. Early intervention increases the odds of recovery and helps get children on par with their peers early enough for them to reach milestones and educational goals at the same time. However, many children are diagnoses with ASD or begin treatment long after this period. Studies have shown time and again that ABA Therapy is still highly effective for behavior modification and learning therapy well into later childhood and adolescence. Teaching Asd Children

ABA Therapy, while typically used to ready a young child to be entered into a school system with their peers, can also be used for a variety of other reasons. The behavior modification techniques employed in ABA Therapy can help prepare people with ASD for school, social situations such as parks, stores, and buses, and even for the working world. Teaching Asd Children

The therapy has applications in all social function and provides a great benefit to all who receive successful treatment. In short, Autism Spectrum Disorder may be a hard diagnosis for parents, but there is a great deal of hope. With ABA Training, parents quickly find that their children can lead lives remarkably similar to those of their peers. While there is no cure for Autism, ABA Therapy offers a significant deal of hope. Teaching Asd Children

Until a cure is found, this is by far the best thing any parent can offer to both themselves and their child when faced with a diagnosis of an ASD. Don’t let your love ones suffer anymore! Lead them out through Teaching Asd Children program now!

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Feeling lost without solutions? Teaching Asd Children is a proven Autism Solution for your Child.

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Dora The Explorer Cartoon: Teaching Diversity

If you are looking for information about teaching diversity, this article should help. Whether you are an experienced teacher or you are just starting out, it is usually helpful to see what another educator has to say about teaching diversity. Please let us know if you have your own articles on teaching.

Dora The Explorer Cartoon: Teaching Diversity

By Jared Winston

It is rare that a show manages to be so overwhelmingly effective at accomplishing essentially everything which it sets out to do as the Dora the Explorer cartoon has proven to be. In many ways, the Dora the Explorer cartoon follows in the footsteps of such public television greats as Mister Rodgers’ Neighborhood and Sesame Street. These shows, like Dora, managed to be entertaining, charming, and still teach children everywhere a number of valuable lessons which were about more than just your basic academics.

Indeed, the Dora the Explorer cartoon does teach many of the basics that children in the target age group should be learning, essentially an animated preschool classroom. However, Dora goes further than just your basic shapes and numbers by integrating a constant flow of Spanish vocabulary into each episode. This may not seem to be particularly significant at first, but here are two basic reasons which make this important in the lives of children today.

The first reason is the state of global relations currently. It is often said that the world is getting smaller every day, and for the most part that is true. Communications technology is making it easier and easier to talk to someone across the world as easily as you could talk to someone across the street. The borders between cultures are blurring and crossing at an ever-increasing rate. In this world, where communication is paramount, children who learn a second language are at a potentially great advantage over other children in the long run. While it is true that most high schools require students to take foreign language classes, a child’s brain is far more receptive to learning languages in their early years. This means that the Dora the Explorer cartoon is introducing children to Spanish at the age when they are best able to integrate a new language, and thus setting them up to be well prepared in the long run.

The second reason this is important, though, is quite possibly far more important than the first. While the Dora the Explorer cartoon introduces children to the Spanish language, it also introduces them to elements of the Latin culture. These elements may be subtle, but they are the basis of a powerful message that is every bit as powerful as anything children are learning in schools. It is a lesson that is as vital as it is simple: diversity is good.

There can be no doubt that this is something the newest generation of the world’s children needs to learn, as they are growing up in a world where so many people are still so blinded by where someone is from that they can never seem to see who that person is. Things like the Dora the Explorer cartoon have the potential to help a great deal to bring up a generation of children who, when they come in contact with someone who is different from themselves, they do not think of how those differences separate them, but rather they think of what those differences can teach them.

Copyright © Jared Winston, 2006. All Rights Reserved.

About the Author: Dora the Explorer is a popular cartoon character that is designed to be both fun and educational for younger children. If you would like to learn more about Dora and her friends stop by


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5 Secrets to a Successful Teaching Career

This article is about successful teaching. Please subscribe to "Active Minds" (Just enter your name and email) where teachers discuss this and other topics related to teaching and education. Maybe you have something to say about successful teaching or related subjects. This is the place to say it. You can submit articles on education and teaching here, and/or you can have your own blog where you tell about your own "Adventures In The Classroom." Start by signing up for "Active Minds," a free newsletter for teachers around the world.

5 Secrets to a Successful Teaching Career

Author: Jennifer Dobson

Teaching is a profession unlike any other. It is a way of life, a passion and a calling. Teachers do not just teach in a classroom, they are teachers everywhere. Every child is a student and every opportunity is a teachable moment. Unlock the Five Secrets to a Successful Teaching Career below and prepare for a rewarding experience.

Be Resourceful

Teaching requires a great deal of thinking outside the box. Being resourceful means that a teacher is constantly searching to find new ways of teaching students and supplying her classroom with the materials she needs. A resourceful teacher is not afraid to try innovative lessons to reach her students and make learning fun. By being resourceful a teacher keeps her classroom well stocked and her students engaged which are two key components to a long, happy career.

Be Adaptable

Sometimes the hardest, but most effective thing a teacher can do is to be adaptable. It requires a great deal of self-confidence to change direction of a lesson or project mid-stream. When a teacher takes her own plans out of the equation and really looks at what is best for her students, she is adapting to the most important component of her job – the children. Adapting lessons for whatever reason, whether it is for a student with a disability, a slow learner or an ESL student, takes more work than not adapting them. However, success in teaching is not measured by a paycheck, but by the amount of learning that takes place. Being adaptable will make any teacher a better educator with students who will be the richer for her efforts.

Find Balance

It is easy to slip into 24-hour/7-day-a-week teacher mode. Lesson plans always need to be done, papers to grade will always be piled high and forms will always need to be completed. If allowed, teaching can take over an educator’s life. It is critical to a long-term successful teaching career, that balance between work and life is found. Set designated time to complete the paperwork that needs to be finished and when that time is over stop working! Reading a frivolous book, listening to music or going for a walk will help keep life balanced. If a teacher is unable to find balance, her career will be short-lived.

Continue Learning

Most states require a teacher to continue her education beyond a bachelor’s degree. While it may be an essential part of maintaining a teaching license, it is also a great way to stay fresh and current with new teaching methods and ideas. Teaching is not a stagnant profession. Even though many approaches and practices are traditionally based, there are always new things to learn. The cost of continuing education is always a factor, so be resourceful and seek out community colleges and other places that provide continuing education credits for teachers.

Have Fun

One of the best parts about working with children is that it is fun. Laughter and smiles are a daily part of any teacher’s routine. Students love seeing their teacher in a funny wig or with a bright scarf wrapped around her neck. Enjoy teaching! Do not be afraid to be colorful both in dress and personality. The more fun had, the longer and more successful a teaching career will be.

Teaching is a calling. Enjoy the fact that it is one that is available and attainable. Embrace the challenges and the rewards with equal fervor knowing that a child’s life will be forever changed. Use the Five Secrets to a Successful Teaching Career to guide the journey and encourage along the way.

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About the Author

Jennifer Dobson invites you to take a look at where you will find all kinds of classroom supplies, resource books, classroom decorations, school furniture, educational rugs, educational toys, and much more. The best part is by shopping at MPM School Supplies you are helping children in need all around the world because 50% of the gross profits are donated to children’s charities!

If you would like to submit an article related to successful teaching or any other education-related topic please subscribe to "Active Minds" newsletter for registration information. If you are already a registered member, feel free to comment. To contact us directly leave a message at the "Contact" page.
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