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Early childhood learning teachers promote literacy learning through intentional instructional practices and the establishment of classroom environments that encourage and support the work, interest, and curiosity of young learners. These teachers provide opportunities for children to engage with their teacher and peers and consider this an important component of literacy learning. Moreover, teachers design visually pleasing environments that support students' prior knowledge and experiences. The project approach to learning integrates all of the basic elements of literacy learning while respecting the natural inquisitive nature of children and their need to construct their own learning as they interact within their classroom environment, peers, and teachers.
Whether you're reading with your child, helping with homework, volunteering at your child's school, or participating in parent / teacher groups, parent involvement impacts the success of your child in school. Learn ways you can get involved in your child's education.
The most critical question about homework is "How much homework should students do?" Experts agree that the amount of homework should depend on the age and skills of the student. Many national groups of teachers and parents, including the National Parent Teacher Association (PTA), suggest that homework for children in kindergarten through second grade is most effective when it does not exceed 10-20 minutes each day. In third through sixth grade, children can benefit from 30-60 minutes of homework per day. Junior high and high school students can benefit from more time on homework, and the amount may vary from night to night.
Reading at home is especially important for young children. High-interest reading assignments might push the time on homework a bit beyond the minutes suggested above.
These recommendations are consistent with the conclusions reached by many studies on the effectiveness of homework. For young children, research shows that shorter and more frequent assignments may be more effective than longer but fewer assignments. This is because young children have short spans of attention and need to feel they have successfully completed a task.
Homework assignments typically have one or more purposes. The most common purpose is to have students practice material already presented in class. Practice homework is meant to reinforce learning and help the student master specific skills. Preparation homework introduces material that will be presented in future lessons. These assignments aim to help students learn new material better when it is covered in class. Extension homework asks students to apply skills they already have to new situations. Integration homework requires the student to apply many different skills to a single task, such as book reports, science projects or creative writing.
In particular, math homework has been shown to be more important in the middle to high school grades and less important in the elementary grades. It starts to become important in the fourth grade and is increasingly important in the upper grades.
Progress in Our Schools
Your child's success in math and science can make their dreams come true . . . In today's high-tech world, math and science matter. Of the 10 fastest growing occupations, eight are science, math or technology-related. Whatever a child wants to do -- join the military, join the workforce, or go on to college -- math and science skills will be very important. Become part of the equation to help one's child succeed now and in the future. Parents have the power to make a tremendous difference in their child's success by staying informed and involved.
It’s clear what it means to be prepared for tomorrow's economy. Already, three-quarters of the fastest-growing occupations require education beyond a high school diploma, with science, technology, engineering, and mathematics careers prominent on the list. However, schools aren't preparing enough of our students for that reality. Today, the US has one of the highest high school dropout rates in the world. Among students who do complete high school and go on to college, nearly half require remedial courses, and nearly half never graduate.
Yet in today's world, a college degree or advanced certificate increasingly represents the entry ticket to rewarding careers and fulfilling lives. In today's world, our graduates will compete against the smartest young people from around the world. However, right how in today's world, the United States ranks 12th in college attainment.
Interviewing for Jobs
About 4-years ago a friend told me one night that she had an interview the next week and was looking for some comfort as she was extremely nervous, as most people are about employment interviews.
I thought back on my my jobs and career and realized in the 9-years of my career I had been to 13 job interviews and, more importantly, that I had received a job offer from every one of those interviews! I did not accept all the employment offers, but the point is that I had not once been to an interview without getting a job offer from it.
In the past 4-years, I have been to another 6 employment interviews, of which I did not get job offers for 2 of them. The one was an interview at Volkswagen which a friend had setup because he "wanted" me to work there and by the time we started the interview, I realized that the position was not in my field at all. The second one was a telephonic interview, which I hate, and I simply did not see eye to eye with the person who interviewed me. I did go for an interview with another manager at the same company a couple of weeks later and started working there 2-days later.
Job offers from 17 out of 19 interviews is not a bad track record and no, I am not some kind of a technical genius that every company would want to employ simply by looking at my resume. I am a computer programmer and there are many programmers out there with better technical skills than me.
The secret, I believe is confidence. Not necessarily confidence in yourself, but creating confidence in your interviewer's mind. I once had a 4½ hour interview in Sydney, Australia. Before that I could not imagine such a long interview was possible, it was for a very senior position. If, like most people, you don't like interviews in general, imagine sitting there for 4½ hours. Anyway, about halfway through the job interview, the recruiter told me that he had another 2 or 3 people he was considering for the position, but that he's got a "warm and fuzzy feeling" about me. Not something I really want to hear from another male, but when he said that, I realized that the job was mine.
Your objective, is to create that "warm and fuzzy" feeling in your interviewer's mind.
Before an interview, I always think of what I would like to see in the other person if I was on the other side of the table, in other words, if I was interviewing somebody else for this position. Computer programming is considered as a technical field, even on a managerial level, but the technical aspect has very seldom been the deciding factor, unless the interviewer has poor people skills or a lack of experience.
Generally speaking anybody with a bit of experience will be more interested in your personality than your technical abilities. I am assuming, of course, that you are applying for positions which you are in some way qualified to fill. (Website Editor's note: Job qualification or experience is especially valuable if applying for a job in Corporate Communications and with large firms. So how do you focus on your personality and what personality traits should you try to demonstrate? Let me give you some examples of what I consider as important in an interview.
There are two dreaded questions that used to come up in every interview a couple of years ago, though I haven't heard them for a while now. What are 5 of your strengths and what are 5 of your weaknesses? Whenever I got the first of these two questions, I would start my answer with "Yes, I knew this was coming so I thought about it last night and ..." or something along those lines. It sounds wrong, because the intention of those questions is to see whether you know yourself. If you have to think about it the previous night, it doesn't say much about your self-knowledge.
Nonetheless, I do this for two reasons. Firstly, I'm being honest with them. Everybody prepares for an interview, or at least you should! I'm just showing them that I'm a real person and that I don't claim to have all the answers. Secondly, it's a tension breaker. Quite often, if it is an experienced job interviewer, they will make some comment about you having to prepare your answers in advance and this gives you an opportunity to sidetrack from their "prepared" questions. The more you can get to speak freely with the interviewer and not as a response to a question, the more opportunity you have of showing them your real character. It also passes the time so that they don't have to think up irrelevant technical questions to make the interview "long enough."
Also keep in mind that nobody is expected to have all the right answers. As I said before, I am not the know-it-all genius of computer programming, so in most interviews there is at least one question for which I do not have the answer or topic that I do not know about. When this happens, I do not pretend to have the answer or try to sound intelligent about the topic. I simply tell them that I do not know. What's important, though, is the way you say you don't know. Even if the words coming out of your mouth are as simple as "I don't know," the perception that your attitude should portray is that he or she does not know, but it's okay that they don't know.
In other words, say it with confidence and self respect. "I don't know because I've never needed to use that in the past" or "I normally use such and such instead" and, if possible, tell them why you prefer your alternative. Also try to tell them how you would learn this topic if it is required in your new position. This, again, achieves two objects. It shows them your problem solving abilities and it gives you another opportunity to speak freely. Finally, if you have no clue what they're talking about, ask them to explain the topic or to give you an example. Again, speaking freely and showing them that you are interested in learning and also that you are comfortable in their company.
I also think one of the key factors for anybody in an interview is to see that you can think for yourself and that you have your own opinions. DO NOT use yes/no answers!! Every question that an interviewer asks should be seen as an opportunity for you to speak and not a hurdle that you have to cross as quickly as possible. Of course you must stay on topic or they will think you are trying to evade the question.
However, try to elaborate and give them examples to show your experience and understanding of the topic. Even if this is your first interview and you have no working experience, it should not be a problem - remember you are trying to steer the conversion towards your personality and not your technical skills. Even after 13-years in the industry, I still use a lot of examples and stories (short stories, stay on topic) from my personal life to answer job interview questions.
I have now mentioned this "speaking freely" a number of times and I guess that's the basis of it all. Remember, the person on the other side of the job interview desk is nothing but that, just another person. I always try to be early for an interview so that I have some time to relax after the traffic. During those last couple of minutes, I stand outside having a cigarette and I play out a little scene in my mind, which I would rather not repeat here. Anyway, it boils down to me having a casual conversation with the interviewer and explaining to them that we're all in the same boat. We're all here on planet earth for only a short time and all just trying to make the best of things. Yes, it sounds stupid, I know. But for me it re-affirms in my mind that the person I am about to talk to is just another person and that I should treat them as that.
So let me summarize. Focus on your personality, not your technical abilities. Unless you're the best in your industry, in which case I'm talking to the other 99.9% in your industry. Remember that the job recruiter is just another person and treat them as one by speaking to them as you would somebody that you have known for a while. This is the only way you can have some control of steering the conversation in the direction you want.
While being comfortable and speaking your mind, do show respect at the same time and remember, it's still their job interview, so let them have the final control. Finally, BE HONEST (website editor's note: ...and BE YOURSELF so you may eventually tell the job recruiter who already likes you to please Hire-Me!
Reprint permission from Go-Articles - Written by Dirk Wessels who is a computer programmer