Yes, I have heard that there are people who find the number 13 scary- but I love the idea of the century moving into its teens- having worked with students through the middle years and been privy to the wonderful changes that occur as childhood becomes youth and movement towards independence grows – I have seen the maturing that the teen years do bring. Also the experimenting and the challenging, that we as adults come to recognize as part of this growing.
In my cultural background, 13 is a lucky number. It is a recognized time for children to begin the formal understanding of adult community and when many ceremonies publicly enhance this recognition. Perhaps on a global level, throughout this year, 2013, we adults can extend our understanding of how little we truly know, and encourage the youths around us to continue to strive for greater knowledge, to remain curious, to not be afraid to challenge “accepted” wisdoms and to respect themselves and their dreams – especially necessary as it is a “tough world out there” and being able to – here I will defer to a well-respected former public figure for a quote: “ Do what you feel in your heart to be right – for you’ll be criticized anyway” (Eleanor Roosevelt) can often be one of the more difficult things to accomplish.
Simple wishes then for the 2013 Academic Year: for everyone to keep growing.
Alison (Ali the English Tutor)
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It is such fun to present students with a topic often used as a journal writing entry and instead, open it up to discussion. Have you ever…can become a form of “truth or dare” when students turn the question back to the teacher; whether parent or educator, “Have you Ever…?” WILL generate story-telling. You have been warned. And the lovely weather means, if you are able get the students outside for this activity then do so.
What comes next? Exams, quizzes, final Independent Study Projects, Year End wrap ups, and for some – those make-up projects to balance a less than stellar performance earlier in the term. Much has been written and spoken about the ways in which schooling allows some to “slack off” and miss deadlines – it would be more productive of educators to note how many students each term do require the option of earning course credit through the end of year submissions- portfolios often more accurately portray a student’s ability than a single mark on a test. It always seems contradictory for educators to rail against any form of standardized testing yet not build in the option for students to compile work that might indeed allow for personal expression. The classroom and the curriculum is one of the last bastions of independent yet collaborative work; join with the students, try a Have You Ever…?” in the staff room with fellow teachers, and surprise yourself – Listen, truly listen…and Enjoy!
Posted in different perspectives, educator, English academics, tutoring help, learning together, home schooling, test prep, essays, fiction, writing help, student work, teaching, test prep, experiential knowledge- practical experience
Oh my goodness, the day has slipped away and I understand how a student can be surprised when deadlines loom and a project is not near done. “Busywork”- that is what it is called; when one is truly hustling yet has little for others to take note of – despite the energy expended.
Must be seasonal. Confession: I enjoy summer school and have for years, participating as a student, teaching as an adult. Now that it is May, I have the same sense many experience during the last weeks of August, an expectation of classes and a renewal of sorts.
With the beautiful weather expected to hold over the weekend and all sorts of local events happening I wish everyone a super pleasant Mother’s Day – if you are celebrating and, if not- a great weekend regardless.
https://secure1.heifer.org/gift-catalog?msource=SOMDD12TW12 This site offers ways to help others in need; purchase a cow and feed a community!
Mother’s Day is May 13, 2012 ( for a list of other dates around the world see below) . It’s easy to send a thoughtful and personalized gift, letting the mother in your life know that you share her wish for a more peaceful, nuclear-free world.
http://www.epicurious.com/articlesguides/holidays/mothersday/mothers_day Ok these recipes look so amazing; they are almost non-traditional!
http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/05/04/mothers-day-giving-back_n_1478942.html find 10 suggestions for giving back-http://www.womenforwomen.org/campaigns-for-women/mothers-day.php?src=MD2012PS&gclid=CKTxsauu868CFY0BQAodbVZsZA – helping to build lives post war…
http://www.helpothers.org/cards.php smile cards have been going around since 2003
speaking of going around- Mother’s day around the world alphabetically organized: http://www.whsv.com/seasonal/misc/42915822.html
More on the history plus some trivia listed under fun facts; http://www.chiff.com/home_life/holiday/mothers-day-history.htm
and for school kids everywhere: for elementary grades
freebies from: http://mrsrubinsclass.blogspot.ca/2012/05/wow.html
slightly older children may like to help pick out the flowers in addition to creating their own arts and crafts; http://www.artistshelpingchildren.org/mothersdaygiftsartscrafstideaskidskidsprojects.html
I have seen the beautiful creations made by a local florist –
ask for Yien at http://www.ellisflowers.ca/about-us/our-team remember to place an order in advance so they can be delivered fresh and on time http://www.ellisflowers.ca/products
Enjoy the day, whether celebrating this week or on one of the other dates globally; Mother’s Day is officially declared: http://projectbritain.com/mothers/index.html
And if you are like me – the more homemade the gift the better!
Posted in English academics, tutoring help, learning together, home schooling, test prep, experiential knowledge- practical experience, giving thanks, spirit, fun, sharing, learning, practice and more
Take one student
Make sure the student you choose has an active,engaged, outgoing, participatory character
Instead of making note of all the above, instead of praising the student for his/her positive contributions to the school latch onto to a minor indiscretion and then, blow that indiscretion sky high
It is easy- it is happening at a school near you..,
Posted in devil s advocate, different perspectives, educator, English academics, tutoring help, learning together, home schooling, test prep, essays, fiction, writing help, student work, teaching, test prep, experiential knowledge- practical experience, practice, Uncategorized
I nearly wrote Brand New Earth, with this past week featuring so many activities around the theme of “Earth Day” the focus on cleaning up, recycling and encouraging caring for the planet became contagious; all around I could see effort being made to get outside and engage with nature.
I am always impressed by how quickly younger children will not only participate in the Earth Day programs at their school, but also how the students become advocates for greener living once they understand the purpose behind the suggested changes.
-sending a global “thank you” to fellow educators for sharing great resources and posting a few links below:
http://erblearn.org/parents/admission/isee for parents considering private school come September
http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=7393502n interview with Sam Eshaghoff:Sam Eshaghoff is a teenage con. He took the SAT for other students, who paid big money for high scores. Now that he’s been caught, Sam has some test-taking advice, but consider the source.
As I begin the process of preparing my own forms I am sending out receipts to all with a reminder regarding the Ontario Children’s Activity Tax Credit. http://www.rev.gov.on.ca/en/credit/catc/index.html this link will take you directly to the site for further information. To the adults that I worked with last year, please see your accountant to determine if a series of classes taken will qualify.
– Isn’t this Spring weather amazing? I hope everyone is studying but also getting outside!
Posted in different perspectives, English academics, tutoring help, learning together, home schooling, test prep, essays, fiction, writing help, student work, teaching, test prep, experiential knowledge- practical experience, Uncategorized
When I find a great site I like to share it! Are you at home this week and thinking of activities to do with your children over March Break? In addition to the many great institutions that have hands-on activities for the week, cooking together at home is an opportunity to share creativity- boys and girls can enjoy selecting the food products, planning the meals and helping with the clean up. Reading a recipe IS reading and incorporates math and science too! Plus when you go to a website such as the one offered above, you may compare food choices from earlier times with popular foods today.
Hope people are getting outside too and enjoying the mild Toronto weather.
as always, best regards, from Ali the English Tutor-
ps I am here over the break and open for students daytime as well as after school and weekends. Also now offering lessons over SKYPE at mytutoringspace1 .
http://ebw.evergreen.ca/ Evergreen Brick Works- you can cook here too!
http://www.rom.on.ca/marchbreak/ The Rom has a sale on!
http://www.ago.net/grange-historic-kitchen-tours Have you been to the AGO but missed the Grange?
http://www.ago.net/teenager-hamlet-screening-and-qa-with-artist-margaux-williamson have a student in high school working on HAMLET?
http://www.ago.net/march-break-2012 Specials for the week at the Art Gallery of Ontario
http://maplesyrupfest.com/ The Maple Syrup Festival is really sweet!
http://www.hhof.com/htmlNewsPromo/newsMarchBreak.shtml Hockey Hall of Fame- then lunch at the Old Spaghetti Factory
http://www.ontariosciencecentre.ca/calendar/marchbreak/ March Break means SUPER DOGS at the Science Centre
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