Friday, April 24, 2015

Reading Strategies, TPS

Although mentors are not tutors, mentors should review these reading strategies. Adults may do these without thinking, but mentees of all ages may have need of at least a few of them.

Tulsa Reads Millions logo


The explicit teaching of reading strategies helps students to become increasingly skillful at interpreting, understanding, and analyzing text. As with any new skill, these reading strategies should be taught through a scaffolding method, which includes modeling the strategy, providing students with opportunities for guided practice with the strategy, and then having students independently apply the strategy.
Because students have different reading styles, they are not likely to find all reading strategies equally useful. While a particular strategy may reinforce a strength that one student has or may provide the key to overcoming a reading difficulty, the same strategy may prove to be cumbersome or tedious to another student. For this reason, the explicit teaching of reading strategies should also include opportunities for students to reflect on the effectiveness of the strategy.
By considering questions such as:
  • How does this strategy help me to understand the text?
  • How does this strategy relate to something I already do or don't do as a reader?
  • How might I use this strategy with texts from other subject areas?
Students will become increasingly aware of the strategies that help them to read more effectively.
The following list contains strategies which most students find effective. The letters in parantheses indicate if the reading strategy is best used before reading (B), during reading (D), and/or after reading (A).
Annolighting A Text (D/A)
This active reading strategy links concept of highlighting key words and phrases in a text and annotating those highlights with marginal notes. 
Annotating A Text (D/A)
Annotating a text is an effective strategy to promote active and critical reading skills; this strategy provides a number useful acronyms that students can use to remember different elements of writer's craft when reading and annotating a text.
Anticipation Guide (B)
Anticipation guides are typically used as a pre-reading strategy and help to engage students in thought and discussion about ideas and concepts that they will encounter in the text.
Checking out the Framework (B)
This strategy provides students with suggestions for previewing texts of different genre in order to read strategically based on their purposes for reading the text.
Collaborative Annotation (D/A)
This strategy engages students in a process of co-constructing their interpretations of a text through a collaborative annotation activity.
Conversations Across Time (B/D/A)
This reading strategy helps students to develop deeper insights by making connections between and across texts from different time periods in response to a common topic, theme, or essential question.
Dense Questioning (D/A)
The dense questioning strategy can be used to help students pose increasingly dense questions as they make text-to-text, text-to-self, text-to-world connections.
Frame of Reference (B/D/A)
The frame of reference strategy teaches students how to create a mental context for reading a passage; this is accomplished by helping students to consider what they know about a topic and how they know what they know.
Inferential Reading (D/A)
The inferential reading strategy provides a list of the various types of inferences that readers make while reading even seemingly straightforward text; recognizing that there are different types of inferences helps students to analyze text more consciously and strategically.
Interactive Notebook (B/D/A)
This highly adaptable strategy encourages students to use a two-column note-taking strategy. In the right column, they take notes to synthesize essential ideas and information from a text, presentation, film etc.; in the left-hand column, they interact with the content in any way they choose (personal connections, illustrations, etc.).
Key Concept Synthesis (B/D/A)
The key concept synthesis strategy helps students to identify the most important ideas in a text, put those ideas into their own words, and then make connections between among these important ideas.
Listening to Voice (D/A)
This strategy helps students to analyze and interpret writer's voice through the annotation of a passage, with particular emphasis on dictions, tone, syntax, unity, coherence, and audience.
Metaphor Analysis (D/A)
This adaptable strategy teaches students how to analyze a complex metaphor and substantiate interpretive claims using textual evidence.
Parallel Note-taking (D/A)
The parallel note-taking strategy teaches students to recognize different organizational patterns for informational texts and then develop a note-taking strategy that parallels the organization of the text.
QAR: Question-Answer Relationships (B/D/A)
The QAR strategy helps students to identify the four Question-Answer Relationships that they are likely to encounter as they read texts and attempt to answer questions about what they have read. These include "right there" questions, "think and search" questions, "author and you" questions, and "on my own" questions.
Questions Only (B/D/A)
The questions only strategy teaches students how to pose questions about the texts they are reading and encourages them to read actively as they work to answer the questions they have posed.
RAFT: Role, Audience, Format, Topic (A)
This is a flexible post-reading strategy that helps students to analyze and reflect upon their reading through persona writing. Based on suggestions provided by the teacher or generated by the class, students choose a Role, an Audience, a Format, and a Topic on which to write in response to their reading.
Reciprocal Teaching (B/D/A)
The reciprocal teaching strategy enables students to activate four different comprehension strategies - predicting, questioning, clarifying, summarizing - which they apply collaboratively to help each other understand a text they are reading.
Sociograms (D/A)
A sociogram is a visual representation of the relationships among characters in a literary text. Students can make use of pictures, symbols, shapes, colors, and line styles to illustrate these relationships, to understand the traits of each character, and to analyze the emerging primary and secondary conflicts.
Think Aloud (B/D/A)
Skillful readers unconsciously use a range of strategies to make meaning from text. The think aloud strategy involves modeling these strategies by "thinking aloud" while reading and responding to a text. By making explicit for students what is implicit for more expert readers, it becomes possible for students develop and apply these strategies themselves.
Transactional Reading Journal (D)
The name of this reading strategy is inspired by the work of Louise Rosenblatt (1978), who explained reading as a transactional process that occurs between the text and the reader. The Transactional Reading Journal builds on this concept (via Jude Ellis) and provides a flexible framework for engaging students in a process of active and personally meaningful interaction with a text.
Writer's Craft Seminar (B/D/A) 
This reading strategy teaches students how to analyze text through close reading in order to formulate a interpretive thesis that is supported through assertions and textual evidence. Students present their interpretations to the class through a seminar format.
Ret. 4-23-15
Thanks to Tulsa Public Schools!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Students' Earning Money

9 Unusual Ways to Pay for College

College is expensive - and it gets more so every year. The average in-state price for tuition, fees, room and board at a four-year public institution in 2014-15 was up 3% from the previous year to $18,943, according to the College Board. The average price for a four-year private nonprofit school rose nearly 4% to $42,419.

More and more families are turning to student loans to fund higher education. Over the past 10 years, student loan debt has climbed from less than $500 billion to more than $1 trillion, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. However, Kiplinger's Personal Finance Editor Janet Bodnar has argued for years in Money Smart Kids columns that despite the rising cost of college there are ways to avoid the student-loan debt trap.
In fact, we talked to several people who found some unusual ways to cover some (or all) of the cost of going to college. As a result, many of these people avoided student loans altogether. Here are nine ways they earned or were given cash to help pay for school.
1. Play in the pep band.

Robin Bartee put her music minor to use while an undergraduate at Western Kentucky University in the mid-1990s. For a couple of years, she played percussion in the pep band at basketball games - a paying gig that enabled her to cover the cost of textbooks. She also had an assortment of scholarships, grants and part-time jobs that helped her pay tuition and living expenses. "I walked away from college without owing any money," she says. 
2. Participate in clinical studies.
Ginger Dean became a human guinea pig while a graduate student at Marymount University in Virginia. She participated in sleep and medical trials at a facility in nearby Baltimore, and was paid $300 to $750 for each session. Dean says that she found the clinical study listings on, a database run by the National Institutes of Health, lists studies that are actively recruiting participants. Search by location to identify local trials. Or if your university has a medical school or psychology department, check there for studies seeking participants.
3. Be a caddy.                      
Steven D. raked in the dough working as a caddy at a private country club in a Chicago suburb during the summers while he was a student at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. For every two bags he carried for 18 holes of golf, he earned $80 plus tips. Depending on how many days he worked, he could make up to $10,000 in a summer. Not only was he able to earn money to cover some of the costs of college, he also landed an internship through networking on the golf course. That, and he got to caddy for basketball superstar Michael Jordan.
4. Teach dance.

While her classmates at William & Mary in Virginia earned minimum wage working at restaurants and retail stores during college, Catherine Alford pocketed $15 an hour teaching ballet to three-year-olds. "I used to wear my ballet clothes under my college clothes, rush to the studio between classes and teach the little ones," she says. She saved her earnings to travel abroad after her junior year to study writing at the University of Cambridge in England. 

5. Work as a camp counselor.                                 

When Eric Rosenberg became a counselor-in-training at a Boy Scout camp near Denver, he didn't realize it would be his ticket to a full ride at the University of Colorado. After he learned about the Boys Scouts of America Denver Area Council's Madden Merit Scholarship Award, he decided to stick with camp counseling throughout college to receive the funding, which was matched with funds from the university and Wells Fargo. The $15,000 he received each year covered his tuition, room and board until he graduated in 2007. Read about eight other sources of scholarships.

6. Conduct interviews. 

 While attending UCLA, Jackie Lam spent several weeks interviewing people for a book,Close Calls with the Cops, after responding to a listing on Lams says she approached people on the street, sought stories through online chatrooms and posted her own ads on Craigslist. She was paid $10 per story and earned a total of $200 - not a lot but enough to cover some books and living expenses. She also earned cash by participating in clinical studies at a lab on the UCLA campus, and recording books on tape for the school's office of disabilities.

7. Clean toilets.                                                  

Former Kiplinger writer Erin Burt worked her way through Brigham Young University in Utah with an assortment of campus jobs, including one with the custodial crew for the basketball arena and football stadium. She made about $6 an hour in 1997-98. Believe it or not, it was a lot of fun, she says, because "each shift was a bunch of college kids talking, laughing, listening to music - we just happened to be cleaning toilets, washing windows and mopping at the same time." In addition to earning money to pay for school, she met her husband on the job.

8. Model for aspiring artists. 

To get a job on campus at Ricks College (now Brigham Young University-Idaho), Tynley Bean and her classmates had to stand for hours in a job line at the beginning of each term. Given the choice of janitor and art model, Bean chose the latter her freshman year because it sounded easier and had better hours. For $5 an hour, she would sit or lie completely still in a swimsuit. The experience prompted her to become an art major, and she was able to sell her own art while in school to professors, students and even the university's collection.

9. Let Uncle Sam foot the bill.
After a year of college, Ryan Guina became restless and wanted an adventure, so he joined the U.S. Air Force on a six-year contract. His wanderlust paid off a few years later while still on active duty when he decided to finish his degree. He was able to use the Armed Forces' Military Tuition Assistance program to cover 100% of the cost of his college tuition. He applied his year of college and military training (for physical education and leadership credits) toward his degree and managed to earn a bachelor's of science from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Florida within a year and a half by taking courses at a satellite campus and online. His degree, which he earned without taking on any debt, helped him switch careers after he left the Air Force in 2006. "The absence of student loans was a huge blessing, as it took six months to find a job after I left active duty," Guina says.                                                  

Ret. 4-21-15

Send us other ways to earn for young people to earn money as they pursue their goals.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Learn How, Career Exploration

'Another way to explore careers with your mentees...user-friendly, updated, graphically interesting, succinct. 'Discusses difference between a "job" and "a career" and shows paths.

For example, clicking upon "Computer Engineer" will tells

  • What a Computer Engineer Does
  • Computer Engineer Skills
  • Steps to Becoming a Computer Engineer (Associate's, Bachelor's Advanced Study)
  • 5 Popular Engineering Degrees
  • Computer Engineering Schools
  • Online Degree Programs
  • Salary (with comparison areas and by state)
  • Job Growth 
  • Resources

Partners in the website
  • U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
  • American Job Center
  • ies Institute of Educational Sciences
  • U.S. Department of State   

Ret. 4-20-15

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Habits of Likeable People

Too many people succumb to the mistaken belief that being likeable comes from natural, unteachable traits that belong only to a lucky few—the good looking, the fiercely social, and the incredibly talented. It’s easy to fall prey to this misconception. In reality, being likeable is under your control, and it’s a matter of emotional intelligence (EQ).
In a study conducted at UCLA, subjects rated over 500 adjectives based on their perceived significance to likeability. The top-rated adjectives had nothing to do with being gregarious, intelligent, or attractive (innate characteristics). Instead, the top adjectives were sincerity, transparency, and capacity for understanding (another person).
These adjectives, and others like them, describe people who are skilled in the social side of emotional intelligence. TalentSmart research data from more than a million people shows that people who possess these skills aren’t just highly likeable, they outperform those who don’t by a large margin.
We did some digging to uncover the key behaviors that emotionally intelligent people engage in that make them so likeable. Here are 12 of the best:
1. They Ask Questions
The biggest mistake people make when it comes to listening is they’re so focused on what they’re going to say next or how what the other person is saying is going to affect them that they fail to hear what’s being said. The words come through loud and clear, but the meaning is lost.
A simple way to avoid this is to ask a lot of questions. People like to know you’re listening, and something as simple as a clarification question shows that not only are you listening, you also care about what they’re saying. You’ll be surprised how much respect and appreciation you gain just by asking questions.
2. They Put Away Their Phones
Nothing will turn someone off to you like a mid-conversation text message or even a quick glance at your phone. When you commit to a conversation, focus all of your energy on the conversation. You will find that conversations are more enjoyable and effective when you immerse yourself in them.
3. They Are Genuine
Being genuine and honest is essential to being likeable. No one likes a fake. People gravitate toward those who are genuine because they know they can trust them. It is difficult to like someone when you don’t know who they really are and how they really feel.
Likeable people know who they are. They are confident enough to be comfortable in their own skin. By concentrating on what drives you and makes you happy as an individual, you become a much more interesting person than if you attempt to win people over by making choices that you think will make them like you.
4. They Don’t Pass Judgment
If you want to be likeable you must be open-minded. Being open-minded makes you approachable and interesting to others. No one wants to have a conversation with someone who has already formed an opinion and is not willing to listen.
Having an open mind is crucial in the workplace where approachability means access to new ideas and help. To eliminate preconceived notions and judgment, you need to see the world through other people’s eyes. This doesn’t require you believe what they believe or condone their behavior, it simply means you quit passing judgment long enough to truly understand what makes them tick. Only then can you let them be who they are.
5. They Don’t Seek Attention
People are averse to those who are desperate for attention. You don’t need to develop a big, extroverted personality to be likeable. Simply being friendly and considerate is all you need to win people over. When you speak in a friendly, confident, and concise manner, you will notice that people are much more attentive and persuadable than if you try to show them you’re important. People catch on to your attitude quickly and are more attracted to the right attitude than what—or how many people—you know.
When you’re being given attention, such as when you’re being recognized for an accomplishment, shift the focus to all the people who worked hard to help you get there. This may sound cliché, but if it’s genuine, the fact that you pay attention to others and appreciate their help will show that you’re appreciative and humble—two adjectives that are closely tied to likeability.
6. They Are Consistent
Few things make you more unlikeable than when you’re all over the place. When people approach you, they like to know whom they’re dealing with and what sort of response they can expect. To be consistent you must be reliable, and you must ensure that even when your mood goes up and down it doesn’t affect how you treat other people.
7. They Use Positive Body Language
Becoming cognizant of your gestures, expressions, and tone of voice (and making certain they’re positive) will draw people to you like ants to a picnic. Using an enthusiastic tone, uncrossing your arms, maintaining eye contact, and leaning towards the person who’s speaking are all forms of positive body language that high-EQ people use to draw others in. Positive body language can make all the difference in a conversation.
It’s true that how you say something can be more important than what you say.
8. They Leave a Strong First Impression
Research shows most people decide whether or not they like you within the first seven seconds of meeting you. They then spend the rest of the conversation internally justifying their initial reaction. This may sound terrifying, but by knowing this you can take advantage of it to make huge gains in your likeability. First impressions are tied intimately to positive body language. Strong posture, a firm handshake, smiling, and opening your shoulders to the person you are talking to will help ensure that your first impression is a good one.
9. They Greet People by Name
Your name is an essential part of your identity, and it feels terrific when people use it. Likeable people make certain they use others’ names every time they see them. You shouldn’t use someone’s name only when you greet him. Research shows that people feel validated when the person they’re speaking with refers to them by name during a conversation.
If you’re great with faces but have trouble with names, have some fun with it and make remembering people’s names a brain exercise. When you meet someone, don’t be afraid to ask her name a second time if you forget it right after you hear it. You’ll need to keep her name handy if you’re going to remember it the next time you see her.
10. They Smile
People naturally (and unconsciously) mirror the body language of the person they’re talking to. If you want people to like you, smile at them during a conversation and they will unconsciously return the favor and feel good as a result.
11. They Know Who To Touch (and They Touch Them)
When you touch someone during a conversation, you release oxytocin in their brain, a neurotransmitter that makes their brain associate you with trust and a slew of other positive feelings. A simple touch on the shoulder, a hug, or a friendly handshake is all it takes to release oxytocin. Of course, you have to touch the right person in the right way to release oxytocin, as unwanted or inappropriate touching has the opposite effect. Just remember, relationships are built not just from words, but also from general feelings about each other. Touching someone appropriately is a great way to show you care.
12. They Balance Passion and Fun
People gravitate toward those who are passionate. That said, it’s easy for passionate people to come across as too serious or uninterested because they tend to get absorbed in their work. Likeable people balance their passion with the ability to have fun. At work they are serious, yet friendly. They still get things done because they are socially effective in short amounts of time and they capitalize on valuable social moments. They minimize small talk and gossip and instead focus on having meaningful interactions with their coworkers. They remember what you said to them yesterday or last week, which shows that you’re just as important to them as their work.
Bringing It All Together
Likeable people are invaluable and unique. They network with ease, promote harmony in the workplace, bring out the best in everyone around them, and generally seem to have the most fun. Add these skills to your repertoire and watch your likeability soar!
Dr. Travis Berry
Dr. Travis Bradberry is the award-winning co-author of the #1 bestselling book, Emotional Intelligence 2.0, and the cofounder of TalentSmart, the world's leading provider of emotional intelligence tests and training, serving more than 75% of Fortune 500 companies. His bestselling books have been translated into 25 languages and are available in more than 150 countries. Dr. Bradberry has written for, or been covered by, Newsweek, BusinessWeek, Fortune, Forbes, Fast Company, Inc., USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, andThe Harvard Business Review.
Dr. Bradberry's book
Ret. 4-17-15
Note: We are not advocating purchasing a book. Check it out at the library if you are interested.

Monday, April 20, 2015

More Phrases to Avoid

Similar to the October 21, 2014 post

10 Phrases Successful People Avoid (But Losers Use)

April 16, 2015

Winning and losing are about your frame of mind more than anything else. You can be a successful go-getter working in a mail room just as easily as you can be a loser CEO. By cultivating a winner’s mindset, you’ll set yourself up for greatest success.
Check out the list of phrases below and note any that pop up in your daily lexicon. Eliminating them from your speech will go a long way to eliminating the negative thoughts that go along with them and help you believe that you can succeed.
  1. That won’t work.
    How do you know it won’t work? Even if it’s something that’s been tried before that doesn’t necessarily mean it won’t work this time. Shutting down ideas without trying them is definitely not the mark of a winner.
  2. I can’t do it.
    OK, negative Nancy, but guess what? If you can’t do it, chances are they’ll find someone else who can. Instead, approach this from the perspective of what you’ll need to accomplish the task. Do you need more training, more support, more supplies, more time?
  3. Impossible
    Things are rarely impossible, so be very careful throwing this word around. In my experience, it often indicates someone closed-minded who can’t see another person’s vision. Rather than declaring it impossible, open your mind to how it might be possible. Brainstorm. Look at the problem from different angles. Nothing amazing was ever created by declaring it impossible.
  4. That’s not fair.
    What are we, four-year-olds? Real life isn’t set up to always be fair, and if you find these words coming out of your mouth, you are almost certainly feeling mistreated.  Instead of playing the fair card, however, try looking for opportunities to improve the situation. And, understand that sometimes you’renever going to change a situation to make it fair — you might have to go out and create your own, more fair, situation yourself.
  5. It’s not my fault.It may very well not be your fault, but this phrase assumes that you’re laying the blame somewhere else. And nobody wins the blame game. Instead of focusing on blame, focus on solving the problem. How can you step in and make things right — even if you weren’t the one in the wrong?
  6. I might be able to…
    Might is another one of those words like try that set you up to fail. When people use words like this, it’s because they’re expecting not to be able to do whatever is being asked of them. Or, sometimes it’s used grudgingly. A client asks you to go above and beyond your original agreement, and to placate them, you say you “might” be able to add something. In either case, don’t hedge. Stand your ground and say what you mean.
  7. That’s not my job.One of the things managers loathe to hear. Sometimes, in order to help the team or move up the ladder, you need to step up and do things that might not ordinarily be in your job description. Don’t let yourself be taken advantage of, but try to look at working outside your comfort zone as an opportunity for experience and growth.
  8. NeedNeed is a funny word.  You need food, water, and shelter. You don’t need that report on time, your team to come in for the weekend, or really anything else at work. You want it. Perhaps you even require it for things to function and flow properly. But do you need it?
  9. I think…
    Which sounds more powerful: I think, I believe, or I know?  I think can be wishy-washy. Leaders and other successful people are decisive. Go with what you know.
  10. I’ll try.
    Take a page from Yoda’s book of wisdom: Do, or do not. There is no try. People tend to use the word try when they want to leave themselves an out, because they consciously or subconsciously don’t believe they can or will accomplish the task.
Obviously, it is not black or white with any of these phrases and there are of course times when you would use them. The point I am trying to make here is more about the mindset and the words we use (as well as the way we say them) are a reflection of that.

Marr regularly writes about performance management as well as the mega-trend that is Big Data for LinkedIn and Forbes. Marr is founder and CEO of The Advanced Performance Institute, based in the UK but operating across Europe, the United States, the Middle East and Australasia.

Ret. 4-17-15