Category Archives: Reference Education

The Importance of Fine Arts in the Classroom

Fine Arts is defined in the Encarta Dictionary as being, “any art form, for example, painting, sculpture, architecture, drawing, or engraving, that is considered to have purely aesthetic value” (Encarta, 2004). Though this definition is used in relationship with the arts in the regular world, in regards to teaching, fine arts is defined as a subject beneficial, not essential, to the learning process and is often phased out because of lack of time, little learning potential, and no money. Fine arts is simply seen as painting and drawing, not a subject studied by an academic scholar. Writer Victoria Jacobs explains, “Arts in elementary schools have often been separated from the core curriculum and instead, offered as enrichment activities that are considered beneficial but not essential” (Jacobs, 1999, p. 2).

What is missing in classrooms is the lack of teacher knowledge of the benefits of maintaining an art- based curriculum. Teachers “have very little understanding of the arts as disciplines of study. They think of the arts instruction as teacher-oriented projects used to entertain or teach other disciplines” (Berghoff, 2003, p. 12). Fine arts expand the boundaries of learning for the students and encourage creative thinking and a deeper understanding of the core subjects, which are language arts, math, science, and social studies. Teachers need to incorporate all genres of fine arts, which include, theater, visual art, dance, and music, into their lesson plans because the arts gives the students motivational tools to unlock a deeper understanding of their education. Teaching the arts is the most powerful tool that teachers can present in their classrooms because this enables the students to achieve their highest level of learning.

From 1977 to 1988 there were only three notable reports demonstrating the benefits of art education. These three reports are Coming to Our Senses, by the Arts, Education and Americans Panal (1977), Can we Rescue the Arts for American Children, sponsored by the American Council for the Arts (1988), and the most respected study, Toward Civilization, by the National Endowment for the Arts (1988). These three studies conjured that art education was very important in achieving a higher education for our students. While these studies proved the arts to be beneficial to the learning process, it was not until 2002 when the research analysis of Critical Links: Learning in the Arts and Student Academic and Social Development “provided evidence for enhancing learning and achievement as well as positive social outcomes when the arts were integral to students’ learning experiences” was taken seriously by lawmakers (Burns, 2003, p. 5). One study, in this analysis, was focused on the teaching of keyboard training to a classroom in order to see if student’s scores on spatial reasoning could be improved. It was then compared to those students who received computer training which involved no fine art components. This concluded that learning through the arts did improve the scores on other core curriculum subjects such as math and science where spatial reasoning is most used (Swan-Hudkins, 2003).

This study shows how one little change in the way students are taught through the arts can have a powerful impact on their learning achievements and understandings. Another study showed at-risk students who, for one year, participated in an art- based curriculum raised their standardized language arts test by an average of eight percentile points, 16 percentile points if enrolled for two years. Students not engaging in this form of activity did not show a change of percentile (Swan-Hudkins, 2003). Though this may not seem like a big increase, at- risk students were able to use this style of learning to better understand their learning style thus bettering their learning patterns. The most interesting case study in this analysis involved the schools of Sampson, North Carolina, where for two years in a row their standardized test scores rose only in the schools that implemented the arts education in their school district (Swan-Hudkins, 2003). Teaching the arts needs to be incorporated in every teachers daily lesson plans because, based on these studies, students who are taught through the arts raise their test and learning levels.

Due to the high volume of attention President Bush’s, No Child Left Behind Act, has required in schools, teaching the arts is left behind. Another reason for the lack of arts in the classroom author Victoria Jacobs explains, “Given the shrinking budgets of school districts around the country, art specialists and art programs have disappeared from many elementary schools” (Jacobs, 1999, p. 4). Fine arts are being seen as non-educational or an extra-curricular activity. Therefore, when there is a lack of money in school districts, this subject is easily being cut. Teachers need to find a way to incorporate the arts into the classroom rather than rely on outside activities and Jacobs suggests teaching “through the arts… with a means of using the arts successfully and in a way that it is not just “one more thing” they must include in the curriculum” (Jacobs, 1999, p. 4).

The arts can open the minds of students in ways mere reading and writing will never be able to accomplish. Yet, the point of teaching this subject is not to teach about the arts, but to teach through the arts. Jacobs explains, Teaching though the arts requires students to engage in the act of creative art. For example they might draw a picture, write a poem, act in a drama, or compose music to further their understanding of concepts in content areas other than the arts. Teaching through the arts helps students experience concepts rather than simply discussing or reading them. This approach is consistent with educational theories that highlight the importance of reaching multiple learning styles or intelligences. (Jacobs, 1999, p. 2)

Teaching through the arts can be done in many different ways depending on the teacher’s interests, but truly is the only way to reinforce the students learning experience. In a time where budget cuts and new learning laws are being established, teachers need to be more informed and educated on the negative impacts of the loss of the fine arts programs. Three, veteran teachers at a public elementary school did a case study which involved teaching through the arts. They believed “our students had to experience cycles of inquiry wherein they learned about the arts and through the arts, and that they needed to see teachers of different disciplines collaborate” (Berghoff, 2003, p. 2).

The study was based on teaching a history lesson unit on Freedom and Slavery through the arts. Ms. Bixler-Borgmann had her students listen to the song “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot” in many different styles of music, such as an African-American Quartet, Reggae, and Show Tunes. She then incorporated this lesson into the importance singing played to the slaves at that time. Ms. Berghoff had her students read samples of African-American folk literature and write down sentences that made an impact on them while they were reading. She then incorporated those sentences into group poems. Ms. Parr explored two art pieces entitled, “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot” and had the students talk about artwork by asking three questions: “What is going on in this picture? What do you see that makes you say that? What else can you find?” (Berghoff, 2003). She also had the students focus on the images, concepts, and meanings which the artists wanted to depict. Ms. Parr felt this would teach the students how to uncover the hidden meanings in other core curriculum subjects (Berghoff, 2003). After the study, the students were asked what and how they had learned from this style of teaching.

Many students wrote in their journals that working in multiple sign systems in parallel ways heightened their emotional involvement. They found themselves thinking about what they were learning in class when they were at home or at work. They noted that even though they had studied slavery at ot
her times, they had never really imagined how it felt to be a slave or thought about the slaves’ perspectives and struggles. (Berghoff, 2003)

The students had learned more from this lesson because they were able to use all styles of learning and were taught from an angle which is rarely used, through the arts. “Studies indicate that a successful arts integrated program will use these components to guide student learning and assess growth and development (Swan-Hudkins, 2003). The students were able to learn based on abstract thinking and find the deeper meaning of the lessons prepared by the teachers.

“The study of the arts has the potential for providing other benefits traditionally associated with arts…. arts has been linked to students’ increased critical and creative thinking skills, self-esteem, willingness to take risks, and ability to work with others” (Jacobs, 1999, p. 4). With these benefits, teachers can not afford to limit their teaching of the arts in the classroom. Teaching through the arts are the key elements of learning and the traits teachers strive to establish and reinforce in their students. By working through the arts, instead of about the arts, the students’ educational experience will be achieved in a different way than just teaching the standard style of learning. Former Governor of California, Gray Davis, noted, “Art education helps students develop creativity, self-expression, analytical skills, discipline, cross-cultural understandings, and a heightened appreciation for the arts” and that “students who develop artistic expression and creative problem solving skills are more like to succeed in school and will be better prepared for the jobs and careers of the future” (California Art Study, 2003, p. 1).

Exposing students to abstract learning will teach the students about logic and reasoning and help them grasp what might not be represented on the surface. Recent Reports from the National Art Education Association (NAEA) confirmed with Governor Davis when they reported “Students in art study score higher on both their Verbal and Math SAT tests than those who are not enrolled in arts courses (California Art Study, 2003, p. 5). Attached is a copy of the test scores of students in the arts and students with no arts coursework.

What is a better way to enhance a lesson plan than to add another dimension of learning than by incorporating different levels of teaching? A company that has the basis of focusing on different learning styles is Links for Learning, This company understands the importance of incorporating arts into the classroom. Former Secretary of Education, William Bennet wrote, “The arts are essential elements of education just like reading, writing, and arithmetic…Music, dance, painting, and theater are keys to unlock profound human understanding and accomplishment” (Swann-Hudkins, 2002).

An example of the benefits of teaching the arts would be the study of a teacher who taught the water cycle lesson through movement and music. The students were introduced to the water cycle in the traditional style of teaching, reading and lecturing. Yet, in order for the students to fully understand the “experience” of being a snowflake, the students listened to Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite (The Waltz of the Snowflakes) and closed their eyes visualizing the adventure snowflakes encounter on there way to the ground. A great side effect of dance is that “exposure to dances foreign to them (the students) helps them to understand and appreciate differences in societies. Their minds become open to new ideas and a different perspective. This understanding helps to eliminate possible prejudice, enriching the student and our society” (Swan-Hudkins, 2003, p.17). While the music was playing the teacher asked them questions, such as, “How are they going to land” and “What do you see as you are falling”. The second time listening to the music the students were asked to act out the water cycle through movement and dance. Teachers should know “a class that includes dance can make students feel empowered and actively involved in their education. In creating their own dance, students develop conceptional thinking, which is not always expressed verbally” (Swan-Hudkins, 2003, p. 17).

With these activities, the students were able to become part of the water cycle instead of just using their listening skills and trying to mentally figure out this lesson. The teacher also had the students write a poem using words they felt while they, the snowflakes, were falling to the ground (Jacobs, 1999, p.2). “The motivational powers of the arts are significant as this teacher explained, “Hooking a kid is half, if not more than half, the battle of learning. If you can hook them, then you can get them to learn” (Jacobs, 1999, p. 6). Teachers need to gain access to all styles of learning which can only spark their motivational powers. Harvard Project Researchers Winner and Hetland remarks, “The best hope for the arts in our school is to justify them by what they can do that other subjects can’t do as well” (Swan-Hudkins, 2003, p. 18). Teachers need to gain a better education of teaching their students through the arts. Without the arts, teachers are limiting their students’ ability to use their entire thinking process, providing less opportunity for complete comprehension. Teaching through the arts is the most powerful tool that teachers can give in their classrooms because it enables the students to achieve their highest level of learning.

With the lack of attention art is getting outside of the classroom, teachers cannot afford not to incorporate dance, theater, visual arts, or music in their lesson plans. Fine arts is the core curriculums constant and most important companion. No child should be left behind, and teaching through the arts will reinforce this idea.


Berghoff, B. , Bixler-Borgmann, C. , and Parr, C. (2003). Cycles of Inquiry with the Arts. Urbana, 17, 1-17.

Burns, M. (2003). Connecting Arts Education Policy and Research to Classroom Teaching. Presented at The Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association. Chicago, IL.

California Art Study. (2003). Retrieved on April 18 from edu/madison/about/draft_eir/appendix_f_purpose. pdf+benefits+California+art+study&hl=en&ie=UTF-8

Encarta Online Dictionary. (2004). Retrieved on April 17 from http://encarta.

Jacobs, V. and Goldberg, M. (1999). Teaching Core Curriculum Content through the Arts. Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association. Ontario, Canada.

Swan-Hudkins, B. (2002). The Effect of an Elementary Fine Arts Program on Students’. M. A. Thesis. Salem International University. Salem, West Virginia.

Debbie Cluff is the owner and tutoring of Links for Learning, She has recieved her Masters in Education and is currently teaching 1st grade in Orem, Utah. She has two children and is the oldest of 10 kids.

Cognitive Skills Determine Learning Ability

Research has shown that cognitive skills are a determining factor of an individual’s learning ability. Cognitive skills are mental skills that are used in the process of acquiring knowledge; according to the skills that “separate the good learners from the so-so learners. ” In essence, when cognitive skills are strong, learning is fast and easy. When cognitive skills are weak, learning becomes a struggle.

Many children become frustrated and find schoolwork difficult because they do not have the cognitive skills required to process information properly. Many employees find themselves stuck in dead-end jobs that do not tap into their true vocational potential due to weak cognitive skills. In the later years of life, a lack of cognitive skills – poor concentration, the inability to focus, and memory loss – is a common problem that accompanies us.

It should be noted that, irrespective of age, cognitive skills can be improved with the right training. Weak cognitive skills can be strengthened, and normal cognitive skills can be enhanced to increase ease and performance in learning.

The following cognitive skills are the most important:


Concentration is the ability to focus the attention on one single thought or subject, excluding everything else from the field of awareness. It is one of the most important abilities one should possess, as nothing great can be achieved without it.

Students need to concentrate and focus on completing a homework assignment, a project, or review for a test in order to excel in school, learn the subject, and get good grades. Athletes need to concentrate on performance, execution, and strategy in order to do their best and overcome their opponent. Entrepreneurs need to concentrate on all the factors involved in starting a new business and promoting their product or service. They need to do this in order to get their idea off the ground and make their enterprise into a profitable entity. Business leaders need to concentrate on their company mission, vision, and strategies, as well as the work at hand, in order to stay ahead of their competitors. Workers need to concentrate on their jobs and fulfilling their supervisor’s goals, in order to complete projects and advance in their careers.

Improving the ability to concentrate allows a person to avoid the problems, embarrassment, and difficulties that occur when the mind wanders. Better concentration makes studying easier and speeds up comprehension. It enables one to take advantage of the social and business opportunities that arise when individuals are fully attuned to the world around them. It helps one to focus on one’s goals and achieve them more easily.


Sensation is the pickup of information by our sensory receptors, for example the eyes, ears, skin, nostrils, and tongue. In vision, sensation occurs as rays of light are collected by the two eyes and focused on the retina. In hearing, sensation occurs as waves of pulsating air are collected by the outer ear and transmitted through the bones of the middle ear to the cochlear nerve.

Perception, on the other hand, is the interpretation of what is sensed. The physical events transmitted to the retina may be interpreted as a particular color, pattern, or shape. The physical events picked up by the ear may be interpreted as musical sounds, a human voice, noise, and so forth.

Lack of experience may cause a person to misinterpret what he has sensed. In other words, perception represents our apprehension of a present situation in terms of our past experiences, or, as stated by the philosopher Immanuel Kant (1724-1804): “We see things not as they are but as we are. “

Deficits in visual perception can hinder a person’s ability to make sense of information received through the eyes, while deficits in auditory perception interferes with an individual’s ability to analyze or make sense of information received through the ears.

A classic example of a deficit in visual perception is the child who confuses letters such as b, d, p and q. Many adults find their reading speed to be inadequate as a result of underlying perceptual deficits.

By improving accuracy and speed of perception, one is able to absorb and process information accurately and quickly. Reading speed will also improve and reading problems can be overcome.


Memory is probably the most important of all cognitive functions.

Roughly speaking, the sensory register concerns memories that last no more than about a second or two. If a line of print were flashed at you very rapidly, say, for one-tenth of a second, all the letters you can visualize for a brief moment after that presentation constitute the sensory register.

When you are trying to recall a telephone number that was heard a few seconds earlier, the name of a person who has just been introduced, or the substance of the remarks just made by a teacher in class, you are calling on short-term memory, or working memory. This lasts from a few seconds to a minute; the exact amount of time may vary somewhat. You need this kind of memory to retain ideas and thoughts as you work on problems. In writing a letter, for example, you must be able to keep the last sentence in mind as you compose the next. To solve an arithmetic problem like (3 X 3) (4 X 2) in your head, you need to keep the intermediate results in mind (i. e. , 3 X 3 = 9) to be able to solve the entire problem.

A poor short-term memory may lead to difficulties in processing, understanding and organization. By improving one’s short-term memory, one is better able to process, understand and organize incoming information.

Long-term memory is the ability to store information and later retrieve it, and lasts from a minute or so to weeks or even years. From long-term memory you can recall general information about the world that you learned on previous occasions, memory for specific past experiences, specific rules previously learned, and the like.

Research has shown that, on average, within 24 hours one forgets 80% of what one has learned. By improving long-term memory schoolchildren and students are able to store and retrieve information more effectively.

Visual memory is a person’s ability to remember what he has seen, while auditory memory is a person’s ability to remember what he has heard. Various researchers have stated that as much as eighty percent of all learning takes place through the eye. Needless to say, improving visual memory will have a tremendous effect on a person’s learning ability. The same is true of improving auditory memory.


Logical thinking is a learned process in which one uses reasoning consistently to arrive at a conclusion. Problems or situations that involve logical thinking call for structure, for relationships between facts, and for chains of reasoning that “make sense. “

According to Dr. Albrecht, author of “Brain Building”, the basis of all logical thinking is sequential thought. This process involves taking the important ideas, facts, and conclusions involved in a problem and arranging them in a chain-like progression that takes on a meaning in and of itself. To think logically is to think in steps.

The ability to think logically allows a person to reject quick and easy answers, such as “I don’t know, ” or “this is too difficult, ” by empowering him to delve deeper into his thinking processes and understand better the methods used to arrive at a solution. It has been shown that training in logical thinking processes makes a person brighter.

Visit Susan’s website A 2 Z of Learning for information on Audiblox and Compublox, two cognitive enhancement programs, designed to improve concentration, perception, memory, and logical thinking. *** This article can be freely used as long as a link to “A 2 Z of Learning” (
) is provided.

What Does Your Name Mean?

Are you interested in what your name means? Well, actually all & every name that exists is a Numerology name as every letter in your name can be attributed to a number & that corresponding number has a meaning that in turn says something about you!

In fact the first letter and vowel of your name is taken very seriously in Numerology.

This is because your first name is the usual way in which you are referred to.

Numerology is all to do with cosmic vibrations and when your name is spoken a vibration is released from the letters of your first name and that energy is being put out there into the Universe.

Without getting too heavy; basically your first name holds a lot of meaning.

So what does the first letter and vowel of your name actually say about you?

If your name starts with either A, J or S then you definitely have qualities of leadership.

If your name starts with B, K or T then you are known for your kindness & co-operation.

If your name starts with C, L or U then you are intelligent & creative.

If your name starts with D, M or V then you are very hard-working.

If your name starts with E, N or W then you are popular, versatile & attractive.

If your name starts with F, O or X then you are family-minded & loving.

If your name starts with G, P or Y then you are a self-starter & a deep thinker.

If your name starts with H, Q or Z then you are very materialistic.

If your name starts with I or R then you are humanitarian & emotional.

But what about the first vowel in your name?

A= You are very individualistic & independent.

E= You are versatile & live for the moment.

I= You are intuitive & understanding.

O=You take on the responsibility of making sure that everyone’s happy.

U= You are good at teaching others and very sympathetic.

So now you know that your name is also a Numerology name & what it means!

Discover more about what the whole of your name means by letting me become your personal Numerologist. All of my readings and insights are worked out by me. I don’t use software at all. I just put my 15 years experience and psychic flashes into everything I do. It costs nothing to join my free newsletter which you can subscribe to at my site

Custom Essays On Internet Has Changed People’s Lifestyle

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Custom essays on the subject internet has changed the lifestyle of people can be written easily by any professional writer. If you feel that you are not confident to write on this subject and might lose grades by attempting the task on your own, you can always take the assistance of custom writing services. The professional and experienced writers of the custom writing services know how to present a term paper on this subject and so it would not be a tough task for them to present a well-written assignment on this subject.

If you have decided to take the assistance of the custom essays for saving your grades, you should give them the complete set of instruction that you have received from your college. They would check the details and present the custom essay as your instructor wants it to be. Therefore, if you take their assistance, you can be assured of receiving the best assistance at all time. However, before taking the assistance of the custom writing services, you should check the background record of the service. By checking the background record of the service, you can easily understand whether they would be able to meet your requirement or not. You should also ensure the quality guarantee and the deadline guarantee of the service before you take their assistance. Also ensure about the price guarantee of the custom writing service if you want to get the best assistance at a reasonable price.

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Numerology – Life Challenge Number

In Numerology, numerologists use 3 individual numbers to represent the life challenges. These numbers interpretations represent the obstacles, hurdles and difficulties that you will face during certain phases of your life.

The First Number is the Early Challenge Number. It represents the difficulties you may face in the first 28 years of your life.

The Second Number is the Middle Challenge Number. It represents the difficulties may face in the second 28 years of your life.

The Third Number is the Main Challenge Number. It emphasizes the difficulties that you may face in the latter part of your life. The Main Challenge Number also represents the chronic obstacles that you face your entire life.

The Main Challenge Number is said to be the most dominant of all the Challenge Numbers. It takes priority over the other 2 numbers because it represents obstacles that may come from within you. It is known as “the devil” that you may find yourself fighting with your entire life. It is that question that burned inside you that you hope you will have answered before you die.

The Early Challenge Number is less influential. It may represent problems that are more situational or episodic problems. It indicates problems that can be due to circumstances or your parents. These problems usually appears as the child matures and enters the Middle Years of their Life Cycle.

The Middle Challenge Number also a number that depends on the situation and usually represents the hardship of the people around you. It can also represent behavioral problems and problems that are beyond your control.

Now to calculate your Challenge Numbers, first you reduce your day, month and year; your Life Path Number, down to a single digit. To calculate Your Challenge Number correctly you must reduce all numbers to a single digit, even master number 11 & 22.

For Example my Birthday is 4-14-1973

Month: 4

Day: 1 5=6

Year: 1 9 7 3-20 2 0=2

Calculating your Challenge Numbers is different then any others in Numerology, in this calculation you DO NOT want to total you day, month, and year numbers. You want to treat them eash as their own number.

To calculate your Early Life Challenge Number subtract your month number & your day from each other, the difference is your Early Challenge Number.

In my case, my month is 4 and my day is 6


My Early Challenge Number would be a 2.

Next your are going to calculate your Middle Challenge Number, to do this find the difference between your day & year numbers.

In my case, my day is 6 and my year is 2


My Middle Challenge Number would be a 4.

Don’t think you did something wrong if you get a 0 as your result for this calculation. In this particular calculation is rare but it is possible. There is an interpretation for this rare number.

And finally to get you Main Challenge Number you are going to subtract your Early Life Challenge Number from your Middle Life Challenge Number.

So mine would be, 4-2=2

My Main Life Challenge Number would be a 2.

If you end up with the same number more then once, as in my case, it could mean that it has doubly the impact in your life.

If you Early Challenge Number and your Middle Challenge Number are the same then it could mean that your childhood problems may dominate all of your years. It may also mean that some of the problems you have faced were beyond your control.

If your Middle Challenge Number is the same as your Main Challenge Number it could mean that most of your problems were made as an adult. When you read the interpretation of that number well give you clues as to when you are your own worst enemy.

If all three numbers are the same then it is safe to say that your stars are trying to make you learn a lesson in life by causing problems to arise where ever you go.

Here are the interpretations for your Life Challenge Numbers. The same interpretations are used for Early, Middle & Main Life Challenge Numbers.

Life Challenge Number 0

People with a challenge Number 0 may feel in general like
they are being confronted with difficulties that seem to be
relentless and coming from all directions. Usually people who
are zeros are very sophisticated spiritually and thought to
possess the abilities of all the other numbers. However they
have problem making definitive decisions and sticking with
them. In early life this can manifest as a difficult or
abusive childhood. In adult life you may overcome great
obstacles to succeed.

Life Challenge Number 1

People with a life challenge Number 1 may feel as if every
dream and ambition that they have is being thwarted by unfair
circumstances. Bitterness, defensiveness and blaming others
may be a chronic problem.
Usually this is due to being too pushy or aggressive. Even if
you are not unreliable or unpredictable, others may percieve
you as so. A gentler touch plus a well focused, methodical plan
can help you achieve your aims. You self-sabotage by plunging
ahead blindly.

Life Number Challenge Number 2

The challenges presented for a number two are oversensitivity
and a tendency towards self-centeredness. It may be difficult
for you to realize that you are not the center of the
universe. In your early years your lack of ambition, status
consciousness and need for approval from others may cause you
to have a poor self image. In adult life twos are very prone
to codependency, addiction and troubled relationships if they
cannot learn to let go of their resentments and blame.

Life Challenge Number 3

This represents a period in your life when you might find it
hard to focus either because of emotional or psychological
disturbances or because of boredom. Your attentions may be
scattered and you might also suffer from shyness. You may
have a great imagination or talent but have difficulty
expressing it. In childhood this can result in frustration
and introversion. In your adult years you may come off as too
arrogant or eccentric to be taken seriously by anyone.

Life Challenge Number 4

This number often suggests a difficulty with finding
employment or a gratifying the career. You just may not feel
like working or suffer from a disorder or disability that
prevents you from working. In your early years your
opportunities to learn may have been truncated by physical or
financial circumstances. In adulthood you may become an
irresponsible or impractical individual who can’t be trusted.

Life Challenge Number 5

This number usually defines a character that is unreasonable,
indecisive and easily irritated. You have an impulsive nature
and often run into trouble because you are unable to see the
consequences of your actions beforehand. In your early years this may result in an incomplete education or a number of
false starts in career. As adult your challenges manifest as
an inability to make decisions are acting in an overly
emotional as opposed to logical way.

Life Challenge Number 6

You may be a perfectionist and set standards for yourself and
others that are impossible to meet. You may come off as very
arrogant, controlling and demanding to others. As a child
you may have seriously butted horns with several authority
figures. As an adult you may have many unsettling
relationships because of your refusal to recognize that
others are entitle to their point of view. Your rigidity
could lead to a disorder such as obsessive compulsiveness.

Life Challenge Number 7

This number has a great deal of trouble dealing with
emotions. During this time in your life you may feel as if
you have to repress your feelings in order to survive. As a
child this can lead to introversion, obsessiveness and a
complete retreat from reality. As an adult you may suffer

from chronically negative thoughts and express them through
constant complaining or criticism of others. Many sevens are
hypochondriacs or manifest disease as a result of suppressed
anger or grief.

Life Challenge Number 8

A number 8 challenge indicates a kind of shallowness and
greed. You might define yourself and others by appearance,
possessions and by the amount of money that they have. As a
child you may have been clever, manipulative and insistent on
having your own way. As an adult you might value the pursuit
of money, power and status to the exclusion of all other
things. This can cost you dearly in terms of relationships,
family and friends.

Check out my daily blog for more Numerology, Astrology, Dreams and much more.

Math Activities One to One Correspondence

The concept of one-to-one correspondence requires two skills: (1) matching pairs and (2) comparing sets. Matching places two like items together as a pair while comparing determines which set has more or less. In these projects, the key is to focus on the language, emphasizing mathematical terms.

Books to Read
The following books teach one-to-one correspondence using stories. I love the impact a story has on understanding, and these books do a great job of packaging the mathematical ideas in a way that young children can comprehend.

Two of Everything: A Chinese Folk Tale by Lily Toy Hong
Knots on a Counting Rope by Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault
Seaweed Soup by Stuart J. Murphy
A Pair of Socks by Stuart J. Murphy
Missing Mittens by Stuart J. Murphy
Monster Musical Chairs by Stuart J. Murphy
Just Enough Carrots by Stuart J. Murphy
Some Things Go Together by Charlotte Zolotow

Projects to Learn Matching

Project #1
Take opportunity to point out situations where there is a matching set. Word emphasis: match, even, pair, each.

  • There are three cups and three straws. It is even.
  • Three children and three cookies. It is a match!
  • A pair of socks for your feet. One foot for each sock, and one sock for each foot.

Project #2
Provide the following items and allow the children to sort into pairs. Word emphasis: pair, match.

1 ice cube tray
2 screws
2 washers
2 electrical circuit binders
2 matching butterfly clips
2 matching hair pins
2 pennies
2 matching buttons

Project #3
Have a tea party with stuffed bears. Set one place setting for each bear. You could say, “One seat for each bear, and one bear for each seat. ” Word emphasis: each.

Project #4
Serve a lunch with matching shapes to make their own snacks. I used cookie cutters to cut the bread, cheese, and lunch meat into matching shapes. I provided at least two different shapes so that they would have to find the match in order to build their sandwiches. Word emphasis: match.

Project #5
Play the memory game. Word emphasis: pair, match.

Projects to Learn Comparing

Project #1
Take opportunity to point out situations where there is not enough or there is too much to go around. Word emphasis: more, less, fewer, even.

  • Oops, I grabbed one straw too many. There are three cups and four straws. There are more straws than cups.
  • We have six chairs at our table, but only four people in the family sitting at the table. That leaves two empty chairs because there are more chairs than people.
  • Today we have company, so we have eight people and only six chairs. We have fewer chairs than people, so we will need two more chairs.
  • Three children and four cookies. There are more cookies. If I eat one, it will be even.

Project #2
Invite the children to collect toys to put inside two hula hoops. Then count to see which hula hoop has more toys and which has fewer. Ask, “Which set of toys has more? Which set has fewer?” Word emphasis: set, more, fewer, even.

Project #3
Pour two cups of water and compare the volume. Which cup has more? Which has less? Word emphasis: more, less, even.

Project #4
Make sugar cookies and put chocolate chips on the frosting. Compare two cookies to see which has more chocolate chips. For an added lesson, determine how many chocolate chips need to be added to make them even. Word emphasis: more, fewer, even.

Rita Webb is a homeschooling mom for three young children, aged two, four, and six. Rita researches many homeschooling and parenting resources and writes reviews on these materials in her blog.

The Tao of Sullivan

Harry Stack Sullivan, M. D. (1892-1949) was the founder of the interpersonal theory of psychiatry. He is perhaps best known for his groundbreaking work with schizophrenics whom he compassionately called “the lonely ones” (Evans, 1996). A brilliant, complicated, deeply empathic, often irascible intellectual pioneer, he was among the first to deviate from Freud’s structural orthodoxy of the time. Sullivan uniquely viewed human development as forming wholly within the context of culture and inseparable from the interference of anxiety with respect to various patterns and problems in living (i. e. psychopathology).

My own interest in Sullivan dates back to a mental health field placement and a supervisor/mentor well versed in Sullivanian thought. My graduate curriculum, heavily psychodynamic and notably comprehensive, barely acknowledged him. I later came to find this was not unusual, even something of a phenomenon. Once exposed, Sullivan’s ideas became, for me, much less than another body of theory or technique than a kind of permission- a way of being with my clients that resonated viscerally. Without fully knowing it, and as is usually the case with therapist theory of choice, what I also found in Sullivan was clarity, validation and greater hope for resolution of my own particular problems in living. Most recently, my quest to integrate diverse elements of psychological and spiritual wisdom lead to the rediscovery of the “quantum” core of Sullivan’s ideas.

Sullivan’s work greatly influenced many schools of thought including ecological and family systems, (Yalom’s) interactional group theory, cognitive-behavioral therapy, contemporary relational theory and intersubjectivity. In addition, his work created an entirely new lens with which to understand and treat individuals with enduring maladaptive personality patterns. In the end, we can’t escape the obvious- psychotherapy, regardless of modality or orientation, is an intrinsically interpersonal process. Indeed Sullivan’s basic conception of personality, mental disorder and psychotherapy flowed from a single source- his fundamental assumption that human nature must be understood from the vantage point of interpersonal relations (Evans, 1996). But perhaps it is the spirit of unity binding his theory; that of the essential oneness of humanity and the human experience that best accounts for the intuitive, timeless applicability of his ideas and the mostly covert influence on the many hallowed theories with which we identify.

Monism, largely considered an Eastern conception with Indian philosophical origins (and subject to many interpretive definitions) is a metaphysical/theological view that all is of one essence, principle, substance or energy (Wikipedia, 2001). Sullivan’s placing of the personality itself within the interpersonal field presumes a larger metaphysical view based on the principle that life is a process and flux, a never static, continual series of energy transformations (Greenberg and Mitchell, 1983). This echoes his parallel conclusion that “the ultimate reality in the universe is energy” (Sullivan, 1953b). Sullivan’s oft-quoted One Genus Hypothesis “Everyone is much more simply more human than otherwise. . . ” (Sullivan, 1953b) illustrates the monistic heart of his worldview. For all its compassionate humility, it is also a painfully informed postulate rooted in Sullivan’s profound childhood isolation and early insecure/ambivalent attachments.

This exquisite awareness and Sullivan’s proposed developmental imperatives of interpersonal connectedness and cooperation, security, empathic attunement, compassion, tenderness and consensual validation would stem from a keen ability to sublimate and universalize the frustrations of his early environment. Sullivan, like most wounded observers of the human condition, generalized his experience and struck a primordial chord of universal truth that echoes in spite of the scant credit he receives to this day. (Ask three therapists today; one will have never heard or know little of his contributions. )

Holism, another concept with ancient Eastern roots and parallels to quantum mechanics, by definition, is the idea that all the properties of a given system cannot be determined or explained by the sum of its component parts alone, but the system as a whole determines how the parts behave (Wikipedia, 2001). Equal parts humanist, behaviorist, culturalist and psychiatrist, Sullivan was among the first to study and clinically operationalize the non-verbal aspects of the interaction between client and therapist as well as to expound a fundamentally holistic theory of Self as the sum of reflected appraisals of others (Sullivan, 1953a). Moreover, he was the first to conceptualize the role of the psychotherapist as one of participant-observer. Perhaps intuitively, Sullivan applied the observer effect phenomenon (similar to the Heisenberg Principle of theoretical physics) in which a difference is always made to an activity or person by the act of observation itself (Wikipedia, 2001). Sullivan’s participant-observer stance, in stark contrast to the “blank screen” of the psychoanalyst expanded the role and function of therapist to “co-creator” (to quote a contemporary new age term) of the psychotherapy experience. The new paradigm undoubtedly re-contextualized (and likely neutralized) iatrogenic patient responses through the introduction of the first truly holistic, two-person psychology in which a patient is viewed through the wider lens of the therapist-patient dyad.

For all his subjective madness, undeniable brilliance, alleged deviances and idiosyncratic interpersonalisms, Sullivan’s core axiomatic principles, not unlike most deceptively simple and timeless Eastern philosophical/metaphysical concepts remain vital and relevant today despite his comparatively obscure legacy. Unlike some of his contemporaries, Sullivan dwelled little on themes of fantasy, spirit, soul or love. He steered clear of distinctly teleological arguments, remaining foremost interested in the pragmatic, and more directly inferable problems in living that affected everyone, most notably himself. There is of course more to Sullivan than presented here, yet it may in fact be the Tao of Sullivan that best accounts for his broad applicability and enduring importance in this whole business of understanding and uniting in our inescapably common humanity. For this, he should not be forgotten.

Evans, F. Barton III (1996) Harry Stack Sullivan; Interpersonal theory and psychotherapy. New York: Routledge.

Greenberg, J. & Mitchell, S. (1983) Object Relations in Psychoanalytic Theory. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Sullivan, H. S. (1953a) Conceptions of Modern Psychiatry. New York: W. W. Norton & Co. , Inc.

Sullivan, H. S. (1953) The Interpersonal Theory of Psychiatry. New York: W. W. Norton & Co. , Inc.

Wikipedia (2001) World Wide Web.

Chris Hancock, MSW, practices therapy in Nashville and focuses on creating meaningful, therapeutic relationships with his clients to enhance self-acceptance, the foundation of change. Chris can be contacted here and also here

BISE lahore Board 9th Class result 2011 Online here

The beginning of the fall semester is fast approaching and many students are entering university for the first time. This is an exciting time for students who not only moves away from home for the first time, but are also exploring new intellectual possibilities. For many students this is also a very stressful time. Much of the students are poorly prepared for the academic demands made of them when they begin their college career. This is not because they have good teachers or to attend quality schools. The problem lies in the fact that most schools do not teach students how to learn effectively. Students are taught rather than memorize information if required, you will receive a low score. Thus begins a long cycle of life carried out for fear of bad results. This cycle is counterproductive and keeps students from realizing their full potential. The good news is that this cycle can be undone and here are 4 simple steps you can take to make learning any new information or skill easy, natural and enjoyable.

1) Relax, learning is connected to the Neurology
In the chaos of required readings, term papers and lab reports that is common to feel overwhelmed by the sheer amount of information that requires attention. During these times is essential to remember that you can learn the information because your brain is wired that way. Thanks to the neuroplasticity of the brain has the ability to grow new neural connections. That means your brain is in continuous change and development. If not for neuroplasticity would not be able to encode new memories. It also would not have been able to learn reading, writing and other important things throughout your life. This means you can relax. There’s nothing you can not learn. It’s just a matter of finding the right way for you.

We tend to process information through three main modalities: visual, auditory and kinesthetic. Although they tend to be biased toward the modality over others, most students the efficient use of the three in his favor. This can be done in a thousand ways and creative. Draw, write the information down, listen to lectures, watch films, to model and act things are powerful tools for integrating new knowledge quickly. This is because they are strengthening the neural connections in the brain to the specific information. The more senses are involved the most rapid and efficient learning process becomes. Think about when you learned to multiply. His math book most likely had pictures and equations. Your teacher may have used the recitation of multiplication tables and maybe even to count out candy. All these worked together to create strong partnerships so now the multiplication tables are automatic.
Studies have shown that the role of training peer-to-peer learning effect can not be overstated. This is because it forces us to think about the information in new ways. We have to anticipate trouble spots of another person and go beyond that. This should do the same. Form study groups and teaching practice of information between themselves. You then have the added benefit of a review session with the experience you get the teaching material. If you do not have a study group can work with then use your imagination. Consider ways you can teach the material for others to understand quickly and easily.

Your brain is a muscle like any other and therefore need to rest. BISE lahore Board 9th Class Result 2011 online here. lahore board 9th class result 2011 and 9th Class result 2011 Bise lahore here

Muscles are built through a cycle of activity and rest. Give rest to the muscle’s ability to repair and grow. If you study consistently and do not take a break after you reach a point to burn very quickly in that he can not remember the new material. “All the sleepless nights, ” are definitely off the table. If you study the same material for 3 hours or 12 years, still recalls the same amount. Take breaks during a study session. Usually a half hour of study and five or ten minutes of rest are best. This also means a good night’s sleep. Be properly rested neurons means that they will work at optimal levels.

The Nature of Intelligence

Over the last 25 years we have more than doubled our understanding of how the brain works. All the new research is good news for humans, but it severely dents many long held beliefs.

First of all, intelligence is not fixed at birth. It can, and should be developed throughout life from childhood to old age.

Second. Intelligence does not deteriorate with age. We do not lose 30,000 brain cells every day, or every time we have a beer or a whisky, though an excess of alcohol or drugs can cause brain cell deterioration but so too can the stress hormone cortisol.

Third. Intelligence isn’t even a single entity. Professor Howard Gardner of Harvard has identified 7 different types of intelligence, two in the left hemisphere of the brain, what I call the masculine brain and five on the right hemisphere, what I call the feminine brain. The masculine intelligences are maths/logic and linguistics and until the mid 80’s were still regarded as the only intelligences worth having. The school system is based on them. Gardner eventually recognised an 8th intelligence, spirituality now called naturalistic IQ, based in the right hemisphere. Below is the full list. See if you recognise yourself.

Our 8 IQs

Linguistic – well developed in people who are good with words, who like to write and read a lot. Examples: authors, journalists, orators and comedians.

Mathematical/Logical – well developed in people who are good with numbers and appreciate step-by-step, logical explanations. Examples: engineers, economists, scientists, lawyers and accountants.

Visual/Spatial – well developed in people who are good at art, visualising, navigating. Examples: architects, photographers, painters, strategic planners, and sculptors.

Musical – well developed in people who are good at music and rhyme, and who have natural rhythm. Examples: composers, musicians and recording engineers.

Bodily/Physical – well developed in people who are good at sport, dance, and handicrafts. Examples: athletes, sportspersons, carpenters, surgeons, builders.

Interpersonal – well developed in people who are good at persuading, selling, teaching others, and who can read other people’s moods well. Examples: teachers, trainers, politicians, religious leaders, sales people.

Intra-Personal or Reflective – well developed in people who are good at self-analysis and reflection, drawing conclusions from their own experience (and mistakes!), setting goals and making plans. Examples are philosophers, psychologists, therapists, entrepreneurs. People who make things happen.

Naturalistic – well developed in people who like and respect nature and are interested in subjects like astronomy, evolution and the environment. Examples: farmers, vets, biologists, gardeners and environmentalists.

Do you recognise your strongest intelligences from the list?

Finally, and perhaps the most startling point of all. Women are potentially far more intelligent than men. That statement isn’t 100% true. It should read: Feminine thinkers are potentially more intelligent than masculine thinkers, because feminine and masculine in this case cut across the genders of male and female.

The most obvious example of this was Margaret Thatcher, a very masculine, machine like thinker. Her strictly utilitarian, non feminine approach to problems, though successfully economically, did considerable social damage to the UK from which we are still suffering today. The late Carl Sagan on the other hand, was primarily a feminine thinker, despite being a scientist. He was brilliant, charming and worked tirelessly for the benefit of humanity.

Feminine of course, in the context of thinking should not be confused with effeminate or female. Many men are born right hemisphere dominant. The theatre, the music industry, advertising and films are full of right brain dominant men.

Of our eight intelligences six are on the feminine right side of the brain, our creative intelligences. They can handle information at the rate of one and one quarter million bits of information per second i. e. 1,250,000 bits per second whereas the poor old masculine brain can only handle forty bits per second, yes 40, four zero.

Masculine thinking is straight lined, sequential, non-emotional and thinks in words. Feminine thinking is flexible, has depth and breadth, is creative, emotional and almost limitless in it’s imaginative properties and it thinks in pictures, which is why it’s so much faster. A picture tells a thousand words. Masculine thinking demands one task at a time whereas feminine thinking allows multi-tasking. The BBC programme Panorama did a programme in 1997 called the Future is Female. What they meant is The Future is Feminine. They failed to take into account the large number of feminine male thinkers.

School Failures

From all this new research has sprung three new terms: Wholebrain Learning i. e. Accelerated Learning; and its consequence, Integrated Intelligence. Wholebrain Learning is Left and Right Hemisphere (brain) working together but because the Right Brain is so much faster it is dominant. Despite this, the majority of school failures are Right Brain Dominant. They are totally misunderstood and often put down by a largely Left Brain teaching staff as being lazy and difficult. They often end up withdrawn or downright disruptive.

Right Brain pupils, especially boys, are sensitive, creative daydreamers who take failure and criticism very badly, unlike their left-brain counterparts who are much less emotionally affected by other people’s perception of them.

What is Intelligence?

Intelligence is the linking of brain cells (neurones) by connective tissue known as dendrites. The gaps between the connecting dendrites are known as synapses (the synaptic gap). Everyone is born with 12 to 15 thousand million, brain cells, each cell capable of holding information. But each cell can make up to 100,000 connections to other cells and it’s those connections, which effectively make up Intelligence. The more cells which are connected the more information we can work with and the more ideas we can come up with. Effectively the more synapses we have the greater our intelligence. Unfortunately much of our Right Brain creativity is being killed off by an over abundance of Left Brain training at school or by many university courses.

Live Longer

What this means is that everyone on the planet has the same intellectual potential. It means also that there is no such thing as stupidity, only levels of intelligence, all of which can be developed up to the day we die. Indeed, if stupidity exists at all, it exists as a defence mechanism. It also means that age is no barrier to intellectual development. On the contrary, the more we keep our brain active, the longer we are likely to live, i. e. healthy mind, healthy body. To this end The Edinburgh Techniques are about to launch a Thinking Skills programme in late 2005.


Expectations are crucial in any field of development, but especially in education. If you expect something to happen, you are already half way to achieving it. The American psychologist Rosenthal divided a class in two, following a series of class IQ tests. He told the teacher he had divided the class in two halves according to the results, bright on the left, less bright on the right, but not to tell them why they were thus divided and above all, not to treat them differently.

Eight months later the class results of the ‘brighter’ group were up by 30%, even their IQ tests scored higher. Incredible really as Rosenthal had chosen the names for the original lists at random, but because the teacher expected the ‘brighter’ group to do better, as much as she tried, she unwittingly conveyed this message to them over the months following Rosenthal dividing the class. She also conveyed the opposite view to the other half of the class.

For this reason it is crucial that all teachers be made aware of the new research which offers neurological evidenc
e, that all intelligence can be developed. Without question, some of us are natural mathematicians, or musicians or organisers or writers, but all of us can and should develop the weaker parts of our intellect to bring them up to at least average.

Social Conditioning and Lack of Confidence

One major reason for poor academic achievement is the switch from really trying to make the grade, to looking as if you have already made the grade. We’re talking image building here. Even those who are making the grade as footballers, pop stars etc get caught up in teenage image building where loud mouth and super cool swagger replace reality. A false confidence often bordering on arrogance masks the reality of fear, lack of confidence and low self-esteem. This means individuals never solve their problems therefore never move on because their attitude is, problems? What problems? So how can you begin to solve what isn’t (perceived) to be there?

This is all perfectly understandable under the circumstances, but unfortunately by not facing up to the problems of lack of confidence, low self-esteem and poor educational standards, it hinders the progress of intellectual development.

To over come any problem we must first of all recognise that the problem exists. Parents and teachers must find ways of encouraging their children to learn without putting them under unnecessary pressure or trying to terrify them into working. Parents and teachers must find ways of learning how to relax so they don’t over-react to their children’s normal mistakes by shouting and they should never physically hit their children for making mistakes. That is so counter productive.

Parents must continue to stretch their own intellectual potential at every opportunity to lead their children by example. Love, kindness and gentleness should be by words in all schools and homes. All children need that. All children deserve that. You deserve that. You also deserve the joy this new approach will bring to your homes and communities.

Defence Mechanisms

Every Human Being is programmed to learn. Therefore any child who shirks the learning process is doing so because his inner defence mechanisms, over which he has no control, have been set up to protect him from further emotional hurt. They are designed to shield him from the pain of failure, which he is experiencing during the learning process. Let us all adopt these simple concepts:

Failure is OK. It’s part of the Learning Process.


Mistakes are our Best Friends.

The only people who don’t fail are those who never try. We learn from our mistakes, pick ourselves up and try again. And when our students make a mistake let’s not be too ready to point it out before first pointing up the part of the answer they have got right e. g. 95% correct, but just a little mistake here, rather than: WRONG! With the emphasis on the mistake and completely ignoring the bits he got right. Let’s remember that children are easily hurt. Indeed. Are even we as adults not easily hurt if we look silly in front of others? But who’s perfect? People, especially the young should always be given credit for trying and if they fail they should be encouraged to have another go and helped where possible to succeed next time.

Teachers Fail as well as Students

Because everyone can learn and is programmed to do so, anyone who is failing to learn is not being taught properly. If our students aren’t picking ideas up, isn’t it up to us as educators and/or parents to find another way of presenting the information? Humans aren’t machines all programmed exactly the same way. We now know there are numerous learning styles, which we should all become familiar with.

Student failure is a failure of communication between educator and student. It’s the educator’s job to find a way of communicating his information to the student. Accelerated Learning Techniques, which are now available to schools via Classroom Resources in Bristol, can overcome any problems with spelling, tables or reading. We have no excuse for not having the tools to overcome our problems as communicators.

Anxiety Problems

As a therapist in the 70’s and 80’s working in the field of dyslexia and slow learners I soon discovered that all of the students, irrespective of age or background, were being hampered by anxiety or second stage anxiety, tension. I used visualisation to help the under 12’s (The Magic Garden) and hypnosis for the over 12’s (The Study Relaxer). The techniques were not only successful in calming the students down (including stopping bed wetting, nightmares and sleepwalking within days) they also produced dramatic improvements in the learning process.

Modern research shows why. The seat of short-term memory is in the Limbic System, i. e. mid brain. It also controls, among other things, the emotions. When the emotions are upset, the brain switches to fight or flight mode during which time little or no learning can take place until the student is calm again. Fear is the enemy of learning, whether the student is 5 or 55. More frightening is the permanent damage which the stress hormone cortisol can do to the Hippocampus, an integral part of laying down new memories.

Up to 40% of the Hippocampus can be destroyed

by prolonged stress

The Edinburgh Techniques

Almost everyone who has learning difficulties is right brain dominant, i. e. big picture thinkers. They prefer to see the big picture first then fill in the details as they go along. Despite the right side of the brain being far more powerful than the left, RB children fall behind at school because they can’t pick up on the details of tables and spellings. They appear ‘stupid’ whilst often being far more intelligent than their ‘cleverer’ LB classmates.

The first thing this damages is confidence and self esteem, without which learning is much more difficult. After a short while on this downward spiral, they begin to lose hope and give up. The Edinburgh Techniques, developed in the mid 80’s for children of the rich and famous (as it turned out), are based on Wholebrain Learning which is Right Brain dominant, allowing even 7 year old dyslexics to spell words like Psychiatrist and Encyclopedia in the first session. (Because the technique is visually based, students can also spell the words backwards. That has to be seen to be believed. If anything shows they are not stupid, spelling PSYCHIATRIST backwards does. ) The best then go onto learn a technique for the 12 times table (up to 12 x 19) in the same session.

You can imagine what this does for flagging confidence and low self esteem. Suddenly students see a way forward and are keen to learn more. The techniques cover all aspects of learning and include 2 Relaxation CDs, the Magic Garden for the under 12s and the Study Relaxer for 12 and over. A written version of the Garden is now available in 7 languages including Chinese and Arabic.

The techniques can be viewed and downloaded at:


Every one of us has the same intellectual potential, but not the same Intellectual abilities. I can give a speech in front of thousands of people from only a few notes and keep the audience interested and amused for 2 or 3 hours. I can organise and run political campaigns with ease. I have a good grasp of BIG subjects like politics and psychology but I am slow at learning languages and other detailed subject matter. Engineering and maths beyond 10th grade leave me cold. Many of you reading this will say no, maths is easy, it’s logical. You can check your work. There are guidelines. I don’t know how you can work with such amorphous subjects like politics and psychology.

The reason for the differences are the way our intelligences link up and whether we are right hemisphere dominant or left, people orientated or fact orientated.

Two important facts to bear in mind are these:

One: It is never too late to take up or resume learning. All learning makes the brain progressively bette

Two: Information in itself is not intelligence. Intelligence is the use of information not the gathering of it.

Finally. As we move through the 21st century change will become even faster and more complicated. We must always be ready to move with the times. No generation in history is right about everything. Even the most deeply held beliefs of past generations have been found to be ridiculous. Spare the rod and spoil the child belongs in the 19th century and has no place in a modern society. If we can’t lead our children to the Promised Land we certainly aren’t going to be able to beat them into it. Let’s take off the pressure. Let’s encourage and applaud effort. Let’s try and be more understanding about the difficulties of our students. Let’s remember to accentuate the positives, not the negatives and we will all be amazed and delighted with the results.

Brian Hill MA (Edin) is an Educationalist, formerly at the Edinburgh Centre for Accelerated Learning and a consultant at the Stress Management Centre in Harley Street, London.

In the 80’s he developed a range of Whole-brain Learning Techniques to help dyslexics and slow learners who came to the Edinburgh Centre from all over the UK. In the mid 90’s the Techniques were written up and they have been selling ever since over the Internet. Later in 1997 Classroom Resources were licensed to sell The Edinburgh Techniques throughout UK schools until Dec 2004 since when they have been updated and are now available as downloads from the Edinburgh site.

Those same techniques plus Thinking Skills 1 and 2 can now be downloaded from:

This article may be reproduced completely or in part as long as the website: is acknowledged.

Running Records of Text Reading and Miscue Analysis at the Intermedia

A Running Record (or modified miscue analysis) is when a student reads out loud and the teacher records every error made on a duplicate copy of the text. It is an important assessment tool for several reasons:

  • First, it allows the teacher to identify an appropriate reading level for the student.
  • Second, it reveals how well a student is self-monitoring their reading.
  • Finally, it identifies which reading strategies a student is using (or not using).

Running Records allow teachers to run an assessment-driven, differentiated program that targets the specific needs of their students.


Miscue Analysis

  • Miscues are more than just “oral reading errors”, but a way to understand children’s existing reading strategies and to help students learn more effective new strategies.

Running Records

  • A Running Record is a teacher simplification to run a miscue analysis in the busy reality of the classroom (Clay, 1985). PM Benchmarks is an example of a commercial resource that offers a graduated program of reading texts to use for running records. Although primarily designed and used with young children, a running record can provide important information for the Intermediate teacher.

Informal Reading Inventories

  • Robb (2000) argues that running records are appropriate for students “who are at the emergent and beginning stages of reading” or read with poor fluency, but recommends using a reading inventory to complete a modified miscue analyis of intermediate students’ oral reading.
  • Informal Reading Inventories are similar to running records. They consist of graded word lists (to determine sight vocabulary – Word Recognition) and graded story passages (to determine literal and inferential comprehension – Comprehension. )

Informal Reading Inventories are typically given to all students in the fall and again in the Spring if possible to note growth and change (Cohen & Wiener, 2003). In comparison, Running Records are administered more frequently to guide instruction.

Psychologist Lev Vygotsky (Mind in Society, 1978) coined the term “zone of proximal development” as the level of difficulty between what a learner can do independently and what they can do with support.

  • Students working below the zone will not learn as much because the work is too easy.
  • Students working above the zone will not benefit as much because the text is too hard. “When the text is too hard, comprehension is simply impossible. ” (Fountas & Pinnell, 1996b, p156)
  • Students working in the zone will experience the most growth because they are working at the cutting edge of their zone of learning. (Au, Carroll & Scheu, 1997)

The goal is to have students reading in the zone. A running record / miscue analysis allows us to identify what level students are reading at in order to have students reading texts that are just right.

Running Records allows teachers to make data-based decisions to guide whole-class instruction (using modeled or shared reading), small-group instruction (guided reading), and to ensure students are reading appropriately challenging texts during independent reading. Miscue analysis allows you to run a targeted and differentiated program:

  • Identify particular difficulties that a student might be having. (Assessment for Learning)
  • Aid in the creation of homogeneous guided reading groups. (Differentiated instruction)
  • Monitor the progress of a student.
  • Allow different students to move at different speeds. (Differentiated growth)
  • Provides assessment and evaluation data for reporting purposes.
    Both the teacher and the student have a copy of a levelled text. As the student reads out loud, the teacher makes notes on their copy of the text. Every error is recorded and a standardized set of conventions are used to record miscues. Questions are usually asked at the end to gauge comprehension. A miscue analysis should take about 10 minutes. (See appendix for instructions. )

    Text samples are typically between 100 to 200 words. It is suggested that a student read from several different levels of texts: an easy text (95-100% correct), an instructional text (90-94% correct), and a hard text (80-89% correct). These three samples can provide insights into a students’ strengths (using easier texts) and weaknesses (using more difficult texts) (Clay, 1985).

    A miscue analysis can determine the level of text the student should be reading, whether they are self-monitoring when they read, and they kinds of decoding strategies they use.

    1. Identify an appropriate reading level (Accuracy Rate)
    2. Identify how well a student is self monitoring while reading (Self Correction Rate)
    3. Identify which reading strategies a student is using (or not using)


    • The challenge in the intermediate classroom is to build time during the literacy block to do a running record / miscue analysis. Students need to be trained to do other things to buy the teacher time to do miscue analysis or guided reading groups.
    • A larger challenge is finding resources that can be used at the intermediate level. PM benchmarks can be used for students who are significantly below grade level, however, teachers may end up making their own running record texts by selecting 100-200 words from a levelled text. Finding high-interest levelled texts for intermediate students is a challenge.
    • Finally, there is a learning curve associated with using this assessment tool. Accuracy in catching errors will improve over time. Clay notes that “as your ear becomes tuned-in to reading behaviours and you gain control over the recording conventions, your records will become more and more reliable. ” (Clay 1993, p.24 as cited in Cohen & Wiener, 2003, p 127)

    If you’re ready to start doing running records or miscue analysis for Intermediate Students, we’re here to help at – where you’ll find this information and more detailed information about how to integrate technology in the classroom.