Teaching Kids to Write for the Web Using Write W.A.V.E. Media
by Lyn Lomasi, Write W.A.V.E. Media Staff
Looking for something different and useful to add to your student's writing curriculum? What about web writing? More specifically, how about using guest blogging at Write W.A.V.E. Media (WWM) as part of that instruction? There are no age requirements for posting on these sites, only certain access restrictions (an adult account is required for those under 13, due to usage rules related to hosting and creation tools). There are also several sites within the network, covering just about any topic. This can be adapted into a traditional classroom curriculum or for homeschooled students. As a seasoned homeschool parent and a long-time web writer, I've done this with my own children in various ways.
In the beginning, give your student a chance to get familiar with how the process works. Most importantly, allow him or her to learn how the publishing system works. The first submissions should simply be whatever the student feels like writing. This could be poems, articles, or even school papers. Let him or her feel comfortable with using the sites, learning a few things, and gaining a readership. Also, remember to allow for some of this in between assignments as well. Keep the experience fun and not just a chore.
Many ad and affiliate companies require an account holder to be 18 or older. However, it can still be a learning experience and will help ensure they are knowledgeable when they do qualify for payments. You also might choose to sign up for one or more of these and simply transfer any earnings to your student. If your student chooses to publish in other places around the web or to publish books (or sell products or services) that can be linked to from their posts at Write W.A.V.E. Media, links to those might also help them earn. Also, reprints of content are sometimes purchased by clients. In this case, we always give the writer 100% profit from their own content (minus any processing fees by PayPal).
Teaching Web Writing Using Write W.A.V.E. Media
There are many great tips on web writing at the Write W.A.V.E. Media blog, as well as the Article Writer For Hire blog. The WWM forum and the WWM Facebook group also might be useful. Let your students read up on those and implement the lessons into their writing. A very useful tool to combine with lessons learned from those sources is the Yahoo! Style Guide. We also provide submission guidelines and other instructions. Gauge the success of your student's web writing skills by constantly examining their work to see which techniques are applied.
Benefits of Web Writing Skills
No matter the career choice of your students, web writing skills can be a plus. These lessons can be useful in college, as well as in the workforce. Web writing can be used in marketing, journalism, business ownership, business management, editing, and much more. Pretty much any business or company should have a website and web writing skills can be useful in creating and maintaining it.
Grading Based on Performance and Quality
When grading your student on lessons learned, look at both quality and performance. Are the pieces written well? Grade web writing similar to other school papers as far as grammar and spelling. But don't forget the various aspects of internet text, such as SEO and ad alignment. Have they followed our submission guidelines or are they at risk of getting their content edited or removed? Are they getting decent page views on WWM? Is there mostly positive or negative feedback? How much interaction are they getting? What are the readers saying? Is their content being shared by others?
by Monica Langley, Teacher and How-To Specialist
Do you desire to be a truly effective teacher? This advice can help to transform your classroom style from tired and tedious to dynamic and engaging. These few steps will guide you on how to be the best teacher.
Step 1: Set an Example for Your Students to Follow
As the teacher, the example that you set will set the tone for your classroom. Students will pick up on your demeanor, attitude, words, and actions. Project an attitude of calm, confidence, professionalism, and respect. This will earn you the trust and respect from your students that you desire.
Step 2: Define Rules and Consequences
Define rules and consequences from your first day in the classroom. Then, when the clearly defined rules are violated, make sure that you consistently follow through on consequences.
Step 3: Remember to Show Consideration
The way to build lasting relationships with your students is to demonstrate interest in them as individuals. This does not mean that you slack on enforcement of rules, but that even when you do need to take disciplinary action, it is done with a gentle (though firm) attitude. Be responsive to each student's unique needs.
Step 4: Incorporate Variety in Your Classroom
Try to incorporate variety into your classroom by using different teaching methods. Every learner is different. Not every student has the same learning style. The more variety that's in the activities you incorporate into the classroom, the less likely students will be bored – and the more likely you will be to reach each type of learner in your class.
Step 5: Be Willing to Search for Unknown Answers
Even if you have to go out of your way to search for an answer, make sure students know that you care about helping them find answers to their questions. If they see expressing diligence and determination to discover the unknown, that attitude will often be imitated by your students.
Step 6: Find Out What Your Students Understand
Ask questions to find out what knowledge the students may already have obtained about a topic you are starting to teach. Pretest on the topic, letting them know that the test will not receive a grade, but that you are just assessing their knowledge. This will give you an idea on which areas of the topic you will need to discuss more thoroughly than others.
Step 7: Allow for Friendly Competition
For some students, competition can be a great incentive for learning. Make sure that students are never allowed to put one another down. These competitions can come in the form of spelling bees, group projects, or review games involving different teams. Allowing for friendly competition can liven up the learning environment and help prepare students for the competition they will one day face when entering the work force.
Step 8: Plan your Lessons Carefully
Each lesson should have three main points reflecting the main objective.
• Lesson - This is where you present the new material (and any review material) in front of the class. Follow the above steps to make sure the lesson is relevant, the environment is conducive to instruction, and students are properly engaged. This is also a time to allow brief questions and class discussion.
• Group Work - This is a time for students to work together applying the lessons that have been taught. They can work on a variety of projects. This step allows the students to learn cooperation and peer mentoring. At the end of this portion, allow time for the groups to report to the class.
• Individual application - Students should have an opportunity to quietly sit at their seats and work on an individual worksheet or lesson related to the material that was taught. This will give you time to be able to see which students have adequately learned the material and which ones need help and reinforcement.
Step 9: Teach Time Management Skills
Show students how to list their assignments and various tasks so that they have a good understanding of what they are expected to accomplish. This list can include reading and work assignments, along with due dates and suggested amounts of study time. Or you can simply use a to do list template or task list template along with a description and task titles.
Step 10: Stay Organized
Do not get up in front of the classroom without being prepared and organized in advance. To do so is to invite chaos into the classroom. Make sure that you are well prepared and ready to stand in front of your classroom with confidence. That confidence comes from keeping organized and having materials set up and ready to go.
It takes dedication to be an effective teacher. These helpful steps can give you the tools that you need to succeed and inspire success in your students.
About The Author:
Hi, this is Monica. I am a teacher who has spent the last 3 years in an awesome school. Within the last year, I have become very excited about blogging on how to do anything. =)
You can connect with Monica at HubPages.
Tips for Teaching Kids to Love Books
by Lyn Lomasi, Write W.A.V.E. Media Staff
Teaching kids to love books can sometimes seem hopeless. But it's actually quite simple. Start with books from the very beginning and they'll never know life without them. If you haven't done that, it's not too late to pick up the habits still applicable to take them down the path to loving books. It's never too late for teaching kids to love books. As a former nanny and current mom and homeschool teacher, I have used a variety of effective methods on a good number of children. Perhaps my experience in teaching kids to love books will help you do the same.
Start in the Womb
Talking and reading to Baby while pregnant gives a good head start on a love for reading. It may seem silly at first thought, but your baby can hear your voice and other sounds outside the womb. Go to the library and get some great books to read to your Baby while inside the womb. You can even attend storytime. Many baby stores sell special headphones with a microphone attached made especially for parents to talk to their child while in the womb. Simply place the headphones strategically on Mom's pregnant belly and speak into the microphone. I did this with all of my children. It was fun to see and feel their kicks when myself and other family members read to them.
Read to them Daily
Once a child is born, read to them daily. While they may not at first know what you are talking about, fostering a love for the written and spoken word starts with habit. By establishing a routine that includes reading books, kids will just naturally love them. Reading books together is great for bonding, enhancing imagination skills, and for relaxation modes like naptime and bedtime. Really anytime is a good time for reading books and by making that clear, you are teaching the kids to love books.
Let them See You Read
If you always insist upon the kids reading, but don't do it yourself, they may not understand the value of books. Let the kids see you with magazines and books. When it's their reading time, be sure that you read something for yourself. This may be your college textbooks, a novel, or a lifestyle or career magazine. It doesn't matter what you read, as long as they can see you also have a love for reading.
Join Library Clubs and Visit Library Often
The library is an amazing resource for helping kids love books. Of course they can check out books with their very own library card. But they can also participate in storytime, reading and educational activities, and even free reading programs. Many libraries offer a special reading program during the summer that allows kids to earn prizes and awards based on the number of books they complete. Check with your local library to see what they offer.
Stock Plenty of Books
Keeping plenty of books around is a must when establishing a love for reading. This can mean having a family collection or visiting the library often. Doing both is also a good idea. However, if you wish to be as earth-conscious as possible, utilize the library for as many books as possible. How the books are acquired is not as important as the fact that they are there.
Play Reading Games
Playing reading games helps make the thought of books and reading fun for kids. Choose a variety of activities and games to keep them interested. Reading games might use books to accompany them and some may just use reading as a basis.
More Reading Activities on Life Successfully
*I originally published this via Yahoo Contributor Network
Is Homework Reducing Learning and Play Time for Kids? Should Homework Be Eliminated? Pros and Cons
by Lyn Lomasi, Staff Writer
The subject of homework has long been a debate among parents and teachers. Some teachers believe it is essential, while some find other ways to add to the curriculum. There are parents like myself who feel it takes up valuable time. This time could otherwise be spent reading, playing, or learning in other ways. As a mom, homeschool teacher, and former public school parent, I've seen it from more than one side. I've also done research over the years, as well as asked opinions of teachers. My research and opinions below are accompanied by recent conversations with three teachers.
Homework vs Study Time
Besides what is being taught in class, kids may need or desire to do extra research on their own. They also may want to read unassigned books for the pure enjoyment of reading. However, when homework takes up a substantial amount of time, this may not be possible. The student may tire or run out of time before extracurricular activities or bedtime. Children should be free to explore and learn as much as possible and too much homework may hinder that process. My personal thought is that study time needs to be reevaluated and should be done freely versus being assigned. I expressed some of my thoughts on how to do that in another writeup: "Should Current Homework and Study Methods be Reevaluated?"
Ann W, a teacher and parent, shared the following with me:
"There are several negative effects of traditional homework assignments, especially upon elementary school children. In my experience as a parent and former public school teacher, I've seen both sides to the issue. If homework lacks substance or too much is assigned, children become increasingly frustrated and may develop a bad attitude toward school. In our own experience, homework took four hours of time to complete. Not only did this take away from our family time together, it also reduced the amount of time our child was able to devote to individual reading.
"Down time and actually having the time to read for pleasure can refresh and prepare a student for further learning. Excessive homework, such as writing 20 spelling words 25 times each by a child who can spell all the words correctly and has a fine motor disability, creates a stressful atmosphere and is a waste of precious time. That is just one of the reasons, among many, that we eventually chose to home school our daughter."
Benefits or Drawbacks?
This is the area where it seems the answer varies depending on who you ask. Not all teachers agree and not all parents agree. According to an article on Scholastic.com, there is not credible evidence to suggest that there is a tangible benefit from homework. In fact, in that same article, there is evidence of a no-homework policy working well for students. The argument given by one teacher is that homework is essentially the same as if an adult went to work and then came home and kept working for several more hours. Some may in fact do this, but why put so much pressure on anyone, especially children?
Then, there are those who argue there are indeed benefits. For instance, Sandra Peterson, a teacher, tutor, and home educator shared this with me:
"Especially in the subject of math, homework is, in my opinion, essential. Homework is one of the best day-to-day assessment tools a teacher can utilize. Daily homework can alert a teacher to comprehension problems early enough that the lesson can be re-taught. This is important in math since one concept builds upon another. If the student does not understand how to find factors, they may not understand how to reduce fractions or make equivalent fractions from two fractions with unlike denominators. Many students learn best by practicing skills in a lesson or by summarizing what they have learned in an essay. Not that homework is rote learning, but homework can provide one more opportunity to cement those concepts in the brain. Homework can also be utilized to allow the student to express his individuality, especially in the creative writing portion of the language arts curriculum."
When Can Kids be Kids?
Another argument against homework is that often kids are spending so much time on it, there is no time left for anything else. What about extracurricular activities? What about family time or just regular kid time? When my kids were in traditional school, by the time my oldest was finished with homework, she had no time to do anything but eat dinner and prepare for bed. Yes, learning is extremely important. But so is downtime, fun time, and fitness. All have benefits and all are necessary. If children are spending all their time on homework, where is the time for any of this?
High school teacher Amanda Herron told me what works for her students:
"I teach on a block schedule, instead of traditional, which means our students have four classes a day (instead of eight) and stay in one class for 90 minutes (instead of 55). I rarely, if ever, give homework because I feel that as an effective teacher I should cover what I need to in 90 minutes. Research does back up that daily practice of concepts helps with memory retention, but I feel that in 90 minutes my lessons should teach the concept and offer practice time. By doing traditional 'homework' assignments in class, the students have peer coaches and teachers to ask questions and get help. Especially at the high school level, few parents can help on homework assignments. Also, our students have such full, high-stress lives. At my school, we have a high teen parent rate, added to the necessity of after-school jobs for essentials like gas (and unfortunately for some of my students, family groceries due to the high-unemployment in our area). Colleges are looking for sports, extra-curriculars and community service. If every teacher assigns an additional 45 minutes of homework, our students (with only four teachers) would need an extra three hours in their schedules.
"The average schedule for one of my students:
7:00 a.m. ~ Bus stop.
7:40 a.m.- 3:00 p.m. ~ School day
3:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. ~ Sports (football, basketball, etc)
5:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m. ~ after school job or baby sit children/siblings until parents get home from later-shift jobs
"There is no time in my students schedules for homework every night. They would not be finished until after 1:00a.m. At schools with traditional schedules (more classes meeting in a day) that could go longer. So, I'm not a fan. I get a better result from my students by keeping practice and project times in class and I have no problem doing this and still covering my state-mandated standards."
What is Being Taught in Class?
A final question that I struggle with often: "What's being taught in class?" If a child is learning for hours throughout the day, why is it necessary to then come home and repeat the process? Haven't they been learning all day already? As someone who has had children in public school and has educated them at home, I have seen things as both a parent and teacher. Whenever we are homeschooling, I have found the children complete more lessons in less time than when they attended traditional school. That's why I struggle so much in understanding why it's necessary to repeat lessons during a time that should be family time.
Because of homeschooling, the performance of most of my kids has increased. They sometimes complete two grade levels per subject every school year. This is without having extra work to complete at the end of the day. Because of this, I'm left to wonder why traditional schools need to assign extra work outside of class. Shouldn't the length of their school days compensate for that? I have the utmost respect for educators and believe most do have the students' best interests in mind. It's just something I have yet to understand, based on research and personal experience.
*Thanks to Amanda Herron, Sandra Peterson, and Ann W for your opinions.
**I originally published this content via Yahoo Contributor Network
Why Don't Homeschool Parents Teach in a School Building? Back to School Concerns
Help! My Daughter is Starting High School: Beat the Mommy Jitters
Is Education the Top Funding Priority at Your Child's School?
Lyn Lomasi is founder and owner of the Brand Shamans Content Community. Services include ordained soul therapy and healing ministry, business success coaching, business success services, handcrafted healing jewelry, ethereal and anointing oils, altar and spiritual supplies and services, handcrafted healing beauty products, and more!
Lyn is your brand healing, soul healing, marketing & content superhero to the rescue! While rescuing civilians from boring business practices and energy vampires, this awesomely crazy family conquers evil and creates change.
They live among tigers, dragons, mermaids, unicorns, and other fantastic energies, teaching others to claim their own power and do the same.
By supporting us, you support a dedicated parent, healer, and minority small business that donates to several causes. Profits from our all-inclusive store, Intent-sive Nature support these causes and our beautiful family!
HIRE OR SHOP WITH LYN | CONTACT LYN