January 11, 2013
July 6, 2012
On Taffie-Announce, Anne T posted the following:
Are you planning for your high school student to take a college entrance exam this fall? If so, this seminar is a must for him or her!
IEW High School Essay Intensive
Time: 8:30am – 3:30pm
Seminar Name: Kingwood, TX – High School Essay Intensive
Student Registration – $50
Accompanying Parent Registration – $25
Please Note: Once you have clicked a registration link, you must complete the checkout process in order to provide us with your registration information.
Northeast Christian Academy (website)
1711 Hamblen Rd.
Kingwood, Texas 77339
Phone: 1 800-856-5815
May 2, 2012
One student I tutor received a 690 on the math section of the SAT, a 650 on the writing, and a 590 on the reading, and another a 610 on the math, a 590 on the writing, and a 690 on the reading. Pretty good, but not as good as they can do! They, as do most of us, need to do more practice and take the test a little more seriously.
August 23, 2011
“Never give in. Never give in. Never, never, never, never–in nothing, great or small, large or petty–never give in, except to convictions of honor and good sense. Never yield to force. Never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.”
Ron Kurtus’ School of Champions says about the speech that this quote is from “Study of Winston Churchill’s famous ‘Never give in’ speech of 1941 to the students at Harrow School, as a lesson in speech writing, public speaking, and history.” Then they provide questions to think about and some discussion of writing, speaking, and history. Check it out!
June 20, 2011
Student papers are often unreadable not only because their grammar is bad, and sentences incomplete, but also because they are way, way too abstract. Abstractions really trap students. Assigned to write about some idea, students get caught in the sphere of abstract words and stay there. Abstract words multiply on the page in unpleasant clusters. If you ask freshmen to write about, say, The relationship between wealth and productivity in a market society, watch out. Few will notice that the four abstract terms relationship, wealth, productivity and market society need definition or examples. They will just move those abstract terms around like checkers on a board, repeating them, and hoping through repetition that something will be said. The resulting paper will be mush.
An alternate approach might be to start the course with physical objects, training students to write with objects, and to understand that every abstract idea summarizes a set of physical facts. I do in fact take that approach. “If you are writing about markets, recognize that market is an abstract idea, and find a bunch of objects that relate to it,” I say. “Give me concrete nouns. Show me a wooden roadside stand with corn and green peppers on it, if you want. Show me a supermarket displaying six kinds of oranges under halogen lights. Show me a stock exchange floor where bids are shouted and answered.”
Students led into writing this way at the start of a course…find it strange at first, but…they will learn after six or eight weeks of practice that it does work; about that time they start to smile because their thinking on paper is clearer, they can see what they are talking about, and their writing has become vivid.
© 2011 National Association of Scholars. All rights reserved.
All subjects, from math to physics to chemistry to history to philosophy, should be taught in the same way. Concepts are classifications of real, individual things, and if a student does not know what real things the concepts refer to, he does not know what he is thinking, writing, or talking about; the students mind is then being destroyed and divorced from reality. Not healthy!! Don’t do it, please! In education, as in all else, please be objective: follow a human method (logic) in knowing the facts.
Mr. Maguire’s advice is good advice for the SAT and ACT, too.
February 6, 2010
January 23, 2010
January 18, 2010
Update (1-21-10, 9:32 AM): I highly recommend that you be fluent with a graphing calculator for the tests. The test makers might say that the calculator might help, might not, and might slow you down, but they are talking to a general audience, including people who do not know how to use a calculator, people who are trying to use one they are unfamiliar with, and people who do not know how to use the graphing calculator effectively on the tests. The fact is that the calculator can make some of the questions, even some of the ones rated “hard,” virtually brainless; it makes it possible to get some easy points on the SAT, ACT, TAKS, and AP exams.
November 16, 2009
Seen in a laundry room (of an apartment complex):
We have received several reports of items (laundry baskets, clothes, ect………………….) being taken from the laundry room that does not belong to them. If it doesn’t belong to you, don’t take it!!
**If anyone is seen taking any item(s) that do not belong to them please report it to the office immediately.
Any grammatical mistakes in the quote? Stylistic issues? Punctuation problems? Errors of logic? What do you think?
This is the kind of thing you have to know and correct for the SAT and ACT.
November 14, 2009
The mist of the morning is torn by the peaks
Old towers gleam white in the ray,
And already the glory so joyously seeks
The lark that’s saluting the day.
Then smile away, man, at the heavens so fair,
Though, were you swept hence in the night,
From your dark, lonely tomb the owlets would stare
At the sun rising newly as bright.
But out of earth’s trammels your soul would have flown
Where glitters Eternity’s stream,
And you shall have wake ‘midst pure glories unknown,
As sunshine disperses a dream.
from: Odes and Ballads
Translated by: H.L. Williams
It is things like this you need to read to prepare yourself for the SAT, ACT, etc. — great writing is invaluable in helping you grasp how language is and should be used and in helping you learn to write.