Building Relationships with Online Students

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In online school settings, the online teacher and student are separated from one another by distance and often by time, so knowing and understanding online students is an important factor in building teacher-student relationships.1 Research suggests that online students are successful if they respond to three different types of learner interactions: (1) learner-to-content (appropriateness of the course material and delivery), (2) learner-to-instructor (access and support), and (3) learner-to-learner (procedures for dialogue).2 Watson et al. (2014)3 noted that practical consideration of the role of a teacher in an online classroom similar to those of traditional face-to-face classroom is important to ensure student success.

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The Value of An Accredited High School Diploma

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Whether you are a high schooler with senioritis or a parent trying to help your child finish his/her degree, chances are that you’ve wondered how important it is to earn a high school diploma. Perhaps you’ve thought to yourself, “If I don’t care about college, why do I need to get an accredited high school diploma?”

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What Every Online Student Taking a World Language Needs to Know: Typing Accent Marks and Other Special Characters

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Online students taking a world language course will need to submit written work with the correct accent marks or they will lose credit on that assignment. There are a few options for students typing in another language including any special accent marks, characters, or punctuation the language may require all while still using a standard American keyboard.

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Writing Process: Conducting and Using Research

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BONUS STEP: CONDUCTING AND USING RESEARCH

I’m going to start at the beginning with this, since, in my experience, finding good research is a major stumbling block for students. Even though most of my students are incredibly technologically literate and spend a lot of time online, it is a mistake for teachers (or students) to assume that this is the same thing as conducting research.

This is the final entry in a series concerning the writing process. You can review the entire series at this link.

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Writing Process: Rewriting, Revising, Editing and Formatting

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STEP 9: REWRITING, REVISING, EDITING

Many students see the process of revision as an unnecessary bother, and rarely do more than correct a few spelling errors. I get it. There comes a point where you just want to turn in the paper, but the truth is that every paper can use some serious rewriting. I personally love this process, because it allows me to move the paper closer to how I imagined it and communicate more clearly.

This is the sixth entry in a series concerning the writing process. You can review the entire series at this link.

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Writing Process: Body Paragraphs and Conclusion

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STEP 7: BODY PARAGRAPHS

Each body paragraph starts with a topic sentence. A topic sentence has the same function for the paragraph that the thesis has for the whole essay: it clearly defines exactly what that paragraph will be about. This helps you identify what information to include in the paragraph, and also ensures that the information connects directly to your thesis statement.

This is the fifth entry in a series concerning the writing process. You can review the entire series at this link

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Writing Process: Outlining and Introduction

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STEP 5: OUTLINING

Outlining is the process of taking the information from your brainstorming list and organizing it so you can present it in the most logical and effective way.

Start by taking your brainstorming list and identifying ideas that go together. I like to use a numbering system, but you can also use symbols, highlighting in different colors, or whatever works best for you. The important thing to remember is that your essay should be organized based on ideas.

This is the fourth entry in a series concerning the writing process. You can review the entire series at this link.

After identifying similar ideas, decide how to categorize them. What is the best way to describe this subtopic? How do they directly support your topic and ultimately your thesis statement?

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Writing Process: Thesis Statement

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STEP 4: THESIS STATEMENT

A clear thesis statement is key to writing a good essay. It’s not easy, but it is necessary.

This is the third entry in a series concerning the writing process. You can review the entire series at this link.

The point I’m going to make about thesis statements is very similar to the point I made about essay topics, but this time I have some fun illustrations.

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Writing Process: Choosing Your Topic and Brainstorming

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STEP 2: CHOOSING YOUR TOPIC

The second step in writing a good essay is choosing the right topic. Your topic determines what you will write, so choose wisely.

This is the second entry in a series concerning the writing process. Make sure that you read Part 1: Reading the Prompt before reviewing this article.

Choosing the right topic for your essay can be tricky. Usually, there is flexibility built into a prompt, so that you have a choice of which part of the question to focus on.

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Writing Process: Introduction and Reading the Prompt

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INTRODUCTION

Writing essays is challenging and intimidating for many students. This is understandable, especially for students who have never written an essay before. It’s stressful trying to produce a longer piece of writing.

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Some Thoughts About Plagiarism Part 3: Four Types of Plagiarism and How to Avoid Them

Some Thoughts About Plagiarism Part 3: Four Types of Plagiarism and How to Avoid Them

Dear Students,

In my recent Internet lurking I came a tumblr post or tweet by a student that said something like this

“I don’t know how people plagiarize on purpose. I’m terrified that I will fail because I accidentally used the same wording as a 16th-century manual on toasters.”

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Some Thoughts About Plagiarism Part 2: What Sets Off My Teacher Spidey-Senses?

Some Thoughts About Plagiarism Part 2: What Sets Off My Teacher Spidey-Senses?

Dear Students,

Plagiarism is a topic that is always discussed in specific ways. It’s outlined in school policies, and teachers explain the consequences and moral implications. The messages we as teachers convey about plagiarism by setting out the rules are important, but they are also incomplete. This open letter format is my attempt to continue the conversation with openness and hopefully some humor.

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What is STEM?

What is STEM?

What is STEM?

The term has grown in prominence in the news and in articles across the United States, but not everyone knows what STEM is, what the acronym stands for, or what its purpose is. As a teacher, I have tried to follow the development and implementation of STEM topics when instructing my students. In this article, we will look at what STEM is and why it is important.

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Some Thoughts About Plagiarism Part 1: An Open Letter to Students Dispelling Myths About Plagiarism

Some Thoughts About Plagiarism Part 1: An Open Letter to Students Dispelling Myths About Plagiarism

Dear Students,

Most of you don’t have cause to know this, because most of you do your best not to plagiarize, but I am very strict about plagiarism. I take plagiarism seriously because I believe that as a teacher it is my job to prepare students for their futures, and I know that academic dishonesty, and really any deceptive behavior, can create huge problems for students in school, in college and in the workplace.

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The Importance of Studying a Foreign Language

The Importance of Studying a Foreign Language

Being born into a bilingual family, I have never thought about how beneficial it could be to speak another language. My parents did a great job creating an environment that helped me learn two languages easily. At the age of five I started learning my third language, and by the age of eight I could read, write, and speak in three languages: Ukrainian, Russian and English. During my university years I started learning two more foreign languages (French and German), and I faced the reality that learning complex languages can be very challenging. It can be difficult to comprehend varying verb conjugation, genders, and bizarre numeric systems. I’m still trying to understand why seventy-five is pronounced as “sixty and fifteen” in French.

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6 Unexpected Benefits of Taking a French Class

6 Unexpected Benefits of Taking a French Class

Bon jour. Comment allez-vous? In case you were wondering, this means “Hello, how are you?” in French. It seems like forever since I took my first French class in high school, but one thing is for sure: I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when I signed up for it. To be honest, I learned much more than how to say a few phrases in a foreign language. In fact, there were quite a few unexpected benefits I received from my French class that you stand to gain too, when you sign up for a French class.

 

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Make the Most of Learning at Home by Having a School Dog

Make the Most of Learning at Home by Having a School Dog

If you are educated at home, you can learn in whatever way your parents will allow! The key is getting them on board in creating the learning environment that will help you truly thrive. This might mean having an animal by your side as you work: a school dog.  While the benefits of a school dog may seem apparent to you, you may have to spell things out for your parents. A dog can improve your learning environment and help you become more complete physically, mentally, and spiritually. These are all things that your parents want for you. Below are 10 points that can help you make the case for getting a school dog.

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Why Music is Important for Young Christian Artists

Why Music is Important for Young Christian Artists

“Make a joyful noise unto the Lord” (Psalm 100:1, KJV).

Music holds an important place in the lives of most people, whether they are musicians or music appreciators. Many consider music to be an integral part of their identity. This is by design—God’s design. In Psalm 139:14 King David reminds us that our gifts are unique and intentional, saying, “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” David himself was a musician and used his talent to sing praises to God. Each person has been given unique talents by God.

Enlightium Academy student and musician Emma Segnini is a singer-songwriter currently living in New York. Segnini says, “My family and I have always believed that God puts you in this world for a reason and that everyone has a mission in this world.” Asked how music plays a role in her faith, she says, “I believe that God sent me to this world to learn from others and to help people with their problems and just with simple things like opening a door for someone, and to touch people with music, to say things through melody and music that people are afraid to say. My goal is to one day be able to inspire people the way that other singers and composers (like my mom) inspire me.”

 

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Become A Grammar Ninja Today

Become A Grammar Ninja Today

As a teacher, I know that students hate studying grammar. While I can’t say I don’t understand this attitude (after all, I remember being a student and thinking it was the most tedious and complicated thing ever), I believe that this hatred is based on a misunderstanding of the purpose of grammar.

 

Grammar was not, counter to popular belief, invented to torture and confuse students. Rather, the purpose of grammar is to provide a common set of standards for communication and for the organization of words. Quite simply, grammar is the rules for the game that is language. Being a grammar ninja means that you have become a master of those rules.

 

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4 Questions Students Should Ask When Choosing Essay Topics

4 Questions Students Should Ask When Choosing Essay Topics

Deciding on essay topics is daunting. I remember sitting in front of my computer staring at a blank page, just wondering where to start. Even a fairly specific prompt usually leaves plenty of room for personal choices. So what happens if you are waiting for inspiration to strike, and it never does? The essay will still be due, that’s what.

As a student, I have come to realize that some of my best essay topics had to be dragged out of the compost at the bottom of my brain, rather than springing fully formed into existence, like crocuses in springtime.  As a teacher, I see it as my task to guide students toward essay topics that are interesting to them, that they can learn from, and that result in essays that they can feel proud of.

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