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Writing a Class Speech for Your School Kid? Don’t Go Without These Handy Tips!

  1. Posted by Paula in Reading and writing skills |
  2. January 10th, 2010 |
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Writing a Class Speech for Your School Kid? Don’t Go Without These Handy Tips!

Writing a class speech for your 5th or 6th grader may not be quite as easy as it sounds! You will have to pack in enough information to make it worthwhile, while retaining the flow and wit to make it interesting to a group of youngsters. Daunting-at the least! The good news is that this need not be an uphill task, so long as you keep to the basics. Here are a few pointers that should stand you in good stead when you are writing a speech!

The Basics First- What Kind Of A Speech Are You Writing?

Well, this is the very basic your need to get right. There are a few categories of speeches. Identifying the type you are dealing with will make your job that much easier. So here goes….

  • The informative speech-the basic purpose of these speeches is to impart information about the topic. So, you have to gather a lot of details about the topic if you are writing an informative speech. That is of primary importance.

  • Persuasive- this is a speech where you aim at convincing a group of people about a certain point. Creative writing for kids isn’t easy when you are dealing with these class speeches. When you are writing a persuasive speech, it always helps if you have the arguments down in the form of points- easier to remember and convince people at the same time.

  • Demonstration speeches- these are your typical show and tell kind of stuff.  Writing these speeches is comparatively easy. You just need to ensure that you go with the flow…

Once you’ve decided on the type of speech you are looking at, you are nearly half way through! Now let’s look at a few points that hold true for all speeches, no matter what format you are putting them under!

Writing a Class Speech- Points to Remember

  • Keep it short- there is no way you can convince people if you stuff in too many ideas into your speeches. Moreover, you are just going to make it difficult for your kid to remember everything in class! So, keep the ideas down to a maximum of 2 or 3 and you are good to go!

  • Keep it easy on the ears- remember, you are not writing an essay-it’s a speech. So, make it as conversational as you possibly can. Here are a  few pointers you might like to try:

#1-Keep the sentences short.

#2-Substitute ’I’m’ for I am etc.

#3-Steer absolutely clear of flowery gibberish that means little to you or any other fifth grader!

#4-Read it aloud before you finalize it. Does it sound ok? If you are too bored to read through to the end, your audience will probably have the same feelings, so start chopping here and there!

  • Make It Real

Real facts that appeal to the audience are far more important than a boring repetition of facts! Creative writing for kids should focus on real life experiences and incidents- that is what makes it come alive!

Keep these easy pointers in mind when you are writing the next class speech for your kid- and watch him win all the accolades from a fascinated audience!

3 Easy Tips on Reading with Speed

  1. Posted by Paula in Reading and writing skills |
  2. December 3rd, 2009 |
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Are you cramming your head with facts the evening before that big exam?  You will succeed in reading only some of that book-and learn less! Wonder why? Your concentration is least when you are trying to cram your brain with data! It has a tendency to wander when you pressurize it! So what do you do? How do you get the best out of reading, and invest the least amount of time while doing so? You ‘speed read’!

What’s Speed Reading?

Well, it is a speedy way of reading text and getting the most out of it. More and more researchers are advocating these techniques to get the most out of reading! Wouldn’t you love to spend less time at your homework-but get the most out of it? Well, the only way out is to read right-and here’s how you go about it!

How Should I Read and Get the Best Out Of It in A Short Time?

  • Peace and quiet-The most important thing you need to remember about this is that you should find out the best place for it. For instance, look for peace and quiet-that goes without saying! You can NEVER learn anything without this! Relax-I include your favorite music in the ‘peace and quiet’ I’m talking about!

Having said that, I seriously doubt your powers to concentrate when you are listening to reggae or hard rock at the max! I have nothing against it- but are you sure it helps your concentration?

  • Relax as you read-like we told you before, your brain feels pressurized when you task it too much.  Don’t concentrate on cramming facts. Your mind will wander and you will remember precious little!

If you are having problems concentrating- you’re just normal. Why not take up a few minutes of meditation every day? You will find it working miracles! Just about 5 minutes in a day is more than enough at the outset. Surely you can afford that time?

  • Plan ahead- you need to be clear about your expectations from the text. For instance, if you are writing an essay and are looking for matter, jot down key words and ideas as you read. You will find it easier to assimilate the ideas later! If you are preparing for a test, this will help you cut down the hours you spend at your table.
  • Read in groups- if you read through each word in the text, you will waste time and concentrate less. Instead, try and read the words in groups.

For instance, if you read ‘if you want to concentrate more, read slow’, in individual words, you will just waste time. Instead, why not try and read them like this- ‘if you concentrate more, read slow’! Try it out-it’s fun!

Remember, you need not spend hours at your desk- even before that exam! Just read right and you will get away with the least amount of time-and we all know what you can do with that time! But then, my mind is wandering……
Don’t just do it fast….do it right! Read this quick step


4 Steps to Reading Right

  1. Posted by Paula in Reading and writing skills |
  2. November 19th, 2009 |
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4 Steps to Reading Right

Reading can be much more beneficial when you are reading right. The good news is that it is just a matter of habit. You can change your habits with simple steps. Here’s how you do it

Absorb it well

The main problem with a bad reading habit is that you do not pay enough attention     to what you are reading. You can learn anything if you practice reading right.  The ‘preview’ technique is quite useful. In this technique, you glance through the paragraph first-and then start reading it. Try this approach:

Take a few seconds to review the paragraph. Look at the subtitles, titles and highlighted words. Glance at the graphs or illustrations. The first and last paragraphs of a book reveal a lot about it. Ask yourself questions about the main theme of the book, the purpose of the author etc. Sounds tough? Try it once and you will be able to tell the difference.

Ask questions

Another useful trick is to to approach the book in a questioning manner-as if you are trying to look for something. Turn the title of the book into a question-you will be amazed at the result!

For instance, if you are reading a book about the difference between eubacteria and archaebacteria, try to picture the title as a question.

What is the rationale behind this approach? Well, research shows that a person concentrates more on things which are goal oriented. Remember, if you are aiming for nothing, you will get just that-nothing!

Don’t talk to yourself

Another aspect we stress on when we are teaching kids to read right relates to vocalizing. You can do it in two ways:

  1. Reading the book aloud
  2. Talking to yourself even as you are reading.

Sounds familiar? That is because these are the most common mistake people make when they are reading. It reduces your speed over a period of time. Consider this; the average speed at which a person speaks is about 250 words per minute. A person reads much faster than he speaks. However, when you talk to yourself while reading, you bring the speed of your reading down to the level of your speech. What does that translate into? You end up spending more time on a book-time you could use elsewhere!

Read in groups

No, we are not talking about the group you hang out with! We are not talking about the geeks at your school either!

When you are reading, try to look at the words in groups. Poor readers stop frequently, and need to read every single word individually. Not only does this slow you down, it also strips away your interest in what you are reading. The first step in reading right is to read groups of words together. You should read phrases together. This will help your mind store the meaning away for future use. It enriches your vocabulary, teaches you the right application for those words and helps you read faster!

Reading right is not something you are born with-it is something you develop! Try the tips above and get more out of your books!

Here’s some more.. learn to speed read in instants


Great Tips on College Essays

  1. Posted by Paula in Reading and writing skills |
  2. October 15th, 2009 |
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So you’ve done all your homework and are gearing up for that admission to your favorite college. You have all the grades required and all the documents ready. Are you going to zip off that essay in about five minutes? Spare a thought. College essays are meant to gain an insight into you as a person. So, handle them with care. Here are a few pointers you might like to go through:

The Approach to the College Essay

• Make it unique. If you are asked to write about your favorite book or character, try to make it personalized. For instance, the college is not looking for an abstract description of the book. Highlight your favorite parts of the book and describe why you like them. This should give the examiners a good idea about you as a person, so take some care. Remember, the essay and the interview can be used to express your individuality very effectively.

• Having said that, there is no alternative to directions, so follow them carefully. Read the topic carefully and try to understand what the college essay is about. If an essay is about your favorite activity, its purpose is to understand what you enjoy doing when you are not studying. Focus on that and not on a narrative about your favorite team!

• Let’s take up another example. If you are asked to write about a tragedy, try and focus on your experiences about it and not on describing it in detail. The purpose of every college essay is to find out how well you write. It is not really about how tragic a life you have had!

The Layout of Your College Essay

• It is very important to think about the pattern you are going to follow when you are writing. The best way to go about it is to have an outline ready. You can even brainstorm and think about the topic at first. Focus on what you know about it. If you are not very sure, read up. There is no shortcut to anything in life, and this is no different.
• Follow directives about spacing, margins and style very carefully. If you are asked to use white paper, make sure you do that.
• Your opening sentence needs to be compelling, so pay a lot of attention to it.
• Make sure you check the essay thoroughly. Pay attention to spelling, punctuation and grammar. You could even ask a friend to read it aloud, so that you can spot problems with it.
• Your essay should always have a thesis statement, main statements and the transitions. Once you have this layout in place, your job will be much easier.
• Pay attention to details. If you are repeating words, make sure you replace them well.
A college essay is all about creating a balance between your individuality and the specifications required. Take some time out for it and give it the right attention.