Academic mentor & BrainStorm’s resident math guru Patrick Neary demonstrates through song & dance what to do with an inequality when you multiply or divide by a negative quantity (Ya flip it!)
Contribution by Jolie Samuel
In an ever-changing world obsessed with the “next big thing,” it is difficult to stop and appreciate those around us who have essentially planted seeds in our hearts that foster passion and vision for our future.
A teacher’s job is to stimulate a student’s ordinary effort into something astonishing. When this type of feat is accomplished, it is important to take a moment and show your gratitude.
There is nothing sweeter or more rewarding than a sincere “Thank you.” Recently, I heard that a student wrote her teacher a letter expressing her genuine gratitude for multiple hours of extra assistance she had received after school. The student’s kind gesture contributed to the teacher’s overall attitude and performance in class. In addition, it gave her teacher strong incentive to continue providing after-school help.
It is beneficial not only for students to let teachers know when they have performed exceptionally, but also for teachers to send notes to students when they have performed extraordinarily well in class.
For today’s DIY project, I created an appreciation card for a teacher. It can easily be redirected toward a student as well. I used craft cardstock, some scrapbook paper and a few small letter embellishments to create this fun card. I added a personalized thank you on the inside and customized a quick note thanking a teacher for his or her superior instruction in class.
Tell us about your favorite teacher. What has he/she done to help you really raise your academic game?
This holiday season, give back with BrainStorm.
Support the 2012 Shelter Our Sisters Holiday Toy Drive
Living in the shelter during the holidays can be especially difficult. Many of the women served at Shelter Our Sisters worry about how they will provide a holiday gift to their children, and sadly many report they have never received a gift of their own. Also, former residents, who are trying to start a violence-free life in a new apartment, are often struggling to make ends meet. With your help and support, Shelter Our Sisters can distribute gifts to the women and children in our program and make their lives as joyful as possible this holiday season.
From now through the holidays, BrainStorm Learning & Arts Center will be collecting donations of toys & gifts for the children at Shelter Our Sisters.
Students who participate in the drive will be rewarded one TicketFest voucher for each donation made!
Visit ShelterOurSisters.org for more info.
Contribution by Sarah Davies
Their motto is this: “When your books and teachers don’t make sense, we do.” And, it’s true. SparkNotes do make a lot of sense out of a book or Shakespearean play when your teacher can’t seem to do so. Does this necessarily mean they should be used? I’ll admit that I have used SparkNotes, but afterwards I always felt a pang of guilt, as if my teacher would be disappointed to know I had looked up what happened in chapter 5 of Great Expectations because I hadn’t understood it on my own.
I have come to the conclusion that there is both a positive and a negative way to use SparkNotes. I use it as a sort of supplemental resource when it comes to understanding a text of which I’m unsure. I will never let SparkNotes serve as a replacement when it comes to reading a novel or a play because I want to experience the plot, the characters, and the symbolism within for myself—not through some Internet site.
Next time you’re sitting in English class, contemplating whether or not you understand why Romeo and Juliet just can’t be together, and whether or not you should get your answer from SparkNotes, consider these Do’s and Dont’s:
* DON’T make SparkNotes your number one resource when it comes to reading and understanding a text. Read the text on your own, and consult your teacher when you don’t understand something. (Your teacher WILL know if you’re reading SparkNotes and not the assigned text.)
* DO use SparkNotes as a supplemental resource. Read the text first, and then mosey on over to SparkNotes. Compare your interpretation of the text with theirs, and with your teacher’s. What are the differences? Allowing yourself to see a different perspective may open your mind.
* DON’T let SparkNotes become the text you use to write a paper. This is the easiest way to fall into the dangerous waters of plagiarism. It also sometimes will bring you to an interpretation your teacher did not teach in class.
* DO read your assigned English reading—you’ll be surprised how much you’ll appreciate it years after reading it.
In sum, appreciate SparkNotes for the awesome supplemental tool it is—and keep on reading the real stuff. There’s nothing better!