9-Question Interest Inventory: A Great Way to Learn About Your Students

The first homework assignment of every school year for every student in each of my middle school math classes included a 9-question “interest inventory.” This particular interest inventory is a self-assessment tool that invites students to reflect on their past experiences.

My students agreed that answering the 9 interest inventory questions was a nice change from the typical “What’s your favorite this/that” survey, and I certainly had fun reading my students’ responses! Straight away – at the very start of the school year – it is a very good way to get a bigger picture (even just a slightly bigger picture) of each student.

For teachers, the interest inventory can provide good initial information about student strengths and weaknesses. In fact, I think this questionnaire invited some students to talk with me in person about their strengths and interests, giving me even more information about learning styles.

Here is the 9-question inventory. I always asked students to answer all parts of each question, and to neatly write their answers in complete sentences.

1. What is your favorite activity or subject in school? Why? What is your least favorite? Why?

2. What subjects are difficult for you? What makes them the hardest?

3. If you could learn about anything you wanted to, what would you choose to learn about? Please be specific. (For example: meteorology, science fiction writing, architecture, cooking, carpentry, movie-making, etc.)

4. If people were to come to you for information about something you know a lot about, what would the topic be?

5. If you could plan a field trip, where would you go? Why?

6. Fill in the blank and rate EACH choice 1 = best, 2 = ok, 3 = worst

I learn ____ alone.

I learn ____ with one other person.

I learn ____ in a small group.

I learn ____ in a large group.

7. What helps you learn? (For example: hands on experience, reading quietly, taking notes, reading out loud, etc)

8. What projects – either past school assignments or outside of school – are you most proud of? Why?

9. Think of a great teacher you’ve had. Describe what made this teacher so terrific.

One student knew a lot about horses, and throughout the year gave me unsolicited tidbits of information (such as defining riding styles and saddles), and every once in a while updated me on her training and competitions. Getting to know her a little bit more outside the math classroom helped to engage her inside the math classroom.

Another student was proud of training her hamster, named El Noche, to win the local Petco Hamster Derby! I had to ask her about it because I had never heard of Petco Hamster Derbies. She happily described how she executed her training regimen in one of the hallways in her home.

The student who answered “I want to learn how to draw faces” is now a student at LaGuardia High School of Music and Art and Performing Arts. Without asking her …

Elementary Education Degrees Obtained Online

There are a lot of people who want to become an elementary teacher. When it comes to traditional ways, to become one you need to enroll in some college or universities. But not all are able to enroll because of a busy schedule or geographical factor and other commitments. Now, individuals are able to get a degree to teach in elementary school online. Elementary education degrees attained online are now becoming more and more popular today. This has been achieved through the help of the Internet and several communication tools online which makes it easier for a student to communicate across the world.

This method of getting an elementary degree online is also known as distance learning. There are several advantages when taking up a degree online which are:

  1. Convenience: You are not required to be present at school and you choose the time to start your school. This means that you can still have other commitments like a regular job and then go to school at your free time.
  2. Different programs and online schools to choose from: It is easy to find a program that fits you because you can use the Internet to do so. Different colleges and universities from around the world have come up with different programs to fit the needs of different individuals.
  3. Much cheaper: This is because you do not need to relocate just to attend school and you can take your class at the comfort of your home. The tuition fee is also said to be lesser. Also, you do not have to eat outside or rent an apartment because all you need is a reliable Internet connection.

Alongside its advantages it also has its disadvantages which are:

  1. Less interaction with other students or professionals: Being a teacher requires you to have an excellent communication skill. This will limit an individual from practicing his communication skills and interaction with other students or professors online is very minimal.
  2. Some elementary schools may not acknowledge you as an elementary teacher because of the way you have obtained your elementary education degree. Though, since online school is becoming more and more popular, elementary schools are becoming aware of it and gradually accepting them.

One of the requirements to get bachelor degree in elementary education is to acquire an Associate of Arts degree. Then after taking it up you will continue your studies to acquire a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education. Then after finishing up your Bachelors degree then you can take up your master’s degree. Having a master’s degree will provide you with more career opportunities.

You can do all this by taking your elementary education degrees online. Though, not everything can be learned in an online school. There might be subjects or courses that are not offered online so you must take it in a certain college or university. But nonetheless since this method of attaining an education degree is becoming more and more popular there will come a time that they will offer …

Online Aptitude Test – Changing Career Aptitude Tests

Taking an online aptitude test is something you need to consider if you want to change career. There are thousands of other people who are confused about what would be the ideal career choice for them. Do not be accused if you are one of them. Remember, it's not only you who are facing the same dilemma. Being unsure about your career is just a sign that you must consider taking a career assessment.

Often, our innate talents lie dormant within us and without we get an opportunity to express ourselves, our talents do not come into limelight. Also, it may be the case that you have more than one interest and there before it becomes difficult for you to choose the one that would be the ideal career for you. Now in such situations, an online career aptitude test comes into play.

What are online career aptitude tests?

Aptitude tests basically assess how you perform on tasks or react to different situations. If you are taking an aptitude test, then you have to answer a series of questions from different categories. Your answers will determine your strong aptitudes and your relative scores to others who have done the tests.

There are no correct or incorrect answers in a career test. The pattern of such tests is usually objective, where you have to tick the answer that is right according to you. There may be some questions that will ask you to rate an answer on a scale of 1-5 or 1-10.

The length of an online aptitude test may vary. Some, you can finish within a few minutes and some might take you a little longer. You may consider the free online aptitude tests that are available, if you are hesitant in spending any money behind a test, or just want to get your ability overviews.

Why should you take such a career test?

If you are puzzled and can not make the right decision about your career or if you want a career change, then these tests will really help a lot. With the help of an aptitude test, you can scan the different career options for yourself and end up with the one where you will have the scope to accomplish a lot. Besides, these tests will not only help you in changing careers or planning them but also aid you in your job search.

Based on your aptitude test results, you can take the correct decision about your career change, thereby saving yourself from a miserable life with the kind of job that you were totally unfit for. Remember, it is very important that you are satisfied with your job in order to spend a happy life. Many times, we do not realize that we need a career change to put our life back on track.

So, if for any reason you are disturbed with your present career or you are uncertain about choosing your career, then you must take an online aptitude test soon. Identify …

Turn Your Faith Journey Into a Faith Career – (2) Talking to God

I do not believe many people in history, if any, have actually heard God's voice. The way we listen to God is not through our ears, but through our hearts. The way we talk to God is through our love, our faith, and our prayers.

To have good communion with our Lord, we must stay in His favor. This means doing all the things that God approves of, such as looking out for each other and practicing what we preach. Fellowship is an important Christian principle, but sometimes, to really "hear" God's "voice", it's best to be alone.

"Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed." (Luke 5.16)

Jesus loved addressing big crowds, but he also knew that solitude was the perfect state in which to talk to God. The crowd will push and press, urge and persuade, and finally drain away your energy. So we need solitude to find the clarity of thought required for learning to see ourselves as we really are and discovering God's mission for us. Without this guidance we end up going down false paths, dead ends, constantly stumbling and never achieving anything worthwhile.

God will give us guidance, not perfect humanity. There is no such thing as perfection for anyone, and God does not need us to be perfect to effect His perfect will. But he does need loyalty, love, and action. Sometimes He talks to us using people and events; the Holy Spirit is the enforcer in this respect. Often, the things some people might regard as coincidences, are the workings of the Spirit trying to communicate with us. Affirmations, coincidences relating to specific events we have been praying about, after after the event to show us that we are on the right track. Remember God can only produce good things and His timing is perfect. And sometimes you just know when you know, that something supernatural is happening in your life. We know when God is moving things because they happen so easily, without effort, without pressure, like oil under our feet. There is no guilt associated with the things we do for God, only a lasting sweetness.

Find your own quiet place and pray. Return to it again and again, until the word of the Lord overwhelms you with the power of its message. Unless you feel swept along by right purpose and fine ambition, channeled from the Divine, you will not last long on your career path. …

Learn Chemistry Online – Strategy and Tips That Work

Chemistry is acknowledged as the most interesting of all science subjects. However, a lot of students, after taking a look at the Chemical formulas, go into a tizzy – probably due to a fear of the unknown. The fear of Chemistry pervades fundamentally from a lack of understanding of the subject which itself stems from following a random approach to learning Chemistry

I reiterate here that Chemistry is very interesting and easy to comprehend. However to understand it, Chemistry must be learnt in a systematic manner. The subject itself follows a beautiful pattern and as one learns, the pieces fall into place, fitting well into each other.

With the proliferation of online learning, understanding Chemistry has become much more easier, simpler and faster too. The power of Online Chemistry Learning lies in its ability to create interactive tutorials which make understanding Chemistry much simpler. Learning Chemistry is now more fun, enjoyable and interesting.

The human element in learning chemistry ie Chemistry Tutors however can not be ignored. While the tutorials have become more and more effective, the need for a tutor always remains to get the insight into the subject. It is only a tutor – whether online or face-to-face who can gauge your learning requirements and plug the gaps in knowledge to make a complete understanding. The online tutors available today are much more affordable, flexible and as effective compared to the face-to-face tutors. The Online tutors complimented with Chemistry learning aids make the best combination for success in Chemistry.

The Basics of Chemistry. For those with little or no background of Chemistry, the first step must start with the learning about the atom itself. One must fully understand the structure of atom, the way the electrons, protons and neutrons are arranged and how they affect the properties of substances. The ideal way of learning this is by animated tutorials, a lot of which are easily available on the internet.

The next step is to graduate to the Periodic Table which gives complete insight into the Chemical and Physical behavior of elements. I will give a example here – the Sodium (Na) atom has 11 electrons. If one looks at its electronic configuration which is 2-8-1, following the Octet rule, Sodium can lose one electron – this makes it a metal. The same analogy is applicable to the other elements of the periodic table which can lose electrons. Thus one simple concept is applicable to a number of elements of the Periodic Table and can be used to predict their metallic and non metallic nature. From the periodic table itself, one can learn how to write chemical formulas. Once that is done, its easy to write Chemical equations and balance them.

It has been my experience that a majority of the students are not able to understand the Periodic Table completely by themselves which affects their further learning of Chemistry. This is where the services of a tutor prove invaluable. Here it is imperative that the gaps in knowledge …