First step and the basic foundation for a child to perform well in school

One cannot undermine the importance of reading in a child's education. That's why educational books are important as they help increase a child's vocabulary and awaken his interest to learn more. Reading is the first step and the basic foundation for a child to perform well in school. When a child develops love for reading, learning other things becomes a lot easier. It is, therefore, important for parents to get the children's interest to read at a very young age.
In order to capture your child's interest for educational books, develop the habit of reading aloud to them. They will find it interesting as you read to them different stories and imitate various characters. Set aside a specific time of day dedicated to reading alone. This will have the children something to look forward to every day. Once the children develop love for reading, they will also develop the initiative to read on their own as they grow old. Reading is especially good to unwind and relax that's why many parents prefer to read bedtime stories to their children.
Another good way to get your child exposed to the wonders of educational books is to take them to libraries. This will both teach them to develop appreciation for good books and learn the responsibility of returning them properly. If they're old enough to select their books and reading materials, you can encourage them to get their own library card so they can explore and borrow on their own. Show them the area in the library where children's educational books are found.
One important tip to get the attention of your children is to engage them every time you read stories. When you read with feelings and emotions and, at the same time, interact with children as you tell stories, they are challenged to use their imagination and listen intently. As you read educational books, include your children as part of the characters in the story. This will thrill them so much that they will want to participate in the story-telling until they learn to tell the story on their own. There are movies that were created based on best-selling books. It would help to buy these books and watch the movie with your kids. This will help them to relate the movie to the original story in the book. This will test their memory and understanding of what they watch and read.
Children should be able to associate reading with fun; as such, you should know how to create a good environment that's conducive to reading and learning. It's best to set up a separate area in your house or room that's dedicated to reading and studying. Provide the appropriate furniture such as study table, chair and book shelves for all the educational books that you will buy for your children. Do not force them to read when they're not in a good mood as this might make them develop negative notions about reading and studying.

Reconsidering the Past and Future of Planet Earth

Though we are bound to our planet and it is often impossible to see beyond our immediate future, few things are striking as an image of Earth as seen from outer space. The fascination with our place in the solar system has been alive ever since the homo sapien began prowling the land and navigating the waters of this unusual planet. At a time when many people say our time on Earth - like the dinosaur's - may be finite, it is interesting to reconsider the past and future of our planet.
A Unique and Unusual Terrestrial Planet
Considering the lack of life on other planets in our solar system, it is Earth that is the unusual planet of the group. Statistically, there are four planets larger than Earth, which is the third planet from the sun. Most agree that the Earth has existed some 4.5 billion years. While life forms developed over 3 billion years ago, periods of mass extinction have altered the course of the planet dramatically. No single species has ever had as great an impact as human beings on the planet. Because of the capacity of human brains, we have dominated and influenced the entire planet in way never considered by other species.
A Doomed Planet?
A quick look at our solar system would point to the existence of life on Earth as a temporary thing. In fact, many scientists would agree that the planet will not exist forever. While it doesn't mean things can change within the next 500 million years (the minimum ballpark guess for the end of life on Earth), it is interesting to consider the fact that human life on Earth may not continue forever. Other more pessimistic figures will put our time as far shorter on the planet, yet most estimates are over a billion years. When considering our ability to travel distances never thought possible and build civilizations in places previously unheard of, it might not be the end of the world.
The Surface of the Earth
Since it is difficult for many of us to consider life on other planets - not to mention our potential for colonization of those planets - it is instructive to analyse the surface of the Earth. Most striking is the fact that over 70% of the planet is water. These waters cover a majority of the land - a stunning network, of caves, volcanoes, plains and canyons. Nature programs on television are so fascinating because there is so much life submerged in our waters. Many scientists believe that Earth is the only planet to have significant tectonic plate activity. While volcanoes have been identified on other planets, this unique plate activity occurs only on Earth.
A Realistic View of the Future of Earth
Pictures of Earth's future must include the sun to be complete. As the amount of helium inside the sun increases, its rays will decrease in intensity and life on the planet will suffer dramatically. In fact, it could spell the end of the oceans. Considering there would be only 30% of the planet left, life would likely cease to exist. There is about 600 million years until this event occurs, while human beings may have another 300 million more years afterwards.
A planet as unique in the history of our solar system is fascinating to comprehend, no matter what doomsday predictions may exist. It is likely an alternative plan will have been drawn up by the time Earth becomes uninhabitable.
Though we are bound to our planet and it is often impossible to see beyond our immediate future, few things are striking as an image of Earth as seen from outer space. The fascination with our place in the solar system has been alive ever since the homo sapien began prowling the land and navigating the waters of this unusual planet.

Really Enjoy a Good Book

The thing is, that when I read a novel I like to do it properly and to feel fully immersed in the book. Too many people I see reading a book on the tube, dipping in and out of the narrative while chatting to their friends or asking people for the time, and too often I see people really just skim reading the content without actually taking it in.
When I read I like to word out every line in my head in the imagined spoken voice that I think that person would have, and I like to imagine it all in detail. I read every line, and I sound out every comma and every italicised section to sound the way I think it should and to add or remove emphasis accordingly.
And to do all this I also like to set the scene perfectly first so that it's ideally conducive to being able to really bask in what I'm reading. Here is how I do it...
Sorting Everything Out
First of all, before I sit down to read I like to make sure that I have no pressing concerns weighing on my mind and potentially preventing me from fully enjoying the experience. As such then I will run around quickly to finish any pressing chores and I'll tidy up the space around me to be clean and organized and to give me space to breathe. Only once I've set aside myself some 'bubble time' with no potential stressors, I then turn off my hone and sit down to read.
The Perfect Lighting
The perfect reading lighting is a tricky thing to accomplish. On the one hand it's got to be a dim enough light that I feel cosy, but meanwhile it mustn't be so dim that it causes eye strain. This means then that it should be a kind of mellow glow that relaxes me but still enables me to focus.
Comfort
I also like to make sure that wherever I'm sitting is super comfortable. There's nothing quite like reading in bed, but then at the same time a comfortable couch or even a bean bag can be just as good, so long as it's easy to recline.
That said I do also have another place I like to read - coffee shops. Though they aren't silent the background chatter and clinking of mugs can often add a little atmosphere to the experience and make me feel almost like I'm in a novel myself. The mysterious stranger in the corner, buried in his book...
Tea
Finally I must make myself a cup of tea. Being a serious caffeine addict, when I drink caffeine I tend to feel all the tension leave my body and it's a great way for me to unwind and make any moment better.

Steps to No Failing Students

How do administrators and teachers keep students from failing? Many states are identifying core curriculum standards. This is a great start but administrators and teachers need to do more for our failing or about to fail students. We need to work smarter to have our schools be successful for every student. We must demand that each teacher is highly trained and skilled enough to deliver the same content in the most effective manner possible for the subject, students and level taught.
Teachers need to be trained to teach, re-teach, practice and assess. Activities planned for the day should be listed on the board. Instructions should be kept simple and structured. Props, charts and other visual aids should be used when teaching. Many students do not learn new material completely the first time presented or learn new material inaccurately the first time presented, therefore they need to be re-taught. Students need to practice with new material to really understand the material. The teacher has no way of knowing who understands what without doing a formative assessment. Some type of formative assessment should be completed on a daily basis so the teacher knows which students need re-teaching the following day. Formative assessments need to be a part of everyday practice to help students succeed. Formative assessments help teachers take a snapshot of student learning. Students' responses give teachers a clear picture of what students know and what they need help with, what material to re-teach and how to pace instruction.
Teachers need to be trained to differentiate daily. Teachers should have at least two groups of students in their classes. The group that understands yesterday's lesson and the group that needs to be re-taught yesterday's lesson. This is where Bloom's taxonomy comes in. The group that understands yesterday's lesson should progress up the taxonomy with their work for the day for a deeper understanding of the material. The group that does not understand yesterday's lesson should be re-taught the lesson using a different teaching method. Try using teaching methods involving different multiple intelligences. Differentiation is essential when educators work with diverse groups of students.
All teachers, not just special education teachers need to be trained to modify assessments. Failing and near failing students need to have their confidence re-established before they can learn. All failing and near failing students need to be utilizing modified assessments until they are a C student regardless of their identified need. Feedback from formative assessments helps teachers modify and differentiate their instruction to help all students meet the standard. Differentiated curriculum calls for differentiated assessment. Using differentiated assessments leads to greater success.
Students should be allowed to retake assessments that they receive a D+ or below on. The retake grade should be the one that is entered in the grade book. For example when one takes a driver's test, if one does not pass it the first time one is allowed to practice some more and retake the test at a later date. Fair is not always equal when assessing and grading in the differentiated classroom. An effective standards based formative assessment program can help to dramatically enhance student achievement.
Train teachers to treat homework as extra credit. Most failing and near failing students are not doing homework for all kinds of reasons. Since we really cannot control the doing of homework let's not depend on homework to keep students from failing. Let's work smarter with the time we have the students in school to make sure they are receiving, practicing and retaining the core curriculum by applying the above teaching methods. There is no evidence of any academic benefit from assigning homework in elementary or middle school. For younger students, in fact, there isn't even a correlation between whether children do homework and any meaningful measure of achievement.
Study halls should be eliminated. The extra time should be assigned to classes for study time within the class. The classroom teacher will now be available to assist students that are struggling in their class. The classroom teacher is knowledgeable in their subject area and knows where the student is lacking. The classroom teacher should be taught to differentiate the work to assist each student's learning.
No failing students can be reduced to seven steps. Step one teach core curriculum. Step two use best teaching practices. Step three practice material in class. Step four utilize formative assessments daily. Step five differentiate and modify. Step six re-teach. Step seven allow retakes to count in grading.

The scientists investigated

The scientists, who published their findings in the journal Nature, estimate that the rare variants of risk genes account for only around 3 percent of the heritability of these conditions that can be explained by common variants. They say that the genetic risk of these diseases more likely involves a complex combination of hundreds of weak-effect variants each of which is common in people.
Bio engineers Create Sweat-proof Fabric
Bio engineers at the University of California, USA, said on May 21, 2013 that they had invented a waterproof fabric which can whisk away sweat using micro fluid technology. The new fabric works like the human skin. It turns excessive sweat into droplets that drain away by themselves. In their research, they developed a new micro fluid platform using water-attracting (hydrophilic) threads that were stitched into a highly water-repellent fabric. They were able to create patterns of threads that suck droplets of water from one side of the fabric, propel them along the threads and eventually expel them from the other side.
It is not just that the threads conduct water through capillary action. The water-repellent properties of the surrounding fabric also help drive water down the channels. Unlike conventional fabrics, the water-pumping effect continues working even when the water-conducting fibres are completely saturated, owing to the pressure generated by the surface tension of droplets. The rest of the fabric stays completely dry. By adjusting the pattern of water-conducting fibres and how they are stitched on each side of the fabric, the researchers can control where the sweat is collected and where it drains away on the outside.
Human Skin Cells Converted Into Embryonic Stem Cells
According to a report released on May 16, 2013, in a major medical breakthrough, scientists have for the first time converted human skin cells into embryonic stem cells. These newly made stem cells are capable of transforming into any other cell type in the human body. The cloned embryos, created by scientists at the Oregon National Primate Health Centre, USA, can make new heart muscles and new bones besides brain tissue or any other type of cell in the body. The scientists used the same cloning technique that had created Dolly the sheep (the first cloned mammal) in 1996, overcoming technical problems that had frustrated them for more than a decade on how to create batches of the body's super cells from donated skin.
The new technique devised by the scientists is a variation of a commonly used method called somatic cell nuclear transfer. It involves transplanting the nucleus of one cell, containing an individual's DNA, into an egg cell that has had its genetic material removed. The fertilised egg cell then develops and eventually produces stem cells. The process is relatively efficient, requiring a relatively small number of human eggs to produce each cell line, making it practical and feasible.
A Mask That Gives The Wearer "Superhuman" Powers
The Royal College of Art in London announced on May 9, 2013 that its researchers had developed two 3D printed masks that can give the wearer "superhuman" sight and hearing. One of the masks covers the wearer's ears, mouth and nose and uses a directional microphone to give him the ability to hear an isolated sound in a noisy environment. With the mask on, the user could select a person in a crowd and hear his words without any surrounding noise.
The other prototype is to be worn over one's eyes. A camera captures video and sends it to a computer, which can apply a set of effects to it in real-time and send it back to the user. The wearer can use the mask to see movement patterns, similar to the effects of long-exposure photography.
According to the developers, the technology has many possible applications. The wearer could use the visual mask to analyse movement and technique in sports. Concert-goers could use the hearing mask to concentrate on a certain performer.
Scientists Find Eco-friendly Way Of Forging Steel
As per a report released on May 8, 2013, scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), USA, have developed a technique to lessen smoke emissions during the process of forging steel. This can go a long way in changing the image of steel making as one of the most polluting industries. In addition, there may be other side benefits as the resulting steel, according to scientists, could be of higher purity. The process may also turn out to be cheaper than the existing ones.
The researchers found that a process known as molten oxide electrolysis could use iron oxide from the lunar soil to create oxygen with no special chemistry. They tested the process using lunar-like soil from a meteor crater in Arizona, USA, where there are enough traces of iron oxide, and found that it produced steel as a by-product. The researchers' method used an iridium anode, which is expensive and limited in supply, so it is not viable for bulk steel production. However, after more research, they identified an inexpensive metal alloy that can replace the iridium anode in molten oxide electrolysis.
An Insect-inspired Camera With 180-degree View
As per reports released on May 2, 2013, scientists at the University of Illinois and North-western University, USA, have developed a new insect-inspired camera that can take pictures across 180 degrees and deliver exceptionally sharp images. The camera features 180 miniature lenses and exceptionally wide-angle field of view. We humans capture pictures using the two lenses of our relatively flat eyes, while a top quality SLR camera has just one flat lens. The new camera a rounded half bubble, similar to a bulging eye of a fly has 180 micro-lenses mounted on it, allowing it to take pictures across nearly 180 degrees. This is possible only for a camera shaped like a bug's eye.
With its wide-angle field of view, the new technology could be used in future surveillance devices or for imaging in medical (such as endoscopic) procedures. Its developers say that it would be simple enough to combine two of the hemispheres they have demonstrated to get a 360-degree view. This is because basically the procedure involves mounting many small eyes on one big eye. Each small eye, composed of a micro-lens and a micro-scale photo detector, is a separate imaging system. When all of these eyes are taken together, they will be able to take a clear picture, with just one snap, across nearly 360 degrees.
New Fly-inspired Aerial Robot
Researchers at Harvard University, USA, have successfully designed, manufactured and flown a small robot inspired by flies. The demonstration of the first controlled flight of an insect-sized robot marks the culmination of more than a decade's work. It was created jointly by the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard.
The project is called Robbie. It is inspired by the biology of a fly, with sub millimetre-scale anatomy and two wafer thin wings that flap almost invisibly (about 120 times per second). The tiny device represents the absolute cutting edge of micro manufacturing and control systems.
Scientists Develop Tech That Can Turn Any Surface Into A Touch screen
Scientists at the Carnegie Mellon University, USA, have developed a new technology that can enable users to turn any surface into a touch screen with just a wave of the hand. Demonstrated that based interface can be create' anywhere almost at will. This is a significant improvement on earlier technologies which required some depth camera systems to b combined with' a projector to turn any surface into a touch-screen.
The new system is known as World Kit. It enables a person to rub the arm of a sofa to "paint" a remote control for TV or swipe a hand across an office door to post calendar from which subsequent users can "pull down" an extended version. These temporary interfaces can be moved, modified or deleted with similar gestures, making them highly personalised.
The researchers used a ceiling-mounted camera and projector to record room geometries, sense hand gestures and project images on desired surfaces. Users can summon switches, message boards, indicator lights and a variety of other interface designs from a menu. The developers say that the users will ultimately be able to custom design interfaces with gestures.
A Robot That Can Predict Human Actions Accurately
Scientists at the Personal Robotics Lab at Cornell University, USA, said on May 4, 2013 that they had developed a new "smart" robot that can predict human actions with surprising accuracy. The robot can refill its master's empty coffee mug and can also hold the door open for him/her. In addition, it can perform several other tasks. The robot basically learns to foresee human actions and then adjust accordingly