Words of Gratitude: Why Being Thankful Improves Your Approach to Work and Relationships

Man Holding WordImagine this scene. A boy has been wishing and asking for a Playstation 4 for Christmas all year long. He loves video games, and he’d love to get a job working in video games when he grows up, a career field you can learn about in this course. It’s the middle of December, and he’s walking through a store with his mom, and he points out to her exactly what he’s been wanting for the last several months. Christmas Day arrives, and the little boy is excited to open up all his gifts. There are several, and he’s opened all but the very last one: a large box that looks to be about the same size as the box a Playstation 4 comes in.

He grabs the box in anticipation. This is the moment he’s been waiting for. He tears the wrapping paper off to reveal a random box whose contents will be unknown until he opens the box. He tries to fight off his disappointment and hang onto hope. Maybe his parents are trying to play a trick on him by making him think he’s not getting the Playstation 4. He slowly opens the box, hoping he’ll find what he’s looking for. Inside the box is a used Playstation 3. The boy’s hopes are dashed. The full weight of his disappointment sets in as he mumbles a quiet, “Thank you.”

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An Introduction to Using Vygotsky Scaffolding in the Classroom

how to teach englishIf you’re new to the field of teaching, it’s important to know the ways in which students learn and the ways in which their brains develop. Effective teaching involves a careful knowledge of the specific students you teach and where they are on their learning journey. Depending on what subject you teach, you should have a clear idea of what knowledge and skills your students should be able to clearly grasp by the time they have come to the end of your class. When you know where your students are in relation to those expectations and compare where they’re at with those expectations, you can begin to formulate some ideas on how to get your students to where they need to be. If not, however, it’s okay because many important thinkers and psychologists in the realm of education have studied the ways students learn and developed theories that are very helpful to educators on what strategies to take in order to help a student learn. One of those theories came from Soviet psychologist Lev Vygotsky, and it’s a theory that is especially helpful for teachers in the classroom. Vygotsky was a leading psychologist in the area of cognitive development. His theory of cognitive development focused on the social aspect of learning and the need for support in the learning process.

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Flash Fiction: Examples of How to Write a Story in 1,000 Words or Less

flash fiction examplesPeople have been enjoying stories for as long as humanity has been around. The love of stories never changes, but the mediums through which people enjoy stories often do change. Often by necessity. Some people love to read 400-page novels, while others struggle to read the first 4 paragraphs. Many people love to watch 2-hour movies, while others would rather read a novelization of the same story. Some people couldn’t sit through a full-length movie, but could spend hours watching short videos on the Internet. More and more, as technology has unfortunately resulted in many people having shorter attention spans, writers are having to find new ways to communicate stories in a way that appeals to people who are used to reading short snippets of information on the small screen of their smart phones. Flash fiction is a medium that works perfectly in a low-attention span world.

What is Flash Fiction?

Flash fiction is a category of short story that limits the author to a word count of 1,000 words or less. If you’re submitting flash fiction stories to be published, some magazines limit flash fiction stories to as little as 300 words.

Learn more about writing short stories with this Udemy course.

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Hollywood’s Response to Literature: Writing Adaptable Stories

response to literatureMany fiction writers would love to see the creative vision of their story come to life on a movie screen, but they may not want to shape their initial story idea into a screenplay. Writing novels, as you can learn with this course, and writing screenplays are quite different. With a novel, the writer gets to explore all of the internal landscape of a character’s mind. The writer gets to include several complex subplots, and the story is often one that takes months to write and several days to several weeks to read. A novel provides the writer with the space to describe what’s in their mind in detail and shape a character’s development over 300 to 400 or more pages. Of course, stories conveyed through the medium of a novel are meant to be read. Novelists want people to read their books.

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How to Play the Banjo

how to play the banjo“Dueling Banjos” was an instrumental song that was written by Arthur “Guitar Boogie” Smith in 1955. The song, as its name aptly alludes to, was written to be played by two banjos. The song plays out as a musical competition between two banjos. It starts quietly and slowly as each banjo lays down equally impressive riffs in a battle to one-up the other. The song builds up as the battle intensifies between the two banjos until both have meshed together to make a truly amazing sound. It’s a truly fun-sounding song and one that banjo players find to be a fun song to play. The banjo isn’t an instrument that many people pick up, but when you hear a banjo player play, it sounds very impressive. The actor Steve Martin is someone who has become an accomplished banjo player. Steve Martin has captured the opinion of many banjo players when he says, “The banjo is such a happy instrument–you can’t play a sad song on the banjo – it always comes out so cheerful.” While it’s not a popular instrument, the banjo is great if you’re into more bluegrass styles or the happy kinds of tunes that Steve Martin describes. Playing guitar is great, but there are certain types of music that the banjo is much better for. Below you’ll learn some tips on how to begin to play the banjo.

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The Importance of Environment in Education

importance of environmentThe realm of education is vitally important because of its role in helping children to develop into mature and responsible, thinking adults, as you can learn in this course. The ideas and opinions of what works in education are many, and much widespread disappointment in the state of education often paints a picture of a hopeless and dying system. This can be a great discouragement for parents, teachers, and administrators.

But education is too important to give up on, and that’s why many influential people are trying to bring about positive and lasting change. Filmmaker M. Night Shyamalan is known for movies that tell complex stories with surprising twists. His most notable movies include The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable, and The Village. Shyamalan, although a successful filmmaker, turned his attention to education and reported some surprising findings and some bright spots of educational reform in his book I Got Schooled. He’s one person using his influence to spark needed change in education. But you don’t have to be a celebrity to bring about change. [Read more…]

Insights from Goal Setting Quotes

goal setting quotesWhat causes you to get up out of bed in the morning? To go to work? Maybe it’s simply a sense of obligation that drives you to do the things that you do each day. For many people, however, goals are what drive them to make the choices they make and take the actions they take. Goals are an important part of living a truly successful and focused life. Everyone has hopes and dreams, but goals are hopes and dreams with an intentional focus and plan for making them happen. When people set goals, they do whatever is necessary to make them become a reality.

Goal Setting Quotes

There are many important thinkers who have communicated some important insights when it comes to goal setting, and below you’ll encounter some goal setting quotes that teach us some important lessons about setting goals. [Read more…]

How to Draw Manga Faces

how to draw manga facesDrawing can be a lot of fun if you’re someone who is creatively oriented. There’s something about taking a visualization from your mind and transferring it onto a page. In fact, some scientific studies have shown that drawing or doodling has cognitive benefits that help people to focus and take in information better. Drawing is something anyone can pick up if they’re willing to put in a lot of practice.

Anybody who is interested in drawing wants to be able to draw well, but your first drawings probably won’t look that great. It’s only after you’ve learned some technique and practiced the techniques consistently that you’ll start to see your drawings becoming more and more visually appealing. Taking a drawing course can help you if you’re new to drawing and you want to learn the core concepts of drawing.

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Rhythm Guitar: The Basics

rhythm guitarRhythm guitar often provides the foundation of many popular songs you hear on the radio, especially more rock-oriented music styles. Many guitar players, when they first begin learning how to play, want to focus on the more impressive sounding flashy techniques of their favorite guitar players. In fact, they’re often so focused on learning licks and tricks that it seems that’s all they know. While lead guitar has its use in adding spice to a song, for guitar players who play songs, especially in a band, the majority of their guitar workload is in the area of rhythm guitar. Rhythm guitar is actually vitally important to a song’s foundation much of the time. Taking a guitar course can help you to see the most important elements of a guitar player’s skills as a player.

Many guitar players love nothing more than picking up an acoustic guitar and strumming out guitar chords while singing their favorite songs. Rhythm guitar skills are essential to being a great guitar player. Below you’ll learn some basics on playing rhythm guitar.

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The History of Chocolate for Kids: A Parent’s Guide to their Child’s Favorite Treat

historyofchocolateforkidsKids love chocolate. Adults do as well, but there seems to be a very special place in the heart of kids for chocolate. Movies like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory bear this out. Though there are many different types of candy available, when kids go out trick-or-treating on Halloween, they likely don’t want anything else other than chocolate.

In fact, it’s often a real disappointment for a kid to get home and dump out their Halloween loot and discover a stash that favors lollipops and sucking candies over chocolate. If parents want to bribe their kids to do something, chocolate is often the way to do it. Chocolate candy. Chocolate bars. Chocolate pudding. Chocolate ice cream. Chocolate syrup. Chocolate milk. The list of delicious treats made from chocolate is nearly limitless. Though children may not think about it in between bites of their favorite chocolatey treat, they may find the history of chocolate interesting. Adults can have a fun time walking their children through the history of chocolate while making some delicious treats from the beans that chocolate is made from.

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