tcochelps

Teaching Comprehension for Understanding and Engagement

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One of my favorite books for teaching reading comprehension is Strategies That Work: Teaching Comprehension for Understanding and Engagement by Stephanie Harvey and Anne Goudvis. It was first published in 2000, and it is still one of the most popular book used by educators. I’m recommending it for parents because they are strategies that are very easy to utilize at home to help children develop deeper comprehension skills.

Strategies That Work relies on 6 main areas.

1. Making Connections: By helping children make different kinds of connections (text-to-self, text-to-text, text-to-world) children learn to utilize their personal and their discussion group/partners to enhance their understanding of a text. Connections begin close to home (self) and then gradually build outward to the world helping students develop a larger sense of context.

2. Questioning: Questions are a normal part of human curiosity. So while reading, questions arise for children and adults alike. Questions that children ask about a text can help us know whether or not they are comprehending the text.

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How to fight your debts

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Car loan payments, credit card bills, mortgage payments, bank loans, rent payments…Sometimes it feels that almost all your money is going toward paying off your debts. But, even though it may seem that being in debt is just another part of adult living, this definitely doesn’t need to be this way.

If you manage your money well, living within your means, and even saving for purchases instead of getting them on credit, is absolutely possible. By managing your money well, you can not only pay off some of your debt, you also will learn not to rely so heavily on borrowing.

Bear in mind, though, that there are forms of debt, for example a home loan, that are pretty much acceptable. Most houses will be increasing in value as time goes by, but what’s more important, the interest you pay on a mortgage is tax deductible, which will save you money on taxes.

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How to achieve your goals

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medalWhich goals do you wish to accomplish? What are the dreams you have? Take some time, and think about what dreams you have. Dreams for today, dreams for tomorrow, and dreams for the long term…

Well, you need to know that a lot of goals and dreams do not require having a lot of money at all. To give you an example, you may want to pay a visit to one of your friends who’s living a couple of miles away. Well, just take a day off and go… Or maybe you’re dreaming about spending some extra time with your relatives or family.

Perhaps you could take them out for a great picnic in the forest instead of having diner at home. This kind of goals and dreams won’t cost you a fortune, but they actually are really worthwhile.

Fulfilling some other dreams or accomplishing some other goals do require some money though. Maybe you’re dreaming about things like:

  • Buying or renting a house in a safer neighborhood that has some good schools
  • Having a reliable car
  • Setting up your own small business
  • Dealing with your debt: pay it off!
  • Getting a better education. Improve your skills, earn a GED, or go to college

Now how will you succeed in making your dreams and goals come true? Well, determination is key, but so is self-respect and self-belief and understanding that you are deserving the life that you’ve always dreamed about.

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Live within your means-how to do it

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Most probably You have heard this phrase: ‘live within your means.’ But what exactly does this phrase mean?

modern-apartmentVery simply put, when you live within your means, you are able to pay for all the things you need in your life without taking on more debt than you are able to handle. Yet many Americans are believing that there’s only one way to get nice things, and that is to get into debt and get them.

Now that could be true for larger purchases like a home or a car, but it certainly does not to apply to many other things that we are needing in life. When you purchase a house, for example, you take a mortgage loan which will put you in debt for maybe as long as 20 or 30 years.

Sure, that is a long period of time, but this sort of debt has also many benefits. Interest paid on the mortgage can be deducted from your annual taxable income, and the money that’s yours in the house (the equity) can be applied for other loans. If you make regular mortgage payments, you will also build up a strong credit score.

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IDA accounts part 2

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In general, IDA’s are managed by local community organizations, and IDA accounts are usually held at a local financial institutions, for example a banks or a credit unions. Every participant will receive education on budgeting and saving, but also topics like how to clean up credit. The programs’ length or the sort of training that participants receive may vary.

When the time has come to use the IDA fund, the IDA administrator will write a check to the recipient, such as a college, a title company, or a business equipment vendor, and you’re all good to go. It’s not only that your IDA deposits will be matched so your account will grow rapidly, you will also get financially experienced in the process.

While you build up your IDA savings account to reach your goals, you will also be learning how to deal with money, how to set up a financial plan, and how to develop your finance skills.

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Job Benefits: Education and Retirement

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Just imagine that all your training or college expenses are paid for… Well, this may happen when your company offers education benefits.

If you want to break away from the ongoing cycle of badly-paying jobs, in-demand skills is what you should focus on, and the only way to get there is through continuing education. So if you have an employer that is helping to pay for your education, head back to school and start learning, you can the ACT or SAT exam, or if you had a longer break from education take a GED test.

You can easily prepare for the exams free of charge websites. Here is the link to a good free prep site:

Your employer’s education benefits may vary from paying for certain costs to a maximum per year, to picking up the full tuition tab for training related to your position. Employers may also opt to furnish a percentage of your education costs, or subsidize a set amount pf money. Regardless of what benefit your employer offers, you should really take advantage of these options.

I’m sure it will pay off in the future, and in many ways. What’s important is that it allows you to grow continually, and it will provide you with the tools to turn your dreams into reality.

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How Much Debt Is Okay?

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Debt has all too often become a normal element of life. Sometimes we are not realizing that we really have too much of it. Until it begins to eat us alive and rob us of the way we are used to live.  Keep in mind that being in debt for the bigger things in life, for example a home or an education, may have some considerable payoffs.

The problem is in consumer debt! The problem lies in the department store and credit cards, and things alike. On this we really should cut down. Generally speaking, you should use no more than 15 to 20 percent of your after-tax income for consumer debt payments. Take a look at how you can determine how much you can be affording to use for paying consumer debt each month.

Lets look at your annual income, after deductions and taxes.

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How to find a job

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Looking for a good job can be quite challenging. You should regularly check all the available resources, but also inform your family and friends that you’re looking for a job. You never can tell when or if anybody may hear about a job opening which could be your perfect fit.

You may also be attracted to a company you would like to work for. If you happen to know somebody who works there, you can ask him who would be the right person to contact, and see if you can use him as reference.

Then you can get in touch with that person and express the interest you have in working for his company while stressing that your acquaintance recommended the contact.

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Solving Mortgage Problems

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When Should You Talk With The Mortgage Company

When you get into a situation that you can’t make your monthly mortgage payment, get in touch with the mortgage company as soon as you can. You really should make that call before you start falling behind in your payments. Quite a few mortgage companies are accepting partial payments, and some may even let you skip some payment(s) and not even charge a late fee.

Of course you’ll still owe for the skipped payment(s), but they let you pay it off more gradually. Keep in mind that mortgage companies (just as landlords) will be far more likely to cooperate with you when you contact them before you fall behind in your monthly payments.

In case you are not able to come up with a plan, you should immediately get in touch with a housing counseling agency. The US Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) operates a housing counseling & referral telephone line that will direct you to low- or no-cost resources (1-800-569-4287).

You can also get in touch with your city, county, or state housing authority. You can find their phone numbers on the government pages in your telephone directory. You may also want to get in touch with a nonprofit consumer credit agency to help you restructure all your debt payments. Check out the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (1-800-388-2227). You can also go to the website of the NEFE (Smart About Money Economic Survival Tips) for advise on how to best protect your home from foreclosure.

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Paying Rent Problems. When Should You Contact Your Landlord

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The moment you know that you will have trouble to pay your rent, you should go and talk to your landlord. The longer you’ll wait, the more the landlord will be thinking that you’re not willing to come up with the back rent. And then, your landlord could begin the eviction process.

Another aspect is that, in case you come to an agreement with your landlord before he sets out on the eviction path, you’ll be saving yourself a lot of money, as there’s quite some legal cost associated with eviction procedures. In case you’ll pay the back rent after he already started the eviction process, the landlord may very well demand that you also pay for those legal costs.

What Should You Tell Your Landlord

When talking with the landlord, try to explain your situation as clearly as possible. Don’t waste much of his time by describing all your troubles, because you just want to inform him that the problems are of a temporary nature. Bear in mind that for your landlord, you are merely a customer, and not a friend.

On top of coming up with a decent repayment plan, you also can indicate that you have taken steps to avoid a similar situation in the future. One more way to fulfill  your back payment obligations is to see if the landlord has any work to be done on this or another property. Lawns may require some attention or the hallways may want some fresh paint. In case your landlord will agree, you could spend weekend or evening hours performing these tasks, thus decreasing the amount of owed back rent.

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