Posts from the ‘adult’ Category

HOW TO CUT THROUGH THE NOISE – TEACHING OUR CHILDREN TO BE CRITICAL THINKERS

About 64 million Americans get their news from social media. The reliance on newspapers, radio, and television news segments have been diminished or disappeared. Even broadcasts advertised as the “breaking news” rely on panels of “experts” to relay information. The days of a journalist simply reporting the facts without attaching opinions are gone.

Our children probably rely on social media to an even greater degree. How can we teach them to cut through the noise, sift through the mire, and uncover the objective truth? I have a few suggestions.

VARIETY IS THE SPICE OF LIFE

Make it a point to watch and listen to many different stations and social media outlets. Show your children how different outlets and reporters present information. Do they show both sides of an issue? Are certain people and groups ignored? Tell children they need to hear and see both sides of an issue before judging it authentic. Ask them if the information was reported fairly. Did they get the whole picture?

EVERY STORY HAS MANY ANGLES

Explain how different people look at the same situation differently. Use examples of how family members like different foods, play different sports, and choose different friends. Even mom and dad sometimes argue about preferences. The same applies to news issues. Adults can choose different media outlets and reporters to illustrate how there can be a multitude of different views about the same topic in the news.

IS THAT A FACT?

Use everyday situations to illustrate the difference between a fact and opinion. I am wearing a red shirt today. That is a fact. When you say, that red shirt is ugly, you are issuing your opinion. Facebook and Twitter are littered with opinions. What do people share or retweet? They share and comment on the opinions with which they strongly agree or disagree. Social media outlets do not report the news, they display the opinions of those followers who have decided to reject or endorse them. Children need to understand that reality does not coincide with the majority of social media opinion. Point of view on an issue does not necessarily make what is communicated true. In fact, the reality might be something completely different.

YOU BE THE JUDGE

Adults and children can have fun and learn a lot by analyzing the ads seen in print and on TV. Study that boring commercial and think deeply about the message that is being communicated. How are the actors dressed? What do their gestures tell you? What words do they use? Do they exaggerate the benefits of the product? How are they trying to manipulate you into buying something you don’t really need?

After doing this a few times, take what you learned and apply it to the commentators, reporters, and “expert panels” that you see reporting the news. You will learn a lot about how much opinion is introduced into what is being reported as factual news. This knowledge will go a long way in developing critical thinking skills that will benefit children as they mature and develop the life skills they will need in future careers.

SEEING IS NOT BELIEVING

It’s okay to be critical. In the world of modern technology in which we can press a button to order in minutes, see ourselves in virtual reality, and communicate with friends, family, and co-workers instantly, it has never been more important to be vigilant and careful. We worry about computer hackers, but often neglect to train our own brains to filter out the noise and the mixed messages that seek to distract and deceive us.

BE SMART AND RESPONSIBLE

Watch this quick video to learn how.

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#AUTHORTOOLBOXLINKYBLOGHOP

Guerilla Publishing: a sleaze-free guide to publishing and marketing

Written by Derek Murphy

I have read quite a few books offering publishing advice to independent authors. This one filled in some of the blanks about my still unanswered questions.

Most new and independent authors worry incessantly about marketing and spend too much time on it. I will admit to being guilty on that count. Murphy believes authors should spend more of their time and resources writing. He believes the only two things an author should worry about are visibility and conversion. Getting your book in front of the right readers is more important than spinning your wheels using every available marketing tool available.

Before writing authors need to do preparation. Rather than write about what they want, do research, and find genres that will sell. Of course, one still needs to balance that with the need to enjoy writing in that area. Answering who, what, when and where to find your target readers and how to write the best story that appeals to their needs are the next steps.

Murphy discusses the kinds of errors authors make and how to fix them. Then he provides links to problem solve embedded in the text. This allows the reader to go straight to the source and find information about how to fix them. Practical advice on layout, formatting, book covers, and options for distribution are clearly presented. The necessary skills of locating the best keywords, categories, and book reviewers are explained and examples given. Finally, launching the book and getting the sales you need are handled, as well as editing and making changes.

There is a free download to a companion workbook to implement strategies and an invitation to join The Guerilla Publishing Facebook Group in which authors share problems and offer solutions to each other as they come across them.

I would highly recommend this book to fledgling authors as well as experienced authors. After seven years in publishing, I still have much to learn. This book will become part of my toolkit.

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A UNIQUE PERSPECTIVE

How The Cockroach Lost Its Voice: After Dinner Conversations

Written by Samuel Reifler

This book certainly will provoke unique discussions. The protagonists are two cockroaches who venture on a journey to the top of the refrigerator. They carry on a conversation about the squishy humans with three eyes. The third eye is their brain. Unfortunately, their brain allows them to focus on the past and the future as well as the present. That makes them unable to appreciate the beauty around them.

The book contains approximately 17 pages. While I found the plot interesting, it ended rather abruptly and left me wanting to hear more. Readers are provided with discussion questions and a link to a podcast group.

I believe families and couples might enjoy these books to stimulate interesting conversations. Recommended for children and adults ages eight and older.

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#HOTOFFTHEPRESS

BREAKING NEWS:

Little Miss HISTORY Travels to INDEPENDENCE HALL & The American Revolution makes its debut on the world stage.

No Fake News here….just the facts

The United States Constitution is the oldest federal constitution in existence. This document, along with the Bill of Rights, lays out the rights and responsibilities of its citizens. The Founding Fathers embraced the principles of the Enlightenment and a vision of liberty and justice for all. Trace their footsteps at Independence Hall and the Museum of the American Revolution.

Available in hardcover or paperback

AVAILABLE ONLINE OR ASK FOR IT AT YOUR FAVORITE BOOKSTORE

https://amzn.to/3cF9Li0

https://www.lulu.com/en/us/shop/barbara-ann-mojica-and-victor-ramon-mojica/little-miss-history-travels-to-independence-hall-the-museum-of-the-american-revolution/paperback/product-qjj2p7.html

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/55282858

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/little-miss-history-travels-to-independence-hall-the-museum-of-the-american-revolution-barbara-ann-mojica/1137760525?ean=9781733067157

SLAVE OR FREE

Vengeance of a Slave

Written by V.M. Sang

Adelbehrd and his family live in the Roman provinces. Their simple life is suddenly turned upside down when Roman soldiers come to exact revenge for a rebellion in which they played no part.

They randomly choose men to be examples. Adelbehrd’s father is crucified. He and his sister are singled out to be sold as slaves because of their blond hair. Torn from their grieving mother, the two terrified children are carted off to a far-off villa to be enslaved.

For many years, their monotonous life continues. One day, Adelbehrd discovers that his sister is about to be sold. A friend tells him about a group of Britons who rescue slaves. Adelbehrd is determined to protect his sister and hatches a plan to escape. Will they be successful, or will they suffer the dire consequences?

The book appears to be well researched. The plot moves along and keeps the reader’s interest. I would recommend it to those who enjoy history and intriguing characters.

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LEADERSHIP SKILLS SERIES #10 How to Be An Effective Leader in the Workplace

A leader in the workplace means setting a good example for others and/or heading up office programs and projects. It does not necessarily mean being a boss, manager, supervisor, or other “official” position, although it can mean that.

Here are some tips and ideas on how to be a leader in the workplace.

Be Confident

“Never let them see you sweat.” No one is perfect; but appearing confident inspires others to trust you and take your advice. Appear self-assured by not talking too much about your fears and concerns. Instead, talk to friends outside of the workplace about your uncertainties.

See the Good in Others

Always observe the good traits of other employees in the workplace. If you need to put certain people in charge of certain tasks, it pays to know who will do well with what task. You also may see potential in a co-worker and challenge him or her by requesting a task that might be a bit outside the scope of his or her current responsibilities. This improves the overall skill set of the workforce, and helps build self-esteem in your co-workers.

Don’t Be Afraid to Delegate

There’s a difference between being a people person and being a people pleaser. Being a people person means you have a genuine love for people, but you’re not afraid to ask people to do things. Being a leader doesn’t mean doing everything yourself; it means you are comfortable giving up some control and delegating tasks to others.

Appreciate Co-Workers

No one wants to work for or with someone who doesn’t appreciate them. If you let everyone know you appreciate what they’ve done and how they’ve given their time and talents, it can go a long way. Remember that there would be no leaders if there weren’t any followers. People who are appreciated may be more likely to follow your lead next time.

Problem Solving

If you step up with ideas on how to solve dilemmas or problems, and have resourceful ideas about how to accomplish something, then speak up. Employers value the ability to think through a problem and find a creative solution. This is a valuable leadership quality that demonstrates you have what it takes to be an effective leader in the workplace.

HOW TO FOSTER LEADERSHIP SKILLS IN CHILDREN – #9 What Happens When You Need to Deal with Adults?

Keys to Being an Effective Leader of Fellow Adults

An entirely different approach is called for, but some of the principles are the same no matter what age you’re leading.

Maybe you are going to be training a group of adults for a specific job, or perhaps you have to organize a community consignment sale. Maybe you need to find volunteers for a work or church function. There numerous situations where adults need to lead adults. Here are some keys to being an effective leader of your fellow adults.

Know Where You’re Going

No one wants to follow someone who has no idea where they’re going! Having a goal or vision is essential. It’s possible that goals may evolve or change as you go forward – it’s good to be flexible, too – but when you start out, having a clear vision can inspire others to follow you. If you really believe in it and know it can be done, your enthusiasm tends to be infectious. People like to get on board with someone who knows how to fly the plane!

Listen

As noted above, it’s good to be flexible, and that’s where listening comes in. As you express your vision and goal, even if it’s just getting things done well and on time, it’s a good idea to listen to the input of others. Someone might point out something you hadn’t taken into consideration, or he/she might have a good point about your choice of venue.

Obviously, a good leader can’t please every person’s whim, but you can take people’s concerns into consideration. If everyone seems to be saying the same thing, maybe you should change your plans a bit! People tend to appreciate a leader who listens, even if it doesn’t always mean change.

Clear Steps

In addition to a clear goal, you’ll need clear steps on how to reach that goal (or multiple goals). Explaining a “contagious” vision is great, but teaching people how you plan to realize that vision is just as important. It can seem unrealistic if you cannot clearly outline your plan. Break it down into manageable steps to present to the members in your group. A critical part of this, of course, is being organized.

Confidence

If you don’t believe in what you’re doing, how can you expect others to follow you? Make sure you are confident and certain of your plan and your methods. While it’s not a good idea to be so confident that you refuse to listen to anyone or pay attention to their concerns; demonstrating confidence and a clear vision, is contagious. Be sure of yourself and the goals that you want to accomplish.

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#BethatSpark Blog Awareness Tour and #Giveaway

This tour is hosted by the Children’s Book Review and sponsored by Zuroam Media.

ABOUT THE BOOK

A Little Spark

Written by Chris Parsons

Illustrated by Mike Motz

Publisher’s Synopsis: When the survival of their hometown is threatened, two unlikely comrades join forces on a quest to defeat a dangerous enemy and bring back the only one who can save them all.

Beyond the frozen mountains there lies an oasis from the frigid cold and the howling winds. A place the animals call Lake Zuron. What a wonderful place, happy creatures of all kinds, living in harmony and warmth thanks to their very own fire-breathing dragon named Daniel.

But one day everything changed when the unthinkable happened. The Dragon fire goes out and immediately the air begins to chill. Things were not looking good but just when all hope was lost, an unlikely hero steps up. Join Spark the mouse on an adventure of a lifetime as he and his friends do their part to save their town from an icy demise.

With the magical power of Daniel, the Dragon there could be hope. But first, they must face and defeat a dangerous enemy, the vile beasts who own these mountains where nobody passes through.

Along this journey maybe you will discover that it’s that little Spark in each of us that really matters, and that a little Spark could save them from the coming cold. The story reminds us that we all need something in life every day to ignite our passion and spirit – to help the world be a “warmer” place and to look for ways to “Be That Spark.”

Ages 7+ | Publisher: Zuroam Media | October 1, 2020 | ISBN-13: 978-1735145501

About the Author

Chris Parsons grew up in the small fishing village of Flatrock, Newfoundland where he was surrounded by storytellers. When he became a father, he began creating his own children’s stories, and soon he was sharing them with a wider audience.

Over time, his audience grew up, but he continued to create his stories and colorful characters mostly for his own enjoyment. One day he had a flash of inspiration about a little mouse named Spark and began to create the world of A Little Spark.

Today, Chris lives in Dallas. He has left the high-tech world of innovation and business development behind and is focused on his real passion – to create new meaningful experiences for children centered around powerful and engaging stories like ” A little Spark.”

Together with his wife, Kathleen, daughter, Maggie, and son, Kealan, they share a love for all God’s creatures.

bethatspark.com | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Instagram

About the Illustrator

Mike Motz is a children’s book illustrator and publishing professional based out of Toronto, Canada. Motz has helped writers around the world fulfill their dreams of publishing their works. To date, Motz has been responsible for the creation of the artwork for over 300 self-published children’s books.

About the Narrator

Brandon McInnis is a voice actor and singer known primarily for his work on animation and video games. He voices Sir Nighteye in My Hero Academia, Ganos in Dragon Ball Super, Finral Roulacase in Black Clover, Asagiri Gen in Dr. Stone, Yuna D. Kaito in Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card, Frodo Baggins in Lord of the Rings Online, Patrick Phelps in Black Butler, Sonosuke Izayoi in Danganronpa 3, Erlang Shen in SMITE, and many more.

With a deep love for music production and originally trained as an opera singer, Brandon also produces music for release on YouTube and Spotify. He can be followed on Twitter, TikTok, and Instagram: @BranMci.

About the Music Producer

Bruce Faulconer is a musician, composer, and record producer based in Dallas, Texas. He is the owner and founder of Faulconer Productions Music, and CakeMix Recording Studio. Faulconer writes music for orchestra, various instrumental and choral groups, along with the music for feature films, and TV series, including the anime Dragon Ball Z. He recently completed twelve songs for A Little Spark, included in a new audiobook, an interactive children’s book, and an animated feature film in development. He resides in Dallas with his wife Lisa and is the father of two sons.

My Review of A LITTLE SPARK

SMALL BUT MIGHTY

A Little Spark

Written by Chris Parsons

Illustrated by Mike Motz

This interactive book is a valuable resource for young children’s minds on so many levels. It is innovative, inspiring, and entertaining.

The target audience range is a wide one. This book contains rich illustrations that could place it in the picture book category. But with a length of more than one hundred fifty pages, it also might be considered a chapter book or a middle-grade reader. What it delivers is a range of fascinating animal characters which are personified with a range of human emotions and aspirations. There are fire-breathing dragons, bears, mice, weasels, goats, cats, and raccoons. They live in Lake Zuron, an oasis on the edge of a frozen world. Their world survives only because of the warmth provided by Daniel, a fire-breathing dragon. Lake Zuron is not an ideal society. The “Supervisors” contain the stronger animals, a ruling class. Far below them, “The Streeters,” perform all the work.

One day, Daniel loses his ability to produce fire. Lake Zuron faces extinction. But Sparky, a tiny mouse, finds within himself the courage to make the perilous journey over the frozen wasteland of their enemies, the Scabes, to follow a rumor that another land survives on the other side of the mountain. He and Veen venture to the other side. Will they discover salvation or face extinction?

Young readers learn many lessons from the colorful cast of characters as the adventure unfolds. Hope, courage, friendship, equality, fairness, and responsibility are exemplified in the faces and actions of the characters, both large and small. But Parsons provides much more than an excellent book. Embedded within its pages are a collection of twelve songs, private video messages from the characters, the ability to take a photo with your favorite character, or an opportunity for readers to share their personal opinions on the interactive lesson pages at the end of the book.

I highly recommend this unique educational resource for readers age eight through eighty-eight.

PURCHASE LINK

Before October 1st, pre-order your copy, email the team at Zuroam Media, and they’ll give you the audiobook free so you can enjoy it while you wait for the book to arrive. You can find all the email address and links to your favorite bookstore here: https://bethatspark.com/shop/.

Click the link below to enter the GIVEAWAY

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/3d5cb282179/

Enter for a chance to win the A Little Spark prize pack.

One (1) grand prize winner receives:

  • A hardcover copy of A Little Spark, autographed by author Chris Parsons.
  • A downloadable audiobook of A Little Spark.
  • A Little Spark USB drive with the A Little Spark music album.
  • One set of Apple AirPods Pro for listening to the outstanding audiobook and music!

Two (2) winners receive:

  • A hardcover copy of A Little Spark, autographed by author Chris Parsons.
  • A downloadable audiobook of A Little Spark.

Giveaway begins August 24, 2020, at 12:01 A.M. MT and ends September 24, 2020, at 11:59 P.M. MT.

TOUR SCHEDULE

August 24The Children’s Book Reviewhttps://www.thechildrensbookreview.com/Book Review
August 25JrsbookreviewsHttp://www.jrsbookreviews.wordpress.comBook Review
August 26Over Coffee Conversationshttps://gmarciano.blogspot.comGiveaway
August 27Heart to Hearthttp://tynea-lewis.com/Giveaway
August 28The Children’s Book Reviewhttps://www.thechildrensbookreview.com/Interview
August 30Barbara Ann Mojica’s Bloghttps://bamauthor.meBook Review
August 31Tales of A Wanna-Be SuperHero Momhttp://wannabesuperheromom.blogspot.com/Book Review
September 1A Dream Within A Dreamhttp://adreamwithindream.blogspot.comBook Review
September 3Satisfaction for Insatiable Readershttp://insatiablereaders.blogspot.comGuest Post
September 8Fairview Elementary School (Library)https://fveslibrary.blogspot.com/Book Review
September 9icefairy’s Treasure Chesthttp://icefairystreasurechest.blogspot.com/Book Review
September 15Library Lady’s Kid Lithttps://janemouttet.wordpress.com/Intervie

HOW TO FOSTER LEADERSHIP SKILLS IN CHILDREN – #8 Teaching youth and teens to be leaders

Leadership skills are crucial for success in life, from employment to relationships. The general consensus is that many of these skills are lacking among adults and young people. Whether you have youth and young adults living in your home or placed under your supervision, you can invest in their futures by teaching them how to be leaders.

Qualities necessary for teaching youth and young adults to be leaders.

Give Them Responsibility

As a youth group leader, parent, teacher, or other authority figure, this can seem like a scary prospect. Are they ready for responsibility? Can they handle it? Give them something to be responsible for that will build their self-confidence, but don’t make it something that’s life-and-death. Take your teens’ personal skills, strengths, and weaknesses into consideration, too.

Here are some examples of responsibilities for teens.

  • Running an errand for you, such as picking up something from the store. If they can’t drive, you can drop them off to run the errand.
  • Opening up a bank account.
  • Let them lead a class or group.
  • Household chores like laundry could be delegated to the young adults and teens in your home.
  • Have them organize the set-up and clean-up of an event.

Jobs

One of those ironies of good leadership is that being under leadership is often a great way to learn it. Youth and young adults would do well to work at least part time, This fosters learning responsibility and also learning what is involved in good leadership. Having a job is an important responsibility that can prepare young people to lead.

Consider jobs like camp counselor or babysitter, too. Those are both jobs that put young people in charge of others.

Workshops

Are there leadership workshops available in your area? If not, see if you can hire a leadership consultant to come in and speak to your group. Maybe you can find someone to speak to your teen’s class, or hold a seminar on your young adult’s college campus. If there is a workshop available, take your youth group to the workshop, or sign your kids up.

Groups and Organizations

Organizations like Boy and Girl Scouts are also good ways for young adults and youth to learn leadership skills. Don’t let the names “boy” and “girl” deter you – there are all kinds of opportunities in these organizations for youth and young adults. Other clubs and groups encourage leadership among members, too. Find out about what is offered in your community – even your local YMCA/YWCA might have some ideas or programs.

Take stock of the opportunities available that are tailored to the career opportunities that are unique to the community in which you live and the curriculum available in schools and colleges in your area. Discuss the hopes and dreams held by your youth and teens and encourage them to share them with you and their peers. Innovation and success spring from the seeds of ideas.

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A QUICK OVERVIEW OF ONLINE TEACHING

Teaching in the Years of the Corona Virus

Written by Kostas Pan

This book is a brief overview of the history and implementation of online teaching. While college students have been using it in one form or another for a while, the concept has been thrust into the limelight as education on all levels has been shut down during the pandemic.

For traditional teachers, especially those in elementary and middle-grade classrooms, using the computer as a teaching tool has been a supplement up to this point. Now teachers are suddenly faced with the task of taking all their lesson plans and finding a way to deliver them virtually. Notwithstanding the problems of students and schools who do not have adequate bandwidth or hardware, there is the issue of appropriate software.

Pan points out some advantages of online learning. It is flexible, and today’s software programs allow for interactive student discussions, quizzes, and teacher-student direct interaction. It can be accessed at home or by mobile device. If teachers plan their lessons well ahead, they can input measures of accountability. Teachers must prepare parents in advance. They need to ask parents to participate, encourage and supervise the younger students.

There will be a period of transition when the method seems difficult, but with time and practice students and teachers become responsible and practiced with the techniques. There is no doubt in person instruction is a crucial and necessary component of education, but online teaching has emerged due to necessity and will not disappear from the educational landscape.

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