Blueroselady's Weblog

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Posts Tagged ‘mind

How to read? 10 tips for children that are also applicable for adults

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Reading & comprehension are essential skills for learning of all subjects.

To be an independent learners, our chidren / we
# must read CAREFULly.
# must have a good command of VOCABulary.
# must be able to make INFERENCEs.
# must minimize errors in GRAMMAR, SPELLING, & PUNCTUATION when writing review / reading journal / 读书心得.

Good readers are able to
# UNDERSTAND the text.
# THINK CRITICALLY about what the author has said, as the saying by Mencius goes "尽信书不如无书." We need an analytical mind.
# make CONNECTIONS / relate between the text and our own background knowledge / real life events.
# REFLECT upon the ideas given in the text.

Since reading is so essential,
how to read effectively, efficiently, and happily?

1. Reading must be meaningful.
Read with a purpose,
a question in mind,
then our children / we will be motivated.

2. Make reading a daily habit / routine / practice at home.

3. Visit libraries / book shops to get food for our minds like visiting market to get daily food for our bodies.

4. For young readers who have little background knowledge, unlike we adult, choose diverse, enjoyable, readable books.
Readable books refer to books that our children are able to read, not difficult books.
If the books are too difficult, children may get discouraged to enjoy reading.
When I was a little children, I made the mistake of trying to read tough classical books, and ended up not reading them because the rich vocabularies were too much for my little command of language at that time.

5. For your readers, parents can read aloud to them.

6. Consider also audio books / pre-recorded text in voicenotes.

7. STORY TELLING helps to develop listening & oral skills. Encourage our children to re-tell parts of story read, without making it sounds / feels like a hard test.
Soothing / angelic voice(e.g. J’s voice) helps.
Characters come to life when they have a voice, and sound effects are more compelling if they are convincing and audible.
Slow down at the key part.
The storyteller Neil Griffiths advices "Read aloud to them stories they love again and again!" I agree that repetition works.
Neil thinks that children can start listening to stories since they are in the womb!
In other words, unborn babies are never too young to enjoy listening to stories.
I also think that children never become too old for story time;
there is a child inside everyone of us.
If we can be child-like again,
even if our body has matured and aged, our soul will be happy!

8. Visualize the story.
Use photographic memory
to remember & recall the story / lesson.
A story can empower us with the ability
to dream, to dream imaginatively, to DREAM BIG.

9. Diarize our reflections / opinions / favorite parts from reading because developing both writing & reading skills does support each others.

10. Quiet room and peace / tranquility. If this is not possible, we can use ear pieces to listen to music that is suitable for reading. Supportive environment: neither too hot nor too cold.

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Written by blueroselady

March 31, 2013 at 12:29 am

How not to listen to non-constructive criticism?

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This article is inspired by John Gurdon’s experience on criticism. He received Nobel prize in 2012. Though I have never met him, I counted a blessing that in a period of my life, I walked / cycled passed the Gurdon Institute (named after him) regularly.

An Eton teacher of John Gurdon wrote that the then 15-year-old John Gurdon wouldn’t listen, couldn’t learn simple biological facts and, horror of horrors, "insisted on doing work in his own way". In one test, Gurdon scored a miserable two out of 50.

The report made John Gurdon disheartened, but fortunately one of John Gurdon’s early decision on not to listen to non-constructive criticism indeed played an important role in his subsequent research work, including the discovery that mature cells can be converted to stem cells (and ended up winning a Nobel prize).

How not to listen to non-constructive criticism?

1. Be prepared that in life, no matter what we do (including noble actions), some people will criticize us. To protect ourselves against these peace robbers, we can
# enhance our inner strength by reminding / focusing ourselves on our strength
# have a thick face

2. Be aware of the reasons why people give non-constructive criticism

# jealousy and justification attempt. They are jealous of our achievements and attempt to gain self-importance by criticizing us. They justify themselves at the expense of us. Do not fear those who criticize us because of their jealousy. Perhaps, those who criticize us suffer from low self-esteem and meet their need of having self-importance by criticizing, instead we can be kind by giving them empathy and sympathy.

# ignorance and inexperience. For example, you want to attempt a new venture and you seek advices from people around you. Those who never start up a company or those who have failed will project their fear and criticize you. Do not listen to these naysayers. Instead, consult those who have successfully achieved what you want to achieve.

3. Be mindful of your perspective (mind), emotions, and body

# Must be able to see the BIG PICTURE
When I was a primary and junior high school student, I accept the fact that teachers are role models. I did not question their authorities. They were the grown-ups with more knowledge and wisdom than me who was only a fledgling individual. I did not realize that teachers are also human beings, subjected to human conditions (both positive and negative attributes). Few of my teachers had ego and misused their authorities. They criticized students who refused to follow them, e.g. if a student refused to learn bad words, he would be labeled as self-righteous. Fortunately, I moved to a better school and I learned a lot from my kind teachers – those who teach for the passion of teaching and nurturing the next generation more than for earning an income (of course everyone has to earn a living). Looking back, those teachers who criticized things I thought as right, did no longer matter.

Then, when I started my study in a famous place, an unhappy professor told me that the only reason I went there was because of the fame. Well, while that reason honestly contributed to my decision, I had bigger reasons why I fought all my ways to gain admission there. At that time, when such a professor with his authority / power and perceived superiority (in knowledge, ability, etc) said such things to students, the impact could be huge. However, I did not listen to him. I shifted my focus to my purpose (FOCUS ON YOUR PURPOSES). I managed to work with more successful (and more generous and kinder) professors, produced results, and graduated. My mentor CNC loves to say that success is always the sweetest revenge (without harming our past offenders).

My learning journey then brought me to meet inspiring entrepreneurs. In some aspects, I look up to entrepreneurs who create jobs for many people and excellent products / services with great values, more than to professors who care only about their tenure, publications, and self-importance in their fields (of course, there are always kind professors, I was fortunate to meet and work with few of them). My experience with the entrepreneurs unleash an inner desire of me: to be an entrepreneur. That is why I am working everyday to prepare myself for my venture, to provide values to my customers. I believe that I will be invited to teach / give talks at universities because of my expertise, instead of having to apply and fight for limited faculty positions.

To summarize, I have met more people and seen the world, my perspectives have changed. When you climb a mountain, your standpoint / perspective has elevated, you can see wider and hence the bigger picture.

# Must be able to be the master of our emotion
Often, when one is criticized, one will end up feeling sad, shameful, worried (worry is a kind of fear), or angry. All these emotions are of lower consciousness.
Be aware of your emotion, then you can shift those of lower consciousness to those of higher consciousness (e.g. courage, patience).
For example, you can manage your anger through techniques such as loving yourself, Siberian North Rail Road, and detachment.

# Learn to relax our body
Criticisms from people whose matter to us (e.g. parents, teachers, bosses, co-workers, or even peers) can result in racing heart, sweating, shaking, flushing face.
When you are aware of these physical reactions of your body, use relaxation to calm down. Breath deeply. Visualize / imagine serene places that you remember from your travel. Recall prayers that you have said countless times.

"Let nothing disturb you,
nothing frighten you,
all things are passing.
God is unchanging.
Patience gains all;
nothing is lacking to those who have God:
God alone is sufficient."
St Teresa of Avilla

Related:
How to Handle Criticism and Nonconstructive Feedback by Nicole Wolfe
*Davidson_not_hopeless* (in my ref folder)

More readings:
http://www.economist.com/node/21564525
http://www.talentsmart.com/articles/