Ideas on how to Improve Students’ Grades and Performance in School

There are many advantages to availing high quality education, and, unfortunately, not everyone in the world has access to it. If you are able to attend school, you can get the chance to gather as much knowledge as your brain can handle and utilize all that you have learned to build paths that lead to your life goals. If you are a parent, a teacher, or an adult who cares about the quality of the educational system, below are some ideas on how to improve schools and make them suitable for effective learning:

What to learn vs. How to learn

Whether you are a parent or a teacher, it is important to teach the young ones the different ways of learning. While it is helpful and convenient for students to just be provided with topics, skills, or subjects to learn, it is also useful and beneficial for them to discover how these math formulas were derived or understand why electricity or radio signals work the way do. Encouraging students to approach learning in this manner will help them get to know themselves better, identify their strengths and their weaknesses, and help them figure out what study habits or learning methods are best suited for them.

Access to basic necessities

For a student to perform well in school, they have to have easy access to some basic needs, particularly clean food and water.

In certain parts of the world, such as in Africa, clean water is like a luxury that not everyone can get. Many children there suffer from different diarrheal diseases due to unsafe and inadequate water and sanitation resources.

Preparing well-balanced lunches and snacks is a must to keep the students healthy and fit. Tell them of the benefits of eating fruits and vegetables, and warn them of the negatives of consuming junk foods. The brain can function properly if it gets all the necessary vitamins, minerals, and nutrients for its growth and development.

Come up with fun and educational activities to keep the lessons interesting

A teacher reading paragraphs from the textbook out loud in front of the class is a common scene in any classroom. Some students might not be bothered by this kind of teaching method, but the others might find it really hard to keep themselves awake. So, you have to tap into your creative mind and organize interactive activities, such as games and experiments, to keep learning intriguing and stimulating for them. Also kids learning by using a laptop is a good way for them to explore the possibilities of finding information. Buy yourself a new laptop and give your kid your current one. Going online and finding answers them selves, give children confidence and a way to be independent.

Ten Ideal Gifts You Can Give to an Online Freelancer

Do you have any friends or family members who work from home as an online freelancer? If a special occasion is coming up soon and you’re wondering what to give them as a gift, here are some ideas that you can check out – we’re pretty sure that online freelancers will appreciate any of these!

1. Mouse and Mouse Pad

Even if your friend uses a laptop or already has a mouse and mouse pad, these things come in handy especially if the ones they use are due for replacement. Yes, the computer mouse gets old, and so does the mouse pad. It would be nice to have a new one every few months or year or so.

2. Headphones or Earphones

One can never have enough pairs of headphones or earphones. Find a comfortable pair of headphones or earphones – one that an individual can wear for hours on end without feeling any discomfort.

3. Coffee Mug

Mugs might be “overused” ideas when it comes to gifts but online freelancers appreciate this. Try to look for mugs with interesting designs or better yet, make it a unique mug that’s customized or personalized.

4. Espresso Machine

Online freelancers would rather stay at home to get their work done so going to a coffee shop to get a cup of overpriced coffee is usually not an option. There are coffee machines for everyone and every situation. An espresso machine will be much appreciated so he/she can have a cup of freshly brewed coffee, better than Starbucks, anytime, any day.

5. USB Flash Drive or External Hard Drive

If you’re looking for an affordable gift, a USB flash drive would be a good choice. However, if you have a few extra dollars to spend, make it an external hard drive.

6. USB Fan

It could be a fan used for the computer or a fan to cool off your friend during very hot weather. Find a small one that’s USB-powered and you’re pretty sure that your gift will be much appreciated and would find its spot on your friend’s work desk.

7. Amazon Gift Card

Since online freelancers barely have time to go out during the week, most of them settle with online shopping. An Amazon gift card or a gift card from another online retailer is a great gift idea.

8. Desk Lamp

A desk lamp would be a good gift for an online freelancer too. In fact, anything that can be found on a usual work desk would be good.

9. Speakers

A set of speakers, even a small Bluetooth one, would be much appreciated. Much like headphones and earphones, music is the best way to keep you company if you’re working from home without any colleagues to chat with.

10. Head, Neck or Back Pillow

As a home based worker, one tends to sit down for hours and no matter how comfortable an office chair is, it gets tiring too. A head/neck pillow or a back pillow is a great way to maintain good posture and to stay comfortable through hours of continuous work.

Six Situations When The Internet Allowed Us to Save Money

A lot of people are more than willing to spend for their Internet services. As much as possible, we choose Internet service providers that can give us fast and reliable connection. It doesn’t matter if it’s priced more than usual as long as it works efficiently. It’s not really about being too impractical because in fact, the Internet is a huge money-saver. There are so many perks and advantages that the Internet can give us. We are getting things that we used to pay for along with our Internet service. Here are just 6 situations when the Internet allowed us to save money.

1. Cooking Recipes

Remember how our moms spent quite a fortune on a collection of cookbooks that are now just gathering dust? The Internet is a goldmine of all kinds of recipes that you can get for free. You can even watch videos that show how things are actually done! From local favorites to international cuisines, cookies to extravagant cakes and more, you can get practically all the information you need when it comes to food from the Internet.

2. That Trip to a Doctor

So you have this pain on your abdomen for the past 5 or 10 minutes. If you went to the doctor right away just because it got you worried, then you could have easily spent a whole lot of cash only to be told that there’s nothing for you to worry about. With the Internet, you can check on your symptoms and you can get that peace of mind that what you’re feeling is nothing out of the ordinary – or you will be advised to head to the doctor right away. (Note: For medical information, make sure you always go to reliable and trusted websites)

3. DIY Repairs at Home

Why call a handyman when you can handle things on your own? Gone are the days when only carpenters could have special equipment. Just get your own jointer and miter saw because you now can have your own and handle it like a champ!

4. Endless Music Playlists

Why buy a CD when you can go on YouTube or some music streaming website to listen to your favorite songs on repeat absolutely free?

5. Books and Articles

No need to buy a newspaper anymore, the Internet is more updated with current happenings anyway. You don’t even have to buy a lot of books anymore because everything you need is on the Internet. From pocketbooks to academic articles and more, you can simply go on Google. If you will be charged for the information, more often than not, it will be more affordable than an actual book.

6. Communication

Who needs a long distance plan on their landline or smartphone when the Internet allows you to communicate with anyone who’s also on the Internet for free? You can even go on a video call without having to pay anything!

Everything You Wanted to Know About Viticulture, But Were Afraid to Ask

Most of us will jump at the suggestion of sipping a glass of wine. It might be because you had a long day at work, or it’s a gift you got or it might be because that glass of red pairs really well with your meal, you must admit that drinking wine is a social norm we cannot live without – many people will drink to that.

However, as you sit there sipping on it, did you ever ask yourself how a small, diminutive grape transforms into that tasty, delicious goodness in your glass? The process is relatively complicated, and the fact that the wine comes in more than one color should attest to this fact.

Fortunately, we’re here to give you a brief overview of what viticulture, that ancient art that cultivates the grapes we grow for the wines we enjoy today, is all about.

Let’s get right to it, shall we?

The Ancient Study of Viticulture

Viticulture refers to the art and science of growing grapes. In this regard, a viticulturist is a person charged with the task of growing grapes and handling all the happenings of a vineyard from how the planting occurs to the picking process and the following vinification processes. Viticulturists must exhibit the highest level of respect for tradition, and proper attention must be allocated to the various varieties of grapes, which gives the end product a sense of identity and character. Growers (or Viticulturists) must work all year round to make the right decisions including pest control and irrigation, which affects the quality of wine, produced each year. To make the long story short, every decision made by a grower affects the development of the wine. To understand the wine making process further, it is essential to discuss soil, climate and the management of vines.

Grapes, Location, and Soil: The Perfect Union

Although grapes can grow anywhere, the location and the climate of the site matters significantly. Vines require adequate sunshine to mature and sufficient rainfall to produce a healthy crop. The perfect union of weather that is not too cold or hot and the location’s weather determines the quality of wine. Vineyards located near rivers and steep slopes tend to prosper because rivers supply a warm effect while slopes ensure that the crop is exposed to the sun well.

A Design for Healthy Soil

Grapevines require healthy soil that has sufficient amounts of nutrients, minerals, and water to thrive. When vines grow well without any struggles, the fruit is higher in quality, and it produces in excess resulting in an enhanced taste. The best quality of soil for growing grapes is one that retains the right amount of water and one that can be penetrated easily.

Vine Management

The way that a vine is pruned and shaped refers to vine management. The management of vines is necessary as it affects the yield that is produced. Vine management also involves caring for all the elements of a vine that are seen above the ground, which is known as canopy management.

To understand how wine gets to your glass in detail, you must first understand viticulture.

Side Note

On another note, you may find the use of wine coolers great for your selection – you’ll find that it helps the taste and keeps it for easier storage when you do. We highly suggest for you to visit coolingwine.com for the latest.

Now that you understand the groundwork for making wine, and how to enjoy it best, maybe you can enjoy your next glass of wine a little more.

Cheers.

Churning Your Dairy Game Up a Notch By Making Small-Batch Butter

Imagine the satisfaction of baking a fresh batch of dinner rolls and serving them butter you made out of the kitchen.

Nothing like that smug satisfaction of being able to make delicious homemade food, right?

Your guests will probably be amazed at how you can serve such fresh and tasty butter at home, using only a kitchen mixer or good old elbow grease.

In addition to that, the entire family can get in the act, and makes for a great family bonding experience, not to mention a superb way to teach children the science behind it. Making butter translates well to the classroom, whether your students are young scientists, or adult learners seeking to earn another income and go into business by selling it.

As the old adage goes, there is no better way to learn by doing it yourself, so let’s get started!

The Formula

Good butter starts from good cream. You can use any readily-available whipping cream that is already available in stores, but if you have access to fresh cream, the better. Different creams will make different butter depending on the fat content. The same is true for the time you need to mix or shake the butter, the amount of butter you create, and the end product. The following ingredients are all you will need.

1 pint/2 cups of heavy whipping cream (whipped cream from the Straus Family Creamery is my choice, with 35% butterfat)
a bowl of ice water
sea salt to taste
a stand mixer, a hand mixer/blender, or a mason jar

You may add a combination of salt or herbs to this recipe, but everything you see above is all you’ll ever need.

The Process

Take your cream into your preferred device. If you’re using an electric mixer, attach the splatter guard, and start whipping it on low speed, gradually raising it to medium speed. You should see it eventually into whipped cream with stiff peaking from the mixer; keep it going until the cream breaks down. If you use a stand mixer, on the other hand, you should see the butter forming to the beater itself. This is butterfat separating from the buttermilk. The whole process takes about 10 to 15 minutes; once the butter has formed into a chunk, remove the buttermilk and save it for fried chicken or to drink, and place the butter into a bowl. Rinse it with the ice water by pouring it on top, and pressing what’s left of the buttermilk out of it with a spoon; discard the liquid. Repeat until the pressed liquid is clear. Form butter into a ball and knead in your salt or herbs to taste. Wrap it in plastic, and voila! Fresh butter.

Using jars will require more work as you will need to shake it until butter forms on the sides of the jar; this is a better method to use in class for children to learn the process of emulsion.

The Science

Emulsion occurs when you agitate the jar or the cream; particles of fat then slam and stick to each other. The end product of all that agitation is butter. This is a great way to put science into practice, especially in the classroom – I suggest you use smaller containers with a marble in them to hasten the butter production process (especially when working with kids).

Making fresh, delicious butter is nothing more than agitating cream; it’s a great way to teach children about science, a great way to supplement income, and a great way to experience the joy of doing it yourself. You may never need to buy butter in the stores again.