Analyzing A Nursing Continuing Education Opportunity Now Is The Time For Learning 11 Strategies For Graphomotor Problems Learning Spanish Part 5 Using Text Books To Their Full Potential

Continuing Education (CE) is vital for the further development of a nursing career, but you shouldn’t choose just any courses to add to your credentials. Each CE program that you choose should enhance your knowledge, make you a more valuable employee and further you on your career path. Evaluating your nursing continuing education opportunities for each of the following criteria can help you choose just the right courses to keep you on the right career and professional path.

Is the Course Relevant to my Job?

Choose courses that enhance your ability to do your job. If your current position is in the school nursing environment, a continuing education course about the latest advances in ER technology isn’t likely to have much relevance to your job. On the other hand, some courses that seem to be irrelevant on the surface may have subtle connections that aren’t obvious at first glance. Is some of your school nursing time spent in a full-service on campus clinic? In that case, that emergency room CE course may just offer something of value.

Does it Enhance my Career Opportunities?

Even if you’re content in your position and have no plans to seek advancement, you should evaluate how a chosen continuing education course fits into your plans. The world of medicine changes every day, and so do expectations of nursing professionals. Keep your eye on advances in your chosen segment of the nursing field to be sure that the courses you choose keep you qualified for the jobs to which you aspire.

Is the Course Accredited?

If your main goal in taking nursing continuing education courses is to garner CE hours toward recertification or licensure, then accreditation is vital. Check to be sure that the courses you choose are accredited by The American Nurses Credentialing Center.

Is it Offered by Respected Professionals in the Field?

Do you recognize the names of the instructors, or of the institution offering the course you’re planning to take? Popularity isn’t always a measure of quality, but it is one way of checking the credentials of instructors and institutions. If you’re not familiar with either the instructors or the offering institutions, ask around. Nurses’ forums on the Internet are great places to find out about programs that you might be considering – and you’ll hear directly from professionals just like you whether or not the course material was helpful and suitable for your continuing education.

Is the Learning Style Accessible for You?

One often overlooked facet of evaluating a nursing course is personal learning style. No one knows better than you do whether you learn best with hands-on instruction, or can absorb more information if left to explore and gather it on your own. Choose classes that are conducted in your best learning style to get the most out of your continuing education hours.

Continuing education courses for nursing represent a substantial investment of your time and money. Take the time to evaluate each course that you plan to take to make sure that it meets all your expectations and needs.

Have you always wanted to grow a vegetable garden but just haven’t gotten around to it? Or perhaps you have always hoped to knit a blanket but you still have not learned how to knit. It is not to late to do the things you have always wanted to do. Regardless of your age or current skills, now can be the time to begin learning new things.

Learning is an amazing ability that all humans have. No matter how little or how much we know now, there is always more to learn. There is no limit to the skills and knowledge that we can gain by learning.

Take a new hobby for instance. Learning to do something productive like sew, knit, or plant a vegetable garden is a great way to spend time. While learning you are using your mind and filling time with things that are active and important. Learning is a much better way to pass idle time than to do passive things like watch television or play video games. Your life will be richer and more fun as you spend hours learning new skills. You will have a great sense of accomplishment when the thing you have been hoping to do for years becomes easy and natural for you. Learning new things is also a great way to expand your knowledge and keep your mind sharp. Time spent learning by reading, for instance, is a great mind exercise and it can be enjoyable and beneficial.

Consider children. From the time they are born they are learning new things day by day. They learn to recognize the voices and faces of their family, and eventually they learn to sit up and then crawl and then walk. If children were not constantly learning they would stay children forever. At a young age children begin going to school for the purpose of learning even more new things. They learn to count, to read, to play with others and to read.

Adults can learn something from children about the importance of learning. If, once our years in school were complete, adults continued to learn new things and gain new hobbies at the rate that children learn just think about how much more we would know today. Our lives would be filled with an incredible wealth of knowledge and with a variety of skills and hobbies that keep our lives full and satisfied.

Take a close look at your life. Make a list of things you have always wanted to learn or be able to do. And then commit yourself to learning something new starting today.

1. For children who have difficulty with orthographic coding, it may be helpful to tape an alphabet line to the corner of their desk for easy reference.

2. Students with graphomotor problems should be given extended time to complete written assignments and/or a reduction in the volume of written output. For example, if the exercise given is to correctly capitalize and punctuate sentences or a passage, these should be provided to the student in typed form so that he/she has to only correct the work, rather than write it and then correct it. Also, if the assignment is to answer the questions at the end of the chapter in social studies, the student should be required only to write the answers, not both questions and answers. Additionally, he/she should be allowed to state answers in short phrases. In other words, if the subject matter being assessed is knowledge of information presented in the social studies chapter, it is this that should be assessed, not how competent the student is with the physical act of writing, or how much writing interferes with his/her ability to demonstrate his/her knowledge of social studies.

3. Children with handwriting difficulties may need to be given the opportunity to provide oral answers to exercises, quizzes, and tests.

4. Learning to type is helpful for these students. Writing assignments should be done in stages. Initially, the child would focus only on generating ideas. Next, he/she would organize his/her ideas. Finally, the student would attend to spelling and mechanical and grammatical rules. There are computer software programs available with spell and grammar checks.

5. Students with graphomotor problems may need to be provided with information presented on the board or on overheads in written form, such as teacher-prepared handouts or Xerox copies of other students’ notes.

6. Children with handwriting problems should be provided with written outlines so that they do not have to organize lectures or class materials themselves. This becomes particularly important in junior high grades.

7. Parents should be given the opportunity to purchase an extra set of textbooks for the purpose of highlighting, particularly for content area subjects. Also, notes may be made on Post-Its and then the Post-Its could be attached to a larger sheet.

8. It is often necessary to use alternative grading systems for children with graphomotor problems. One grade would be given for overall appearance and mechanics of writing, and the second for content.

9. When writing reports, it may be helpful for the student to identify his/her own errors and to correct these after learning specific strategies to do so. He/she would then list his/her most frequent errors in a workbook and refer to this list when self-correcting.

10. It should be stressed to school personnel that slow work habits are often a result of graphomotor difficulties and do not reflect deficits in motivation.

11. Electronic devices, such as the Franklin Speaking Spelling Ace may be helpful for students with handwriting problems.

In my last article I talked about two different approaches to learning Spanish; ‘parrot fashion’ or by studying Spanish grammar. In this article I want to talk a little about what I learnt from a basic level Spanish text book in 6 weeks before I embarked on a long trip to Central and South America.

Having hindsight is a wonderful thing! It isn’t until now, after spending a number of years really getting to grips with the Spanish language that I can appreciate how learning Spanish might be best achieved. Certainly being aware of your limitations, what you hope to achieve and when you hope to achieve it and being mentally prepared for the ups and downs of the entire experience are certainly worth considering before you get started.

I said before that a good way to get started is to start learning new Spanish words and phrases without worrying too much about Spanish grammar. Well this is true but if you’re serious about learning Spanish then you will eventually have to start studying Spanish grammar.

The text book I used in order to obtain a basic level understanding of Spanish grammar was called ‘Pasos’. I am not necessarily advocating this book over any other as I have seen several other text books that adopt similar approaches to the same teachings. The book didn’t just dive into talking about Spanish grammar right from the beginning either. It eased me into it after a couple of chapters or so. The first couple of chapters taught me some basic greetings and how to introduce myself without getting too technical!

I was learning new words and phrases without necessarily understanding why certain words or sentences were constructed in the way that they were. One of the biggest problems I encountered at the beginning was trying to absorb and remember all the new material I was learning. One reason for this was because I didn’t have the luxury of time and I was trying to take a lot of things in over a short period of time.

An important part of the learning process is finding a way that best allows you to absorb information without becoming board or loosing concentration. The text book I was using gave me time to reflect on each area of study by engaging me in different activities. The activities included multiple choice quizzes, and various word association exercises. A student is far more likely to remain enthused about studying if they can learn via a variety of different types of exercises and quizzes.

Of course quizzes and exercises are not used in the learning process just to keep the student enthused. They are also used to test whether a student has remembered what they have been taught or whether they have correctly understood, and assimilated what the intension of the lesson was. In one respect they give the student the chance to see if they have remembered new Spanish words or phrases for example.

In later chapters in my Spanish text book the exercises and quizzes were more focused on making sure that I could apply the things I was learning to different situations. Often this would involve seeing if I could formulate sentences using correct verb formations. The formation of Spanish verbs is something that I intend to write more about in my next article.

Another very important method of learning that my text book allowed me to engage in was through listening. The book was accompanied by several CD’s. Each CD contained different listening exercises that related to each area of study. These exercises not only made the entire learning experience more varied and therefore more enjoyable but were also vital in making sure I was exposed to the language in a way that was as natural as it could be.

It is important to remember that if you are serious about learning Spanish then you not only want to be able to speak it but you want to be able to speak it so that native Spanish speaking people will understand you. This means you have to work on your pronunciation right from the very beginning. You don’t want to practice saying things in Spanish over and over again if you are pronouncing badly. This will only instil bad habits that will become more difficult to shake of later on.

It is also important to remember that you want to be able to read and understand the Spanish language, not just be able to speak it. This is another reason how attempting a variety of different exercise will benefit you. Don’t just focus on being able to speak well. You will be surprised to find out how difficult it can be to write in Spanish if all you have done is learn how to communicate verbally.

When I first started working through my first Spanish text book I have to admit that I skipped things and I didn’t attempt all the different exercise that were provided. As I said before this was in part due to time constraints, but looking back I can now see how important they all were. If you choose to start your learning experience by working through a Spanish text book like I did or even if you are using this method as part of a bigger strategy my advice would be not to rush things and to make sure you make the most of everything the book is trying to offer you.

In my next article I intend to talk about the sections of my Spanish text book that were more focused on Spanish grammar, in particular on how different verb tense are formed.

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