Writing that winning college essay

Writing a Winning College Essay

 

Tips for letting your story shine through

(Family Features) For the more than 2 million students applying to colleges and universities, the task of essay writing can be a dreadful experience.

Whether applying for admission or scholarships, many students find this part of the application process to be the most stressful and daunting part of their senior year. Often without understanding how to approach the essay, students struggle with staring at a blank page and finding a compelling topic.

However, according to Howard Reichman, president of EssayDog, an easy-to-use, cloud-based platform that helps students write winning college application essays, “a college application essay is really just a story – a story colleges want to hear about you.”

“Every good story, from a blockbuster movie to a novel from your high school English class to your favorite show, has four critical elements that make it fascinating and reveal inner depth about its characters,” Reichman said. “That’s exactly what you want your college application essays to do: show the real you beyond the test scores and GPA.”

According to Reichman, every good story has these four essential elements:

  1. The initial plan
  2. The anticipated outcome
  3. The setback
  4. The discovery

Whether students use an online tool like EssayDog, which gets students started quickly by asking them to write just one sentence about each of these four parts, or they tackle the task of essay writing on their own, the next step is to round out the narrative by filling in details that let the applicant’s true character shine through.

The essays that resonate most with college admissions departments typically convey a student’s intangibles or “the Four Ps,” specifically:

  • Passion: What drives you and what do you really care about?
  • Personality: What are you like to be around? Would your friends and family be able to identify you by reading your essay?
  • Perseverance: How do you respond to challenges? What gives you strength, both intellectually and emotionally?
  • Potential: What talents, interests and goals will you bring to a university’s campus next fall? How can a college help you further develop these as you continue to grow into adulthood?

More than anything, procrastination and stress are often students’ worst enemies when they sit down to begin the essay-writing process. “If you feel you are wasting time, switching topics or disagreeing with your parents, teachers or college counselors about the direction your essays are taking, try going back to these simple storytelling techniques to ensure you are showcasing what sets you apart from other applicants with similar grades and scores,” Reichman said. Visit essaydog.com or find EssayDog on Facebook and Twitter to find more tips for confidently writing standout college essays.

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

SOURCE:
EssayDog

Simplify Your Lifestyle this Summer

(Family Features) From backyard barbecues and trips to the beach to baseball games and swim meets, summer is all about family fun. It’s also an ideal time to slow down and incorporate a more mindful routine at home.

This season, prioritize a “less-is-more” lifestyle by making smart swaps, like using products with better ingredients, to simplify your life and create an even healthier home for your family. With these easy, helpful tips, you can arm yourself with the tools to spend more time focusing on family and fun.

Pick Produce, Not Processed. What you feed your family often fuels summer fun, but favorite treats like ice cream and hot dogs can be full of unwanted ingredients and added sugars. Skip pre-packaged items and look for fresh, seasonal produce that can be incorporated into multiple meals throughout the day, which can also lead to a shorter grocery list and less waste. For example, you can add nutrient- and antioxidant-rich stone fruit to Greek yogurt for breakfast, mix into salsa for a snack and throw on the grill then top with whipped cream for dessert.

Focus on the Right Ingredients. Warmer temperatures and fun, outdoor activities can lead to extra stains and more laundry. It’s important to keep summer items dirt-free and smelling fresh with products you can feel good about bringing into your home. For a powerful clean without harshness to keep your summer wardrobe clean and fresh, try all fresh clean Essentials, which is formulated without sulfates and contains effective ingredients for deep cleaning the toughest stains.

Minimize Your Regimen. Take advantage of the seasonal climate to shorten your beauty routine and save time, energy and products. There’s no need to blow dry hair with warm weather – sleep in two twisted braids for beachy waves, air-dry after the shower or throw on a wide-brimmed sun hat to hide bed head. Also focus on products that do double duty: replace sticky lipsticks and gloss with tinted chapsticks that include SPF or mix in a drop of sunscreen to liquid foundation.

Simplify Cleanup. It’s easy to let the myriad rotating summer activities turn your space into an unexpected mess, so proactively prepare for the chaos by creating a cleanup kit. A clean towel, water bottle, sunscreen, change of clothes and snack in a small tote or plastic container can be left in the trunk of the car or in the garage to keep you from running around searching for supplies. This way, you’re prepared for whatever summer brings, be it spilled ketchup, an unexpected shower or even a care-free run through the backyard sprinkler.

Visit allsulfatefree.com to learn more and watch videos featuring wellness expert and mom Hilaria Baldwin that focus on smart tips for living cleanly.

Content courtesy of ’all

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

SOURCE:
all

Reading to children is a good summer activity


You can spark your child’s imagination with reading, which allows playful creativity to take over and learning to ensue. Whether you, your child or someone else does the reading, there’s sure to be a memory produced, experience gained or knowledge added when there’s a favorite book or story involved. For more information on the importance of youth reading, visit rif.org.

SOURCE:
rif.org

Resources for Lent – CRS Education

Rooted in Catholic Social Teaching, CRS Education provides a deeper look into the lives of our brothers and sisters around the world. Our stories foster an understanding of their challenges, while our prayers and programs provide the opportunity to reflect and take action. It’s everything you need to create lasting change and a new generation of global citizens.

For Your School.  Catholic Relief Services (CRS) recognizes the vital role Catholic schools play in the Church’s mission of evangelization and catechesis in the United States. Through the vehicles of prayer, learning, action and giving, CRS Education’s programs and resources are created to enhance Catholic identity through the promotion of Catholic social teaching. By placing the resources of CRS at Catholic schools’ disposal, we strive to assist schools in forming internationally aware and globally responsive students who live their faith in solidarity with their brothers and sisters around the world.

For Your Family.   The family is the great blessing, the great gift of this “God with us”, who did not want to abandon us to the solitude of a life without others, without challenges, without a home. – Pope Francis

For Your Parish.  CRS Education equips parishes to help children and youth encounter their world by providing a personal glimpse into the lives of our global brother and sisters along with opportunities for reflection and analysis. Grounded in Catholic social teaching, CRS’ parish learning activities, prayers, programs and other resources engage children, youth and families on global issues, social justice and solidarity.

All CRS Resources.  This contains a lot of ways to get involved.

To read more, click here.

New Podcast: DP Tech!

Hey Ed Tech lovers! The DePorres Pages is launching a new tech show call DP Tech.  DP Tech is dedicated to helping to use technology to facilitate teaching and learning.  As a Catholic educator, there will be a special emphasis on Catholic schools, and how technology can help to facilitate instilling the Catholic mission of the school.

You can listen to this podcast just as you listen to others.  You can come to the website, or subscribe to us on your favorite podcast app.  If you have subscribed to our daily homilies, you are already set! Hopefully you will enjoy this new look at technology!

EdWeek for the Week of February 15, 2016

Black Male Teachers a Dwindling Demographic

When Hurricane Katrina swept through New Orleans, Chrissell Rhone lost lots: his home, his job, and the sense of security that came from teaching alongside people who looked like him.

The storm forced Rhone to pack up and leave New Orleans, where an ample supply of black educators populated the city’s classrooms. He settled just 45 miles northeast, in Picayune, Miss., a town of 11,000 near the Mississippi-Louisiana border, and is now the lone black teacher at the district’s alternative education center and among only a handful of black male educators in a district where a majority of students are white.

Read more at: http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2016/02/17/black-male-teachers-a-dwindling-demographic.html

Kindergarten Today: Less Play, More Academics

Researchers at the University of Virginia compared the views and experiences of kindergarten teachers in 1998 with those of their counterparts in 2010, and found dramatic differences in what teachers now expect of pupils and how they have structured their classrooms. Generally, teachers now expect children to come in knowing much more, spend more of the day in literacy and math instruction, and devote less time to nonacademic subjects such as music and art. Some excerpts from the findings:  http://www.edweek.org/ew/section/multimedia/kindergarten-less-play-more-academics.html

Utah lawmakers propose changes to school grading system

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Utah lawmakers are considering a bill that would change the rubric for the state’s school grading system over the next 12 years.

The Deseret News reports (http://bit.ly/1Q3D79Q ) that Ogden Republican Ann Millner has sponsored a bill that would change the point structure that assigns schools a letter grade based on year-end test scores, ACT scores and graduation rates.

Read more at: http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2016/02/18/utah-lawmakers-propose-changes-to-school_ap.html

EdWeek: Test Data, Asian and Pacific Islander Inclusion and

OECD: U.S. Efforts Haven’t Helped Low Performers on Global Math, Reading Tests

After more than a decade of heavy investment in closing achievement gaps and bringing all students to proficiency in reading and mathematics, the United States has fewer low-performing students on the Program for International Student Assessment—but only in science.

In math and reading, by contrast, there were no changes at all in the share of low-performing students on the PISA between 2003 and 2012 , according to a new analysis by the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development. America was flat during that period, remaining a little worse than the international average in the share of students who performed below minimum proficiency in all three subjects.

Read more at: http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/inside-school-research/2016/02/OECD_American_efforts_low_performers.html

In Efforts to Boost Teacher Diversity, Asians and Pacific Islanders Seek Inclusion

Sarah Ha didn’t have any Asian-American teachers growing up.

Ha was born in the United States but moved to South Korea when she was six years old; she and her little sister were left there for two years while their parents established a life in the United States. Enveloped by Korean culture, Ha all but forgot the English she had grown up learning.

When she returned to Worcester, Mass., Ha found herself isolated and bullied, an English-language learner with no Asian peers, teachers, or subject matter in school.

Read more at: http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2016/01/27/in-efforts-to-boost-teacher-diversity-asians.html

Teacher Shortages Put Pressure on Governors, Legislators

There’s heated debate nationally over whether K-12 teachers really are in short supply and—if so—what’s caused the shortage and how widespread it is.

But in a number of states with dwindling supplies of new teachers, overcrowded classrooms, months-long substitute assignments, and droves of teachers quitting midyear, activists on both sides of the issue are seizing the opportunity to push their policy agendas.

Those divisions are on stark display in places like Indiana, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Washington, where policymakers, including governors and legislators, are floating a variety of approaches to address the challenge of recruiting and retaining teachers.

Read more at: http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2016/02/10/teacher-shortages-put-pressure-on-governors-legislators.html

Vermont Diocese to Launch Digital Catholic High School

BURLINGTON, Vt. — The Diocese of Burlington, this fall, hopes to become one of the first in the country to open a digital high school, where lectures, class discussions and homework largely take place in an online environment instead of a traditional bricks-and-mortar classroom.

Although online courses have long been available to Catholic home-school students, including some that go back to the 1990s, the idea of an accredited and diocesan-supported online Catholic school is quite new. The National Catholic Education Association (NCEA) said it is aware of the existence of just one other: the Archdiocese of Miami Virtual Catholic School.

Read more at: https://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/vermont-diocese-to-launch-digital-catholic-high-school/

Edweek Stories of the Week

To Connect With Candidates, School Recruiters Hone Social Media Skills

At the time Kalie Bennington landed her first interview in September, she hadn’t even started looking for a teaching job.

Bennington was starting her final year as an elementary education major at Butler University, in Indianapolis. A week earlier, she had won a prestigious future-teacher award, and Butler had posted a notice of the award on its Facebook page. But when Bennington saw the Facebook post, it was one of the comments that struck her most.

Read the rest at: http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2016/01/27/to-connect-with-candidates-school-recruiters-hone.html

‘Micro Schools’ Could Be New Competition for Private K-12

The one-room schoolhouse, that symbol of rural American education that dates back to the earliest days of the Colonial era, might be on the verge of making a comeback.

In recent years, a smattering of “micro schools” have popped up in places such as California’s Silicon Valley; Austin, Texas; and New Orleans, offering parents a drastically different version of K-12 education than traditional public and private schools. These are tiny schools—sometimes with as few as half a dozen students—that put a heavy emphasis on technology and pushing instructional boundaries in a mash-up of lab schools and home school co-ops.

Read the rest at: http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2016/01/27/micro-schools-could-be-new-competition-for.html

Donald Trump and Education: Five Facts to Know Before the Iowa Caucuses

He’s never been a policymaker, but that doesn’t keep real estate developer and leading Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump from holding clear views about education.

From the Common Core State Standards to gun-free school zones, Trump has hit on a few hot-button K-12 issues on the campaign trail and during GOP debates. We’ve collected some of the highlights in this blog post.

Read the rest at: http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/campaign-k-12/2016/02/donald_trump_and_education_fiv.html

Celebrate Catholic Schools Week

National Catholic Schools Week is the annual celebration of Catholic education in the United States. It starts the last Sunday in January and runs all week, which in 2016 is January 31 – February 6. The theme for the National Catholic Schools Week 2016 is “Catholic Schools: Communities of Faith, Knowledge and Service.” Schools typically observe the annual celebration week with Masses, open houses and other activities for students, families, parishioners and community members. Through these events, schools focus on the value Catholic education provides to young people and its contributions to our church, our communities and our nation.

Read more at: http://www.ncea.org/our-services/catholic-schools-week