India is progressing day by day and this is because of its well-targeted policies especially when it comes to education and technology sector. Thieir education system is improving and the day is not far when it might become known for quality education.
Pakistan copies indian dramas and fashion and forgets that education is an important sector which really needs our attention. I wonder when Pakistan government and nation learn something positive and constructive from other countries – esp. the neighboring rival India.
First, correct every little mistake in the student’s paper. Then have the student re-copy—by hand—the now “perfect” essay. It’s hard to believe, but this was the way most teachers approached writing instruction when my career began in the early 1970s. I was a reflective teacher who was always thinking about what worked (or didn’t) in my classroom. By the time I had access to professional development on “the writing process” and “workshopping,” I’d already figured out that my students didn’t need to be corrected. Instead, they needed to learn about the many steps involved in developing a great piece of writing.
I eventually became a middle school literacy coach, supporting my colleagues in action research on how to teach students to revise their own writing. It can be hard to overcome old habits—and not teach as we ourselves were taught. I think back to a staff meeting when a former English department chair said, “Guys, I don’t think I know how to teach writing. I think I just assign writing.” (That admission jumpstarted some exciting improvements at our school!)
Eventually, in 2008, I returned to a regular classroom role. I struggled with the specter of the California Standards Test (CST), which measures all writing skills with multiple-choice questions. If your own essays are littered with run-ons, does it matter that you can identify a correct compound sentence? Does the ability to choose the right transition word from a list of four selections mean that you can skillfully use transitions? I knew that my students needed to excel on the CST, but it was more important to me that these skills were embedded in their own writing.
And that’s how the student magazines were born. As I thought about how to help students meet writing goals, I realized that creating magazines on their favorite topics could help them master many of the language arts standards I was responsible for teaching. Students tend to be more engaged when they can make choices about their activities. In addition, a yearlong project with a final product can help students take a real sense of ownership of their work, which amps up their commitment to excellent writing. Finally, these authentic writing samples offer a terrific basis for assessing students’ progress toward the language arts standards throughout the year.
Here are some tips for taking this kind of approach:
• Let students select their own topics—with your approval and that of their parent(s). Choice is a powerful motivator, especially for middle school students. My students’ topics have run the gamut: from endangered species to hip hop dancing to ancient Japanese deities. Occasionally, students get tired of their original topic or get interested in another student’s topic. I allow students to switch gears if they are willing to rework whatever elements have already been graded—but typically, I can convince a student to stick with the original topic.
• Familiarize students with the magazine format. When you introduce the project, guide students in looking at a variety of magazines so that they can better visualize what their own magazines might look like.
• Open the door to collaboration. My students may work alone or with a partner, but each partner needs to create his or her own magazine. By partnering, students are frequently able to discuss and refine their thinking and writing, a strategy that research demonstrates is particularly important for second-language learners.
• Specify the types of pieces that will appear in the magazine, tying them to the standards that students must meet. My students’ magazines must include the following elements: a research report with a works cited page, a short story, a poem, a editorial, a creative advertisement connected to their topic, and a survey. Students are expected to include a cover and table of contents, and they are welcome to add other features, such as a joke or activity page. As we address each element of the magazine, we address skills and concepts connected to language arts standards, such as multi-paragraph essay writing, inclusion of supporting details, revision for organization and specificity, and editing for grammar, spelling, and punctuation.
• Structure the magazine as a yearlong project. We work on our magazine elements from time to time over the course of the year, connected to our district’s pacing plan: narrative, expository, response to literature, and persuasion. Students keep their magazine elements in a manila file folder which is easy to organize and quick to hand out when a new lesson is presented. I set a due date for each element in the magazine and give grades or points that accumulate over the course of the year. The yearlong project makes it easy to build in time or modify assignments for slow workers or students with special needs.
• Make it a low-tech project if necessary. I always give students the option of using technology to produce their magazines if they so choose. Unfortunately, my school doesn’t have enough technology available for entire classes of students to have frequent access, but the old-fashioned cut-and-paste method works just fine.
• Take advantage of the time after testing. In our district, 6th graders have a lot of “down time” in May as 7th and 8th graders continue testing. It is a great time to pull the magazine elements together. By June, our magazines are complete.
• Celebrate the results. Students are always excited to see the display of completed magazines and enjoy learning about one another’s interests.
When questioned, most students name the magazine project as their favorite activity of the year. I’m happy because the magazine project meets my goals as a writing teacher—helping students experience the pleasure of writing, gain confidence as writers, improve their writing skills, and understand the connection between the writing questions on the CST and their own writing. I hope I’ve also inspired a passion for writing in many of my students, enriching their lives for years to come. Perhaps one day I’ll even see one of these sparks of interest burst fully into flame when one of my students publishes a “real” magazine article.
After eight years as a literacy coach, Kathie Marshall returned to her Los Angeles classroom in the fall of 2008 to teach middle grades language arts. A member of the Teacher Leaders Network, Kathie writes frequently about instructional practice and the teaching life.
But due to the sheer vastness of the Internet, finding relevant information can be a bit of a challenge as well as time consuming unless you know exactly what you’re looking for.
So here I present various resources of use to a student that I have come across.
The new home of Gigapedia, which hosted the biggest collection of e-books relating to any subject imaginable on the internet. It has always been of great help to me since one can find almost any textbook or solution manuals on it.
It also has novels, autobiographies. In short, if you need an e-book, this should be your first stop. The site requires registration to search for documents though. Most of the files are hosted on rapidshare, hotfile, ifile.it etc.
Free Ebook spot:
On the rare occasion when you cant find a specific ebook on Library.nu, chances are free ebook spot has it. Between these two sites, I have found almost every book and novel I have ever searched for.
Its an online project started by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, which is one of the most prestigious universities in the world.
Basically, selected courses (being offered at MIT) are available here. There are lecture notes, quizzes, their solutions and even videos of the lectures delivered in the class rooms.
Students can access all the content for free and without registration.
The principle is same as OCW offered by MIT, but the range of topics in the introductory courses available here, are related more to the arts.
Cramster is basically a community of students and professors etc, who offer help with studies. They have step by step solutions to many textbooks and there’s an community of experts who answer any questions you might have as well as guide you with your problems.
Catch is, its not free. You can register for free but free members get limited access to the resources, but in most cases its adequate, specially when coupled up with the above sites.
All Free Essays:
This site offers free access to thousands of essays, reports and papers written by students from all over the world.
Simple English Wikipedia:
No doubt Wikipedia is an invaluable source of information. But sometimes the language in which it is written can a bit too technical. Which makes it difficult to understand for people whose first language isn’t English.
So here’s the alternative. Simple English Wikipedia is the same as Wikpedia but all the articles are written in easy to understand English.
Khan Academy aims to be a world class education to anyone, anywhere and it does that by providing video lectures of thousands of topics from all subjects.
The quality of the lectures provided here is simply superb. An easy to understand approach is given to every topic. If you are having issues with any topic, specially from Mathematics and Physics, I highly recommend Khan Academy.
Dogpile lists all results from the four major search engines namely, Google, Bing, Yahoo! and Ask. So its a far more effective tool for finding relevant information. It has a ton of features including side by side comparison of search engines etc. Check it out for yourself.
OneNote is one of the best notetaking softwares I’ve come across for a long time. It has brilliant features like adding images, audio clip, free hand drawings etc to your notes. Its not free, but then again, we Pakistanis are not known for the massive profits we provide to the companies. For a free alternative check out EverNote. Its equally capable, if not better.
By the we recently did a list of must have iPhone apps for students. You can check the list here.
You are welcome to share links that you have found useful in the comments section.
Friday, Jan 21, 2011
The school going girls are not mentally matured, thus they are more attracted and inclined towards the social evils and immoral activities. They do not like taking guidance from their elders and like to undergo different experiences themselves.
Mobile Phones Can Easily Get Un-noticed: They can easily take their mobile phones with them at school and tuition centres – unnoticed by their parents. They should only own a mobile phone when they get really mature enough to use them properly. I think girls should not be allowed to have a mobile phone until they reach to 14 grade (Graduation).
School have Strictly Prohibited Mobile Phones: Almost all the schools in Pakistan have implemented policies that prohibit using mobile phones in school. They even rusticate those girls who are found with the mobile phone. Many girls bring their SIM card instead of a mobile phone and they use their SIM on a mobile phone brought by one of their classmates. Therefore, school administration and parents should make sure that the girls do not have a SIM card with them – they should check them and their belongings (books, school bag, hair bands, water-bottle, lunch box etc.). Now many of you might be thinking that how their daughters and sisters can contact home if they are away – simple – they can make a call with the permission of their school administration via school’s landline number. Many girls use the mobile phones in washrooms.
SMS/MMS: Many school students are addicted to the SMS service . Some also send their pictures via SMS to the opposite gender – especially when they have made friends in co-ed schools and tuition academies. According to a survey the most text messages are sent by teenagers. Texting can also have adverse affects on one’s health.
Wastage of Time: The students waste their valuable time in sending and reading text messages, playing mobile games, use mobile applications – instead of wasting that time in their studies. Mobile Cellular companies are also introducing ‘Youth Packages’ and SMS-bundles offers to promote their business and indirectly spoiling the youngsters. The students are seen messaging and calling late nights as they have subscribed to these packages. Parents should make sure that their children have a mobile phone and if they have then make them use post-pay package so that parents can monitor on their daughters.
Use of Laptop for doing the School Homework: Laptop is a better for school girls as they can compose their assignments and search for the materials for their assignments from the internet. Not only this, they can have a record of their assignments in their laptop. The laptop will also help them in making PowerPoint slides to aid them in their classroom presentations.
Observe School-going Children when they Use their Laptop: Laptop is better for school going girls because – if they do not have a mobile phone they would not be able to give their mobile phone numbers to boys and strangers – is it that simpel? No! they can communicate via internet too. It is the duty of the parents that they observe their activities on the internet and disallow them to make accounts on the social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, MSN Live Spaces, Hi5, Friendster and Orkut etc. School going girls (boys too) should not be allowed use on the Instant Messengers and visit websites with Chat feature and web-messengers. As many school students trick their parents and even school staff by using web-messengers – as they can be used without being installed on the system. Parents should make sure that the girls do not upload their photographs on any website or given their contact details or information, as some girls join different discussion forums too. Parents and school Computer Lab Dept should install programs like NetNanny http://www.netnanny.com and Spector Pro etc. in the computers, to keep a check on the and restrict their activities by blocking some websites that are not fit for them – including Social Networking websites and YouTube etc.
>Ask the average student to name the most boring class and 7 out of 10 are likely to name biology and chemistry. That could change radically in a couple of months when an online interactive education game that is currently in the final phase of development by a team of biologists and computer programmers in the United States, is ready.
Meta!Blast, a real-time 3D action-adventure game promises to put students in the pilot’s seat, allowing him or her to shrink down to microscopic size and explore the vivid, dynamic world of a soybean plant cell spinning out of control. One can interact with numerous characters, fight off plant pathogens, and discover just how important plants are to the survival of the human race. The goal of the application is to dynamically illustrate modern concepts in cell and metabolic biology, prepare students for their public role, and stimulate students to join the biological and medical teaching and research professions.
“The interactive software module on cell biology will immerse students in a three-dimensional, biologically-accurate plant cell. Biological concepts will be parsed into student tasks, while keeping these in the context of the whole environment. Meta!Blast will combine simulation technology with accurate biological information, allowing students to explore and interact with a cell to discover concepts such as cellular energetics, gene function, cellular defenses against pathogens, and the consequences of compartmentalization. The application will dynamically illustrate modern concepts in cell and metabolic biology, prepare students for their public role, and stimulate students to join biological and medical teaching and research,” said Eve Syrkin Wurtele from department of genetics, development and cell biology at Iowa State University, who is leading the project to make cell-biology a fun-to-learn experience.
Wurtele was in Kolkata to give a talk on A green world of biological network and plants: Turning Air to Oil’ to students at the Birla Industrial & Technological Museum, Kolkata. She has been touring the country to interact with students and teachers to get them interested in microbiology and make them aware of Meta!Blast that would be available for use in classrooms and homes soon.
Meta!Blast will provide a medium a dynamic virtual cell that lends itself to the comprehension of cell biology. Building and populating an accurate 3D representation of a plant cell was a huge challenging and the team spanned numerous disciplines with faculty and students in biology, art, computer science, music, and game design constructed the compelling and accurate virtual cell. The game will be tested by 5,000 students in 20 high schools in Iowa and Mississippi in the next semester before being released worldwide.
“Knowledge of cellular structure and function has increased dramatically with the advent of modern molecular and computational technologies. Helping students understand cellular dynamics is a major challenge to educators. Meta!Blast will contain virtual plant cell containing a prototype chloroplast in which students can enter, activate light reactions, including electron excitation, and create molecular oxygen and ATP,” she said.
Wurtele has been researching metabolic networks in plants and how they can be regulated to manipulate the levels of valuable compounds both natural ones already available in plants and add different genes to create new compounds. “Plants produce a wide range of nutrition, energy, industrial materials, fibre, medicines, flavours and fragrances and designer compounds. We are trying to develop a small molecule that can be used by chemical industry to replace the molecules derived from petroleum,” Wurtele added.
- Jott: This mobile application allows you to voice record your lectures and then transcribe them to your notepad. This is surely a great way to take note. You can email these files to yourself, in order to have a whole set of notes ready to study when the examination time is near.
- Stay Organized with ‘iStudiez Pro’: A college student’s life is haphazard with all that’s going on with them, they find it hard to stay organized. This smashing mobile application allows you to organize your classes, homework, exam schedules, assignment due dates and your social calendar in one place – now you don’t have to carry all this information in your head and kick yourself for forgetting that important date or having to rush to meet that assignment deadline.
- Wikipanion: Wikipedia on the web is brought to your mobile phone. This mobile application makes a quick reference that much easier when you’re on the go. This mobile application is free; however, if you want one with more features, you can buy it for $4.99.
- Dictionary.com: With this mobile application you don’t have to worry about finding the right spelling or meaning of a word anymore – it provides access to more than 275,000 definitions and 80,000 synonyms.
- eTextbooks for iPhone: Buying textbooks when you’re in college is not a joke – you seem to be shelling out all your money for the huge tomes that you must have. With your iPhone you have the chance to buy eTextbooks – which are not only easy to carry around on your mobile phone, but you can also read them wherever you are and raise your productivity.
- iTalk Recorder: This app will let you record notes or anything else you want to remember.
- Margins: This iphone application is an ideal tool for students or researchers. It allows users to jot down notes about books, indicating the page and quote as well as your note.
- Assignments: Assignments is an application that, as the name implies, allows you to keep track of your assignments and classes. This is perfect for both teachers and students that need to keep track of assignments in each class. Not only can you add an assignment with a due date/time and importance, but you can also add recordings. Being able to make a voice recording of your assignment is a quick way to make a reminder, etc. The “Overview” tab allows you to see anything upcoming or due. You can sort by “All” or “Due Soon.” You can also search through your assignments. In the “Assignments” tab, you can view all assignments sorted by class. The “Notes” section allows you to quickly jot a note, add a title, and add a date/time. Overall, this mobile application performs smoothly and works well when adding/deleting assignments and classes. Assignments sells for $5.99 (US) at the iTunes App Store.
- ezMemorize: Improve your memorization skills with this app that allows you to make and store class notes.
- iBlueSky: This mind-mapping tool can help you get your thoughts organize and decide what to do next.
- SnapTell: This is a very useful mobile application when it comes to finding cheap and affordable textbooks (or any other book or CD or DVD) – just take a photo of the cover and it provides a list of prices and sellers along with their location.
- Accela Study Vocab Builder: Students studying for the GRE or GMAT will appreciate this tool that allows them to study anywhere and anytime.
- Sugar Sync: With this application you’ll be able to sync up your files on your computer and your iPhone.
- Wi-Fi Finder: This free mobile application enables you to find Wi-Fi hotspots, thus saving you money on your data plan and allowing you to browse the internet for free.
- Instapaper: Many students run out of time when they have to browse the internet in search of some information for their assignment or examination. This mobile application allows you to save websites in a format that is easy to read on your mobile phone. This mobile application also facilitates offline browsing and bookmarking.
- WordPress: With this mobile app you’ll be able to blog from anywhere, share your ideas and make sure your site stays updated. Great for students and web workers alike.
- Urban-spoon: This mobile application helps you find cost-effective food outlets within a half-mile radius of your college/university campus. So now, with this mobile application you can eat to your heart’s content without the worry of your wallet getting lighter!
- Melodies Voice Dialer: Using this application you won’t need to dial your phone anymore, just say the name of the person you want to call and you’re good to go.
- VoiceNotes: VoiceNotes is a plain and simple way to quickly record a quick note, or even a lecture (just make sure you have enough space on your iPhone). Tapping on “Quick Voice Note” will start recording immediately, but is limited as to the length of the recording. If you tap on the + button at the top, you will be given more recording length. Voice-notes allows you to sync notes back to your computer using some additional software provided by the developer. Overall, this is a solid app and can definitely be used for the quick “remember to bring these books to class tomorrow” voice notes. You can download Voice-notes for free from the iTunes App Store.
- A2ZPro: A2ZPro is a super-converter of an application, perfect for anyone in the math or science fields- or just anyone who needs to figure out how many cups are in a quart after all. There are 154 things between which you can convert, and you can add any one that’s not already included. You can customize the list to your liking, and all the converting you could need is right in front of you.
- iClckr: PowerPoint Remote: Whether you’re presenting for school or work, this tool can help make the process seamless with slide changing capabilities right on your iPhone.
- LockBox: Don’t let your personal information get out to identity thieves. This mobile application helps make sure info like passwords and credit card numbers stays secure.
- Remember The Milk: This iPhone application lets you add, edit, and manage your tasks either on or offline. The best part, particularly for students, is the “Nearby” feature- you can view all the tasks, errands, etc. that take place near wherever you currently are. It’s perfect for anyone who’s mobile, but still needs to be able to get things done.
- Stanza: With Stanza, you’ll have an e-book reader available right on your iPhone. You can download books, either for a fraction of their print price or often nothing at all, and read them at your leisure, right from your iPhone. There is a huge, and growing, list of books to read- both school-like and otherwise. With Stanza, you might not need a Kindle, an eReader, or anything else!
ClassBrain & Cagle Cartoons
Current Events Project #4
By Cartoon: Jianping Fan, Guangzhou, China
Project: Cynthia Kirkeby, ClassBrain
Mar 21, 2009, 23:40 PST
Jianping Fan, Guangzhou, China
Space trash the size of a refrigerator that was expelled from the International Space Station came crashing down and burned up over the ocean in November 2008. Large quantities of debris from various space voyages have made travel in space hazardous, and increased the likelihood of some of the jettisoned materials to become a hazard on the ground as well.
Thoughts to Ponder
* What is space trash and how did it come to be?
* Why are we concerned about space trash when it is floating in space?
* Can you think of a way that some of the space trash could be cleaned up?
* Should Space Shuttle missions be required to reclaim some space trash each time they return to Earth?
Learning Links For Space Trash
What Is Space Trash?
Source: NASA – Starchild
Archaeology of Space Garbage
Source: W. L. Rathje
Space station junk burns up over ocean
Who’ll Take Out the Space Trash?
Source: WIRED Science
This project has been supplied by ClassBrain.com
> The Essential 55 Rules – Discovering the Successful Student In Every Child
by Ron Clark
The following is an excerpt from the book
The Essential 55- An Award-Winning Educator’s Rules for Discovering the Successful Student in Every Child
Her name was Mudder. She loved Guiding Light, collards, and snuff, and she was my grandmother. Mudder stood right at five feet, but when she placed her hands on her hips, she was the tallest person in the room. She was definitely a lady who didn’t put up with any nonsense, and she was respected by everyone around her; poor be the person who had to learn that the hard way. As I grew up, she lived with my family and had a strong impact on who I am today. She’s one of the reasons that I feel so strongly about these fifty-five expectations I have of my students, as well as all people. She, along with my parents, gave me a true southern upbringing, which included respect, manners, and an appreciation of others. In addition to those ideals, I was shown how to enjoy life, take advantage of opportunities, and live every moment to the fullest. I was very fortunate to be surrounded by family members who were excellent examples of how life should be lived and not taken for granted.
Once I became a teacher, it became evident to me that many children aren’t exposed to the type of guidance and opportunities that I had when I was growing up. I have tried to set an example for my students and be a role model like my family members were for me. In my attempt to give them an outline or a guide to how life should be lived and appreciated, I compiled this list of lessons. Over the years of working with kids and watching this list grow from five rules to a handbook of life’s lessons, I have seen a remarkable difference in the way my students have held themselves, performed in school, and had respect for others.
I feel so fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with children firsthand and develop the list of fifty-five rules into what it is today. It is an extension of my upbringing mixed with lessons I have learned about life, along with some rules that I have felt the need to adopt in order to maintain order with my students and get them to achieve their potential. However, the rules are more than about getting kids to behave; they’re about preparing kids for what awaits them after they leave my classroom. It is about preparing them to handle any situation they may encounter and giving them the confidence to do so. In some ways, it is a fifty-five-step plan. The steps, however, are not sequential; they are all explained, practiced, and enforced from day one in the classroom. At the end of the year, I like to say that my students are “polished.” I know I can take them anywhere, put them in any situation, and present them with any lesson, because they are at a point where they are receptive to learning and eager to experience life.
The time I have spent with children and teaching them these lessons has been wonderful, and I can’t imagine doing anything other than teaching. That is ironic, however, because when I was growing up, being a teacher was the last thing I would have wanted to do. Going through school, I can remember having aspirations of discovering ancient tombs in Egypt, flying around the world as a field journalist, or going undercover as a spy in foreign countries. The thought of entering such a dull, unchallenging, and mind-numbing profession as education never crossed my mind.
When I was a senior in high school, I sat down with my parents and discussed my options for college. Both of my parents were very hard workers, but it was still going to be a strain for them to come up with the funding necessary to send me to school. I can remember my father saying to me, “Ron, that’s not for you to worry about. That is our responsibility. You just concentrate on your grades.” I loved them for the sacrifices they were willing to make for me, but I didn’t want to put them in a situation where they would struggle to make ends meet. Around that time, I heard of a program called the Teaching Fellows Scholarship. Recipients of the award have all of their college expenses taken care of if they agree to teach in North Carolina for four years after graduating. I had no desire whatsoever to become a teacher, but I knew that taking the scholarship would make things much easier for my family financially. I decided I would use the funding to pay for my education, but after graduating I would not become a teacher. I would enter another profession that would allow me to make enough money to pay back the scholarship. It was not a plan I am proud of, but it made sense at the time.
Throughout college, I found that my one true love in life is adventure. I was up for any type of challenge that came my way, and that certainly led me to my share of wild moments. I once ran across the field of a nationally televised football game with my friend Bri, wearing only boxers and painted purple from head to toe, as we were chased by a gaggle of police officers in hot pursuit. While working at Dunkin’ Donuts, and during a game of hide-and-seek, I hid in a warm, locked oven that was turned on, and because I had accidentally locked my coworker out of the building, I was almost cooked to death. Also, even though I am terrified of heights, I have bungee-jumped, climbed mountains, rappelled off cliffs, and parasailed behind a boat off the Atlantic coast. When I graduated from college, I realized I definitely did not want to teach. Actually, I didn’t want to work at all. Therefore, in search of more adventures, I moved to London and worked as a singing and dancing waiter. After six months of using my southern accent as a British tourist attraction, I left England and backpacked across Europe, finally ending up in Romania, where I stayed with gypsies who fed me rat, which made me so sick that I had to be flown home. My adventures certainly had their share of highs and lows, but even when I ended up sick, almost cooked, or in trouble with the law, the experiences were worth the costs, because I always walked away a stronger, wiser, and better person.
After I arrived home from Romania, my parents were extremely happy to see me, but I had no intention of remaining home for long. My friend Bri was going to live on the beach in California, and I couldn’t wait to move out there next. My mother, however, was willing to do whatever it took to get me to stay put. She told me of a fifth-grade teacher in our area who had recently passed away. It was a sudden illness, and her students, the faculty, and the entire community were affected by her loss. Now let me tell you, we live in the country, and the population of the town, Aurora, is about 600. You have to drive twenty minutes to get to a stoplight, and it is difficult to entice teachers to the school because of the travel it would require each day. Mom told me that substitute teachers had taken over the vacant teaching position for a month, and that the class had become very unruly. The school was about 75 percent minority and most of the kids were on free or reduced-price lunch. I felt sorry for the students, but I was not interested in taking over this class of demanding, high-energy fifth graders, many of whom had behavior problems and learning disabilities.
I told my mother there was no way in this world that I was going to teach at that school. She told me in return that if I didn’t at least talk to the principal, she and my father would be forced to stop lending me money to fund my adventures. The next day, I was the first person to arrive at Snowden Elementary School.
Even though I agreed to meet with the principal, I still had no intention of taking the job. My Aunt Carolyn worked there as a secretary, so I figured it would give me the opportunity to see her before flying off to California. Upon arrival, I visited with my aunt, and then the principal, Andrea Roberson, gave me a tour of the school and told me about the group of students I would teach if I accepted the position. She told me about how demanding the students were, of several with learning disabilities, and how I had to raise those test scores no matter what. I remember thinking to myself, “And this lady is actually trying to convince me to work here.” I did act interested, but my heart wasn’t in it. She then escorted me to the room that held the fifth-grade class. We walked in and there was a little boy, named Rayquan, sitting just a few feet from the door. He looked up at me with his huge, brown, round eyes and said, “is you gonna be our new teacher?” I can’t explain the feeling that came over me; it was like an epiphany. The instant trust in his voice, the excitement all over his face, and his evident longing for stability called out to me. I knew that was where I was supposed to be. I looked back at Rayquan and said, “I think so.”
Before taking over the class myself, the principal wanted me to observe the substitute teacher. She didn’t want to just throw me in the class with no idea about what to expect from the group. The substitute in question, Mrs. Waddle, was an eccentric lady who always had a sandwich in one hand and whose matted wigs always seemed to lean to one side. On the first day I observed her, she became upset with a student who didn’t know the answer to a question. She proceeded to draw three small circles in a row on the blackboard. She then instructed the young man to place his nose in the middle circle and one finger from each hand in the outside circles. She left him there and turned back to the class and asked the question again. The next student got the question right, and she threw her hands in the air and proclaimed that she felt the Holy Spirit. She then sang an entire verse of “Amazing Grace.” Sitting there and watching this teacher for a week solidified more and more each day my desire to work with those students. They needed me more than I could have ever imagined. Before turning the class over to me, the substitute left me with one bit of “wisdom.” She looked at me and said, “You know, Mr. Clark, you’ll do fine. As long as you can affect the life of one child, you’ve been a success.”
To this day I do not like that quote. I feel we have to approach education with the determination to affect each and every one of our students. The mentality of achieving “success” after reaching one child isn’t enough. I approach each year with the knowledge that I have only one year to make a life’s worth of difference in each child in that classroom, and I give it everything I’ve got. I didn’t know much when I first entered the classroom and took over that class from Mrs. Waddle, but I did know my life was going to be different, because I was determined to give my students a different life, a better life. My time as a teacher had begun.
Over the next seven years in the classroom, my experiences were like a roller-coaster ride, with invitations to the White House, 911 calls, trips around the country with students, projects that garnered worldwide attention, and a major move from teaching in rural North Carolina to Harlem in New York City. Those events highlight my time spent working with children and my efforts to teach them these fifty-five rules. I have recounted many of the stories here. They show the highs and lows, successes and disappointments, and lessons learned along the way.
As you go through the list, there are some rules you may like and decide to use with students and children in your life, and there may be some that don’t inspire you. We all have different levels of tolerance when it comes to the behavior of children, and we all have different levels of expectations for ourselves and others. I offer these rules as suggestions, as tried-and-true methods that have served my students well. I hope you find them useful.
14 of The Essential 55 From Ron Clark’s book, The Essential 55- An Award-Winning Educator’s Rules for Discovering the Successful Student in Every Child
- Make eye contact
- Respect other ideas and opinions
- Do not save seats
- Say thank you within three seconds of receiving something
- When you win, do not brag; when you lose, do not show anger
- Do your homework each and every night without fail
- Do not talk in a movie theater
- Be the best person you can be
- Always be honest
- If you are asked a question in conversation, ask a question in return
- Perform random acts of kindness
- Learn the names of all the teachers in the school and greet them
- If someone bumps into you, even if it was not your fault, say excuse me
- Stand up for what you believe in
Copyright © 2003 Ron Clark
Craig Hepburn, director of social strategy at Open Text, said, “While people are happy to use social media applications in the working environment, they are unhappy about them being taught in school. However, these tools could well be the future of business, you only have to look at the growth of business social media site LinkedIn – which now has over 40 million members – to see the importance of these applications and the fact they will play a big part in future generations’ personal and professional lives.”
What is not taught in School
What is Taught: The first mention of man in flight was by Roger Bacon, who drew a flying apparatus. Leonardo da Vinci also conceived of airborne transport and drew several prototypes.
What Should be Taught: Ibn Firnas of Islamic Spain invented, constructed and tested a flying machine in the 800’s A.D. Roger Bacon learned of flying machines from Arabic references to Ibn Firnas’ machine. The latter’s invention antedates Bacon by 500 years and Da Vinci by some 700 years.
What is Taught: Glass mirrors were first produced in 1291 in Venice.
What Should be Taught: Glass mirrors were in use in Islamic Spain as early as the 11th century. The Venetians learned of the art of fine glass production from Syrian artisans during the 9th and 10th centuries.
What is Taught: Until the 14th century, the only type of clock available was the water clock. In 1335, a large mechanical clock was erected in Milan, Italy. This was possibly the first weight-driven clock.
What Should be Taught: A variety of mechanical clocks were produced by Spanish Muslim engineers, both large and small, and this knowledge was transmitted to Europe through Latin translations of Islamic books on mechanics. These clocks were weight-driven. Designs and illustrations of epi-cyclic and segmental gears were provided. One such clock included a mercury escapement. The latter type was directly copied by Europeans during the 15th century. In addition, during the 9th century, Ibn Firnas of Islamic Spain, according to Will Durant, invented a watch-like device which kept accurate time. The Muslims also constructed a variety of highly accurate astronomical clocks for use in their observatories.
What is Taught: In the 17th century, the pendulum was developed by Galileo during his teenage years. He noticed a chandelier swaying as it was being blown by the wind. As a result, he went home and invented the pendulum.
What Should be Taught: The pendulum was discovered by Ibn Yunus al-Masri during the 10th century, who was the first to study and document its oscillatory motion. Its value for use in clocks was introduced by Muslim physicists during the 15th century.
What is Taught: Movable type and the printing press was invented in the West by Johannes Gutenberg of Germany during the 15th century.
What Should be Taught: In 1454, Gutenberg developed the most sophisticated printing press of the Middle Ages. However, movable brass type was in use in Islamic Spain 100 years prior, and that is where the West’s first printing devices were made.
What is Taught: Isaac Newton’s 17th century study of lenses, light and prisms forms the foundation of the modern science of optics .
What Should be Taught: In the 1lth century al-Haytham determined virtually everything that Newton advanced regarding optics centuries prior and is regarded by numerous authorities as the “founder of optics. ”
There is little doubt that Newton was influenced by him. Al-Haytham was the most quoted physicist of the Middle Ages. His works were utilized and quoted by a greater number of European scholars during the 16th and 17th centuries than those of Newton and Galileo combined.
What is Taught: Isaac Newton, during the 17th century, discovered that white light consists of various rays of colored light.
What Should be Taught: This discovery was made in its entirety by al-Haytham (11th century) and Kamal ad-Din (14th century). Newton did make original discoveries, but this was not one of them.
What is Taught: The concept of the finite nature of matter was first introduced by Antione Lavoisier during the 18th century. He discovered that, although matter may change its form or shape, its mass always remains the same. Thus, for instance, if water is heated to steam, if salt is dissolved in water or if a piece of wood is burned to ashes, the total mass remains unchanged.
What Should be Taught: The principles of this discovery were elaborated centuries before by Islamic Persia’s great scholar, al-Biruni (d. 1050). Lavoisier was a disciple of the Muslim chemists and physicists and referred to their books frequently.
What is Taught: The Greeks were the developers of trigonometry .
What Should be Taught: Trigonometry remained largely a theoretical science among the Greeks. It was developed to a level of modern perfection by Muslim scholars, although the weight of the credit must be given to al-Battani. The words describing the basic functions of this science, sine, cosine and tangent, are all derived from Arabic terms. Thus, original contributions by the Greeks in trigonometry were minimal.
What is Taught: The use of decimal fractions in mathematics was first developed by a Dutchman, Simon Stevin, in 1589. He helped advance the mathematical sciences by replacing the cumbersome fractions, for instance, 1/2, with decimal fractions, for example, 0.5.
What Should be Taught: Muslim mathematicians were the first to utilize decimals instead of fractions on a large scale. Al-Kashi’s book, Key to Arithmetic, was written at the beginning of the 15th century and was the stimulus for the systematic application of decimals to whole numbers and fractions thereof. It is highly probably that Stevin imported the idea to Europe from al-Kashi’s work.
What is Taught: The first man to utilize algebraic symbols was the French mathematician, Francois Vieta. In 1591, he wrote an algebra book describing equations with letters such as the now familiar x and y’s. Asimov says that this discovery had an impact similar to the progression from Roman numerals to Arabic numbers.
What Should be Taught: Muslim mathematicians, the inventors of algebra, introduced the concept of using letters for unknown variables in equations as early as the 9th century A.D. Through this system, they solved a variety of complex equations, including quadratic and cubic equations. They used symbols to develop and perfect the binomial theorem.
What is Taught: The difficult cubic equations (x to the third power) remained unsolved until the 16th century when Niccolo Tartaglia, an Italian mathematician, solved them.
What Should be Taught: Cubic equations as well as numerous equations of even higher degrees were solved with ease by Muslim mathematicians as early as the 10th century.
What is Taught: The concept that numbers could be less than zero, that is negative numbers, was unknown until 1545 when Geronimo Cardano introduced the idea.
What Should he Taught: Muslim mathematicians introduced negative numbers for use in a variety of arithmetic functions at least 400 years prior to Cardano.
What is Taught: In 1614, John Napier invented logarithms and logarithmic tables.
What Should be Taught: Muslim mathematicians invented logarithms and produced logarithmic tables several centuries prior. Such tables were common in the Islamic world as early as the 13th century.
What is Taught: During the 17th century Rene Descartes made the discovery that algebra could be used to solve geometrical problems. By this, he greatly advanced the science of geometry.
What Should be Taught: Mathematicians of the Islamic Empire accomplished precisely this as early as the 9th century A.D. Thabit bin Qurrah was the first to do so, and he was followed by Abu’l Wafa, whose 10th century book utilized algebra to advance geometry into an exact and simplified science.
What is Taught: Isaac Newton, during the 17th century, developed the binomial theorem, which is a crucial component for the study of algebra.
What Should be Taught: Hundreds of Muslim mathematicians utilized and perfected the binomial theorem. They initiated its use for the systematic solution of algebraic problems during the 10th century (or prior).
What is Taught: No improvement had been made in the astronomy of the ancients during the Middle Ages regarding the motion of planets until the 13th century. Then Alphonso the Wise of Castile (Middle Spain) invented the Aphonsine Tables, which were more accurate than Ptolemy’s.
What Should be Taught: Muslim astronomers made numerous improvements upon Ptolemy’s findings as early as the 9th century. They were the first astronomers to dispute his archaic ideas. In their critic of the Greeks, they synthesized proof that the sun is the center of the solar system and that the orbits of the earth and other planets might be elliptical. They produced hundreds of highly accurate astronomical tables and star charts. Many of their calculations are so precise that they are regarded as contemporary. The AlphonsineTables are little more than copies of works on astronomy transmitted to Europe via Islamic Spain, i.e. the Toledo Tables.
What is Taught: The English scholar Roger Bacon (d. 1292) first mentioned glass lenses for improving vision. At nearly the same time, eyeglasses could be found in use both in China and Europe.
What Should be Taught: Ibn Firnas of Islamic Spain invented eyeglasses during the 9th century, and they were manufactured and sold throughout Spain for over two centuries. Any mention of eyeglasses by Roger Bacon was simply a regurgitation of the work of al-Haytham (d. 1039), whose research Bacon frequently referred to.
What is Taught: Gunpowder was developed in the Western world as a result of Roger Bacon’s work in 1242. The first usage of gunpowder in weapons was when the Chinese fired it from bamboo shoots in attempt to frighten Mongol conquerors. They produced it by adding sulfur and charcoal to saltpeter.
What Should be Taught: The Chinese developed saltpeter for use in fireworks and knew of no tactical military use for gunpowder, nor did they invent its formula. Research by Reinuad and Fave have clearly shown that gunpowder was formulated initially by Muslim chemists. Further, these historians claim that the Muslims developed the first fire-arms. Notably, Muslim armies used grenades and other weapons in their defence of Algericus against the Franks during the 14th century. Jean Mathes indicates that the Muslim rulers had stock-piles of grenades, rifles, crude cannons, incendiary devices, sulfur bombs and pistols decades before such devices were used in Europe. The first mention of a cannon was in an Arabic text around 1300 A.D. Roger Bacon learned of the formula for gunpowder from Latin translations of Arabic books. He brought forth nothing original in this regard.
What is Taught: The compass was invented by the Chinese who may have been the first to use it for navigational purposes sometime between 1000 and 1100 A.D. The earliest reference to its use in navigation was by the Englishman, Alexander Neckam (1157-1217).
What Should be Taught: Muslim geographers and navigators learned of the magnetic needle, possibly from the Chinese, and were the first to use magnetic needles in navigation. They invented the compass and passed the knowledge of its use in navigation to the West. European navigators relied on Muslim pilots and their instruments when exploring unknown territories. Gustav Le Bon claims that the magnetic needle and compass were entirely invented by the Muslims and that the Chinese had little to do with it. Neckam, as well as the Chinese, probably learned of it from Muslim traders. It is noteworthy that the Chinese improved their navigational expertise after they began interacting with the Muslims during the 8th century.
What is Taught: The first man to classify the races was the German Johann F. Blumenbach, who divided mankind into white, yellow, brown, black and red peoples.
What Should be Taught: Muslim scholars of the 9th through 14th centuries invented the science of ethnography. A number of Muslim geographers classified the races, writing detailed explanations of their unique cultural habits and physical appearances. They wrote thousands of pages on this subject. Blumenbach’s works were insignificant in comparison.
What is Taught: The science of geography was revived during the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries when the ancient works of Ptolemy were discovered. The Crusades and the Portuguese/Spanish expeditions also contributed to this reawakening. The first scientifically-based treatise on geography were produced during this period by Europe’s scholars.
What Should be Taught: Muslim geographers produced untold volumes of books on the geography of Africa, Asia, India, China and the Indies during the 8th through 15th centuries. These writings included the world’s first geographical encyclopedias, almanacs and road maps. Ibn Battutah’s 14 th century masterpieces provide a detailed view of the geography of the ancient world. The Muslim geographers of the 10th through 15th centuries far exceeded the output by Europeans regarding the geography of these regions well into the 18th century. The Crusades led to the destruction of educational institutions, their scholars and books. They brought nothing substantive regarding geography to the Western world.
What is Taught: Robert Boyle, in the 17th century, originated the science of chemistry.
What Should be Taught: A variety of Muslim chemists, including ar-Razi, al-Jabr, al-Biruni and al-Kindi, performed scientific experiments in chemistry some 700 years prior to Boyle. Durant writes that the Muslims introduced the experimental method to this science. Humboldt regards the Muslims as the founders of chemistry.
What is Taught: Leonardo da Vinci (16th century) fathered the science of geology when he noted that fossils found on mountains indicated a watery origin of the earth.
What Should be Taught: Al-Biruni (1lth century) made precisely this observation and added much to it, including a huge book on geology, hundreds of years before Da Vinci was born. Ibn Sina noted this as well (see pages 100-101). it is probable that Da Vinci first learned of this concept from Latin translations of Islamic books. He added nothing original to their findings.
What is Taught: The first mention of the geological formation of valleys was in 1756, when Nicolas Desmarest proposed that they were formed over a long periods of time by streams.
What Should be Taught: Ibn Sina and al-Biruni made precisely this discovery during the 11th century (see pages 102 and 103), fully 700 years prior to Desmarest.
What is Taught: Galileo (17th century) was the world’s first great experimenter.
What Should be Taught: Al-Biruni (d. 1050) was the world’s first great experimenter. He wrote over 200 books, many of which discuss his precise experiments. His literary output in the sciences amounts to some 13,000 pages, far exceeding that written by Galileo or, for that matter, Galileo and Newton combined.
What is Taught: The Italian Giovanni Morgagni is regarded as the father of pathology because he was the first to correctly describe the nature of disease.
What Should be Taught: Islam’s surgeons were the first pathologists. They fully realized the nature of disease and described a variety of diseases to modern detail. Ibn Zuhr correctly described the nature of pleurisy, tuberculosis and pericarditis. Az-Zahrawi accurately documented the pathology of hydrocephalus (water on the brain) and other congenital diseases. Ibn al-Quff and Ibn an-Nafs gave perfect descriptions of the diseases of circulation. Other Muslim surgeons gave the first accurate descriptions of certain malignancies, including cancer of the stomach, bowel and esophagus. These surgeons were the originators of pathology, not Giovanni Morgagni.
What is Taught: Paul Ehrlich (19th century) is the originator of drug chemotherapy, that is the use of specific drugs to kill microbes.
What Should be Taught: Muslim physicians used a variety of specific substances to destroy microbes. They applied sulfur topically specifically to kill the scabies mite. Ar-Razi (10th century) used mercurial compounds as topical antiseptics.
What is Taught: Purified alcohol, made through distillation, was first produced by Arnau de Villanova, a Spanish alchemist, in 1300 A.D.
What Should be Taught: Numerous Muslim chemists produced medicinal-grade alcohol through distillation as early as the 10th century and manufactured on a large scale the first distillation devices for use in chemistry. They used alcohol as a solvent and antiseptic.
What is Taught: The first surgery performed under inhalation anesthesia was conducted by C.W. Long, an American, in 1845.
What Should be Taught: Six hundred years prior to Long, Islamic Spain’s Az-Zahrawi and Ibn Zuhr, among other Muslim surgeons, performed hundreds of surgeries under inhalation anesthesia with the use of narcotic-soaked sponges which were placed over the face.
What is Taught: During the 16th century Paracelsus invented the use of opium extracts for anesthesia.
What Should be Taught: Muslim physicians introduced the anesthetic value of opium derivatives during the Middle Ages. Opium was originally used as an anesthetic agent by the Greeks. Paracelus was a student of Ibn Sina’s works from which it is almost assured that he derived this idea.
What is Taught: Modern anesthesia was invented in the 19th century by Humphrey Davy and Horace Wells.
What Should be Taught: Modern anesthesia was discovered, mastered and perfected by Muslim anesthetists 900 years before the advent of Davy and Wells. They utilized oral as well as inhalant anesthetics.
What is Taught: The concept of quarantine was first developed in 1403. In Venice, a law was passed preventing strangers from entering the city until a certain waiting period had passed. If, by then, no sign of illness could be found, they were allowed in.
What Should be Taught: The concept of quarantine was first introduced in the 7th century A.D. by the prophet Muhammad, who wisely warned against entering or leaving a region suffering from plague. As early as the 10th century, Muslim physicians innovated the use of isolation wards for individuals suffering with communicable diseases.
What is Taught: The scientific use of antiseptics in surgery was discovered by the British surgeon Joseph Lister in 1865.
What Should be Taught: As early as the 10th century, Muslim physicians and surgeons were applying purified alcohol to wounds as an antiseptic agent. Surgeons in Islamic Spain utilized special methods for maintaining antisepsis prior to and during surgery. They also originated specific protocols for maintaining hygiene during the post-operative period. Their success rate was so high that dignitaries throughout Europe came to Cordova, Spain, to be treated at what was comparably the “Mayo Clinic” of the Middle Ages.
What is Taught: In 1545, the scientific use of surgery was advanced by the French surgeon Ambroise Pare. Prior to him, surgeons attempted to stop bleeding through the gruesome procedure of searing the wound with boiling oil. Pare stopped the use of boiling oils and began ligating arteries. He is considered the “father of rational surgery.” Pare was also one of the first Europeans to condemn such grotesque “surgical” procedures as trepanning (see reference #6, pg. 110).
What Should be Taught: Islamic Spain’s illustrious surgeon, az-Zahrawi (d. 1013), began ligating arteries with fine sutures over 500 years prior to Pare. He perfected the use of Catgut, that is suture made from animal intestines. Additionally, he instituted the use of cotton plus wax to plug bleeding wounds. The full details of his works were made available to Europeans through Latin translations.
Despite this, barbers and herdsmen continued be the primary individuals practicing the “art” of surgery for nearly six centuries after az-Zahrawi’s death. Pare himself was a barber, albeit more skilled and conscientious than the average ones.
Included in az-Zahrawi’s legacy are dozens of books. His most famous work is a 30 volume treatise on medicine and surgery. His books contain sections on preventive medicine, nutrition, cosmetics, drug therapy, surgical technique, anesthesia, pre and post-operative care as well as drawings of some 200 surgical devices, many of which he invented. The refined and scholarly az-Zahrawi must be regarded as the father and founder of rational surgery, not the uneducated Pare.
What is Taught: William Harvey, during the early 17th century, discovered that blood circulates. He was the first to correctly describe the function of the heart, arteries and veins. Rome’s Galen had presented erroneous ideas regarding the circulatory system, and Harvey was the first to determine that blood is pumped throughout the body via the action of the heart and the venous valves. Therefore, he is regarded as the founder of human physiology.
What Should be Taught: In the 10th century, Islam’s ar-Razi wrote an in-depth treatise on the venous system, accurately describing the function of the veins and their valves. Ibn an-Nafs and Ibn al-Quff (13th century) provided full documentation that the blood circulates and correctly described the physiology of the heart and the function of its valves 300 years before Harvey. William Harvey was a graduate of Italy’s famous Padua University at a time when the majority of its curriculum was based upon Ibn Sina’s and ar-Razi’s textbooks.
What is Taught: The first pharmacopeia (book of medicines) was published by a German scholar in 1542. According to World Book Encyclopedia, the science of pharmacology was begun in the 1900’s as an off-shoot of chemistry due to the analysis of crude plant materials. Chemists, after isolating the active ingredients from plants, realized their medicinal value.
What Should be Taught: According to the eminent scholar of Arab history, Phillip Hitti, the Muslims, not the Greeks or Europeans, wrote the first “modern” pharmacopeia. The science of pharmacology was originated by Muslim physicians during the 9th century. They developed it into a highly refined and exact science. Muslim chemists, pharmacists and physicians produced thousands of drugs and/or crude herbal extracts one thousand years prior to the supposed birth of pharmacology. During the 14th century Ibn Baytar wrote a monumental pharmacopeia listing some 1400 different drugs. Hundreds of other pharmacopeias were published during the Islamic Era. It is likely that the German work is an offshoot of that by Ibn Baytar, which was widely circulated in Europe.
What is Taught: The discovery of the scientific use of drugs in the treatment of specific diseases was made by Paracelsus, the Swiss-born physician, during the 16th century. He is also credited with being the first to use practical experience as a determining factor in the treatment of patients rather than relying exclusively on the works of the ancients.
What Should be Taught: Ar-Razi, Ibn Sina, al-Kindi, Ibn Rushd, az -Zahrawi, Ibn Zuhr, Ibn Baytar, Ibn al-Jazzar, Ibn Juljul, Ibn al-Quff, Ibn an-Nafs, al-Biruni, Ibn Sahl and hundreds of other Muslim physicians mastered the science of drug therapy for the treatment of specific symptoms and diseases. In fact, this concept was entirely their invention. The word “drug” is derived from Arabic. Their use of practical experience and careful observation was extensive.
Muslim physicians were the first to criticize ancient medical theories and practices. Ar-Razi devoted an entire book as a critique of Galen’s anatomy. The works of Paracelsus are insignificant compared to the vast volumes of medical writings and original findings accomplished by the medical giants of Islam.
What is Taught: The first sound approach to the treatment of disease was made by a German, Johann Weger, in the 1500’s.
What Should be Taught: Harvard’s George Sarton says that modern medicine is entirely an Islamic development and that Setting the Record Straight the Muslim physicians of the 9th through 12th centuries were precise, scientific, rational and sound in their approach. Johann Weger was among thousands of Europeans physicians during the 15th through 17th centuries who were taught the medicine of ar-Razi and Ibn Sina. He contributed nothing original.
What is Taught: Medical treatment for the insane was modernized by Philippe Pinel when in 1793 he operated France’s first insane asylum .
What Should be Taught: As early as the 1lth century, Islamic hospitals maintained special wards for the insane. They treated them kindly and presumed their disease was real at a time when the insane were routinely burned alive in Europe as witches and sorcerers. A curative approach was taken for mental illness and, for the first time in history, the mentally ill were treated with supportive care, drugs and psychotherapy. Every major Islamic city maintained an insane asylum where patients were treated at no charge. In fact, the Islamic system for the treatment of the insane excels in comparison to the current model, as it was more humane and was highly effective as well.
What is Taught: Kerosine was first produced by the an Englishman, Abraham Gesner, in 1853. He distilled it from asphalt.
What Should be Taught: Muslim chemists produced kerosine as a distillate from petroleum products over 1,000 years prior to Gesner (see Encyclopaedia Britannica under the heading, Petroleum).
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