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Can reading a non-fiction book with great curiosity account to taking a break?

Can reading a non-fiction book with great curiosity account to taking a break?


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In our day to day life, especially at work(in Office say a software company), due to the nature of work, it requires a lot of attention and deep involvement in the system/code. It is popular belief that taking breaks increases one's productivity.

Considering that in order to take a break, a person spends 30 minutes reading a non-fiction book, on his/her favorite topic, totally unrelated to office work, will it account to taking a break. Or due to the huge context switch, will it actually lead to more curiosity and distraction from office work and affect productivity inversely?


A lot depends on your definition of what constitutes 'a break'. Many are likely to argue a break involves relaxing, a 'fun' pastime, which in another question on this site has been discussed to be beneficial for the work environment in the case of social activities:

… , having fun at work was perceived to positively influence workplace relationships to a moderate-high degree, contribute to managing stress to a moderate degree, improved job satisfaction to moderate degree and was reported to have a little more than neutral, direct impact on workplace effectiveness. These outcomes must however be examined in the context of results, suggesting not only are different types of fun activities enjoyed more, but different types of activities are highly salient in relation to the particular organisational variable measured.

However, these results do not seem to generalize to your scenario, as you seem to be more interested in taking a break from ongoing work and potentially switching to other mentally demanding individual work.

Therefore I believe the following study on multitasking-the interleaving of several primary tasks-which are executed one at a time) by Adler and Benbunan-Fich (2012) measures results more in line with what you are after.

Our results show an inverted-U pattern for performance efficiency (productivity) and a decreasing line for performance effectiveness (accuracy).

There is thus an optimal amount of task switching which leads to the highest productivity. However, increased levels of multitasking lead to a significant loss in accuracy, indicating a trade-off between productivity and accuracy.

These results thus seem to confirm that in at least the context of the study switching to a different task can improve productivity, in line with increased effectiveness when taking 'a break'. To which degree (and if at all), however, will depend highly on the specific tasks and work environment. For example, a follow-up study by the same authors (Adler and Benbunan-Fich, 2015) shows that subjective task difficulty is a determining factor: easy tasks benefit from multitasking by increasing stimulation, whereas hard tasks decrease performance as the result of an overload in mental workload.

Adler, R. F., & Benbunan-Fich, R. (2012). Juggling on a high wire: Multitasking effects on performance. International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, 70(2), 156-168.
Adler, R. F., & Benbunan-Fich, R. (2015). The effects of task difficulty and multitasking on performance. Interacting with Computers, 27(4), 430-439.


10 Benefits of Reading: Why You Should Read Every Day

When was the last time you read a book, or a substantial magazine article? Do your daily reading habits center around tweets, Facebook updates, or the directions on your instant oatmeal packet?

If you&rsquore one of countless people who don&rsquot make a habit of reading regularly, you might be missing out.

Reading has a significant number of benefits, and here&rsquore 10 benefits of reading to get you to start reading.

VIDEO SUMMARY

The Essential Sales Books

These are the sales books that every salesperson at any level should read. They cover the basics of what it is to sell, how to negotiate, the psychology of pitching, and more.

1. To Sell is Human

Why you should read this book: Daniel Pink is a New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post best-selling author who completely destroys and disproves every outdated stereotype about sales in this fantastic book. If you want to understand the modern sales landscape and the psychology of selling anything, pick this one up.

Key Quote: “Anytime you're tempted to upsell someone else, stop what you're doing and upserve instead.”

2. Everybody Lies

Why you should read this book: What if you knew what your sales lead was going to do before you ever spoke to them? The internet has led to such a proliferation of data that we can predict behaviors based on everything from what sports you like to who you voted for. In this sales book, Seth Stephens-Davidowitz digs deeper and offers up revealing truths about how we think and feel as humans.

Key Quote: “First, and perhaps most important, if you are going to try to use new data to revolutionize a field, it is best to go into a field where old methods are lousy.”

3. Blueprints For A SaaS Sales Organization

Why you should read this book: This is the book that redefined how SaaS sales teams are built. Inside, authors Jacco van der Kooji and Fernando Pizarro distill their decades of combined experience building high performance SaaS teams into a set of highly detailed instructions that will allow sales leaders to design, implement and execute all around sales plans.

Key Quote: “Get the model right in order to avoid losing time. Time is the only resource you can’t replace, and in today’s fast-moving market your competitors are quick to leap ahead of you and cash in on the market you and your marketing dollars created.”

4. Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion

Why you should read this book: Understanding how people are influenced is such an incredibly important part of sales, and Dr. Robert Cialdini is the expert. Influence is the classic text covering the psychology of why people say "yes". And more importantly, how to apply these understandings in your business.

Key Quote: “The idea of potential loss plays a large role in human decision making. In fact, people seem to be more motivated by the thought of losing something than by the thought of gaining something of equal value.”

5. Pitch Anything: An Innovative Method for Presenting, Persuading, and Winning the Deal

Why you should read this book: One truly great sales pitch can make your career. Which is exactly what author Oren Klaff, who used his own unique pitching method to raise over $400 million, proves in this fantastic book. Klaff takes a scientific approach to the pitch, outlining the key points every great pitch needs to hit and how exactly to do it:

  • Setting the Frame
  • Telling the Story
  • Revealing the Intrigue
  • Offering the Prize
  • Nailing the Hookpoint
  • Getting a Decision

Key Quote: “No pitch or message is going to get to the logic center of the other person’s brain without passing through the survival filters of the crocodile brain system first. And because of the way we evolved, those filters make pitching anything extremely difficult.”

6. Never Split the Difference

Why you should read this book: Want to up your negotiating skills? Who better to learn from than a former international hostage negotiator for the FBI. Chris Voss highlights the hard skills and practical principles that helped him save lives, and will help give you an edge in any negotiation.

Key Quote: “Negotiate in their world. Persuasion is not about how bright or smooth or forceful you are. It’s about the other party convincing themselves that the solution you want is their own idea. So don’t beat them with logic or brute force. Ask them questions that open paths to your goals. It’s not about you.”

7. Zig Ziglar's Secrets of Closing the Sale

Why you should read this book: In the world of sales, Zig Ziglar is the giant whose shoulders we all stand on. His pioneering book puts a laser focus on the all-important close, providing hundreds of examples of how to close and questions to ask yourself before you go in for the ‘yes’.

Key Quote: “If you do not believe in your product or service enough to offer it to your own family and friends, then you should question the value of what you are selling.”


Six psychology principles that can help your content marketing

Knowing what makes your customers tick and how you can influence their purchasing behaviours and decisions is crucial when developing in-depth content marketing strategies.

The aim of all marketers is to change the behaviour of their audience in a way that benefits their business. Understanding some key principles of behavioural psychology can take your content marketing from good to great in a matter of days.

Many businesses use content marketing as a way to drive traffic to their site, build an audience, boost engagement levels, convert leads, and ultimately complete a sale.

All of these are actions that the consumer needs to take, and behavioural psychology allows us to understand what will encourage them to take that action.

Here are six psychology principles that you can use to improve your content marketing efforts:

Reciprocity

Reciprocity is a psychological principle regarding a positive action that takes place in response to another positive action. If someone is friendly to another person, then this principle suggests they would be friendly back.

Brands can use this principle by giving their customers something for free and building up loyalty. Content marketing is a great way to use the reciprocity theory, as any content created for your audience should be insightful, beneficial, and free for them to read or use.

The content you are giving your customers could be helpful articles and blog posts, free e-books to download, online webinars they can join in with or informative podcasts they can listen to and learn from.

If you can make your customers feel like you are giving them something great without them spending a penny, the chances are they will be loyal to you and buy from you in the long run.

Information Gap Theory

In psychology, the Information Gap Theory refers to the curiosity that humans develop if there is a gap between the information we already know and the information we want to know.

Developed by George Loewenstein back in the early 1990s, this theory suggests that when there is a gap in knowledge, humans are triggered to take action to find what they want to know.

Using the Information Gap Theory in content marketing involves creating curiosity within your audience, triggering them to want to find out more from you and then delivering the information to them.

The easiest way to do this is by creating eye-catching, attention-grabbing headlines.

It&rsquos important to spark an interest that already exists within your audience, so choosing the right topics to write about is essential. Find something that your audience will want to know more about, and hand them the answer on a plate.

Draw them in with the right headline and you have given them something great for free, taking us back to the Reciprocity Theory.

Social Proof

Content marketing and social proof work hand in hand. This theory proposes that people are automatically drawn to a product that they know others already like and trust.

The concept revolves around the conformity developed when we follow the actions of others, as we are unsure of what to do, but trust that a large group of people have more knowledge than us as an individual.

In terms of content marketing, social proof works when people can see that their peers have an existing opinion on a service or product they are focusing on. This could be in the form of a review, endorsement, or share.

If readers can see that other people have already commented on your blog post or shared it with their friends, they will be more likely to do so too.

Make sure you have clearly implemented social sharing buttons on your blog that display a counter showing each time it has been liked or shared. Encourage reviews and social mentions, as anything that highlights your brand in a positive way will encourage your audience to also trust your business and engage with you.

Fear of Missing Out

Or FOMO, this is a part of the scarcity marketing theory, which states that humans put more value on things they feel are scarce and a lower value on anything that can easily be attained.

When people worry they can&rsquot have something due to a limited time or quantity, psychologically they will start wanting it more.

Have you ever been on a ticketing site and wanted to buy a couple of tickets to see your favourite band but baulked at the price, then gone back a few hours later to see the words &ldquoLimited Tickets Available&rdquo and instantly bought the tickets regardless of the cost?

That is FOMO and it shows how things become instantly more valuable when they appear to be scarce.

When it comes to content marketing, you need to show your customers that your content is rare and therefore valuable. If you have an e-book, only make it free to download for a limited amount of time, or if you have a newsletter, tell your customers that there is new content on your site that they have the opportunity to see before anyone else.

Loss Aversion

In economics and decision theory, loss aversion refers to the way people tend to strongly prefer avoiding losses than acquiring gains. It has been suggested that losses are psychologically twice as powerful as gains.

The best way to apply the loss aversion principle to your content marketing is to work out what exactly makes your audience tick.

The way you write and the words you use can be powerful, especially when you know what your audience are worried about losing. Your content needs to show them why your service or product will prevent them from losing something important to them, like time or money for example.

Focus on the benefits of your product or service when creating your content, and work out how it can target the challenges and reservations your customers have and instantly alleviate any of their fears.

Paradox of Choice

The Paradox of Choice principle proposes that humans become less satisfied if they have too many choices. People often struggle with important decisions, and when we are given too many choices, we often worry later that a different option may have been better for us.

Freedom of choice is important, especially when it comes to marketing, as consumers should have full control over the decisions they make. The problem comes, however, when businesses offer their audience too many options and it ends up having a negative effect.

When it comes to content marketing, it&rsquos important that you don&rsquot completely put your audience off by giving them too many options.

Keep your content clear and concise and don&rsquot overwhelm them.

When they have read your content, you want them to take a further action, so offer them two different routes, for example sharing it or reading something similar, and avoid giving them too many options that results in them leaving your site.

There are so many factors to take into consideration when creating and implementing a successful content marketing strategy, but keeping these psychology principles in mind will help you focus on your consumers&rsquo thoughts and behaviour, and help you to stand out in a crowded world of digital marketing.


Read to Lead: How to Digest Books Above Your “Level”

I shouldn’t be able to read most of the books on my shelf. I never took a single classical history class and I cheated through most of Economics 001. Still, the loci of my library are Greek History and Applied Economics. And though they often are beyond me educationally, I’m able to comprehend them because of some equalizing tricks. Reading to lead or learn requires that you treat your brain like the muscle that it is–lifting the subjects with the most tension and weight. For me, that means pushing ahead into subjects you’re not familiar with and wresting with them until you can–shying away from the “easy read.”

This is how I break down a new book:

Before the First Page Break out of the School Mindset

Almost everything you learn in the classroom is tainted by the fact that ultimately teachers have to test you on it. Tests often have very little to do with proving that you know or care about the material but more about proving that you spent the time reading it. The easiest way to do this is picking obscure things from the text and quizzing you on them: “Name this passage” “What were the main characters in Chapter 4?” So forget that–you’re reading for you. Even when you’re in school, you should be reading for yourself and not for the teacher. The worst thing that can happen is they knock you down a little bit on a grade that means very little.

When you read History of the Peloponnesian War, the countries involved in the conflict between Corinth and Corcyra is not really worth remembering. (Proof: I had to go look up the names on Wikipedia, all I remember was that they both started with a C. )What you should latch onto is that as the two fought for allied support from Athens, one took the haughty “you owe us a favor” route and the other alluded to all the benefits that would come from aiding them. Guess who got the support?

“We haven’t time to spare to hear whether it was between Italy and Sicily that he ran into a storm or somewhere outside the world we know–when every day we’re running into our own storms, spiritual storms, and driven by vice into all the troubles that Ulysses ever knew.”

He rightly points out that Homer was wise before he recited or sat down to write his own works–so what do you really gain by analyzing the minutia of it? The work is an expression of the message, not the message itself. So forget everything but that message and how to apply it to your life. Dates, names, pronunciations–they only matter in how they provide context for the lesson at hand. They carry little value otherwise.

Ruin the Ending

I almost always go straight to Wikipedia and ruin the ending. Who cares? Your aim as a reader is to understand WHY something happened, the what is secondary. In the case of HOTPW, without reading the entry you might have passed over the glorious anecdote that Thucydides missed a large part of the war because he caught the Plague and that he was largely delegated to writing about the battles because his military incompetence led to an early defeat.

You ought to ruin the ending–or find out the basic assertions of the book–because it frees you up to focus on your two most important tasks: 1) What does it mean? 2) Do you agree with it? The first 50 pages of the book shouldn’t be a discovery process for you you shouldn’t be wasting your time figuring out what the author is trying to say. Instead, your energy needs to be spent on figuring out if he’s right and how you can benefit from it. Plus if you already know what happens, you can identify all the foreshadowing and the clues the first read through.

Read the Reviews (Amazon)

Find out from the people who have already read it what they felt was important. From the reviews you can deduce the culture significance of the work–and from what it meant to others, at least grasp a bearing of what it could mean to you. Also by being warned of the major themes you can anticipate them coming and then actually appreciate them as they unfold. Which again frees you up much in the same way that ruining the ending does. And frankly, if you agree with their assessment of the work, go ahead and steal it once you’ve finished. They didn’t copyright it–this isn’t school, this is life.

The Book Itself Read the Intro

I know, I know. It infuriates me too that a 200 page book has a 80 page translator’s introduction, but they are helpful. Every time I have skipped through it, I’ve had to go back and start over. Read the intro. It often has a ton of interesting stuff about who the work ended up influencing, and other tidbits that often stick with you longer than the work itself.

If you’re reading to lead, you’re going to come across concepts or words you’re not familiar with. Don’t pretend like you understand, look it up. I like to use Definr or I use my Blackberry to look stuff up on Wikipedia. If you’re away from a computer and need the definition of a word, type “Define: ______” and text it to 46645 (Googl) and you’ll get one back from Google. With Military History, a sense of the battlefield is often necessary. Wikipedia is a great place to grab maps and to help understand the terrain. That being said, don’t get bogged down with the names of the cities or the spelling of names, you’re looking to grasp the meta-lesson–the conclusion.

These will change how you read. On the right side of the page, I tag the pages I have highlighted important passages on. On the top of the page, I mark if there is a concept I need to research or if there is a book the author suggests I read as a supplement. Don’t be afraid to tear the book up with tags–tape is cheap but the time it will take you to otherwise flip back through the book to track something down is not.

Flip Through It Again

Before you close the book, go back through and reread all the passages you’ve marked. This puts them back into your memory and let’s you walk away knowing the crucial hits of the author’s message. With these flagpoles you will be able to go back through and remember the details if necessary, like knowing the chord structure of a song and working through the rest as it comes.

After You Finish Type Out the Important Quotes and Passages

In Old School, Tobias Wolff talks about how he used to retype the works of classic authors when he felt uninspired just to feel what it was like to have that profoundness flow out of his finger tips. That is why I have the Book Quotes and Passages section. I’ve been compiling for almost 4 years now and have nearly 15,000 words typed. And I still have boxes left to go through. Not only will it inspire you, but it will help you remember them.

Read One Book from Every Bibliography

This is a little rule I try to stick with. In every book I read, I try to find my next one in its footnotes or bibliography. This is how you build a knowledge base in a subject–it’s how you trace a subject back to its core. Just keep a running list through Amazon’s Wish List service (here is mine). Last month I read a book on Evolutionary Psychology and discovered that I’d read almost 80% of its sources because I’d been pulled down the rabbit hole of a predecessor.

Connect, Apply, Use

When you make connections–that the cultural reactions after WWI (largely extroverted and flamboyant) and WWII (introverted, uptight and overly moral) appear to be opposite takes on the same disillusionment–you can see things for what they are. And then better understand the cyclical nature of history and human nature. Make the connection–that every major military pretext for war was claimed by (some) historians to be governmentally orchestrated (sinking of the Maine, Pearl Harbor, the Gulf of Tonkin incident, 9/11)–and appreciate how our responses to events rarely ever contain perspective or a sense of rational continuity. Ex: Is Cicero’s advice on speaking similar to the mechanics of good writing?

Begin to apply the mindset of the author to your daily life–even if you don’t agree with it. How would an evolutionary psychologist consider this situation? If people are economically self-interested, how can I explain this action? If Von Clausewitz said that we love Greek history because it’s the easiest to manipulate, should I trust this anecdote? Ex: I know Cicero wanted to make you a better speaker, but if he wanted you to write better, what would he say?

Use. You highlight the passages for a reason. Why type the quotes if you aren’t going to memorize them? Drop them in conversation. Allude to them in papers, in emails, in letters and in your daily life. How else do you expect to absorb them? Don’t be a douche and drop them where they aren’t relevant, but use the wisdom to make yourself a better person.Ex: Write, even if it’s just for yourself, even if you’re thinking aloud, what Cicero can teach you about writing.

“My advice is really this: what we hear the philosophers saying and what we find in their writings should be applied in our pursuit of the happy life. We should hunt out the helpful pieces of teaching and the spirited and noble-minded sayings which are capable of immediate practical application–not far far-fetched or archaic expressions or extravagant metaphors and figures of speech–and learn them so well that words become works.”

Of course, none of this is easy. People always ask me if the books I carry around are for school because they’re full of notes, flags and folded pages–why would anyone work so hard on something they were doing on their own? Because I enjoy it, because it’s the only thing that separates me from ignorance. These are the techniques have allowed me to leap years ahead of my peers. It’s how you strike out on your own and build strength instead of letting some personal trainer dictate what you can and can’t be lifting.

So try it: Do your research, read diligently without getting bogged down in details, and then work to connect, apply and use. And I think you’ll find that you’re able to read above your supposed “level” even outside the classroom setting.

You can check out my Reading List for a place to start.

**Note: My list isn’t conclusive, it’s just my system. If there are any steps I am missing, feel free to post what you use.


Kindle Unlimited

Okay, so it&rsquos not technically &ldquofree,&rdquo but with a 30 day free trial and just $10 a month after that, it&rsquos pretty close. If you read more than one ebook per month, all the ebooks after the first are functionally free Kindle books!

The Baking Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum

I may or may not recommend this book every chance I get, but now I get to do it when it doesn&rsquot cost anything additional! From cakes to pastries to bread, get this book to learn everything you could want to know about baking.

The Vine Witch by Luanne G. Smith

In turn-of-the-century France, Elena emerges from a seven-year curse to find a stranger running the vineyard that should be hers. Jean-Paul relies on science over superstition, but he can&rsquot figure out why his wine isn&rsquot working. Elena hides her true identity and motive when she offers to help the vines recover.

I Contain Multitudes by Ed Yong

We have millions of tiny organisms living inside and on our body&mdashand that&rsquos (usually) a good thing! Yong teaches us about the microbes and bacteria that shape human and animal life with a perfect blend of accessibility, detail, and humor.

The Will and the Wilds by Charlie N. Holmberg

Holmberg is one of my favorites for inventive YA tales. In a desperate bid to save her life, Enna binds Maekallus, a monster from another realm, to her and ends up trapping part of her soul inside him. If she can&rsquot break the spell, he&rsquoll be destroyed along with Enna&rsquos soul.

Raised Bed Gardening for Beginners by Tammy Wylie

If you are anything like approximately a third of my Facebook friends, you&rsquore trying some gardening to pass the time and soothe your soul. Learn how to do it the right way with topics like constructing a planting box, soil mixtures, crop rotation, partner planting, seed starting, and more.

See 50 more of the best books on Kindle Unlimited from 2018.


Self-efficacy

Students who believe they can read well are going to read often. When students have high self-efficacy in reading, the potentially daunting task of reading a text that is challenging becomes surmountable. They work towards goals and enjoy the feeling of success that comes with tackling a difficult passage. Self-efficacy in students is related to cognitive engagement and persistence at challenging tasks (Pintrich & De Groot, 1990).

Maintaining Success Improves Self-efficacy

Teachers who support their students' perception that they are capable of reading well are setting the students up for success as a major reason to become engaged in reading (Wigfield, Guthrie, Tonks, & Perencevich, 2004). When teachers guide students to repeat tasks until they are proficient, students enjoy increases in self-efficacy. Teachers who support student self-efficacy also evaluate student work based on effort and accuracy. This promotes student willingness to place effort on challenging texts and reading tasks, which then has a reciprocal effect of the student experiencing meaningful success.

In classrooms that promote student self-efficacy, the success of students is linked to challenging tasks. In a study of third graders' motivation, Miller and Meece (1999) found that students prefer challenging reading and writing tasks. The students were interviewed after completing tasks such as essays, research papers, and analysis of characters in a class novel. The interviews revealed that even when students found a task easy, they did not necessarily have an interest in completing the task, finding it boring. When presented with a challenging task, however, students stated that they enjoyed making up responses and preferred these types of tasks.

In order to include challenge in their lessons, teachers should identify the current level of the student in decoding, comprehension, and writing, and then create challenging tasks that build upon and extend the student's current capacities. This means providing decodable text for students that is slightly above their reading level, but within a level of comfort where the student is able to become engaged and read fluently with little interruption. The focus here should be on solidifying existing decoding skills while building vocabulary and conceptual knowledge, giving the student a sense of accomplishing a meaningful task that is challenging.

Once the student has successfully attained the reading strategy or concept at hand, and has shown proficiency in decoding that text, the difficulty of the text may be increased, always challenging the student but never overwhelming them. This approach fosters self-efficacy and encourages reading engagement (Linnenbrink & Pintrich, 2003).

The assessment of the student should be based on effort and persistence with challenging text. Text that is well below the level of the student has already been mastered, and the student gains very little if there is no conceptual knowledge to be learned. Evaluating reading ability with this kind of text does not accurately represent the student's reading level or growth, even though the student appears successful. On the other hand, a student who is applying effort to the reading task and who experiences challenge is more likely to experience growth in reading ability, and the assessment of student success should be based in this context of appropriate challenge.

Allowing Frequent Failure Undermines Self-efficacy

When students perceive that reading tasks are insurmountable, they are less likely to put forth effort or even to attempt new and challenging reading tasks (Schunk, 2003). This leads to teacher evaluations that rate the student as poor readers, which in turn further discourages students from attempting reading activities.

A focus on task completion, rather than a focus on students' learning, lies at the heart of practices that undermine self-efficacy, as shown by Schunk (2003) in a review of studies designed to increase self-efficacy in reading and learning. Such a task focus occurs most often when students are expected to read a textbook that is too difficult. For example, many textbooks in content areas contain excessive vocabulary, are relatively incoherent, and are disconnected from students' background knowledge. For secondary students, this threat to self-efficacy prevents them from believing that school is worthwhile (Otis et al., 2005).

Focusing on content coverage and completion of the tasks in a lesson plan or teachers' guide can hinder the self-efficacy of students who are developing readers, as well as proficient readers. In the case of developing readers, students who are given tasks that are too difficult and asked to repeat the tasks repeatedly, without additional instruction, are likely to be disengaged (Chapman & Tunmer, 1995). Vestiges of students' self-efficacy for reading drops even more. This experience of repeated failure causes the students to detach from the reading task and in a broader sense, from reading (Coddington & Guthrie, in press). The most frequent reason for not reading is the belief that "I cannot read it." Repeated experiences of excessive difficulty humiliate students, and naturally, they become avoidant.

Teachers may unintentionally undermine self-efficacy when reading lessons are focused on a task, such as a skill exercise, with no consideration given to whether students are gaining success and competence. Students who do not feel challenged are less motivated and have lower self-efficacy (Miller & Meece, 1999). When nothing but completion of the task is required, and students are given the message that their success is irrelevant, they may complete the task to the teacher's specifications, but it is possible neither knowledge nor strategy has been acquired. Students then learn to go through the motions of completing tasks without any purpose or benefit, translating success to performance rather than mastery of a goal.


How to spot a reading slump

  • It will start gradually. Usually, you’ll find yourself in the middle of a book that you enjoyed so far, maybe it was a bit slow or maybe it was perfect and you didn’t want it to end or maybe it was really bad, it doesn’t really matter. And then, BOOOM, you can’t read it anymore. You read the same line over and over for 30 minutes.
  • You start to realize that you might never get past this line, so you put down the book and think “well, I’ll just read more tomorrow”
  • Before you know it, tomorrow turned into two days, three days and then one week and you finally understand that it’s worse than you thought. YOU HAVE FALLEN PREY TO THE MONSTER.
  • You tell yourself that maybe it will work if you read something else, so you stare at your shelf for hours and try to make yourself pick something to read. Maybe you take a book out from the shelf and try to read it, but nothing is working.
  • In the end, you just give up and embrace Netflix. I’m sorry, I don’t make the rules.
  • if you’re lucky, maybe you actually find a book that gets you out of the reading slump, but that only happens if the reading gods favor you.


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Next year also sees Jenni Murray exploring obesity, Pandora Sykes’ essays on modern life, and a look at alcoholism and addiction by Bryony Gordon.

It’s never too early to add these 2020 non-fiction books to your to-read list.

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We’re decreased our plastic usage by investing in to-go cups for our coffees, reusable boxes for our packed lunches and totes for our weekly shop. But, for all the good that does, many of us are still finding it difficult to break out of bad fashion habits fashion is the second largest polluter of our planet after oil and gas, and our fondness for fast fashion does nothing to help this. In How to Break Up with Fast Fashion, journalist Lauren Bravo chronicles her year of quitting fast fashion, and crucially offers honest and realistic advice on how we can quit too. Bravo will inspire you to repair, recycle and give old items a new lease of life, all without sacrificing your style, and the planet.

9 January, £12.99, Headline Home

Uncanny Valley: A Memoir by Anna Wiener

In her mid-20s, Anna Wiener left her job in book publishing to join a tech start-up, moving from New York to San Francisco to do so. While the move initially felt positive – Wiener was earning good money and felt like she was part of the future – it soon became apparent that the tide was turning on tech companies. Casual sexism was rife, sexual harassment cases were on the rise, and the whole industry was being seen as a surveillance operation. In Uncanny Valley, Wiener explores how our addiction to technology has changed our lives, and the battle between old and new.

23 January, £16.99, 4th Estate

You're Not Listening: What You're Missing and Why It Matters by Kate Murphy

When was the last time you listened, really listened, to someone? According to writer Kate Murphy, as a society we’ve forgotten how to listen. Her new book You’re Not Listening lays out the arguments for why, when modern life is so busy and we rely on technology for much of our communication, it’s more important than ever to listen to the people around us. For the book, Murphy has spoken to people who actively listen for a living (think bartenders, priests and CIA interrogators) to discover why listening is the key to truly connecting with people.

23 January, £16.99, Harvill Secker

Motherwell by Deborah Orr

At the age of 18, the late journalist Deborah Orr left Motherwell, where she’d grown up, to go to university. But unlike many people, Orr was leaving against the wishes of her mother Win, who believed university wasn’t for the Orr family. This memoir explores Orr’s complicated and tense relationship with her mother, and how Motherwell and Win continued to draw her back to them, in the hopes that one day she’d be good enough for her mother.

Me and White Supremacy by Layla Saad

According to the Anti-Defamation League, extremist-related murders in 2018 in the US “were overwhelmingly linked to right-wing extremists”, with “white supremacists…responsible for the great majority of killings”. Yet, despite the threat from white supremacy, it’s still something our media and politicians are reluctant to speak about in the same ways they might talk about Islamic extremism. Layla Saad’s confrontational and much-needed Me and White Supremacy plans to change that. The book, which began as an Instagram challenge where Saad asked her followers to examine what white privilege really means, will cover different manifestations of white supremacy, from white privilege to white fragility, tone policing and white silence. But this isn’t just a book to passively read, each chapter ends with questions that will force the reader to reflect on their own positions and ideas and examine their own part in propping up the ideology of white supremacy.

4 February, £14.99, Quercus

How to Get Over a Boy by Chidera Eggerue

We’re strong, independent women, so we deserve a guide to dating that consists of something more than tips on “how to make him find you hot” and “how to get him to propose”. Step forward Chidera Eggerue, aka The Slumflower. In How to Get Over a Boy, Eggerue will reframe the stale goal of finding a man that has so often been seen as the pinnacle of a woman’s achievements. Containing tangible solutions for every part of your dating life, from that crush stage when we can’t stop thinking about the guy even though he isn’t replying to texts to helping us face society’s constant questioning about how we can possibly be happy AND single.

6 February, £12.99, Quadrille

Going Dark: The Secret Social Lives of Extremists by Julia Ebner

In her day job, Julia Ebner works at a counter-terrorism think tank, monitoring radical groups from the outside. Two years ago, sure she was only seeing half the picture, Ebner decided to go undercover in her spare hours, and adopted five different identities to join a dozen extremist groups from across the ideological spectrum. Her work saw her travel from a neo-Nazi music festival on the border of Germany and Poland to a global strategy meeting for Generation Identity at a pub in Mayfair. Ebner got relationship advice from alt-right “Trad Wives”, as well as Jihadi brides, and she spent time in the networks that would radicalise the Christchurch terrorist. Going Dark makes for terrifying reading, but it’s all the more essential for that, exposing just how closely we’re surrounded by fanatical ideology every day of our lives, and how that ideology is being countered.


Environmental Print in the Classroom

submitted by Mary Catherine from Fun-A-Day.com.

An easy and meaningful way to enrich the print in a classroom is with environmental print! As John Funk explains in Read the Room, creating a print-rich environment is incredibly important for early readers. It can be even more so when a child is having trouble with reading tasks.

Environmental print refers to words, signs, and symbols that surround us on a daily basis. Some examples include stop signs, store signs, and grocery staples. Children are able to “read” environmental print because of the distinctive shapes and colors, along with the daily exposure.

Bringing environmental print into the classroom can help children as they’re learning to read. Pre-readers are excited to have words they recognize up in their class. Struggling readers can find comfort in these recognizable symbols, as well!

Towards the beginning of the school year, I gave my preschool students some important homework. With their families, they collected examples of environmental print they could read. As a class, we created a “we can read” space in our home center. We’ve added to it over the year, and I’m sure it will be full by spring!

The children enjoy using my pointers when they’re reading our environmental print decoration. It’s a very simple task, yes, but it allows the children to grow confident in their reading abilities. It also helps them make connections between the written word and spoken language, as well as print-to-print connections.

How do you incorporate environmental print into your classroom? I’d love to hear more ideas you may have!

If you’re looking for more early literacy ideas, I’d love for you to check out my Balanced Literacy Pinterest Board.

Mary Catherine is mama to a 6-year old kick in the pants, teacher to a fun group of pre-k students, and the force behind Fun-A-Day! She loves reading (especially science fiction), messy science experiments with her son, and dark chocolate! You can connect with her on Facebook, Pinterest, Google+ and Twitter.


The cost of incentives

Financial incentives could be expensive as a policy solution. As in Ohio, lottery drawings are one way to cap the overall cost of incentives while giving millions of people an additional reason to get their shot.

The tax code could also allow for a no-cost incentive for vaccination. Tax deductions and credits are often designed to encourage behaviors, such as savings or home ownership. Some states now have big budget surpluses and are considering tax relief measures. If a state announced now that such payments would be conditional on being vaccinated, then each person declining the shot would save the government money.

Ultimately, a well-designed vaccination incentive can help save lives and need not keep the ethicists up at night.

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.


You may also like

Eco-anxiety: 9 books to help you combat your fears about the climate crisis

If you’re looking for something lighter after delving into those books, then there’s plenty to keep you entertained, including former Vogue editor Alexandra Shulman’s book on clothes. Staying in the fashion realm, Lauren Bravo’s look at fast fashion is both a fun read and a guide on how we can do our bit to help the planet by breaking up with fast fashion.

Next year also sees Jenni Murray exploring obesity, Pandora Sykes’ essays on modern life, and a look at alcoholism and addiction by Bryony Gordon.

It’s never too early to add these 2020 non-fiction books to your to-read list.

How to Break Up with Fast Fashion by Lauren Bravo

We’re decreased our plastic usage by investing in to-go cups for our coffees, reusable boxes for our packed lunches and totes for our weekly shop. But, for all the good that does, many of us are still finding it difficult to break out of bad fashion habits fashion is the second largest polluter of our planet after oil and gas, and our fondness for fast fashion does nothing to help this. In How to Break Up with Fast Fashion, journalist Lauren Bravo chronicles her year of quitting fast fashion, and crucially offers honest and realistic advice on how we can quit too. Bravo will inspire you to repair, recycle and give old items a new lease of life, all without sacrificing your style, and the planet.

9 January, £12.99, Headline Home

Uncanny Valley: A Memoir by Anna Wiener

In her mid-20s, Anna Wiener left her job in book publishing to join a tech start-up, moving from New York to San Francisco to do so. While the move initially felt positive – Wiener was earning good money and felt like she was part of the future – it soon became apparent that the tide was turning on tech companies. Casual sexism was rife, sexual harassment cases were on the rise, and the whole industry was being seen as a surveillance operation. In Uncanny Valley, Wiener explores how our addiction to technology has changed our lives, and the battle between old and new.

23 January, £16.99, 4th Estate

You're Not Listening: What You're Missing and Why It Matters by Kate Murphy

When was the last time you listened, really listened, to someone? According to writer Kate Murphy, as a society we’ve forgotten how to listen. Her new book You’re Not Listening lays out the arguments for why, when modern life is so busy and we rely on technology for much of our communication, it’s more important than ever to listen to the people around us. For the book, Murphy has spoken to people who actively listen for a living (think bartenders, priests and CIA interrogators) to discover why listening is the key to truly connecting with people.

23 January, £16.99, Harvill Secker

Motherwell by Deborah Orr

At the age of 18, the late journalist Deborah Orr left Motherwell, where she’d grown up, to go to university. But unlike many people, Orr was leaving against the wishes of her mother Win, who believed university wasn’t for the Orr family. This memoir explores Orr’s complicated and tense relationship with her mother, and how Motherwell and Win continued to draw her back to them, in the hopes that one day she’d be good enough for her mother.

Me and White Supremacy by Layla Saad

According to the Anti-Defamation League, extremist-related murders in 2018 in the US “were overwhelmingly linked to right-wing extremists”, with “white supremacists…responsible for the great majority of killings”. Yet, despite the threat from white supremacy, it’s still something our media and politicians are reluctant to speak about in the same ways they might talk about Islamic extremism. Layla Saad’s confrontational and much-needed Me and White Supremacy plans to change that. The book, which began as an Instagram challenge where Saad asked her followers to examine what white privilege really means, will cover different manifestations of white supremacy, from white privilege to white fragility, tone policing and white silence. But this isn’t just a book to passively read, each chapter ends with questions that will force the reader to reflect on their own positions and ideas and examine their own part in propping up the ideology of white supremacy.

4 February, £14.99, Quercus

How to Get Over a Boy by Chidera Eggerue

We’re strong, independent women, so we deserve a guide to dating that consists of something more than tips on “how to make him find you hot” and “how to get him to propose”. Step forward Chidera Eggerue, aka The Slumflower. In How to Get Over a Boy, Eggerue will reframe the stale goal of finding a man that has so often been seen as the pinnacle of a woman’s achievements. Containing tangible solutions for every part of your dating life, from that crush stage when we can’t stop thinking about the guy even though he isn’t replying to texts to helping us face society’s constant questioning about how we can possibly be happy AND single.

6 February, £12.99, Quadrille

Going Dark: The Secret Social Lives of Extremists by Julia Ebner

In her day job, Julia Ebner works at a counter-terrorism think tank, monitoring radical groups from the outside. Two years ago, sure she was only seeing half the picture, Ebner decided to go undercover in her spare hours, and adopted five different identities to join a dozen extremist groups from across the ideological spectrum. Her work saw her travel from a neo-Nazi music festival on the border of Germany and Poland to a global strategy meeting for Generation Identity at a pub in Mayfair. Ebner got relationship advice from alt-right “Trad Wives”, as well as Jihadi brides, and she spent time in the networks that would radicalise the Christchurch terrorist. Going Dark makes for terrifying reading, but it’s all the more essential for that, exposing just how closely we’re surrounded by fanatical ideology every day of our lives, and how that ideology is being countered.


10 Benefits of Reading: Why You Should Read Every Day

When was the last time you read a book, or a substantial magazine article? Do your daily reading habits center around tweets, Facebook updates, or the directions on your instant oatmeal packet?

If you&rsquore one of countless people who don&rsquot make a habit of reading regularly, you might be missing out.

Reading has a significant number of benefits, and here&rsquore 10 benefits of reading to get you to start reading.

VIDEO SUMMARY

Read to Lead: How to Digest Books Above Your “Level”

I shouldn’t be able to read most of the books on my shelf. I never took a single classical history class and I cheated through most of Economics 001. Still, the loci of my library are Greek History and Applied Economics. And though they often are beyond me educationally, I’m able to comprehend them because of some equalizing tricks. Reading to lead or learn requires that you treat your brain like the muscle that it is–lifting the subjects with the most tension and weight. For me, that means pushing ahead into subjects you’re not familiar with and wresting with them until you can–shying away from the “easy read.”

This is how I break down a new book:

Before the First Page Break out of the School Mindset

Almost everything you learn in the classroom is tainted by the fact that ultimately teachers have to test you on it. Tests often have very little to do with proving that you know or care about the material but more about proving that you spent the time reading it. The easiest way to do this is picking obscure things from the text and quizzing you on them: “Name this passage” “What were the main characters in Chapter 4?” So forget that–you’re reading for you. Even when you’re in school, you should be reading for yourself and not for the teacher. The worst thing that can happen is they knock you down a little bit on a grade that means very little.

When you read History of the Peloponnesian War, the countries involved in the conflict between Corinth and Corcyra is not really worth remembering. (Proof: I had to go look up the names on Wikipedia, all I remember was that they both started with a C. )What you should latch onto is that as the two fought for allied support from Athens, one took the haughty “you owe us a favor” route and the other alluded to all the benefits that would come from aiding them. Guess who got the support?

“We haven’t time to spare to hear whether it was between Italy and Sicily that he ran into a storm or somewhere outside the world we know–when every day we’re running into our own storms, spiritual storms, and driven by vice into all the troubles that Ulysses ever knew.”

He rightly points out that Homer was wise before he recited or sat down to write his own works–so what do you really gain by analyzing the minutia of it? The work is an expression of the message, not the message itself. So forget everything but that message and how to apply it to your life. Dates, names, pronunciations–they only matter in how they provide context for the lesson at hand. They carry little value otherwise.

Ruin the Ending

I almost always go straight to Wikipedia and ruin the ending. Who cares? Your aim as a reader is to understand WHY something happened, the what is secondary. In the case of HOTPW, without reading the entry you might have passed over the glorious anecdote that Thucydides missed a large part of the war because he caught the Plague and that he was largely delegated to writing about the battles because his military incompetence led to an early defeat.

You ought to ruin the ending–or find out the basic assertions of the book–because it frees you up to focus on your two most important tasks: 1) What does it mean? 2) Do you agree with it? The first 50 pages of the book shouldn’t be a discovery process for you you shouldn’t be wasting your time figuring out what the author is trying to say. Instead, your energy needs to be spent on figuring out if he’s right and how you can benefit from it. Plus if you already know what happens, you can identify all the foreshadowing and the clues the first read through.

Read the Reviews (Amazon)

Find out from the people who have already read it what they felt was important. From the reviews you can deduce the culture significance of the work–and from what it meant to others, at least grasp a bearing of what it could mean to you. Also by being warned of the major themes you can anticipate them coming and then actually appreciate them as they unfold. Which again frees you up much in the same way that ruining the ending does. And frankly, if you agree with their assessment of the work, go ahead and steal it once you’ve finished. They didn’t copyright it–this isn’t school, this is life.

The Book Itself Read the Intro

I know, I know. It infuriates me too that a 200 page book has a 80 page translator’s introduction, but they are helpful. Every time I have skipped through it, I’ve had to go back and start over. Read the intro. It often has a ton of interesting stuff about who the work ended up influencing, and other tidbits that often stick with you longer than the work itself.

If you’re reading to lead, you’re going to come across concepts or words you’re not familiar with. Don’t pretend like you understand, look it up. I like to use Definr or I use my Blackberry to look stuff up on Wikipedia. If you’re away from a computer and need the definition of a word, type “Define: ______” and text it to 46645 (Googl) and you’ll get one back from Google. With Military History, a sense of the battlefield is often necessary. Wikipedia is a great place to grab maps and to help understand the terrain. That being said, don’t get bogged down with the names of the cities or the spelling of names, you’re looking to grasp the meta-lesson–the conclusion.

These will change how you read. On the right side of the page, I tag the pages I have highlighted important passages on. On the top of the page, I mark if there is a concept I need to research or if there is a book the author suggests I read as a supplement. Don’t be afraid to tear the book up with tags–tape is cheap but the time it will take you to otherwise flip back through the book to track something down is not.

Flip Through It Again

Before you close the book, go back through and reread all the passages you’ve marked. This puts them back into your memory and let’s you walk away knowing the crucial hits of the author’s message. With these flagpoles you will be able to go back through and remember the details if necessary, like knowing the chord structure of a song and working through the rest as it comes.

After You Finish Type Out the Important Quotes and Passages

In Old School, Tobias Wolff talks about how he used to retype the works of classic authors when he felt uninspired just to feel what it was like to have that profoundness flow out of his finger tips. That is why I have the Book Quotes and Passages section. I’ve been compiling for almost 4 years now and have nearly 15,000 words typed. And I still have boxes left to go through. Not only will it inspire you, but it will help you remember them.

Read One Book from Every Bibliography

This is a little rule I try to stick with. In every book I read, I try to find my next one in its footnotes or bibliography. This is how you build a knowledge base in a subject–it’s how you trace a subject back to its core. Just keep a running list through Amazon’s Wish List service (here is mine). Last month I read a book on Evolutionary Psychology and discovered that I’d read almost 80% of its sources because I’d been pulled down the rabbit hole of a predecessor.

Connect, Apply, Use

When you make connections–that the cultural reactions after WWI (largely extroverted and flamboyant) and WWII (introverted, uptight and overly moral) appear to be opposite takes on the same disillusionment–you can see things for what they are. And then better understand the cyclical nature of history and human nature. Make the connection–that every major military pretext for war was claimed by (some) historians to be governmentally orchestrated (sinking of the Maine, Pearl Harbor, the Gulf of Tonkin incident, 9/11)–and appreciate how our responses to events rarely ever contain perspective or a sense of rational continuity. Ex: Is Cicero’s advice on speaking similar to the mechanics of good writing?

Begin to apply the mindset of the author to your daily life–even if you don’t agree with it. How would an evolutionary psychologist consider this situation? If people are economically self-interested, how can I explain this action? If Von Clausewitz said that we love Greek history because it’s the easiest to manipulate, should I trust this anecdote? Ex: I know Cicero wanted to make you a better speaker, but if he wanted you to write better, what would he say?

Use. You highlight the passages for a reason. Why type the quotes if you aren’t going to memorize them? Drop them in conversation. Allude to them in papers, in emails, in letters and in your daily life. How else do you expect to absorb them? Don’t be a douche and drop them where they aren’t relevant, but use the wisdom to make yourself a better person.Ex: Write, even if it’s just for yourself, even if you’re thinking aloud, what Cicero can teach you about writing.

“My advice is really this: what we hear the philosophers saying and what we find in their writings should be applied in our pursuit of the happy life. We should hunt out the helpful pieces of teaching and the spirited and noble-minded sayings which are capable of immediate practical application–not far far-fetched or archaic expressions or extravagant metaphors and figures of speech–and learn them so well that words become works.”

Of course, none of this is easy. People always ask me if the books I carry around are for school because they’re full of notes, flags and folded pages–why would anyone work so hard on something they were doing on their own? Because I enjoy it, because it’s the only thing that separates me from ignorance. These are the techniques have allowed me to leap years ahead of my peers. It’s how you strike out on your own and build strength instead of letting some personal trainer dictate what you can and can’t be lifting.

So try it: Do your research, read diligently without getting bogged down in details, and then work to connect, apply and use. And I think you’ll find that you’re able to read above your supposed “level” even outside the classroom setting.

You can check out my Reading List for a place to start.

**Note: My list isn’t conclusive, it’s just my system. If there are any steps I am missing, feel free to post what you use.


Kindle Unlimited

Okay, so it&rsquos not technically &ldquofree,&rdquo but with a 30 day free trial and just $10 a month after that, it&rsquos pretty close. If you read more than one ebook per month, all the ebooks after the first are functionally free Kindle books!

The Baking Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum

I may or may not recommend this book every chance I get, but now I get to do it when it doesn&rsquot cost anything additional! From cakes to pastries to bread, get this book to learn everything you could want to know about baking.

The Vine Witch by Luanne G. Smith

In turn-of-the-century France, Elena emerges from a seven-year curse to find a stranger running the vineyard that should be hers. Jean-Paul relies on science over superstition, but he can&rsquot figure out why his wine isn&rsquot working. Elena hides her true identity and motive when she offers to help the vines recover.

I Contain Multitudes by Ed Yong

We have millions of tiny organisms living inside and on our body&mdashand that&rsquos (usually) a good thing! Yong teaches us about the microbes and bacteria that shape human and animal life with a perfect blend of accessibility, detail, and humor.

The Will and the Wilds by Charlie N. Holmberg

Holmberg is one of my favorites for inventive YA tales. In a desperate bid to save her life, Enna binds Maekallus, a monster from another realm, to her and ends up trapping part of her soul inside him. If she can&rsquot break the spell, he&rsquoll be destroyed along with Enna&rsquos soul.

Raised Bed Gardening for Beginners by Tammy Wylie

If you are anything like approximately a third of my Facebook friends, you&rsquore trying some gardening to pass the time and soothe your soul. Learn how to do it the right way with topics like constructing a planting box, soil mixtures, crop rotation, partner planting, seed starting, and more.

See 50 more of the best books on Kindle Unlimited from 2018.


Self-efficacy

Students who believe they can read well are going to read often. When students have high self-efficacy in reading, the potentially daunting task of reading a text that is challenging becomes surmountable. They work towards goals and enjoy the feeling of success that comes with tackling a difficult passage. Self-efficacy in students is related to cognitive engagement and persistence at challenging tasks (Pintrich & De Groot, 1990).

Maintaining Success Improves Self-efficacy

Teachers who support their students' perception that they are capable of reading well are setting the students up for success as a major reason to become engaged in reading (Wigfield, Guthrie, Tonks, & Perencevich, 2004). When teachers guide students to repeat tasks until they are proficient, students enjoy increases in self-efficacy. Teachers who support student self-efficacy also evaluate student work based on effort and accuracy. This promotes student willingness to place effort on challenging texts and reading tasks, which then has a reciprocal effect of the student experiencing meaningful success.

In classrooms that promote student self-efficacy, the success of students is linked to challenging tasks. In a study of third graders' motivation, Miller and Meece (1999) found that students prefer challenging reading and writing tasks. The students were interviewed after completing tasks such as essays, research papers, and analysis of characters in a class novel. The interviews revealed that even when students found a task easy, they did not necessarily have an interest in completing the task, finding it boring. When presented with a challenging task, however, students stated that they enjoyed making up responses and preferred these types of tasks.

In order to include challenge in their lessons, teachers should identify the current level of the student in decoding, comprehension, and writing, and then create challenging tasks that build upon and extend the student's current capacities. This means providing decodable text for students that is slightly above their reading level, but within a level of comfort where the student is able to become engaged and read fluently with little interruption. The focus here should be on solidifying existing decoding skills while building vocabulary and conceptual knowledge, giving the student a sense of accomplishing a meaningful task that is challenging.

Once the student has successfully attained the reading strategy or concept at hand, and has shown proficiency in decoding that text, the difficulty of the text may be increased, always challenging the student but never overwhelming them. This approach fosters self-efficacy and encourages reading engagement (Linnenbrink & Pintrich, 2003).

The assessment of the student should be based on effort and persistence with challenging text. Text that is well below the level of the student has already been mastered, and the student gains very little if there is no conceptual knowledge to be learned. Evaluating reading ability with this kind of text does not accurately represent the student's reading level or growth, even though the student appears successful. On the other hand, a student who is applying effort to the reading task and who experiences challenge is more likely to experience growth in reading ability, and the assessment of student success should be based in this context of appropriate challenge.

Allowing Frequent Failure Undermines Self-efficacy

When students perceive that reading tasks are insurmountable, they are less likely to put forth effort or even to attempt new and challenging reading tasks (Schunk, 2003). This leads to teacher evaluations that rate the student as poor readers, which in turn further discourages students from attempting reading activities.

A focus on task completion, rather than a focus on students' learning, lies at the heart of practices that undermine self-efficacy, as shown by Schunk (2003) in a review of studies designed to increase self-efficacy in reading and learning. Such a task focus occurs most often when students are expected to read a textbook that is too difficult. For example, many textbooks in content areas contain excessive vocabulary, are relatively incoherent, and are disconnected from students' background knowledge. For secondary students, this threat to self-efficacy prevents them from believing that school is worthwhile (Otis et al., 2005).

Focusing on content coverage and completion of the tasks in a lesson plan or teachers' guide can hinder the self-efficacy of students who are developing readers, as well as proficient readers. In the case of developing readers, students who are given tasks that are too difficult and asked to repeat the tasks repeatedly, without additional instruction, are likely to be disengaged (Chapman & Tunmer, 1995). Vestiges of students' self-efficacy for reading drops even more. This experience of repeated failure causes the students to detach from the reading task and in a broader sense, from reading (Coddington & Guthrie, in press). The most frequent reason for not reading is the belief that "I cannot read it." Repeated experiences of excessive difficulty humiliate students, and naturally, they become avoidant.

Teachers may unintentionally undermine self-efficacy when reading lessons are focused on a task, such as a skill exercise, with no consideration given to whether students are gaining success and competence. Students who do not feel challenged are less motivated and have lower self-efficacy (Miller & Meece, 1999). When nothing but completion of the task is required, and students are given the message that their success is irrelevant, they may complete the task to the teacher's specifications, but it is possible neither knowledge nor strategy has been acquired. Students then learn to go through the motions of completing tasks without any purpose or benefit, translating success to performance rather than mastery of a goal.


Environmental Print in the Classroom

submitted by Mary Catherine from Fun-A-Day.com.

An easy and meaningful way to enrich the print in a classroom is with environmental print! As John Funk explains in Read the Room, creating a print-rich environment is incredibly important for early readers. It can be even more so when a child is having trouble with reading tasks.

Environmental print refers to words, signs, and symbols that surround us on a daily basis. Some examples include stop signs, store signs, and grocery staples. Children are able to “read” environmental print because of the distinctive shapes and colors, along with the daily exposure.

Bringing environmental print into the classroom can help children as they’re learning to read. Pre-readers are excited to have words they recognize up in their class. Struggling readers can find comfort in these recognizable symbols, as well!

Towards the beginning of the school year, I gave my preschool students some important homework. With their families, they collected examples of environmental print they could read. As a class, we created a “we can read” space in our home center. We’ve added to it over the year, and I’m sure it will be full by spring!

The children enjoy using my pointers when they’re reading our environmental print decoration. It’s a very simple task, yes, but it allows the children to grow confident in their reading abilities. It also helps them make connections between the written word and spoken language, as well as print-to-print connections.

How do you incorporate environmental print into your classroom? I’d love to hear more ideas you may have!

If you’re looking for more early literacy ideas, I’d love for you to check out my Balanced Literacy Pinterest Board.

Mary Catherine is mama to a 6-year old kick in the pants, teacher to a fun group of pre-k students, and the force behind Fun-A-Day! She loves reading (especially science fiction), messy science experiments with her son, and dark chocolate! You can connect with her on Facebook, Pinterest, Google+ and Twitter.


How to spot a reading slump

  • It will start gradually. Usually, you’ll find yourself in the middle of a book that you enjoyed so far, maybe it was a bit slow or maybe it was perfect and you didn’t want it to end or maybe it was really bad, it doesn’t really matter. And then, BOOOM, you can’t read it anymore. You read the same line over and over for 30 minutes.
  • You start to realize that you might never get past this line, so you put down the book and think “well, I’ll just read more tomorrow”
  • Before you know it, tomorrow turned into two days, three days and then one week and you finally understand that it’s worse than you thought. YOU HAVE FALLEN PREY TO THE MONSTER.
  • You tell yourself that maybe it will work if you read something else, so you stare at your shelf for hours and try to make yourself pick something to read. Maybe you take a book out from the shelf and try to read it, but nothing is working.
  • In the end, you just give up and embrace Netflix. I’m sorry, I don’t make the rules.
  • if you’re lucky, maybe you actually find a book that gets you out of the reading slump, but that only happens if the reading gods favor you.


Six psychology principles that can help your content marketing

Knowing what makes your customers tick and how you can influence their purchasing behaviours and decisions is crucial when developing in-depth content marketing strategies.

The aim of all marketers is to change the behaviour of their audience in a way that benefits their business. Understanding some key principles of behavioural psychology can take your content marketing from good to great in a matter of days.

Many businesses use content marketing as a way to drive traffic to their site, build an audience, boost engagement levels, convert leads, and ultimately complete a sale.

All of these are actions that the consumer needs to take, and behavioural psychology allows us to understand what will encourage them to take that action.

Here are six psychology principles that you can use to improve your content marketing efforts:

Reciprocity

Reciprocity is a psychological principle regarding a positive action that takes place in response to another positive action. If someone is friendly to another person, then this principle suggests they would be friendly back.

Brands can use this principle by giving their customers something for free and building up loyalty. Content marketing is a great way to use the reciprocity theory, as any content created for your audience should be insightful, beneficial, and free for them to read or use.

The content you are giving your customers could be helpful articles and blog posts, free e-books to download, online webinars they can join in with or informative podcasts they can listen to and learn from.

If you can make your customers feel like you are giving them something great without them spending a penny, the chances are they will be loyal to you and buy from you in the long run.

Information Gap Theory

In psychology, the Information Gap Theory refers to the curiosity that humans develop if there is a gap between the information we already know and the information we want to know.

Developed by George Loewenstein back in the early 1990s, this theory suggests that when there is a gap in knowledge, humans are triggered to take action to find what they want to know.

Using the Information Gap Theory in content marketing involves creating curiosity within your audience, triggering them to want to find out more from you and then delivering the information to them.

The easiest way to do this is by creating eye-catching, attention-grabbing headlines.

It&rsquos important to spark an interest that already exists within your audience, so choosing the right topics to write about is essential. Find something that your audience will want to know more about, and hand them the answer on a plate.

Draw them in with the right headline and you have given them something great for free, taking us back to the Reciprocity Theory.

Social Proof

Content marketing and social proof work hand in hand. This theory proposes that people are automatically drawn to a product that they know others already like and trust.

The concept revolves around the conformity developed when we follow the actions of others, as we are unsure of what to do, but trust that a large group of people have more knowledge than us as an individual.

In terms of content marketing, social proof works when people can see that their peers have an existing opinion on a service or product they are focusing on. This could be in the form of a review, endorsement, or share.

If readers can see that other people have already commented on your blog post or shared it with their friends, they will be more likely to do so too.

Make sure you have clearly implemented social sharing buttons on your blog that display a counter showing each time it has been liked or shared. Encourage reviews and social mentions, as anything that highlights your brand in a positive way will encourage your audience to also trust your business and engage with you.

Fear of Missing Out

Or FOMO, this is a part of the scarcity marketing theory, which states that humans put more value on things they feel are scarce and a lower value on anything that can easily be attained.

When people worry they can&rsquot have something due to a limited time or quantity, psychologically they will start wanting it more.

Have you ever been on a ticketing site and wanted to buy a couple of tickets to see your favourite band but baulked at the price, then gone back a few hours later to see the words &ldquoLimited Tickets Available&rdquo and instantly bought the tickets regardless of the cost?

That is FOMO and it shows how things become instantly more valuable when they appear to be scarce.

When it comes to content marketing, you need to show your customers that your content is rare and therefore valuable. If you have an e-book, only make it free to download for a limited amount of time, or if you have a newsletter, tell your customers that there is new content on your site that they have the opportunity to see before anyone else.

Loss Aversion

In economics and decision theory, loss aversion refers to the way people tend to strongly prefer avoiding losses than acquiring gains. It has been suggested that losses are psychologically twice as powerful as gains.

The best way to apply the loss aversion principle to your content marketing is to work out what exactly makes your audience tick.

The way you write and the words you use can be powerful, especially when you know what your audience are worried about losing. Your content needs to show them why your service or product will prevent them from losing something important to them, like time or money for example.

Focus on the benefits of your product or service when creating your content, and work out how it can target the challenges and reservations your customers have and instantly alleviate any of their fears.

Paradox of Choice

The Paradox of Choice principle proposes that humans become less satisfied if they have too many choices. People often struggle with important decisions, and when we are given too many choices, we often worry later that a different option may have been better for us.

Freedom of choice is important, especially when it comes to marketing, as consumers should have full control over the decisions they make. The problem comes, however, when businesses offer their audience too many options and it ends up having a negative effect.

When it comes to content marketing, it&rsquos important that you don&rsquot completely put your audience off by giving them too many options.

Keep your content clear and concise and don&rsquot overwhelm them.

When they have read your content, you want them to take a further action, so offer them two different routes, for example sharing it or reading something similar, and avoid giving them too many options that results in them leaving your site.

There are so many factors to take into consideration when creating and implementing a successful content marketing strategy, but keeping these psychology principles in mind will help you focus on your consumers&rsquo thoughts and behaviour, and help you to stand out in a crowded world of digital marketing.


The Essential Sales Books

These are the sales books that every salesperson at any level should read. They cover the basics of what it is to sell, how to negotiate, the psychology of pitching, and more.

1. To Sell is Human

Why you should read this book: Daniel Pink is a New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post best-selling author who completely destroys and disproves every outdated stereotype about sales in this fantastic book. If you want to understand the modern sales landscape and the psychology of selling anything, pick this one up.

Key Quote: “Anytime you're tempted to upsell someone else, stop what you're doing and upserve instead.”

2. Everybody Lies

Why you should read this book: What if you knew what your sales lead was going to do before you ever spoke to them? The internet has led to such a proliferation of data that we can predict behaviors based on everything from what sports you like to who you voted for. In this sales book, Seth Stephens-Davidowitz digs deeper and offers up revealing truths about how we think and feel as humans.

Key Quote: “First, and perhaps most important, if you are going to try to use new data to revolutionize a field, it is best to go into a field where old methods are lousy.”

3. Blueprints For A SaaS Sales Organization

Why you should read this book: This is the book that redefined how SaaS sales teams are built. Inside, authors Jacco van der Kooji and Fernando Pizarro distill their decades of combined experience building high performance SaaS teams into a set of highly detailed instructions that will allow sales leaders to design, implement and execute all around sales plans.

Key Quote: “Get the model right in order to avoid losing time. Time is the only resource you can’t replace, and in today’s fast-moving market your competitors are quick to leap ahead of you and cash in on the market you and your marketing dollars created.”

4. Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion

Why you should read this book: Understanding how people are influenced is such an incredibly important part of sales, and Dr. Robert Cialdini is the expert. Influence is the classic text covering the psychology of why people say "yes". And more importantly, how to apply these understandings in your business.

Key Quote: “The idea of potential loss plays a large role in human decision making. In fact, people seem to be more motivated by the thought of losing something than by the thought of gaining something of equal value.”

5. Pitch Anything: An Innovative Method for Presenting, Persuading, and Winning the Deal

Why you should read this book: One truly great sales pitch can make your career. Which is exactly what author Oren Klaff, who used his own unique pitching method to raise over $400 million, proves in this fantastic book. Klaff takes a scientific approach to the pitch, outlining the key points every great pitch needs to hit and how exactly to do it:

  • Setting the Frame
  • Telling the Story
  • Revealing the Intrigue
  • Offering the Prize
  • Nailing the Hookpoint
  • Getting a Decision

Key Quote: “No pitch or message is going to get to the logic center of the other person’s brain without passing through the survival filters of the crocodile brain system first. And because of the way we evolved, those filters make pitching anything extremely difficult.”

6. Never Split the Difference

Why you should read this book: Want to up your negotiating skills? Who better to learn from than a former international hostage negotiator for the FBI. Chris Voss highlights the hard skills and practical principles that helped him save lives, and will help give you an edge in any negotiation.

Key Quote: “Negotiate in their world. Persuasion is not about how bright or smooth or forceful you are. It’s about the other party convincing themselves that the solution you want is their own idea. So don’t beat them with logic or brute force. Ask them questions that open paths to your goals. It’s not about you.”

7. Zig Ziglar's Secrets of Closing the Sale

Why you should read this book: In the world of sales, Zig Ziglar is the giant whose shoulders we all stand on. His pioneering book puts a laser focus on the all-important close, providing hundreds of examples of how to close and questions to ask yourself before you go in for the ‘yes’.

Key Quote: “If you do not believe in your product or service enough to offer it to your own family and friends, then you should question the value of what you are selling.”


The cost of incentives

Financial incentives could be expensive as a policy solution. As in Ohio, lottery drawings are one way to cap the overall cost of incentives while giving millions of people an additional reason to get their shot.

The tax code could also allow for a no-cost incentive for vaccination. Tax deductions and credits are often designed to encourage behaviors, such as savings or home ownership. Some states now have big budget surpluses and are considering tax relief measures. If a state announced now that such payments would be conditional on being vaccinated, then each person declining the shot would save the government money.

Ultimately, a well-designed vaccination incentive can help save lives and need not keep the ethicists up at night.

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.


Watch the video: Ανάγνωση βιβλίου (May 2022).