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Archives for April, 2010


Last-Minute SAT Math Study

I've spent this week rehearsing the Big SAT Math Ideas with my students. Here's a list of some of the most important.
Pass these last-minute refreshers along to any high-schooler you know taking the SAT on Saturday, May 1 (tomorrow!)
(And, take a look yourself and see how much you remember)

An integer is a whole number, including zero and the negatives. Fractions are not integers. Examples of integers: ....-3, -2, -1,...
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Last-Minute SAT Vocabulary Study

The May 1 SAT is almost here and I'm having a hectic week helping students get ready.

I've been doing so much vocab drill lately, I realized that the SAT-people really love certain words. I began making a list of the words that crop up on the SAT over and over and over.

You'll notice that I "define" SAT words in a loose, non-technical way. What's needed is a workable sense for what they mean, not their...
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Photography To Help Us Grieve and Remember

We've been talking about the loss of beloved pets, their meaning in our lives and ways to process the grief we feel when they pass away.
I'm devoting the next several Mondays (Luna's Day) to sharing thoughts about the value of animals, and also about grieving and loss.

Look at this extraordinary contribution from Mark Estes:
One of my volunteer duties as a pro photographer for Now I Lay Me ...
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Emotions and Feelings

Coping With Depression When Your Pet Dies

What happens when you are prone to depression and then your beloved pet passes away?

I've received so many wonderful comments since Luna died on Monday, and I'll be sharing many of them in the days to come.

But I want to address this one first:

...I've had this dog since I was little, she is now 10 years old, and not as "young" as she used to be.
I have suffered from depression for a...
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Emotions and Feelings

When a Pet Dies, Our Grief is For Real

When Luna died early Monday afternoon, I took the rest of the day off. I was simply too sad to imagine sitting with kids and talking about algebra or SAT prep. I needed to just stay home and miss her and cry my eyes out.

But I felt a little embarrassed.

After all, Luna was "just a cat." Would my clients understand? (They are great people, and yes, they did).

I so am grateful to Tara Parker-Pope at...
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Emotions and Feelings

We Love Our Animals for Their Honesty

One of the things that I find particularly compelling about animals is that they are honest about their needs and wants.

Whenever I moved Luna off of the couch to sit down, she didn't go easily or politely. She hooked in her claws, holding on as much as she could to the place where she wanted to stay. When I took her to the vet over spring break and she was...
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Emotions and Feelings

When A Beloved Pet Passes Away

One of our cherished cats, Luna, passed away yesterday.

She was part of our family for 14 years; a long time! Still, I am stunned at how much I miss her and how empty the house feels without her soft round self asleep on the sofa.

With her passing goes a chunk of my son Matt's childhood. He was ten years old when he selected her out of a box of kittens abandoned at the wildlife center.

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High School Homework: Imagine Having Bipolar Disorder

I make my living as a private tutor.

One of my students is a 16-year-old high school junior, enrolled in an elective English course entitled Psychology and Literature.

His most recent assignment was to research a mental illness and then write a creative piece from inside the mind of a person with this disorder.

What do you think of this assignment?

Is it helpful to get young people to try to imagine what mental illness might be like?
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