Thursday, January 31, 2013

Reading to a child raises IQ

A team of researchers recently examined eight different studies of childhood development and concluded that “reading to a child in an interactive style raises his or her IQ by over 6 points.”

So what does it mean, to read in an interactive style?
  • Read the book out aloud, with the child sitting next to you, possibly following the text with their eyes and fingers.
  • Do different voices for different characters.
  • Ask the child to be one of the characters, or to read alternating pages.
  • Pause to explain words you think the child may not be familiar with.
  • Pause to ask factual questions about the text: "What is Red Riding Hood carrying in her basket?"
  • Pause to ask interpretative questions about the text: "Do you think she made a wise choice to stop and talk to the wolf?", "How would the story work out if she hadn't?"
Of course, your children will respond best to interactive reading if their learning style is auditory (listening and talking).

What is your child's unique learning style?

Thursday, January 24, 2013

10 Ways To Increase Your Productivity

Did you know?
  1. Researchers at Hiroshima University conducted a study, called The Power of Kawaii (Japanese for ''cute''), which found that the positive emotions produced by looking at baby animals seems to trigger not only happiness but a ''narrowed attentional focus'', which in turn improves our ability to concentrate. They suggested workers be subjected to cute images to induce careful behaviour.
  2. Everybody has the best time of day in which they are at their most productive. When is yours?
  3. Our lives and brains are cluttered with too much information. Go on an Information Diet to eliminate unproductive Internet surfing.
  4. Take a short break - it'll boost your output.
  5. Do you work at your best when the room's silent or filled with soothing background buzz? Find out.
  6. Reward yourself for finishing a task.
  7. Use caller ID and voice mail to make sure the phone doesn't interrupt you unnecessarily.
  8. Some people concentrate better when they nibble a healthy snack or sip water. Do you?
  9. Prioritise your tasks in terms of urgency as well as importance. Remember, if you only ever do the urgent stuff, you may never get to the less urgent but more important things in life.
  10. The light in the office may make you unproductive. Discover how.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

The Ultimate Productivity Booster

The single most efficient way to increase your productivity is to be happy at work. No system, tool or methodology in the world can beat the productivity boost you get from really, really enjoying your work. (Alexander Kjerulf)

So how do you achieve that? How do you start liking your workplace so much, it actually makes you happy to go to work every day?

A lot has to do with the work conditions and the environment at the office. Yes, a good boss and friendly colleagues go a long way to achieve that. But there is also something more basic, more elemental at play: the preferences of your own working style.

Even something as innocuous as the office lights may contribute to your levels of happiness. If you need a darker room in order to concentrate, a brightly lit office (especially one fitted with fluorescent lights) is going to contribute directly to your feeling tense. If, on the other hand, you need bright light and sunshine, a dark office or artificial lights will depress you or slow you down do that your productivity is affected.

Another element that can contribute to the amount of stress you feel when trying to work is the time of day. If you’re an evening person, for example, it’s physically stressful on your body and brain to function early in the morning. If you’re not a night owl, it will be stressful and exhausting for you to try and catch up on work when everyone else is asleep. Determine when your best “working time” is (early morning, late morning, after lunch, after supper) and try to do the bulk of your work then, particularly the complex and difficult bits. You'll emerge a lot happier and more productive.

What's your working style

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Jack Reacher - what's his learning style?

Jack Reacher is steadily making money at the box office (as of January 9, 2013, the film has grossed a worldwide total of $121,982,785). It's a controversial movie because of Tom Cruise in the title role. But whether you believe that a short actor is capable of playing a 6 foot 5 ex-army vigilante or not, you surely must have wondered what Jack Reacher's learning style is.

Let's see. A loner, very analytical (his passion for numbers) yet capable of thinking outside the square (global information processing). Kinesthetic, but a good observer, capable of learning both with his eyes and with his ears. Not a talker. He prefers warm climates (likes Florida better than the cold temperatures in the novel 61 Hours).

Can anybody think of other learning style elements for Reacher?