Masters of the Field the Preying Mantis

The Preying Mantis, the insect predator of the Field. Bold and majestic, this insect is a favorite of every culture and they come in many variant forms.

Entomology is the study of insects, and no insect is more interesting than the preying mantis. The insect Preying Mantis is an ancient specie, it has been around since the Cretaceous period. Today’s mantises still prey upon other insects be they pest, neutral or beneficial ones as well as occasionally taking small frogs, snakes, bees, lizards and surprisingly, even small rodents!

Insect Glamor Shot, the Modest Preying Mantis!

Preying mantis close-up view

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Mantises can and probably will bite you if you pick them up and cause them distress, but they have no venom and their bite is not painful. It is more of an attempt to chew you than an actual ‘bite.’ But still, it can be rather startling! Their grasping arms are probably more distressing for you if they grab a hold of your fingers the right way. Their raptor-like arms are quite powerful and have sharp spikes for grasping & holding prey items. For the most part though unless you are really upsetting a mantis, they seem outwardly at least, not too bothered about being picked up, held or carried.

Close-Up View of the Preying Mantis

extreme close-up view of a green preying mantis

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Mantises rely heavily upon their acute binocular vision to locate their prey. An ambush predator mainly, but some species actually pursue their prey. They are mostly diurnal, -day dwellers, while some species do fly at night. They all have specialized forelimbs that aid in seizing and holding their captured quarry while they begin to eat it, still alive. Their protothorax, the elongated and flexible section of body between their abdomen and their head, allows for a much greater range of movement of their forelimbs while the remainder of their body can remain nearly motionless.

When flying at night there is the risk of being preyed upon by bats. Like some moths, several species of mantis can detect the echolocation of an approaching bat and as a defensive measure they will cease their flight and spiral rapidly towards the ground in an effort to evade the approaching bat. Spinning or looping can further confuse and evade the bat until the bat loses tracking location of the prey. Or, the prey lands upon the ground, now safe from the bat.

Close-up of the Preying Mantis Face

preying mantis close-up view of its face

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Camouflage is essential for the mantis, not only to catch prey but to avoid being eaten themselves. Birds and mammals and even other insects like wasps will eat a mantis if they find one and can overpower it. Some specialized mantises mimic leaves and branches to further blend into their surroundings. A few species of mantises in Africa and Australia have adapted a unique ability to change their color to match a scorched earth. After a brush or grass fire, the next molt (shedding of their exoskeleton) reveals a new darker coloration to match the new landscape. This is called ‘fire melanism,’ the ability to alter their color after a habitat fire changes their landscape. They will briefly adapt to the changed local ground until grasses and bushes return, when their color comes back with the next molt.

Close-up Preying Mantis in Profile

preying mantis close-up view from the side, showing the thorax and front legs

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The sexual cannibalism act of the female biting off the head of the male during mating and upon completion of the reproductive act eating of the male’s body has been suggested to be a strategy to give the female much needed protein for the task of producing the fertile egg-case she will soon lay. But it is suggested now that this behavior, which is mostly observed under the ‘controlled conditions’ of the laboratory, may be in part somewhat stress-related. Mantises are keenly aware of their surroundings and under conditions of captivity, the lights used for filming them and the movements of the researchers watching them, may be a distraction and a stress factor. Any movement is acutely noticed and may be tainting the witnessed results. It may be a far rarer thing for sexual cannibalism in the wild than in captivity! This dichotomy of observed actions in some mantises remains quite controversial and researchers are trying to observe the frequency of sexual cannibalism in the wild to establish some baseline for either hypothesis.

Wikipedia cites research by Liske and Davis in 1978 and research of other using similar methods that using video recorder in vacant rooms yielded different behavior than if the researchers were present in the room. Chinese mantises when well-fed and male/female couples are introduced don’t ‘just begin’ mating but partake of a courtship dance which is postulated to stimulate the reproductive urge while suppressing the feeding instinct. This is similar to the documented action of the male Black Widow spider. He has ‘woo’ the female partner into a trance-like state, in her own web, and tie her down with strands of web before coitus begins. And even then, these strands of his web are no match for she could easily break them and overtake the much smaller male. It is partially the act of being tied-down that sedates her, and allows for mating.

Similar courtship dances in other mantis species in other experiments have shown courtship dances between the genders as well, but not in all species. Some may in fact not dance at all. Or there may be some other reason due to their captivity that is dismissed in the ones that do ‘dance.’ Captivity being the most unnatural state that any creature can experience, the very act of being captive might in fact skew any data or otherwise ‘natural behavior’ being observed.

Mating Mantises

Preying Mantis Catches and Eats a Live Mouse!

An Egg Case of a Preying Mantis

preying mantis egg case on a branch

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The egg case of a mantis can contain between 10 to 400 eggs, which varies by specie. The frothy mass contains the eggs and it hardens into a dry, hard flaky capsule which protects the eggs and maintains humidity while they mature. Many garden centers will sell hundreds or thousands of collected mantis egg cases for gardening enthusiasts to place in and around their flowerbed and vegetable patches to hatch out. Natural, pesticide-free insect control being the goal and intent. But a mantis will eat any insect, -pest, non-harmful and even beneficial insects like bees, ladybugs and even other mantises. Whatever they can catch, they will eat. Myself, I just adore preying mantises and unless there is a risk of them eating the cat or scaring away the mailman would want them around no matter what ‘good’ or ‘harm’ they do.

Most mantis species do not protect the egg cases once laid. They deposit the egg case and move on, but a few species hang around and protect the egg case from predators. Some species of parasitic wasps that will raid the egg case for food or a place to lay their own eggs, which then feed upon the developing eggs or mantis nymphs.

Last Summer’s Preying Mantis Egg Case

an old empty preying mantis egg case, covered in a layer of winter ice

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An old egg case the previous year lies under a coating of winter ice, possibly waiting for the spring. Or maybe it is an old one that hatched its load of baby mantises last season? We won’t know until springtime.

Pink Preying Mantis

a pink preying mantis variety

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Mantises come is many varied sizes, shapes and colors to help them in their bid for survival. There are some 20 different species of preying mantises native to the United States, and only one native to Canada. The Chinese mantis and the European mantis were non-native species introduced as natural biological pest control, and have spread to both Canada and the U.S. In the United States under the Non-Native Invasive Species Act of 1992 it is illegal to release some cited species of mantises into the wild. Yes, there is a market for exotic mantises in the pet trade. Specimens brought in from countries and regions such as Africa and Asia are bred privately for captivity and not intended for release, but are available in the exotic pet trade.

Orange Preying Mantis

an orange coored preying mantis specie

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Tropical species of mantises have a lifespan of perhaps 10 to 12 months, and other species kept in captive have been known to live for up to 14 months. In the regions where winter turns cold, wild mantises will perish as they do not survive the winter at any age. Only their egg cases remain for the following spring hatch.

Most mantises when they hatch resemble the adult in general shape, but sometimes not coloration. Some tend to look more like black or dark ants which might give them a survival edge as many ants are either unpalatable or even toxic and are not actively sought as a prey item by many predators. As they age and grow larger and their prey items changes, each successive molt changes their coloration until the reach maturity, when they take the color and the form typical of their species.

A Preying Mantis On The Hedge

preying mantis on hedge in a urban setting

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Preying mantises in North America are not considered threatened nor endangered and can be kept as pets. In certain parts of the world however, habitat destruction is placing a threat against the local mantis species. A non-native specie insect, the European mantis is the official State Insect of the Connecticut. Usually, a ‘state flower, bird, mammal or insect’ is considered ‘protected’ due to this singular distinction but the General Statutes of Connecticut does not name this insect as ‘protected’ because it is a non-native specie. While this exclusion from protection of a state insect sounds callous, it is not. These statutes are for protecting “native” flora and fauna of the state and not designed to apply to naturalized species. And of course, they are not endangered being the bigger reason for their exclusion from this list of protection.

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Thank You Messages for Lecturers/Teachers

Thank You Messages for Lecturers !If you are thinking to send thank you message to your lecturers, then you have reached the right spot. In this article you will find some excellent samples of thank you messages for your teachers and lecturers. Read on to find the perfect thank you message for your favourite teacher or lecturer.

Teachers are very special. Saying “thank you” to teacers/lecturers is the very least yet very sweet and thoughtful that we can do. Teachers are among the greatest people in our world; they are devoted and fully committed when it comes to nurturing one’s learning.

Here is a collection of some splendid thank you messages that you can send to your lecturers or teacher. Read on to find the perfect thank you message for your dear lecturer and teacher.

1 Thank you for being such a good lecturer. You have educated me countless lessons in academic as well as lessons in life as well! I really value you in so many ways because without having you my dear teacher, I’m nothing!

2 Hello Teacher (name). You are such an inspiration to me! You’re teachings are great and indeed very useful in my life. Thank you for being so dedicated in your job.

3 Thank you for everything! We are so lucky to have a lecturer like you!

4 Hello to my dearest teacher! I just want to thank you for being so kind and dedicated. I’m always excited to attend you lecture, because I’m sure that I’m going to learn again something new and interesting. Thank you and God bless you dear teacher!

5 Good day to you teacher (name)! This message is to simply thank you! You enlighten me through your teachings! I will always be thankful to you for making my future brighter. Thank you and indeed you are amazing!

6 Hello teacher (name)! You are the best! Just wanna say thank you for becoming a great lecturer for me! Every day is a meaningful day because of you! Thank you!

7 Your motivating words and phrases and as well as your emotional gestures have made me what I am and who I am. “Thank you” is the exact words that are perfect for you! Thank you dear teacher (name)! You are amazing indeed!

8 Thank you my teacher! I always learn from you that makes me a better person almost every single day. You are great and a wonderful person to look up to. Thank you for everything and I hope this simple thank you message from me, makes you feel happy and overwhelmed. God bless you more teacher (name)!

9 Without a great lecturer like you, I could have been lost. Thanks for your effort in guiding me, motivating me and most importantly for making me exactly what I am today.

10 I may not express this at all times. Yet, I truly mean it when I say thank you teacher for the countless things you have done for us.

11 Many thanks to you teacher (name)! You have always brought us on the right path. We will never forget you. Whatever

success we might have achieved in our future it’s because you have been a wonderful teacher for us. Thank you again!

12 I found friendship, guidance, discipline and love, and almost everything in just one person. And that fantastic person is you (name of your teacher).

Take time to appreciate your dear teachers and make them feel that they are such a special person in your life. Say thanks to your favorite lecturer or teacher by sending any of this thank you messages. Also check Teacher Appreciation sayings

Why Education is Important to One's Success in Life?

If a person is unable to reason and think for himself then that person will have problem in finding and keeping a job. They will not be successful in life until they improve their educational background.

Having a good education is important to one's success in life. Education is the key to success, without a good education you will find it hard to achieve success in one's life. A good education is important because you will be able to think for yourself and communicate intelligently to other people. Persons who don`t have a good education background will have a difficult time finding jobs and also will earn less money. If a person is unable to reason and think for himself then that person will have problem in finding and keeping a job. They will not be very successful in life until they improve their educational background. Jobs are hard to get, and the employers will seek the most qualified and intelligent person to fill the vacancy because of the competition out there.

It is never too late to get an education, once you gained a good education background it stays with you for life. So if you need to improve or get a good education now. Most jobs are not employing people with the basic education from high school anymore or unless you want very low paying job that can't meet your needs. To achieve success in one's life you need to start by attending college or university to achieve a degree or diploma. Remember the focus here is how you can achieve success in one's life. Well you can start by achieving a certificate,diploma and degree. So, you can start from the bottom to the top. Having a good education is an investment like owning a house or a car. Once you invest your time and money in your education you will reap the huge reward what it will give you in life.

Why is education so significant?  

The thing that strikes me about education is knowledge acquired. Education gives us the perspective of the things around us. Education help us to look at our lives and learn from every experiences. The future of a country is safe in the hands of educated peoples. Education is important for the economic growth of our countries. It fosters principles of  socialism  and equality. A person can't be a complete man without a good education. Education also builds your self esteem and how you view yourself. A person with a good education background will have more confident when approaching a new job and also when interacting with people.

Thank You Messages for Nursery Teachers

Thank You Messages for Nursery Teachers! If you are a looking for messages to thank the nursery teacher of your kid, then you have reached the right spot. In this article you will find an excellent collection of thank you messages for nursery teachers. Read on to find the best message to convey your gratitude and thanks to the nursery teachers.

If you are a looking for messages to thank the nursery teacher of your kid, then you have reached the right spot. In this article you will find an excellent collection of thank you messages for nursery teachers. Read on to find the best message to convey your gratitude and thanks to the nursery teachers.

When you observe that your child is singing the Alphabet Song and reciting 1-10 numbers then, you should be thankful to your child’s nursery teacher. Here is a beautiful selection of great thank you messages for nursery teachers.

1 Many thanks to you teacher (name). My child (name) continues to be very smart recently. At home, I can even hear him/her singing the alphabet song and reciting a nice short-poem. Thank you so much Teacher (name) for all your efforts and dedication in teaching your nursery pupils including my son/ daughter.

2 Good day Teacher (name)! I’m the mommy of (name of the child) and I would like to personally thank you for doing such a good job. I can tell that my son/daughter is indeed growing wiser and intelligent and thus, he knows how to be confident enough doing such things. Thank you again Teacher (name)! God bless you more!

3 To all the teachers in nursery level; this message is to simply thank you for all the kindness and support for my son/daughter (name) during his/her three years of stay in your school.

4 Thank you very much Teacher (name)! Because my child truly enjoys her/his stay with you. You teach effectively because every day I can hear my son/daughter reciting a poem, counting numbers and even she/he is now confident speaking English. That’s really a big learning for my little one.

5 Thank you Teacher (name)! You help and guide my son/daughter every single day in building the foundation of his/her knowledge. My child in now showing full-confidence to achieve some things such as dancing, singing and reciting a poem. And you are the reason behind these wonderful achievements. Thank you!

6 My son/daughter is so happy at nursery class every day. You have helped her/him to build up her confidence a lot. Thank you very much!

7 Generally I’m very happy with my child’s every day progress report! Special thanks to his/her nursery teacher. Because of your

dedication, love and guidance our children truly gained essential learning that they should know.

8 Teacher (name), as a parent of (name of the child), I’d like to take this opportunity to thank you for the excellent achievements and leanings you have imparted to my son/ daughter progress. You’re a beautiful person who was able to established favorable journey in their lives.

Teaching job is hard a task and need full-commitment of time and effort once you have entered this kind of profession. So in return and as a reward for our heroes, why not thank them? A simple thank you will make them feel that they are special and delight their hearts someway.

Hope this collection of selected thank you messages for nursery teachers wil help you to convey your thanks and gratitude to the nursery teacher of your kid. Also check Thank You Messages for Teachers: Teacher Appreciation Sayings.

Advantages of School Field Trips

School field trip is an effective educational activity for students that helps facilitate fast and efficient learning method. This is a wonderful opportunity for students to take a break from the classroom lecture and to have some fun and excitement in an entirely new environment while learning at the same time.

 

Exposing students to an actual and hands-on learning experience like a school field trip is an effective method of teaching. It is effective in a sense that it is entirely a different experience and new approach for children to acquire knowledge while having fun and relaxation at the same time.  Here are the advantages of having a school field trip:

  • Field trips give students the opportunity to visit new places and new environment. It erases the boredom of classroom lectures, especially on their most hated subject and teacher, even just for a day. New environment means new challenges that awaken students’ interest to learn and get new learning information.
  • For young students, field trip is a day off from class or a no class at all activity. It is more about enjoyment, excitement, fun, fun and more fun without the pressure of being called to answer a question or be given a surprise quiz. They get the opportunity to interact with one another in a more informal, natural and relax manner.
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  • Field trips are wonderful opportunities for children or students to be exposed to places that are not commonly or normally visited by their family. Parents may, of course, want to expose their children to many places and events that are of educational value and historical importance but due to some valid and unavoidable reasons like lack of time, knowledge and money, they were not able to do so.
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How to Pass the Licensure Examination for Teachers (LET)

Learn a few tips on how to pass the Licensure Examination for Teachers (LET). Prepare for the LET with the help of these tips.

Young or old, fresh graduate or teacher for many years, in order to be a licensed teacher, one needs to pass the board exam for teachers or the Licensure Examination for Teachers (LET). To test-takers, the mere idea of taking a comprehensive exam is enough to make one shiver and sweat. All the more if the exam lasts an entire day!

I took the LET in October 2009—and PASSED! Read about my personal experience here.

Here are some tips and tricks that can help you review, prepare and even pass!

  • Familiarize yourself with the LET’s table of specifications and point system. The table of specifications, as every teacher should know, identifies the topics covered by a test and how much weight each topic is given. Every board exam has one. A copy of the LET coverage (updated November 2011) is included in the “kit” the PRC gave you after your application. The general distribution of items is: General Education, 150 items; Professional Education, 150 items; Major or Specialization, 150 items (as of April 2011, thanks to update from Jhay_Cee). Your score won’t be based on the raw score but on this percentage distribution: General Education, 20%; Professional Education, 40%; Major or Specialization, 40%. The passing rate is 75%, but you also need to get 50% in all three areas. Given all those numbers, you can plan out your approach to achieving the passing rate!
  • Identify your strengths and weaknesses. So you hate Math and love Literature. Knowing your strong points and waterloos will help you identify topics to prioritize and spend more time in during your review. Because of the rating system, it’s crucial you score high in all three areas. Even if you get a perfect score in your specialization, you still need to correctly answer Math and Statistics questions to pass the other two areas.
  • Set a study schedule. Unless you’re one of those people who perform better when cramming, and are sure they will pass the exam without much effort, then you need to set a study schedule. If you’re already teaching or working, this will help you manage your time. Make a timetable with dates and time frames, and topics you plan to study. Some review centers start as early as four months before the exam. Assess your capacity and situation if you need more or less time than that.
  • Keep a healthy body for a healthy mind. In order for your brain to be on tiptop shape, your body has to be in excellent shape. Eat lots of vegetables and fruits, especially berries, nuts and cruciferous veggies like broccoli. Choose fish over pork. Always stay hydrated, too, and get ample sleep time. Exercise! Take a stroll every day, or do stretches while at work. Physical activity pumps oxygen-rich blood into the brain, firing up your neurons.
  • Answer sample tests and reviewers. Lots of them. The LET is a board exam, and like all board exams, it has a test bank or inventory of questions. This means that more often than not, a lot of test items have already appeared in past examinations, and some appear in every examination. There are a lot of reviewers you can choose from, but I suggest picking those by Philippine Normal University (PNU) professors. (They’re the ones who draft the test questions) Answering sample tests, complete with answer sheets, also serves as practice for you in test-taking especially in terms of managing your time and in shading circles.
  • Ask for help. Maybe you’re a fresh graduate, maybe you’ve been teaching for some years already. No matter, reviewing is always much easier and more fun when you have someone to help you. That someone could be a co-teacher, a department head, a former professor or an entire class of reviewees. The point is, if you come across a topic you can’t put your finger on, or an interpretation you need to clarify, someone’s there to answer your questions. This will save you some research time, and earn you more tips and information, too.
  • Make a cheat sheet. I’m not talking about a cheater's sheet or kodigo, of course. With all the information you need to remember, and all the addenda you have written on your notebooks, sometimes the most basic can get lost. Write down all your mnemonics, definitions and formula on small-sized paper or index cards. Bring your cheat sheet along with you wherever you go, so you can easily take a peek for a quick review.
  • Exercise your HOTS. With 600 questions, you might be tempted to think that the best way to go is through memorization. But the LET is also designed to test your HOTS—higher order thinking skills. There are test questions that will require your powers of analysis. Practice analyzing quotations and short situational studies and drawing generalizations from your analysis. For Professional Education where majority of the questions are on learning theories, mnemonics won’t be enough. To make analysis easier, choose one situation or object, and apply the theories on that. When you encounter a question on a theory, all you’ll have to do is think of that situation or object. Example: If a teacher saw a student sleeping in class, what would she do if she believes in (insert philosophy of education)?
  • Rest before the big day. Prepare everything a week before the big day so you’ll have no worries and errands bothering you. Buy the things you need such as pencils and envelopes, and even the snacks you will bring along with you. Have the clothes you will wear ready and hanging in your closet already. The temptation to study right to the very last hour before the exam will be strong—but fight it! No more studying at least three days before exam day. Do recreational activities like watching a movie or taking a stroll in the park.
  • On exam day itself—stay calm! Why is it that even graduates from reputable schools sometimes fail the LET? Maybe they panicked or they were overconfident. Moderation is the key, so feel confident about the things you studied and stay calm even if you don’t know the answer to the very first question. Read the question carefully and look at all the options before answering. Always check the time to make sure you have enough time to answer all questions. And also, check if you’re shading the right circle under the right number.

*photo by Arjun Kartha

A Teacher's Guide: Tips on Writing an Organized Five Paragraph Essay

As a teacher of elementary and middle school students, one hurdle is teaching the skills to write an organized five paragraph essay. While there are many different methods to choose from, there is a simple formula that can be applied every time.

As a teacher of elementary and middle school students, one hurdle is teaching the skills to write an organized five paragraph essay.  While there are many different methods to choose from, there is a simple formula that can be applied every time.  By creating a strong thesis statement, using a graphic organizer, and implementing the introduction-body-conclusion format, your students can produce a well written five paragraph essay for any writing assignment.

The Thesis Statement is the backbone of any well written essay. As defined by Webster's Online Dictionary; "A thesis statement is the main point that is to be proven by an essay. Usually backed up by examples, the thesis statement is the theme of that whole piece."  By dividing the thesis statement into three parts, you have effectively mapped out the three body paragraphs of the essay.  This is often referred to as a 'three-prong' thesis statement.  Each 'prong' or point mentioned in the thesis identifies the the topic sentence of one of the three body paragraphs.  For example; If you are writing about soccer, your thesis statement might read like this: 'Commitment, strategy, and team work are important elements of a winning soccer team.' With this one sentence, you have told the reader that the main ideas of your body paragraphs are commitment to the sport, strategy of the game, and the importance of team work.

Once you have established a strong thesis statement, it is important to organize your thoughts and any supporting information.  One of the most effective ways to do this is by using a graphic organizer.  A good graphic organizer is simple yet effective, providing space for the writer to list all the facts relevant to their chosen topic.  It provides a visual map to follow while writing the final essay.  The most effective graphic organizers use shapes such as circles or squares, connected with lines to show the flow of information.  It is important to remember that many students will need multiple copies of the graphic organizer as mistakes will be made.  In addition to the thesis statement, and supporting details, the graphic organizer should help to organize the opening and closing thoughts.  Remember that people usually remember the first and last thing that they read from any document. 

As the author, it is important to grab the reader's attention with a strong attention getter or 'hook'.  The most common attention getter is the question.  'Have you ever wondered what it takes to be a valued player on an amazing soccer team?'  Another effective way to get the readers attention is to create a mental image that the reader can become part of.  'Crisp morning air whipped at my face, the smell of fresh cut grass in the air.  Focus!  Focus!  Tom takes the ball.  He is dribbling toward me, his feet moving fast.  I center myself, ready and waiting.  He passes!  With one swift kick, I send the ball sailing passed the goalie to score the first point of the game!'  The introduction of any writing assignment should begin with an attention getter, and once the reader's interest has been piqued, it is important to keep it.  The introduction should tell the reader some basic information about the topic and then finish with the thesis statement. The following body paragraphs should give facts to support the three main points mentioned in the thesis statement.  One paragraph dedicated to each point will create the three necessary body paragraphs.  Each body paragraph should have a topic sentence, at least three supporting facts or details, and a closing sentence.  The final paragraph of the essay is the conclusion.  This is where you need to 'sum up' the information given in the body.  One way to create a solid conclusion is to restate what is said in the introduction.  Take the basic information, and even the thesis statement, and rewrite it.  Be sure to include reasons why the information is important or helpful.  Make the reader feel that their time was well spent.  After completing the written assignment, it is important to remember to edit, edit, edit!  A well written essay can be ruined by too many mistakes in grammar and sentence structure. 

As a teacher, is is important to give students the strongest foundation for writing possible.  Using the simple formula based on the three-prong thesis statement will give them a pattern to use with any writing assignment.  By teaching them to use a graphic organizer to organize their thoughts and information before writing, the process becomes much easier.  And, of course, following the standard five paragraph format will ensure that they are prepared for assignments throughout their education.

Sample Five Paragraph - Graphic Organizer:

K+12 Education in the Philippines

Review of the newly implemented K+12 Education in the Philippines.

The Enhanced K+12 Basic Education Program in the Philippines has been officially started. It has been initiated by the Aquino administration where students will have to undergo a new system of education.

This program will require all incoming students to enroll into two more years of basic education. Thus, the K+12 System will basically include the Universal kindergarten, 6 years of elementary, 4 years of junior high school with an additional 2 years for senior high school.

Moreover, the program aims to uplift the quality of education in the Philippines in order for graduates to be easily employed. The program also aims to meet the standards required for professionals who would want to work abroad.

Most importantly, the system aims to fully enhance and develop the students in order for them to be well-prepared especially in emotional and cognitive aspects. Through this, graduates will be able to face the pressures of their future workplace.

However, not all are in favor of the K+12 Education. There are students complaining of the additional years and there are parents who are not in favor of the additional expenses. But indeed, it is an undeniable fact that additional years in the education system will really require more budgets not just from the government but from the parents as well.

Aside from this, students will need additional classrooms, school supplies and facilities. The program would need more qualified teachers as well.

I personally believe that the K+12 Education in the Philippines would uplift the quality of lifestyle of the Filipino people. But, this could not be done without being prepared. And since the program has already been implemented, what is more important now is for students to do their best and study despite of the lack of facilities. Nothing is impossible when we persist.

As for teachers, continue to teach with love and love what you teach despites of your own personal triumphs and economic crisis. Always remember that the future of the students depends upon you.

As for the parents who have been doing their best in pursuing their child’s education, remember that the program aims what’s best for your children. It will help your children to become globally competitive and if your children will succeed, you will also succeed.

There may be a lot of factors to consider for the K+12 Education to succeed. But as long as we open our minds to change and we will take it on a positive way, we will definitely attain our most-aspired educational standards which will play a great role in our country’s development and will therefore, uplift us from poverty.

The Development of the Educational System in the Philippines

The educational system in the Philippines had undergone various stages of development. These stages of educational evolution can be traced way back from the Pre-Spanish period, to the Spanish Period, to the American period, to the Commonwealth and the Japanese period going to the present.

The educational system in the Philippines had undergone various stages of development. These stages of educational evolution can be traced way back from the Pre-Spanish period, to the Spanish Period, to the American period, to the Commonwealth and the Japanese period going to the present.

There is no definite information about the system of education in the Philippines during the Pre-Spanish period.

According to the history, the Philippine education had manifested in the culture of the people. However, there are no definite records that were available showing the types of schools that were established by the natives, as well as on the subjects or methods that they used.

There were Written and Oral literatures but all of the records that were written were accordingly destroyed by the Spanish colonizers; this was because they believed that those written records in literature were works of devils.

Some of the Oral literatures have been preserved until today and these are in the forms of proverbs, songs, maxims, epics, as well as in the forms of various tales and religious or criminological codes. There were also little knowledge in astronomy and engineering.

During the Spanish period, an educational decree was passed in an attempt to reform the educational system in the Philippines. Included in the decree are the establishments of complete secondary as well as collegiate levels, as well as the establishment of teacher-training institutions.

During the American period, a system of public education was established. The system was patterned after the American educational system. The Colleges and Universities that were organized during the time of the Spanish were continued. The programs of studies were revised; adapting the changes of time.

During the Commonwealth period and Japanese occupation, the curricula in the elementary as well as in the secondary schools were revised. Among of developments in education during the Commonwealth period were the re-orientation of educational plans and policies to carry out the educational mandate of the constitution, the revision of the elementary and secondary school curricula to carry out the objectives of education embodied in the constitution and many more.

Today, the Philippine education is patterned from the state school system of the United States. The education establishments comprised of the private schools that are owned and manage by private individuals or corporations and the public schools that are owned and manage by the state.

According to the history, the Philippine education evolves from its simple beginning and was shaped by foreign influences.

Objective Tests: Guidelines for Writing Matching Type and Multiple-Choice Questions

In a matching test, there are usually two columns of items. For each item in one column, the students are required to select a correct item. The basic form of the multiple-choice item is lead, which defines the problem to be completed by one of a number of alternatives are referred to as "distractors." In most cases four or five alternatives are given.
                    multiple choice and matching type

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Matching Type Questions

These are used to measure the learners' thinking at the lower levels of knowledge and comprehension. They are relatively easy to construct and can be corrected quickly. In a matching test, there are usually two columns of items. For each item in one column, the students are required to select a correct item. The items may be names, concepts, places, phrases or events.

To discourage guessing, the teacher should put more responses on the right-hand column than the left-hand column. It is important that the entire test appears on the same page so that the learners will not turn the page back and forth when searching for the right answer.

One problem of matching test is that it often requires recall rather than comprehension and more sophisticated levels of thinking. Higher levels of cognition may be called for in matching questions that involves analogies, cause and effect, complex relationships, and theories, but such items are hard to construct.

Guidelines for Writing Matching Questions

  • The directions should be brief and clear indicating the basis for matching items in column A with items in column B.
  • The entire matching question should appear on a single page. Running the question on two pages is confusing and distracting for students.
  • Wording of items in column A should be shorter than those in column B. This permits students to scan the test question quickly.
  • Column A should contain no more than 10 test items; 5 or 6 items are ideal. Longer lists confuse students.
  • There should be more alternatives in column B than there are items in column A to prevent answering the last one or two items by simple elimination. Column B should contain 6 or 7 items if column A contains 5. A list of 10 items in column A should be accompanied by about 12 items in column B.
  • Column A items should be numbered, as they will be graded as individual questions, and column B items should be lettered.
  • Column A items should be presented in a logical order, say alphabetically or chronologically (but not one that gives away the answer), so the student can scan them quickly in search for correct answers.
  • Items in both columns should be similar in terms of content, form, grammar, and length. Dissimilar alternatives in column B result in irrelevant clues that can be used to eliminate items or guess answers by the test-wise student.
  • Negative statements (in either column) should be avoided.

Many multiple-choice questions can be converted into a matching test.

Multiple-Choice Questions

These are the most popular objective test items, especially at the secondary level. Some students think it is fun to answer because they see the task almost as a puzzle, putting piece together, doing easy pieces first and saving the hard piece for last. The basic form of the multiple-choice item is lead, which defines the problem to be completed by one of a number of alternatives are referred to as "distractors." In most cases four or five alternatives are given.

This type of test has the capacity to test not only knowledge and comprehension but also some higher level thinking abilities. They can be adapted to a variety of subject matter content and they can be scored easily.

Guidelines for Writing Multiple-Choice Questions

  • The central issue or problem should be stated in the stem. It should be a singular statement, topic, or problem.
  • In the stem, a direct question is preferable to an incomplete statement.
  • Include in the stem any words that might otherwise be repeated in the alternative responses. This reduces wordiness in the alternatives and increases clarity in the stem.
  • Negative statements in the stem and alternatives should be avoided.
  • Use numbers to label stems and letters to label alternatives.
  • Avoid absolute terms (always, never or none), especially in the alternatives; a test-wise person usually avoids answers that include them.
  • Avoid using items directly from the text or workbook, since this practice encourages memorization.
  • Arrange alternatives in some logical order, for example, alphabetically or chronologically.
  • Alternatives should be parallel in content, form length, and grammar. Avoid making the correct alternative different from wrong alternatives: longer or shorter, more precisely stated, having a part of speech others lack.
  • Correct responses should be in random order. Do not use one particular letter more often than others or create a pattern for the placement of correct responses.
  • Alternative responses should be plausible to less knowledgeable students.
  • The alternatives "All of the above" and "None of the above" should be used sparingly, since the test writer may fail to take into consideration all the nuances in the choices or the test taker may see other nuances.

Common Problems in Elementary Education

Elementary education also known as primary education plays a vital role in teaching students the basic of academic essentials. However, there are also problems with school systems that can hinder learning.

Elementary education prepares and introduces students to the very foundation of academic essentials. It is here where they receive a general education such as writing, reading, math, science, social studies and history. In this level of education, students are comprehensively trained for high school level and college curriculum. And as grade level advances, learning methods and materials intensify even more. Elementary education also known as primary educations is advantageous to students, however, there are some problems with elementary schooling that exist within the system.

Learning Method

Teachers in elementary education have a fixed method of transmitting learning information to students. In other words, the coursework is fixed. Teachers will teach in a manner that is effective and appeals to majority of his students. But this method won’t work effectively for other students who have their own unique learning style. Some students can learn and understand the lessons by merely listening to their teacher’s lecture. On the other hand, there are also some students who can only fully understand the lessons if teachers will use a visual learning method. A fixed teaching method and materials are presented and put into practice by most elementary school teachers that is why students will not always have the privilege to learn in a manner that is most comfortable for them.

Budget Issue

The quality of learning in elementary education suffers because of limited academic budget. Lack of appropriate and enough school budgets will have an impact on school’s spending. The school will be incapable of providing students the suitable learning materials and tools, new technology, new or renovated classrooms, furniture and other resources. If classrooms are limited, it follows then that the number of students per class will grow in size and the teacher in charge will not be able to manage them all. This will eventually lead to a poor teaching quality. This is so because teachers will find it difficult to give adequate and individualized attention to his students.

Standardized Test

Students are given the standardized tests to rank them academically. This has become teacher’s primary concern of improving their scores and they are prioritizing this one. They take time out of their actual lessons to concentrate on teaching their students how to answer a multiple choice questions and how to relax and stay calm when taking the test. The teacher’s focus on standardized test distracts and disregards the lessons that he is supposed to teach.