Ten Most Notorious American Gangsters

Amercan gangsters are legendary. Al Capone, Lucky Luciano, Frank Costello, Dutch Schultz, Carlo Gambino, Meyer Lansky, Carlos Marcello, Albert Anastasia, Sam Giancana and Paul Castellano are the top mobsters.

The American gangster has been both romanticized and vilified in books, movies and pop culture. Here are ten American mobsters from the Roaring Twenties and beyond who left their indelible mark on criminal history. We begin in Chicago...

Al Capone (1899-1947)

Unarguably the world's most famous gangster, Alphonse Gabriel Capone was born in Brooklyn, New York, on January 17, 1899. With mobster Johnny Torrio as his mentor, Big Al later became the czar of the Chicago underworld, raking in tens of millions of dollars from the Outfit's illegal activities in bootlegging, prostitution, loan sharking and numbers. Capone could be ruthless, allegedly ordering the infamous 1929 St. Valentine's Day Massacre in which five members and two associates of the rival North Side Gang were lined up in the garage of the SMC Cartage Company and shot to death. The feds later caught up with the notorious "Scarface," with Capone serving seven years in federal prison, including a stretch in Alcatraz, for income tax evasion. Al Capone died of complications from neurosyphilis in Palm Island, Florida, on January 25, 1947. His simple grave marker reads: "Alphonse Capone 1899-1947, My Jesus Mercy."

Al Capone on the cover of the March 24, 1930, edition of Time magazine (Time, Inc.)

Charles "Lucky" Luciano (1897-1962)

Salvatore Luciano was born in Lercara Friddi, Sicily, on November 24, 1897. A protege of Arnold "The Brain" Rothstein, Luciano hit it big in Prohibition days, grossing some $12 million a year through his bootlegging activities. In time, Luciano ascended to the top of the New York underworld, organizing the Commission, a ruling body overseeing all Mafia operations, where he served as its high priest. Luciano, who had earned his famous nickname of "Lucky" after surviving a beating and stabbing in 1929, eventually ran afoul of crusading New York special prosecutor Thomas E. Dewey. Convicted of running one of the largest prostitution rings in the country in 1936, Luciano was given a 30-50-year prison sentence. Eventually paroled for his assistance in helping the Allies during World War II, Luciano was "voluntarily" deported to his native Italy in 1946. Lucky Luciano died of a heart attack in Naples, Italy, on January 26, 1962.

Frank Costello (1891-1973)

Feted as the "Prime Minister of the Underworld," Frank Costello was born Francesco Castiglia in Lauropoli, Italy, on January 26, 1891. An early protege of Ciro "The Artichoke King" Terranova, an East Harlem Mafioso underboss, Costello later joined Lucky Luciano and Meyer Lansky in the rackets. The alliance prospered during Prohibition, with Costello ascending the underworld ladder, becoming acting boss of the Luciano crime syndicate in 1936 after Lucky was sent to prison. During the televised Kefauver Hearings of 1950-51, Costello became one of the Senate special committee's star attractions. When asked to name one thing that he had done for his country, Costello replied in his trademark raspy voice, "Paid my tax!" The law eventually caught up to Costello, convicting him of income tax evasion. Costello was also the target of an assassination attempt in 1957 when Vincent "The Chin" Gigante wounded him in the head with an errant shot. Frank Costello enjoyed a longer life than many Mafioso bigwigs, finally succumbing to a heart attack at age 82 in New York City on February 18, 1973.

Frank Costello mug shot from 1935 (New York City Police Department)

Arthur "Dutch" Schultz (1902-1935)

The fabled "Beer Baron of the Bronx" was born Arthur Flegenheimer in New York City on August 6, 1902. The teenage Schultz entered the rackets early, working for Arnold Rothstein in his bootlegging operation. Later, Schultz and friend Joey Noe branched out on their own, operating a speakeasy and distributing their own brew. The Schultz-Noe partnership eventually ran afoul of the Rothstein organization, with Jack "Legs" Diamond allegedly eliminating Joey Noe in 1928.

Schultz's people retaliated, with Diamond mowed down while sleeping off a bender in 1931. Pursued by Thomas E. Dewey for income tax evasion, Schultz made plans to assassinate the high profile U.S. Attorney, a prospect that didn't sit well with the Mafia's ruling Commission because of the law enforcement heat it would bring. Undeterred, Schultz continued with his plans, only to be assassinated himself by Louis "Lepke" Buchalter's Murder, Inc. The Dutchman, along with two bodyguards and his accountant were attacked by hit men Charles Workman and Emanuel "Mendy" Weiss at the Palace Chophouse in Newark, New Jersey, on October 23, 1935. All four men eventually succumbed to their wounds, with a hospitalized Schultz – muttering mostly gibberish while his wife, mother, a priest, the medical staff and police looked on – lingering for 22 hours before expiring. Dutch Schultz, who was actually of German-Jewish descent, is buried under his real name of Flegenheimer at Gate of Heaven Cemetery in Hawthorne, New York.

Carlo Gambino (1902-1976)

Carlo Gambino was born in Caccamo, Italy, on August 24, 1902. Reared in a Sicilian crime family, Gambino started his criminal career early, carrying out hits and becoming a "made man" in the Mafia while still in his teens. Gambino later illegally immigrated to the United States where he worked for several New York crime families. The ambitious but low-key Gambino eventually became "Don Carlo," arranging Mafia don Albert Anastatia's murder in 1957 and becoming the "boss of bosses" in 1962.

By the early 1960s, law enforcement estimated that the Gambino crime family was raking in some $500 million a year from various illegal enterprises. In 1974, a drunken Carmine "Mimi" Scialo of the Colombo crime family publicly disrespected "Don Carlo" at an Italian restaurant. Gambino remained calm throughout the harangue, with Scialo's body later found encased in a "cement overcoat" at Otto's Social Club in Brooklyn. Carlo Gambino died of a heart attack at his Massapequa, New York, home on October 15, 1976. Among the reported 2,000+ people who attended his funeral were judges, police officers and politicians.

Carlo Gambino mug shot from the 1930s (New York City Police Department)

Meyer Lansky (1902-1983)

Duly recognized as one of organized crime's financial whiz kids, Meyer Lansky was born Meyer Suchowljanski in Grodno, Russia, on July 4, 1902. A childhood friend and associate of Lucky Luciano, Lansky's principal business was gambling and money laundering. In time, Lansky's extensive gambling empire included interests in Florida, Cuba, Louisiana, New York and Nevada.

A co-founder of the National Syndicate and the Commission, it was rumored that Lansky gave the final okay to eliminate Las Vegas business associate Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel in 1947 when the latter failed to produce profits at the troubled Flamingo Hotel and Casino. In 1974, a jury acquitted Lansky of income tax evasion. Meyer Lansky died of lung cancer in Miami Beach, Florida, on January 15, 1983. Although officially worth very little on paper, Lansky's secreted assets were reported to be in excess of $300 million at the time of his death.

Carlos Marcello (1910-1993)

Born Calogero Minacore to Sicilian parents in Tunis, Tunisia, on February 6, 1910, Carlos "The Little Man" Marcello emigrated with his family to the United States in 1911, settling in Metairie, Louisiana. A life of crime came early for Marcello, who with his teenage crews carried out a series of armed robberies in small towns just outside of New Orleans. Convicted on assault and robbery charges, Marcello did a five-year stretch in the Louisiana State Penitentiary. A business associate of Frank Costello of the Genovese crime family in New York, Marcello eventually became Mafia boss of New Orleans, catching the attention of the U.S. Senate Labor Rackets Committee, whose chief counsel was Robert F. Kennedy.

Later, after his brother John became President, now Attorney General Robert Kennedy had Marcello deported to Guatemala. Marcello's hatred for the Kennedys has led to valid speculation that the New Orleans crime boss may have had a hand in the November 22, 1963, assassination of President Kennedy. According to one informant, Marcello conveyed to him that some type of "insurance" would be needed in carrying out the assassination by "setting up some nut to take the fall for the job, just like they do in Sicily." Following a series of strokes and suffering from Alzheimer's disease, Carlos Marcello died at his two-story mansion in Metairie, Louisiana, on March 3, 1993.

Albert Anastasia (1902-1957)

Born Umberto Anastasio in Tropea, Italy, on September 26, 1902, Albert "Mad Hatter" Anastasia ran afoul of the law at a young age, killing a fellow longshoreman and receiving the death penalty. Anastasia, however, won a new trial, which never materialized as the original witnesses mysteriously failed to come forward. Released from infamous Sing Sing after serving 18 months, the ambitious Anastasia began his ascent to the top of the Mafia hierarchy. On the orders of Lucky Luciano, Anastasia and three other hit men eliminated Giuseppe "Joe the Boss" Masseria at a Coney Island eatery on April 15, 1931.

Anastasia earned high marks for his "talent" for homicide, later becoming one of the syndicate's valued chiefs of its feared enforcement arm Murder, Inc. From 1951-57 Anastasia headed the Gambino crime family, with his reign coming to a bloody end on October 25, 1957, when two cloaked assassins gunned him down in New York City. "Albert Anastasia, 'Lord High Executioner' of Murder, Inc., was rudely dispatched from his throne yesterday when two gunmen walked into the Park Sheraton Hotel, pumped four bullets into him as he sat in a barber chair and left him for dead. Thus did the gangster who beat the chair five times wind up his career of crime," wryly noted the New York Daily News in its October 26, 1957, edition.

Albert Anastasia mug shot from 1936 (New York City Police Department)

Sam Giancana (1908-1975)

Sam Giancana entered this world as Salvatore Giangana in Chicago, Illinois, on June 15, 1908. Giancana got his start with the Forty-Two Gang, where he served as a getaway driver and hired killer. Giancana, who had a knack for making money, won favor with Windy City Mafia boss Tony Accardo, later succeeding him as head of the Chicago Outfit from 1957-66. In recently declassified government documents, it was revealed that Giancana along with other Mafioso were recruited by the CIA during the Kennedy years to assassinate Cuban leader Fidel Castro. Both Giancana and Kennedy had shared a mistress, Judith Campbell Exner, only adding fuel to the Castro assassination plot.

While in exile in Mexico, Giancana was arrested by authorities there and deported back to the United States. Now on the outs with his former Mafia associates, Giancana indicated his willingness to cooperate with the government in its continuing investigation into organized crime. Giancana was also scheduled to testify before a United States Senate committee looking into a possible CIA/Mafia connection in the JFK assassination. With his police protection detail mysteriously recalled that night, Sam Giancana was killed at his Oak Park, Illinois, home on June 19, 1975. The killer took no chances in eliminating "Sam the Cigar," shooting him in the back of the head and then turning him over and delivering six more shots to his face and neck. At the time of his death, Giancana had been cooking sausages and peppers.

Paul Castellano (1915-1985)

Born Constantino Paul Castellano in Brooklyn, New York, on June 26, 1915, "Big Paul" cut his teeth in the Mangano crime family. Castellano, who stood 6'2" tall and weighed a hefty 270 pounds, later became an underboss in the Gambino crime syndicate and eventually reigned as "boss of bosses" from 1976-85. Castellano, whose father was a butcher, could be vindictively ruthless, once ordering a hit on Vito Borelli, his daughter's boyfriend, who had "disrespected" him by comparing the Mafioso to the elderly, balding Frank Perdue, owner of Perdue Farms.

Other murders were carried out on Castellano's say, including those of abusive son-in-law Frank Amato, Mafia soldier James "Jimmy the Clam" Eppolitto and mobster Nicholas "Little Nicky" Scibetta, the brother-in-law of Sammy "The Bull" Gravano. But what goes around comes around, with an ambitious John Gotti ordering hits on Castellano and capo Tommy Bilotti, both of whom were gunned down outside Sparks Steak House in New York City on December 16, 1985. The official cause of death: a polite sounding "ballistic trauma." 

Paul Castellano mug shot from 1984 (Federal Bureau of Investigation)

Ten More Notorious American Mobsters

  • John "The Teflon Don" Gotti (1940-2002)
  • Charlie Birger (1880-1928)
  • Joseph "Joe Bananas" Bonnanno (1905-2002)
  • Tony "Joe Batters" Accardo (1906-1992)
  • Frank "The Enforcer" Nitti (1881-1943)
  • Vincent "The Chin" Gigante (1928-2005)
  • Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel (1906-1947)
  • James J. "Whitey" Bulger (1929-)
  • Arnold "The Brain" Rothstein (1882-1928)
  • Vito "Don Vito" Genovese (1897-1969)

Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel (gangstersinc.tripod.com)

Top Image

  • Al Capone, czar of the Chicago underworld (telegraph.co.uk)

Copyright © 2012 William J. Felchner. All rights reserved.

9 comments

Add a comment

0 answers +0 votes
Post comment Cancel
This comment has 0 votes  by
Posted on Jun 16, 2015
This comment has 0 votes  by
Posted on Jun 16, 2015
Guest
This comment has 0 votes  by
Posted on Nov 18, 2011
Guest
This comment has 0 votes  by
Posted on Nov 18, 2011
This comment has 0 votes  by
Posted on Apr 20, 2011
Guest
This comment has 0 votes  by
Posted on Oct 16, 2010
This comment has 0 votes  by
Posted on Jul 27, 2010
This comment has 0 votes  by
Posted on Jul 23, 2010
This comment has 0 votes  by
Posted on Jul 23, 2010

Related Articles

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.
  • Through field trips, students learn by actually doing a hands-on experience. They learn effectively since their senses are actively interested in what they are doing more than it functions in a classroom setting. Depending on the subject of the field trip, students’ participation are not only limited to pure observations, but they can get an active involvement in the trips’ activity.
  • 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.
  • Field trips are effective methods to teach difficult or complicated subjects like biology, physics, chemistry or historical facts. With a field trip on a biology class for example, a teacher can take the students on a hunt for certain types of insects or flowers and for history subject, a teacher can bring his students in a local museum. Before the actual trip, the students should already be given an advance list of the task that they should perform so they will have an insight on what is going to happen when they arrive in their trip destination.

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

Image Credit

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.