Learn This! : Stuff You Need to Know, and Mistakes You Need to Stop Making, Before You Step Foot into High School

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9780965326353: Learn This! : Stuff You Need to Know, and Mistakes You Need to Stop Making, Before You Step Foot into High School
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Book Description A detailed review of many of the things high school teachers expect their incoming students to know. Includes astronomy, world geography, U.S. geography, Canadian geography, world history, U.S. history, U.S. presidents, Canadian history, math, science, writing & grammar, literature, art & music history, major religions, languages, famous people, and more. Equally important, the book provides a strategy for learning large and complex chunks of information. The strategy can be applied to any of the subjects in this or any other book.

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From the Author:

I've been helping my two teenage daughters with homework and studying for years. I've seen what they know and what they don't know. I've tutored hundreds of high school students and have often been surprised by the large gaps in their knowledge base. For whatever reasons, many students just aren't learning the things their high school teachers will expect them to know: What's the capital of Brazil? How do you find the area of a triangle? What is a light year? When was the U.S. Civil War fought, and why? Who was Mark Twain? Golda Meir? William Henry Harrison? Which is larger, the galaxy or the solar system? What is wind chill factor? How do you multiply fractions? When do you use between and among? What's the world's largest lake? Island? City? Country? Mountain? These are just a few of the thousands of facts to be found in Learn This! No, it isn't everything a student needs to know. And it certainly contains some information no teacher would expect students to know. But this book is a great place to start for any seventh-, eighth-, or ninth-grader who wants to be ready for high school.

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...That's how you learn your way around a new neighborhood. You start at your house and learn where the important things are -- hospital, post office, pizzeria. You figure out that if you turn left out of your driveway and walk three blocks, the post office is just around the corner to the right. Then you find out that the pizzeria is two blocks from the post office. One day, when you're feeling hungry but don't need any stamps, you discover a shorter route from your house to the pizzeria (no need to waste time at the post office). You've made new connections, and will eventually learn where the best ice cream in town is, and how to get there from the pizzeria. You'll find shortcuts to the library, the movie theater, and the bike shop. When you start dance classes or karate lessons, you'll have to learn how to get there on time. Eventually, you'll have hundreds of connections in your head, so that you can get from any point in town to any other point without wasting time or getting lost. And it all began when you learned a few key things, and gradually built around them, making connections as they became necessary. It's how we learn our way around a house, a school, a neighborhood, or a city. It's also how we learn history, math, geography, or a new language. It's how we learn everything.

Don't make these mistakes anymore! The president lives in the White House, pictured above. The building to the right is the U.S. Capitol, where members of Congress work. A capitol is always a building. The U.S. Capitol is located in Washington, DC, a city that is the nation's capital. "DC" stands for "District of Columbia," which is on the border between Maryland and Virginia. Washington, DC, is NOT in Washington State. Both Washingtons, city and state, were named after the first president.

Nothing will hurt the look of your writing faster than misspelled words. The ideas may be brilliant, but if the reader is distracted by the need to figure out whether you mean solemn or slalom, all that brilliance may just slip by unnoticed. Misspellings occur for three reasons. First, we spell many words incorrectly because we don't know how to spell them. That's a matter of learning. We spell other words incorrectly because we don't take the time to proofread what we've written. If we did, many of our mistakes would jump right off the page at us ("Now I'm no genius, but I know the word penguin doesn't have three g's.") The third category of misspellings consists of those words that look right when they're not. It isn't that we don't know how to spell them. We do. It's just that our brains are seeing what should be there instead of what is there. It tends to happen most frequently with longer words with repeating letters. Two examples are the words remembered and thermometer. We write rembered and thermeter. Shorter words, such as banana, do not usually cause this problem. That's because when we see bana, our brains do a quick count and say, "No, not enough letters." (There are actually three more categories: words that look wrong when they're right, words that always look wrong no matter how they're spelled, and words that look fine most of the time but suddenly look strange for a little while. The first of these groups seems to vary from person to person, so there's no point in trying to come up with examples. The second is caused by a diet too high in artificial color, and as far as I know, I'm the only one who suffers from it. The third is probably related to alien abductions.)

Here's why you hate fractions. When you learned your first words, no one came along a few years later and said, "Okay, now it's time to learn parts of words." Your brain deals with whole words, and it would prefer to deal with whole numbers. It just views the world that way. It doesn't see three-eighths of a pizza -- it sees three whole slices of pizza. But the truth is that fractions are an important part of math, and they won't go away. So let's just make friends.

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9780965326322: Learn This! (Stuff You Need to Know, and Mistakes You Need to Stop Making, Before You Step Foot into High School)

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ISBN 10:  0965326322 ISBN 13:  9780965326322
Publisher: Mostly Bright Ideas, 1999
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Charles Gulotta
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