Saturday, May 23, 2020

Increase Motivation for Reading through Choice

When the headlines report  that  the overall average reading score of 8th students in 2015 declined in comparison to the previous assessment in 2013, there was a chorus of educators who  most likely responded: But...they just dont want to read! The report released by the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) is considered a benchmark on the academic progress of an estimated  60 million secondary students  attending private and public middle and high schools in the United States. The most recent statistics on these students indicate that there is a significant drop in reading proficiency levels in grades 7-12. For example, only 34 percent of 8th graders (2015) scored at or above proficient levels on the, the largest nationally representative and continuing assessment. This NAEP data also shows a disturbing trend, with reading scores of eighth graders across demographic groups declining from 2013 to 2015. The report confirms what secondary teachers have been saying anecdotally, that  both high and low achieving students are often unmotivated to read. This lack of motivation has been also explored as a cultural problem in David Denbys New Yorker article, Do Teens Read Seriously Anymore?  and illustrated in an  infographic created by Common Sense Media  (2014) titled  Children, Teens and Reading. Perhaps it is no surprise to researchers that the decline in reading proficiency coincides with a decline with student autonomy or choice in reading materials. That decline in choice is created by an increase in teacher control of reading materials at the higher grade levels.   They  Were Once Readers   In the elementary grades, students are given the opportunity to develop a sense of autonomy in reading choice; they are allowed and encouraged to independently select books to read. There is explicit instruction in making good choices in lessons that explain how to judge a   just right book using questions such as: Are there more than five words on a page you don’t know?Are you confused about what is happening in most of this book? This autonomy contributes to the growth of a reader. According to J.T.  Guthrie, et al, in the research brief Reading Motivation and Reading Comprehension Growth in the Later Elementary Years, (2007)  published in  Contemporary Educational Psychology: Children who valued choosing their own books subsequently developed elaborate strategies for selecting books and reported being more intrinsically motivated readers. By giving their students a choice of reading materials in the early grades, elementary teachers increase academic independence and motivation.   However, in most school systems, a students choice of reading material lessens as he or she moves up to the middle and high school grades. Assessment and Standards are Factors By the time a student moves into the middle grades, the  emphasis is on on discipline specific reading materials, as seen in the recommendation by the English Language Arts (ELA) Common Core State Standards in  Literacy  (Key Design Considerations) . This recommendation has resulted in an increase in the reading percentage of nonfiction or informational texts in all disciplines, not just ELA: By grade 8, reading materials should be 45% literary fiction and 55% informational texts;By the time students graduate, reading materials should be 30% literary fiction and 70% informational texts.   These same education researchers,  Guthrie et al, have also published an e-book (2012)  Motivation, achievement, and Classroom Contexts for Information Book Reading, to  document their pursuit of what motivates students to read and what classroom contexts best promote motivation. They note in their e-book that because schools are seeing an increase in educational accountability at different levels and there are a variety of  reading materials are assigned in all subject areas so that teachers can take formal and frequent evaluations of their students. Much of this reading material used for accountability, however, is dull: Middle school students overwhelmingly describe the information texts they read in science classes as boring, irrelevant, and difficult to understand—hardly a recipe for positive motivation to read this material. The researchers who argue for student autonomy agree that  student interest in reading independently (for fun) diminishes  when teachers overly control reading topics or materials. This is especially true for low achieving students. Researcher  Carol Gordon noted  that for this population of adolescents, student attitude is another factor. She explains: Since low-achievers typically do not read voluntarily outside of school, most of their reading is mandated. These students express anger and defiance, as indicated by survey data. In many cases, low achievers don’t really hate to read—they hate to be told what to read. Paradoxically, low-achieving students are the population that would benefit the most from an increase in voluntary reading. To counter the recent drops in reading proficiency, educators need to stop telling students, high and low-achieving, what to read so that students can develop develop ownership over their reading choices. Choice Motivates Students to Read One of the best ways to move beyond assigning all reading is for teachers to provide time in the academic day for voluntary reading of texts for extended periods of time. There may be objections to the use of already dedicated academic time, but the research indicates that time spent reading in school improves academic performance. This is true even for the light or fun reading of young adult literature.  Gordon explains that the  practice of free voluntary reading is not only conducive to reading motivation, [but] it actually works better than direct instruction. She cites Stephen Krashens work (2004) with 54 students, with 51 of those students who scored higher on reading tests than similar students given traditional skill-based reading instruction. Another compelling  argument for providing time in the school day to reading practice is the comparison  to the practice necessary one needs to do in order to become proficient at a sport; the increased number of practice hours increases performance. Even 10 minutes a day of reading can have dramatic effects by simply exposing students to multiple texts text. Researcher  M.J. Adams (2006)developed a data breakdown that illustrates how ten minutes of daily book reading in middle school will increase a student’s exposure to print by about 700,000 words each year. This exposure surpasses the amount of reading currently done by the same grade level students who are performing at the 70th percentile.   To facilitate student voluntary reading, students need access to reading materials that allow for their choice of reading materials. Independent reading libraries in classrooms can help students generate a sense of agency. Students can discover and share authors, explore topics in the  genres that appeal to them, and improve their reading habits. Create Independent Classroom Libraries   The publisher Scholastic produced a report, Kids Family Reading Report (5th edition, 2014) As a publisher of children and young adult literature, Scholastic has a vested interest in increasing the number of readers across the country. In their research based on student polling, they found that in populations aged 12-17,  78% of frequent readers who read books for fun 5-7 times per week are provided time and choice in contrast to the 24% of the infrequent readers who are not provided time or choice. Scholastic also noted that choice for adolescents requires easy access to a wide range of interesting texts. One of their recommendations was that school districts must begin to put money into texts and   allocate funds for high-interest books. They recommend that independent reading libraries should be developed with student input as the critical resource for increasing reading proficiency. Another proponent for independent reading is   Penny Kittle,  an  English teacher and literacy coach at Kennett High School in North Conway, New Hampshire. She has written  Book Love.  a popular guide to helping secondary students read independently. In this guide,  Kittle offers strategies to help teachers, particularly English Language Arts teachers, to increase the volume of what students read and to deepen student thinking about what they read. She offers advice on how to build up those classroom libraries including  grant writing   or applications to  Donor’s Choose  or  The Book Love Foundation. Asking for multiple copies of texts from book clubs and going to warehouse, garage, and library sales are also great ways to grow the classroom libraries. Developing a good relationship with the school library is also important, and students should be encourages to recommend texts for purchase. Finally, teachers can look for the numerous options available wi th e-texts. Choice: A  Desired Option The research concludes that there are millions of students who do not have the rudimentary reading skills that are needed to locate relevant information or make simple inferences. Without the necessary literacy skills for college or career, students may be retained in school or drop out of high school.   The consequences for underdeveloped literacy to the student and to the economic welfare of the country can mean the collective loss of billions of dollars in wages and earnings over a lifetime. Secondary educators need to guide students to associate reading with enjoyment and a worthwhile activity by offering choice. This association can result in making reading a desired option; to make students want to read. The benefits of allowing and encouraging students to make choices about reading will last beyond   school careers and throughout their lives.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Fire Science Fair Project Ideas

Are you looking for a science fair project that involves fire or combustion? Here are some ideas for fire projects to get you brainstorming. Visual Experiments What chemicals burn in different colors?What substances can mask the colors of flames?How does diminishing oxygen affect the appearance of a flame? Material Experiments Which type of oil produces the least soot when it burns? You can collect soot (carbon black) by burning in a container and wiping it down between tests or by examining a filter paper (or coffee filter) placed in with the test oil.Does it matter what type of wax is used to make a candle?Can you construct candles using liquid oils or other fuels besides wax? Environmental Experiments Analyze whether burning trash is a good alternative to landfills.Examine the effects of flame retardant chemicals on growing plants or on animals, such as insects or aquarium fish.Which common materials (for example: paper, foam, cloth, vinyl) produce the worst smoke/air pollution when burned?Examine how controlled burning is used for forests and parks.Examine the effects of ash on soil composition.

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Why has Childhood Obesity Become a Paramount Problem in...

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, â€Å"Childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and tripled in adolescents in the past 30 years,† (â€Å"Childhood Obesity Facts†). The monumental question that researchers seem to be asking is why the increase now? Childhood obesity has become a paramount problem in the United States in recent years due to various social, biological and technological factors that ultimately requires immediate assistance in order to promote a healthier lifestyle for children as they transition into adulthood. It is a common misconception to interchangeably use the terms ‘obesity’ and ‘overweight’ when in actuality, there is a stark difference between the two. Barbara Bresnahan, doctor from†¦show more content†¦Through the easy accessibility of technology, the media is able to have a detrimental effect on the young people in America. According to Tiffany Rush- Wilson, Skills Develo pment Coordinator of Counseling Programs at Walden University, the media places a greater emphasis on having the perfect body and looking thin in today’s society. This in turn causes obese children to feel negative about themselves which leads them to eat even more (Rush-Wilson 3). Technological advances have also promoted laziness through gaming systems like the Xbox. The glorification of sitting on a sofa firing pixelated guns at pixelated soldiers has been added to the list of hobbies enjoyed by children in the twenty first century. The television has also been linked to childhood obesity. Tom Robinson from the Division of General Pediatrics and Stanford Center for Research in Disease Prevention uses an experiment to show the positive correlation between the two factors: Finally, one school-based, experimental study was designed specifically to test directly the causal relationship between television viewing behaviors and body fatness. The results of this randomized, controlled trial provide evidence that television viewing is a cause of increased body fatness and that reducing television viewing is a promising strategy for preventing childhood obesity. The growing of the fast food industry since the creation of the first McDonald’s in the fifties hasShow MoreRelatedChildhood Obesity : A Condition That Affects Children3024 Words   |  13 PagesChildhood obesity is a condition that affects children in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) the rates of obesity in children have more than doubled in children in the past 30 years. 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Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Tobacco Smoke And Its Effects On Health - 1406 Words

Tobacco smoke is immensely harmful to one’s health. Cigarettes contain about 600 ingredients, when this burned can generate 7,000 chemicals according to American Lung Association Many ad campaigns and literatures have been published on the detriments of smoking. Medical reports further shows that half of all long-term smokers will die from a smoking-related disease. This unhealthy practice must be addressed by the government to lessen the medical cost to treat the ill effects of smoking. Despite all available data available on smoking’s ill effects government has little success in reducing incidence of smoking. The New Zealand Government is currently addressing a smoking problem in the country. The government adopted the Smoke-free 2025 goal for New Zealand, in March 2011. This response was based on the recommendations of a landmark Parliamentary inquiry by the Maori Affairs select committee. 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Storm Born Chapter Twelve Free Essays

I finally worked up the courage to see my mom and Roland a few days later. Tim had left for the day, but he’d apparently baked this morning. A plate of almond poppy seed muffins sat on the kitchen table, and I grabbed two for the road. We will write a custom essay sample on Storm Born Chapter Twelve or any similar topic only for you Order Now My ability to think clearly had improved with some rest, but my anger and pain hadn’t really faded. I still felt betrayed and not just by Wil. If anything, I could forgive him more easily than anyone else. He had not fostered a years-long secret. His actions had been open and desperate. They had not been so insidious as Kiyo’s, my mom’s, and Roland’s. When I arrived at the house, I didn’t bother knocking. The front door was open, and I pushed inside, slamming it loudly behind me. â€Å"Genie?† I heard my mom call. â€Å"Is that you?† I walked across the wood floor, my shoes echoing in the foyer. Mom and Roland sat at the kitchen table, eating lunch. Bread and cold cuts were laid out, along with assorted condiments. It looked so normal. So peaceful and innocent. My mom half-rose when she saw me. â€Å"Thank God you’re back safe. I’ve been so – what’s the matter?† I loved these people so much, but seeing them increased my fury, maybe because I did love them so much. For a moment, I couldn’t get the words out. I just stared at them, looking from face to face. â€Å"Eugenie?† she asked tentatively. â€Å"Who’s my father?† I demanded of her. â€Å"Was I born in the Otherworld?† I saw her go pale, her dark eyes widening in fear. In an instant, Roland was up beside her. â€Å"Eugenie, listen – † The look on his face spoke legions. â€Å"Jesus. It really is true.† I saw him open his mouth to protest, but then he thought better of it. â€Å"How did you find out?† Honesty, at least. â€Å"It’s all over the Otherworld. Everyone knows. I’m apparently next in line for world domination.† â€Å"That’s not true,† he said. â€Å"Forget about it. You aren’t like them.† â€Å"But I am one of them, right? At least half?† â€Å"By blood only. Everything else†¦well, for all intents and purposes, you’re human. You have nothing to do with them.† â€Å"Except killing and banishing them. How could you set me up for that†¦if I’m†¦?† One of them, I wanted to finish. But I couldn’t get the words out. â€Å"Because you have a talent for it. One we need. You know what they can do.† â€Å"Yes. And you’ve made sure I do, telling me all the horror stories growing up. But there’s a hell of a lot more than that. They’re weird, yes, but not all evil.† My mother suddenly joined the conversation, eyes wild and frantic. â€Å"Yes! They are! You don’t know what you’re talking about. When did you have this revelation? A day ago? A week ago? I lived with them for three years, Eugenie. Three years.† Her voice dropped to a whisper. â€Å"Three years, and I never once encountered a decent one. No one who would help me. No one who would keep me from Tirigan.† â€Å"Who?† â€Å"Storm King,† said Roland. â€Å"That’s his name. Was his name.† â€Å"They say you saved her from him.† He nodded. â€Å"I was there chasing down a kelpie when I heard rumors of a captured human woman. I went to investigate and found her and you. You were a baby. I slipped you both out of there and hid you.† â€Å"But Dorian†¦someone I met†¦said Storm King came looking for us.† â€Å"He did. And he found you.† I frowned. From what Dorian had said, I should have been a young teenager then. â€Å"I don’t remember that.† Roland nodded again. â€Å"Once close enough, he could reach out and call to you. He summoned you to him. By the time I tracked you down, you were out in the desert, very near a crossroads. You’d walked miles to get to him.† â€Å"I don’t remember that,† I repeated. In some ways, what Roland told me now was crazier than what I’d learned at Aeson’s. â€Å"His magic spoke to yours. He wanted to take you back with him, and you fought against him. You were struck by lightning in the process.† â€Å"Wait, I know I’d remember that.† â€Å"No. I hypnotized you and repressed it. I killed him, but your magic had still been awakened. After seeing what I’d seen, I was afraid you couldn’t control it – that it would control you instead.† â€Å"I don’t have any magic. Not gentry magic anyway.† â€Å"Not that you know of. It’s hidden away. I made you forget. After that, I started teaching you the craft in the hope of protecting you. I didn’t know if others would follow him or if someone else could reawaken you or summon you. I needed to give you the tools you’d need for defense.† He suddenly looked tired. â€Å"I never realized how well you’d take to them.† I felt as tired as he looked, despite all the sleep. I pulled up one of the chairs and sat; they continued to stand. So I had met Storm King. I had answered his summons. And I had been struck by lightning? That was interesting, because in a lot of cultures, shamans are called to their art through some traumatic event. Lightning strikes are actually common ones. Many of the local Indian shamans – already skeptical of the plethora of New Age white shamans – did not consider me authentic since I’d had no such profound initiation. Turns out I had. Score one for me. â€Å"You made me forget. You got inside my head, and you made me forget. All this time†¦both of you have known and never told me.† â€Å"We wanted to protect you,† he said. â€Å"And what then? Did you think I’d never find out?† The heat rose in my voice again. â€Å"I had to hear it from gentry. I would have rather heard it from you.† My mother closed her eyes, and one tear trailed down her cheek. Roland regarded me calmly. â€Å"In hindsight, yes, that would have been better. But we never thought it would actually come out.† â€Å"It’s out,† I said bitterly. â€Å"Everyone knows it. And now everyone wants a piece of this prophecy – and of me.† â€Å"What prophecy?† I told them. When I finished, my mother sat down and buried her face in her hands, crying softly. I could hear her murmuring, â€Å"It’ll happen to her. It’ll happen to her too.† Roland rested a hand on her shoulder. â€Å"Don’t put much stock in gentry prophecies. They come out with a new one every day.† â€Å"Doesn’t matter, if they believe it. They’re still going to come after me.† â€Å"You should stay with us. I’ll help protect you.† I stood up, glancing at my mother. No way would I expose her to more gentry. â€Å"No. This is my problem. Besides, don’t take this too badly† – I felt myself start to choke up – â€Å"but I don’t really want to see you guys for a while. I guess you meant well, but†¦I need to†¦I don’t know. I need to think.† â€Å"Eugenie – † I saw raw pain on his face. My mom’s sobs grew louder. I stood up, averting my eyes from both of them. Suddenly, I couldn’t stay here anymore. â€Å"I’ve got to go.† Roland was still calling after me when I practically ran out of the house. But I needed to get away, or I’d say something stupid. I didn’t want to hurt them, even though I probably had. But they’d hurt me too, and we all needed to deal with that. While opening my car door, I looked up and saw a red fox watching me from the same spot as last time. I strode toward him, close but not too close. â€Å"Go away!† I shouted. He stared at me, unmoving. â€Å"I mean it. I’m not speaking to you. You’re as bad as the rest of them.† He lay down, resting his chin on crossed paws while he continued to regard me solemnly. â€Å"I don’t care how cute you are, okay? I’m through with you.† A woman working in her yard next door gave me an uneasy look. I turned my back on the fox, got in the car, and drove home. Yet, as I did, I couldn’t help but feel relieved Kiyo had survived. I honestly hadn’t known if he would. Strong and vicious he might be, but Aeson had been slinging fire at him. The question was, had Kiyo merely escaped? Or had he managed to kill the king? What had happened to Jasmine? Tim still wasn’t back when I got home. I decided then I didn’t want to leave my house that day or make any pretense of productivity. I wanted to hit the sauna, put on pajamas, and then watch bad TV while eating Milky Ways. It seemed like a pretty solid plan, and I set out to make it happen. Twenty minutes later, I sat immersed in hot steam, draped in humidity. Heat was great for loosening muscles, although that only made me realize how much I’d hurt them. At least I’d made it out alive. That was the real miracle, considering what a disaster last night had turned into. I didn’t want to think much about it or about Mom and Roland, but it was hard not to. Part of me still believed – still hoped – that all of this was a mistake. After all, wasn’t it just everyone’s say-so? Of course, somehow I doubted my parents would make all that up. But really. Where was the DNA test? The photographic evidence? I had nothing tangible. Nothing I could see and believe. Except my own memories. The memories Roland had covered up for me. Hypnotism wasn’t uncommon in our line of work. It was just another state of unconsciousness. Shamans who served as religious leaders and healers used similar techniques on their followers and patients to heal the body and mind. Roland and I, as â€Å"freelance shamans,† didn’t really have much need for it. Our contact with the spirit world often became more physical and direct. But I had done some healings and soul retrievals, so I knew the basics. Leaning my head against the wall, I closed my eyes and thought about the tattoo of Selene on my back. She was my earthly connection, the grounding of my body and soul and mind in this world. I focused on her image and what she represented and then slowly altered my state of mind. Rather than slipping out to another plane, I crossed inward, back into the far reaches of myself and the parts of me buried in my unconscious. It probably didn’t take long, but in that state, it was painstakingly slow. I browsed through pieces of me, both memories and hidden truths alike. All the things that made me Eugenie Markham. I concentrated on lightning, hoping it would snag my attention. Surely a lightning strike couldn’t be buried forever. There. A faint tug. I dove in after it, trying to grasp it and the memory it linked to. It was difficult. The image was slippery, like trying to hold on to a fish. Each time I thought I had it, it wriggled away. Roland had done a good job. Steeling myself, I fought against the layers, clawing and fighting until – I woke up in bed. But it wasn’t the bed in my house. It was a different bed, a smaller bed covered in a pink comforter. The bed of my childhood. I lay in it, staring up at a ceiling covered in plastic stars just like the one I had as an adult. It was the middle of the night, and I couldn’t sleep. I’d been an insomniac then, just as now. This time, however, it was different. Something other than my churning mind was keeping me awake. Somewhere, outside, I could hear a voice calling me. No, not a voice exactly, but it was a pull. A pull I couldn’t shut out. Climbing out of bed, I slipped my feet into dirty sneakers and put a light jacket on over my pajamas. In the hallway, the door to Mom and Roland’s room was closed. I moved past as quietly as possible, down the stairs and then out the door. Outside, the air was still warm. It was high summer. Earlier temperatures had been in the 100s; even now, they had dropped only to the 80s. I walked down the quiet street of our neighborhood, past all the familiar cars and houses. With each step, the call grew louder. I followed, my feet moving on their own. The call led me away from our street, our subdivision, and even the small suburb we lived in. I traveled off of main roads, moving onto trails I’d never known existed. Then, after almost two hours, I stopped. I didn’t know where I was. The desert, obviously, because that and the mountains were all that surrounded Tucson. The foothills were larger than at home, so I must have gone north. Otherwise, there were no distinguishing features. Prickly pears and saguaros spread out around me in quiet watchfulness. Suddenly, I felt the air around me charge. There was a presence with me. A person. I turned and saw a man standing and watching me, far taller than my twelve-year-old self. His features were indistinct; I could not make them out no matter how hard I tried. He was only a dark shape, crackling with power. â€Å"Eugenie†¦Ã¢â‚¬  I took three steps back, but he held his hand out to me. â€Å"Eugenie†¦Ã¢â‚¬  I shook off the thrall that had brought me out here. Desperately, I realized I had to get away as quickly as I could. But I no longer knew the way back. The trails I’d followed were a blur. So, I backed up farther, but he kept coming, beckoning to me. My feet stumbled, and I fell. Still facing him, I tried to get up, but he stood over me now. In his indistinct features, I could make out a crown on his head, glittering silver and purple. â€Å"Come,† he said, extending his arm to help me up. â€Å"It’s time to go.† I was trapped. Helpless and trapped and out of options. I had never felt so desperate in my young life. It terrified me. I decided then and there that if I survived this, I would make sure I could never be helpless again. His hand touched my shoulder, and I screamed. As I did, some part of me reached out beyond my body and grasped the power lying around us – I blinked. Steam swirled around me in the sauna, and I felt lightheaded. I’d been in there too long; it was a wonder I hadn’t passed out. Standing up, I had to grip the wall for support and close my eyes. My heart raced from the vision, the vision that finally convinced me all of this was true. I knew – knew with absolute certainty – that the dark man had been Storm King, my father. I could feel it within me. In my soul. Overcome, I sat back down, needing a few more moments to consider all this and get my bearings. Yet, the longer I sat there, the more I began to despair. Storm King really was my father. And as for the rest of my life†¦well, things were bad. And they were only going to get worse. Every horny gentry wanted to knock me up; the rest probably still wanted to kill me. I’d never have a moment of peace again. Minutes passed as I ruminated on all this, falling deeper and deeper into depression – as well as exhaustion. I felt fatigued, too apathetic to care about any of it now. What was the point? I had snubbed my parents today. I’d let Jasmine Delaney down. I had nothing to look forward to ever again except a life of fighting and running. And really, why should I even bother fighting anymore? Nothing mattered. It was hopeless. I should just cross over to the Otherworld and give myself up. At least it’d stop the agony of – I opened my eyes and sat bolt upright. What was wrong with me? Things were grim, but this†¦this wasn’t natural. I blinked rapidly, trying to gain focus as I took deep breaths. There it was. I could feel it. A thick, unseen darkness wrapping itself around me. It touched me, crawling along my skin. It was trying to drag me down, to suck away all of my energy. All of my hope. Standing up, no longer dizzy, I pulled my robe off its hook and put it on. Slowly, I opened the door of the sauna and stuck my head out. I saw nothing too disconcerting, but that bleak feeling continued to swirl around me. The light almost seemed dimmer, darker than it should be for late afternoon. I squinted, trying to break the illusion, for that’s what it was. Stepping completely out of the sauna, I tried to assess the source. The sauna was in the center of my house. Turn left to go to the kitchen and living room, right toward the bathroom and bedrooms. My weapons were in my bedroom; that was where I wanted to be. But if the thing was in the front of the house, I didn’t want to turn my back on it. At last, I compromised by putting my back up to the hall’s wall and sliding down it toward my bedroom. The distance wasn’t far, but when you had to inch your way there, it felt like miles. Creeping, I passed Tim’s closed bedroom door, grateful he wasn’t here. He knew about my shamanic adventures, but that didn’t mean I wanted him exposed to them. Next came the bathroom. Yeah, the only bathroom. The thing about cute little houses was the â€Å"little† part. I loved everything else about this place, but next time, I’d make sure my house had at least as many bathrooms as occupants. Tim and I had gotten into some nasty rumbles when – A hand reached out for me from within the dark bathroom, but I saw it coming out of my periphery. I ducked and slid across the hall as he lumbered out. A Gray Man. That had been one of my top three culprits for the negativity zone my house had become. Gray Men cast an aura of despair around them, feeding off physical energy and positive feelings. This one was, well, gray, of course. Other than that, he looked more or less human-shaped, with dark eyes and scraggly white hair. He was even dressed, which I took as a plus since other monsters and sometimes elemental gentry often came over in loincloths or nothing at all, depending on their strength. Considering what everyone wanted to do to me, I was pretty happy about keeping genitalia covered up. I tried to scramble toward my bedroom, but his long arm reached out and grabbed me by the hair. I yelled out as he dragged me toward him, pressing me to his body. At least he didn’t say anything suggestive; Gray Men were apparently strong, silent types. But the way he grappled with my robe left little to the imagination about what he wanted to do. Struggling in his strong grasp, I tried to break free but mostly managed to loosen my robe more. Swearing, I decided if I couldn’t get away, then I’d at least delay his amorous actions. My knee jutted up in one hard motion, hitting him in the groin. His hold on me loosened, and he groaned as one hand instinctively reached down between his legs. I broke away from him, still trying to make for my bedroom. Deciding he could ignore the pain, he lunged toward me, just stopping me from getting to my bedroom doorway. Gripping me by both shoulders, he shoved me up against the wall so that I faced it. Using that hard surface as a constraint, he held me with one arm against it while his other finished pulling off the robe. I felt his tongue lick my neck, but the truly disgusting nature of that couldn’t really permeate me. I was in survival mode now. I struggled against him, hoping to make it difficult for him to get his own pants off. Being pinned liked this gave me fewer options for escape. Moving my hands against the wall, I groped around for something – anything – I could use as a weapon. Then my fingers brushed over a small decorative mirror that had been my grandmother’s. It wasn’t very big, but its frame was shaped like a sun – with sharp, pointed metal rays. Not only that, they were silver rays. Grabbing it from the wall, I held it in my left hand, not my dominant hand, but the hand I wore my amethyst ring on. The amethyst could cut through magic and glamour and also focus my own intentions. It wasn’t as good as a wand, but it had to do. Concentrating on the stone, I let my will pour into it. The stone amplified my energy and then sent it into the silver frame. In as fluid a motion as I could manage in my confined state, I swung the mirror back, driving it into any flesh I could find. The Gray Man screamed, and I smelled something burning. He released me, and I turned around, not wasting any time, though I uneasily realized I’d dumped more energy into that silver than I should have been capable of. The mirror had stuck in his side and was smoking. It wouldn’t kill him, but having it lodged in there was pretty serious. He reached out toward it with hesitant fingers, knowing he had to touch it to pull it out. I sprinted to my bedroom. He was only seconds behind me, but it was all I needed to arm myself in my bedroom. He came running in after me, but this time I was on the offensive. I used the silver athame to draw the death symbol on his chest, eliciting a tortured scream from him. Iron was the bane of gentry, but for whatever other reasons, silver hurt anything else Otherworldly. I didn’t know why, but I didn’t question it either. Especially when it had just proven so handy. Hurt or no, he pushed me backward. I landed on my bed, head hitting with a crack against the wall. It slowed me, but I had already started connecting beyond this world. I reached out, touched the world of death, and sent that connection through the wand. It leapt out at the Gray Man, sucking him in. He fought it, thrashing as though physical action might fight the pull. It couldn’t. A moment later, he vanished. Almost immediately, the spell of despair in my house disappeared. It was like emerging from underwater. I could breathe again. I let my body slump and relax. I wanted to lean my head against the wall but knew that wouldn’t feel too good after the hard blow I’d just sustained. A loud sound cracked out from the front of my house, like the door being kicked open. I jerked up, adrenaline going a second round as I heard footsteps pounding down the hall. I was reaching for the gun when a familiar voice yelled, â€Å"Eugenie?† Relaxing – only slightly – I watched as Kiyo burst into my room. How to cite Storm Born Chapter Twelve, Essay examples

Philosophical Theories Social Justice

Question: Discuss about thePhilosophical Theories for Social Justice. Answer: Introduction: The very existence of social justice is possible only when a common platform of humanity is being shared by people having rights to unbiased treatment, human rights support and distribution of community resources in a reasonable manner (Heller Gaede, 2016). Social justice can be stated as encouraging a just society where diversity is being valued along with posing a challenge to injustice (Frynas Stephens, 2015). Social justice can also only succeed when equal opportunity is being provided to the society. John Rawls Justice as Fairness and David Millers Principles of Social Justice are two of the most important and prominent theories that have come up in the recent years for better understanding of the term, Social Justice. Background of the Social Justice Philosophy: The origin of Social Justice as a distinct concept dates back to the nineteenth century. Jesuit Philosopher, Luigi Taparelli Azeglio was the first person to use the concept of social justice while debating over the Risorgimentos attempts to politically unify the Italian peninsula. French Revolution that took place in 1789 was the backdrop of Taparellis social justice where he questioned the treatment being meted out by the society to its traditional leaders and whether the existence of aristocracy is unjust. He was the one who stated that social justice only works when the people living in the society are able to accept inequality. According to him, justice has the customary inclination to balance accounts. He also added that human are not equal when it comes to quality. His idea of social justice is conservative in nature and based on the defense of socialinequality. John Rawls Theory of Social Justice: The Main Idea: The theory is most generally referred to as Justice as Fairness which evolved in the year 2003. Rawls idea of social justice is giving surety to the citizens or members of the society that they will be provided with the required protection in having equal access to rights, opportunities and liberties. He also added that proper care should be taken of those members of the society who enjoys the least advantage of being a part of the same. Rawls definition of social justice lingers with the thought of social contract, where people are given free access in entering into an agreement where they will need to follow certain regulations for the enhancement of others and not implying the same for their own benefits (Rawls, 2016). In Rawls opinion, rational and free people will play the game of social justice by fair means and in accordance to the rules, where public acceptance of those rules and conditions are necessary for it to continue. According to Rawls, certain given situations depict a different version of judgment from people, where not all will agree on what the requirement of justice should be under such conditions. An important aspect of Rawls social justice theory is that it takes into account the concept of domestic justice where principles get applied to the societys basic structure, and not the local justice which considers principles applied to associations and institutions of the society (Neil, 2013). Rawls theory does not account for global justice, which according to him does not fit into his theory. Principles of Rawls Social Justice Theory: Concept: The Principles of Rawls Social Justice is being outlined on Equal Liberties, Different Principle and Equal opportunity. The justice of fairness is based on two principles: -All the people of the society should have unjustifiable claim to ample schemes of basic equal liberties -Two conditions need satisfaction from economic and social inequalities; firstly, offices and positions related to it should be open to all where equality of opportunity condition prevails; secondly these are to be directed towards the benefit of the least-advantaged people of the society (Hudon Ashta, 2013). Rawls principles indicate that the factor of equality is important in determining social justice. Rawls principles would be better understood if adopted and applied in a four-stage sequence. The first of the four justice principles being adopted is for societys regulation, the second for the convention of the constitution (government processes), the third for legislative purposes (enactment of laws) and the last part for the rules to be applied by the administrators where the same is followed by the society members in conditions requiring justice by fairness. Rawls social justice conception signifies the importance of equality, though every time it not possible to achieve the same in the society. As per Rawls, inequalities can only be accepted when each person of the society has a fair chance in getting hold of positions that directs toward inequality (Klosko, 2015). The fair equality of opportunity is possible only when members of the society get a fair chance in attainting them. Drawbacks: -Some authors criticize Rawls theory for being at par with Utilitarianism where two principles could authorize inequalities in demand and suffering for the beneficial of the least well off. - This theory was evolved to handle societal problems, but has difficulties in handling individual decision making process. - Rawls theory is stated to be not ambition sensitive and endowment sensitive. It does not take into account the natural inequalities of people. Rawls justice as fairness theory can be used in identifying the processes that are constant with social justice. Governments policies can be reviewed using this theory to conclude its consistency or inconsistency part with the social justice theory. David Millers Theory of Principles of Social Justice: The Main Idea: This theory of social justice too was established in the year 2003 by David Miller. According to Miller, (2012), social justice relies on the perspective of given situations. The goal of Millers theory was to determine the principles used by people in judging the just and unjust nature of society. His theory has been created through public opinion polls and studies related to that in accordance to different aspects of justice. As per Miller, social justice arranges the allocation of advantages and disadvantages in society and how it should be distributed within the society. The relevant advantages of social justice is related to property, jobs, medical care, transportation, housing and child care whereas the disadvantages are directed towards hardships and military service involving risk. In Millers opinion, consideration of policies in allocating the advantages and disadvantages should not be judged on the way they benefit everyone personally (Lerner Lerner, 2013). Miller added that justice takes place only when people are treated equally. The basic requirement is for everyone to treat the other person as equal, without being selfish or egoistic. There are a lot of procedures in bringing justice to the society, but that does not take into account the situation where every procedure leading to it will be accepted by one and all. Millers theory relies on the state, as state is being identified as the prime agency competent to bring in the changes. Moreover, only the state can exert force and pressure on people to comply with the requirements of social justice. The theory also states that the institutions complying within the society must also go by the social justice requirements, thus giving birth to social justice culture. Three Elements of Millers Social Justice: Desert, Need and Equality Concept: Millers theory states that desert is a claim where rewards are earned supported by performance and where super recognition should be provided to super performers depending on their performance. Need is another factor that can be defined as a claim that lacks basic necessities. Equality, as per Miller, is the social ideal where citizens are being treated equally by the society along with equal distribution of rights. Miller prioritizes need above the other two, and desert above the equality factor, though he has been open to the fact that at certain times desert can precede the need. According to Miller, inequalities in society are at certain times just which is based on two reasons. Firstly, inequalities related to economy which motivates people to go for more are sometimes being justified. Secondly, inequalities arise from the difference on merit. Meritorious individuals deserve more based on their performance than those who are less meritorious, difference arising from skill, performance and education (King Lawson, 2015). Millers pluralistic social justice theory recognizes any process that is consistent with social justice, which if not is stated as not being consistent with social justice (Bierhoff, Cohen Greenberg, 2013). Millers theory is mainly for a democratic government where members of the society are permitted for full contribution in accordance to institutional arrangements. Conclusion: This paper did take into account the two main theories associated with Social Justice where it can be concluded that in a society, if social justice needs to exist, every member of the society has to be treated equally where no discrepancies should be made among them. Even if inequality arises, every member should be provided with a fair deal towards that inequality factor. No biasness should be involved and members who are identified as the less advantaged people of the society should be taken proper care of, or else the whole idea of society being represented as whole will be demolished. Reference: Bierhoff, H. W., Cohen, R. L., Greenberg, J. (Eds.). (2013).Justice in social relations. Springer Science Business Media. Frynas, J. G., Stephens, S. (2015). Political corporate social responsibility: Reviewing theories and setting new agendas.International Journal of Management Reviews,17(4), 483-509. Heller, M., Gaede, F. (2016). Measuring Altruistic Impact: A Model for Understanding the Social Justice of Open Access.Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication,4, eP2132. Hudon, M., Ashta, A. (2013). Fairness and microcredit interest rates: From Rawlsian principles of justice to the distribution of the bargaining range.Business Ethics: A European Review,22(3), 277-291. King, P., Lawson, S. (2015). Justice and equality: an introduction.Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy,18(1), 1-6. Klosko, G., 2015. Rawls, Weithman, and the stability of liberal democracy.Res Publica,21(3), pp.235-249. Lerner, M. J., Lerner, S. C. (Eds.). (2013).The justice motive in social behavior: Adapting to times of scarcity and change. Springer Science Business Media. Miller, D. (2012). Territorial rights: concept and justification.Political Studies,60(2), 252-268. Neil, M. R. (2013).The Last Citizen A Response to Rawls's Challenge on Impairment: A Third Principle of Justice, and Extra-Rational Contribution(Doctoral dissertation, University of Denver). Rawls, J. (2016). 18. A Theory of Justice.

Saturday, May 2, 2020

Halides Ltd Financial Reporting

Questions: Issue 1: When finalising the financial statements for the year ended 30 June 2014 two significant errors were made and there is debate as to whether we should simply adjust the financial statements in the current year or change last years financial statements as well. The IT system of the company was installed 3 years ago at a cost of approximately $3.5 million and was estimated to last 10 years. However the latest technology advancements indicate that this was a very optimistic estimate and that the maximum life span of this equipment will probably be not more than 6 years in total with little or no residual value. It was also discovered in August 2014 that a machine worth $2.2 million purchased in January 2014 was erroneously written off to repairs and maintenance instead of being capitalised. Deberella the marketing director thinks we should just adjust this years figures to account for these problems but Peter indicated that it was slightly more complicated than that. Could you please give us some advice on this? Issue 2: A number of employees who work on our strategic management team have been with us for a number of years - at least 12 of them have been with us since the company commenced operations in 2006. In accordance with the Employee Bargaining Agreement (EBA) all employees are entitled to long service leave of 13 weeks if they remain in service for 10 years. They are also entitled to pro rata long service leave after 6 years of service. Our usual practice is to show the long service leave expense in the income statement when the employee actually takes leave and is paid. Of course we maintain a memorandum record of the number of days each employee is entitled to. Peter has indicated to us that he thinks we should consider treating this expense in a different manner, which seems complicated. The directors are wondering why we should complicate a very simple way of calculating long service leave why not stick with recognising the expense when we pay for it? What do you think we should do and why? Issue 3: Peter, the new financial controller, has also informed the board that the company will need to present a statement of cash flows with the financial statements in addition to those statements already being presented, which really attracted a lot of attention. Some of the directors thought it was a waste of time to present this statement as it was merely a summarised cash book. Others were of the opinion that it could be useful but didnt quite know how they would use it. The structure of the statement of cash flows also came into question with one of the directors suggesting that we merely needed to get a printout of the cash account and attach it. Another said that we couldnt just do that as we needed to show operating, instigating and financing cash flows in the statement. Could you please clarify this matter for us? Answers: Issue 1. AASB 108 Accounting Policies, Changes in Accounting Estimates and Errors Many things in the statement of affairs are not measureable with the precision but we can make an estimation, but as a result of uncertainties which are involved in the business activities. The estimation may include the decisions based on the information available. To illustrate, the estimations may be required for: Inventory Obsolescence; Bad debts; financial assets or liabilities and its fair value; The useful life and the consumption of the future economic benefits for the depreciable assets; As usefulness of the reasonable estimates is important portion for the preparations of financial statements. Such estimate will need a revision when the changes will arise in the events in which such estimates had been based or as a result of the new data of the company. According the nature of estimate, it may or may not relate with the prior periods and are also not related to the correction of any error. The ultimate effects of the necessary changes in accounting estimate, and any other type of change to which paragraph applied will be subsequently known by considering the same for computing pl in: (a) Period in which such change has occurred; or (b) The current period of such changes or any period of future, if such change affects both. Advice: In this case, we can say that there must be a change in the accounting estimates and hence, the Depreciation part should be deducted from Profit Loss Account of the relevant current year. As at the time of finalizing the financial statement of 30 JUNE the expected useful life of the IT system is 6 years out of which three Two years elapse. This is third year end of IT system and hence remaining value of 2.8 ( 3.5-3.5/10 *2) should be depreciated over 4 years including this year which is .7 Million (2.8/4). The amount of .7 Million will be debited to Profit Loss account on 30 June 2014 and 2.1 Million (2.8-.7) will be depreciated over next three years. Errors and Omissions The earlier period mistakes and errors must be made a correction from the retrospective period in the first financial statements after they are found out by: Restating the amount of the prior period which shall be shown where the error was caused; or Restating the opening balances of the assets, liabilities and equity for the prior years that are presented, if the error which is caused before the earlier prior periods presented. Hence, by the above statement any error of the prior period must be corrected by the subsequent restatement which can be extended when it was not practical for determining the total effect of error or the specific effects. According to this Accounting Standard, various disclosures are needed in the financial statements. Advice: Thus, from the provided case, the machinery worth $22000000 was debited to expense of the machinery repairs and its maintenance erroneously and it must be rectified or solved during the current period of the prior period. Issue 2. AASB 1028 Employee Benefits Leave for service of long period When the non similarity arose between various laws, government Acts and the other Agreements which determine the entitlement for the long leave service in Australia, the following categories of entitlement are common: (a) An unconditional entitlement to which the payment may arise after some service period (usually 10 or 10+5 years). The combination of the service leave entitlement would be continued from this period, till the leave is actually taken. (b) In many case (for e.g. early retirement, death or the retrenchment), a legal entitlement for the pro rata payment in place of long leave may arise. Whilst many employers may provide the service leave advantage to their staff, however many may participate in the same. The employers have the obligation for making the future cash flows due to the long service leave arrangements. Thus, the obligations of employers towards the industry-based leave for the service would be identified as a liability of the employer. In many cases, after remaining stagnant as per the requirements of paragraphs 4.3 and 4.13, the company would recognise the liabilities for the payments which are expected to be made to the employees. Advice: Hence, in this case Peters contention is correct for treating the expense as different, as the requirement under AASB 1028 is to treat as liability or separate line of item of liability which depends upon as per the scheme of service and then which can be charged and same as revenue as per the discussion made above. Issue 3. AASB 101 Presentations of Financial Statements The Financial Statements comprises of the following: Balance Sheet of current period; A revenue statement; A statement of changes in equity for the period; Cash flows statement; Notes, and summaries showing the use of the policy and standards. AASB 107 Cash Flow Statements Each company who was preparing the financial statement as per described Part 2M.3 of the Corporations Act; financial statements; and Financial report for common use. Advantages of Cash Flow Information The cash flow statement gives the information which enables the user to make an analysis of many changes in the current net assets of the entity, (including the solvency and liquidity) and the ability of entity to have an effect on the amount and the time of occurrence of cash flows by adapting to the changing opportunities situations. The data of the Cash flow is used so that the ability for the assessment of the entity and for the generation of the cash and it gives start to the users to develop the model for assessing and comparing the current value of future cash flows of other entities. The Transactions in Cash may also be bifurcated into 3 activities and it can be shown in the Cash Flow Statement Advice: Thus, in the present case looking to the needs of standards set in the AASB 101 and the other standard AASB 107,which gives the advantages of the preparation of cash flow statement as stated in the above case, it is therefore suggested or advisable to make a cash flow statements which shows day today cash transaction. References AASB, 2011, Accounting Policies, Changes in Accounting Estimates and Errors reviewed on 30 January 2015, Accountants, 2013, Accounting Policies, Changes in Accounting Estimates and Errors reviewed on 30 January 2015,, 2001, Employee Benefits reviewed on 30 January 2015,, 2011, Presentation of Financial Statements reviewed on 30 January 2015, AASB, 2007, Cash Flow Statements reviewed on 21 January 2015, Chartered Accountants,N.D., FAQs AASB 119 Reviewed on 30 JANUARY 2015, Chartered Accountats,N.D.,AASB 101 Presentation of Financial Statements, Reviewed on 30 January 2015, .JEMMA HOLMES,N.D.Disclosure- Presentation of Financial Statement, reviewed 30 January 2015, Available at Chartered accountants, n.d., faqs aasb 107, Reviewed on 30 January 2015,, 2014,AASB 107- Cash Flow Statement reviewed o 30 January 2015, 41Charterd Accountatnts, Aasb 108 Accounting Policy, Change In Accounting Estimate And Errors Reviewed on 30 January 2015,