Becoming a Data Analysis Triple Threat

The triple threat: a phrase frequently associated with athletes and entertainers. Move over Justin Timberlake, today it’s the analyst’s turn to shine. This is the first in a three part series on being a triple threat in data analysis by:

  1. being an expert in your business
  2. beefing up on your stats knowledge
  3. developing key technical skills

Being an expert in your business

Lucky you: the first step in becoming a data-analyzing triple threat should be the easiest.

Any data mining project starts with gaining a firm understanding of the context in which it’s taking place. After all, it’s pretty difficult to identify trends or build models without knowing what you’re interested in learning and what data is available.

By becoming an expert in your business (i.e. your organization and the broader field) you’ll be in a good position to find opportunities for analytics to boost your work.

Your organization

Unless you’re starting out in a new job, you are probably pretty familiar with your particular organization, so this is the easy part.

Evaluate your role:

What are your responsibilities? What are some of the challenges you’ve come up against? How could your work become more productive? Data analysts typically display great curiosity – so what in your own job are you curious about?

Listen to your colleagues:

Not by eavesdropping on their random personal calls, but in meetings and maybe even over lunch. What are they working on? What are their challenges and where do they see opportunities?

These conversations may spark ideas for you in terms of how data analysis could improve your organization, and help you identify future allies. When you get ready to build that first predictive model, what will it measure and who will be its champion?

Survey the data:

At this stage, you don’t need to know every item in your database, but it’s helpful to have an idea of what the organization is currently tracking and what seems to be missing. If you’re looking to get into data analysis, you’re probably already fairly tech savvy and familiar with the database, but if not have a chat with IT.

Understanding the strengths and weaknesses of your organization’s data may give you an idea of the sort of data analysis projects you could feasibly attempt.

Strategic goals:

A final suggestion is to keep an eye on your organization’s strategic goals. These indicate what the current priorities are and where the organization plans to go. How does data analysis fit into that vision?

Your field

So you know your job and your organization. Great! But what’s going on elsewhere? Whether you fundraise, manage programs, or make waffles, keeping an eye on industry best practices and innovation, while developing a strong network can spark ideas and give you a place to turn for help.

Read up:

We’re all busy, so it’s hard to make time for a bit of leisurely reading, but do try. I like to keep one professionally-related book going at a time. A few minutes here and there adds up.

I don’t know about you, but I’m more of a web junkie. Find a few blogs, online publications, and social media sources to follow. Set aside some time to find out what people are talking about and join the conversation. Just try to set some time limits on your surfing or its quickly 2am and you’re somehow on the IMDB page of a 1980s TV show.

Whatever the source, reading and reflecting on the knowledge in your field will help you think creatively about how data is and could be used.

Work your network:

If your organization has the budget, try to get to at least one professional conference a year. Whether it’s a classic like APRA or CASE, or a newer one like DRIVE, go! Meet people and learn new ideas. Even if you end up at a less than stellar session or two, you’ll at least have time out of the office when you can brainstorm about possibilities.

Locally, look for regional events from your professional organizations and even try Meetup groups in related topics. Don’t forget to connect with people on LinkedIn and Twitter to continue the conversation.

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Those are just a few ideas for becoming an expert on your business. You’re likely doing a lot of these things anyway, so it’s a bonus that it sets you up to be a triple threat in data analysis!

How To Cheat In Exams

How to Cheat in exam

How to Cheat in exam

Cheating in exams is getting highly popular nowadays and when searching on the internet you will not just stumble upon some great ideas, but you will even get people that help you to cheat on exams.

Now when I say help, I really mean people will just take your money for “helping” you to cheat on any kind of exams.

This can be anything from selling exam answers to even writing essays for you. Price range is also quite high from $10 to $100 per essay or paper you need. That’s why I made this simple post to tell you about cheating ways and methods.

Simple Cheating


The classic long sleeve shirt method – very simple, just take a piece of paper (the size so you can put it in your sleeve) and write names, dates, formulas, people names, everything you need and just put it in your sleeve.


Find out How To Cheat in Exams by visiting that page.



This will be updated later on. Stay tuned for updates.


Why today’s internet marketers need Domain Hunter Gatherer


It’s no secret that ranking websites and attracting traffic is more difficult than ever before. Google dominates the search market, so in order to hit the first page of their rankings and bring in visitors, you need to optimize your sites with methods that are rewarded by Google’s algorithms.

For internet marketers, that means putting together a complicated mix of ingredients which will still work after all of Google’s cute animal updates, including:

  • A powerful private blog network sending link juice directly to the money site
  • An aged, authority money site
  • A large group of tier-1 feeder sites, built on strong web 2.0 platforms

Complicating things even more, those sites should ideally have great domain metrics and be closely related to the money site’s subject.

It’s not an impossible task, but it can take weeks or months to search and find strong, related domains to be used for money sites and for those large supporting networks. And it can cost a fortune.


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The key tool in DOMAIN HUNTER GATHERER is the Expired Domain Hunter. Just enter your keywords, and in just minutes you’ll get a massive list of related expired domains available for immediate registration. You’ll see every detail and metric you need to consider, including TF/CF, DA, PR, numbers of backlinks and social signals, and much more. You’ll see the domain’s age, if it is listed in the Yahoo Directory and DMOZ, and whether it’s already indexed in Google. Just right-click, and you can see a domain’s full backlink profile. You can even inspect a site to see if it has the specific authority links you specify.

It’s as simple as that. The Expired Domain Hunter shows you everything required to find and research amazing domains: quickly pick up one terrific domain for a money site, or register an entire network of related, powerful domains to use for building a private blog network feeding link juice directly where you want to send it.

Imagine compiling and buying a full portfolio of authority domains, which you can buy for a pittance, in less than an hour! It’s what makes the Expired Domain Hunter in DOMAIN HUNTER GATHERER a must-have tool for any internet marketer.

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Home Improvement

Tips on Creating a Wonderful Dining Room

What is a house without a dining room? Every single person can never resist a well-designed dining room on any household. After all, it is the only place where all the fun happens. You can spend quality time with your family and at the same time, invite some friends over. All those exciting activities can only be done inside a place

that has a friendly and comfortable atmosphere, the dining room.

So if you were to design your dining room, aside from making it as inviting and as comfortable as possible, you must also strive to make it reflect your personality, or other things that could contribute to your dining room’s aura and beauty. Those things may be a little bit daunting, but you need not fret. Here are great ways to create a wonderful dining room:

dining room

It would be awkward to have a room that is way off the entire house’s design and concept. You don’t have to go out of your way to make your dining room very inviting. It would help to actually know and understand your personal style. That way, you’ll have a dining room that reflects who you are which can add to the room’s charm.

Eye strain could result from too many colors

inside the dining room. Remember that it’s a room where you eat, and possibly the food are too colorful on their own. The dining room should be a place where you can relax and enjoy the food, so mixing too many colors won’t help. From furniture to color, everything should match or complement each other. Better yet, just make sure that the furniture’s and walls’ colors don’t try to overpower each other. It would also be great to associate a touch of red inside the room, as red is known to stimulate the appetite.


Obvious enough, to have a room that’s comfortable, it shouldn’t limit you in your movements. To make that happen, you should consider the size and the space of the room. As there is too much action that could possibly happen inside the dining room, you have to make sure to have enough space. Small dining rooms should have small sized furniture or little furniture. And large dining rooms may have plenty and large furniture, so as to make proper use of the space and to keep it from appearing barren.

So with all the furniture around, you would want a neat and proper arrangement. This could possibly be the trickiest part. Actually, you can play all you want and decide on how you should arrange the things inside your dining room. Invite some friends and guests over, and take note of their reactions. Their reactions shall help determine the perfect arrangement for your dining room objects.

As a final touch, you could add extra things that can balance (complement) or accentuate (compliment) your dining room. You could start with your window and play with curtains or blinds.


The Benefits of a Summer Kitchen


Summer kitchens have been around for a long time, especially before air conditioning. A summer kitchen provides enough room to cook your meals, can fruits and vegetables and bake without heating up your house. A summer kitchen is like an enclosed porch and if you already have one that’s great. Just remodel it to fit your needs.summerkitchen

If you are starting from scratch that’s okay. Try to use reclaimed lumber and furnishings to help cut cost. You’ll need to start by building a frame. Search on the internet for designs that you like. If you are an inexperienced carpenter, hire someone to build your addition.

Once you get your frame up, it is time to add the roof. Make sure you have an area in the roof for ventilation. After the roof is done, you will need electrical and plumbing. Once again, if you do not know anything about either, hire a professional. Plumbing should be simple. All you need is a sink. Electrical will be a little harder. Think about what appliances you want. A stove is necessary, but you might also want a refrigerator for extra cold storage. Add at least two to three outlets so you’ll be prepared. You can never have too many.

Now it is time to screen in your porch. Make sure you cover the entire area, stapling the screens in place as you go. Don’t let the screens sag. Pull it tight, but not to tight.

As far as appliances go, you wouldn’t have to buy brand new unless you just absolutely want to. If you choose a refrigerator, measure carefully to make sure you are going to have enough space. A stove and sink are musts.

summer kitchen

Also consider countertops and cabinets. A countertop space will be handy when preparing foods out on your screened-in kitchen. Cabinets are not necessary, but can be handy for extra storage. Unless you want brand new, hit a salvage yard or a reclaim shop. You will save alot of money. If you decide on a large addition, opt for adding a table and chairs. It’s eating outdoors without having to worry about biting insects.

Do not grill inside your screened-in kitchen. Consider it part of your house. Grilling needs to be done outside unless you have a special section added to your cook stove just for that.

Make sure to always clean up good. Do not leave food sitting out. You might attract unwelcome creatures at night looking for something to eat.

A summer kitchen might not keep you cool while cooking, but it will keep excess heat from building up in your house. Another benefit, an extra stove and refrigerator to use at the holidays.


Properly Dusting Your House


Sneezing, wheezing and Asthma finds its way to torture you. This is, of course, not a thing to have happen, so to combat this you begin dusting your house. Sounds like a good idea to clean up the dust to give your lungs a breath of fresh air. Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as simply dusting whatever you can find whenever you want. If you want to make sure the dust is effectively dusted, you’ll want to go about the task keeping a few things in mind.dust 2

Generally when you dust your house, you may find you have an assortment of various dusting tools to get the job done. While you can use whatever you want, I find the good old fashioned rag and paper towels work best in conjunction with dusting cleaners. The two types of cleaners you should always have in stock are glass cleaners and all-purpose cleaners. You can use the glass cleaners for windows, glass in tables, marble/granite countertops, lights, TV screens (Careful! Read your TV’s manual for information on how to clean the screen), and many other surfaces. The all-purpose cleaners are used for anything else the glass cleaner isn’t utilized such as wood tables, counters, shelves, pianos, wood furniture, and others. If you want, you can get a wood cleaning product specifically designed for wood, but if you’re on a budget, an all-purpose cleaner will be just fine.dust

Now that you have the product cleaners, you can grab a cotton rag and some paper towels. The paper towels are generally used for the glass surfaces or whenever you use the glass cleaner. This is to help alleviate any streaking on the glossy surfaces. A good cotton rag is ideal as it’s soft and absorbent. If you don’t have one, an old cut up cotton shirt will work perfectly. Try to steer clear of cleaning rags like those used for washing dishes. These rags are pitted and rough giving you inferior absorption as they are meant for scrubbing/wiping countertops, tables, and dishes.

First things first when dusting your house: You want to start at the top. That means you’ll want to go to your highest level of your house, and start with the highest shelves and the tops of moldings. The reason for this is quite simple. Dusting isn’t perfect, and as you continue to dust, you’ll find that some of it is brushed off. Not all the dust sticks to your rag. So, as move from high to low, you have the greatest chance of picking up the most dust. Another thing to keep in mind is that of your rags and paper towels. When they get dirty, don’t hesitate to throw them in the laundry and grab a new one (you can throw the paper towels in the garbage of course!).

From the top levels, move to the mid levels and then the bottom. By the time you are done, you’ll find that most of the dust has been collected, giving you some breathing room. In addition to picking up the most dust, this technique gives you the best time to vacuum your house. Moving from top to bottom, the dust will most likely settle on the floor of your house, ready to be vacuumed up. This is why you’ll want to dust your house before you vacuum.

Using these tips, you’ll find that your house stays cleaner with the recurrence of dust appearing at longer intervals. This is beneficial for your health and that of others. You’ll no longer wonder why your futile attempts at dusting left you with a cloud of dust that never seemed to go away.

How Would You Know If Your Roof Needs Repair?


When was the last time you checked your roof? If it has been a while since the last time you had it repaired by a roofing specialist, then you know you ought to have it checked by them once again. Better yet, why not do it on your own? You can look for damages on your roof all by yourself and at the same time you won’t have to spend some money. Interested to save some cash while maintaining the health of your roof? Here are ways to get you started:

Things you would need

• Ladder (always be careful while using this!)

• A pair of binoculars

Start from ground level

Before you use the ladder, you can check your roof while still on the ground by using a pair of binoculars. Look for dark spots, misshaped lines and missing shingles in the roofing material. You can also look for washed off shingle granules.

Have a closer look

roof repair

When you finally decide to go up, use a ladder and avoid stepping on shingles as much as possible, as they can easily be damaged. Look for loose or missing shingles, mold and decay, loss of granulation, and curling. Remember that a loose shingle doesn’t directly mean it’s a bad one, there are more signs you need to find first. You also need to inspect the roof for any signs of unevenness or sag. Indicators of a weak framing are cupping and buckling, so pay extra attention on these. Check the gutters for rust and clogs.

Flashings. These are metal pieces that can be found on waterproof spots of the roof. Try to look for puckering or buckling in the material, looseness and tears. Make sure to inspect your chimney as flashings on them are more prone to damage.

Tar and patch. These things are usually used to fix any small problems if you had some work done to your roof before. You may to take a closer look before you can spot some. It is possible that the roofing cement used on the patches only last a few years, so make sure you check on these. The place to go is in your attic.

Chimney. Don’t forget the chimney! Inspect it for cracked joints, damaged bricks and any leaning.

Have it repaired

roof repair 2

Don’t attempt to fix the roof on your own, though. If you find any of the problems stated above, it’s best to call over a roofing repairman.


What is Love?

Does it really exist?

We see many ways love is expressed and explained. There is love for your child or parent. There is love of animals and nature. There can be two adults having intimate relations. The list is long. We even say we love ice cream or a dress and any number of things. But is this love?

I believe love goes much deeper than the above explanations. Love was within us and around us even before we were born. God loved even the thought of us being born. He planned each part of us with much compassion and care. He gave us eyes to see the wonders of nature and ears to hear the laughter of children. He gave us legs so we could walk and so many parts. The part which I want to focus on is the heart. He placed His own love is our heart. The depth of this love is eternal. It goes beyond all understanding or words. Yet this love is what urges us turn to those who need our care. It even pushes us to help others in miraculous ways. We look back and say, how did I do that? But I am going even deeper than the heart. God wanted us to be with Him forever so He placed our soul within us with so much gentleness. This is the part of us who knows God. Yes- knows God! Can you believe that! Our soul knows our true home is heaven. We are only here for a short while.

You might ask, what this has to do with love. Everything! Love comes from knowing Jesus and listening to our heart. It comes from realizing each person was also created with love and with a heart and soul. Every person is sacred. That is where real love comes. Yes, it will mean loving our family, being in awe of nature and feeling the love for another human in an intimate way. But only after we feel deeply connected to their holiness.

So love is our relationship with God and all our brothers and sisters which God created. Love is realizing all people are sacred. Nature shows the wonder of God and all we can do is stand in awe. This Valentines Day why don’t we reflect on true love.

5 Quick and Easy Tips to Stay on Your Dieting Path

I’m not going to argue about the different diets out there, or what really matter: carbs, fats or protein. Instead, I am going to give you five simple tips that will help you stay on your weight loss target, no matter what diet or physical fitness plan you are following. These are very simple tips that don’t require a lot of extra time to implement, and they have been extremely successful in my own diet progress.

1. Keep a list of what you CAN eat

Everyone knows that the worst part about almost any diet is the restrictions that are suddenly placed on what you can and can not eat. Instead of focusing on the negatives and getting depressed over that hamburger you can’t eat, why not create a list of all the wonderful things that you can enjoy on your new diet. Even better, make multiple copies of this list and place it in prominent spots that you see when you are hungry; refrigerator doors, on walls on the way to the kitchen, on exercise equipment, etc. This way, when a hunger pain hits you out the blue, instead of not knowing what to eat and instinctively reaching for the unhealthy, you will have a quick reference guide staring you in the face, reminding you of all the great food you can still enjoy!

2. Tally your days

One of the common problems that hurts diet-goers is that they get too focused on very specific results and get disappointed when they don’t see them immediately; a certain amount of pounds they want to shed; a new percentage of body fat to reach, thicker muscles, etc. The problem with focusing on these specifics is that they take different times to reach for different people, so it may become very discouraging when you see others reach your goals much faster than you can yourself. The super simple solution is instead of focusing on your results, focus on your efforts. Put up a whiteboard, or just a plain piece of paper, and every day that you successfully stick to your diet and/or physical fitness plan, make a tally. Then, when you are feeling unmotivated, just take a look at your marks and see the visualization of your efforts. For me, this has really helped me, as I like to think “OK, if I stick to my plan today, this will be the longest I have ever stuck with a diet” and then repeat that mantra to myself day after day.

3. Focus on steps, rather than goals

Some so-called “experts” will tell you to focus on your goals. They will encourage people to make lists of goals, and even to print out pictures of their goals and post them around their living space. This might be fine and dandy if you are saving up for something and you are printing a picture of the item you want to remind yourself to save for, but for a dieter, seeing a picture of a thin fit person, the person they want to be, tends to just make them depressed and feel as if their goal is unattainable. Especially when someone is just starting out on a diet, the last thing they want to think about is how far away their goals are. The solution? Instead of focusing on what may take a year or more to achieve, focus on the more immediate. Set small stepping stones to your goal, such as “reduce caloric intake by 100 calories per day this week,” or “lose two pounds,” and rewards along the way, such as enjoying a new episode of your favorite TV show. By focusing on something that is actually within reach, you will be able to maintain your internal motivation and not become discouraged.

4. Report now, not later

If you are using a weight tracker app, a record book, or any diet that requires tracking of food intake and physical activity (basically all of them), instead of waiting till the end of the day to enter your log, do it before or immediately after eating the food or working out. Like using a credit card, when something does not have an immediate visual impact, our brains tend to minimize the way we think about it. For example, when using a credit card, it is much easier to forget tiny purchases, or negate them as being “too small to matter”. However, these can quickly add up, and later you might be sitting there wondering how you can’t afford to pay the latest bill. The same basic concept applies to dieting and exercise; the longer we wait to record something, the more likely we are to round down the amount we ate and round up the amount we exercised. By immediately recording the activity before or after, there is no guessing about amounts later, or rounding, and we are stuck being immediately accountable for our actions, an accountability you want when you are trying to stick to a diet plan.

5. Prepare ahead of time

I’m driving home, after a long and exhausting day at work, and I know there is no food ready to eat at home. Anything healthy will take me time to prepare, and after my frustrating day, I just want to snarf something down and get into bed. I would pick something healthy up, from a local restaurant, but I had to work late, and the only places open are 24/7 fast food drive-thrus. So, I momentarily give up on my diet, and pick up a 2,500+ calorie dinner consisting of burgers, fries, and a shake, a huge relapse for myself, one that might make me feel like giving up altogether. Fortunately, this whole incident is avoidable by making just a tiny change; preparing your food and snacks ahead of time. If I had taken the 10-20 minutes extra that morning and prepared myself a nice healthy dinner, in that car ride home I would have remembered that I had a delicious meal waiting for me, and stopping for fast food would have seemed a ridiculous notion. If you are going to have a lunch break at work, bring a lunchbox filled with carefully chosen foods. If you are going to have a movie night, prepare a healthy platter of snacks ahead of time, instead of defaulting to microwave popcorn and high-caloric candies.


What is so nice about these five tips is that each one takes just minutes to implement, but can make the difference between giving up on a diet plan, or sticking through to see your results. Don’t look at this list and add it to a “read later” list, or worse yet, just ignore it with a simple dismissal of “too much work”. It might be a little extra leg work, but isn’t it worth it to become a better, healthier you? The decision is yours to make, but I know which one your body will be thanking you for making.

Foods that Help You Stay Thin

Everyone hasThin-Stomach heard the old tip shop the outside perimeter of the supermarket first. This is where all the fresh food is kept. Where we really get in trouble in the market is in the middle. The middle holds all the processed foods like cookies, crackers, mayonnaise, candy, and ice cream.

We’ve also heard about eating foods like celery and salsa that actually burn more calories than they leave behind and help you feel full. A great book to get is super model Carol Alts book “Eating In The Raw.”. Now you don’t have to become a vegan or give up that juicy Friday night steak but Carol’s book brings up some great points that we learned when we were children. “You are what you eat”. When we cook food we kill vitamins, enzymes and live cultures. When you eat fresh your body is able to get more of the nutrients it needs to be very healthy and thin.


Watermelon is a food like celery full of water and it helps to fill you up. Watermelon also contains vitamins A and C and many other anti-oxidants.

Green Tea

Drink green tea to feel full between meals. The phytonutrient called EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate) in green tea increases the hormone responsible for making you feel satiated. Drinking green tea daily has long-term benefits as well. It can help prevent storage of excess fat, improve your appetite-regulating hormones and change how your body handles cravings and metabolizes food.


Vinegar will slow the absorption of carbohydrates and prevents sudden surges in your blood sugar. It also slows the passage of food through your stomach, keeping you fuller for longer.

Chili Peppers

Capsaicin, the compound that gives these spicy peppers. This compound is also thought to curb your appetite while you eat. Not only that, it raises your body temperature, which may boost your metabolism.

Raspberry Ketone

Raspberry ketone is the primary aroma compound of red raspberries. This compound regulates adiponectin, a protein used by the body to regulate metabolism. Raspberry ketone causes the fat within your cells to get broken up more effectively, helping your body burn fat faster. The recommended dose is 100mg per day. To get the same benefit from the whole fruit, you’d have to consume 90 pounds of raspberries.


Trim your tummy by packing your grocery cart with monounsaturated fats. Avocados should be used in your diet as a garnish. On a sandwich, salad, or as a topper. Sitting down to a giant bowl of guacamole at your favorite Mexican restaurant can add as much as 750 calories to your diet before your entre even arrives. So the message is that avocados are great for your body but in moderation.


Apples are the perfect pre-dinner snack. Soluble fiber in apples, called pectin, reduces the amount of sugar and calories that’s absorbed into the bloodstream after a meal. That’s good news for folks who want to prevent type 2 diabetes, but it also makes apples one of the best snacks for dieters. Apple pectin prevents spikes in blood sugar that lead to increased fat storage. It will help you avoid the blood sugar “crash” that leaves you craving more food and can keep you satiated for up to two hours.

Crimini Mushrooms

These mini-Portobello mushrooms have a delicious meaty flavor. Blending crimini mushrooms with ground turkey is a great way to cut half the fat without losing taste. The high-fiber mushroom mixture works well for any meat-based dish, like tacos, meat sauce, hamburgers and more.

Pine Nuts

A small 4oz handful of pine nuts every day can help suppress hunger. Pine nuts contain pinolenic acid, a naturally occurring fat that stimulates cholecystokinin (CCK) and glucagon-like peptide (GLP-1), both powerful hormones that alert the brain that the stomach is full. In one study, women who consumed pinolenic acid reported a decreased appetite. These small nuts also contain the highest protein content of any nut.


Beans are loaded with soluble fiber, which promotes good bacteria in the gut, thus lowering inflammation linked to belly fat. Ignite your body’s fat-blasting furnace with beans. They’ll keep you full, and are high in resistant starch, meaning that half the calories consumed cannot be absorbed. They also reduce blood sugar, and create the fatty acid butyrate, which may burn fat faster.

Eating small portions of good food every three hours to prevent blood sugar spikes and keep your hunger at bay is the key to success in any good diet. Try the super foods to help you regulate your blood sugar and boost your metabolism.

How to Motivate Reluctant Readers

300_2763536As a teacher, I wasn’t always thrilled with all of the reading materials available for me. After all, some phonics and basal readers are quite boring. I could see why some of my reluctant readers wouldn’t want to read these. Yet, luckily, there is an entire world full of interesting reading materials. Here are some tips on how to motivate reluctant readers.

Give them High Interest Readers

I was looking through some older ‘learn to read’ books from the 1970s and ’80s. They were painfully boring and had non-existent plots. Yet, luckily there are some more interesting books out there for beginning readers. Step into Reading is a program from Random House that has five levels of books. I Can Read is another leveled program from Harper Collins. There are levels for readers who need more help to levels with basic chapters. When my daughter was in kindergarten, we started with the basic books. These had repetitive sentence structure and vocabulary that made it easier for beginning readers.


There are plenty of inappropriate magazines out there. However, there are also some very fun and educational ones in circulation too. The shorter articles and colorful pictures can be less overwhelming than a thick novel with long paragraphs. My kids have a subscription to Highlights Magazine. High school students may enjoy Mental Floss. You can also give your child a magazine to a hobby, subject or sport they are interested in such as dirt bikes, tennis or science.

Song Lyrics

Does your child have a favorite song? I’m thinking there are plenty of kids out there who really love the song “Let it Go.” A great idea to encourage kids to read is to get them some song lyrics. This way they can sing their way to being a more fluent reader.

Give them Reading Material related to a Favorite Movie

Does your child have a movie they want to see or have seen? Giving them literature connected to a movie they are already interested in may pique their interest. However, be warned that some books made into movies might be at a sophisticated reading level (I was pleased to find “The Hobbit” was said to be at a sixth grade reading level). Thus, before giving your child a book, check its reading level with this Book Wizard tool. If you find it is above their independent reading level, you can always read it to them or download an audio of version of it.

Reaching reluctant readers doesn’t have to be a struggle.

Review: Celebriteens In The Spotlight by Joanna Philbin

Celebriteens In The Spotlight by Joanna PhilbinIn America, the Celebriteens books are published under the series name The Daughters – alluding to the fact that although its teenage lead characters aren’t famous in their own right, they’re growing up in the shadow of parents who are. The author herself is the daughter of US talk show host Regis Philbin, and while this is definitely no autobiography I suspect it may well be personal experience and observation which lend the first instalment in the series its genuine, heartfelt quality. The series has been rebranded for the UK as Celebriteens, and it lives up to its glamorous new name one hundred percent.

Book one sees unconventional-looking Lizzie Summers dealing with a fairy common teenage problem – she doesn’t measure up to those perfect-looking models in the magazines – but with the uncommon added pressure of daily life with a mother who actually is one of those models. Lizzie’s self-confidence takes a bashing every time she’s forced to accompany her mum to another A-list party, and her supermodel mother doesn’t seem to have any idea what it’s like for her. Add in some trouble with schoolwork and a crush on the cutest boy in school, and along with her best friends Hudson and Carina, Lizzie’s just a regular teenage girl… but when she messes up, the whole world knows about it.

A cover quote from Cecily von Ziegesar states that Gossip Girl herself would love this book, and while there are some major similarities between the two series – the New York setting, the red carpet events, the super rich lead characters – there are some major differences too. Lizzie, Carina and Hudson are a couple of years younger than Blair and Serena, and the story reflects that. This is a book about the importance of friendship, staying true to yourself and the bittersweetness of first love.

Despite the glitz and glamour of Lizzie’s lifestyle, tween readers will relate to her because underneath it all, her problems are universal. I’d recommend this one to readers in the eleven to fourteen age group who would like the inside scoop on what it’s really like to be the daughter of a rich and famous parent.

Out: now.

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