Novel Ideas – Six Unique Ways to Introduce a New Novel to Your Class

There is nothing more exciting than introducing students to a great piece of literature. Conversely, there is nothing more disappointing than students’ lack of enthusiasm about a book you truly love. Unfortunately, your fervor about a novel does not always translate into cheers and applause on the part of your students. Reading a novel requires a lot of investment. Even novels with high-action plots take a while to build momentum. How can you quickly bolster students’ interest at the start of a new book? Below are six sure-fire ways to get your class excited about a new novel.

PLOT PIECES. Divide students into groups. Assign each group one page from a different part of the novel. After they have read the page, ask students to compose a paragraph that outlines the plot of the novel. To do this, students will have to use context clues gleaned from their excerpt. Ask students to elect a representative from each group to present their plot summaries. Compare plot summaries and revisit these summaries at the end of the novel. Asking students to conjecture the plot of the novel will pique their interest in the book and help them extract information from context clues.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS. Ask students to read the first page of text silently. Next, ask for a volunteer to read the first page aloud. Then, ask students to write down as many things as possible that they have learned from the first page. Next, ask students to write down three questions they have based on their reading of the first page. This activity will help students read context clues and it will teach them to site text evidence when making generalizations about a novel.

COVER UP. Read a summary of the novel from the back cover, from the inside flaps, or from an Internet source. If you prefer to leave the novel a mystery, read an excerpt from a select part of the book. You can also print out this summary or excerpt so that students can refer to it. Next, ask students to design a cover based on information gleaned from the summary or excerpt. Allow students to explain their cover design. If you are reading a novel that is divided into parts, have students design a cover at the end of each part of the novel. Revisit cover designs at the completion of the novel and ask students to write a paragraph discussing their various understandings of the novel. This activity will help students chart the ways their understanding developed throughout the reading.

FRONT MATTER. Though students read novels throughout their schooling, very few are taught the importance of the title, copyright, and acknowledgments. The pages that contain this information are called the “front matter.” In small groups, ask students to explore the front matter of the novel. Instruct students to list 10 things they learned from these pages. In a more open-ended version of this activity, you can ask students to answer the following questions: What does the front matter tell you about what will and what will not be in this novel? What does the front matter tell you about the novel’s plot and themes? A good explanation of front matter can be found at Vox Clarus Press’ website. Just search “Vox Clarus Front Matter.”

LAST LINES. Instruct students to read the last sentence or the last paragraph of the novel silently. Next, ask someone to read these last lines aloud. From these last lines, ask students to draw a comic strip that shows the plot of the novel. Each frame of the comic strip should contain narrative and dialogue. The last frame of the comic strip should be based on information gleaned from the novel’s last lines. Thinking about the ending of the novel will whet students’ appetite for the actual plot.

BEGINNING AND ENDING. Ask students to read both the first sentence and the last sentence of the novel. Next, ask the students to construct a poem, paragraph, or short story using the first and last sentences of the novel as the first and last sentences for their writing. Your students’ writing should summarize what they think will be the plot of the novel. Revisit these summaries at the middle and at the end of the reading. In a reflective paragraph, ask students to compare their initial impressions to the novel’s actual plot and themes.

When beginning a new novel, consider using one of the above activities in your classroom. These activities provide a new lens through which to view your new novel. Starting the study of your novel in a unique and unpredictable way will bolster your students’ interest and engagement.

Marine VHF Radio

Types of VHF sets:

Non-DSC sets

Non-DSC VHF sets on yachts and motorboats will still continue to work, will still be legal to use and certificate holders do not need to do a conversion course until they choose to upgrade. After 2005 Coastguards will cease to monitor Channel 16 in the way that they do now, that is with a dedicated officer on headset watch 24 hours a day, but they will continue to have a loudspeaker watch on channel 16 in the operations room. Increasingly the boat without VHF DSC radio will be at a disadvantage.

A transportable set is an invaluable second radio for use in an emergency when it can be taken into a life raft or used on deck to communicate in a rescue situation. It is useful for safety reasons in a tender when going ashore or in a safety boat when organising dinghy sailing events. A portable set is a good buy for non-boat owners who charter or who go afloat occasionally. They have a limited range but do require licensing and certification. Portable sets with a very limited DSC facility are available. They are intended as an addition to a full VHF DSC set, not as a substitute. Note that the portable set covered by a ship’s radio licence can only be used on the vessel covered by the licence or by its tender(s). It is illegal to use the portable ashore.

VHF DSC radio sets

From 2001 all new non-portable radios sold must be VHF-DSC or be capable of being converted to DSC by the addition of an extra ‘black box’. These are called DSC Controllers. It will provide the digital selective calling (DSC) facility which is the special feature of the new type of set. What this does is to send, on channel 70, a burst of digital signals in a code to ‘call up’ another DSC set. This call can be directed at an individual, using their MMSI, a group of boats or ‘all stations’ in an emergency. Once the link has been established by the digital ‘call’, normal voice   transmission  will be used. The DSC is essentially a new method of establishing communications, more reliably than was possible before. The digital signals are of high radio quality and rapid, the alert taking just 0.5 seconds. It can be used in both routine and distress situations.

There are different classes of controller with varying levels of capability for use in different types of vessel.

The Class D controller is the one designed for use with VHF on yachts and motorboats who make passages within VHF range of the coast. Fitting one of these is not compulsory on private boats. On small boats used at sea commercially, sea school boats for example, it may become a requirement. This will be to the great advantage of their students who will be able to see the sets in use and appreciate their advantages.

Other controllers for VHF DSC are available to meet the requirements of ships. These include Class A and B Controllers, which have enhanced capabilities.

What is the range of the set?

Those sailing across an ocean, or even the Bay of Biscay, need radios that transmit over vast distances. Licensing arrangements are different too.

The range of  transmission  of VHF radio telephones is limited by a number of factors. The height of the aerial is very significant as the propagation of the radio waves is only slightly more than ‘line of sight’. This includes the aerial height of both the transmitting and the receiving station.

When talking from yacht to yacht expect a range of 10 to l5 miles with aerials fitted at the tops of the masts. Those commonly fitted to yachts are known as ‘unity gain’ aerials. They are made of thin wire and often have wind instruments attached. They are recommended because, although the range is not as good as the taller rigid aerials used on motorboats, they cope better with the heeling effect often experienced on yachts! The better range of a ‘high gain’ motor cruiser aerial is only achieved if it is mounted vertically.

It should be possible to talk to a Coastguard station from 30 to 40 miles offshore because of the height of their aerial.

Transmitting range is also affected by the transmitting power of the set. The maximum power allowed is 25 watts. There is also a low power setting, which reduces the transmitting power to 1 watt. This should be used for all short range routine communications. You might think that it is always a good idea to broadcast your signal as far as possible. This it not so. Remember that each channel can only be used for one  transmission  at a time. Powerful signals cause more inference to other radio users. If you are calling another craft nearby or a marina, use low power. Try to use low power for all routine communications. The use of low power does not change the receiving range of the set.

A portable VHF set has yet another type of aerial. This is flexible and will operate at a wider range of angles. The low aerial height and a maximum power output of 5 watts reduces the range of  transmission  of these sets. Between portable radios the range can be up to 5 miles, increasing to 10 miles to a Coastguard station, if there is no land in the way! Remember, with portable radios there is always the risk that the battery will go flat.

The information about ranges of  transmissions  is for average conditions and good circumstances. Ranges can be influenced by:

o Atmospheric conditions, especially high pressure, can increase the range and cause interference from distant stations.

o Land. Boats operating near land may have poor reception with signals being blocked by hills or buildings.

o Incorrect installation of the aerial, or damage to the coaxial cable connecting the aerial to the set, can give poor reception.

o The proximity of other electronic equipment can cause interference.

For these reasons it is best to have the fitting done, or at least checked, by a professional electronics engineer.

A portable radio has a range of 5 miles to another portable, 10 miles to a Coastguard Station.

All distress calls should be transmitted on high power.

Many yachts carry emergency VHF aerials in case of dismasting, which is a very good idea, but failure of the electrical supply is a more frequent problem! The emergency aerial has a plug attached to connect it to the back of the set. For maximum range, situate the aerial as high as possible, but realistically expect a greatly reduced range. When the mast is lost, many people are surprised to hear the radio apparently still working. This is because the co-axial cable is acting as an aerial over a short range, but transmitting without an aerial will damage the set permanently.

A portable radio could be useful under these circumstances!

Motorcycle Automatic Transmission – The Top 3

Motorcycle enthusiasts love a wild goose chase such as the famously beloved, Bigfoot. Many motorcyclists fail to believe that there is actual automatic transmission motorcycles that exist. This is not true because the knowledge isn’t out there. This is actually true because of there just aren’t to many readily available. The top three automatic transmission motorcycles really exist and the proof is found by reading on.

3. The Honda DN-01

The Honda DN-01 was introduced in 2005 as a cruiser motorcycle. This is one of the first of very few automatic transmission motorcycles ever released. The bike didn’t actually make it on showroom floors until 2008-2009. This bike is so powerful to the consumer that it is still being offered in shops as of early 2011. Missing you chance to check out the Honda DN-01 is just wrong. The Honda DN-01 is just one of those bikes you can’t miss a chance to try out for yourself.

2. The Aprilia Mana 850

The Aprilia Mana is a newer automatic transmission motorcycle that was just released last year. This bike is fast and very powerful. The Aprilia Mana 850 is a sleek sports bike that offers highlights from leather to chrome and everything in between. There is nothing better than a quick bike with the backing of being an automatic transmission motorcycle. The Aprilia Mana 800 makes its way to this top three list for being a solid bike with an even nicer ride.

1. The Honda CB750

The Honda CB750 has had many models in its series between 1969-2003. The Honda CB750 automatic transmission models is better known as the Honda CB750 Hondamatic. This model is one of a kind that has a coil ignition start and a solid inline four stroke SOHC air cooled engine. The only downfall to this model was the fact that the gear changing was not automatic. Instead, each gear was chosen by a foot-controlled hydraulic valve. This bike only sold in the North American market but can now be found all over the world.

Honda Motor Scooter Guide

Driving a car, truck or SUV can be pricey when you factor in the cost of rising gas prices. If you are a single motorist or only use your vehicle for commuting, an alternative to consider is a Honda motor scooter. There are currently six different models to choose from and of the various designs available, one is sure to meet all of your needs. Running errands around town, seating for two, storage space, long-distance riding and engine performance are just some options to consider when thinking about the kind of scooter you would like to be riding.

The Metropolitan model from Honda offers single seating for the modern rider. This scooter is perfect for the driver looking for sharp European design while being fuel efficient. Automatic   transmission  is also a perk for those who are new to riding scooters as shifting gears may seem intimidating. A 49cc engine gives a top speed of 40 miles per hour which is plenty fast for local around-town driving or commutes that do not involve travel on highways.

Are you looking for a two-seat scooter with generous storage space and a little more engine zip than the Metropolitan? A Honda motor scooter that could be for you is the Honda Elite model. Reach speeds up to 50 miles per hour with its 108cc engine while riding comfortably with a second person seated behind you. And you do not need to worry about taking your helmet with you after reaching your destination with this model’s under seat storage feature.

Honda’s Ruckus model offers a rugged exterior as opposed to the smooth lines of the Metropolitan and Elite scooters. Automatic  transmission , a liquid-cooled engine and electric start are all features of this Honda motor scooter. Oversized tires allow for handling a bit rougher terrain while still enjoying the fuel efficiency that driving a scooter provides.

The PCX scooter offered by Honda engages a 125cc engine that can travel up to 60 miles per hour. A trunk allowing for a full size helmet and an accessory rack ensures you will have the space needed to accommodate all of the items you may be traveling with. Some highway travel is permitted with this motor scooter which may be a great option for commuters.

A sleek model that gets you from point A to point B faster and with room for two is Honda’s SH150i. This fuel-injected scooter features a 153cc engine and a Combined Braking System. A top speed of 65 miles per hour with two riders makes this scooter an ideal option for those looking for local and highway travel.

Finally, the Silver Wing ABS is the ultimate luxury scooter from the Honda line. An ample windscreen and seating for two offers comfort to all riders while the 582cc engine delivers power for those longer rides. The anti-lock braking system and automatic  transmission  offered with this Honda motor scooter model is sure to provide fast and fun transport for the motorist looking for ultimate comfort.

Hemorrhoids and Anal Warts

It’s pretty bad when you find out you’ve got hemorrhoids, but it can be a lot worse if you get hemorrhoids confused with another health issue. I mean, the pain, anxiety and embarrassment of discovering something wrong in the anal area is bad enough, much less not knowing exactly what you’ve got. On the bright side, there aren’t too many health conditions that can come up in that area. One of the most common health conditions confused with hemorrhoids is anal warts. While neither is very much fun, they stem from entirely different causes and are treated in very different ways.

Anal warts, also known as condyloma acuminata, are caused by the human papilloma virus (HPV). This virus is highly contagious and most often transmitted through sexual intercourse. Some strains of HPV can lead to increased risk of cervical cancer, but these are not the same strains as the ones that cause anal warts. The virus gets into the skin or mucous tissue cells and starts making them grow in the distinctive wart pattern. HPV infection does not lead to hemorrhoids. Hemorrhoids originate from weak points in hemorrhoidal veins below the skin or mucous tissue. As the weak point gives way, it stretches out and takes surrounding tissue with it. Traumatized hemorrhoids may get infected with a variety of bacteria and/or viruses, but infection does not lead to hemorrhoids. That would be like putting the cart before the horse.

Anal warts and hemorrhoids can both feel like lumps or masses of tissue around the anal area. However, there are several differences that can lead to a proper identification upon close inspection. While doing a close inspection may not sound like fun, it’s much better than trying unsuccessfully to treat the wrong thing. Upon said close inspection, anal warts have a distinctive “rough” texture and range in size from the head of a pin to about the size of a pea and are rather hard to the touch. They occur in clusters around the anal opening and may sometimes continue up towards the genital area. They almost never occur alone. Hemorrhoids, on the other hand, have a smooth texture that’s identical to the tissue they originate from, whether that’s external skin or internal mucous membrane. They are often soft or “squishy” to the touch, and they range in size from the size of a pea to the size of a grape. You’ll never find them anywhere except right around the anal opening. In addition, warts almost never hurt, though they may itch a bit. External hemorrhoids, on the other hand, often hurt quite a lot.

Hemorrhoids are usually best treated at home through a high-fiber diet, a healthy amount of exercise, and easily obtained over the counter relief. Home remedies often work well on hemorrhoids and surgery is only rarely needed. Anal warts, on the other hand, always have to be treated surgically, usually on an outpatient basis. The warts will not go away on their own. Instead, a physician has to use liquid nitrogen to freeze them off. In addition, hemorrhoids can often be kept away by keeping the lifestyle changes that were made to help cure them. Anal warts will often come back for no reason under your control, because the virus can live dormant in your skin cells for a long time. One day that virus can wake up and bam, you’ve got anal warts again.

So, as you can see, getting anal warts confused with hemorrhoids can lead to some serious problems. At the least you’ll be stuck trying to treat a problem you don’t have for a while. Why waste all that time and discomfort? If you can’t figure out what you’ve got on your own, make a doctor’s appointment and get your diagnosis confirmed. It’ll save you a lot of trouble, pain and grief in the long run.

Botox Facts

Botox injections are used for a variety of medical reasons, but can also be used cosmetically. When the drug is injected under the skin, it acts as a muscle relaxer by blocking nerve transmission in the face. This procedure can reduce the sagging, fine lines, and wrinkles that are associated with aging. There are a few things, however, which can interfere with the effectiveness of the procedure. Keeping these facts in mind will help you to achieve the best possible results.

Age is a Factor

Botox injections are most effective for patients under the age of forty. If you’re over 40, the injections will still work, but they will be less effective and it will take longer to achieve your desired results. Once you’ve reached this age, you begin to lose fat in your face. The fine lines and wrinkles that you’re seeing are no longer due to muscle tension, but to actually tissue loss, which cannot be reversed with this drug. A series of injections will still add youth to your appearance, but may not be able to completely eliminate fine lines and wrinkles.

Keep Side Effects in Mind

While many patients experience no side effects from an injection series, others develop headaches or feel nauseous after receiving their shots. Before you have a series of injections, you should be sure that you’re not allergic to the drug. Those who are allergic may experience respiratory difficulties after a shot series. Be sure to inform your cosmetic surgeon of any other medications that you’re taking, so that he can check for drug interactions. A drug interaction or allergic reaction can be life threatening, so it’s important that your doctor is aware of your allergies and medications.

The Procedure is Temporary

When you elect to have Botox injections, you should be aware that the procedure is temporary. A series of shots generally lasts four to five months; after this, you’ll need to make another appointment and repeat the procedure. Regular injections will help to ensure continued results, whether you’re having the procedure for cosmetic or medical reasons.

These injections aren’t only used for cosmetic purposes. If you experience migraines, chronic pain, or cervical dystonia, you may also be eligible for the injections. Depressed patients, those with overactive bladders, and men with prostate issues may also gain relief from their symptoms through these injections. If you struggle with these issues, consult your doctor to see if Botox is right for you.

Identify Male Yeast Infection Symptoms

If you were under the impression that only women suffer from candida yeast infection then you would be surprised that men may also suffer from this problem. It is important to identify male yeast infection symptoms because sexual intercourse is one of the ways in which this infection gets transmitted.

Candida is normally known to infect the skin, mouth, colon and the genitals. However most often it is either the vagina in the case of women and penile infection in the case of women that causes a lot of discomfort.

Some of the very common male infection symptoms are itching, irritation and mild pain in the penis head. One may also have pain while urinating. The penis may have redness along with some blisters.

It is always better to visit a doctor to get proper diagnosis and testing done to confirm the presence of this infection rather than self diagnosis. This is important because some of the male yeast infection symptoms are very similar to genital herpes and other sexually transmitted diseases.

Once the problem is confirmed then a natural remedy or one of the home remedies can be tried out. Home remedies used for vaginal candida infection work for the penile infection also. Yogurt and garlic can be used externally as well as consumed orally to get relief from this problem.

If is always recommended to stay away from sex if even one of the partners is infected. Alternately one can use a condom for sexual intercourse to prevent the   transmission  of the infection. In fact both partners should get a diagnosis done and take steps to prevent candida infection.

Preventive steps like wearing cotton undergarments, avoiding soaps with chemicals, changing wet clothes quickly, avoiding perfumes and deodorants in the genitals, avoiding sugar, bread, pickles, preserved mushrooms and other items that have yeast in any form should be avoided. This can help in controlling the problem.

If you are using natural treatment for male yeast infection symptoms along with conventional medicines then it is better to discuss this with your doctor. Sometimes natural herbs can interfere with conventional medicines.

One more important step is to not consume antibiotics for correcting this problem. Repeated use of antibiotics is known to aggravate the problem after a brief period of relief. It has been noted that the candida organism develops resistance to antibiotics after some time. Using time tested and proven natural remedies is the best solution for this problem in the long term.