Category Archives: GED

New Vocabulary, Real Life

In each GED class taught at Project Learn, the instructors put an emphasis on expanding the students’ vocabulary. This is important because misunderstanding a word could cause them to miss a question on the GED test.

In my Generation Y GED class, I take it one step further by requiring that the students write a story using all of the vocabulary words for that week. At first, the students complained that the assignment was too hard. However, when I read some of their stories, I was quite impressed. Here’s a few that caught my attention:

Vocabulary Words:

  • Absenteeism
  • Absolute
  • Accuse
  • Alteration
  • Attractive
  • Authorization
  • Betrayal
  • Bleak

“Lynne was feeling her friend’s betrayal. Lynne’s friend went so far as to accuse her of not getting the proper authorization before making an alteration to a client’s portfolio. The client’s chronic absenteeism was not acquiring any attractive offers. Lynne knew with absolute certainty that because of her friend’s betrayal, her future at the company was very bleak indeed.”

 Vocabulary Words:

  • Chance
  • Common
  • Conviction
  • Cozy
  • Decorate
  • Defined
  • Detrimental

“My brother is 31 years old. He has been given plenty of chances throughout his whole life. When he was a young man, it was very common for him to be in trouble. He was convicted for many crimes. He told me that the hardest thing to adapt to in prison is missing that cozy feeling when he was at home with family. I would always send him pictures of the family so he could decorate his cell. When we visited him in jail, there were defined rules and regulations that we had to follow. Being away from your loved ones for a long period of time can be detrimental for you because it hurts to miss people you love.”

 

I’ll continue to share their stories as new vocabulary words are introduced.

-Alexia

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Generation Y and Harlem Nights

A few months ago, I started teaching the Generation Y GED class in addition to my duties as community relations manager. The class is for students who are 16 to 24 years old, hence the name Generation Y. At first, I didn’t know what to expect and wondered how my students would respond to me as their teacher. I was nervous, yet excited.

One student told me,

 “Sometimes I’m so wrapped up in what’s going on in my life that I don’t realize other events that are happening and may affect me.”

After hearing this, I created lesson plans and developed activities that would increase their awareness of what is happening in the world. One of the activities is something they must do every class session. The students analyze an article in the newspaper or news website and share their story with the class, explaining their personal ties with the article’s outcome. They love it.

In another assignment, a student wrote an essay about his favorite movie, Harlem Nights. I was very impressed with how he explained why this was his favorite movie, citing various movie scenes and how it related to him. Compared to his first essay, it showed his growth as a writer.

Check out his work:

“My favorite movie of all times would have to be Harlem Nights. The reason I selected this movie as my favorite is because it demonstrated how the Black community in those times had power, togetherness and loyalty.

The movie’s writer show how in the early 1900s, the Black community had respect, honor, loyalty and Blacks were a unit. There were famous Black actors and actresses who came together and paid respect to a generation.

I loved Harlem Nights because it showed how Black people did what they wanted to do and had money for whatever came their way. It was a scene where one of the characters lost trust with another one, and did like I would do by handling their business like adults.

What I learned from Harlem Nights is that it’s not always who or what you know, it’s more of how you tend to use that situation and make the best of what is in your surroundings.”

I’d like to share other assignments, class experiences and student responses. It lets you to take a glimpse into what we do at Project Learn, while allowing the students to see their work publicly highlighted.

– Alexia

GED Graduates Honored for Accomplishments

Seated graduates

More than 185 Project Learn students have earned GED diplomas since last June. On Tuesday, about 45 of them attended a graduation to honor their accomplishments.
 
One of the graduates, Samuel Potter, dropped out of high school 14 years ago. He once considered himself an “under-achiever” who was more interested in making money than learning.
 
However, in 2008, Potter realized he wanted a change in his life. He came to Project Learn for help earning his GED. His goal was to become more competitive in the job market. Not only did Potter earn his GED, but he is now the CEO of his own computer software company and will release a science fiction strategy game next month.
 
Potter was also honored with an award for being Project Learn’s top scholar for the 2008-2009 program year. He earned this distinction by scoring 752 out of 800 possible points on the official GED test.
 
“Getting my GED gave me the confidence to do what I never did, and the credibility to be great in life,” Potter said.

Click here to read more.

Exemplary Rating, Exceptional Program

Project Learn of Summit County was recently rated an “exemplary” program by the Ohio Board of Regents. Project Learn students and staff talk about what the rating says about the agency’s culture, program and teachers.

Student Spotlight: Maurice Thomas

Maurice Thomas, 2006 GED graduateLast week Maurice Thomas, a 2006 GED graduate, stopped by to share his educational accomplishments.

He received his associate’s degree in fire protection last year and will be graduating from the University of Akron in December with a bachelor’s degree in emergency management.

Maurice, who currently works as a freelance videographer, plans on using his talent to help improve emergency management systems. He hopes to work for FEMA and help the organization become “more proactive, not reactive.”

“The 9/11 attacks and Hurricane Katrina opened my eyes to a lot of things that were going on,” he explained. “I want to be able to help people get through to unexpected hard times.”

Maurice dropped out of high school when he was in the 10th grade so that he could take care of his daughter.

“It was hard because I was a father before I was a man,” he said. “But that’s the only reason why I stopped going to school. I had to provide for my family.”

After seeing where the economy was headed, he decided it was time to finish his education.

“Some people decide to further their education for their children, but I did it for myself,” he said. “This allowed me to better provide for my children and become a better role model.”

Maurice said he wants African-American males to use him as an example.

“If you want something, you have to work for it,” he said. “And that’s what I did.”

To read more student success stories, click here.

The Struggling Economy and Its Effect on Education

It’s no secret that the economy is in trouble. The number of job openings is down 31 percent from a year ago. Since December 2007, there have been more than 2.7 million layoffs. Some economists say these are the worst statistics they’ve seen in 25 years.

 

To make matters worse, in Summit County (Ohio), more than 52,000 adults over the age of 25 lack a high school diploma. A sad, yet true statistic.

 

In Maryland, it’s estimated that about 30 percent of Baltimore city residents don’t read at a sufficient level or don’t have a high school diploma.

 

In addition to the Summit County residents without a high school diploma, Project Learn’s enrollment has increased because students realize they need better skills to compete and succeed in the workplace.

 

More companies are requiring that applicants possess college degrees for employment. Laid off workers are going back to school to earn their GED diplomas, in hope that it will lead to a job. Our students understand the dilemma that is before them. The first step to overcoming this problem is to get their GED diplomas. The next step is to acquire additional career training and higher education. proud-graduate3

 

Project Learn had 200 GED graduates last year. This year we are expecting close to 300 graduates. But we’re not the only program to see a spike in our graduation statistics.

 

Middletown City Schools’ Adult Education program saw 505 people earn their GED last year. With three months still left in this academic year, about 400 people have earned their GED so far.

 

The South Baltimore Learning Center (SBLC) has seen a jump in general interest and enrollment in both its GED and External Diploma classes. SBLC has even increased its classes and offerings by about 20 percent to accommodate interested students.

 

Pretty amazing, huh?

 

But what do you to when the number of students is increasing, but the amount of money you have is decreasing? And despite the recent stimulus bill, it’s likely that it won’t help adult students tooking to get their GED diplomas.

 

Tough call.

 

Although it will get harder to serve students with a limited budget, it will be even harder to turn them away.

 

Find out how you can help by visiting www.projectlearnsummit.org or calling 330-434-9461. 

 

Workin’ with My Students

This past week, I have incorporated some new strategies in my class.  To begin with, I’m having my students choose and bring in some short articles, songs, short chapters of a book, etc. to use to practice their vocabulary words and discuss topics that interest them.  Added on to that, I’m having my students actually write up the discussion questions for the articles they choose in order to discuss things that are relevant to their perspectives rather than just mine.  Now, no student is ever excited about more work, but I think they’ll get the hang of it.  Plus, this will give the opportunity to think about a text they’ve chose in more detail and also let them practice their vocab.

Next week, we’ll also start using the essays we write in class as grammar/essay teaching tools.  I’ll pull mistakes from their essays as examples to correct during our grammar lessons and also provide anonymous copies of their essays to discuss how to improve them.  I’ll also be writing essays from now on with my students.  Not to provide good examples:  I don’t want to be setting myself as the end-all-be-all expert, but I am trying to develop a sense of community in class–and I’m a member of that community. 

While high school was not something I particularly enjoyed and I can’t remember to many life-lessons, there’s always been one that has stood out in my mind.  When I ran cross-country (that’s right, for all you people who know me, I actually participated in a sport), no matter how many miles we ran and no matter what crappy running activity we were assigned–and mind you this is miles upon miles–our coach always ran with us.  I’ve always respected him for that, and it has generally been a rule-to-live-by in my classes, ESOL or GED.  I never ask my students to do something I won’t do myself, and generally, I model every activity first.  I’ve found that all my students are more willing to take risks if they see I’m willing to participate and risk making a fool of myself first.  Activities usually work better that way.  We’ll see how these  work and how long they last, but it will be interesting to see how it unfolds.

 

Kolter