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Lovely photos of Beyonce and Jay-Z as they holiday with their daughter Blue Ivy

Power couple, Beyonce and Jay-Z who are currently on a joint tour took some time off to enjoy some family time with their daughter Blue Ivy.

Blac Chyna flaunts her curvy backside in new sassy photos

Mother of two, Blac Chyna shared these new photos of herself flaunting her curvy backside in a white bodysuit and pink jacket.

Mo Salah gets an increase to at least £200,000-a-week as he signs new long-term contract with Liverpool

Egyptian superstar, Mohamed Salah, has signed a new long-term contract with British football club, Liverpool.

Video of a policeman demanding 20k bribe from Actress Destiny Etiko in Delta State

Nollywood actress, Destiny Etiko just shared this video of her encounter with a bribe-seeking policeman in Asaba, Delta State.

Transgender neighborhood in Florida raises alarm after three women are killed within a space of 4 months

The transgender community in Jacksonville, Florida have raised an alarm as they fear a serial killer is after them following the killing of three women who were murdered this year.

Transformer Vandal Escapes Death While Trying To Steal (Video)

According to reports, he was trying to steal oil from a street transformer yesterday morning and got burnt in the process while using his phone as touch light.

Pay my 10k before I release our photo online - Nigerian lady with massive boobs call out CAC Pastor

A Nigerian lady with very massive boobs who goes by the name Hopeyemi Hogunsakin on Facebook has called out a Pastor and his secretary saying they refused to pay her after sex and she's threatned to release their photos online.

Cybersecurity Guide for Parents

Although it may seem that Internet attacks and cybercrime live only in the adult world, cyber thieves are regularly targeting those that are most vulnerable - children and teens.

As a parent, what can you do to ensure the online safety of your children? The first step is staying proactive and educated on the current cybersecurity risks facing kids and teens in today’s digital world.

Parents who understand the biggest risks and engage in discussions with their children are much more likely to shut down cybercriminals before they can ever have a chance to attack. Panda Security, a global leader in advanced cyber-security protection and services, has created the Parents' Ultimate Guide to Cybersecurity to help parents easily tackle what can feel like an overwhelming task.

Don't forget to download the cybersecurity checklist to help keep the discussion on track!

Close Reading Checklist Reading In Classroom

Close reading is an essential survival skill specially now that we live in a data-saturated world where we are constantly bombarded by all forms of textual and non-textual stimuli.
At its core, close reading is a metacognitive practice that allows you to achieve a deeper understanding of complex texts. It is a methodically analytical process that aims at deconstructing both the surface and deeper meanings of a text through a close analysis of its language. Close readers pay attention to syntax, lexicon and linguistic cues that can help uncover the implicit import of a textual output.

According to PARCC (2011 cited in Hinchman and Moore, 2013),

Close, analytic reading stresses engaging with a text of sufficient complexity directly and examining its meaning thoroughly and methodically, encouraging students to read and reread deliberately....[It] entails the careful gathering of observations about a text and careful consideration about what those observations taken together add up to. (p. 6)

As an analytical skill, close reading, once developed, enables students to thoroughly engage with complex texts across different content areas. It’s a Swiss knife with multifunctions. Students can use it to read science texts, analyze canonical literary texts, or uncover the hidden assumptions embedded in an online textual advertisement. As Johnson et al (2013) argued, reading a text closely “involves analyzing the unfolding of all text dimensions, including language, form, argument, and ideologies within texts, emphasizing the particular over the general (Fisher & Frey, 2012; Richards, 1929)” (p. 111). The purpose of close reading is to strip the text of all of its meanings and identify its ‘bones’. In doing so, students draw on both textual and contextual cues to formulate a grounded understanding of the deeper meanings of the text.

This visual is available for free download in PDF format.

Some important tips on how to help students read closely as conceptualized by Hinchman and Moore (2013, p. 444) include:
1- Read and re-read
Close reading involves reading the text multiple times (usually 3 times or more). Each reading uncovers a layer of meaning and incrementally works towards building the general comprehension of the text.
2- Annotate
Annotating is an instrumental practice in purposeful close reading. It involves jotting down notes, highlighting key lexical terms and grammatical structures, and identifying topical ideas and factual information.
3- Summarize
Through summarizing and synthesizing, close readers get to consolidate their overall understanding of the text making sure every nuance of meaning is captured.
4- Self-explain
Self-explaining involves figuring out “how ideas and information relate to one another. Ask and answer questions about the text.”
5- Determine the significance of what you notice
Identify the rational why you think certain ideas in the text are more significant than others.

As we did with the critical reading list we published a few days ago, here is a collection of questions we built based on insights from different sources (see sources at the bottom of this text). You can use these questions with students to help them become better close readers. We divided these questions into two main categories. Questions that focus on the text and its content we labelled text-based questions (also called text-dependent questions) and those centred on the reader, reader-based questions.

Text-based questions:
What is the text about?
How does the text establish the setting?
What keywords and phrases the author use to signal the general topic/theme of the text?
What inferences can you make about the topic of the text from your first reading?
What words or phrases you did not understand in the text?
Who is speaking in the text?
Why did the author write the text?
Who is addressed in the text?
Which language cues did you find helpful in understanding the text?
Does the text embed visual images? If so, how do they align with the content of the text?
Is the text cohesive? What textual features used to connect paragraphs together?
Is the text coherent? Explain how?

Reader-based questions
Did you draw on your prior knowledge to understand the text?
Did you find any parts of the text confusing and why?
How did you overcome a particular difficulty you had with the text?
What do you think about the topic of the text?
Do you agree/disagree with the author’s stance regarding…?
If you were the author of this text, what would you have changed in its content and why?
What do you think about the language of the text?

1-Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers. (2011). Model content frameworks: English language arts/literacy, grades 3–11. Retrieved November 16, 2012, from
2- Hinchman, K. & Moore, D. (2013). Close readingA: A cautionary interpretation. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 56(6), pp.441-450
3- Lapp, D., Grant, M., Moss, B., & Johnson, K. Students’ close reading of science texts: What’s now? What’s next? The Reading Teacher, 67(2), pp. 109–119
4- Understanding Close Reading. Weareteachers :

Tons of Free Virtual Manipulatives for Math Teachers

The National Library of Virtual Manipulatives is a digital library that provides K-12 teachers and students with a wide variety of math activities and virtual manipulatives.These resources are arranged into five main categories: Number and Operations, Algebra, Geometry, Measurement, and Data Analysis and Probability. You can find manipulatives for all grade levels. Top axis of the chart features grades from Pre-K-2 to grades 9-12. Click on the grade level you are interested in to view and access its resources.

As a teacher you may want to draw on NLVM resources to enrich your math teaching and provide students with challenging activities to fortify their math learning and help them develop conceptual and mathematical skills. Caveats are that the site is a little bit old and is not that user friendly. It might take you some time till you get used to it. Also, to view and make sure virtual manipulates applications work on your browser, you will have to install Java if your browser is not Java-enabled. Please refer to this page to learn more about system requirements and other interesting tips to help you make the best of the National Library of Virtual Manipulatives in your teaching. For a detailed review of this website, check out this post.

5 Good Rubric Making Tools for Teachers

In yesterday’s post we talked about grading and we featured a number of apps to help teachers with their grading. In today’s post we cover a closely related concept: rubrics.
These are scoring and criterion-referenced guidelines teachers create to help with, among other things, the assessment of students performance. A rubric, according to Deborah Allen and Kimberly Tanner, “denotes a type of matrix that provides scaled levels of achievement or understanding for a set of criteria or dimensions of quality for a given type of performance, for example, a paper, an oral presentation, or use of teamwork skills.”

Two major functions of rubrics are: guiding and assessing. They guide students as to what is expected of them in a given activity or assignment and they also assist teachers in evaluating students performance along a pre-defined set of values, standards, and objectives. Rubrics can be used by “a teacher to assess a student, a student to assess a peer, or a student to self-assess their own work” (TeachersFirst). Two main types of rubrics are to be distinguished here: Holistic and Analytic rubrics.

1- Holistic rubrics:
A holistic rubric is general in scope and uses a single scale where all assessment criteria are grouped into a single criteria used to assess the overall performance of students work.”Performance descriptions are written in paragraphs and usually in full sentences”. (Queens University).

2- Analytic rubrics
An analytic rubric addresses specific areas in students performance. It resembles a grid “with the criteria for a student product listed in the leftmost column and with levels of performance listed across the top row often using numbers and/or descriptive tags.” (Depaul).

Reasons why you should use rubrics:

  • They make your grading objective by explicitly stating standards and grading norms to be followed
  • They help students make clear expectations of what a higher performance on particular performance tasks requires.
  • They ‘encourage reflective practice on the part of both students and teachers’ (Allen and Tanner)
  • Holistic rubrics save you time by “by minimizing the number of decisions raters make” (Depaul)
  • Analytic rubrics help you “provide useful feedback on areas of strength and weakness” (Depaul)

The sources list at the bottom of this post contains some useful links and resources to help you learn more about rubrics, how to use them, sample rubrics and many more.

There are several tools you can use to create rubrics. Below is a collection of some of the best of them:

1- Quick Rubric
This is a simple and easy tool to help you make different rubric types. You can build your rubric from scratch and when you are done you can save, print and share with others. Quick Rubric provides you with some handy resources to help you learn more about the pedagogic strength of rubrics.

2- Essay Tagger
Essay Tagger allows you to easily create Common Core-aligned rubrics. You can select the elements you want to include in your custom rubric. All along the way, Essay Tagger provides you with clear instructions on how to proceed in each stage in your rubric creation.

3- Rubric Maker
Rubric Maker is another simple and easy to use tool to create rubrics. It does not require registration and is totally web based. You can create and customize your rubric the way you want and when you are finished you can print and share it with others. It does not offer any option to save your finished product other than printing.

4- RubiStar
This is one of the most popular rubric makers out there. It provides pre-made rubric templates based on different topics (e.g., math, writing, science, music, reading). The tool is free and can be used without registration, however, only registered members are allowed to save and edit their rubrics.

5- Teacher Rubric
Teacher rubric is a Google Docs add-on that lets you create quick rubrics. It “increases the teacher’s grading productivity by eliminating repetitive clicks, presenting the rubric selections in an easy to use format and presenting the final grades in a consistent, professional format.”

Nigerian man allegedly beats his wife to death in Anambra after she refused to give him money

As earlier reported, the deceased identified as Chinenye was allegedly killed by her husband with a pestle over N30,000 in Oraifite, Anambra state on Tuesday.

Epic photo of a man jumping to catch a thief in broad day light in England

This photo that has since gone viral shows a man in the busy shopping district of Manchester, England, chase down a suspected thief and tackled him with a flying leap on Wednesday.

Maheeda says good morning with a nude photo

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Man sets neighbour on fire for chasing his fiancée

This news is by FILOPOST
45-year-old man, Baba Mohammed pictured above, has been arrested by the police in Niger state, for allegedly setting his neighbor, Usman Tetengi, ablaze for wooing his fiancée.

Messi's Argentina staring at World Cup exit after Croatia humbling

Goals from Ante Rebic, Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic sealed a deserved 3-0 win for Croatia, leaving Argentina needing a minor miracle to get through the group stages.

A year after their wedding, Olusegun Obasanjo’s son drags wife to court over domestic problem

The one-year-old marriage between Olujonwo, son of former President Olusegun Obasanjo, and Temitope, daughter of Lotto boss, Chief Kessington Adebutu aka Baba Ijebu, is currently in crisis as the husband has dragged the wife to court over threat to his life.

Better husband! Peter Okoye surprises his wife with a Range Rover SUV worth N24million

Peter Okoye, one half of now defunct music duo PSquare has proved time and time again that he knows how to take care of his wife Lola.

“We were so poor my mother borrowed bread for us to eat” – Romelu Lukaku

In a new episode of life’s emotional stories, Manchester United striker, Romelu Lukaku has recounted the hardship him and his family faced while he was growing up. He revealed that his family was so poor in Belgium that they borrowed bread from the bakery to eat, and pay later.

World Cup 2018: Referee who conducted Nigeria vs Croatia under medication

Sandro Meira Ricci was the Brazilian referee at the 2018 World Cup
The Brazilian referee that conducted Nigeria’s opening World Cup match against Croatia has been hospitalized.