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Getting children to read is the number one priority for parents, according to Larry Bell.
Bell presented “The Power of a Parent” workshop at Odell Williamson Auditorium on Wednesday night. During his presentation, he showed parents different ways to help their children exceed in and out of the classroom.
Reading, Bell said, is the first thing parents should help their children to do, as it is the key to success. As a former educator and basketball coach, Bell said he used to make his players read every day after school if their grade point average was below a B.
Having a large vocabulary is also important, Bell said, and is developed by reading. There are 12 words Bell suggests parents and teachers help teach students: trace, analyze, infer, evaluate, formulate, describe, support, explain, summarize, compare, contrast, and predict. By understanding the meaning of these words, standardized testing will improve, Bell said.
“Knowing these words takes away the anxiety and fear of standardized testing,” he said.
Bell also suggested using words and hand motions to help memorize the words. Using several audience members to demonstrate his point, and by the end of his presentation, the entire audience knew the words and the motions.
“Standardized testing is used to sort kids out,” Bell said. “Don’t let your students be sorted out.”
Bell said being involved in a child’s education is what makes a difference. Bell said his mother and father did not complete elementary school, but all six of their children graduated high school, four finished college, three obtained master’s degrees, and one has a doctoral degree.
“It’s not where you come from, it’s about where you can take us,” Bell told the audience.
Bell spent 25 years in the education field, teaching at Gar-field High School in Virginia, where he “was recognized for his innovative classroom strategies,” according to his Web site.
For more information, visit Bell’s Web site at www.larry-bell.com.