Basic skills

Published: Monday, 08 October 2018

1. Reading Comprehension

2. Basic Mathematical Skills

3. Willingness to learn

4. Cleanliness

 

 

1. Reading Comprehension

What is it?

Being able to understand written instructions or newspaper articles. A necessary skill, helping you to understand its meaning (meaning of the text, the ideas the author is attempting to convey, …). For example instructions or newspaper articles, stories and rules.

 

Aims?

  • It’s a necessary skill, helping you to understand the meaning of instructions or newspaper articles, stories and rules. 
    • For example: If you need to sign an agreement, you need to read the agreement. If your reading comprehension isn’t that good. It’s possible that you sign the agreement but you don’t even understand about the agreement. 
    • It can happen that someone may find themselves reading, but not truly comprehending the full meaning of a text. 

 

How to get or improve it?

Reading comprehension is a skill that improves like any other, you can improve your understanding with practice and a game plan:

  1. Dedicate yourself to engaging in a combination of both “guided” and “relaxed” reading practice for at least two to three hours a week. Guided practice will involve structure and focused attention, like learning new vocabulary words and testing yourself on them, while relaxed practice will involve merely letting yourself read and enjoy reading without pressure for at least one to two hours a week. 
  2. By combining reading-for-studying and reading-for-pleasure, you’ll be able to improve your reading skill without relegating reading time to the real of “work” alone. Reading is a huge part of our daily lives and improving your comprehension should never come at the cost of depriving yourself of the pleasure of the activity.

Five tips:

  1. Stop when you get confused and try to summarize what you just read
  2. If you’re struggling, try reading aloud 
  3. Re-read previous sections of the text
  4. Read upcoming sections of the text
  5. Discuss the text with a friend (even an imaginary friend)

 

Benefits and consequences

People with this skill tend to show...

  • Improved interest in reading for both academics and pleasure which supports overall learning and language development
  • Improved performance in academics
  • Improved oral and written language abilities
  • Improved self-esteem 

People without this skill tend to have

  • Poor reading fluency
  • Weak language skills
  • Reduced interest in reading for pleasure which results slowed vocabulary growth and knowledge deficits
  • Oral and written language skills impacted due to reduced exposure to higher level language present in text but not in conversational language
  • Academic difficulties become more apparent as students progress though upper elementary, middle and high school
  • Need more time for homework and grades don’t match the effort expended
  • Diminishing self-esteem as students are criticized for “not trying hard enough” 
  • Troubles with filling in questionnaires

 

Activities

You are able to work with these articles or intermediate, easy poems – where you can read and discuss the content (asking questions) 

  • Did I make any predictions while I was reading?
  • Who was the main character?
  • What was the problem he/she encountered?
  • How was the problem resolved?
  • What might happen next?
  • What else would I like to know?
  • What would I like to change about the story? 

Games can also improve comprehension skills 

  • When you play games with others, you learn from watching others take their turns and they learn from you taking your turn. 
    • The Comprehension Zone: The game has three different reading levels with short passages about the planets, worldwide historical figures, …. Each player reads a short passage and then will answer questions about the main idea and details. You can also play by working on listening comprehension by having someone else read the passage while the player answers the questions about the passage. If you answer the questions correctly, you get to move your player on the board towards the finish. 

 

 

2. Basic Mathematical Skills

What is it?

Doing mathematical tasks that are useful in daily life, like mental arithmetic, calculating percentages, etc.

 

Aims?

  • A necessary skill is to help people count money when doing transactions in stores/while making a payment etc. 
  • If you work in a clothing store and there is a sale. A client asks you what the reduction is. You need to calculate the percentages quickly to give a good and solid for the client.
  • If you’re buying food, … in a store. It’s necessary that you count how much you need to pay otherwise you won’t have enough when you need to pay. 
    • For example: I’m going to a store to buy a bottle of water. The cashier asks me to pay two euros, if I can’t count to two … the cashier would ‘never’ receive my money 

 

How to get or improve it?

Math can be a difficult subject, particularly if you don’t have the right skills in place. But once you know how to approach it strategically, you’ll likely find it less frustrating and have much higher chances of success. 

  1. Play math games. Math games are good tools for honing your math skills and are designed to let you have fun while doing it. Some recommended online math games. 
  2. Make math part of your life: Incorporate math equations into your daily routine to help keep your skills sharp and to help you recognize the many ways that math exists all around you.
    • Take the time to apply math in common situations. For example, if, say, a sweater that’s regularly 38 euro is on sale for 30% off, what is the sale price? Or if you need to double a recipe that calls for one kilogram of flour, how much flour will you need? 
  3. Learn about the big picture. It’s easy to become frustrated with math when all you’re doing is memorizing a formula that, at base, means nothing to you. But if you work to truly understand the principles behind the formula, your understanding of math can become deeper and more productive. 

 

Benefits and consequences

People with this skill tend to ...

  • Be better at solving problems (math – at work) 
  • Have a boosting confidence in the mathematics 
  • Count better
  • Be better at measuring
  • Be better at logical thinking 

People without this skill tend to …

  • Not be able to handle data
  • Not to be able to count 
  • Not to be able to work with money (in a store, …) 
  • ...

 

Activities

  • You’re able to create a quiz with easy content, where students can answer as fast as possible. The fastest students win. 
  • The best way to learn most of these skills is by working in a compartment store or retail shop. 

 

 

3. Willingness to learn

What is it?

It expresses the human desire, cheerfully consenting or readiness to know new things and to improve yourself. 

Having an understanding about everything is impossible, but you need to have an open mind about learning more. It is important to show how dedicated and eager you are to learn more. A willingness to participate and learn is necessary to reach your goal. Nothing is impossible. 

 

Aims?

  • A willingness to participate and learn is necessary to reach your goal.
  • Having an understanding about everything is impossible, but you need to have an open mind about learning more.
  • To Improve yourself (knowledge and skills) 
    • For example: you’ve always worked with a program to organize the data of your company’s clients. One day, the company chose a new program that’s better than the old one. You know nothing about the new program but if you have an open mind about learning more, you will learn to work with this program to! 

 

How to get or improve it?

To succeed in your career, there is a need to be learning consistently because of the rapidly changing nature of the business. Being willing to learn is important for everyone. But for entrepreneurs, managers and leaders it is a must! 

  1. Meet inspiring people. Surrounding yourself with high-intelligent well-educated people and being to learn from them is really important. Anyone of us knows someone who’s driven by a desire to study. 
  2. Be open to taking advice. Search and ask for opinions other people who are competent in the area you want to develop. Listen carefully to their points of view. There’s a lot to learn from high-educated and competent people 
  3. Don’t be scared of the failure. Learn from it. There are many people that learn a lot, then fail, then get scared and then stop learning. It is a mistake. Anyone of us meets the failure soon or later. Look at the failure as a way to learn more new things. Turn the failure into motivation to succeed, not into a reason to give up. 
  4. Find out what are your weaknesses and gaps in the field, you want to develop. When people know what their gaps are, they want to fill them! List down all your weaknesses and think about ways to resolve them. 

 

Benefits and consequences

People with this skill tend to …

  • Have the ability to create.
  • Be able to innovate more quickly. The more things you learn, the more new ideas come to your mind. The ability to innovate require a desire to learn a lot. 
  • Open doors to you for career and business success. 
  • Be able to deal with unexpected. One of the most important characteristics you need to deal successfully with difficulties is to have a desire and willingness to learn. It will help you to find ways to solve the problems.
  • Improve their self-confidence.
  • Be more flexible. 
  • Be more willing to study, to solve problems. 

People without this skill tend to …

  • Not to be very creative
  • Not to be willing to learn new things 
  • Not to work on their weaknesses
  • Not to be eager to learn, one of the consequences is that you don’t learn anything new. A lot of business are searching for employees that want to learn new skills. 
  • Lack motivation
  • Show a distaste for studying, uninterest, poor attendance.
  • Show less motivation and to be clumsy.

 

Activities

  • A necessary activity is one where students discover their strengths and weaknesses. If they know these, they can talk with successful people – who can inspire them to work for their goal and give them the tips/advice they need. 

 

 

4. Cleanliness

What is it?

Cleanliness is both the abstract state of being clean and free from dirt, and the habit of achieving and maintaining that state. Cleanliness is often achieved through cleaning. Being organized is also important. 

 

Aims?

  • Being organized 
  • Being clean 
  • Students develop good habits of cleanliness 
  • Having an understanding about everything is impossible, but you need to have an open mind about learning more.
    • For example: if your desk isn’t organized or clean you won’t find your papers, etc. back! 

 

How to get or improve it?

  1. Learn to organize your workplace
  2. Having / learning a good system in place
  3. Disinfect everything 
  4. Invest in folders (to organize any and all of the loose papers cluttering up the surface of your desk, …). 
  5. Limit personal items
  6. Increase desk storage 
  7. ...

 

Benefits and consequences

People with this skill tend to …

  • Get sick less often
  • Work more efficiently (improved productivity)
  • Work in a clean and tidy space
  • Have happy clients, investors and others who visit the workplace (they will judge you based on the first impressions) 
  • Be in better health and be more satisfied
  • Have a more positive image

People without this skill tend to …

  • Get sick more often
  • Work less efficient
  • Work in a messy environment
  • Have bad hygiene 

 

Activities

  • One possible activity can be a workshop where students learn the tricks of the trade on an organized workspace 

 

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