Study Aid

Read the Movie Watch the Book

By Paget Hines Many students are currently reading one of the most ACCLAIMED novels of all time: The Great Gatsby. F. Scott Fitzgerald’s legendary portrait of the EXTRAVAGANCE of the LIBERTINE 1920s is a staple of high school English classes. Many students find that watching the movie provides a deeper understanding of the book. Director Baz Luhrmann’s AUDACIOUS version , starring Leonardo DiCaprio as Jay Gatsby, the ENIGMATIC millionaire, and Carey Mulligan as Daisy Buchanan, the object of his obsession and the CATALYST of his quest for material wealth is available to stream online. Luhrmann has a PENCHANT for stunning spectacle in all of his movies, and his version of The Great Gatsby is no exception. With a star-studded soundtrack, ORNATE costumes and sets, and 3D cinematography, Luhrmann creates a striking EVOCATION of New York at the ZENITH of the Roaring ‘20s. One of Luhrmann’s most compelling and controversial choices in this latest adaptation is his use of ANACHRONISTIC music. The soundtrack includes contributions from an ECLECTIC assortment of popular artists, from hip hop and dance stars like Jay-Z, Beyoncé, André 3000,, and Fergie to indie darlings like Gotye, Jack White, Lana Del Rey, Sia, and Florence + The Machine. The soundtrack’s MELODRAMATIC slow songs invoke a sense of Gatsby’s almost WISTFUL yearning to recapture the past. While the soundtrack is INDISPUTABLY contemporary, it often JUXTAPOSES the 1920s with the 2000s. The music of The Great Gatsby’s soundtrack works with the dazzling cinematography to overwhelm the movie audience with the OPULENCE and HEDONISTIC excesses of the Jazz Age. This film adaptation will bring to life Fitzgerald’s SCINTILLATING novel. When watching a film production of a classic novel, it’s useful to view it with a critical eye. Come to your own conclusions about the APTNESS of the casting, the deviations from the novel, and the ultimate success or failure of this translation of the ICONIC novel to the screen. Engaging and entertaining for students. ACCLAIMED—celebrated EXTRAVAGANT—excessive, lacking restraint LIBERTINE—dissolute, free from moral restraints AUDACIOUS—bold ENIGMATIC—mysterious CATALYST—cause of change PENCHANT—preference ORNATE—elaborate and expensive EVOCATION—imaginative re-creation of something ZENITH—peak ANACHRONISTIC—false assignment of something to a time when it did not exist ECLECTIC—using a variety of sources MELODRAMATIC—overly dramatic WISTFUL—showing longing tinged with melancholy INDISPUTABLY—undeniably JUXTAPOSES—places side by side OPULENCE—wealth HEDONISTIC—devoted to the pursuit of pleasure SCINTILLATING—brilliant, sparkling APTNESS—appropriateness ICONIC—venerated as an object of attention and devotion APPOSITE—relevant, pertinent   Paget Hines is the author of Direct Hits Essential Vocabulary, Direct Hits2016; Direct Hits Core Vocabulary, 6th Edition, Direct Hits 2016; and Direct Hits Advance Vocabulary, 6th Edition, Direct Hits 2016 Paget is a Learning Specialist and the Director of Direct Hits Education. She has worked with students with a diverse range of learning profiles.   Brought to you by CPG News & Information Services

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Why is Vocabulary Important?

By Paget Hines The conversation about vocabulary typically centers on standardized testing. It is true that vocabulary study is integral to obtaining a top score on these tests, but the value of a strong vocabulary transcends standardized tests. Test scores are one component of a student’s school portfolio. Class work, essays, and tests are vital as well. Additionally, for those students applying for scholarships, internships, or special programs, interviews and essays are usually mandated. Demonstrating a penchant for sophisticated word choice will set a student apart from the crowd. Utilizing a robust vocabulary in an interview and essay underscores the fact that a student’s understanding of vocabulary is not merely superficial. Used appropriately, erudite words in essays and interviews will enhance a student’s standing with the teacher, reader, or interviewer. It is crucial that parents, teachers, and tutors incorporate meaningful and contextual vocabulary study across the instruction spectrum. This is particularly important for student’s who struggle with critical reading and writing skills and those for whom English is a second language. A vivid and varied vocabulary will bolster a student’s chances of success. No two words mean exactly the same thing, so it is important to teach the proper contexts for words. Throwing in a few big words might misfire if students are not aware of the nuances of the words. As with any skill, practice makes perfect! Engaging and entertaining for students. Paget is a Learning Specialist, Partner at Direct Hits, and author of the Direct Hits Vocabulary book series. She began her teaching career at the Schenck School in Atlanta. After completing two years of Orton-Gillingham training, Paget began privately tutoring. For 13 years she was in private practice in San Francisco, working with students in middle school and high school. She developed and implemented a SSAT verbal, reading comprehension, and essay curriculum for students with learning differences and test-taking anxiety. She currently works with students at Georgia Tech through Project Engages. Paget has tutored and administered the SSAT, PSAT, ACT, and SAT throughout her career. Integral – — very important and necessary Transcends — goes beyond, exceeds, surpasses Mandated – — to officially demanded or required Penchant —– a liking or preference for something, aptitude, an inclination Underscores — emphasizes or shows the importance of Superficial - — concerned only with the obvious or apparent Erudite – — learned,; literate Enhance — make stronger, better, or more valuable Incorporate — include, make part of another thing Underscores - to emphasize or show the importance of Bolsters – —to make stronger or better   Nuances — the slight and subtle differences or shades of meaning between nearly identical entities   Study guides form Direct Hits  can be purchased wherever books are sold. Direct Hits Advance Vocabulary 9781936551248, Direct Hits Essential Vocabulary 9781936551200, and Direct Hits Core Vocabulary 9781936551224. This blog has been brought to you by CPG News & Information Service. 

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6 Things Parents Need to Know About FAFSA

By Dr. Frank Mussano with Dr. Robert Iosuse, authors of the book College Tuition: Four Decades of Financial Deception Filling out the free application for student financial aid known as the FAFSA is the most important step you can take to receive financial assistance for paying college expenses. It determines eligibility for all federal student aid, including scholarships, low-cost loans, grants, and work-study. Education Reform 1. What is the FAFSA income limit for awarding financial aid? There is no income cut-off for federal financial aid. Many factors are considered in the needs analysis formula in addition to income. The bottom line is that students should not assume they are not eligible for financial aid. 2. What is the best way to submit the FAFSA? The FAFSA can be completed via paper application or online, but the online application is recommended because it offers many advantages. The FAFSA must be resubmitted every academic year. 3. When is the best time to submit the FAFSA? After filing taxes? After Acceptance to College? Although tax information from the previous year is required to complete the form, FAFSA allows applicants to estimate information and correct it after taxes are finalized. It is best to fill out the FAFSA as soon as possible after January 1 of the year the student plans to enter college. 4. What information is needed to fill out the FAFSA? Collect the necessary financial records prior to sitting down to fill out the FAFSA. You should have: • most recent year’s tax forms or end-of-year pay stubs, • w-2 forms and other records of money earned • records of the most recent untaxed income from agencies such as welfare, veteran benefits, Social Security, etc. • current bank statements and records of stocks, bonds, mutual funds and other investments • current mortgage information (FAFSA does not assess home equity or personal assets) • student’s driver’s license and social security number • at least one, and up to ten, federal school codes for colleges the student is interested in attending (available via the school’s financial aid offices) 5. How can assets in the FAFSA needs analysis formula be minimized? Under current federal financial aid formulas, all assets of the student are assessed at a 20% rate while parents are assessed at a maximum rate of 5.65%. 6. Is help available to fill out the FAFSA? You can call the Federal Student Aid Information Center with questions about the online or paper FAFSA application process at 1-800-433-3243.

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