Check back in next week to see who advanced!
March Madness is in the air, and you know what that means: it’s time to get your brackets in order. Last year, you voted, and To Kill a Mockingbird won the literary bracket. This year, Shmoop’s bracket is all Shakespeare all the time.
Vote for your favorite Shakespeare plays below, and alloweth the best sir to winneth! Or something.
Check back in next week to see who advanced to the next round.
Happy Daylight Saving Time!
We waited all winter for the clocks to jump ahead, and now that we’re finally there, we find ourselves waiting for a bunch of other things: namely, springtime, test scores (anyone SATing on Saturday?), and college decisions.
But you know what? It’s all out of our hands now. We’ve prayed to Punxsutawney (that clearly backfired), studied our hearts out for those standardized tests, and had more stressed-out, binge-eating-ice-cream nights than we care to admit.
If, while you wait around, you get the creeping feeling that you’ve lost all semblance of control in your life, we’ve got just the solution: pick a major. Sure, you probably don’t have to declare till sophomore year—and we’re all for going into college with an open mind—but an early start can’t hurt.
If you haven’t had your dream job picked out since you were seven (yeah, we’re still working on that astronaut career), we’re here to help. Below is our list of most popular majors, each with a Shmoop Online Course to get you on track before the first day of class.
Top 10 Most Popular College Majors*
Hope the wait is worth it,
Quote of the Week
“Now I sometimes fear
coming to the edge of the Forest
and looking past the fence.”
Shmoop offers Smarter Balanced preparation for Grades 8 and 11 and has recently expanded to provide specific material for SBAC California, including alignment to the CSU EAP.
“Common Core” and “Smarter Balanced” may sound like an ab workout and a low-fat butter substitute, but in reality, they’re more about working out your brain than your body. (Although deciphering the Common Core Standards might actually burn some calories, too.)
Shmoop’s guides to the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC)—for both 8th grade and 11th grade—will help students decipher fuzzy assessment-ese and ace those newfangled technology-enhanced items, including drag and drop, hot spot, graphic response, and equation response…not to mention more types of multiple-choice than you can shake a stick at. The guides also include CCSS- and SBAC-aligned diagnostic assessments, practice items, and performance tasks for ELA/literacy and Mathematics to help test-takers get into fighting shape for this year’s exam.
Recently, Shmoop expanded their offerings to provide California with state-specific SBAC goodies. Smarter Balanced California is aligned to the California State University Early Assessment Program (EAP) and explains the stakes of the Grade 11 SBAC assessment in terms of readiness and remediation strategies for senior year. Every assessment in Shmoop’s SBAC CA prep also features a “What Your Score Means” breakdown based on SBAC achievement levels and provides recommended Shmoop products for each level. For instance, a student who is designated “conditionally ready” in ELA will be recommended the Shmoop test prep guide and crash course for the SAT® exam with a blurb that specifies the cut score for readiness. A student who does not demonstrate readiness in math, on the other hand, will be recommended Shmoop’s Algebra II, Geometry, and Algebra I courses and learning guides. And maybe a calculator.
Educators can use the tool to help students prepare for the Grade 11 SBAC assessment, identify Shmoop resources that provide appropriate intervention and remediation in the senior year of high school, demonstrate CSU and California community college readiness, and avoid costly and time-consuming remediation options at the college level. All that plus another acronym to add to the academic mix—not too shabby.
This spring, Shmoop will also be releasing test prep for the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC). Discounts are available for schools and districts; contact sales(at)shmoop(dot)com for more information.
Shmoop is a digital curriculum and test prep company that makes fun, rigorous learning and teaching resources. Shmoop content is written by experts and teachers, who collaborate to create high-quality and engaging materials for teachers and students. Shmoop Courses, Test Prep, Teaching Guides, and Learning Guides balance a teen-friendly, approachable style with academically rigorous concepts. Shmoop sees 10 million unique visitors a month on its site and offers more than 7,000 titles across the Web, iPhone, Android devices, iPad, Kindle, Nook, and Sony Reader. The company has been honored twice by the Webby Awards, named “Best in Tech” twice by Scholastic Administrator, and awarded Annual Education Software Review Awards (EDDIES) three years in a row. Launched in 2008, Shmoop is headquartered in a labradoodle-patrolled office in Mountain View, California.
SAT is a registered trademark of the College Board, which was not involved in the production of, and does not endorse, this product.
If you’re getting a little antsy after being stuck at home for all these snow days (seriously, is it springtime yet?), we’ve got two words for you: book club. When else will you get to sit around with your friends judging something indiscriminately…and have it look good on your college apps?
1. Tell your friends.
2. Pick a meeting time and place.
3. Choose your first book.
- Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
- Dancing on the Edge by Han Nolan
- Go Tell it on the Mountain by James Baldwin
- Paper Towns by John Green
- Carrie by Stephen King
- Stormbreaker by Anthony Horowitz
- Serena by Ron Rash (read it before the the movie comes out this month!)
4. Make it your own.
As a group, decide how you want it to go down. Who will lead the discussion each week? Should you pre-circulate questions or just go with the flow? Will there be snacks? (Hint: Yes.There will always be snacks.)
Quote of the Week
“Be the prettiest book I ever seen.
The cover is pale blue, color a the sky.
And a big white bird—a peace dove—
spreads its wings from end to end.”
Shmoop adds hundreds of new videos, illustrating educational concepts and helping students relate school material to their own lives.
Little known fact: while video was killing the radio star, it was also busy reinvigorating the classroom.
Videos used to be the crutch of substitute teachers everywhere, but now they’re a crucial part of any curriculum. And while most educational videos fall under the genre of “Deathly Boring,” the videos from Shmoop University (http://www.shmoop.com), a digital publisher that aims to take the friction out of learning, are found in the heart of the “Comedy” section.
Shmoop’s catalog of thousands of videos can be accessed via their video library, ShmoopTube, and are also embedded throughout their site—in Learning Guides, Test Prep, Online Courses, and Teacher Resources—to help visual and auditory learners stay apace in the text-heavy Internet world. The videos cover topics from literature and history to science, math, grammar, and computer science; and even the video titles, like “How to Use a Freakin’ Comma,” scream Shmoop.
“Think Monthy Python meets your wacky 9th-grade English teacher,” says David Siminoff, founder and Chief Creative Officer of Shmoop. “Shmoop videos give students the information they need in a way that helps them retain it, by grabbing them on an emotional level. Shmoop videos are more Cohen Academy than Khan Academy.”
Other educational videos on the market are majorly snooze-inducing. But after watching Shmoop videos, students will still be able to operate heavy machinery…not that they should.
By now you’ve heard that a sequel to To Kill a Mockingbird, called Go Set a Watchman, will be hitting shelves—and Shmoop—this summer. In honor of the news, we put together a list of little-known facts about our back-in-action author.
1. She’s still alive.
2. She’s more popular than Moses.
3. Harper is actually her middle name.
Her first name, Nelle, is her grandmother Ellen’s name spelled backward (source). Notice how similar her signature is to Shmoop’s…just saying.
4. She rubbed elbows with the rich and famous…in kindergarten.
5. Even she had writer’s block.
6. She studied law.
7. She wrote more than one book.
The manuscript for the TKAM sequel was rediscovered last year, and after some hesitation, Lee agreed to publish it. We hear Peter Jackson is directing the movie adaptation, so get ready for Go Set a Watchman Parts 1-3.
- Harper Lee Biography
- To Kill a Mockingbird Learning Guide
- To Kill a Mockingbird Videos
- To Kill a Mockingbird Short Course
- Flashcards on TKAM content
- Flashcards on TKAM vocab
- Civil Rights Learning Guide
Quote of the Week
“…when you and Jem are grown,
maybe you’ll look back on this
with some compassion
and some feeling that I didn’t let you down.”
[No mockingbirds were harmed in the making of this newsletter.]