Wishing you a wonderful
Why am I Writing this Blog?
In this blog I'll be using the original English spelling forms, so please make allowances if you're American or have been taught the American spelling form.
Please be understanding about the advertisements on the blog. It gives me the opportunity to earn a little to add to my pension.
Related links for teaching training, lesson plans and worksheets:
Fantastic Free Video series on how to teach handwriting:
by handwriting expert Nan Jay Barchowsky
by handwriting teacher Matt Nisjak
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED: http://www.handwritingebooks.com/
101 sheets of lower case and 101 of upper case letters, plus a bonus book on numbers and another on words for $5.95 for the lot - A great bargain.
Information on Education and Homeschooling
EducationBug: Education Directory - articles, directory, newsletter and profiles on schools
First - Schools
Lined Handwriting Sheets:
Handwriting For Kids
Making Handwriting Sheets:
Videos About Teaching Handwriting:
Free Lessons and Ideas:
The Electric Company
First 55 Come Alive
Literacy, Families and Learning
Ed Helper - Spelling
Ed Helper - Reading Comprehension
Ed Helper - Vocabulary
First - School
Sites for Teachers
Sites for Parents
Clipart for Worksheets
The Teacher's Corner
Teaching Made Easier
ELSIE: Reading 0-6
Inexpensive Handwriting Books
Thursday, December 25, 2008
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
This is a reprint of a very thought provoking article by Bruce Deitrick Price.
I tend to agree with him, on the whole, both about the Maths and Reading. It's been heartbreaking, tutoring children who are the product of this type of education. They are so worn down by the process, with poor self esteem and no faith in their abilities.
Of course there are some children who will learn, no matter how they're taught, or should I say in spite of how they're taught. If you have a child like this, then thank God. Most children do need good teaching and they haven't been given that. The most terrible thing is that they've not only received poor teaching, but they've been blamed for their own failure and believed the lie they've been fed.
It's not their fault! They still have the ability to learn if they're taught properly. The problem that we run into, is to convince them that this is so. It's very, very hard to ask someone to believe this truth, when they've accepted a lie about themselves for so long.
Here is the article.....
Public schools seem to be in a constant state of disarray and low performance. We have to wonder: are our educators hopelessly inept? Or is intellectual sabotage a factor?
Some experts argued that educators have been sidetracked by social engineering. Here, the main goal is that students have correct opinions rather than that they learn a lot. (The Civil War? Oh, that´s about the injustice of slavery. What else needs mentioning?)
Note that schools in Socialist and Communist countries engage in endless indoctrination, but they also find time to teach a lot of information, as required by the traditional educational model. So it´s clear that both can be done.
The striking thing about American public schools is that students stop learning even the simplest things. Children are in school roughly a thousand hours a year, for a total of 12,000 hours from grades one to 12. But in that vast mansion of time there doesn´t seem to be room for a match box of facts. Find Japan on a map? Don´t be silly. Nobody needs to know that.
Can social engineering, as normally defined, explain why American children know very little? I don´t think so. The ignorance is too towering. The more I looked at the shortcomings of our public schools, the more I was forced to conclude: somebody is deliberately aiming very, very low.
The picture starts to make sense if you assume that American educators, at the PhD level, are not social engineers so much as ignorance engineers. All their ideas and policies appear directed at mass-producing mediocrity, to the degree they can get away with it.
Their concern seems not to be with shaping opinions so much as making sure nobody learns anything worth having an opinion about! Perhaps this nihilistic kind of social engineering is more easily snuck into classrooms.
I didn´t reach this distrustful view casually or in a sudden epiphany. No, it was slowly forced on me as I contemplated the pitiful spectacle of math courses that don´t teach any math, a reading pedagogy that doesn´t permit anyone to learn to read, and geography, history and science courses that are not concerned with anyone retaining information.
What we seem to have is a widespread war against civilization, especially American civilization, conducted in every subject and at every level. Here´s a quick run-down of the incriminating evidence in the main disciplines:
MATH: Decades ago, our educators concocted a fatuous fraud known as New Math. The public laughed. The educators went underground for several years and came up with a bunch of replacements now known (sarcastically) as New New Math. Some of today´s leading textbooks are called TERC, Connected Math, Everyday Mathematics, MathLand, etc. Children taking these courses learn virtually no real math.
To understand this craziness quickly, please see a wonderful video on YouTube titled "An Inconvenient Truth" by M. J. McDermott. Give McDermott 15 minutes and you will understand the vacuity of these programs.
What sort of people would devise math books that don´t teach math?? Ignorance engineers.
READING: It was by studying Whole Word (also known as Look-Say) that I really came to understand the scandal of our schools. This unworkable pedagogy has created 50,000,000 functional illiterates. What could be more vicious?
By all accounts, 99% of children taught with phonics learn to read by the age of 7, or 8 at latest. But children stuck in Whole Word classrooms are made to memorize word shapes one by one (a tedious process), thereby guaranteeing that most of these children will be semi-literate well into high school.
Still worse, this bogus pedagogy is shrouded in sophistry. Even highly educated people rarely understand what Whole Word is. How can the public defend itself against this dangerous hoax? That seems to be the point. I´ve created some graphic videos that try to explain Whole Word in a few minutes. Please visit YouTube and enter "phonics versus whole word."For a longer, more historical analysis, please see "30: The War Against Reading" on Improve-Education.org.
FACTS, IN GENERAL: The dogma is that children should not be expected to memorize ANYTHING. Teachers say: "They can look it up." In real life, this means that nobody knows nothing. About history, science, geography, the arts, or which way is north.
This rampant ignorance is dramatized every time Jay Leno goes "JayWalking." I developed "The Quizz--100 simple facts that every high school student should know" to spotlight the same emptiness. (Google "20: The Quizz")
IN CONCLUSION: Throughout all the years that this dumbing down has been going on, our educators have been yelling for more money. As if that is the key to the kingdom. Not at all. Genuine educators with half the budget would easily outperform the ideologues now in charge.
The central tragedy is that these misguided educators seem to have little concern for the needs of children or the good of the country. Let the people eat cake. (Please print this piece and follow up the leads at your convenience. That our so-called educators would actually function as anti-educators is THE story of the 20th century.)
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
Alphabet Book GamesOrganize the out of order books. Click on the books in alphabetical order.
Alphabet Letter Puzzle
Monday, October 6, 2008
It was originally circulated by Linda Fitzwater. She says 'The Text of this beautiful story was forwarded to me by a friend without an author noted. We have just found that this is an Uncle Arthur story. I think the title was "I can sleep on windy nights" from -- Uncle Arthur's Online.
I used to have a book of Uncle Arthur stories when I was a little girl and read and reread them until the book almost fell apart. They're wonderful short stories to read to your children at night. They all have a moral. My favourite was about children squabbling about whose turn it was to lick the bowl that had the cake mixture in it. That used to happen in our household regularly.
Can You Sleep While the Wind Blows
awful storms that raged across the Atlantic, wreaking havoc on the buildings and crops.
The Text of this beautiful story was forwarded to me by a friend without an author noted. We have just found that this is an Uncle Arthur story. I think the title was "I can sleep on windy nights" from -- Uncle Arthur's Online.
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
One of the hardest things for a child when learning handwriting, is fluency. He is so concerned with getting it right, that instead of a uniform curve or circle, it becomes a wobbly formation.
To help with fluency Danielle Dumont, an expert from France, teaches children using a ribbon and making waves and squiggles with the ribbon in the air (rather in the way that a gymnast uses the ribbon). Once the circles, waves and squiggles that the ribbon is making are fluent, transfer that same fluency with chalk to the chalkboard. This helps the student to feel that flow and to use it when working on a smaller area.
Proficiency in basic stroke formations is a tremendously important part of handwriting. What is an intelligent child likely to do, if you put some lined paper in front of him. with strokes done in dots - you then tell him to trace the strokes, but be careful not to go below the line? That's easy! He'll start at the line and go up the stroke so that he'll be sure to get it just right. It makes perfect sense to him, because he hasn't been told that this is practice for writing letters and they begin with a downward stroke and never an upward one. The solution to this is to explain this to him.
Except for v,w,x,y,z, which start with a slanted downward stroke or in the case of z a horizontal stroke, (none of which, by the way, begin on the line) all other small case letters start with either a vertical down stroke or a curve moving in an anticlockwise direction.
Children should never be taught how to write the letters, until they have considerable skill in tracing pictures or shapes. You can use ordinary cheap colouring books for this and textas or coloured pencils (thick, three sided ones). At this stage don't worry about the direction in which your child traces. The aim (or I could call it a game) here, is to trace without straying from the picture outline. He needs to be able to keep the texta or pencil tracing that line, for as long as possible, before he stops, lifts it up and then puts it down on the line, to begin tracing again.
Some of this can be done without you supervising. You'll usually be able to see the stops and starts and judge how proficient your child is becoming. It is wise though, to sit with him sometimes to observe and also the encourage - encouragement motivates! After the outlining is done, he may see the picture as being finished or he may want to colour it in further. Go with the flow. Colouring in also requires a certain control of the pencil.
Once he has shown proficiency (not perfection!!) with tracing, you can progress to formal pre-writing sheets. Here is where you need to sit with him and watch him like a hawk. It's good to verbalise with him as he does the strokes - 'start at the top and trace down'. He'll probably get sick of your verbalisation after a while and just want to get on with the job. Just tell him that you'll stop, but if he starts at the line and goes up, you'll have to help him again by verbalising. Children usually find this a fair bargain and it will motivate him to concentrate harder.
All the curved shapes on the pre-writing sheet must be done in an anticlockwise direction and again you need to watch all the time. Where to start when tracing circles?? Different writing schemes teach different ways, when the student begins on the letters of the alphabet. Picture in your mind a circular head with ears. Actually draw it, if you're working with your child. Some writing schemes teach that you form a,d,g,o,q by starting at the top of the head, or on the line, and drawing an anticlockwise circle. Then for f,s,c, you start just above the right ear, go up to the line and then proceed to finish your letter.
In theory this sounds fine, but what often happens is that students also persist in starting their f,s,c on the top of the circle, or on the line, too. It's so much easier to have an obvious starting point. You can imagine the finished product - it's long and skinny and undefined. I recommend starting all these letters above the right ear. It's much simpler in the long run and the letters have a better flow to them.
Okay! Getting back to pre-writing sheets - make a small mark on any circle just where the top of the right ear would be and get your child to begin tracing anticlockwise from there. If there are spirals, or any other curves, make sure they're traced in an anticlockwise direction too.
Sunday, September 7, 2008
Saturday, August 23, 2008
Operation Christmas Child
It is never too early to start creating learning experiences for children:
Your role as parents, take in laying the building blocks that form your child’s language and literacy foundation. Your baby’s brain is equipped to absorb enormous amounts of information.
We know that the time before babies start talking – from birth to two is a crucial time for their future language development. Let’s look at different ways your baby will benefit from a daily read-aloud routine.
Read-Alouds promote listening skills:
Listening is a crucial skill in the formation of language. Your baby has been listening to your voice, since the last few months of pregnancy and by birth has a fairly well developed hearing ability. Newborns instantly recognize their parents’ voice. Repeated exposure to reading, gives children a head start once they go to school. This allows them to comprehend more complex stories, and ease into the reading and reading process.
Read-Alouds develop attention span and memory:
Babies are capable of an intense concentration; their brains are searching and scanning everything they come in contact with in order to get information and meaning. Reading aloud to your baby is the best way to help develop attention span and memory.
Read-Alouds promote bonding and calmness for both baby and parent:
Reading aloud is one of the easiest and least complicated of daily tasks you do with your baby. It helps you bond and attach to your child. It promotes family togetherness.
Read-Alouds instill the love of books and learning:
When you read to your baby, you are giving your child some of life’s greatest gifts: the cuddly, loving warmth of a close, one-to one, daily reading aloud time enriches vocabulary that forever expands the mind. So start reading to your baby today!
Thursday, August 21, 2008
You had a problem when you went to the toilet
Your new diet just doesn't seem to be working out
You keep losing things
No one is laughing at your jokes
You got caught in the rain at lunch time
Uninvited guests turned up at dinner time
On top of that you think you're coming down with the flu
Friday, August 15, 2008
My name is Wendy Anderson and I have a blog on Teaching Reading and Writing, but I'm actually a maths specialist teacher. Would you believe that I went through exactly the same thing as you did in school with my maths. I was taught how to add, subtract,etc and because I have a good memory I received very good marks up until I reached high school.
Then I became a dismal failure in maths and never recovered. The reason that this happened, I didn't discover until after I'd bailed out of school at 15, worked in an office for 7 years and then decided that I wanted to become a teacher and did my year 11 and 12 at night school after working all day. I received my graduation from high school (Aust) college in the US I think, by doing English, Modern and Ancient History, Economics and Geography. Not a hint of science or maths.
When I reached high school and I was expected to work on an understanding of the maths I'd been doing in primary school, I was lost.
Cuisenaire Rods are really necessary for teaching an understanding of the Base 10 number system and you're right, this should be explained to parents. It's just a fancy name for the number system that we all use and that has been chosen to be used world wide, because it's the easiest one to work with. The reason that it's called Base 10 is because it's all based on the number 10. We count by tens easily - 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, etc. When we multiply a number by 10, we merely have to add a zero to the original number eg. 325 x 10 = 3250. Everything in the system is based on ten. Start counting by 10 from any number and you get a pattern eg. 39,49,59,69. That's really all there is to it. Well almost.
You see, some children see this pattern and sail ahead, but some like you and me, missed it and because of that flunked out in maths.
Base 10 blocks and Cuisenaire Rods are a way for children to see that system, in a way they can handle and visually work with. Because you've got Cuisenaire Rods, I'll concentrate on those.
You've actually started off right, by letting your son play with them. Now gradually begin to play with him and introduce the numbers that the rods represent.
This little white rod is called a one rod. Now let's figure out what the other coloured rods are called. Let's try this red one. I know that it's called a two rod, can you think why? If he can't just place a single white one rod on top of the two and say, "How many more can we fit? Well look how clever you are. The red rod must be called a two because two white rods fit on it. What number are the white rods. That's right they're one, so that means that means one and one make two, Now lets look at the light green. I wonder how many white ones fit along it?"
Just repeat this with each coloured rod until he knows the number that each rod represents. Keep repeating the fact that the white rod is a number one rod, just to keep the association between the colour and the number of the rod.
The next step is to take the orange 10 rod and put two other rods that equal it underneath, such as black and light green. Then point out that if the black and the light green are the same as an orange, then that might mean that 3 + 7 = 10. Will we find out? Go back to sitting the little white one rods on top so that he can see that this works out. By now he may or may not have twigged to the system. If he hasn't, then just keep playing with him as I've described. Sooner or later the penny will drop and this is a great way to teach the numbers that combine to make 10. This will be used later in teaching the more complicated addition and subtraction.
Once you've done this you can get back to me if you like and I'll give you any info you need.
myLot User Profile
Saturday, August 9, 2008
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
Prewriting Worksheets to help develop pencil control:
Donna Young Printing Readiness
Kidzone Pre-Printing Skills Practice
Preschool Learners Pre-Writing Worksheets
SEN Teacher Pre-writing Set 1 and Set 2
Free Handwriting Fonts.
If you're intending to send your child on to school, please find out which handwriting font that school uses and teach that one to your child. Otherwise there'll be a lot of confusion when school begins. If you're homeschooling, you can choose whichever appeals to you.
Learning Curve - cursive
Zyia Learns Letters
Handwriting/Tracing Pre-made Worksheets
There are many thematic tracer (days of week or colours) or alphabet pages available.
Abcteach - tracing and letter practice worksheets in d’nealian and zaner bloser
Boggles World Alphabet Tracing Pages
First School Alphabet Handwriting Practice Sheets in Standard Block and D’Nealian, numbers, colours, days of the week, and months of the year with flowers
Handwriting for kids - also has a worksheet generator
Home Education Resources - reference sheets, print read colour, cursive. These are copywork rather than tracing.
Jan Brett Alphabet Tracers - traditional manuscript, cursive manuscript or modern manuscript all with beautiful illustrations
Learning Page has lots of worksheets - free to join and totally worth it!
Preschool Learners Handwriting Worksheets - helping your child to improve his handwriting, alphabet and rhyming words worksheets
Primary Games Activity pages - alphabet, numbers, colours and months of the year
PrintActivities.com - alphabet, numbers, shapes and names. They even have Aaliyah!
School Express Handwriting - alphabet and numbers in both modern and traditional
Sparklebox - lots of alphabet and number worksheets
These sites enable you to create worksheets using your own words.
Abcteach Handwriting Worksheet Maker
ESL Writing Wizard - search for other people’s pre-made worksheets also
Create tracing worksheets online
Handwriting for kids - also has pre-made worksheets
Handwriting animations of the alphabet
Writing the alphabet and numbers
Saturday, August 2, 2008
2. Make mosaics with anything really. Try dried beans or peas, nuts, pasta, tissue paper or even small scraps of coloured paper.
3. Make tissue paper flowers by taking a strip of paper and rolling or folding it. Crepe paper is good and cheap for this too. It's colour does tend to run if it gets wet, but it comes in the most incredible colours - even fluorescent ones. Cellophane paper does a good job as well. It tears more easily, so takes more skill and let's not forget the silver foil from the kitchen. It makes great flowers, stalks and leaves.
Thursday, July 24, 2008
I've found a great blog called "Literacy, Families and Learning" I wholeheartedly recommend it. It's got some great ideas on creativity and learning with young children. The blog is written by Trevor Cairney. I'll print the first part of the blog and you can click on the link if you're interested in reading more.
The Importance (and Simplicity) of Play by Trevor Cairney
I've written a number of posts about play and argued that it is important for many reasons. Broadly, it stimulates children's creativity while assisting their development cognitively, emotionally and socially.
It also encourages their imagination, fine and gross motor skills, decision-making, problem solving and risk taking. As well, it helps children to learn about themselves through success and failure and to build relationships with parents, their siblings and friends.
However, in this post I want to make just one key point - that simple play is best. Simple opportunities for play will always (well, almost always) capture their attention, that's why the box so often wins out over the expensive and complex toy.
Stimulating play does not require expensive equipment or toys, multimedia excitement or body numbing entertainment (though that stuff can be fun too!). In fact, I want to argue that children if given some control over their play will often choose the simple. What do I mean by this? I mean that they will often enjoy:
the repetitive and the predictable
- the unexpected and surprising (yes, that's the opposite of the above - they can love both);
- the silly over the serious;
- activities that stimulate their senses (not necessarily all at once);
- play that involves other people, both actively and passively (this is especially true of parents).
It is important as parents and caregivers to be on the lookout for opportunities to structure situations during the day that permit and encourage stimulating play. While its hard to do fancy stuff when faced by the demands of 2-3 children (or even more in the case of some readers of this blog), if children are engaged in stimulating activities they are less likely to be driving you nuts. And the simple stuff is the easy stuff.One final thing, as I indicated in a previous post it's also important to allow your children to take lots of initiative - play is when they can take the lead and show you how to do things. Click here for the rest
Monday, July 21, 2008
He calmly came over to me, I gave him a few pats on his head;
he then followed me into my house, slowly walked down the hall,
curled up in the corner and fell asleep.
An hour later, he went to the door and I let him out.
The next day he arrived for his nap, with a different note pinned to his collar: 'He lives in a home with 6 children, 2 under the age of 3 - he's trying to catch up on his sleep. Can I come with him tomorrow?'
Thursday, July 17, 2008
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
These fine motor skills are basic prerequisites for students to succeed academically. That's why helping children develop finger strength and tactile dexterity is so very important. Of course you can do this after they've tried to write well and failed, but it's much harder to turn a failure in any area into a success, than to put in the preliminary work necessary and go straight to success. The trauma of failure in front of all their peers, is not really something to which we want to introduce our children, in their first year of school.
If you take your child to a play group or preschool they will get some of the activities there, that are needed to develop fine motor skills. Don't, however, count on that!
Boys, especially, would in general, much rather be outside playing cars in the sandpit or climbing on the gym equipment, than sitting inside threading wool through a card or playing with the play dough. The preschool teacher will try to make sure that each child has an equal opportunity to develop both gross and fine motor skills, but don't just rely on that.
As a parent, keep an eye on your child's development. How skillfully does she use her knife and fork, can she tie her shoelaces properly - that doesn't mean eventually. If she need a few tries before she succeeds that's fine, but if she's up to number five or six and she's still not been successful, it may be a sign that she needs to further develop those fine motor skills. Another way to check is by doing some craft with her, where she needs to work with small items and note how nimble her fingers are.
There are so many fantastic activities you can do with your children at home, to help them develop great fine motor control. Some of them are messy, but aren't your kids worth that? If you're worried about the carpet, pick a fine day and take a card table or plastic table cloth outside. Maybe you'll have to move the daily grind around to make time for the activities, but just think of all the time you'll save later on in their lives, when you're trying to explain their homework to them and you're hitting a brick wall because failure has become ingrained in their minds.
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Well, actually, No! Giving your child pencils too early in their development, can quite often lead to illegible, untidy, badly formed and badly sized writing, which will take a great deal of time to correct later on - that's if it can be corrected. It takes a great deal of determination in a student to change a stongly ingrained bad habit and some find it just too hard.
Handwriting is a complex operation. Activities that use all senses (multi-sensory) and feeling and moving (kinesthetic), prepare students for letter and number formation before they begin learning to write.
Well developed fine motor skills are necessary for a student to write well and it is the very, very, rare three or four year old, who has these skills. A five year old, who has had sufficient pre-handwriting experiene may be ready, but sometimes a child may be even older before these skills develop.
Handwriting readiness is dependent upon the presence of seven foundational skills.
- small muscle development
- hand-eye coordination
- utensil or tool manipulation
- basic stroke formation
- alphabet letter recognition
- orientation to written language
- understanding of spatial relationships
Fomal handwriting instruction can begin as early as kindergarten year and some children will take off and never look back. Some, however, will struggle for the rest of their lives, because one or more of the above seven developmental stages had not been reached, when they were required to learn letter formation.In following blogs, I'll explain more fully the seven prerequisites for handwriting readiness and give activities that can aid in the formation of each.
IMPORTANT and again IMPORTANT
There also needs to be gross motor activities to get the brain going and give students more control over their bodies. Try dancing, little athletics, skipping, running around kicking a ball with them - get them moving and away from the TV and computer games. Not that these things are necessarily bad, but there needs to be balance.
Monday, June 16, 2008
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Toxic words cut into the ego even when we use them on ourselves, so imagine how much worse it is on a child who looks up to you and wants to please you. I mentioned some of them in my last blog but there are others.
Let me list the words and how they cut.
'but' - negates what you just said, so even if it was praise, you have just taken it back or worse.
'if ' - presupposes you may not succeed, setting YOU up for failure be it a child or yourself.
'would have' - draws attention to what didn't happen, nullifying what did happen.
'should have' - not only draws attention but implies guilt because it didn't happen.
'could have' - tries to take credit for what didn't happen and ignore what did happen.
'try' - not only presupposes failure it gives permission to fail!
'might' - leaves options for the listener, not definitive answers.
'can't or don't' - forces focus on the opposite of what you want.
A boy and his cousin were playing in the yard and climbing trees when a storm blew in. The aunt called out to her son "Don't fall!" while the boy's father yelled "Hang on!" The boy hung on tightly to the limb and was ok but the cousin fell and broke his arm because the brain first has to figure what is supposed to be done before it can interpret not to do it.
On a little league team there was a pop ball to an area of the field with the weakest player. Dad yelled at him "Don't drop it!" but the coach yelled "Catch it!" What do you think happened? Well luckily the coach was louder and closer and the kid caught the ball. They didn't win the game but think how proud that boy was that he actually caught the ball.
If you get into the habit of watching what you say to yourself, maybe you will be better about toxic words to your child, so both of you will benefit. If you stop wondering what if or I should have, after making decisions, you will find you are less indecisive and will stop tearing your own ego down.
Sunday, June 8, 2008
Explanation of the Two Major Approaches to Reading
The two best known approaches to teaching reading are the Phonics Approach and the Whole Language Approach. Below is an excellent article that clearly explains the origin and explanation of both. My writing it out for you would be a waste of time, so I've printed out the first paragraph and then, if you want to read more, just click on the link below.
While this is a well written article, the conclusion at which it arrives, is idealistic and unworkable. After all explanation of both approaches, it concludes that the teacher should aim to teach what the individual student requires from each approach. Keeping in mind that the teacher has, perhaps, thirty or more students in his/her class, that means thirty or more indivual lessons each day just for teaching reading and writing.
Of course the teacher could combine the students into groups so that each group needed approximately the same type of teaching, but even then there is the need to both plan and mark an inordinate number of lessons each day. This is just for reading and writing. What about time to teach the rest of the subjects? As you can see the end conclusion in this article would require an impossible amount of time and energy for any teacher, hence the need for super powers. However, do not despair, there is a way for you, as parents to help your child. I'll cover this in the next blog.ARTICLE
There have been, over the years, two general instructional approaches that have governed reading education. They have gone by many names, but today they are generally known as Phonics and Whole Language approaches. These approaches to reading instruction reflect very different underlying philosophies and stress very different skills.
The philosophy underlying the Whole Language approach is that reading is a natural process, much like learning to speak, and that children exposed to a great deal of authentic, connected text will naturally become literate without much in the way of explicit instruction in the rules and conventions of printed text.
The philosophy underlying the Phonics approach is quite different -- Phonics advocates argue that in order to learn to read, most children require a great deal of explicit instruction in the rules of printed text. Click here for the rest of the article.
Wednesday, June 4, 2008
We have all heard that abuse engenders abuse and how many of us as teens have said, "When I have children I will never do that to my kids", only to find as a parent we do the same things mom and dad did. If this something is making them hold to a curfew, do chores, be responsible, well great! These things need to be learned and followed. But the parent that uses toxic words or goes overboard on punishments, even if it is just timeouts, is fostering that use in their child and this we don't want to pass on to future generations
Lets look at toxic words, just simple everyday words we all use but oh how they can poison a child's mind. Always...now stop and think about it, no one 'always' anything. It's just, at that moment in time you think of how often they do something they were told not to do and forget how often they do right. Next is never...again no one never listens, never follows instructions, never does things right or whatever you are chastizing them for. Stop to think. Do you 'always' or 'never' do things?
How about 'but'? Do you praise a child for something only to take it away by saying 'but'? But why can't you do that all the time? But why didn't you do that the first time? Only a three letter word and it can do so much damage. And, yes, I nearly said 'but' it can do so much damage. And remember would'a, could'a, should'a. We often say these things about something we messed up and yes, even then they are derogatory, but to a child would, could and should can cut the self-esteem down so very badly.
Worst of all, we don't mean to inflict damage to their ego, but in frustration, anger or the heat of the moment it happens. We speak out, without a thought of the message we are giving out to our children. And while we are on the subject think of your own ego. These same words are just as toxic to us and maybe, if we learn to use other words in their place, we won't be so quick to use them on the children.
When you want to say "You did great today 'but'" why not say "I'm really proud of what you did today" and leave it at that. Or how about "That was great! Do you remember just how you did that?" This will tell them you are proud of them and reinforce to remember just what made it so great.
As for yourself, if you mess up and especially if its not the first time, then tell yourself "I really need to slow down and do this the proper way next time, because I really do know how to do it."
Tuesday, June 3, 2008
These students must be identified early in their school career and given the intensive intervention they need. Any child who doesn't learn to read early and well, will not easily master other skills and knowledge and is unlikely to do well in school or in their future work.
You, however, play an important part in whether or not this may happen to your child. Reading to your son or daughter is the most important part of helping them become a reader. Teaching reading involves teaching children to love reading. The more fun your child has with books from an early age, the more interested they will be in becoming a reader when they reach school age .
Reading to your child also improves your child's emergent literacy skills including vocabulary, knowledge and print awareness - the understanding of how a book works. Reading to your child on a regular basis gives your pre-reader a jumpstart in learning to read. Continuing to read to your child even after they learn to read, helps improve their vocabulary and reading skills.
This time spent with your son or daughter regularly, can also be a wonderful bonding experience. So many times, in talking to friends and acquaintances about this, I hear of the impact the time spent with Mum or Dad reading stories, had on their early lives. They speak of it with fondness and most have continued the tradition with their own children.
Friday, May 30, 2008
Look at the top picture, then read the story first before you look at the second picture.