Thursday, February 26, 2009

What Did You Say?

I consider Peter Mansbridge of CBC News to be the "Voice of Canada".

I was therefore appalled and devastated to hear him use the word "quicker" when he introduced The National at 10 PM (EST) on February 25, 2009.

This word does not exist in the English language! The word, quick, is an adjective, and modifies a noun. To use this word as an adverb, the suffix "ly" must be added. Peter should then have said "more quickly" to express his meaning.

The word, fast, is both an adjective and an adverb, and can have the suffix "er" added. But in this instance, using "more quickly" better suits "The National".

I wonder if Lloyd Robertson would have made the same mistake?

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Adult in Charge

Our North American society made a big step forward when physical punishment was recognized as the totally wrong approach for teaching children how to behave.

In fact, the clue to our changing ideas is present in the previous statement. We finally realized that the goal we all have is to "teach" our children. Physical punishment did teach children something: "might is right". Every child who was hurt by his parent decided that one day, when he was big enough, he would have control.

So parents today are generally in uncharted territory. Remember that "discipline" has the Latin root meaning to teach or to train.

The first thing to remember is that every child wants to feel safe. As a parent of a toddler or preschooler, you need to feel confident that you do know best in the situation. This confidence is conveyed by making your expectations clear, and by not giving in to tantrums, etc. It may surprise you, but your child wants to feel that you know best. Then he feels safe and protected.

Exhibit self-discipline: expect from yourself what you expect from your child. Remember that you are "the adult in charge".

Monday, February 9, 2009

What is a tangram?

A tangram consists of seven geometric shapes that can be fitted together to make a square.

In my post on February 7, I mentioned two books that I used in my classroom to teach tangrams. Tangrams can be re-arranged into various shapes and are a valuable teaching tool for geometry. The students enjoy the challenge of re-arranging the tangram shapes into different shapes.

It is possible to buy plastic tangram sets for your class. Have your class sit in a circle and practise with the individual sets to copy the shapes from the stories. The biggest challenge is to re-form the square!

Click in the on the image to enlarge and print.

print tangram shapes

Saturday, February 7, 2009

The Three Little Pigs

I have already mentioned in a previous post that reading nursery rhymes and fairy tales to your young child is important. Check my post from January 23, 2009.

Nursery rhymes and fairy tales provide a good base for learning when using the system of going from what you already know to learning something new. This raises the comfort level of the class and increases interest.

One of the five strands of the Ontario science curriculum is Matter and Materials. I used the story of the Three Little Pigs as part of my integration with language for this unit in my grade one class.

Another strand is Structures, and the natural progression for teaching this strand is to begin it after completing Matter and Materials. The Three Little Pigs can be used again as part of "Homes" theme for structures. (Find a book with a different author and illustrator,and read the story again - the class will love it!)

I integrated this science strand with geometry in Math as well. I did this by following up with teaching tangrams. The class loved this activity because I had two books I always read to them: "Grandfather Tang's Story" (A Tale told with Tangrams) by Ann Tompert, and "Three Pigs, One Wolf, and Seven Magic Shapes" by Gail Maccarone.

The story of The Three Little Pigs is not complete until you have also read "The True Story of the Three Little Pigs! by A. Wolf" by Jon Scieszka. Your class will love this story!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Super Bowl 2009

Kudos to the marketers of the Super Bowl! They have proved the power of marketing and we now have another annual commercial event! The Super Bowl may have accomplished more for the Canadian economy than Harper's stimulus package!

People who know nothing of football and care less were convinced that they needed to have a Super Bowl party and spend money on chicken wings and beer.

Maybe the Conservatives should instigate an all night "Watch for Spring" party on March 21st! Leak the proposal and the media will run with it and Voila!- another major marketing scheme may rescue our economy!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Oats, Peas, Beans and Barley Grow

Even though we are still buried under snowbanks,it is time to begin planning for songs with a spring theme.

It's even better if the song you choose to teach can double as a dance! If you need to comment on "Dance" for the spring report cards, teach this song!

Once again, you must teach the song until the students know it really well, because they have to sing the lyrics as they do the motions!

If the Lesson Plan uses terms with which you are unfamiliar, you may want to consider buying our primary book, The Key to Your Primary Music Program.

Music for Oats, peas, beans and barley grow

Click each image to enlarge and print.

Lesson plan for Oats, Peas, Beans and Barley Grow