ATTN: iPad users! If this post doesn’t display properly, with all its nifty graphic and text links, try here. Stuart’s workshop on Visual Learning and Story Telling in Early Childhood Education will take place on Friday, January 27, from 2:00 to 3:30 p.m., in Room 192C, West Building, McCormick Place. Hope to see you there!
Archive for the ‘Pre-K’ Category
Children’s Books and Teaching Ethics: A Conversation with Janet Wong, Betsy Bird and Stuart J. Murphy at NYPL, January 7, 2 p.m.Wednesday, December 28th, 2011
On the the thrill of learning to write your own name, Percy’s pedal-car diversion, helpful moms, practice, practice, practice & Miss Cathy’s (no longer) secret love of ancient Runes…
by J.A. Ginsburg
Cleaning out old boxes the other day, I came across one of the first books that was mine, all mine, not a hand-me-down from my sister or brother: a Golden Book classic, We Help Mommy. The story line followed the seemingly endless labors of young Martha and Bobby, who helped prepare breakfast, make beds, dust, mop, wash, shop, bake, set the table, and, of course, put away all their toys without even a hint of complaint. Who were these Stepford children?
I don’t blame my mother for trying. Still, I was rather delighted to see I used the book mainly for coloring. Martha and Bobby may not have known the joy of play, but I sure did.
For me, the very best part of the book was the inside cover where I wrote my name. I remember writing it, too, because it was something a “big person” would do. Thrilling.
Carlos wants to learn how to write his name, just like is friend Ajay. He knows the alphabet, so is off to a good start (the alphabet runs along the bottom border each double-page spread as a reference). His mom is a big help, too, spelling out the first three letters—C-a-r.
At the park the next day, Carlos and some of his friends from Ready, Set Pre-K—Freda, Percy and Ajay—are playing in the sandbox, writing their names in the sand. Percy, of course, being Percy, draws a self-portrait. When Carlos spells “C-a-r,” Percy (oh that Percy!), jumps into his pedal-car and leads everyone for quick spin around the playground.
That night, Carlos works on the last three letters of his name next: “l-o-s.” His mom gives him lots of paper and he practices and practices and practices!
A few days later, he joins his friends who are writing their names in chalk on the sidewalk (except, of course, for Percy, who, being Percy, has drawn a self-portrait). C-a-r. Percy is off in his pedal-car again, but Carlos keeps writing: l-o-s. Freda and Ajay stop to watch. Even Percy pedals over.
“‘Carlos. That’s ME!,’ shouted Carlos.”
Yes it is!
Being able to write one’s name is a cognitive skill: letter recognition is stepping stone to reading. It also boosts self confidence. A child who can write his own name knows he can write anything. All it takes is practice!
TEACHERS! PARENTS! CARE-GIVERS!
Each I See I Learn book includes a two-page spread called “A Closer Look,” designed to review key points:
- How do you write your name?
- Can you write the names of other members of your family?
- Can you write the names of any of your friends, or pets?
MISS CATHY RECOMMENDS:
- Writing Paper to Practice Handwriting for Preschool and Kindergarten: Free printables (website)
- Learn to Write…Free Tracing Paper: What a fun program from “My Moondrops!” Type your child’s name in a box and it generates a printable page with traceable letters. (website)
- Message in a Backpack: Supporting writing at home / NAEYC’s “Teaching Young Children” magazine: Teachers: TIY’s aptly named “Message in a Backpack” pdf’s are full of useful suggestions for parents. Great writers write all the time—at school and at home, too!
- Your Name In Runes / PBS Can I tell you a secret? I adore old alphabets! Type your child’s name in the box on the website and you can see what it looks like in 15th century Viking letters. Now that’s Write On!
Be sure to check out all of Stuart J. Murphy’s I See I Learn books! His Level 1 MathStart books are perfect for Pre-K. You can follow us on twitter and Facebook. Sign up for our FREE e-newsletter, too! (sample)
by J. A. Ginsburg
Spring is in the air and if you happen to be of a math teacher, that is particularly welcome news. Yes, flowers, sun and warmth, but also the season of NCTM, a.k.a. math teacher heaven!
From April 13 though 16, thousands will gather for the annual National Council of Teachers of Mathematics conference held this year in Indianapolis. The toughest problem? How to fit in as many of the 650+ presentations as possible.
We, of course, hope you can make it Stuart’s talk on Thursday, April 14: See the Math! Sharpening the Definition of Visual Learning Practice (Convention Center Hall F/G).
I have long defined visual learning as how students acquire information from graphs, charts, diagrams and other visual stimuli. That definition still holds. But after years of practical application and ongoing research, the time has come to redefine visual learning according to the benefits that it provides.
High quality visual learning practices support:
- Mathematical Practices of Common Core State Standards
- Development of critical intervention strategies
- Differentiating classroom instruction
Visual learning is a powerful teaching tool!
And what better way to demonstrate than to feature real classroom projects? We will look at several wonderful and creative examples provided by teachers Cindy Cliche, Cathy Kuhns, Marrie Lassater and Dr. Kim Mueller; and by librarian Debbie Diaz from the Beijing City International School. (MathStart in China? Yes!... )
Stuart will also be signing books:
- at the EAI Education booth on Thursday morning, 4/14, from 10 to 11 a.m., and Friday morning, 4/15, from 9:30 to 10: 30 a.m.
- at the Pearson Education booth Friday afternoon, 4/15, from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m.
And be sure to check out the fabulous new show, The Main Street Kids’ Club: A MathStart Musical! It was adapted by director Scott (“School House Rock Live!”) Ferguson through a workshop class at Northwestern University. Perfect for school tours and regional theatre productions—so get out your dancing shoes!
ALSO AT NCTM:
- Movies and math: always a good combo. Jeffrey Travis, director of the new IMAX 3-D movie Flatland: The Movie, will show clips at the opening session, Wednesday, April 13, 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. in Convention Center Hall F:
Preschool Roundtable on libraries and school readiness: Sunday, January 9, 4:00 – 5:30, Room 30B, SD Convention Center
While Stuart prepares for an incredible trip to Qatar, India and China (MathStart in Chinese!—but that’s another post for another day…), I will be heading to San Diego for the American Library Association’s Midwinter conference.
It’s no secret that here at vizlearning we love librarians. Indeed, I am the daughter of one (officially retired, but an active member of a legendary 50+ year Great Books group). I remember learning how to sign my name just so I could get my very own library card. Rites of passage don’t get better than that.
So I was thrilled when Sue Nespeca asked me to talk about school readiness and Stuart’s new series, I See I Learn, at the Preschool Discussion Group roundtable.
Just like MathStart books, I See I Learn stories use visual learning strategies to reinforce learning.
Visual learning and young children are a natural fit. Long before children can read, or even speak many words,they are accomplished visual learners. They understand illustrations and photographs with ease, as well as more abstract representations such as symbols and graphs.
Each book focuses on a specific skill from one of four domains:
- Heath and Safety
Stuart’s stories are modeled on real life situations and, just as in real life, often involve more than one skill. For example,”Freda Plans a Picnic,” is about sequencing, a cognitive skill, but the picnic itself is a social event. “Percy Plays It Safe” focuses on playground safety skills, but playing successfully in a group requires self-regulation, an emotional skill.
Jill Bickford, from Michigan’s West Bloomfield Township Public Library, will also be presenting: “How Libraries Can Help Parents Get Their Children Ready for School and Partnering with Schools.”
I sat in on the roundtable at the ALA conference in DC last summer, taking lots of notes. It was fabulous!. After the official presentations, everyone in the group of about 10 librarians had a chance to share ideas about outreach efforts, including ways to weave in the use of digital tools.
If you are a children’s librarian, or a librarian interested in children’s books, please join the group:
Sunday, January 9, from 4 to 5:30 p.m., in room 30B of the San Diego Convention Center.
Although I am not quite Stuart, I promise treats for all! Please spread the word!
* The I See Learn books will be available at the Charlesbridge booth, #1808. Please stop by.
Also, Stuart now has a Facebook page. We are just getting started. Please share with all your FB friends. Thanks!
And, of course, we are on twitter @vizlearning, too.
See you in the cybersphere!