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Hundred Penny Box
By Sharon Bell Mathis
Ages: 9 - 12
loves his great-great-aunt Dew, even if she can't always
remember his name. He especially loves to spend time with her
and her beloved hundred penny box, listening to stories about
each of the hundred years of her life. Michael's mother wants to
throw out the battered old box that holds the pennies, but
Michael understands that the box itself is as important to Aunt
Dew as the memories it contains. This is a timeless story
of the relationship between a boy and his elderly relative
1976 Newberry Honor
Attitude is contagious. Is yours worth catching?
those who are working or are single working parents.....have a limited
amount of time to spend with their children. Spending time with your
child, no matter what the age, is extremely important, but research
suggests it is the quality of the time spent, not the quantity of time
that is important.
The quality of the time you spend
together can be enhanced by talking with and listening to your child.
Communicating with your child encourages him or her to express ideas,
improve vocabulary and develop thinking skills......all of which are
important for success in school.
Quality time can occur at any
time or any place. Driving in the car or riding in the bus, taking a
walk in the park or a stroll through the neighborhood or going for an
ice cream after dinner are all good opportunities for talking
together. Cleaning the kitchen, doing the laundry, or washing the
dishes together provide time to communicate with each other and keep
in touch with each otherís activities. Children of all ages
especially enjoy having your full attention at bedtime when you can
read or talk together.
In an educational sense learning and
behavior are inseparable. Learning is said to have occurred when there
is an observable change of behavior. All learning results from
exposure to stimulation.
The source of stimulation is referred
to as the stimulus. For the newborn all stimuli are unique in that
they have not yet been meaningfully associated with a personal
With the passage of time the child
begins to associate specific stimuli with specific personal reactions.
By way of example a child may relieve personal discomfort by moving
the head away from an intensely bright light. Conversely the child may
associate auditory sound patterns made by an adult with the
satisfaction of his need for food.
Through continual exposure to
stimulation, the child begins to accumulate a pool of stimulus bound
information. In this way he is ultimately able to predict his personal
reaction to any stimulus which he has previously experienced in some
A stimulus is not sufficient unto
itself. A stimulus must be sensed or received if it is to have
instructional value. Some sensory organ on the body must be able to
detect the stimulus. Having a stimulus and the process of receiving it
cannot complete a learning sequence. The received stimulus must be
processed by the brain to cause some form of expression. The final
part of the learning model which must be considered is what actually
happens as a result of having detected a stimulus, or the terminal
behavior. By combining all of these elements the basic learning model,
in its simplest form, looks like this:
Stimulus óĽ Reception
ó| Processing |óĽ Terminal Behavior (Expression)
The learning model graphically
represents a chain type of reaction commencing with receptive skills,
proceeding to process skills and concluding with some form of
To accomplish great things, we must dream as well as act.
You can motivate your child for
successful learning by building self-esteem. Ask your child to
describe himself. Do bright, positive, upbeat words come out....smart,
good, nice, popular, happy?
do you hear.....dumb, fat, mad, broke, and a list of
"canít do" things like canít read very well, canít
run fast, canít make friends, canít do math?
Before a child can achieve learning
success, he needs to believe in himself.....have an image of
self-worth.....a sense of being capable....a sense of self-esteem. He
needs to see himself as a "can-do" kid.
Research shows that these
feelings of confidence contribute to success in learning, success in
social relationships, and high self-esteem.
Books for Your Child
the best ways to encourage childrenís reading is to give them books
of their very own. With so many childrenís books in print, however,
making the best selections may seem like a formidable task.
Since all children should have books
they can handle freely, durability is important, says the U.S.
Department of Educationís Office of Educational Research and
Improvement. Pick well-constructed board books for infants and
toddlers, so they can help turn pages without damage. Consider
paperbacks and plastic covers for older kids who are not quite ready
for expensive hardbacks.
Next, let your childrenís
interests guide your selections, suggests the Department of Education.
When children ask you endless questions about where they came from or
why the sky is blue, chances are good there is a book with answers
they can understand. If a child expresses an interest in cars, sports,
computers or dinosaurs, find books on those topics. If you will be
reading aloud together, remember to choose books you can enjoy too.
Quality is as important to children as
it is to adults, according to the Library of congress Childrenís
Literature Center. Well-written fiction with a satisfying plot and
strong characterization will motivate your children to keep reading.
Good illustration and design are essential to picture-story books.
Critical to non-fiction are accuracy, organization and clarity of
Also keep in mind your childrenís
reading ability. Books should be challenging enough to stimulate their
thinking skills but not so difficult as to overwhelm them. The
Department of Education suggests school-sponsored book fairs as an
excellent source of offerings geared to your childrenís ages and
Is cost a factor in your selection?
Many second-hand bookstores offer very reasonable prices. Some even
allow you to bring in books your children have outgrown and trade them
for others. Many public libraries also have periodic used-book sales.
Ask a librarian for dates and details.
If you are still not sure what is
appropriate, take advantage of available help. Teachers and
childrenís librarians can suggest books that are good for reading
aloud and books of interest to a particular age group. Most libraries
have book lists and journals that regularly review and recommend
To develop a strong self-image that can
handle stress that seems to accompany bad days, you might want to
consider these suggestions from a national speaker on management and
- Remember that itís not what
happens to you in life...good or bad...that matters. Itís how
you react to it.
- Strive for at least one
success before you leave the office each day.
- Donít rush. Schedule
appointments with 10 minutes between them so you can gather your
- Compliment someone every day.
Youíll feel better about yourself and those you work with.
- Listen to cassettes that
offer positive suggestions. Injecting yourself with someone
elseís positive convictions might help improve your self-esteem.
- Make a list of 10 key life
goals; then visualize yourself accomplishing them.
- Spend at least one hour a
week on a hobby or something else you just enjoy doing. Be a
little selfish and block out at least one hour out of the 168 in
the week for yourself.
- Find a 40-hour block of time
each month and get away from office pressures. But schedule that
weekend just the way you do everything else. You owe it to
Excellence is to do a common thing in an uncommon way.
Department: This arts Web site includes a slew of activities
for formal and informal learning; links art, math, and science; and
much more. Caution - this website includes advertisements which can be
Cool Cosmos: Learn about
infrared light through fun games, cool movies, images, and more.
Classroom activities and a Spanish-language version of the site are
also available. You'll need the free Flash plug-in to access the Flash
version of the site. HTML version also available.
A Chemical Jigsaw Puzzle:
Learning basic chemistry is even more fun when it's a puzzle! Learn
the concept of valency and how to balance equations using this fun
visual and tactile method.
Wakulla Spring - A Giant Among Us:
The site is an in-depth interactive presentation about Floridaís
Wakulla Spring, one of the worldís largest freshwater spring
systems. The site includes information about natural and cultural
history and focuses on threats to the aquifer that feeds the spring.
The free Flash player is required.
National Geographic Maps - Tools for
Adventure: This site immerses the user into the dynamic world of
maps and introduces kids to the essentials of mapping and geospatial
representation through engaging (and fun!) games.
you a grand New Year!
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