'Tis education forms the common mind:/ Just as the twig is bent the
Oh, Say! Can I
Visualizing or making pictures in one's
mind helps us clarify information so that recall is easier. When
students are visualizing information spoken to them, they are actively
participating in the construction of meaning. Some researchers
have suggested that visual images are easier to recall and are
remembered longer than printed or verbal messages. A familiar
example of this is our ability to remember people's faces but not
Instruction in visualizing can begin
with a single, descriptive object (e.g., a fresh, hot pizza with
"the works"). Thoughtful selection of a target
object will insure that the student has prior knowledge of the
target. After modeling the visualization of a target
object, the child can discuss what he/she would include.
As the child becomes proficient in
visualizing simple targets, passages that require increasingly more
complex visual images can be presented. For example:
It was very cold late yesterday
afternoon in the big city. Snow was falling and the wind was
blowing strongly. People who lived outside the city were
trying to get home before the snow got deeper.
Possible questions might include:
- How did you picture the place?
- How did you picture the people who
were in the city?
- How did you picture what was
After sufficient practice and
discussion, the child can independently practice visualization.
Passages that contain details and descriptive language are especially
useful for the visualization strategy. For example:
It was "Kite Day" at the
park. The sun was shining and the wind was just right for
flying kites. Big Dog, Little Dog and the friend Squeak, the
mouse, each had a kite in the sky. Big Dog's kite had stripes
on it. Big Dog's kite was closest to the ground. Little
Dog's kite had spots on it. Little Dog's kite was higher in
the air than Big Dog's kite. Squeak's kite had a picture of
cheese on it. Squeak's kite was the highest of the
If the child has difficulty remembering
information that is critical to the passage, prompts can be
given. A child's drawing of their visualization can help, as
well as comprehension questions.
Adapted from Idea
Factory for Teachers Silver Burdett and Ginn
Drink and Be Merry
It is that
time of year again when there is an over abundance of foods and
delicacies that are hard to resist. There is entertainment and much to
be done for most of us. As parents we need to attend to our
personal health, but also to be a role model for our
children. The following tips will help you sail happily through
the holiday season:
- Eat Well, and Often Even Away
- It can't be said often
enough: Always eat a healthy breakfast. Your body needs
food after its nighttime fast. A balanced breakfast that
includes whole-grain cereal with low-fat milk, fruit and juice
will give you the foundation you need,
- Eat several small meals
throughout the day to keep your energy level steady. If
your schedule doesn't permit this, be sure to combine protein,
complex carbohydrates and small amounts of fat at each
- Ask for dressings, gravies,
butter and other toppings on the side and use only as much as
you need to flavor your food.
- Drink Up
- Keep a bottle of cold water
close at hand throughout the day so you can drink your
"daily eight" without interrupting what you are
doing. The dry heat in the winter can quickly deplete
your body's fluids.
- Avoid thirst. By the time
you feel thirsty, your body has already done all it can to
- Remember that water is the best
source for hydration, but if you need something different,
fruit juices are also great and provide vitamins your body
- Feed Your Brain
- Take time to keep up with health
issues in the news.
- Get to know what different foods
do for your body so you can choose a wise, satisfying
- Don't Worry, Be Happy
- Laugh frequently. Take
time to find the joy in everyday life.
- Take time to just breath every
now and then. Slow deep breathing will help regulate
your heart and respiration rates and clear your mind.
- Maintain a regular sleep
schedule that make you feel refreshed in the morning.
- Don't expect to be
perfect. If you ever achieve that goal, you will have
ceased to be human.
Adapted from Leaders'
Unlearning is harder than learning.
With our sermonettes, cajoling and in
some instances, begging and threatening our children to study and
learn, many of them seem to turn away and perceive us simply as
nagging parents with little impact on their daily learning. We,
in turn, often feel guilty and fatigued by these constant battles for
our children's benefit and resent our roles as minister-wardens in the
service of modern education.
Show a non-threatening interest in your
child's learning. This means that you care and want to know what
your child is learning, but not for purposes of criticism or surveillance.
The dinner table is an excellent setting for exploration of new things
your child has learned. On these occasions your disposition
should be to understand and share in the enjoyment of your child's
learning. They are not situations in which to criticize or be
demanding of the child to improve or to show superior work. Such
reactions will usually cause the young person to avoid discussions of
this nature, or worse, to resent learning activities for the
oppression it brings to home life.
Learning is an active physical and
emotional process. Children must feel rested and healthy
to have the energy needed for learning. They must also feel
loved and free from emotional trauma in order to concentrate on
learning. Otherwise their time in school may be spent worrying
about or reflecting on personal problems. A satisfying home life
is a prerequisite for effective learning.
Adapted from National
Teens and Decisions
One way to help your teenagers become
better decision makers is to step out of your role of exclusive
decision maker and take on the new role of coach and helper.
Teach these steps for making a decision:
- Discuss the problem. What is
it you need to do or decide? What do you know about this
- Gather more information. What
do you know from other experiences that would help? What do
you need to know more about before making the decision?
- List the alternatives. What are all
the possible choices? Are there others you have forgotten?
- Examine the consequences. What
will be the results, good and bad, of each alternative? What
are the consequences, in the short and long run of each? How
do you feel about each choice today? How do you think you
will feel next week? Next year?
- Consider feelings and values.
How do you feel about each alternative? Each
consequence? How does each fit with your values, your
family's values and community expectations?
- Choose the best possible course of
- Make decisions together.
Go through the steps with your teenager. Remember that
those who contribute to a decision are much more likely to
stick to it.
- Create opportunities for your
teens to make decisions on their own. When a good
decision is made...especially when it is the teenager's ...it
is important to praise the child and let him or her know you
National School Public relations Association
The Expectant Life
Washington Irving once wrote:
"Great minds have purposes; others have wishes." His
insight leads to the realization that without expectancy, we lack
Achievers, in particular, exhibit this
attitude of expectancy. This shows itself most forcefully in the
way they minimize their losses. The do not grieve over failures
or what might have been. Rather, the achiever looks around the
corner in anticipation of the good things that await him. All he
has to do, he believes, is show the determination to get
He rejects the notion of 'can't.'
As a result, he is able to open more doors than others, strike better
deals and attract more energetic and resourceful people to work with
him. He sets higher standards and gets others to help him meet
them He wins confidence and nurtures vitality in others.
He expects to succeed.
When combined with desire, expectancy
produces hope. And hope makes all things possible. Living
the expectant life is simply an act of good judgment.
Allan Cox, The Making
of an Achiever
Your Child Fears Most
parents don't understand how deeply a child fears humiliation.
All too often we don't see or hear what is really troubling our
children. Research has shown that children are afraid of losing
face: being thought of as unattractive, stupid or
dishonest. It is more troubling to wet their pants in class, get
a bad report card or repeat a grade, for example, than it is to
undergo surgery or be confronted by a rival baby brother or
sister....situations a parent might expect to be most
disconcerting. For a child, a blow to self-esteem, the sense of
being worthy, is a terrible thing to endure.
have found that once a child starts school, the respect and liking of peers
become immensely important. The opinion of friends sometimes
matters more than the approval of teachers and parents. When
asked what was so bad about repeating a grade, the most common
response was shame at being "laughed at and teased" by
have always understood that adolescents turn to their peer group for
support, but we have also assumed that for younger children
friendships were easily formed and easily broken. New
studies show that the loss of friends and particularly rejection by
the group are painful and humiliating for even very young
are some things we can do:
Instead of grilling a child to discover truth, let him or her
talk. What the child first complains about may not be the
child for the new. Whatever the upcoming event, parents
should carefully prepare their children.
physical support. Children need to be accepted by
their peers. Take very seriously a child's complaints about
being teased, or being left out of games, or not being asked to a
the child for what he or she really is. Understanding the
child comes from letting him show us what he is like.
Parents, of course, have
to help shape their children to fit into society. But let them
fit in, in their own ways. The basic requirement for everybody,
young or old, is to feel that he or she is worth something.
Adapted from James
The only thing more expensive than education is ignorance.
Curtis Botanical Magazine:
Students of all ages can access antique illustrations of native plant
species from around the world. The US Department of Agriculture has
created a database from the information found in Curtis Botanical
Magazine (published 1787-1807). Use the search feature to find plants
by common name, species, or location, such as US state or country.
Space CAD: Do you
want your child to experience CAD (Computer-Aided Drafting and
Design), but don't have a lot of time and money to set up a program?
Try using the lesson ideas from this ThinkQuest entry, which uses
authentic NASA technical drawings and includes a link to free, lite-CAD
software. Tutorials, slide shows, interactive quizzes, and design
projects are linked to the history of the NASA manned space program,
including many color photographs. Lessons are also available in
Spanish and French.
Yes I can Science!
The International Space Station is in the news. Learn more about the
role the Canadian Space Program plays in the station, and let your
students experiment and create activities using the themes of water,
ecosystems, robotics and energy. Specific lessons targeted to students
from grades 3-12.
Codes and Ciphers in the Second
World War: Everyone I know has played spy at one time or
another. Let students see the practical side and how technology and
mathematics helped break codes during World War II. Take a virtual
tour of Bletchley House, where code-breaking operations were housed,
and learn about Enigma, the coding machine that was so tough to break.
EuroTurtle, despite the name, covers turtles worldwide. This great
resource has information on the biology of turtles, species of
turtles, their location and their chances for a long and happy life.
Early learners can view great images and gain information, while older
students can spend hours accessing the information and activities on
Chaucer Metapagea: For
educators and students trying to understand Chaucer or for those trying
to get a feel for life in 14th and 15th Century England, visit this site
to read about Chaucer's work, hear the work read aloud and figure out
the meanings of Olde English words found in his work.
give thanks for each of you this month!
From the Knowledge HQ Staff
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