Posts tagged learning to read

In Most Asian and European Countries Now the Children Learn English

In the growth economies of the world most parents want their children to learn English. And they are prepared to pay cold hard cash for after school and weekend classes even though the children learn English in school. While in the supposedly Developed English speaking world the experts have changed the way children learn to read and now kids are leaving school with below standard reading levels.

They changed the system from a very effective reading method to what we have nowadays. Yet in most foreign countries where English is taught in the classroom, the children are taught English using phonics. It is no wonder the children are leaving school better educated that we are in the west. English is a part of their way of life, and if they want to get ahead in the future they must know English. So children and English go together.

Now when children start to learn English as a second language they usually learn it very early. In Asia that usually means while they are still at kindergarten. Then at school they bring in the phonics in grade 5 when the children are 10 to 11 years old. Which is a good time to start the serious learning of English.

In families where the parents speak different languages you usually find the children struggle at school learning the language that is taught at school. But when they get to high school they are proficient in both languages. It is no wonder that Asian children are some of the best students even though English is not their first language. So it looks like English as a second language and children go together overseas. But here in the English speaking world the powers to be are doing their best try and stop struggling learners learning to read English.

For more information about teaching in China click here.

Peter Legrove spends most of his time in front of a mixed bunch of kids trying to instill in them some semblance of the road to survive the future.

This article is copyright © peter legrove.

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All the best teaching in China

Teacher Peter

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MOOCs and how to survive them

MOOCs And How To Survive Them
Peter Legrove is in the process of writing a new book. One of his other books in education is about teaching your children to read using phonics and Montessori sandpaper letters. This book is about MOOCs, what they are, how to do them, and the effect they might have on the future of education as we know it.
MOOCs are just something that hit the free scene on the internet last year and have somehow taken on a mind of their own. Well it seems that way from a MOOCers point of view. Whether they are as popular as they were is hard to determine. Because each MOOC is different you cannot compare across MOOCs. Whereas one MOOC might have an active forum, others do not. And it depends on the students.

One thing I have noticed is the quality of students has increased dramatically over the past few MOOCs. I do not know if that is over most MOOCs or just the ones I’ve had a go at. I would like to see some completion figures from the MOOCs I take like, How many students get a certificate? How many get the free certificate and how many get a paid certificate. Just a few stats to see what I was up against. In my humble opinion I would say MOOCs have gone from a novelty to something serious. There are some serious students doing the peer assessments and the quality is amazing.
But MOOCs haven’t done what I thought they were going to do, when they first came out. And that was an advertisement for the university and the lecturer who wrote a book. I have only received one advertisement for a paying course from a university, and it wasn’t even the university that had the MOOC. Maybe the universities should take a MOOC about how to use MOOCs to get paying students. As has been said before, academics don’t always follow their own advice. They must have one hell of a mailing list and they are just not using it. I thought I would be bombarded with emails for courses and books the lecturer had written. But not so.

So I don’t really know where they are heading. Unless this is the future of higher education and is a prelude to lifelong learning. A very few popular internet people – I couldn’t call them gurus – who live in the NOW, like James Altucher, are against sending young adults to university. Mainly because the middle class is dead and universities prepare students for the middle class. Also because life experience is possible more important going forward. And why start your working life deep in debt.

Since the financial crisis of 2007, high paying jobs of the middle class are few and far between. That could be the future. So start your lifelong learning with a MOOC or two and build up your resume or CV, while you are working making money. And not piling on debt while at university. Another thing about the future is “The top ten in demand jobs advertised in 2013 did not exist 2006” so why spend four years at university when, some say, half of what you learn will be obsolete before you graduate. If lifelong learning is the future then MOOCs are definitely changing the future. When employees accept MOOCs on a resume or CV, then they will be a force to be competing with.
Now what are MOOCs are why have they suddenly popped up on the internet. Well a MOOC is a Massive Open Online Course. Could be an extension of the MOG. Which have been around for a while and have dominated the internet since it’s inception nearly. And I would say have been and still are, a driving force on how the internet will head into the future. A MOG is a Massive Online Game, and even people who are not gamers have seen the impact of MOGs on their kids.

Most MOOCs are real time courses, that have strict time limits, and you have to complete parts of the course before the deadline. And before moving on to the next part of the course. Each course has different criteria for completion, but most have peer reviewed assessments, and you have to do so many forum entries. These usually are questions posted as well as answering other posts.

And the forums can make or break a course. In some courses there is a lot of interaction on the forums, while others the threads just don’t seem to hang together. It all depends on the students, and I think how many are aiming for a Certification of Completion with Distinction. Or if you get students really interested in the topic then forums are a ton of fun. And you can sometimes get excellent links to other related stuff on the internet. I’ve been introduced to some amazing stuff on the forums. Stuff I’d never have found otherwise.

Also, since the MOOCs are the latest, they are very up-to-date. And you are introduced to the latest in research and where it is heading in the future. One thing I do like about MOOCs is they show you available free software and other interesting things available on the internet. They have helped me to upgrade my internet experience to new tech. I’ve been on the internet for years now, and I am stuck using old tech, because I am comfortable with it and I have had no reason to upgrade. Now I’ve been shown the latest and I’m impressed with it, so I’ve changed. That is what MOOCs have done to me. I’m sad to say I haven’t made any friends that have lasted longer than the MOOC, but I have enjoyed them all.
Now, are MOOCs the next best thing or just a passing phase. Are they a disruptive technology or the future of education. We shall see. Are universities and institutes of learning worried about MOOCs and how they have changed education so far. Or is it, education hasn’t changed for the past 150 years. Don’t you think it is about time it changed.

 

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Montessori Phonics Is Still Helping Children Learn To Read Even After 100 years

Phonics are the building blocks of learning to read. But lately they have taken a back seat to the Look See Method in some countries. Most students can learn to read, no matter what method they are being taught, but the struggling learners need phonics. It has been shown time and again, that phonics are a better way to learn to read, for struggling readers.

The Look See Method has the beautiful books with lots of pictures, while the phonic books are pretty drab, filled with rhyming text that don’t always make sense. But you need rhyming to learn to read. And students will learn to read using the Look See Method, but struggling students will have problems.

To be honest, I don’t know why some students learn to read easier than others, especially nowadays. But I think it has a lot to do with home life. Parents of reading kids help their kids. They don’t live in front of the tee vee, and they use the computer for knowledge, not to play games or watch videos. But that is not always the case. I had a brother and a sister in different classes, the sister was top of the class and the brother couldn’t even read. He left school to start a trade, and she went to uinversity.

In another extreme case, a girl was in the top of the class, every morning she could read the homework easily and perfectly. Then one day I asked her to read a different text in class, and she couldn’t read it. And I asked her why, and she said at night her daddy used to read the homework to her, and she would memorize it and spit it out the next day. I had serious problems with her, but with Montessori Phonics she finally learned to read. Montessori Phonics takes the student away from looking at the word to feeling the word, and that was the only way to get her to learn to read.

Back in my day when I went to school, we were taught synthetic phonics, where you learn the phonic sound then move onto words then sentences. Another method that has since become popular, is the phonics method where you start with sentences, and move back to words, then syllables, then right down to the phonic sound. Really it doesn’t matter which way your children learn to read, as long as they learn.

At the moment video and audio is taking over the internet, but to play around and work on the internet, you still have to be able to read and type. So to survive the future your children have to be able to read, write and type. Speed typing is a must for the future, as well as speed reading. There is so much information out there, that you need to process in work and everyday life, that you need to be able to process it very quickly. To survive the future you need these skills, and they all start with learning to read.

With the internet there are a number of online phonic sites, where you children can learn phonics and some are very good, I mean exceptional. But even with all the information on the internet some children do not learn by looking. Around sixty percent do, but reading starts in your ears, not with your eyes. You have to hear the phonic sound first, then match it with the written word. So if your children have problems learning to read, get their ears checked. There might be something mechanically wrong with their ears. Usually not the case. It is usually just a case of matching a learning method, with your child’s learning style.

I call this, the method of last resort, even though it has been around for over 100 years, and it started out teaching children with severe learning difficulties. This is the Montessori method of teaching reading, and if everything fails try this out. It is a hands on system of teaching reading. You just can’t plant your children in front of the computer, and expect the computer to do the teaching. You have to be there or an older sibling can help out. Basically you need to get hold of some sandpaper letters, whether block or cursive, depending on what you want to teach your children, then start teaching. You will also need a phonics chart, and some phonic sounds, which you can get of the internet for free. It is a very simple system, you make up a simple word, for example ‘cat’, in sandpaper letters. Then your child traces the sandpaper letters, while saying the word. You must emphasis the phonic sound, so your daughter can translate it to other words. Then repeat the system over and over again with many words that rhyme. A very effective system, it must be used when everything else has not worked. It is my last line of defense. If the Montessori system doesn’t work I’m lost. I don’t know if it works with dyslexic people, but it is worth a try.

Anyway for the future you need to be able to read, write, type and then learn to speed read. Probably in that order, except most students learn to read then go straight onto a keyboard, so writing gets left behind. Now it has been shown that people who write in longhand or cursive, write faster and they are also more creative. So if your children are aspiring to be creative writers, or into writing advertisements, then they should learn to write in cursive. Also at present when you sit an exam, you have to write in longhand not block letters. So until that changes, it might be an idea to bring in the cursive writing skills, to give your children the upper hand in exams.

To find out more about teaching reading using the Montessori method go to http://animalsdinosaursandbugs.com/Montessori.htm and click on the picture.

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Peter Legrove spends most of his time in front of a mixed bunch of kids trying to instill in them some semblance of the road to survive the future.

This article is copyright © peter legrove.

You can use this article on your website or ezine but leave the resource box intact.

All the best teaching children

Teacher Peter

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With The Pencil Going The Way Of The Dinosaur You Still Need To Know How To Teach Your Child To Write

Nowadays most schools let children print in block letters like the keys on a keyboard instead of teaching writing as in continuous cursive. Probably a lot of parents cannot see any benefit in teaching writing as their children spend more time on a keyboard than with a pen and notepad. With the influx of modern technology in the classroom and university it would seem that writing is going extinct. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

Your children still need to be able to write so you, the parent, need to know how to teach your children to write. Teaching writing is not too difficult and once your children know how to write they can write on cards and write shopping lists.

I prefer the Montessori way of teaching writing and reading as it uses a hands on approach and can be used with a school textbook. The basics behind the Montessori approach is sandpaper letters. You make up the words your child is learning at school or kindergarten. And your child traces the sandpaper letter feeling the texture of the sandpaper under her fingertips. This feeling the letters, helps to implant the letters and words and how to write them in your child’s mind.

When tracing the words your child is actually going through the motions of writing without a pencil. This gets the hand and arm muscles read to start writing when your child picks up a pen. Writing like most learning takes time, and I think the Montessori approach with sandpaper letters actually shortens the time it takes for you to teach your child to write.

According to Maria Montessori some children learn to read first, while others learn to write first. It depends on the child. I have the child trace the new words or phonic sounds with Montessori sandpaper letters and this helps to write the new words in the child’s mind. While tracing the sandpaper letters the child is actually writing with her fingers so this is the start of the writing process.

Sometimes teaching writing too early can hinder learning to read in some children. Because writing takes a longer time than reading it can slow down the child as she spends more time trying to write. If your child is a slow writer just stick to reading.

The school system of today has no time for slow writers but the main problem has more to do with hand strength than slow writing. Under the Montessori system the child’s hand strength is built up every day. Therefore when they start to write the child can control the pencil.

If your child is having problems with writing, start by building up your child’s hand strength. This simple act seems to eliminate a lot of writing problems.

Under the Montessori system the child will start to write by themselves. After tracing the sandpaper letters the child will usually pick up a pencil and just start to write without any encouraging. The first part of the writing process is learning to hold a pencil and coloring in different sized shapes. This gets the muscles in the hand and arm ready for writing. The earlier children start to hold and use a pencil the earlier they will start to write.

I like the Montessori system of teaching writing and reading and this is the course I recommend

http://www.animalsdinosaursandbugs.com/Teaching-Reading.htm

Peter Legrove spends most of his time in front of a mixed bunch of kids trying to instill in them some semblance of the road to survive the future.

This article is copyright © peter legrove.

You can use this article on your website or ezine but leave the resource box intact.

All the best teaching your children

Teacher Peter

Church in Secondlife

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Is Writing Going The Way Of The Dinosaur

Some parents debate whether learning to write is necessary as all around them they see computers and keyboards. I sometimes wonder myself as I was brought up on a notepad and pencil and all around me kids are using computers. As a school teacher I still use the blackboard and chalk, but most of the young, new teachers use the computer and power point presentations. I have tried using the computer in the classroom but it didn’t suit me, as I like to stand and walk around. I think the kids prefer the blackboard as the teacher can create the lesson as they go. But the debate still continues whether students like using a computer in the classroom or not. We have already got the paperless office and for some courses in the university we have the paperless lecture. But they are basically to do with highly computerized courses and it is to the advantage of the student to use a computer. But not all courses need a computer.

Now back to school life. A lot of students have computers but there are a number of socially disadvantaged students in the lower area schools who can’t afford computers. These are the students without a voice only school teachers know about them. The people who do all the talking and want computers in the classroom, are the parents of the socially adjusted students not the socially inapt students. And most of the older teachers like me, don’t like computers because the students know more about them that the teacher. And most students are better on a keyboard that the teacher.

Anyway with the number of students who own computers you would think they would do their homework on a computer but not so. They do the research on a computer but then they hand in written assignments, albeit in printing not in longhand writing. Most children use the computer for entertainment as opposed to working on one and they have this mind set that the computer is a plaything not a work tool. People from my generation appreciate the computer because we know what life was like without one and the younger generation do not.

The computer is a great time saver as well as an extremely good time waster and a lot of students have mastered the time wasting side of the computer. They have to be taught how to use the computer as a time saving tool. At school we don’t do that, we just teach them how to type. And parents don’t bother, they just let them lose on the computer so they are not destroying the house.

One big change I have noticed that has been brought about by the computer is longhand writing verses printing. My generation all wrote in longhand but now nearly nobody writes in longhand, it is all in block letters. That is partly due to schools not teaching writing and also teachers using block letters. On the blackboard I use block because the students can read it but everywhere else I use longhand. The only time I use longhand is in a kindergarten where I teach Montessori writing with sandpaper letters to a bunch of kids after class.

Anyway I think the pencil will dominate over the keyboard as long as the students think the computer is an entertainment tool not a work machine. At present this thinking process only changes for some students while at school. I still don’t know why some students do their homework on a computer but I do know most of them don’t and most have access to a computer.

I like the Montessori system of teaching writing and reading and this is the course I recommend

http://www.animalsdinosaursandbugs.com/Teaching-Reading.htm

Peter Legrove spends most of his time in front of a mixed bunch of kids trying to instill in them some semblance of the road to survive the future.

This article is copyright © peter legrove.

You can use this article on your website or ezine but leave the resource box intact.

All the best teaching your children

Teacher Peter

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How Constant Repetition Can Turn You Into A Genius

I was utterly amazed with the National Geographic program My Brilliant Brain. It is amazing what our brains are capable of. After watching the program about the girl chess master it seems that we have to somehow transfer the knowledge from our short-term memory to our long-term memory. In the story when the girl was very young the girl’s father kept showing her different chess moves from the grand masters. This constant repetition instilled her chess knowledge in her long-term memory. This is not an isolated case as the father used the same approach with the younger sisters and the three girls are now all grand chess masters.

I think a similar approach is how we learn reading. When I was a kid I think the Nuns taught me synthetic phonics at school, as that was in vogue at that time. And because we didn’t have as many distractions as the kids of today, we implanted reading in our long-term memory. We did this by reading and more reading. I lived in the library and read a lot and my reading skills now are quite good. I tried a speed-reading course and because I kept at it my reading speed improved. Speed-reading came in handy when I was reading novels or fiction especially science fiction as I love reading that. With science fiction and fantasy you have to imagine what you are reading and that takes you into another realm of speed-reading. Anyway as we get older it is easier for us to read as we have had lots of practice. We have basically implanted the words in our long term memory and we can recall them instantly. I would say very similar to the girl grand chess master. She could instantly recall the many chess moves as they were implanted in her long term memory.

Also I was brought up with a pencil in one hand and to compete in the modern world I had to learn to type. Typing involves memory and with constant repetition typing just becomes second nature like reading. I can now do it without thinking but I first had to implant the different moves of my fingers over the keyboard in my long term memory. And that is where constant repetition comes inby just doing it. To start I had to force myself but over time I settled into the new typing way of not looking at the keyboard. But it did take time. These things don’t happen over night, they just happen.

Now back to reading, I will admit when I was a kid I loved reading so I was pretty close to being a bookworm. I lived in the library and I had an endless collection of books. But it all started with phonics and once I understood the code to turn the word into a sound I understood, I could read. So getting the 44 phonics sounds instilled into your child’s long-term memory is a must. But it does get complicated with the same phonic sounds having many different spellings and meanings. So it takes time but you must get all the different combinations instilled in your child’s mind. Then they must read and read to plant the phonics sounds, meanings and spellings in their long-term memory. Learning the phonics is only half the equation they must use them as they read. This second step is quite crucial so keep them reading. Get them away from the TV and computer until everything is planted in the long term memory then they can read on the computer if they like. Forget the TV if you can.

Now, my daughter had incredible problems and it was only after I started stressing phonics that she slowly improved. Every time she asked me to say a word I would break the word down into syllables and phonics. Then I would read the phonic sounds backwards so she could see the different combinations of letters. Now she is okay but it took a lot of effort on my part. So if your kids are having problems get them started on phonics as early as possible and keep reading to your kids.

I like the Montessori system of teaching writing and reading and this is the course I recommend

http://www.animalsdinosaursandbugs.com/Teaching-Reading.htm

Peter Legrove spends most of his time in front of a mixed bunch of kids trying to instill in them some semblance of the road to survive the future.

This article is copyright © peter legrove.

You can use this article on your website or ezine but leave the resource box intact.

All the best teaching your children

Teacher Peter

Church in Secondlife

Click here to go to church online

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