Posts tagged teaching children

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

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