So I tried to get this post up for Allison a few days ago, but every time I logged into the website, I got a horrible, scary FATAL ERROR message. Thank goodness for web guys who start work at 5 am.
Okay. Get out your thesauruses… Translate the following captions underneath the pictures into simpler English. Post your answers in the comments section below. On Thursday, we’ll announce the person who had the closest translation to Miss Allison’s original captions. For some background and clues, see her previous post.
The prize? A $50 gift certificate to the winner’s favorite restaurant. Yep! You get to customize your own prize. Seriously, who else will do that for you? Good luck!
saguaro comprising projections and foreamen for oscine to fabricate aeries in
puerile crustacean clambering on a metacarpus
progeny of kinswoman in chimera macrocosm
agglomeration of relics arrayed for discernible delectation
stripling with quarto in corporeal form and comestible
fimus flavous jalopy with bounteous graupe
-posted by Miss Analiisa, who says that you now have somewhat of an idea what fun Miss Allison is to have as a friend and business partner!
I’ve been thinking about school a lot this week. After all, it is that time of year! My own boys are in high school now, attending separate schools (different kids different needs… sigh…) and having somewhat similar experiences -mostly good, and some excellent- but vastly different from mine. I had an incredible high school experience.
The path leading to that incredible experience began in my sophomore year English class -Varieties of Literature, taught by a marvelous teacher, Janet Laughlin. She was passionate, and dedicated, like so many teachers. I do believe the course was her own creation because none of the other teachers at the school taught this class and it wasn’t offered at the other high school in town, either. We read every kind of written word that existed. Short stories, novels (Silas Marner- I loved George Eliot, she was so brave and progressive) essays, poetry, magazines and newspapers, nonfiction and plays (Shakespeare- Julius Caesar and As You Like It. Oh be still my beating heart, this is where I learned I loved Shakespeare)
There was a written assignment of some kind for every different kind of reading we did. Some of them crossed over. When we read Silas Marner we were all required to write a short story prequel to the novel. When we read essays we wrote poems about the impression the essay left upon us. When we read articles we wrote essays in agreement or disagreement. She was a very creative teacher and her curriculum reflected that.
She taught every portion of the curriculum with incredible energy and obvious love. She was a whirlwind in the classroom, making notes with her color-coded markers on her white board. (She had the only white board in the building that year. She offered to test this new technology for the school. By my Junior year about half the teachers had them.) She encouraged discussion, and dissent and debate, and her classroom was a clamorous, and joyful place.
Mrs. Laughlin had reasonable expectations. She wanted to see a student grow and improve. But she had a pet peeve… and as a woman of action she set up an organization to combat this irritant. She called it S.P.O.W The Society for the Prevention of Overused Words. Mrs. Laughlin hated words like “nice” and “fun” and “good”. She would rail against words used so often that they meant nothing. “Nothing!” She’d cry out in class” This word means NOTHING!”
So you can imagine what happened when a student used a S.P.O.W word in a written assignment- yep, big red circle around that word, and S.P.O.W. in bold red ink above it. And because Mrs. Laughlin believed that teaching was what she was supposed to do, and learning from ones mistakes was an opportunity to teach; we had to make corrections on every red circle. The sentence had to be rewritten, with a better word. A word that meant something, and caught a reader’s interest.
I started my homework in September using an old dog-eared thesaurus that had been my dad’s when he was in college. By the end of the year I had broken the spine and innumerable pages were loose. I held it together with a rubber band. I still have it, although I don’t use it anymore. It sits on a shelf and reminds me of days gone by and I use the thesaurus on the Internet. But every time I open up that website and search for a word I think of Mrs. Laughlin, of her passion for words and how they work, how they illuminate ideas and feelings and thoughts and dreams.
natatory arthropod for refection (aquatic crabs for dinner)
When I write blogs, or scripts for the symphony, I open up that thesaurus and channel Mrs. Laughlin. I try and never use a big fat yummy word just for the sake of using it. The words have to flow, something that Mrs. Laughlin would understand out here in the real world. In the blogosphere I can say “big fat yummy word, because it flows and has a certain ring of truth that we all understand. But in Mrs. Laughlin’s classroom I would have to say – get ready for it-
brawny, colossal, luscious term…
or maybe copious ponderous ambrosial utterance…
or perhaps prodigious gargantuan succulent idiom….
Mrs. Laughlin, I fan the pages of my thesaurus to you. And I thank you for encouraging me, and inspiring me, and most of all for teaching me that the pen is indeed mightier than the sword. I hope that every student has a teacher like you. When I tell stories in my classroom, or give instructions or just shoot the breeze with my little charges, I hope I inspire them to embrace our beautiful, completely insane language and use as many of the words as possible. They are so delectable. (The words are delectable, not the children…. although the children are pretty scrumptious, too!)
I had some fun pulling more picture and giving them captions riddled with words from my thesaurus. The next blog post will have six pictures. Translate them into simple English like the ones above, and you could win a lovely prize! (We’re thinking a yummy goodness delicious things to drink and nibble basket…)
-scribed by Miss Allison, who postulates that lexemes are scrumptious!
Okay, okay. So I know a lot of you prefer to be OUTSIDE as much as possible during our summers here in Seattle, but fall is just around the corner. Along with the rain. Which means it’s time come back inside, at least between the showers. And we want to invite you into our hearts and Kindermusik classrooms. Our Studio3Music families are waiting to greet you with open arms, with some horns to toot, sticks to tap, bells to jingle, tambourines to shake, songs to sing and dances to, well, dance!
Music is the best thing you can do to nurture your child’s mind, body and soul from birth onward. Want to know how?
Listening builds attention.
Feeling and moving to steady beat develops a sense of time.
Beat organizes and coordinates movements.
Music and movement story time encourages musical development through tonal, rhythm, and movement play.
Playing instruments increaseseye-hand coordination.
Singing encourages theexploration of one’s voice.
Music develops a sense of owninternal steady beat.
Sequencing is the ability to remember an order of events or instructions. We use sequencing skills all day by ordering what we need to do first, second, third, last, etc. As grownups, we don’t think twice about the steps to brush our teeth, tie our shoes, or cook an everyday recipe. We easily prioritize errands to fit into our lunch hour, or put our work to-do lists in order.
If you’re wondering how long of a list your child should be able to remember or follow, a good rule of thumb is that young children are able to remember a sequence with approximately as many steps as their age. For example, a two-year-old can likely complete a two-step direction; three-year-olds can often sequence three steps, and so on.
Like most skills, learning to sequence is a skill that can be practiced. Looking for ways throughout your day to help your child practice following steps or remembering a sequence is a great way to build the sequencing skills needed for writing, pre-reading and comprehension.
This practice can come in the form of giving instruction (i.e., Pick up your socks and then take them to Daddy.), giving a sequence of events (First, we’ll eat breakfast, then we’ll get dressed, and then we’ll go to Kindermusik!), or discovering the sequence in a story book.
Here are some other ideas that can be easily done at home:
Ages 2 and up Encourage your child to think sequentially simply by asking questions. “It’s raining. What do you need to put on before you go out to play?” “Tell me what you did at Nana’s house today.” “How do you get ready for your bath?” Take a walk in your neighborhood and then ask your child to give directions as you head back home. Read familiar books together and then pause between pages. Ask “What happens next?”
Ages 3 and up Find printable picture sequencing cards online, or purchase a box at any learning store. They come in 3 to 6 scene sets. Talk about the pictures and put them in order, using sequencing words like: first, second, next, then, and last. If four cards are too many to put in order, then start with two or three.
Print out photos of your child from birth to present. Mix the photos up and have your child put them in order. At first, you may need to give clues to help. Encourage your child to describe the photos using words like: taller, shorter, younger, older, smaller, bigger. When the photos are in order, have your child describe what she sees. “This is when I learned to crawl. Next I learned to walk. Now I can jump on my trampoline.”
Ages 4 and up Practice storytelling. We play a game called The Storybook Game. We take turns flipping over cards in a row and adding the nouns pictured on the cards into the story. It can be used as a memory type game for retelling a story, but we often leave the pictures face up. Expect to hear a lot of “and then… and then…” until your child gets a good vocabulary of sequence words. You of course, model those words by using them in your storytelling. Make sure your story has an ending!
Have your child make simple recipes like a peanut butter and honey sandwich, or grapes and string cheese. Talk about the food preparation. You’d be surprised at how many steps there are to getting grapes and string cheese ready to eat! If you’ve got child who likes to draw, have him draw out (in order) what he did to make the sandwich.
Ages 5 and up Get those magnetic letters and numbers back out. Starting with two (and adding more as she gets better), have your child arrange the letters or numbers in order. Since most 5 year olds can count or say the alphabet in order, make it harder by not starting at the beginning, or skipping letters and numbers. For instance, your child will have to figure out the missing letters in between W, B, L, X, T in order to put them in proper sequence.
Play a game. Dice games like Bunco, Yahtzee and Phase 10 Dice are all great for teaching more complex sequencing skills.
-posted by Miss Analiisa, whose favorite game right now is Rummikub, which also requires the ability to manipulate sequences of tiles, best done in your head so your opponent doesn’t catch on…
My husband Karl was gone all last week, which meant that I had drop off and pick up duty for Rob’s rehearsals. (He’s making his debut in Aladdin Jr. this week!) Rather than fight traffic without a carpool buddy (my remaining children were at camp with Karl), I opted to sit in the air conditioned, quiet library in a comfy chair with public wi-fi for 3 hours and wait for him. Otherwise known as heaven to this busy, never-alone momma.
I spent some time researching and reading about a dancing bird, a sizzling tidbit of data I had squirreled away for such a peaceful moment. It actually was pretty fascinating. The article was from a science journal, after all, so there had to be a bit of boring stuff. But I’ll skip all that and only share the interesting parts.
There was a 2009 study done by Patel (he’s from the Neurosciences Institute of San Diego), Iverson, Bregman and Schultz, inspired by a YouTube video of a dancing sulfer-crested cockatoo named Snowball. (You can him perform at the World Science Fair below.) Apparently, this was the first time scientists had noticed a species other than humans who had BPS – beat perception and synchronization.
BPS means that you have the ability to perceive the beat in music and move your body to that beat. I admit, not everyone does it well. But every human can do it, every culture does it, though I actually heard something about “beat deafness” a while ago. That bit of data is also squirreled away for a looksee later, too.
The scientists, being the thorough researchers that they are, poured over thousands of YouTube videos looking for other examples of animals that had BPS. Surprisingly (or maybe not), they found only a couple of other species of birds and one Asian elephant.
They did some further hands-on research with Snowball, and found he could also adapt to changes in tempo. His BPS and adaption to tempo change percentage of accuracy was around 60% – approximately the same as young children.
Trying to find commonalities between the birds and the Asian elephant and the non beat-deaf humans, the scientists found that we all have a rare trait in common – complex vocal learning. This simply means that we learn to produce complex sounds by imitation. Think about it, that’s how babies learn to speak – by mimicking the sounds of other people.
There is just a small group of animals that have complex vocal learning – parrots, songbirds, hummingbirds, dolphins, seals, elephants, some bats and some whales. The researchers wondered if those animals would have BPS, too. (Imagine the funding required to find out if whales can dance!)
Now to me, here’s the really interesting part. BPS requires auditory (hearing) motor (moving) to integrate in the nervous system, and vocal learning helps create this interface.
Not only that, the circuits in the brain that deal with vocal learning overlap with those that involve BPS. The ability to keep a steady beat with our bodies and vocal learning are connected.
The researchers went on to note that young children are better at synchronizing to a steady beat in a social versus non-social context.
Now, I’m not qualified by a series of letters after my last name to draw any amazing conclusions from this research. And personally, I’m not titillated by the thoughts of piping Sousa into a dark cave and standing knee deep in guano, trying to see with my flashlight if the bats will move in time to Stars and Stripes Forever, but the info from this study is a no-brainer to me.
Why? It’s exactly what do we do in Kindermusik class. Those neuroscientists should check us out.Vocal play (another way to say complex vocal learning), steady beat work in a social context. Moving to music while we sing, speak, talk, and play. It’s what we do. And learning has never been so much fun. The long term benefits? Great athletes, musicians, scientists, actors, thinkers, creators and problem solvers develop the beginnings of wings to soar in a Kindermusik classroom. Baby sulfer-crested cockatoos should be so lucky.
-posted by Miss Analiisa, who is off to try and convince her 10 year old actor to hold still while she gets his stage makeup mascara on without jabbing him in the eye with it.
Have you noticed a bit of a snack epidemic in the toddler world? Snacks at the grocery store, snacks while watching a show, snacks at play group, snacks after the soccer game, snacks at story time. With so many snacks, it’s no wonder they aren’t as willing to finish a meal or try new foods–hunger [...]