Posts Tagged ‘English’

Strategies for Improving Reading Comprehension.

December 28, 2014


Via Mark Barnes



Click on the link to read List of Kids Books that Would Make Great Christmas Gifts

Click on the link to read Helping Children Become Successful Readers

Click on the link to read Children’s Hilariously Inappropriate Spelling Mistakes

Click on the link to read How Spelling Mistakes can Turn a Compliment into Something Quite Different.

Click on the link to read Why Spelling is Important at Starbucks


Little Girl’s Delightful “Brake Up” Note

May 4, 2014




I hope you enjoy this as much as I did.


Click on the link to read 9 Truths About Children and Dinnertime

Click on the link to read The Most Original Way to Pull Out Your Child’s Tooth Out (Video)

Click on the link to read Father Carries His Disabled Son 9 Miles to School Every Day

Click on the link to read Never Take the Dream out of the Child

Click on the link to read The Snow Day Song that Has Gone Viral (Video)

Click on the link to read Is Tiger Mom a Racist?

Student Writes Nasty Letter to Teacher and Teacher Corrects it!

April 10, 2014



Never mess with an English teacher!


Click on the link to read The Telegraph’s Best Children’s Book of All Time

Click on the link to read The New York Public Library’s 100 Most Requested Children’s Books

Click on the link to read Stunning Photographs of the Most Beautiful Libraries in the World

Click on the link to read The Call to Stop Kids From Reading Books they Actually Enjoy

Click on the link to read The Classic Children’s Books they Tried to Ban

Click on the link to read How Spelling Mistakes can Turn a Compliment into Something Quite Different.

Click on the link to read Why Spelling is Important at Starbucks

7 Reasons Why Reading Aloud To Your Kids Applies to All Ages

May 26, 2013


Courtesy of

1. It’s time spent together. Reading time is time when you’re focusing on no one else and nothing else but them. It’s impossible to read to your kid and look at your smartphone or watch TV at the same time. I read to each of my children separately before bed. This lets me spend quality time with them individually. It makes for a longer bedtime ritual, but I don’t care because I love it.

2. It’s a conversation starter. Books always give us a reason to talk with each other, even if we don’t feel like we have anything to talk about. It keeps communication open.

3. It’s a great way to talk about emotional health. We talk about the things that happen in the stories, how we would feel if they happened to us, and how we might deal with such events the same or differently. Books have helped me broach topics that I might not have thought to raise if it weren’t for the subject matter in the story.

4. It’s a great way to honor the individuality in your children. I read different things to my daughter than I do to my son. We go to the bookstore and they pick out books about topics about which they are interested. Through paying attention to what they want to read, I can learn more about what their likes and dislikes are, including what they might want to be when they grow up.


Young Child Shows Dissatisfaction with his Homework (Photo)

January 12, 2013



I love it when a child stands up for what he/she feels is fair and just. Above is a homework sheet where a 5-year-old was expected to complete a sentence that describes a man hitting a dog. The child thinks otherwise.


Click on the link to read Why I Changed My Mind About Homework

Click on the link to read Leave Parents Alone When it Comes to Homework

Click on the link to read Parents Urged to do the Job of a Teacher

Click on the link to read This is What You Get for Doing Your Homework

Click on the link to read Experts Call For Homework to Be Abolished

Click on the link to read The Case in Favour of Homework

Hilarious Menu Items Lost in Translation

December 25, 2012


Believe it or not, these menus are very real!

Below are 15 hilarious menu items, mostly from East Asian countries, that got lost in translation.

The photos of the funny food items are courtesy of

Laugh as you scroll down and try not to lose your lunch thinking about them too hard.


Click on the link to read Who Corrects Our Spelling Mistakes?

Click on the link to read This is What Happens When You Rely on Spell Check

Click on the link to read The 15 Most Commonly Misspelled Words in the English Language

Click on the link to read Who Said Grammar Isn’t Important?

Click on the link to read Why Spelling is Important

Why Spelling is Important

August 23, 2012

Need I say more?


Click on the link to read Who Said Grammar Isn’t Important?

Click on the link to read The Resistance Against Teaching Grammar

Click on the link to read Captain Phonics to the Rescue!

Click on the link to read the Phonics debate.

The 15 Most Commonly Misspelled Words in the English Language

July 2, 2012


Below is a list of everyday words that people struggle to spell correctly:

1: Their–confusion may come from “thief”.

2: A lot–”alot” isn’t a word.

3: Received–there’s that “I” and “E” again.

4: Separate–confusion is probably caused by the pronunciation.

5: Until–one “L”: “Till the earth until it’s ready.”

6: Because–”A” and “U” are commonly swapped.

7: Beginning–two “Ns”.

8: Different–spoken, the first “E” isn’t enunciated, so it’s often left out.

9: Occurred–two “Cs”, two “Rs”.

10: Believe–it actually follows the old rule.

11: Behavior–no “U” for American spelling.

12: Which–don’t forget that first “H”.

13: Truly–”true” loses its “E” when adding “ly”, but–

14: Really–”real” gains an “L”.

15: Definitely–an “A” often sneaks in.



Short Attention Span Blamed for Lack of Interest in Reading

June 22, 2012

People don’t have patience any more. Everything needs to be immediate and instantaneous. I heard someone on the radio last night complain about the 5 seconds of advertising they had to sit through before they could access their YouTube clip.

It is no wonder that children no longer have the attention span for reading:

More than four-in-10 teachers said children failed to read for pleasure at the age of 11, it emerged.

The study – by the publisher Pearson – found that many schools fear children have short attention spans and prefer to spend time online rather than reading a novel.

Teachers also said that books were not seen as “cool” by pupils and raised fears that parents are failing to do enough to promote a love of reading in the home.

Frank Cottrell Boyce, the author, said: “It’s worrying to think that so many young children are not being inspired to pick up a good book and get lost in a story.

“According to Unesco, the biggest single indicator of whether a child is going to thrive at school and in work is whether or not they read for pleasure.”

The poll questioned around 400 secondary school English teachers.

Two-thirds of those questioned said that reading was not seen as “cool” by pupils, according to the study.

Three-quarters said that children’s attention spans were shorter than ever before, while 94 per cent claimed that pupils preferred to be using the internet rather than reading.

It is my belief that a crucial part of my job is to promote the joys of reading. I take pride in selecting books for my class that will appeal and entertain. I also have a Book Club. This allows my students to see that reading is not necessarily a personal experience but it can be a shared experienced too.

Teacher Tells Graduating Class they are Not Special

June 10, 2012

There has been an overwhelming amount of approval from the general public following teacher David McCullough Jr’s declaration to his graduating class that they are “not exceptional.”

I can understand why people have agreed with his comments and I, like many, found his speech very entertaining. However, I do not agree with the method of reducing people down to a lowly level.

Sure, the standard graduation speech, like many parenting styles, reveal an untruthful optimism that makes the student/child believe they are more than they really are and are bound to achieve more than they really do.

But don’t replace one extreme viewpoint with another.

Sure, the students at a graduating ceremony may not be exceptional, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be. Who is exceptional anyway? Who has the authority to label someone as exceptional?

I believe that everyone in the world has the capacity to live a life of integrity. Is integrity not an exceptional character trait? Not according to David McCullough Jr . I believe everyone has the potential to make others feel better about themselves. Is that an exceptional character trait? Not according to David McCullough Jr .

According to David McCullough Jr.’s standards we should just all replace our arrogance with something that doesn’t seem especially satisfactory:

A Massachusetts high school teacher who told graduating students in a speech that they were nothing special and should learn to come to terms with it has won widespread approval.

The no-nonsense David McCullough Jr told Wellesley High School’s “pampered” and “bubble-wrapped” class of 2012 that they were “not exceptional” at a graduation ceremony last weekend, the NY Daily News reports.

“Capable adults with other things to do have held you, kissed you, fed you, wiped your mouth, wiped your bottom, trained you, taught you, tutored you, coached you, listened to you, counselled you, encouraged you, consoled you and encouraged you again,” Mr McCullough said.

“But do not get the idea you’re anything special. Because you’re not.”

The English teacher illustrated his point mathematically.

“Think about this: even if you’re one in a million, on a planet of 6.8 billion that means there are nearly 7,000 people just like you,” he said.

The son of Pulitzer prize-winning historian David McCullough told the graduates and their parents that around 3.2 million other students would be graduating from over 37,000 US high schools that year.

“That’s 37,000 valedictorians. 37,000 class presidents. 92,000 harmonising altos. 340,000 swaggering jocks”.

The teacher warned that gestures have taken precedence over deeds and that today people sought to accomplish thing for the recognition rather than the pursuit of a goal.

“As a consequence, we cheapen worthy endeavors, and building a Guatemalan medical clinic becomes more about the application to Bowdoin than the well-being of the Guatemalans,” he said.

Despite his unusual approach the speech was welcomed by students and parents alike who said they appreciated being told “what we need to hear and not necessarily what we wanted to hear,” local newspaper The Swellesley Report commented.

Mr McCullough told FOX News in an interview that parents are often overly protective of their children and this doesn’t help them learn to deal with a tough and competitive world.

“So many of the adults around them — the behaviour of the adults around them — gives them this sort of inflated sense of themselves. And I thought they needed a little context, a little perspective,” he said.

“To send them off into the world with an inflated sense of themselves is doing them no favors.”

I quite liked aspects of the speech and think that it made some very good points expressed with great humour. What I didn’t buy into however, was his version of what life should be like. It seemed almost as unsatisfactory as the things he warned against.

I wish that graduating class well. I hope they grow up to be kind, caring, selfless people who try to enrich the lives of others and resist from judging or ignoring the people around them. I hope they grow up to use their skills for good, be charitable with their time and money and raise children that will do the same.

Is that exceptional? Not according to David McCullough Jr .

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