Why It’s Okay For Kids to Misspell

Oct 22, 2014 by

Recently, I came across this article which discusses why spelling tests, and the “spelling test” model of teaching kids how to spell, isn’t as effective as we may think. It reiterated everything I learned when taking one of my favorite courses, “Teaching Writing,” in graduate school. Spelling tests teach memorization; there are over two hundred and fifty thousand words in the English language, and between 10 and 20 words on a typical spelling test…so we’d need a lot of spelling tests to churn out great spellers through rote memorization!

Furthermore, many spelling tests operate on weekly word lists. The students who learn the weekly words move on to the next week’s list, as do the students who only learned half. It would seem that some kids are simply naturally good at spelling, or at least memorization, while others struggle endlessly. Why? Because the English language is basically a complex system of codes and patterns, many borrowed from other languages. Teaching kids these codes and patterns, which are far less numerous than teaching all the individual words themselves, allows kids to learn to spell whole groups of words effectively.

Buh-bye, Cable!

Oct 15, 2014 by

I am a child of the 1980s/early 1990s. Cable television was a big part of my childhood. I grew up with Nickelodeon, Looney Tunes, Animaniacs, and occasionally, when the cable companies offered free trials, the coveted Disney Channel. When I was old enough, ahem, when I snuck it in without my parents’ knowing, I lived for MTV’s Real World and music videos, you know, back when they actually showed music videos. I didn’t spend too many hours watching T.V. as a child, but but it was omnipresent, always available in the background whenever boredom or rainy days struck from the time I was elementary school-aged onward.

So, if you told 15-year-old me that in 2014 I would be saying “sayonara” to cable, I would have thought you were crazy. But, I have, and I’m not looking back.

Why have we cut the both literal and proverbial cord with our cable-filled past? For so many reasons!

You Say It’s Your Birthday?!

Oct 8, 2014 by

 

Three out of the four people living in my house have fall birthdays. My husband and I often joke that our wedding anniversary in August is the kick-off to the holiday season in our home, as we have birthdays in September, October, and November, of course followed by Christmas and all the chaos that comes with that.

In the decade that I’ve known my husband, birthdays have been a rather hotly debated topic of discussion. I grew up with parents who were all about birthday celebrations. My mother began our birthdays by blasting The Beatles “Birthday” song from the White Album in the morning. We had a special breakfast, often found a special note and dessert in our lunchbox, came home to a special dinner, then, of course, we ate cake. If your birthday was on, say, a Wednesday, and your birthday party was on the following Saturday, you still got cake on that Wednesday. Because cake that isn’t served on your actual birthday doesn’t count for 100%. Besides, who argues with more cake? No one.

How “perspectacles” changed my thinking

Oct 1, 2014 by

There are so many things about social media that I really love. I love that it lets me stay connected to people who I otherwise wouldn’t get to see often. I love that it lets me stay up-to-date on the lives of my friends and watch their families grow. I love the ability to get advice from so many friends on things I’m unsure about. I love the sharing of ideas and resources that it allows.

And then, there are the things I don’t like…mainly, the competition and feelings of inadequacy it can create. We see snapshots of lives that are just tiny peeks into what’s really going on. For example…I might post this:

"Lesson plans and cocoa on a crisp fall evening..."

“Lesson plans and cocoa on a crisp fall evening…”

…which leaves out reality. It shows just what I intend to show, and certainly not the whole truth, which looks a lot more like this:

A Week of Easy Fall Dinner Ideas

Sep 24, 2014 by

Fall is in the air, and I’m craving comfort foods for dinner! The only problem? I seem to lack the hours and hours needed to prepare fancy dinners for my family. I need dinners that come together fast! Sound familiar? Read on! Below are my five favorite working parent-friendly fall dinners. If you have any to add, feel free to post your favorite easy fall meal in the comments!

1) Pot Roast with Carrots and Potatoes

4-5 Pound Beef Chuck Roast

5 or 6 medium sized red potatoes

5 or 6 carrots

1 cup of water

1 onion (any kind!)

1 packet of Good Seasons Garlic & Herb (in the salad dressing aisle)

Olive Oil

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