Sunday, July 15, 2018

In Which I Scholé In My Coupé

Usually when my DH gives me the afternoon to go read (or just drink a cup of something in peace) I go and visit the nearest chain caffeine-providing establishment... you know, the green one... with the coffee. But I'm sorry to say it's been getting more and more sketch at these places - at least the ones around me. So today, I took my reading to the car:

It's more comfortable than it seems... warm seats, quiet environment. I won't necessarily say that it's cleaner (as my picture clearly attests - *ahem*), but at least it's *my* dirt.

On the docket today was Every Sacred Sunday and Know and Tell

Every Sacred Sunday
Today was the 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time and because we had a party to go to later, we went to an earlier Mass at a different church. My children love this church because the walls are huge, floor to near-ceiling stained glass:
Photo by Juan Tamayo
I barely heard a word from the service (some days are just like that) but that's why I appreciate this journal. It has all the readings printed for me, with a place to write down notes (should I hear anything from the homily). The words I heard today focused on God's action: God calls us, God loves us - and we respond! Hopefully in the affirmative.

Know and Tell - Chapter 3: Principles of Narration
Principle #1 - Use high quality literature. Serving our students the literary equivalent of dry oatmeal benefits no one.
Principle #2 - Read it once. Don't interrupt. You may ask a question when the child is finished, but it is better to leave the student in a place where they know they have forgotten something than to "help" them fill in those details.
Principle #3 - Review previous narrated material regularly. Ask "What did we read/learn about last time?" Also do end-of-term assessments (approx every 12 weeks).
Principle #4  - The narration must be the child's (see Principle #2). When you ask questions, you disrupt the child's thought process and they become dependent on *you* to supply the questions again and again.

I also started Chapter 4: Building Fluency
Narration as an educational practice should begin at age 6, and not before. You can welcome them as they come naturally (and make sure to let the student know what they are doing, "What a great narration! I can see just what you're talking about!") but do not make them a requirement before age 6. Also, do not expect too much for the first year or two (!). The best lines about this came here:
"With a new narrator, almost anything can happen... In fact, the average six-year-old on the couch can dash an educational theory to pieces in a matter of moments, or so it would seem." 
Or this gem...
"If you think of narration as a child's oral "picture" of what she has heard, you can compare her progress with that of a budding artist. The enthusiastic two-year-old gripping a crayon in her fist is happy to be getting color or lines on paper. In the same vein, beginning narrators should simply be encouraged to use words--their own words--to "tell." If the result is as impressive as a two-year-old's scribble, that is what you should expect." (emaphasis mine)
Cheers to scribbles and babble! How did you scholé this week?

PS - I don't really have a coupé... but did you know that the word coupé comes from the French couper, "to cut (in half)" and was used in the 19th century to describe a shortened carriage that had no backseat? It was first applied to a closed 2-door automobile in 1908.


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