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  Show Posts
Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 23
1  EARLY LEARNING / Teaching Your Child to Read / Re: Reading update and advice needed on: September 11, 2015, 05:48:46 PM
I would stick with RB as she seems to be a phonics reader. Take a look at Hooked on Phonics app but it may be worth waiting until it goes on special (I got it free last year).
2  EARLY LEARNING / Teaching Your Child Math / Re: Where to start w 3 and 6 year olds? on: April 12, 2014, 11:28:09 AM
My top pics for maths , in order of preference, are:
Curriculum - We are using Singapore Maths, which I love. I tried Saxon K but I didn't like it.
DVDs -  Mathtacular DVDs are great. I  set my 4 year old up at her table with her maths manipulative and let her work along with the DVD
Living Math books - this is probably my favourite option for ease of use. Check out Math Start books, Sir Cumference etc. If you search for these on Amazon, you will find lots of other suggestions.
Cuisinaire rods - check out the free videos on for ideas on how to use them. I just got them and my 4 year old loves them. They can be used from approx age 2 early number sense right up through multiplication, division and fractions.
Music - I use Peter Weatherall maths music cds in the car.
Apps - Euro Talk Maths
Books - check out Kitchen Table Maths - I found this better than Marshmallow Math.

All of these would be suitable for both of your kids. Good luck!
3  EARLY LEARNING / Early Learning - General Discussions / Re: We Can Do by Moshe Kai with guest Robert Levy discussing Saxon Math. on: March 31, 2014, 07:49:39 PM
When I tried the link nee posted, I got the following message: 404 Not Found Attention: The administrator has blocked your country from gaining access to this network.

Would someone please post the content for me as I would love to read what he says? THanks
4  EARLY LEARNING / Early Learning - General Discussions / Re: We Can Do by Moshe Kai with guest Robert Levy discussing Saxon Math. on: March 30, 2014, 12:47:40 PM
To a less controversial topic: Robert, which version of Saxon do you think is the best one to get? I won't need it for quite a while but I would like to keep an eye out for it second-hand. Thanks
5  EARLY LEARNING / Teaching Your Child - Signing, Speaking, Languages / Re: Easiest way to translate the Little Reader content into a new language? on: March 28, 2014, 09:55:14 PM
HI Kezia,

Thank you for your reply. Another basic questions: If I translate the categories in the way you suggest, how do I make a course, like the LR English course?

6  EARLY LEARNING / Early Learning - General Discussions / Re: We Can Do by Moshe Kai with guest Robert Levy discussing Saxon Math. on: March 28, 2014, 09:51:22 PM
it's great to have you back Robert - I was wondering if constructivism would be enough to bring you back!

Congratulations to David on his job, you must all be very proud. He really is a shining example of what is possible with dedication and planning.

So, back to the controversial topic at hand...I am in no way saying that experiential learning is the only or even the best way, simply that for some children it helps them to solidify concepts. I can say this with confidence as my informal sample size is in the hundreds. I fully appreciate and respect the fact that it did not work for David and I feel his case is a good example of how you need to explore different methods before finding the best way for each child. My daughter is just beginning her formal maths journey and, at this stage, she benefits from using her fingers or draw pictures to aid her computation. She is quite motivated to drop these aids so she sometimes needs a little prodding to use them if she is stuck. At some point in the near future, I expect that she will progress to visualisation along with  automaticity in maths facts.

BTW, I would consider your approach with the physical numberline moving towards the visualised numberline a little constructivist as it involves experiential learning to grasp an abstract concept! (Now I really will hear you roar)
7  EARLY LEARNING / Early Learning - General Discussions / Re: We Can Do by Moshe Kai with guest Robert Levy discussing Saxon Math. on: March 27, 2014, 10:02:38 PM
This really is an interesting area worthy of discussion. I have been mulling this over since this thread was started way back when.

Over the years, I have worked with many children with Average to Above Average IQ scores struggling with basic maths. In almost all cases, using more constructivist approaches was the key to remediation. I feel that they were moved on to abstract maths too soon without having sufficient time to explore and experience concepts hands-on. I ran a maths club last year and it was incredible to see the kids learn concepts they had been struggling with through playing games. I know if I had tried the drill-and-kill method with them, they would never have grasped what I was teaching as it would have been more of the same. But, through playing games, they became interested by and excited about maths.

I also believe that experiential learning is very valuable even at advanced levels. A watered-down version of it is drawing a picture to break down a difficult problem - I was still doing this when I was studying maths at uni!

Sophie started Singapore Maths recently and I am very interested in the way they lessons are laid out going from concrete to pictorial to abstract for each task. I do not know if they continue this throughout the levels but it is certainly there in the early levels. This is constructivist teaching at its best.

Constructivist approaches are also crucial in science. For example, many people with understand a concept simply by reading it, most people will understand it better by also doing a hands-on experiment, and a few people will ONLY understand it once they have done the experiment.

Here in Ireland, constructivist math has been around for a while but I don't feel it was ever TRULY adopted, to the children's detriment. Children still learn maths facts off-by-heart, which I believe is a good thing; however, some kids, especially those with working memory difficulties, cannot hold this information in their minds long enough to successfully manipulate the problem in their heads. I feel that if they were following the concrete-pictorial-abstract format of SM, they would be able to overcome this deficit.

I haven't read the book Left Back. However, I do have some thoughts on the area. Some authors confuse teaching methodology with school philosophy. Constructivism/discovery learning does not mean child-led, it simply means to explore the world in a scientific manner, testing hypotheses rather than accepting what you are told as dogma. It does not mean loose discipline. In fact the opposite is true as it takes discipline to operate as a scientist, working methodically, thinking creatively etc.

The story about the math specialist in your wife's school is very sad. It shows the danger and arrogance of believing there is one right way as it blinds you to other possibilities. It's like the anti-EL people, they believe so strongly that kids are damaged by EL that they cannot take in any evidence to the contrary. In a similar vein, I was reading an old thread on the WTM forum discussing the Robinson curriculum. It quickly descended into a heated debate re whether using the RC constituted neglect simply because the child was expected to work autonomously. I found the whole thing bizarre as the posters minds were so fixed on their own position it meant there was no possibility for them to learn from one another's viewpoint. Thankfully, it is the opposite here on BK and I feel I learn most from those who hold different viewpoints to my own as it helps me to think critically about my own position and to see the merits in other ideas and methods.
8  EARLY LEARNING / Early Learning - General Discussions / Re: We Can Do by Moshe Kai with guest Robert Levy discussing Saxon Math. on: March 27, 2014, 03:57:00 PM
Hmm...I have to say I disagree on this one, I do not feel the problem is constructivist maths - rather the problem lies with the book publishers interpretation of contructivism. I believe experiential learning is crucial and even more essential for children with lower ability, especially those who are kinaesthetic learners. Most people learn best when they get some hands-on experience the phenomenon they are studying. I feel that the constructivist V rote learning debate in maths is a little like the phonics V sight word debate in reading. Both approaches have their merits and I believe a combination of the two leads to deeper understanding.

BTW The math question in that article is not experiential learning, it is simply complete nonsense.
9  EARLY LEARNING / Teaching Your Child Math / Re: Speed Math for Kids on: March 22, 2014, 07:07:01 PM
I really love this book. I have used it when doing fun maths classes for older kids and the feedback was always really positive.
10  EARLY LEARNING / Early Learning - General Discussions / Re: 19 month old- What to teach her next and how? on: March 06, 2014, 11:54:32 PM
When I first started here I got some great advice on this and other threads. It sounds like you are so far ahead already. Have you tried Your CHild Can Read and Your CHild Can Discover? They are really great.
11  EARLY LEARNING / Teaching Your Child to Read / Re: Research: Can babies learn to read? No, study finds on: March 05, 2014, 10:48:05 PM
We had a long discussion of this on the EL facebook page I feel there are many flaws in the study:
- parent views were dismissed rather than explored for discrepancy between their views and the researchers
- the study makes no mention of the key ingredient in teaching your baby to read: make it fun and stop before the baby wants to stop
- seven months may not be long enough for the children to show what they know
- babies are notorious for not performing on demand
- YBCR is a sight word programme so it does not make sense to test other reading skills in order to measure efficacy of claims, e.g. testing babies on their knowledge of letter sounds and letter names makes no sense
- babies were instructed to "look at the car" rather than the clearer "car"
- babies were told to "get Nathan's car" but the car did not belong to the child so, again, this test did not make sense to me. In addition, YBCR does not claim to teach babies how to read their own name, only the words in the programme
- I was in touch with Dr Titzer about it. He said that one of the peer reviewers of the article has written 3 books about Neuman and is the expert witness for the FTC against YBCR. Dr Titzer has prepared a reply that he is about to put on his new website
- babies were tested using words and non-words. As the non words included novel symbols, babies were probably more likely to look at them than the words they already knew. This is also true for the unfamiliar distractor words.

There are lots of comments here and here that may be of interest

For those interested, it is well worth reading the original study. Hopefully, it will lead to more studies that may shed greater light on the topic.
12  The BrillKids Forum / BrillKids Announcements / Re: FINALLY, introducing our Spanish Curriculum for Little Reader! On sale today! on: February 28, 2014, 11:59:39 AM
Just bought the Spanish curriculum. Thanks for all the hard work guys! smile
13  EARLY LEARNING / Teaching Your Child Music / Re: Advice needed for supplementing piano lessons on: February 21, 2014, 04:25:11 PM
Sorry I missed all the drama! Wink
14  EARLY LEARNING / Teaching Your Child - Signing, Speaking, Languages / Easiest way to translate the Little Reader content into a new language? on: October 20, 2013, 09:10:05 PM
I would like to copy the entire LR Semester 1 and 2 and translate it into Irish. I have scanned the links below; however, I am not looking to create a new course, simply to copy the English one into Irish - is there an easy way to do this that does not involve creating categories/lessons etc?
15  Parents' Lounge / Coffee Corner - General Chat / Re: The "Why Didn't I Think of That Sooner?" Thread... on: August 24, 2013, 05:15:35 PM
I also require Reuben to make an attempt to vocalise or use a sign when he is requesting something. Once I increased my focus on this, his language exploded!

My latest "why didn't I think of that sooner?" was to print the text for the French version of the Little Reader books and stick it over the English words. We watch the story once a day on LR and read the physical book once or more a day. We will do this for 5-7 days before moving on to the next book. This has greatly increased their interest in French.

A related one is that a few days ago I printed the categories we cover each week and put them in book format. I colour code languages, so I printed the English ones in black and bound them with black tape, and printed the French books in blue text and bound them with blue tape. On the first use of the French common animals book, Reuben read his first French word - result!
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