Chapter 11 - But what if you start late?

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But what if you start late?

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children as the imagery they represented. Children who had labored for months over 'See Spot run' in the new Janet and John readers took one look at 'corpse', 'beer' or 'hiding' and suddenly they could read.
  "The stories from which the key words were born were told in colorful Maori-English. Sylvia recorded them faithfully on to big sheets of paper and pinned them around the walls: 'I caught Uncle Monty pissing behind the tree. He got wild when I laughed at him.' 'My Dad gave my Mum a black eye.' It wasn't exactly what the Education Department had in mind when it advocated the use of children's experiences in the teaching of reading, but it certainly worked. The excitement and the sense of release created an unprecedented enthusiasm for reading."29
  She realized that children were more interested in their own stories than hers. So she helped her students write them. She put the stories to music. And she constructed her own graphic presentations about their dreams and experiences. She regarded each child as highly creative, and encouraged them to work with clay and paint.
  Above all, she summed up her philosophy in one memorable sentence: Release the native imagery of your child and use it for working material.
  Some of the same techniques have been used by Felicity Hughes to teach English in Tanzania30 and by Herbert Kohl to effectively teach reading to youngsters from minority cultures in California.

Beginning School Mathematics
 
  New Zealand's success in reading recovery has been matched with some innovative approaches to teaching elementary mathematics. The Beginning School Mathematics program, for example, includes very brightly-colored puzzles and games. For their first two years at some schools, youngsters use these and other manipulative material to learn about the main relationships that underlie mathematics.
  American writer Schulz summarizes her impression of the program in action: "As we enter the classroom, a glance at the six- and seven-year-olds tells us BSM is in full swing. Four students make geometric shapes by stretching rubber bands across pegs on a board. Children at a table draw pictures using cardboard circles, squares and triangles. One boy weighs household objects on a scale, guided by a sheet that asks, for example, if a cork is heavier than a paper clip. Six students stand in line by height and answer the teacher's questions about who is first, second

 

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