A monthly e-mail newsletter nurturing the development and enjoyment of English language arts at home and at school.
IN THIS ISSUE . . .
We began this feature last August to celebrate the second year of "LinguaPhile." Although we will continue to mention calendar items from time to time, this issue is the last in which the Literary Calendar will be a regular feature. Many of the calendar items are anniversaries; you will be able to find them in the "LinguaPhile" archives.
Any of these events might spawn further study.
5, 1709 birth date of Etienne de Silhouette, French finance
minister, known for his frugality, who cut out shadow
portraits as a hobby (d. 1767)
Learning that does not advance each day will daily decrease.
You have probably heard of the "dog days of summer," supposedly the sultriest time of the year. But do you know the term's origin? It can be traced to ancient times. The Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans noticed that between July 3 and August 15 Sirius (the Dog Star) rose just about at sunrise seeming to add its heat to the sun's.
Reviewers of Hands-On English have said that the vocabulary section alone is worth the book's modest purchase price. Learn more -- and place your order -- at http://www.GrammarAndMore.com/product/hoe.htm
Question: Is it ever appropriate to use gratifying instead of satisfying? For example, is it correct to say, "He found it gratifying to make people laugh" instead of "He found it satisfying to make people laugh"?
Answer: Thank you for an interesting question!
Gratifying seems fine in the sentence. The dictionary includes satisfying in the first meaning of gratifying. To me, the "obsolete" meaning of "rewarding" still contributes to the connotation of gratifying. I think I would be more likely to use gratifying if the satisfaction were derived from the response to something done. For example, I would be more likely to describe a standing ovation as "gratifying" and a good meal as "satisfying." This is purely a personal preference though. I think gratifying would be acceptable in either case.
Hands-On English will put a wealth of information at your fingertips so that you can quickly find what you need to know about grammar, usage, capitalization, punctuation, spelling, and more. Get details -- and place your order -- at http://www.GrammarAndMore.com/product/hoe.htm
We invite your questions for this feature: mailto:Fran@GrammarAndMore.com
Whether you are an educator or a parent, you will find these two dozen tips helpful in promoting a successful school year for students. Find the printable version at http://www.grammarandmore.com/tips/printschool.htm If you are an educator, you might want to include this in your summer mailing to parents (many of the tips, such as returning to the school-year sleep schedule, are things that should be done prior to the opening of school). If you are the parent of a school child, use the article yourself and share it with your friends.
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"Vision: 20/20 Is Not Enough"
Summer is a great time to get your children's vision checked. I have found that, in general, the vision exam given by a developmental optometrist is more thorough than that given by an ophthalmologist. To learn more about vision problems and how they can impede learning -- and to find links to sites that will list developmental optometrists in your area, see this article from the July 2001 "LinguaPhile": http://www.grammarandmore.com/edu/archive/issue12.htm#facts
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Whether you are an educator or a parent, Hands-On English and its companion products can help the students in your life have a successful school year. This concise handbook will make the year go more smoothly for you as well! Hands-On English gives quick access to the basics of English, and it makes grammar visual by using icons to represent parts of speech.
Students who have Hands-On English at their fingertips will quickly be able to find answers to questions they may have about sentence structure, usage, capitalization, punctuation, outlines, bibliography form, and more. They will learn how to study efficiently so that they can get the most from their textbooks in the least amount of time, and they will learn how to break the writing process into manageable units.
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Raising Lifelong Learners: A Parent's Guide is full of practical suggestions, many of which are helpful to teachers as well as to parents. The book's principal author, Lucy Calkins, is a teacher educator, yet she considers the teaching of her two young sons to be her most important work. Calkins relates many vivid examples from her own experience.
Although Calkins discusses things parents can do to maximize school success, Raising Lifelong Learners is not a book about helping children with their homework. Instead it tells how to make the home a rich learning environment, how to arouse children's curiosity in all academic areas. Calkins says, " . . . the qualities that matter most in science and math, reading and writing -- initiative, thoughtfulness, curiosity, resourcefulness, perseverance, and imagination -- are best nurtured through the everydayness of our shared lives at home."
Calkins believes in leading children very gradually along the path of learning in all academic areas. She says, "My rule of thumb is to help the child do today what she will be able to do tomorrow. I don't want my assistance to be too far beyond the child's independent abilities or she will be put in a dependent position, always waiting for and wanting assistance."
Calkins places heavy emphasis on both work and play. The latter provides an opportunity for children to develop imagination, resourcefulness, and language skills. Calkins believes that parents, not schools, have the primary responsibility for developing a work ethic in children. This is cultivated through hobbies and projects as well as through chores.
After Calkins discusses the nurturing of language arts, math, science, and social studies as children progress from infancy through middle school, Lydia Bellino, a reading specialist and school principal, addresses school issues in half a dozen appendices. Most of these, such as curricular choices and various assessment methods, can also apply to the homeschool situation.
Published by Addison-Wesley, 1997; 320 pages.
These suggestions are only a sample of Lucy Calkins' concrete tips.
1. Plan times, such as outings, walks, and meals, to talk with your children.
2. Remember that the amount of available time is limited. Time that children spend watching TV or playing video games is time that is taken away from other activities that would encourage them to use language creatively.
3. Celebrate the "baby steps" your child takes in learning to read and write just as you celebrated the rudiments of speech.
4. As you read aloud to your child (daily), expose him or her to a variety of genres -- poetry and non-fiction in addition to stories. Use every opportunity to model various reading strategies, such as using an index to find information.
5. Nurture your children's interest in other people, even adults. Prompt children to take small steps to become good conversationalists.
6. Instead of asking, "What did you do at school today?" (or a similar general question), ask something more specific, such as "What did you see on your field trip to . . . ?" Use information (from your child and from other sources) about what is going on at school to ask specific questions.
7. Involve your child in a number of family activities (gardening, caring for pets, planning outings). This will enrich your child's knowledge and vocabulary.
8. While children are young, establish reading and writing as habits that each member of the family (including adults) practices daily.
9. Give your children credit for thinking and observing as writers even before they can manage a writing implement.
10. Pay more attention to the content of children's spoken or written messages than to usage, pronunciation, spelling, or punctuation errors.
To celebrate publication of the first atlas, why not make one of your own? This would be an ideal project for a group -- a family, a neighborhood, a class, a homeschool group. With each member of the group contributing, the project is manageable for all.
First examine some atlases so children can discover the kind of information they contain, how they're organized, and how they can be useful.
Then have the children decide what their own atlas will include. Here are some possibilities:
1. Maps of their yards
One of the many benefits of this project is that it helps children discern how space is organized. If they are getting their information from literature, they are also getting practice translating the printed word into a picture.
A. Put one letter in each blank to make a word defined by the word or phrase on the left.
1. brawny _ U S _ _ _ A _
If you enjoy this kind of puzzle, you can find more USA words
in the July 2001 and October 2001 "LinguaPhiles."
B. Now make up some of your own. You can make the puzzle more challenging simply by making the clues more cryptic. Send your favorites for inclusion in next month's "LinguaPhile": mailto:Fran@GrammarAndMore.com
Answers next month.
Answers to June Puzzler
1. rhythms (a 7-letter word that includes none of the five vowels)
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© 2002 Fran Santoro Hamilton