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Showing posts from November, 2014

What Makes a Good Children's Book: "One Green Apple" by Eve Bunting

I have always wanted to own a children's picture book store, somewhat like Meg Ryan's The Shop Around the Corner  (in the classic romance movie You've Got Mail ), with gorgeous, illustrated books lining the shelves and cosy throw-lined sofas for reading corners. There is something about a good picture book which makes you smile and lifts your spirits on a dull day. I had my very own picture book collection before I even started work proper, bought with allowance I made working at my aunt's friend's children's bookstore.  Sadly, most of those picture books have been replaced by iPads and computer games in children's lives. Picture books play such an important role in children's love for reading. For me, they opened up a whole world of people with different experiences from mine. I felt their pain and their joy. There is still much to be said about introducing quality books to children from as early as you can. But what makes a good children's

Australia 2014: Of Gnomes & Giant Towers - The Road to Busselton

Gnome News is Good News As we headed south towards our next destination Busselton, our base for the exploration of the Margaret River region, we stumbled upon a very curious town which is the home for thousands of gnomes.  How to get to Gnomesville... The official Gnomesville website explains the curious origin of the town: A  long, long time ago, a Gnome was travelling on an Australian country road. It was at night and far from anywhere. All around was leafy and green. A pleasant place.  By and by, he came to a fork in the road. He followed the road, which seemed to go around and around.  Now, being a little person, he could not see over the curb. If he did, the story would have ended here.  He walked all night with the feeling he was going nowhere. Roads branched off every so often.  By the morning, he was exhausted. Then it was clear. He had come across a ROUNDABOUT—a circular intersection in the middle of (almost) nowhere.  This was something he had never seen as

My Father's World K: A is for Apple & Rowing "How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World"

I never know exactly how the boys (and I) are going to take hold of the units we do and it is always interesting to see whether we will decide to go deep or wide in our learning. We have evolved a kind of easy, fluid structure, which uses the letter sounds and their related topics from My Father's World K as a base, and then develops them from there. This time round, I decided to "row" a Five in a Row book to start the unit off. How to Make An Apple Pie and See the World by Marjorie Priceman is a lovely book about a girl who goes to the shop to buy ingredients for an apple pie, only to find it closed, and she then proceeds to travel around the world on various modes of transport to obtain them from their sources. It's a very interesting book about food provenance, or where our food comes from. We started off with our first Geography lesson on the names of the continents. We used the Montessori method for this activity and sang the Continents song while labe