Monthly Archives: March 2013

Little Gidding Part V by T.S. Eliot

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I was reminded of this sublime portion of one of Eliot’s poems today. I consider poetry a vital part of any education, but sadly it seems to be less and less a part of the modern curriculum as it is deemed inaccessible to our 21st century youth. Enjoy!

V

What we call the beginning is often the end
And to make an end is to make a beginning.
The end is where we start from. And every phrase
And sentence that is right (where every word is at home,
Taking its place to support the others,
The word neither diffident nor ostentatious,
An easy commerce of the old and the new,
The common word exact without vulgarity,
The formal word precise but not pedantic,
The complete consort dancing together)
Every phrase and every sentence is an end and a beginning,
Every poem an epitaph. And any action
Is a step to the block, to the fire, down the sea’s throat
Or to an illegible stone: and that is where we start.
We die with the dying:
See, they depart, and we go with them.
We are born with the dead:
See, they return, and bring us with them.
The moment of the rose and the moment of the yew-tree
Are of equal duration. A people without history
Is not redeemed from time, for history is a pattern
Of timeless moments. So, while the light fails
On a winter’s afternoon, in a secluded chapel
History is now and England.

With the drawing of this Love and the voice of this
Calling

We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.
Through the unknown, unremembered gate
When the last of earth left to discover
Is that which was the beginning;
At the source of the longest river
The voice of the hidden waterfall
And the children in the apple-tree
Not known, because not looked for
But heard, half-heard, in the stillness
Between two waves of the sea.
Quick now, here, now, always—
A condition of complete simplicity
(Costing not less than everything)
And all shall be well and
All manner of thing shall be well
When the tongues of flame are in-folded
Into the crowned knot of fire
And the fire and the rose are one.

Source: http://allspirit.co.uk/gidding.html

Why Third Grade is So Pivotal

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“Why is third grade so important to your child’s educational development? To start, third grade is the transitional year when your child moves from learning to read – using their knowledge of the alphabet to identifying words – to reading to learn or using books as a source of information.

“Prior to third grade, your child’s education is primarily focused on teaching him or her basics such as how to identify shapes, symbols and letters as well as how to read and write. However, from third grade forward, students are expected to build on that foundation by applying skills to learn about increasingly difficult subjects – from the solar system to Native Americans to biology and calculus. In that sense, third grade is, as Donald J. Hernandez, a professor at CUNY-Hunter College writes “a pivot point,” and a critical period in students’ educational development.

“Children who are unable to successfully transition to fast and fluent reading develop a learning gap among their peers that continues to grow. Third grade struggles will lead to increasing difficulties in 4th and 5th graders where assignments continue to rely upon knowledge acquired from this transitional period. In fact, a study conducted last year by Hernandez and the Annie E. Casey Foundation found that third graders who lack proficiency in reading were more likely to become high school dropouts.”Image

Source: http://kumonnorthamerica.wordpress.com/2012/12/28/why-third-grade-is-important-in-your-childs-education/

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How to Help Your Child Want to Succeed

“Without inspiration the best powers of the mind remain dormant. There is a fuel in us which needs to be ignited with sparks.” -Johann Gottfried Von Herder

When children are motivated to succeed, they can do anything. But sometimes children need some extra help from their parents in order to create that desire to succeed academically. They may need some extra motivation in order to achieve specific goals such as making the honor roll, or general ones such as building critical thinking skills or improving overall math skills. Below are ways that can motivate your children to succeed and how Kumon Math and Reading Programs can help your children as well…

Down Syndrome Owner Runs Friendliest Restaurant

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“Tim Harris, as far as his parents know, is the only restaurant owner in America with Down Syndrome. The following video shows his friendly personality and his customers responding in kind. With the advances that have been made in more recent years, those with Down Syndrome, who seem to have a naturally sweet disposition, are able to do things that would have been unthinkable 40 or 50 years ago. But Tim’s restaurant ownership, with the support of his family, is pretty special.” (BlueMauMau)

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pi digitsHappy Pi Day!

Yes, it is that time of year once again! 3.141…. March 14th is World Pi Day, when math geeks everywhere celebrate this amazing entity we call pi.

“Pi Day is celebrated on March 14th (3/14) around the world. Pi (Greek letter “π”) is the symbol used in mathematics to represent a constant — the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter — which is approximately 3.14159.

“Pi has been calculated to over one trillion digits beyond its decimal point. As an irrational and transcendental number, it will continue infinitely without repetition or pattern. While only a handful of digits are needed for typical calculations, Pi’s infinite nature makes it a fun challenge to memorize, and to computationally calculate more and more digits.” (piday.org home page)

Are you ready for the Mathematical Pi Song? (Based loosely on that famous song by Jim Croce, American Pie)

Or how about this – this is lovely… Pi(ano) Song

Finally, here’s a List of things to do for pi day

Enjoy!

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division of fractionsBut why do we flip and multiply when dividing fractions?

I stumbled upon this blog today, and am pleased that someone out there in cyberspace has tackled this thorny issue.

The blogger says, “What is this sitution (sic) describing? This seems the one most difficult for teachers and students alike. We all know what it means to divide a length into (by?) two pieces, but what sense does it make to divide it into 1/2 a piece.”

The conclusion is: “dividing fractions is simply fractions which have fractions instead of integers in the numerator and denominator.”

Other ways of tackling this include those found at

http://www.mff.org/mmc/div_fractions.pdf

Do these approaches make it clearer for you?

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Most NYC High School Grads Need Remedial Help

Very disturbing news today.

“It’s an education bombshell. Nearly 80 percent of New York City high school graduates (who apply to CUNY colleges) need to relearn basic skills before they can enter the City University’s community college system. The number of kids behind the 8-ball is the highest in years, CBS 2′s Marcia Kramer reported Thursday.”

So, the question is, how do these students graduate from high school without learning to read, write and do basic math? They needed Kumon, big time. The window of learning in which Kumon can significantly help students develop basic and advanced skills, study skills and independent learning ability is wide. Students who begin Kumon from pre-school to early high school who apply themselves on a daily basis over a period of at least two to five years will probably get much of what they need, even if they have learning challenges. However, the window has just about closed for these students. Remediating basic skills, especially reading and writing, at this late stage is next to impossible.

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