Tag Archives: reading

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Learning math, learning reading and writing, learning music

This blog from Kumon North America got me thinking, because I have a very deep love for music, and both sing and play the flute (though not at the same time!), and have also been an advocate of Kumon instruction over 18 years.

music keys

Certainly the points made in the blog are very true of music as well as learning math and English – I have a practice room so I can work on my singing without distraction; there has always been a large component of basics, like scales and warm-ups in my musical learning over the past decades; awareness of time, whether practice time or tempo, is indeed important in music; and constant practice as well as long-term commitment are essential to excellence in music.

music and math(Terrible at math? Maybe you just haven’t practised it as much as you have music?)

Thinking about other connections between music and math and English, there are many. We have all heard how learning to play a musical instrument helps develop a child’s brain – for example see this article from Science Daily in 2006.

Also, people who are strong in math and often strong in music and vice versa – this Wikipedia article may offer some insights.

The connection between reading words and reading music? This is a fascinating blog by a mom about connections between the way we read stories and read music.

piano flow

But beyond all these, and I’m sure many more connections, is the sheer beauty that can be found in books, in math, and in music. The love affair we have as musicians with listening to and producing/composing/directing music is not so different perhaps than the love affair with words, as readers or writers of stories, or the joy of math in its more intriguing and creative aspects.

beauty-of-music_large(Beauty in all its complexity – reflections from famous composer Benjamin Britten)

What connections have you noticed between music and math and languages?

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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/

World book day!

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Any day is a day to celebrate books and reading, but today is World book day, so let me take a moment to say how glad I am for books. They have been friends from the time I was very small. I have been so many places through them including many places that can only be accessed through the imagination. Some people in books seem so real that I feel that one day I will turn around a corner and recognise them – “Oh, there you are at last!”

What are you reading today? I have been enjoying the Septimus Heap books and am looking forward to getting my hands on the latest one Fyre – not at the library yet but I am sure it will be soon! Love those e-books…