Archive | March 2012

In my world: Now ain’t that just the truth?


Sometimes in the middle of cleaning the rooms, I discover little gems left behind by the children. This Friday series was started with the intention of celebrating the imagination and creativity in a young child’s world…and hoping that it’ll bring a little ray of inspiration and joy to your day, as it does mine.

Impromptu Intangible

For impromptu lunch plans 
And a prayer partner teaching how to make pizza dough from scratch
For chatting and sharing
And husbands babysitting
For cheeky preschoolers sneaking diced capsicum into their mouths
And delightfully eager hearts volunteering to roll out dough
For crumbly mozzarella
And deep yellow cheddar
For fresh soap-scrubbed little hands
And precarious wiggly giggly mound of tomatoes and shredded chicken

For sizzling hot pizza stone
And trays of yummy pullworthy cheesy goodness

We give Thee thanks, O Lord.

Bookmark Monday: Press Here

In this era where interactive is associated with reliance (sometimes too much) on the iPhone or iPad and apps and all sorts of technological gadgetry, it is incredibly refreshing to find a book (a book!) that successfully achieves a true interactive, experiential engagement with the reader on print, the oldest media on earth.

This week’s Bookmark Monday review, Press Here by Hervè Tullet, was inspired by a friend of ours, who showed DH and DD this book when we visited their home on the weekend.

Absolutely captivating on several levels for the following reasons:-

  • Use as a teaching tool to reinforce basic language and mathematical building blocks – colours, numbers, counting, left, right, relative sizes and pattern recognition.
  • Perfect as a read-aloud with parent and child, or self-read.
  • Thoroughly engaging, and really, your imagination is the limit.

The cover is simply designed with a single yellow dot, inviting the reader to “Press Here”.

And when you do, off you go then, on this magical interactive journey, following the narration from first through to last page, every page a captivating change from the previous, reacting to whatever action you’d done in the prior page. 

Watch the dots multiply and move around the page as you tap, rub and blow on them, or tilt and shake the book. And watch them grow and shrink in reaction to single and multiple claps.

And watch your child’s face – it will be a priceless experience! 😉

Related activity:

Check out this link on Amazon to get a preview via a free printable to make your own Press Here mini-activity book, and some supplementary activity sheets as well.

Bookmark Monday: Are you smarter than a third grader?

xyz + yz + z = yyz

What is x, y and z? Solve.

We were asked this question on Saturday night by one of the cousins; it was from a primary school math textbook.

Parents of Singapore primary-school age children from West to East, North to South, have been overheard cracking their heads over the logic of the  Heuristics methodology in the syllabus scope for Primary 3, at the office water-cooler, on public transport and in the midst of cracking their favourite chilli crab pincer. 

“Heuris-whats? Can it be eaten?”

Yes it’s waaaayyyy before my time as a mother of but two preschoolers.  But I’d eventually have to face it so I was curious enough to go look it up.

Heuristics – as defined by the Merriam-Webster online dictionary
: involving or serving as an aid to learning, discovery, or problem-solving by experimental and especially trial-and-error methods ; also : of or relating to exploratory problem-solving techniques that utilize self-educating techniques (as the evaluation of feedback) to improve performance
— heu•ris•ti•cal•ly \-ti-k(ə-)lē\ adverb

Hm. And this relates to Bookmark Monday how?

Well, we found this cute and clever book on an ordering booklist. Knowing nothing about it save for what we’d read on the short introductory synopsis, we ordered a copy and excitedly perused through it last night when it arrived.

The left brain of me couldn’t help succumbing to the temptation of subjecting myself to mental athletics at the sprightly hour of midnight, whilst the right half violently protested and loudly orated the surely-more-logical-and-reasonable option of succumbing to the comforts of a feather pillow.

Left brain won. (I know, I know, geeky geek…)

Frankly it will be some time before we pull this book out to share with our kids.  But Singapore math syllabus, Model method and homework woes aside, if you are looking for a more enjoyable resource with a no-tears formula for exploring heuristics and developing problem-solving techniques, I have to admit “Math Potatoes: Mind-Stretching Brain Food” comes pretty close.

That…and seriously? Can you resist checking out a book series with titles such as “The Grapes of Math” and “Math-terpieces”?

Now that we’ve got ourselves this copy, my attention is piqued enough to be on the lookout for the rest of the titles by Greg Tang, especially the ones for the younger preschool set – Math Fables and Math for All Seasons.

By the way, have you figured out the values of x, y, and z?

Yes? Give yourself a thump on your back – you are smarter… 😉
Not yet? Keep calm and crack on.

In my world: Birthday love

Everything’s been different
All the day long,
Lovely things have happened,
Nothing has gone wrong.

Nobody has scolded me,
Everyone has smiled.
Isn’t it delicious
To be a birthday child?

~ The Birthday Child, by Rose Fyleman