Do we use what we teach students ?

That funny thing happens when your kids come home from school with homework and you have no idea what the requirements are for the homework.  How you are going to help them since you have not learned something or do not understand the directions .  Having heard this happens later in school it was surprising to have this in 3rd grade . I guess this must be what it feels like when your a parent that does not speak the language the school is teaching with.

How many of you know what these mean -

I found it fascinating that I had no idea what they meant – Paige told me they were long vowel sounds, however, I could not find them on the web. How do you search for this ? What do the lines mean ?  How do you search for something that you cannot type into the computer. (This came from a Pearson handout – how old – do not know) Do you remember what they are called ?  It took a while and a call to a friend who is an english teacher – which we then all looked up the meaning in Wikipedia -

diacritic (pronounced /da???kr?t?k/) (also diacritical markdiacritical point,diacritical sign) is an ancillary glyph added to a letter, or basic glyph. The term derives from the Greek ??????????? (diakritikós, “distinguishing”). Diacritic is both an adjective and a noun, whereas diacritical is only an adjective. Some diacritical marks, such as the acute (?´?) and grave (?`?) but not the cedilla (?¸?), are often called accents. Diacritical marks may appear above or below a letter, or in some other position such as within the letter or between two letters.

However , no place in Wikipedia or online could I find these two letters given together and a definition to how to interpret these symbols – It began to feel like an adventure – we gave the homework a go and I not sure we understood what we had to do correctly but it was fun to learn something again with my daughter where I could not think – I remember that – its easy you just …….

I will remember this for a long time because learning anything is not easy the first time – once you learn something its easy to remember what it means but not what it took to learn it.

The evening got even more fun when we reviewed sentence grammar using an iPod touch application.  Do you remember pronouns ? Adjectives ? Verbs, etc – Paige loved the fact that she was beating us at the game. Trish said something I really brought this home – I never need to use this as an adult.  Hmm – why are we teaching this to our students – if we never use it as an adult ? That kept me thinking for a while. My thought is we use grammar all the time without remembering its meaning – more of like an autopilot. I guess we do use what kids are being taught we just do not remember why or what is was called.

(PS I created the graphic in Keynote on my Mac – Its funny I no longer have an image editing tool since I found most things I do are screen only based not print based)

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