assigned seat
Monday, September 20, 2004
so the one variable says to the other variable if we don't soon get coordinated, i'm gonna get the x!
Psychology Professor finds link between storytelling & mathematical ability
Math and storytelling may seem like very different abilities, but a new study by University of Waterloo, Psychology professor, Daniela O'Neill suggests that pre-school children's early storytelling abilities are predictive of their mathematical ability two years later. The study has just been published in the June 2004 issue of the journal First Language.

In the study, three-and four-year-old children were shown a book that contained only pictures and were asked to tell the story to a puppet. None of the children had seen the book before the study. The children were not prompted in any way and were free to say as much or as little about each page as they wished.

"Children were told the puppet had never heard the story before, and so this made it a fun thing for children to do. They really enjoyed telling the story to the puppet," explained O'Neill, a professor of developmental psychology.

"Having children tell the story on their own, without any adult prompting, also allowed us to better see what they were able to accomplish on their own and to get a more sensitive measure of their storytelling ability," she said.

O'Neill looked at several aspects of children's storytelling ability. Some aspects captured grammatical complexity, such as children's use of relative clauses or the length of their sentences. Other aspects involved more perspective-taking on the part of the child.

"In the story, a child brings his pet frog to a restaurant and lots of funny things happen as the frog begins to jump around and cause all sorts of mayhem," O'Neill said.

"This made it possible to see how well children were able to talk about the feelings or thoughts of the characters in the story and how well children were able to talk about the different actions of the various characters and switch clearly from talking about one character to another," she said.

Two years later, the children were brought back to the laboratory and were given a number of tests of academic achievement that included a test of mathematical achievement. What O'Neill found was that those children who scored highly on the mathematics test had also scored highly on certain measures of their storytelling ability two years earlier.

"It was only certain aspects of storytelling that were related to later mathematical ability. Most strongly predictive of children's mathematical performance was their ability to relate all the different events in the story, to shift clearly from the actions of one character to another, and to adopt the perspective of different characters and talk about what they were feeling or thinking," explained O'Neill.

This study suggests that building strong storytelling skills early in the pre-school years may be helpful in preparing children for learning mathematics when they enter school.

"Almost all children experience the world of storytelling before they begin their journey into the world of mathematical thinking, and there's an intriguing possibility that providing children with experience with storytelling may later enhance their ability to tackle problems in the mathematical arena," said O'Neill.

"It is also a nice finding, I think, because storytelling is something every parent can easily do and foster with their children, without the need to buy any fancy toys or materials," said O'Neill.

Given these findings, O'Neill is continuing in further studies, also funded by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, to explore more precisely what aspects of storytelling are linked to aspects of mathematical ability.

"There is a lot more to know about how these two domains of thinking are related. Both storytelling and mathematics involve many different abilities and we are trying to determine what the overlapping abilities are that might explain why being better at certain types of storytelling skills might help when tackling certain kinds of mathematical problems," O'Neill said.

By: Jim Fox'neill.html

i found it interesting, but the professor seems to imply that he believes there might be a causal relationship. i tend to believe they both demonstrate a capacity for higher level thinking. i can see however if his efforts to get parents to "foster" storytelling are intended to stimulate higher level thinking that there could be some benefits in other areas - including mathematics.
Tuesday, September 14, 2004
new form
i was just given a form i'd never seen before. it's entitled "ADHD RATING SCALE IV - SCHOOL EDITION." I am to return it completed concerning a student in about an hour. There are 18 different statements concerning behavior and a scale of 0, 1, 2, and 3. 0 == "never or rarely" 1 == "sometimes" 2 == "often" 3 == "very often"
  1. Fails to give close attention to details or makes careless mistakes in schoolwork.
  2. Fidgets with hands or feet or squirms in seat
  3. Has difficulty sustaining attentino in tasks or play activities.
  4. Leaves seat in classroom or in other situations in which remaining seated is expected.
  5. Does not seem to listen when spoken to directly
  6. Runs about or climbs excessively in situations in which it is inappropriate
  7. Does not follow through on instructions and fails to finish work.
  8. Has difficulty playing or engaging in leisure activities quietly.
  9. Has difficulty organizing tasks and activities.
  10. Is "on the go" or acts as if "driven by a motor."
  11. Avoids tasks (e.g. schoolwork, homework) that require sustained mental effort.
  12. Talks excessively.
  13. Loses things necessary for tasks or activities.
  14. Blurts out answers before questions have been completed.
  15. Is easily distracted.
  16. Has difficulty awaiting turn.
  17. Is forgetful in daily activities.
  18. Interrupts or intrudes on others

Monday, September 13, 2004
in his notebook - along with algebra 1 worksheets, notes, returned tests, quizzes, etc. - i found a writing by my most memorable student.
Frustrated ...
To all the heartbreakin' ladies

I'm frustrated because my baby left me alone
I'm frustrated because I'm on my own
I'm frustrated because my girl is miles away
I'm frustrated because I'm forced to sell everyday
I'm frustrated because I want you to love me
I'm frustrated because my love is blind, but I can see
I'm frustrated because I Love You so much
I'm frustrated because God is right here & can't be touched
I'm frustrated because you we (are?) aganist my heart
I'm frustrated because we got tour apart
I'm frustrated because I don't know what to do
I'm frustrated baby because I want to be with you
I'm frustrated because I do all I can
I'm frustrated because I want to be ya man

Friday, September 10, 2004
renaissance man
in our boxes today, the staff received a poem from our head custodial worker. recreated as well as i could.
In Remembrance of September 11, 2001

The Day America Prayed

The sun rose upon the New York Bay

It seemed to be an ordinary day

The smoke filled fog rose out of sight

The sea gulls howled with all of their might

But peace was taken from this humble saga

A wicked plot by Mohammed Atta

Though seemingly invincible we found we were not

An enemy had stabbed America in its heart

Wounded and bleeding from teh stab of Mohammed

America was knocked unto its knees

What a lofty position we acquired that day

From our knees we set the battle in array

Against the solemn laws of that day

Schools gathered around flags all across our nation and began to pray

There was not a note of resopnse from the A.C.L.U. (American Civil Liberties Union)

Who knows? Maybe they prayed too.

Bush, Clinton, Cheney, Gore and past president alike

Locked hands together adn prayed with all their might

No congress had convened, no vote had been cast, no flicking of a card

But they all gathered together on one accord

Making their prayers and supplications unto God

The forces of our prayers moved us across teh bar

From the annals of mediocrity far above par

What a lofty position we acquired that day

The day America began to pray

Firstname Middlename Lastname

Wednesday, September 08, 2004
still going
i'm still teaching. there's more learning on than last year. still way too much nonsense. ad homebound sbp gradebook/lesson plans cops/dog/handcuffs/boxcutter/lunchroom chicken quesadillas i promise i'll make sense of this. i was told i had to "blog that sh"

Powered by Blogger Weblog Commenting by