Thursday, July 17, 2008

Living Grammar Books in the Public Classroom

My mom is a retired public school teacher. I inherited many books from her teaching days. Some are geared toward classrooms but I am coming across some real gems. I keep them stashed away and each year I go through and see what I might be able to use. Way to go Mom! You really used some nice stuff! I know not all teachers go to the trouble to 'think outside the textbook.' I have found oodles of living math books and am going to put them in my librarything. I will update the blog after I do that.

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Today I came across a wonderful 'grammar' resource in my stash from mom; Dear Peter Rabbit by Alma Flor Ada. Andrew learns grammar mostly by osmosis during reading. We have (rarely) done formal language arts and when I do it doesn't really stick. We have also had pen pals from time to time and that has helped a bit but mostly Andrew absorbs through reading. This wonderful gem of a book is a series of 'letters' written to and from various fairytale characters such as Peter Rabbit of course but also Baby Bear, Goldilocks, Pig One, Wolfy etc... It has proper letter formation throughout the book. We have not read yet but plan to add it to the book list this summer.

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note: For a long definition of a living book see here. For a shorter definition look here. The following excerpt is taken from the short version.

Living books, often called "classics," are the kind of books that joyfully enliven the imagination of a child. They are written by individuals -- not committees -- and display imagination, originality, and the "human touch." Living books do not talk down to a child's level or omit odd and interesting vocabulary. Children take to living books more than textbooks for these reasons; because such books are not crammed with facts and information at the expense of human emotion.

5 comments:

Steph said...

That book looks adorable. I'll have to look for it. :-) There is no substitute for a good living book.

Kris! said...

I checked out our regional library system for it, and as it turns out Alma Flor Ada also wrote Yours Truly, Goldilocks and With love, Little Red Hen. I ordered them all, they look so good!

Prince Andrew and the Queen Mum said...

Kris! thanks for the tip. will have to check that out. I can't wait to get together my living math resources to share. I plan to ditch our regular scheduled programming (at least) one day a week to do a living book.

The Glasers said...

Formal grammar is pure logic. Rose can either be a noun, verb, or adjective, its part of speech being determined by the FUNCTION. Charlotte Mason knew that living books and activities like copywork, studied dictation, and recitation takes care of grammar for younger students. Once the abstract thinking skills kick in, they can work on formal grammar. David can FINALLY do it--his logic skills bloomed late!

Way to go, Amy's mom!

Makita said...

This book look great! Thanks for sharing - I'll definitely check it out! :)

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