Pink stinks, but what can parents do against it?

I give in, I´ll buy pink stuff. For one thing, it´s all my three-year-old wants. She has yellow goggles and floaters and this makes her frustrated because she sees ALL the other girls with pink ones, she wants the pink set too.

She tried on a green tiara the other day, “Green is for boys, pink is for girls”. I uselessly do my best to revert this: “No, green is for everyone, you even have a green tiara! It´s also my favorite color: green”. “But green is for boys…”

Luísa must find really strange that I keep insisting that there is no such thing as “pink is for girls and blue for boys” while it´s so obviously clear everywhere. Even younger babies can tell it.

She wants a pink bicycle. I´m gonna have to make it pink, I know that as much as I want her to enjoy other colors, if I buy her a red bike, she will be very frustrated every time she sees all the pink bikes the other girls have.

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Books and Stories

Many young children come to school with a great deal of knowledge about books and print by virtue of having been read to thousands of times over the years; other children are not as fortunate.

Research tells us that those children who have been read to frequently in the preschool years are off to a stronger start than children who have not had such experiences and that early gains tend to be maintained throughout children’s school careers.

Young children love to hear familiar stories read to them over and over again. The child’s memory for the story becomes so strong that if a hapless reader were to skip a page, he/she would be corrected immediately by an indignant young listener.

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Youth Health Matters- Practical tools for positive parenting

You may very well help a lot of parents with their efforts to develop some practical tools to become positive parents and train them how to best use the ‘Developmental Assets’, a research-based way that will help kids thrive!

Many school and agency teams have, through Parenting Partners workshops, trained numerous parents to get more engaged and involved in the education of their children, and empowered them through strengthening their practical parenting skills. Many individuals and school and community teams will benefit from these 2-day Training of Trainers sessions where they will be learning to:

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Brainstorming: Tapping Prior Knowledge—Serving as a Basis for New Knowledge

What do you know? About Antarctica? Earthworms? Ultraviolet light? Ernest Hemingway? Chances are, if you were going to read a passage about any of these topics, you would spend a few moments recollecting what you already knew before you started. You would “take stock” of your prior knowledge.

Activities which guide students in marshaling what they already know are an excellent way to jump-start learning about a topic. Many researchers feel that a student’s prior knowledge about material is the single most important variable in their reading comprehension. Therefore, devising ways to activate what students know before they read can help them make connections to new learning.

Teaching/Learning Activities

Brainstorming activities provide one useful framework for eliciting student background knowledge before learning. Several classroom variations are possible.

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Reading Comprehension Strategy 6: Synthesizing Information

Think for a moment a group of scientists sifting through mounds of data from a host of experiments. Certainly a great deal of information is available, but what they really need to decide is “What does all this mean?”

Eventually, after carefully examining and analyzing their data, they will develop an interpretation, a theory, and a definition of “the big picture” that emerges from all the separate pieces of information. These scientists, like proficient readers, are able to synthesize.

The strategy of synthesizing is perhaps the culmination of the other five essential comprehension strategies. Synthesizing draws upon making connections, questioning, visualizing, inferring, and determining importance.

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Reading Comprehension Strategy 5: Determining Importance

College students frequently are required to purchase the books they will be reading for their classes, and as a result, they are able to employ one of the most useful comprehension strategies for determining importance: they mark their texts.

However, even college students struggle with this vital reading strategy; many of them wield their marking highlighters haphazardly. They color massive portions of their texts yellow, and when they are done and it’s time to study, they discover that they have marked too much. They did not do a good job “sifting the wheat from the chaff.”

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Reading Comprehension Strategy 4: Inferring

The teacher stomps into the classroom, slams the door shut, and glares at the students. Undoubtedly every student in that room will make the same inference: the teacher is angry and upset.

If you asked the students how they figured this out, they will tell you that they didn’t need to be directly told. Instead they “read” the situation, put together the information available to them, and made an assumption. Like all of us, children are able to make inferences.

But making inferences from written texts can be frustrating to students. Many of them are adept at answering literal level questions which ask them to locate key details and important information. Inferring involves a much more complicated task.

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Reading Comprehension Strategy 3: Visualizing

T he strategy of visualizing refers to the mind’s capacity to imagine what is being suggested by the words on a page. As proficient readers follow along in a story, they can just “see” what is happening, almost as if they were running a video in their mind’s eye.

A common phenomenon is the complaint that readers raise when a favorite book is made into a movie. “That’s not how I visualized the characters, or story,” they insist, and usually they prefer the creation of their own imaginations over that offered by a movie maker.

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Reading Comprehension Strategy 2: Questioning

Who? What? Where? When? Why? Asking questions is a normal procedure for finding out about the world, and proficient readers carry a questioning attitude into their reading.

The strategy of questioning involves an almost constant generation of questions that a reader raises internally while engaged in understanding a text. Some questions target important information; these questions help a reader to identify significant details, to follow the elements of a plot in a story, to get the facts.Other questions help a reader take stock of the reading process; they monitor comprehension.

  • Did this passage make sense to me?
  • What should I be on the lookout for in this next passage?

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Reading Comprehension Strategy 1: Making Connections

“What do you already know about it?” is the most basic initial issue regarding reading comprehension. Although it is a natural process to draw upon your prior knowledge and background experiences as you read, proficient readers are highly conscious of making these connections. They know that they will better understand if they attempt to relate what is new in a text to what they already know or have experienced.

Children learning to read, or struggling readers, may move directly through a text without stopping to consider whether the text makes sense based on their background knowledge, or whether their knowledge can be used to help them understand confusing or challenging material.

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