PreK to Third Grade: To Play or Not to Play?

Should we test babies?  How else do you get the message across about the importance of preschool for brain development?  Even if you do test toddlers, there is disagreement over what to do about de…

Source: PreK to Third Grade: To Play or Not to Play?


Digital visual dictionary for refugees

In Germany, a new tool is being used to ease the adjustment for the new immigrants coming from the Middle East, especially children. It is a digital visual dictionary. Read more here-

I love it when we can use a tool of our culture to assist with a problem in our culture.


Language and literacy connect us to words. Words are fascinating. We take so much for granted, especially in language. Do you ever stop to think about this question I received from my ELL student—What is the difference in sandwich, hamburger, and hotdog? After thinking about the question I wondered— how about, pizza, tacos, pita, etc.? Perhaps, there is a “sandwich” in every culture.

In the spirit of my curiosity about words, I subscribe to and receive a daily email called A.Word.A.Day. Typically, each week has a theme. Here is the email I received today—
“A.Word.A.Day with Anu Garg

If you have ever wondered why a petticoat is called a petticoat, here’s the scoop. It is, literally, a petty coat. Or used to be. In the beginning it was an undercoat worn by men. Over time, it jumped from men to women. And then it slipped from shoulders to waist. That’s language for you. Don’t try to make sense of it.

And, whatever you do, do not look for much logic in it. Or claim that because a word meant such and such earlier, it should mean the same today.

This week we’ll discuss words related to clothing that are used metaphorically. And like petticoat, we’ll start from the top and start sliding down as the week progresses.

brass hat
PRONUNCIATION: (bras hat)”

noun: A high-ranking official, especially from the military or police.

From the gilt insignia worn on the cap. Also see brass ring, brass collar, brassy. Earliest documented use: 1887.

“‘I don’t understand why a brass hat from the police would want to talk to me,’ I tell him. ‘I’m just a passing academic.’”               Shashi Warrier; The Girl Who Didn’t Give Up; Tranquebar Press; 2015.

See more usage examples of brass hat in’s dictionary.

If triangles had a God, he would have three sides. -Charles de Montesquieu, philosopher and writer (18 Jan 1689-1755)