Friday, November 4, 2011

Teaching Readings for Comprehension

Teaching Readings for Comprehension

Before we can teach “reading comprehension” we must first understand what it is we want to teach. It certainly is NOT teaching kids to answer a list of ten questions after reading a story or even just a paragraph. What we want to do is to teach our children to THINK as they are reading. Merely hearing a a dull monotone voice in our heads does not constitute thinking. It’s merely hearing as opposed to listening. Listening is thinking as we are hearing. Comprehending is thinking AS we are reading.

One way to develop the habit of thinking as we are reading (not after!) is to every day have your children read at least one funny cartoon, one joke, one riddle, one good pun , (or even one really bad pun) as in #20 on the web page where it reads: “And finally, there was the person who sent twenty different puns to his friends, with the hope that at least ten of the puns would make them laugh. No pun in ten did. “

If your student doesn’t at least break out in a grin (or groan!) chances are he doesn’t understand what he has just read or he might not know the meaning of “intended” or isn’t familiar with the phrase “No pun intended.”

A pun such as “I went to a seafood disco last week...and pulled a mussel” is funny only if the child knows the difference between a muscle and a mussel. And by the way The spelling (actually a misspelling) of Muscle Shoals was the result of a clerk making a “correction” in a bill before Congress and not one of the congressmen who voted on the bill caught the misspelling. So now an incorrect spelling is the legally correct spelling. Only in America!

Many parents (and teachers) seem to think that Bible reading is strictly a religious activity. It shouldn’t be JUST a religious activity. In fact, it should be a method of teaching THINKING or reading comprehension.

Short, short stories with lots of morals or insights—better even than Aesop’s fables (which should be part of any curriculum). How else will our children understand the concepts of crying wolf, sour grapes, or a cat’s paw? AVKO recommends that you at least read with your children of any age the following

Another way of teaching comprehension is by teaching “real” history. For example, did you know that in 1906 the maximum speed limit in most cities was 10 mph and the average wage in the U.S. was 22 cents per hour? And would you believe the population of Las Vegas, Nevada, was only 30! For more on how life was just a hundred years ago, spend some time on:

For more ideas on how to teach reading comprehension without spending money on booklets that claim they teach comprehension go to:

Thursday, November 3, 2011

What is a Googol?

What is a Googol?

10 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000

This is a Googol.

The real thing.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Load eBooks onto your iPod

iPod Hack: Load eBooks onto your iPod

Another outtake from the Wired How-To issue...
For flights or long commutes, why lug both an MP3 player and something to read? An iPod can be both.

Step 1: Set up Notes. Enable your iPod as an external hard drive by plugging it into your computer, starting iTunes, and selecting the Preferences option under the Edit menu. Once inside, select the iPod tab and click the button "Manually manage songs and playlists." Now you can access the iPod from Macs or PCs like you would any external hard drive or USB memory stick. (Visit Apple's site for a more thorough explanation.)

Step 2: Get books. Visit, which offers over 11,000 free titles, each downloadable as a zipped folder of 4-kilobyte "chapters" (the largest text file size the iPod supports). You won't find recent blockbusters like The Da Vinci Code; the site features only works no longer protected by copyright. But that includes a few thousand years worth of literature. You can also read any material available in digital form by cutting and pasting it into a text file and uploading it to the iPod eBook Creator site at The site formats the text and returns a collection of chapters like those you get from

Step 3: Load up and read. Drag the chapter files into the Notes folder of you iPod. Tip: You can create a folder in Notes with the book's name to hold all chapters. Now disconnect your iPod, and under its main menu select Extras and then Notes. Navigate the book folders and individual chapters just as you would albums and song tracks.

E-books can be put on the Kindle.

All of AVKO’s E-books can be put on the Kindle.

AVKO’s DVD’s can be played on PCs, Macs, IPods and IPads.

Sequential Spelling 4 DVD will be available soon !!