kitchen table math, the sequel: My Summer Reading Program

Thursday, July 12, 2007

My Summer Reading Program

My children are participating in our local library's summer reading program. Several weeks ago, while I was waiting for them to check out their books, a book titled, "Aristotle's Children" by Richard Rubinstein, caught my eye. The book chronicles the rediscovery of Aristotle's writings in the 12th century, and the impact that had on western thought. What I learned, primarily, was how much I didn't know about world history and religion.

Today, while once again at the library, I decided to check out "Animals in Translation" (Catherine's book with Temple Grandin). My apologies to Catherine for checking the book out instead of purchasing it. Eager to begin (there is nothing like settling in with a book), I managed to read the first few pages before the tasks of the day beckoned. Already, I am hooked. My problem will be resisting the urge to drop everything I am supposed to be doing in order to read the book cover to cover.

7 comments:

nbosch said...

I don't know how old your children are but I've read some excellent books to my students over the last few years--let me know if you need suggestions.

KarenA said...

Nbosch . . .

Suggestions are always welcome! K just graduated from high school, and she has always been a voracious reader. M, who will be starting high school in the fall, is a competent reader, but doesn't have the passion for it that K does.

M is rather selective about what she reads. She likes books with content, if that makes sense. For example, she likes historical fiction because she is learning about history. Her favorite all-time book is "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn." Her 7th grade teacher had the kids read "Animal Farm" and M loved that book. Her teacher did a good job of "teaching" the book, because it was a bit over the kids' heads in some respects.

KarenA said...

I should clarify my comments about the book, "Aristotle's Children." It's a wonderful and insightful book, and I would highly recommend it.

KarenA said...

Last night, I read the first chapter and a half of "Animals in Translation," and I am enjoying it thoroughly.

The first chapter begins with Temple's own story, and I had tears in my eyes after the first three pages, as Temple describes both her own experiences with being teased because she was different and also the horses that had been mistreated.

I think many of her insights could (and should) be applied in many situations. For example, she discusses how important it is to "see what the animal sees and experience what the animal is experiencing." I think this is what is sometimes missing in education. I think this is one of the points that Catherine and others keep hammering away at: that it's not enough to just "present" the material, as a teacher you have to determine whether or not the student is learning it, and sometimes (often?) that requires seeing what the student is seeing and experiencing. I think that's when a teacher is able to determine where the gaps are in a student's knowledge.

Catherine Johnson said...

Thank you!

Catherine Johnson said...

nbosch We need as many suggestions as we can get!

Catherine Johnson said...

I've learned SOOOO much from Temple.

This is a person with a serious disability who had to figure out how to remediate herself.

The solutions she developed are ones I think about all the time.