1. I read an article in the local newspaper sometime in the last few weeks about "math anxiety." It talked about people who label themselves as bad at math, the social acceptability of that label, and the fact that anxiety very effectively shuts off the parts of the brain needed to do math. This article had several interesting points, but one in particular resurfaced the other day when I read another article in Parents Magazine. According to the article in the newspaper the foundational skill that people with math anxiety struggle with is quickly identifying which number is greater than the other. According to the article in Parents, the game UNO reinforces this concept, and children who play UNO do better in math than those who don't. (Now I'm thinking about the rules of the game and wondering how exactly it does this ...?)
2. Leila at Like Mother, Like Daughter has been posting about teaching reading. One of the things she emphasizes is the use of good books and high quality literature. This reminds me of my experience learning music. I started with Suzuki piano, which uses real classical music from the best composers right from the beginning. I find the "music" offered in most method books repulsive, similar to reading exercises in many beginning readers. There was a valuable link to turn of the century children's literature in the comments of this post.
3. A recipe for an apple dessert that I must try: Scalloped Apples Dessert in the Slow Cooker. This looks really tasty, and really easy.
4. I stumbled upon a fantastic list of lunch ideas at Charming the Birds from the Trees. I'll have to try some of these.
5. One of the things I've been pondering in the last few weeks is what, beyond political activism, does it mean to be pro-life? I've come to a few conclusions. Does anyone else have thoughts on the subject?
6. I've also been considering the relationship between generosity and gentleness.
7. Have a great weekend, everyone. Be sure to visit Conversion Diary for more 7 Quick Takes posts.