24 Oct 2012
“Math and Literature, by my favorite author Marylin Burns has 22 ideas on how to extend books appropriate for kindergarten and grade 1, to inculcate mathematical thinking…more.
24 Oct 2012
My first post for CROCUS 2012 @ Saffron Tree.
The Librarian Who Measured The Earth is the picture biography of Eratosthenes, a scholar who lived in 3rd century BC. He was a mathematician, geographer, music theorist ….more.
31 Oct 2011
We are winding up CROCUS2011. Its been loads of fun with the five elements theme suggested by Praba.
I wanted to do something diverse this time. So I picked:
AN INTERVIEW WITH Mrs.NIRMALA DIAZ, FOUNDER OF SLOKA WALDORF SCHOOL – Waldorf schools place a high emphasis on nature. This is tricky considering that young children have a egocentric way of thinking and are not ready to view themselves as a small part in the bigger scheme of things. Mrs.Diaz explains beautifully how nature appreciation paves way to a balanced way to nurture and educate young children. An inspirational interview.
MA GANGA AND THE RAZAI BOX – a children’s book that touches on the topics of desertification and soil erosion through mythology. I found the story telling quite innovative.
THE LAST CHILD IN THE WOODS – If you are a teacher, you NEED to read this book. It changes the way you will plan/implement your curriculum. Do I have to tell more?
THE NATURE TEACHER – Doing lesson plans is pure joy. At SaffronTree, we were discussing that we have covered many nature themed books even before we hit upon the FIVE ELEMENTS theme for CROCUS2011 and if there was a way to incorporate all these past posts in to CROCUS2011 without overwhelming the readers it would be swell. This along with Richard Louv’s ‘nature as a teacher for young children’ made this post shape up the way it is right now. Pure joy people! In the near future, I would love to do workshops and share this joy with other people in the teaching community. Wish me the best.
Now go read all the posts @ SaffronTree if you haven’t already.
23 Oct 2011
The older child is playing in her keyboard, a song she sings at school. As she attempts again and again to bring the song to tune, my interest is piqued as to the lyrics of the song.
I ask her about the song, she says that it is the ‘vowel’ song that they sing at school and sings it for me.
On the earth I love to stand, strength from stones I’ve taken,
Striding boldly o’er the land, fearless and unshaken. Aaaaaaaa…..
And in water’s silvery waves, gladly do I revel,
From the fishes I can learn, up and down to travel. Eeeeeeeeee……
Upward to the light I look, where the sun shines brightly,
And with rainbow colors clear, paints the flowers lightly. Iiiiiiiii…..
In the air I love to jump, Oh! that I were flying,
Like a bird with outspread wings, O’er the hilltops gliding. Uuuuuuu….
Gratefully your gifts I hold, in my heart’s deep shrine,
Earth and Water, Air and Light, brothers all of mine. Ooooooo………
What a befitting song to kick start CROCUS2011?!
Hop over to SaffronTree to enjoy the introduction post by Tharini.
1 Nov 2010
I picked up a book by Bronwyn Bancroft, illustrator from the the Bunjalung aborigines of Australia and was thinking how many details are very similar to the Gond style of art. Just in time comes Gita Wolf’s post on ‘The Politics Of Voice‘, a post on folk and tribal art in children’s literature. How can I not do a post on ‘Tribal art in children’s books‘?
Unlike Gita, who talks about the publisher’s perspective on creating a children’s book with tribal art illustrations, I decided to stop with the commonalities I observe in tribal art across the world.
While you are at it, check out the art of Sue Coccia. Very Gond in spirit don’t you think? Thanks to Kodi’s mom for introducing this artist to me.
Three years back while reading Tulika’s Sweet and Salty for Chula and Meija, I distinctly remembered villu pattu artist Subbu Arumugam. The train of thought later lead to the art of story telling. After reading Hanuman’s Ramayana, also by Tulika, the concept of stories being molded by the story teller and how myths came to be, really appealed to me. Inspired by this is the post on Stories of The Flood, my last and final contribution to CROCUS2010.
Bye bye CROCUS2010.
25 Oct 2010
Edited to add: Submitted post for Shruti’s Artsy-Craftsy June 2001 Folk art challenge.
I have done numerous lesson plans for course work. Two years back, one such lesson plan was on Tulika’s Sameer’s House, an all time favorite at home. That is when I realized how today’s kid’s-lit is so versatile and can be integrated in to a classroom setting. The seed was sown.
For CROCUS 2010, my category assignment was arts and crafts. For this I decided to do a post on how Warli can be integrated in to a classroom. Check out my post at Saffron Tree. I am eager to hear back from you all.
22 Oct 2010
I thought being a part of a kid-lit book group was fun. The celebration of CROCUS and the addition of new enthu-cutlets members (y’all know who you are!) has only elevated the fun to a new level.
This Oct 23, we are celebrating CROCUS again. It is going to be a week long celebration. Planning committee, PR team, banner design, press release, categories, review assignment, scheduling, the famous CROCUSWord and much much more galore at ST. It just feels like a wedding, well some one esle’s wedding of course, because it is universal truth that one never has fun in their own wedding.
Without further ado the virtual invite for CROCUS 2010. Clicking on the picture below will take you to CROCUS 2010 posts on Saffron Tree’s website.
24 Oct 2009
This is the favorite corner of my home.
I love it. From the curtains, to the rug, to the file holders, each thing was hand picked by me with my precious books in mind.
The previous owners had converted a bedroom in to a media room. So instead of a traditional closet we have shelves. This is the space that houses the books we have. The bottom most shelf for my school stuff and large books. The next two shelves from the bottom are for the kids books, arranged so that the whole front cover of the book is showing. These books are rotated every two weeks. Books that are piled with their spine showing, on the side shelves are placed in the central area so that the front cover shows. I rearrange the books with a theme in mind. After this I casually let the kids in to the room. They notice that there are new books and their comment is , “AMMA YOU PUT OUT NEW BOOKS!!!!” Most of the books we have had for the past two years, but by showing them only 10 books at a time, they have renewed interest. If a book that has been put out has not been touched in spite of it being ‘new’, they are retired to a storage box in the garage.
The rest of the books that belong to the adults in the house arranged in a certain order. As the shelf height increases the appropriateness(for Chula and Mieja) of the books differ. First comes Harry Potter series, LOTR, English and Tamil version of Ponniyin Selvan, Roald Dahl, R.K.Narayan etc. Above them are Catch22, Fountainhead, Alexander Maccall Smith, few Grishams, Robin Cooks, Douglas Adams etc. As the height increases the adult content of the books increase. The idea is Chula and Mieja will be a certain age, hmmmm 30 may be, by the time they are reading books with sexual content. So they better not climb on chairs or tip toe to get those books.
On the very top shelf are my ORACLE, C++, Operation System, JAVA books from my former jenmam. These are way high, not to keep them away from the kids, but to be out of my sight, so that I can be free of nightmares.
Oh, I forgot to mention, the books are grouped and sub grouped by categories like by author, height, chronology, theme etc. For example, all Tulika books are in one basket, starting with Tamil books arranged in height order(unless there are two books with similar theme, then the height order is sacrificed), then the bilingual books in height order, then the English books in height etc. The book HAS to go back in to the very specific spot that it came from, otherwise God forbid, a reorganization is in order. It takes me a weekend to reorganize the bookshelf because, I first draw a rough sketch, a flow chart, catalog, sit in a corner and read a book and then arrange them.
IF (in capital because most people who know me have stopped borrowing books from me) some one borrows a book from me, I almost make them sign a binding contract that lets me cut their right ear off if they accidentally took my book to the bathroom(yuck) or folded a corner or folded it open along the spine or spill something on it or crumple any page or…..okay the list goes on.
* ! I love my book shelf ! *
Okay folks, now march on to Saffrontree, read our reviews and leave comments. Only if we hear you, we will know what you are thinking.
[tags]books shelf, how to arrange books to keep kids interested[/tags]
21 Oct 2009
Contd from part I.
She is at home because her school is closed for Gandhi Jayanthi. She washed her hair, children stayed off from clawing each other, her best friend was going to stop by and the husband was on his way home…. a good day…an over all sense of elation is prevailing.
She opens the door to check mail and she sees a package.
Her mind races at the speed of light. Books from Amazon? Nope. She didn’t order any. Besides why would Amazon gift-wrap it like this? Gift from India? Yeah right! Dream on greedy person……
She picks the package and looks at the ‘from address’ Wait a min….. Tharini from Winkiesways? Package from T? She has a rough idea as to the ‘why’, but the ‘what’ is still throbbing in her head.
OMG, she loves surprises. She loves presents. She loves opening presents. In fact she loves it sooooo much that as of a year back, she was opening all her kids’ birthday presents. This is like….this is like….pure joy. She feels like a small child. She is shaking and sniffing the package trying to guess what is inside.
Ok, she gives up. Inside her head a voice is screaming ‘OPEN AND OPEN IT ALREADY.’ She runs the tip of her car key at the corners of the box, opens the package and wrapped in a newspaper is ……..
A throw cushion with hand made embroidery
showing a mother and her two children, all three,
full of glee,
under a tree,
not any tree,
but a Banyan tree,
with the Sun all shiny
and the grass dewy,
for it is the blog banner of yours truly
With the package is a hand written letter taped to a thank you card. The sight of the neat script, that is so precise and beautiful, some how completes the experience. She is thinking ‘Aren’t hand written notes the best?’. She is scanning the notes from top to bottom, savoring the feeling, making the sense of completion last a bit longer.
All this kindness for what? Because she advised T to take it easy and relax?! Apparently yes. T says in her note, “I wanted my ‘Thank You Loads’ gift to be a gesture of the permission for the relaxed time you enabled me to sanction myself and here is the fruitful endeavor.”
All that is running through her mind is, ‘I must be truly blessed. Not just for all the love and kindness that is bestowed on me. But also to be able to recognize, be aware and appreciate the kindness that comes my way.’
19 Oct 2009
As my children started showing interest in books, found myself in a tight spot. There was no dearth of books, don’t get me wrong. I found it difficult to pick the right kind of books. That is when I discovered Saffron Tree, every contributor so unique in their tastes, but all bound by the same thread – parents from India with a love for books.
After following Saffron Tree for eight months, I was asked to join the group. This invite, I felt, was an honor for a sporadic blogger like me. On Oct 23, Saffron Tree is celebrating its third anniversary and I am still happy to be a part of this group.
As a special treat we have our book festival ‘CROCUS 2009 – Around the World in Seven Days’ in which we will be reviewing culturally unique books from all over the world. Its not just reviews, we have author interviews and games.
Folks, hop over and see for yourself. Its a fun ride and as Praba says, you don’t need a passport or a plane ticket