Monday, February 27, 2006

Does Television Rot Your Brain? Study Says No

"Does television rot children's brains? A new study by two economists from the University of Chicago taps into a trove of data from the 1960's to argue that when it comes to academic test scores, parents can let children watch TV without fear of future harm." Study Finds Test Scores Not Lowered by Television in today's New York Times.

The gist of the study is this: "The result showed "very little difference and if anything, a slight positive advantage" in test scores for children who grew up watching TV early on, compared to those who did not, said Mr. Shapiro. In nonwhite households and those where English was a second language or the mother had less than a high school education, TV's positive effect was more marked."

This is great news for parents of gifted children, whose kids, on average, watch 5+ hours of tv a day, particularly when they are young. TV is an excellent way to absorb lots of information, particularly for a pre-reader. For toddlers with a voracious little mind, it's a God-send. I'm not saying that babies should be plunked down in front of the tv and ignored for hours on end (most of them wouldn't sit still that long anyway), but for 30 minutes? Sure, why not? When Klaus was a baby (<3 months old) I would put him in the playpen and turn on MTV because that was the only way he'd be quiet long enough for me to get dressed for work in the morning. And he turned out musically gifted--and ADD, but they both run in the family so I'm giving MTV a pass. (In my defense, this was 1990, when Amy Grant could get on heavy rotation and Nirvana was as antisocial as they got.)

So tune in Nick Jr. and sit down for a minute, guilt-free. Kids and television do mix!

Thursday, February 23, 2006

When Washington Was a Boy

I intended to get this up yesterday for Washington's birthday, but...

This excerpt is from the essay "President George Washington" in the Leaders and Success Section of Investor's Business Daily, 2/21/06:

"George Washington aimed to grow into greatness. And safeguarding the accuracy of his legacy would help chart his path.

So from the time he was 14 years old, he "deliberately preserved every scrap of paper belonging to him, including diaries, letters sent and received, accounts and other day-to-day transactions," said Paul Johnson, author of "George Washington: Founding Father."

Johnson said that Washington (1732-99) wanted to show "the offices he held were undertaken from duty, and not pride." "

Ah, the irony. I showed this to my boys and they didn't get it, but I can just see young George in his room, sans powdered wig, feeling all self-important and misunderstood. LOL!

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

An Olympic Poem by Wolfie

Otters want to be
Olympic swimmers
They spend their life
Perfecting the art
But the farthest
They get
Is a show
In the zoo
But people still clap
So the otters don't know

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Why Gifted Is a Dirty Word

This link is to an article in the Phi Delta Kappan, April 1998, called "Only for My Kid: How Privileged Parents Undermine School Reform". It's a very long article, but the most pertinent (and most confusing) assertion Kohn makes is that "affluent parents" want to keep their gifted and talented programs, AP and honors classes and want more worksheets, basal readers and drill-and-kill in the classroom. Both of these goals are to keep little "gifted and talented Johnny", excuse me, little "rich and lucky Johnny" receiving ever more exclusive credentials only if it's at the expense of other students.

So yes, the whole article is ludicrous and I'd write a rebuttal if the Phi Delta Kappan hadn't done it for me.

Both these links are from the Madison (WI) Area Talented and Gifted Parents group.

With this kind of rhetoric floating around for eight years now, no wonder people bristle at the G-word.

There IS Such a Thing as a Stupid Question!

Apparently college students have no idea how to approach their professors. Blame it on email? The NYT does. In an article in today's issue, Jonathan D. Glater writes:

"Jennifer Schultens, an associate professor of mathematics at the University of California, Davis, received this e-mail message last September from a student in her calculus course: "Should I buy a binder or a subject notebook? Since I'm a freshman, I'm not sure how to shop for school supplies. Would you let me know your recommendations? Thank you!""

Um, hello? Has this child spent way to long with her parents telling her exactly what to do, all the time? And how did she get into UC-Davis without knowing how to buy school supplies?

Glater suggests that the consumer culture might be to blame. "While once professors may have expected deference, their expertise seems to have become just another service that students, as consumers, are buying. So students may have no fear of giving offense, imposing on the professor's time or even of asking a question that may reflect badly on their own judgment."

Take this guy for example: ""If the only way I could communicate with my professors was by going to their office or calling them, there would be some sort of ranking or prioritization taking place," said Cory Merrill, 19, a sophomore at Amherst. "Is this question worth going over to the office?"

So thinking before you speak is a bad thing? Maybe it's just me, but if the question is not worth going over to the professor's office, it's not worth bothering him with an email, either.

Granted, 18- and 19-year-olds, on the whole, are idiots. I know I was when I was that age. But at least I knew better than to ask a professor what kind of notebook to buy. Are we really raising a generation of kids so clueless, so self-involved, that they don't realize they have any negative effect on the lives of others? That they're making themselves look like idiots when they email the professor to say they skipped class because they were hung over? (Really!) I skipped plenty of college classes because I couldn't get out of bed, but I never emailed the professor to explain. And if an explanation were required, I'd make up something good! Don't want to lie? Fine, tell the whole truth: "I didn't come to class because what you were teaching was not as important to me as sleep/lunch/Wheel of Fortune reruns/whatever."

While I'm raising my boys to have a healthy lack of respect for the status quo, they'd damn well better keep in mind that everyone they come in contact with deserves as much respect as they'd like for themselves. The Golden Rule still stands, boys and girls. Teachers, fast-food workers, waitresses, the homeless, yes, even professors deserve to be treated with respect, simply because they're human beings. So ask someone who cares. Or better yet, keep your stupid questions to yourself.

Movie Review: Eight Below

Eight Below, the latest offering from Disney, opened here Friday night on the coldest night we've had all winter. Coincidence?

For those who don't know, "Eight Below" is the story of eight sled dogs who work for the National Science Foundation in their Victoria research base in Antarctica. An accident at the end of the season and the worst storm in 25 years forces the human team to evacuate leaving the dogs at the base temporarily. "Temporarily" ends up being more than six months. The action alternates between scenes of the dogs' fate and scenes of their master trying, somewhat half-heartedly in my humble opinion, to raise the necessary money for a rescue mission. This is pitched as a family movie, but may not be for everyone in your particular family (see below).

The dogs' scenes are shot in the same gorgeous documentary style of The March of the Penguins, without the Morgan Freeman voice-over, since dogs are better actors than penguins. It helps to have some familiarity with sled dogs going into the movie. I'm sure audiences in warmer climes thought it cruel to see the dogs sleeping outside on a chain as a matter of course. Yes, their fur is that thick, particularly dogs who have been bred to pull sleds for generations. Pampered pet Huskies are likely not as hardy as these dogs are. I can't find a listing of who played the dogs, but we all agree that Max was played by at least one of the dogs who played Demon in Snow Dogs in 2002.

Overall, I thought the dogs did a better job acting than the people did. Paul Walker, who played musher Jerry Shepherd, did a particularly poor job. Personally, if they'd been my "kids" (as he referred to them), I would have stolen a plane and flown back to base the next day with a pistol held to the pilot's head. Instead, after whining around for grant money for about fifteen minutes, he goes home to Washington State and gives kayak lessons to nine-year-olds. Excuse me? Perhaps if he'd made his case a little more passionately instead of glaring and pouting, the dogs would have been rescued after six weeks instead of six months.

**Warning--Deliberately Vague Spoiler Ahead!!**

Not all the dogs survive. After one death, a toddler in the front of the theatre began to wail and had to be removed. After the movie ended, Xavier burst into tears in the theatre lobby, something he'd never done before, so be aware that sensitive kids, particularly animal lovers, might have a problem with this.

Meet My Teachers: Mom and Dad

Excellent article in this week's Business Week entitled Meet My Teachers: Mom and Dad, A growing number of affluent parents think they can do better than any school.

I'll grant you the subtitle sounds a little snotty, but the tone of the article as a whole is positive. "No longer the bailiwick of religious fundamentalists or neo-hippies looking to go off the cultural grid, homeschooling is a growing trend among the educated elite. More parents believe that even the best-endowed schools are in an Old Economy death grip in which kids are learning passively when they should be learning actively, especially if they want an edge in the global knowledge economy. "A lot of families are looking at what's happening in public or private school and saying, 'You know what? I could do better, and I'd like to be a bigger part of my kid's life,"' says University of Illinois education professor Christopher Lubienski."

The lone voice of criticism in the article isn't even really a criticism for those in the know: "Schooling in isolation could threaten civic cohesion and diversity of thought, says Stanford University education professor Rob Reich." (emphasis mine)

I absolutely agree with him. What we as homeschoolers need to get across is that homeschooling does not occur in isolation. Even the article points this out in the final paragraph: "The biggest misnomer is the word home since the family travels all over, from the Smithsonian Institution in Washington to Chicago's Museum of Science & Industry to the world's most active volcano in Hawaii. Morillo's fear was that homeschooling would make her kids' world smaller. But instead, she says, "it's opening it up more."

Well done, Business Week!

Wolfie's Joke

What do you call a fish with three eyes?

A fiiish!

Invention Contests Worth Checking Out

The Build-A-Better-Mousetrap Contest at Surfaquarium is looking for K-12 classes who want to participate in their program. From their website:

"We welcome K-12 classes from around the world to join us in the Build a Better Mousetrap Project!

Each participating class will develop criteria for evaluating inventions based on their functionality and marketability.
Classes will submit their criteria to create a rubric on the project web site.

Classes can then use the rubric to evaluate inventions presented on the ABC reality program, American Inventor which premiers March 16th.

Each class will then design and create an invention of their own choosing to be showcased here on the project site.
This can be a modification of an existing product (such as the mousetrap) or an entirely new product idea.

Each class submitting a project will be recognized and awarded for its unique contribution as engineers and inventors!"

Registration period for this contest is 2/27-3/31/06. Inventing phase takes place from 4/2-6/3/06. Open to homeschoolers.

The Rube Goldburg Machine Contest for high school students is sponsored by Marquette University. The 2006 Challenge is to design a machine that will "Cut or Shred Into Strips 5 Sheets of 8 1/2" x 11" 20lb Paper Individually With a Shredder in 20 or More Steps!"

Registration deadline for this event is January 27, 2006, so make up your minds this week! Design is due March 1, the working model of the machine goes to the contest in Milwaukee on April 28, 2006. Teams are limited to six people.

And a final note: the rules state "No live animals" in your machine, so leave your hamsters at home!

Thursday, February 16, 2006

IQ vs Intelligence

From Darryl Miyaguch's site Uncommonly Difficult I.Q. Tests:

IQ vs. Intelligence

from a letter to me by Grady Towers dated February 24, 1999
Used with permission from the author

Did you know that Homo erectus had an IQ of about 45? This is not just a guess, but the result of an experiment carried out by Thomas Wynn, an anthropologist at the University of Colorado.

Homo erectus produced a category of stone tool that anthropologists call the Acheulean tool industry. Dr. Wynn discovered that it takes a mental age of at least seven years to learn how to reproduce an Acheulean tool. Using the classic formula

IQ = 100 x (Mental Age) / (Chronological Age)

and using 16 for chronological age, we get an IQ estimate of 44. Using 15 for chronological age, we get an IQ estimate of about 47. An IQ of 45 seems to be a good compromise.

I used to be an anthropologist, and lived for several years with an indian tribe, which gives me a perspective on IQ that no one else in the super-high IQ societies is likely to share. So let me take this opportunity to expand your vision of human intelligence.

IQ tests measure something real and something terribly important, but they do not assess all of what is called intelligence. Many important mental abilities are left out. Abilities responsible for art, music, dance, cooking, mechanical invention, clerical exactness, foreign languages, caring for a baby, defeating an enemy in war, and so on, have little connection with IQ. They have little connection because literacy and numeracy have little to do with excellence in these fields.

IQ tests are powerful predictors only in the fields in which literacy and numeracy are of central importance. These are the core abilities responsible for the creation, maintenance and progress of civilization. Without them there could be no literature, law, religion, philosophy. There could also be no mathematics, science, technology, market economy, computer science, etc. No one could have more respect for these qualities than I have, but I don't mistake them for an index of human worth. There are other mental qualities of equal worth not assessed by IQ tests.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Homeschooling Athletes, Olympic-style

Olympic athletes get younger every year ;-) and just where are they getting their education? At home! Check out this list of homeschooled athletes from A to Z Home's Cool. Shaun White, Men's Snowboarding Gold Medalist, and many other Olympic athletes and hopefuls homeschool as a way to free up more time for training, as well as the usual reasons, according to a June article in USA Today. So why don't the papers carefully mention when homeschoolers do well, like they do when homeschooled kids kill someone?

How Does a Homeschooler Change a Lightbulb?

First, mom checks three books on electricity out of the library, then the kids make models of light bulbs, read a biography of Thomas Edison and do a skit based on his life.

Next, everyone studies the history of lighting methods, wrapping up with dipping their own candles.

Next, everyone takes a trip to the store where they compare types of light bulbs as well as prices and figure out how much change they'll get if they buy two bulbs for $1.99 and pay with a five dollar bill.

On the way home, a discussion develops over the history of money and also Abraham Lincoln, as his picture is on the five dollar bill.

Finally, after building a homemade ladder out of branches dragged from the woods, the light bulb is installed.

And there is light.

LOL Thanks to the TAGMAX list for sharing!

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Study in the Shower

A couple months back, I ordered a Top 100 SAT Words shower curtain for the boys' bathroom. I was hoping it would help boost Wolfie's vocabulary a bit before he took the ACT. Unfortunately, the ACT was this morning and the shower curtain arrived this afternoon (it was on backorder). I just put it up, though, and it looks great. The Intuitive Learning Company also offers shower curtains for English Grammar, multiplication tables and SAT math concepts. I have high hopes. I mean, why should the bathroom be the only intellectually unstimulating room in the house? What else is there to do in there besides read the shower curtain? LOL

Friday, February 10, 2006

Middle School: A gifted girl's worst nightmare?

Article from the Palm Springs Desert Sun.

Risk of Complications from ADD Meds

Reuters story from last Wednesday, FDA Reports 51 Deaths of Attention Drugs Patients. The drugs in question are specifically the methylphenidates: Ritain, Adderall, the stimulants. Bottom line: "Conclusions about the relative safety of these two stimulant therapies cannot be made on the basis of this analysis," the FDA staff said." In other words, they cannot confirm or deny a link.

Common sense dictates that if you or your child are taking these meds, be sure to have your blood pressure measured on a regular basis and report to your doctor any dizziness or light-headedness, heart palpitations or sudden weight gain. Of course, the same is true of any other medication.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

What Does Testing Prove?

Over the course of its implementation, the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) has managed to alienate teachers, parents and students with its focus on results of standardized testing. In my boys' elementary school, the teachers have said the actual content of the NCLB test is "laughably easy" and yet the stakes are so high, before the test the school sends out "relaxation exercises" for parents to practice with children to help raise their scores. My boys freaked out, of course, assuming that, since they'd never had school mandated "relaxation" before, the test must be a life or death situation.

There are complaints across the nation that good schools are being penalized for bringing kids who are performing three years below grade level to "only" one year below grade level, while schools (generally in white and middle to upper-middle class neighborhoods) with students performing at or above grade level (including the gifted) are completely ignored. Does the Bush Administration admit they may have created a fiasco by trying to measure the unmeasureable, namely measuring achievement instead of learning? No! They want to apply the same oversimplified, reductionist philosophy to colleges, according to the New York Times!

I know some of you don't have access to the NYT, so here's the gist:

"David L. Warren, president of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, a group representing private, nonprofit colleges and universities, said: "What we oppose is a single, national, high-stakes, one-size-fits-all, uber-outcome exam. The notion of a single exam implies there are national standards, and that implies a national curriculum. Then we are on the way to a centralized Prussian education system."

When Ms. Spellings, the education secretary, named the commission, she said that choosing a college was one of the most important and expensive decisions families make and that they were entitled to more information."

"Entitled to more information"--what is that supposed to mean? That we shouldn't have to visit a campus to get a feel for how the school works? Can we reduce the education at Harvard College, a non-Ivy private school like Northwestern University, large state schools like University of Michigan or Minnesota and small state schools like the University of Wisconsin-River Falls to a single number or ratio? No! Despite what Ms. Spellings seems to believe, not everything can be quantified.

And education should not be seen in terms of producers and consumers. Education is, or at least should be, the gradual unfolding of intellect, the finding of one's place in the world of people and ideas. Standardized testing has nothing to do with education. At best, it's a snapshot of one person's fund of knowledge on one particular day. At worst, it's a snapshot of one person's test-taking skills on one particular day. What do test-taking skills have to do with education? Nothing! They're not problem-solving skils, no matter what some educators would have you believe. They're "let's see if we can figure out what the teacher is getting at by asking this question this way" skills. That's kissing-ass, not solving problems, and certainly not education!! Right now, college offer a haven for gifted kids, because they can self-select what to study and at what level. But if the government decides that everything in education can be reduced to 1s and 0s, i.e. you know this or you don't, and colleges start teaching to the federal test like the elementary and high schools have, then there will be no point in going to any school at all.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Will AP Make Us Globally Competitive?

Interesting article about the Advanced Placement class system in today's NYT. AP classes offer college freshman level instruction in any of 35 different subjects, with the opportunity to earn college credit by examination at the end of the year. College admissions counselors give AP classes more weight than CLEP, the competing credit-by-examination program (also run by the College Board). International Baccalaureate (IB) programs seem to be even more rigorous than AP, but not available nearly as widely.

The NYT article made the following observation:

"Over all, students in the United States have lagged behind their counterparts in other countries in math and science on international tests. The Trends in International Math and Science Study, developed by an international group and gathered every four years, showed in 2003 that American students scored the lowest of 16 countries in physics and the second lowest in calculus.

But A.P. students did far better. Those who had taken A.P. calculus, even including those who scored only a 1 or 2 on the exam, did as well on the TIMSS exams as students from the first-place nation, France. And those who had taken AP physics, including those with low scores, were outperformed only by those from the top two nations, Norway and Sweden.

Technically, AP students have taken college level classes in these subjects and are competing against typical 12th-grade students in the other countries. Unfair advantage? Or are our high school students capable of more than we're giving them credit for?

My Most Amazing Talent?

Ever since Xavier had bronchitis at the beginning of December, we've been trying to get him to learn how to swallow pills. (Not many adult-strength medicines come in liquid or chewable form.) A couple weeks ago, I was showing him the apparent pinnacle of pill-swallowing success--me. Between prescription meds and supplements, I take six pills in the morning and up to ten at night. If I took them one at a time, it would take me an hour, so I do the whole handful at once. This amazed the nurse who was giving me my morning meds when I was in the hospital last spring. Xavier was just floored.

The second time, he ran to get Wolfie. "C'mere, c'mere, you gotta see this!" Of course, I complied by adding some cheesy magic act music. They applauded. :D

Yesterday morning, Xavier happened to pass me while I was collecting my morning pills. "Wait, wait, wait for me!" So I waited until he came out of the bathroom. Clunk (pills hitting my tongue), swallow, ta-da!

"Wow, Mom, you should be in the circus!" he says.

And I'm still wondering--Was that a compliment?

Monday, February 06, 2006

Why Gifted Students Need to Flock Together

There is an undercurrent of feeling that putting gifted kids in classes and activities with other gifted kids only reinforces their feeling of superiority over the "average" kids in their other classes. This elitist view is the exact opposite of why it is important to group gifted kids together. Gifted kids, with IQs ranging from 130 to 180 (and beyond) are even more different from each other than a spread of 50 IQ points in an "average" classroom, say from 80 to 130 IQ. But these gifted kids are sailing along at the top of their "average" class. They don't have to work, so they don't. They don't have to learn study skills, so they don't. Why bother trying to better yourself if you're already better than everyone in your peer group (i.e. your class)?

More importantly, they don't realize that they aren't the be all and end all of intelligence. And why should they? Classwork comes easily to them. The teacher and other adults in their lives constantly reinforce how smart they are and how easy school is for them. They spend much of their day entertaining themselves while they wait for the rest of the class to catch up. They have no opportunity to struggle and fail, much less to challenge themselves and grow.

In a gifted classroom, or summer camp, or Saturday program, most gifted kids will find for the first time that they aren't the smartest guys in the room. Surprise! In the Nov/Dec 2002 issue of BizEd, Scott Adams, creator of the Dilbert cartoon, described the moment he realized he had to work in school:

"In my first quarter, I distinctly remember sitting in my accounting class after we had taken a test. Before the professor handed out our tests, he put the distribution of grades up on the board, so he showed how many people got As, how many people got Bs. There was one person who had the lowest grade. I remember sitting there thinking, wow, that poor bastard, how embarrassing to be that one guy at the bottom! There weren’t even two people at the bottom, just one! Well, he handed the tests back, and I was that guy. And I remained at the bottom of that list until I figured out just how much work was required to get an MBA and I started doing it.

I know that I came out of the MBA program much, much better prepared to do anything. And when I encounter people who have not had a similar educational experience, the thing I’m amazed at is that they don’t know what they don’t know. So they don’t know they’re missing anything. That’s the scary thing. I didn’t know that I was missing anything. And frankly, I didn’t go to school to learn; I went to school to get a degree so that people would think I was smart, but I wouldn’t actually have to be smart. My biggest surprise was that I actually took away from that experience skills so valuable that, for me, they made the difference between success and not success."
(emphasis mine)

Adams' experience in his MBA program is exactly what I want my boys to experience, although preferably earlier than graduate school. Some people think gifted students will learn this lesson "only when they are forced to spend time in an average classroom." It is simply not the case. And I believe my job as parent is to make sure my boys don't buy into the notion that they're better or smarter than anyone else. I want them to know that the point of living is continuing to learn and grow, that challenge and struggle are good things, things to be sought out at every opportunity. This is why I'm advocating in the schools for them to be in gifted classes and why I'm spending our vacation money to send them to camp. Scott Adams learned to work only when he got to graduate school. Imagine what he could have done if he learned that lesson in junior high.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

"Only" an 8th Grade Education, Revisited

Thanks to Anonymous for sending me this link from Snopes doesn't say the test is a hoax, but makes the point that much of that information is not taught anymore not because it's too hard for our soft brains, but because it's unnecessary for today's children. A 21st century city kid needs to know keyboarding and online search strategies, not how much wheat they have in bushels/hectare. Orthography, anyone? Don't get me started. LOL

The other point is that the test would be much easier if it had been administered right after we'd studied all this stuff. We do forget all the stuff we learned that we didn't need to know. I wonder how those 1895 8th grade graduates would do on this test in 1925?

Thursday, February 02, 2006

"Only" An 8th Grade Education?

The Batavia Historical Society Publication of January 2006 included this:
Remember when grandparents and great-grandparents stated that they only had an 8th grade education? Well, check this out. Could any of us have passed the 8th grade in 1895? This is the eighth-grade final exam from 1895 in Salina, Kansas, USA. It was taken from the original document on file at the Smokey Valley Genealogical Society and Library in Salina, KS, and reprinted by the Salina Journal.

8th Grade Final Exam: Salina, KS -1895

Grammar (Time, one hour)
1. Give nine rules for the use of capital letters.
2. Name the parts of speech and define those that have no modifications.
3. Define verse, stanza and paragraph
4. What are the principal parts of a verb? Give principal parts of "lie," "play," and "run."
5. Define case; Illustrate each case.
6. What is punctuation? Give rules for principal marks of punctuation.
7 - 10. Write a composition of about 150 words and show therein that you
understand the practical use of the rules of grammar.

Arithmetic (Time, 1.25 hours)
1. Name and define the Fundamental Rules of Arithmetic.
2. A wagon box is 2 ft. deep, 10 feet long, and 3 ft. wide. How many bushels of wheat will it hold?
3. If a load of wheat weighs 3942 lbs., what is it worth at 50 cts/bushel, deducting 1050 lbs. for tare?
4. District No. 33 has a valuation of $35,000. What is the necessary levy to carry on a school seven months at $50 per month, and have $104 for incidentals?
5. Find the cost of 6720 lbs. coal at $6.00 per ton.
6. Find the interest of $512.60 for 8 months and 18 days at 7 percent.
7. What is the cost of 40 boards 12 inches wide and 16 ft. long at $20 per metre?
8. Find bank discount on $300 for 90 days (no grace) at 10 percent.
9. What is the cost of a square farm at $15 per acre, the distance of which is 640 rods?
10. Write a Bank Check, a Promissory Note, and a Receipt.

U.S. History (Time, 45 minutes)
1. Give the epochs into which U.S. History is divided.
2. Give an account of the discovery of America by Columbus.
3. Relate the causes and results of the Revolutionary War.
4. Show the territorial growth of the United States.
5. Tell what you can of the history of Kansas.
6. Describe three of the most prominent battles of the Rebellion.
7. Who were the following: Morse, Whitney, Fulton, Bell, Lincoln, Penn, and Howe?
8. Name events connected with the following dates: 1607, 1620, 1800, 1849, 1865.

Orthography (Time, one hour)
1. What is meant by the following: Alphabet, phonetic, orthography, etymology, syllabication
2. What are elementary sounds? How classified?
3. What are the following, and give examples of each: Trigraph, subvocals, diphthong, cognate letters, linguals
4. Give four substitutes for caret `u.'
5. Give two rules for spelling words with final 'e.' Name two exceptions under each rule.
6. Give two uses of silent letters in spelling. Illustrate each.
7. Define the following prefixes and use in connection with a word: bi, dis, mis, pre, semi, post, non, inter, mono, sup.
8. Mark diacritically and divide into syllables the following, and name the sign that indicates the sound: card, ball, mercy, sir, odd, cell, rise, blood, fare, last.
9. Use the following correctly in sentences: cite, site, sight, fane, fain, feign, vane, vain, vein, raze, raise, rays.
10 Write 10 words frequently mispronounced and indicate pronunciation by use of diacritical marks and by syllabication.

Geography (Time, one hour)
1 What is climate? Upon what does climate depend?
2. How do you account for the extremes of climate in Kansas?
3. Of what use are rivers? Of what use is the ocean?
4. Describe the mountains of North America
5. Name and describe the following: Monrovia, Odessa, Denver, Manitoba, Hecla, Yukon, St. Helena, Juan Fernandez, Aspinwall and Orinoco.
6. Name and locate the principal trade centers of the U.S.
7. Name all the republics of Europe and give the capital of each.
8. Why is the Atlantic Coast colder than the Pacific in the same latitude?
9. Describe the process by which the water of the ocean returns to the sources of rivers.
10 Describe the movements of the earth. Give the inclination of the earth.

Duh, I feel stupid.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Great Quote

"... People with great passions, people who accomplish great deeds,
people who possess strong feelings, even people with great minds and a
strong personality, rarely come out of good little boys and girls."

Lev Vygotsky