Friday, 17 December 2010

Christmas comes alive!

I crept downstairs,
With bleary eyes,
Twas then I got
A big surprise!

Something had happened,
In the night
I looked again.
Cor! What a sight!

Christmas had come..
To my house.
I crept some more,
Just like a mouse.

On the dresser,
Fancy things,
Santas, angels
and some kings!

Showing off
to their best
Standing tall,
They dare not rest!

'Christmas Village'
(My best china)
You couldn't find,
Anything finer!

All were waiting
for that big day!
Hip hip hip pip,
Hip hip hurray!

I played around
I played some more
And then..a knock
At my front door!

A parcel big...
as big could be..
I jumped!
I clapped my hands with glee!

But alas my name
... not on the label!
I sighed
And left it on the table.

And as I listened,
I could hear,
The sound of something...
Very clear

I'd heard that before!
I quickly hid
behind the door!

And quickly,
Whilst they had the chance
They came to life
And began to dance!

And all this happened
In my hall!
I rubbed my eyes
What a ball!

Soon, they were
Back to their places
I swear I saw
Smiles on their faces!

At the table,
I sat down
T'was then that something
Made me frown!

That parcel!
It was all undone!
Look who had come
To join the fun...

Nuts or Crackers?
I may be both!
But I know what I saw
And that's the truth! ;-)

A very Happy Christmas everyone!!


Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Plees teech me to reed!! ;-)

An unexexpected visit to Totnes last night, for yet another

Tuesday late night shopping extravaganza,

brought a surprise!

Walking into 'This 'N That', I was greeted by Lesley,

whose immediate words were :

''I have a present for you. Open it right away!'

I laughed!

(I would love to have had Lesley as my headmistress,

she is a scream!! )

We had only been talking about this not so long ago!

The Initial Teaching Alphabet

When it comes to the subject of teaching children to read,

there have been some pretty crazy ideas over the years!

But I think this beats them all!

Known as The Pitman Initial Teaching Alphabet (i.t.a.),

it was invented by Sir James Pitman, grandson of the inventor

of Pitman shorthand.

It was first used in a number of British schools in 1961

and soon spread to the USA and Australia.

The i.t.a was designed to make it easier for

English-speaking children to learn to read English.

(Well that was the idea!)

The idea was that children would first learn to read

using the i.t.a. then they would be introduced to

standard English orthography at the age of seven.

The i.t.a. consisted of 42 letters, 24 standard lowercase

Latin letters plus a number of special letters,

most of which are modified Latin letters.

The main problems of using the i.t.a were:

1. That it was based on Received Pronunciation,

so people with other accents founded it difficult to decipher.

(I mean, can you imagine it being used nowadays, in our

multi cultural schools,let alone in Liverpool or Birmingham!!)

2. There was a lack of written materials in i.t.a.

(Too right! And not to mention all the signs and instructions

that one sees in everyday life, out and about)

3. Some children found the transition to the

traditional orthography, difficult.

(You don't say!)

4. Parents were confused (to say the least!)

I am sure that it did have a few successes...

but it also had its critics...including me!!

I remember seeing this system in action when I was

on a school visit, as a student...

...and thinking how crazy is this...

why not teach them properly from the start!!

So there you have it... yet I do believe that this system

is still used in some places in the USA,

especially with dyslexic children.

So, it's still a good one for debate!

Anyway..I now have a book to 'reed'... with a nise cup ov tee!!

Awl 63 payges!!!!

And thank you, Lesley! ;-)

The book will take pride of place in my teaching room!


Sunday, 12 December 2010

A fine day in Salisbury !

Yesterday , we hopped on to a train and headed to Wiltshire.

Salisbury, to be exact!

And what a lovely city it is!

Having what I think is the most beautiful cathedral in the country,

Salisbury has so much to offer in terms of character and history.

In fact, Salisbury Cathedral was out first stop as we took a badly needed

late elevenses in the cathedral refectory, before setting off to explore.

We also returned to the cathedral later in the day .

As I stood outside, I could hear the choir.

It was simply beautiful; the perfect sound.

Salisbury Cathedral houses a copy of the famous Magna Carta.

(which was all double dutch to me!!)

No photos allowed in this part of Salisbury Cathedral.

( But a very discreet iphone does help at times!)

In simple terms :

In addition to The Magna Carta, what really caught my eye

was this beautiful selection of cushions.

Sadly no 'Sally of Teigngrace'!

Although... I spotted a Nicholas!

Walking into the city we passed a few interesting


And very nice shop..Chas Baker.

This was my 'window of the day'!

The city was heaving... but seems to cater well for one's appetite!

Mr S waited patiently as I perused the information centre.

Lo and behold, whilst browsing, I was pleased to encounter Nicky's

(The Vintage Magpie) bunnies !

Nice to see Devon making its presence felt in Wiltshire!

Our time in Salisbury was over all too quickly!

Back on the train, we were very tired... but very happy!