Thursday, October 23, 2014

Learning | Learning a Language

My high school required each student to take at least two years of a foreign language. I had the luxury of choosing from Spanish, French, Italian, Latin, German and Russian. I heard many of my fellow students say they were taking Spanish, because they thought it was easy, or French, because they were of French heritage.  

I chose the German language. I am not even of German descent, but somewhere I had read that English was a Germanic language, and I hoped it would give me some insight into some Old English words. I enjoyed studying German so much, I took three years in high school...and then minored in German as an undergraduate.

Maybe I enjoyed the German language so much because of my teacher.   Frau Schueler was a native of Russia, but spent her childhood in Germany during the years leading up to World War II. Oh, and she was Jewish. She obviously had a love of words, and was happy to answer my questions about where words came from, or whether they were related to English words that seemed similar. 

It was all too easy to convince her to stop in the middle of a lesson and tell us stories about other countries.  She lived in a suburb of New Orleans, but left during summer break to travel all over the world.  Which meant she could say things like,"I never met a  Norwegian who did not speak perfect English," with such authority.

Der Zug ist noch nicht abgefahren (The train has not left yet.) 
From Ingrid Eulenfan's photostream on Some rights reserved.

I'll always remember her lesson about the prefixes an- and ab-. The verbs for arrive and depart are very similar, so she warned us to be careful with our prefixes. "If you mix up your an- and ab-, (snap!) whoops! you are on the wrong train!"

Julia Schueler became a published author, long after I was in her classroom.  Her biography, Elsewhere: A Memoir, is available through Link+. 

If you are studying a foreign language, or would like to study one, you can find help at the library.  I did a search for foreign language learning on SSJCPL's shiny new catalog.  Here are the results.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Ms. Suzy Reads | A Bear Called Paddington

Hello, gentle readers! It's been quite a while since I've posted here, but I'm back with a bit of a twist. From today forward, this little blog shall be a place for me to share my absolute favorite read-aloud books. 

Sometimes I will share a great preschool storytime book, other times a great book to read aloud to the whole family. If I'm feeling particularly creative, I'll throw in some related activities to make the reading experience even more fun!

Whatever book finds itself in this little blog, I hope you will enjoy sharing the love of reading with the young people in your life.

Let us begin.

A Bear Called Paddington, by Michael Bond, is a delightful story to read aloud to children of all ages. And older children (ages 7 and up) can read it on their own!

It tells the tale of Paddington, an unusually small bear from 'Darkest Peru' who is discovered by the Brown family at London's Paddington Station and quickly becomes an unforgettable part of the family. Paddington is the center of many laugh-out-loud escapades -- from the almost disastrous bath to the accident in the store window. Children will love this endearing little bear with wonderful manners and a great thirst for adventure!

Paddington's adventures are coming to film! The movie is slated to hit theaters later this year. 

In the meantime, explore Paddington's London a little more in M. Sasek's This is Britain. The first pages feature beautiful drawings of and interesting fact about London, including Buckingham Palace, Piccadilly Circus and Trafalgar Square. 

"The single most important activity for building the knowledge required for eventual success in reading is reading aloud to children." --Report of the Commission on Reading.

Share the love of reading with a child!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Just Life| Madam President. Oui Oui

In my opinion, we need a woman president ASAP.  Here is a wonderful picture book called" Madam President" that gives the little ones a glimpse into the life of a president.

The book starts with: " A president has many duties.....There are daily briefs to review, photo ops to shoot, treaties to negotiate and things to veto etc etc".

There are also many new Secretaries. For example, Secretary of Naps and Secretary of Soccer.

Take a look at the Secretary of Interior. He is a character.

I am hoping this book is going to encourage more girls to get into politics. 

That would benefit us all. 

For example, paid maternity leave in the U.S should be much more than what it is now.

In Sweden, parents are allowed to take off 480 days per child and get paid 80% of their salaries. 

U.S is nowhere near that.

Anyway, I should stop digressing from the topic. This book is short and sweet. 

Madam President is written by Lane Smith. You can find his books in your local library.

Grandpa Green
Abe Lincoln's dream

It's a book 

Signing off until next Monday- Mother of a future president.