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Thursday, September 14, 2006

We had a teacher at primary school who urged us to learn parts of: `The Rime of the Ancient Mariner’. His name was Mr. Green. He once threw a blackboard ruler at me. I did not like Mr. Green.

I can still remember his scathing tongue when I put the word `Not’ instead of: `Nor’ in the line `Nor any drop to drink’.

Day after day, day after day,
We stuck, nor breath nor motion;
As idle as a painted ship
Upon a painted ocean.

Water, water, every where,
And all the boards did shrink;
Water, water, every where,
Nor any drop to drink.

At the time I could not understand why he wanted us to learn chunks from a wide variety of poems. I did not connect learning poetry with studying mathematics.

Take the learning involved in learning how to divide fractions:

When dividing fractions, turn the second fraction upside down, and multiply.

Do you think there is any carry over between learning verses of poetry and learning mathematics rules?

Can you think of elements of key poems for your child to learn before the 11+ examinations?

We don't want rulers thrown around. We want words and ideas to stretch and develop. We want uplifting words. We want words that could pass through their minds when they hit a problem in the examination.

Any ideas?

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