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Tuesday, July 07, 2009

The Cat's Whiskers and the Eleven Plus

There will be some among us who still remember how to improve the reception on a crystal set. Every enthusiast probably had a set way of dealing with the problems – but there must have been some common elements.

The cat’s whisker may have moved – so try a new point.

The tuning dial may have moved.

The aerial may be fouling something.

The earth may not be secured properly.

Try a new crystal.

If there are no sounds examine all the connections carefully.

Check that no foreign matter has lodged under the terminals.

Make sure that the ear phones are working correctly.

By now you will have built up a picture of a cat’s whisker. You know that you will receive sounds. You know that you may have a little more trouble with obtaining good reception using the cat’s whisker – than you would using the radio on your mobile phone.

Your child will probably follow a similar set of thoughts as he or she struggles with a question. If years ago you knew that you have an unreliable aerial then you would immediately look to moving or replacing it. In just the same way when you encourage your child to think about multiple choice questions you will to follow a set of rules:

Read the question.

Re-read the question.

Look at the multiple choice answers and immediately eliminate the answers which are patently absurd.

It is possible that your list of do and don’t must fall over far more than one page. With a crystal set – suddenly there was the most exquisite noise and you thought to yourself: “I did that”

When you say to your child, in a happy and pleased manner: “You really are the cat’s whiskers!” you know that you are really thinking that your child has tuned in and is actually listening to you.

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