Monday, February 18, 2008

Because it's there...

In the comments of my last post, several people asked me why, exactly, my daughter was dressed as a blue M & M.

The answer is simple... because I happen to own a blue M & M costume.

A few years ago, Marley insisted that I dress up for Halloween. I was planning on refusing her demand until I came across the aforementioned costume on sale. All it required was that I pull it on over my regular clothes. A few days ago, while rummaging around in a closet, Marley pulled it out and his been playing with it ever since. My favorite thing she does is use it like a fort. She curls up in it, all puffed out--the costume, not her--and just hangs out.

I was hoping to post a picture to go along but she won't cooperate. I'll have to stalk her.

Now, about that mathmatics and Chinese thing...

Oddly enough, only one person asked me to elaborate on that.

Here's the gist, straight from the book:

"The discussion of Chinese orthographic effect on students' mathmatical performance is drawn from research conducted by Miura and her associates (Miura, 1987; Miura, Kim, Chang, & Okamoto, 1988; Miura & Okamoto, 1995). These scolars have claimed that numbers are inseparable from language; and, individuals becoming literate in Asian languages that have roots in ancient Chinese, such as Chinese, Japanese, and Korean, share a common numerical
language structure. In essence, the numerical names in these three languages are congruent with the traditional Base 10 numeration system. . . This group of researchers argued that spoken numerals (e.g., eleven, twenty, thirty) in an alphabetic language such as English, are not congruent with the Base 10 system, that is, the elements of ten and ones contained in these numerals are not apparent in the spoken word. Consequently, an alphabetic language system may not provide sufficient scaffolding for some children as they advance from single digits to multidigit concepts in learning place value. In comparison, children from Asian language groups whose numerals are congruent with the Base 10 system benefit more readily from the relationship between spoken numerals and the concepts." (from Sociocultural Contexts of Language and Literacy, Chapter 7, Ji-Mei Chang)

Before everyone goes getting all impressed with my being able to read this, not all of my reading is this technical. This particular article happened to focus a lot on the specifics of the Chinese language so that it could serve as background information in teaching Chinese ELL students (English Language Learner). Throughout most of this article, my eyes were pretty much rolled allllllll the way back into my head.

So, there you go. The answers to your burning questions. If you have anymore burning questions relating to the nature of reading, just let me know.


EnnuiHerself said...

Regarding the blue M&M costume:

1) Why blue? Blue is clearly the most inferior color of all the M&M colors.

2) I might like to cocoon myself inside a giant M&M right about now.

3) What better reason is there to do anything than "because it's there". Sounds like a girl after my own heart.

As far as the rest of the post goes, well, I tried to read it but I . . . I just couldn't.

Julie Pippert said...

Thanks for elaborating on the Asian language and numbers point!

That's fascinating...and not something that I *recall* from my Japanese classes.

It leads the mind to wander and wonder a bit...doesn't it?

P.S. I like those sorts of costumes!

Anonymous said...

Um, you're losing me. How much of math learning really utilizes "spoken numerals"? Isn't it mostly written in numerals, even in math text books? No, don't answer that. I never could learn math from the text book. If I missed the lesson in class, I was weak in that area for a long time.

And I disagree completely that blue is an inferior color. Back in the day (dating myself) when there was only the one assortment, blue was by far the most exciting color in the bag. Not a shade of brown? Woohoo. Besides, I bet the blue brings out your eyes. Hottest M&M on the block.

Anonymous said...

I would love to own and wear an M&M costume. As for the Chinese and language and math, reading that reminded me of an email my brother sent me when I asked what the difference was between a gigabyte and a billion byte (base 2 vs base 10). I have to read and reread that sort of stuff, and then read it again aloud, but eventually, I get it. I think.

Anonymous said...

Okay, so no picture of Marley in the blue M&M BUT how about a photo of you wearing it? C'mon. Be a sport.

Sophie said...

Man, o, man! I wish I were studying such interesting stuff.

OK, here's a question for you (although it might be somewhere on your blog): What are you studying exactly?

panu said...

Blue M&M. Aww.

btw, nice blog.

Lindsey said...

Thanks for that lesson Mary!! My head is spinning:)

ewe are here said...

I've noticed that the blue M&Ms melt in your hand... I think they stopped the ad campaign about how M&Ms melt in your mouth, not in your hand, about the time blue M&Ms were introduced.... Coincidence? I think not.

Love it when wee ones play dress up.

Pendullum said...

I'm with Alpha Dogma...Post a pic of you in the BLUE M&M outfit...