Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Finding Learning in the LOLs

I have always maintained that learning is possible anywhere. Some of our best learning has happened in the most unusual places. If you take a look at the links in my sidebar, you may be surprised that I add sites like Cake Wrecks and LOLcats. It just so happens that you can learn a lot from sites like these. (As always, you may want to preview these sites before sharing them with the kids.) Cake Wrecks takes bakeries and grocery stores to task for selling poorly decorated cakes. Many of these cakes make you wonder if the decorators were blindfolded with both hands tied behind their backs. Just by studying the pictures, you could start conversations about proportion, color scheme, the importance of planning ahead and, of course, spelling.

LOLcats often has gems among the LOLs. News lols have gotten us talking about various political and economic issues. We've questioned poorly designed graphs and Venn diagrams. And many times we will find a dog or cat LOL that mentions a scientific or mathematical concept or adapts a famous quote. Another favorite site of ours, Shmoop, also noticed the quotes scattered among the LOLs.

Learning doesn't happen in a vacuum. Being open and aware of opportunities brings learning to every situation. I figured this out when Marina was a toddler. She would freak out if we passed an exhibit sign in the Botanical Garden or the zoo without reading it to her. It seemed as if she was afraid she would miss something important if she didn't know what the sign said. It is important to nurture and encourage that inquisitiveness, to follow those rabbit trails of learning. I want my children to wonder about everything. Even if it is as simple as a quote translated into LOLcat.


Paula Vince said...

I love the LOL-style learning!! Not only is it most entertaining but seems to be retained indefinitely.

Inner Elder said...

does LOL still mean Laughing Out Loud? I used to think it meant Lots of Luck. Or does it mean Learning on Line? Anyway, I do remember Marina reading all the signs in the museums and would think how happy the sign creators would be to see kids actually reading them. I love your philosophy of learning. Love, Mom

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