Saturday, February 7, 2015

Sequencing Skills Prevent Marinara Mishaps


Remember when your teacher gave you a worksheet of captioned illustrations and asked you to put them in the correct order so they depicted a logical story? They called it sequencing. The teacher asked, what happened first? What happened next? What happened last? I absolutely loved those worksheets. But then, I was destined to become a writer who tells stories through the written word. 
Sequencing Skills | Navigating Hectivity by Micki Bare
This worksheet from wordsana.com 
is a great example of how to teach
jumbled text re-sequencing.

For those who were not as passionate about stories, sequencing was something they completed, turned in, and promptly forgot. As they would do years later while sitting in algebra class, they questioned when they would ever use such a skill again. Let's face it, when you go to the library, you don't check out a stack of loose pages that have to be put in sequential order before you can read the story from beginning to end.

As it turned out, however, the skill was something we would come to desperately need. Especially if your family, like ours, experienced a smartphone rift, after which a marinara recipe had to be shared. 

When we first provided our children with smartphones, we all had Android-based Galaxy models. Our communications were compatible. We could send messages and photos to each other with nary a misunderstood exchange, especially when we accessorize our messages with cute emoji. 

As children will do, the boys grew older and, according to their accounts, wiser. And as happens with older teens and young adults, they began operating under the delusion they knew better than their parents. They began to make their own money, which gave them a sense of power. My children, one at a time, rebelled against Android technology. They all became iPhone users. 

Hubby and I thought little of our children's transition to the iSide. What did we care? At upgrade time, Hubby and I each walked away with a built-in stylus and the highest quality smartphone cameras available. 
Jumbled Texts | Navigating Hectivity by Micki Bare
In my son's defense, this
exchange occurred in the
early evening, after a long day
of brain-intensive college work.

But then my middle son asked for my marinara recipe via a text. Gushing with pride over the request, I texted him the recipe. What happened next was horrific. My son texted me back and asked that I email him the recipe. For a twenty-something to request an antiquated email, there had to be something horribly wrong.

As fate would have it, he was unable to follow my marinara recipe. You see, because the recipe was long enough to require several texts, it was broken apart in cyberspace. Then, when the Galaxy text I sent was reassembled by my son's iPhone, it was no longer in chronological order. And here's the worst part. My son, who is a few months away from graduating from a well-respected university, could not easily re-sequence the jumbled texts. 

Was he one of those students who turned in the completed sequencing worksheets without ever giving another thought to how it could apply to real life? Did his elementary school teachers skip the sequencing lessons to focus on end-of-year testing? Had he learned so much since elementary school that these skills were squeezed out of his intellect? 

Regardless of what happened in the past, we clearly now live in a world in which sequencing skills are critical for communicating essential information, such as how to prepare the family's homemade marinara sauce. Until such time exists in which all smartphone platforms are 100 percent compatible, we must be prudent about ensuring our children understand sequencing concepts. 

Parents of young children, especially those of you who have already armed your babies with smartphones, make sure your children's schools thoroughly cover sequencing. Don't let marinara miscommunication happen to your family.

Micki Bare, mother of three, wife, daughter & writer is the author of Thurston T. Turtle children's books. 
Email: mickibare (at) gmail.com
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Copyright 2015 Michele Bare 

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