Janice Hall Heck

Finding hope in a chaotic world…

Archive for the tag “Zero the Hero”

#AtoZ, 2014: Z is for Zero the Hero in a Repeat Performance

atoz [2014] - BANNER - 910

*Drum roll* *Bugles* *Wild applause* Ta dah: Introducing Zero the Hero.

Zero the Hero by Joan Holub, illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld

Zero the Hero by Joan Holub, illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld

Zero the Hero is a favorite character in kindergarten classes even though he is a bit mysterious and doesn’t like to show himself. He sneaks into classrooms on the eves of the 10th, 20th, 30th, 40th, 50th, 60th, 70th, 80th, 90th days of school and leaves poems, cartoons, games, arts and crafts projects (related to  himself, of course), and even some treats. Like Santa Claus, though, he does finally appear: on Day 100 in full Zero the Hero regalia bringing even more sweet treats and number projects.

Zero teaches the children about counting to 100, counting by tens, and using zeros as place holders. He adds to the fun of kindergarten and builds student interest in numbers and math.

I wrote about Zero once before when I had reached my 200th post: Zero the Hero Helps Celebrate My 200th Post. (Now I am at post #332.)

Here he is again:

Zeros can be fun, but they can also be tricky. Sometimes they don’t like to follow rules.

Zero: noun, adjective, or verb?

First of all, sometimes zeros pretend to nouns, and at other times they pretend to be adjectives or verbs. It all seems to depend on their mood and what they ate for breakfast. (Donuts=good day. Plain old oatmeal=bad day. That’s how you operate, too, isn’t it? Admit it.)

Zero as a noun:  zero, zeros* (plural)

Although plural nouns that end in o usually have the -es ending, zero doesn’t follow this rule.  *Zeros is Webster’s preferred spelling for more than one zero,  but Webster does accept zeroes as the inferior second cousin: okay to use if you really must. (Webster rolls his eyes when you do spell the plural noun as zeroes.)

Is zero a number?
The prospect of Garfunkel getting a job paying $1 million is zero.
The score of the Phillies vs. the Dodgers was zero to zer0.

Zero can combine with other nouns to make compound nouns.

zero gravity
zero hour
zero population growth

Zero as a verb:  zero, zeroes*, zeroed, zeroing.
Compound verb: zero in, zero in on, zero out

(Aha. See how quirky this Zero fellow is. When Zero is a noun, he doesn’t want the -es ending, but when he a verb, he does. Go figure.)

The CEO zeroes in on every item in the budget.
Every month my teenager zeroes out his allowance.
My English teacher zeroes in on every spelling and grammar mistake that I make.

Zero as an adjective:

When zero combines with another word to form an adjective, use a hyphen before the noun.

The company promises a zero-defect product.
The weather man reported zero-zero conditions: zero visibility and zero ceiling
Zero-based budgeting requires that budget makers to justify every expenditure they make.
The CEO zeroes in on every item in the zero-based budget.

Zeros and hyphens: look it up.

Some compound words with zero use a hyphen, while others do not.  To be safe on which is which, check your dictionary.

So, zeros break the rules, but they are handy fellows to have around. Anyway, the more zeros after the other big numbers on my paycheck, the better I like them!


And now how about Zero-based Thinking?  Read this article for writers by Matthew Eaton, posted on C.S. Lakin’s blog, Live. Write. Thrive.   You’ll find some good advice on what to do with those unpublished manuscripts stashed in drawers, hidden from all eyes. There is hope!

Janice Hall Heck, retired educator, blogger, and nitpicky editor of On the Horizon, a bi-monthly community newsletter for Horizons at Woods Landing, Mays Landing, NJ, is quite possibly a grammar geek.

logo 2.2Oh Heck! Another Writing Quirk,  theme for the amazing 2014 A to Z Challenge, suggests ways to improve our writing by avoiding and/or eliminating troublesome bug-a-boos that cramp our writing style.

Look for a list of posts for the #AtoZ, 2014 Challenge (Writing Quirks) here:  #AtoZ: Q is for Quirky Index and a Q Post Round-Up

Meow for now.  =<^!^>=

Zero the Hero Helps Me Celebrate My 200th Post

Today, Zero the Hero makes a special guest appearance on my blog to celebrate my 200th post.

(We celebrated my 100th Post on May 17, 2013.)

Who is Zero the Hero? Well, I’m happy you asked.

Now, on stage, Zero himself: Zero the Hero. Cute little guy, isn’t he!

When I worked at the Lower Primary School at Hong Kong International School, we had an incredible team of talented kindergarten teachers who brought Zero the Hero to life every tenth school day.

Zero the Hero by Joan Holub, illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld

Zero the Hero by Joan Holub, illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld

Early in the morning on one of these zero days, a poem would appear somewhere in each kindergarten classroom. This poem told the children to look for certain counting items in the classroom; to do something (sing, dance, play a game, hunt for counting items); to make something (an art or cooking activity); or to do something related to counting and numbers (listen to a story, draw a picture, build a tower, sort and categorize objects).

Sometimes Zero would leave a special snack for the children, and these snacks most often looked like zeros: Cheerios, life savers, donuts, bagels, or other zero-like things.  Zero himself did not show his face…that is, not until Day 100…and then there was a BIG PARTY to celebrate Zero the Hero’s arrival.

Zero the Hero visits kindergarten

Zero the Hero visits kindergarten

There’s even a song for the kindergarteners to learn.  (Click on the red link.)
You can learn more about Zero the Hero here.


So this is it: my 200th post. 2-0-0. Two-zero-zero. Thanks Zero for joining me in this celebration.

Here are some WordPress blog statistics for my journey to this point.

Most read posts:

Home page / Archives More stats 7,907
Two Oceans Meet in Gulf of Alaska? Not! More stats 941
Italy: It’s 4 PM. Have You Had Your Gelato Yet? More stats 429
Q is for Quirky Dreams, Susie Q, and Prepositional Phrases More stats 379
Saturday Silliness: Where do cats sleep? More stats 304
O is for Ocean City, NJ: Pizza, Saltwater Taffy, Frozen Custard, Caramel Corn More stats 269
Italy: A Visit to Tuscany

Total number of views of all posts to date:      17856  (9-4-2013)
(Looks like Zero the Hero will have to return sometime soon to help celebrate my triple zero viewers milestone:18,000!)

Number of countries with viewers: 92  (darker colors = more readers)

WordPress Statisitics: Countries/Viewers Summary, Sept 4, 2013

WordPress statistics: Countries/Viewers Summary, Sept 4, 2013

Countries with more than 200 views:

Country Views
United States FlagUnited States 10,558
Canada FlagCanada 1,108
United Kingdom FlagUnited Kingdom 1,088
Australia FlagAustralia 576
India FlagIndia 320
Italy FlagItaly 288
Philippines FlagPhilippines 258
Germany FlagGermany 249
France FlagFrance 223

Missing Countries:

My last check on countries with no viewers occurred on May 28, 2013…read that post here: Dear Readers, Who Are You?

In that post I wrote

Equally interesting are the white spaces on the map: Greenland;  Paraguay, Suriname, and French Guiana, three countries in South America; many Middle Eastern Countries; many countries in Africa; and Papua New Guinea in the Far East. It makes me wonder: Is Internet available in these areas? Is Internet available but restricted?

Since then, a few countries with viewers joined the list. A special hello to the new viewers in South America (Suriname); Africa (Mozambique, Nigeria, Cameroon, and Tunisia); and the Isle of Mann.

Alas, still missing: Greenland; Nicaragua in Central America; Cuba in the Caribbean; Paraguay and French Guiana in South America; many countries in Africa; Middle Eastern counties of Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Afghanistan; and Papua New Guinea in the Far East. Maybe by Post #300 some of these counties will visit this blog. After all, even in non-English speaking countries many people study English. Of course, Internet is not available everywhere.

The Last Meow

Numbers, schnumbers. Don’t forget, we kitty cats helped with each one of these posts, and we have more to go. But in the meantime, it’s nap time.  See you for Post #201.

Photo credit: writerjenn.blogspot.com

Photo credit: writerjenn.blogspot.com

Meow for now.  =<^ ! ^>=

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