April 11, 2013

Some essential skills

Now that we're on the downhill side of the Grade Three hill, we're focused a lot on problem solving in Math and in writing our focus is informing the reader, sharing knowledge and providing crystal clear, easy to follow responses. The "basics" have been taught and now we rely on them to help us to solve problems and communicate effectively.  

With this in mind, I need all students to work on the following goals: 

  • we need our doubles facts to 11+11 memorized (e.g. 4+4, 5+5, etc.) 
  • times tables up to 7x7 memorized 
  • all rules for the forms of the word "to" and "there" and "your/you're" need to be memorized and used correctly
  • the spelling of all "No Excuse" words must be memorized. A copy of the No Excuse list can be found here
So our focus is no longer on teaching these skills, but rather fully utilizing them in our day to day practice.  This means that without these skills, a child would find the coming Math and Writing lessons more challenging and likely frustrating. It's kind of like how in grade four, we no longer teach children how to read, but instead, students are expected to read for specific information. 

It's also a lot like playing on a higher level sports team, there is an expectation that you have the basics down pat and your coach focuses on more challenging skills in practices and various game-plays. Without those basic skills, it would be hard to feel confident and that would undoubtedly impact your performance. 

My hope is that by April 19, all students will be able to have the above goals met and will feel confident as they face their various academic challenges in both Grade Three and beyond.   


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