Monday, March 7, 2011

The first day of the rest of our lives...

After having missed so much time in class last week, it was nice to get a full day under my belt once again. Now that the stress and workload of getting reports done is a thing of the past (for now), I am happy to get back to putting all my effort into moving forward in class. We moved on to the next lesson in Math, started a unit on medicine and drugs in Health class, got a start on the students' individual projects and even had time for Art.
I sent a letter home today that outlines more details on personal projects. These projects are shaping up to be a lot of fun, so I encourage you and your child to go all out! As always, contact me if you have any questions. My goal is to culminate with a large-scale gallery display in the school that would allow students to share their creations and data with a wide group of students and friends.

The class completed some multiplication practice sheets on Friday when my substitute was in, and I had a chance to review them today. I was generally very satisfied with the results, but as always, there are places that could be improved. Rote learning still has a place, and is something that can be done at home. The students in my class also know a wide array of games using cards and dice that can help them learn facts.

Beyond that, I would ask you to quiz your child periodically and encourage them to use the strategies we are using in class. There are a number of pertinent games and activities linked in my archived blog posts as well.

I started a few new initiatives today, in an effort to keep the class focused during our classroom activities. These include awarding English-speaking as a group with incentives such as games and fun activities, as well as rationing students' input in class. I want to impress the idea that it is better to think carefully about what you are going to say than just to blurt things out. The intent is not to stifle their input, but to channel it into more effective, concentrated portions. It worked well today, so I will continue to ratchet things up throughout the week.

Have a great day, and don't eat too many pancakes tomorrow!

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