Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Back to the basics...

This year I've decided to go back to the basics with all my students (Grade 3-6).

When I played alphabet games with my classes last year and during the winter camp, I assumed they had a basic knowledge of the alphabet and phonics. But I soon realized that if I wrote a letter in isolation on the board, they didn't know the sound it makes. So in each and every lesson I'm starting the first 10-15 minutes with phonics.

I think this is vital - for reading, writing and speaking.

I follow the general gist of the curriculum, but for example - one chapter in the Grade 6 textbook is titled "Where is York Street". The aim of this chapter is for students to learn how to ask for directions. This is all very well, but how can I do that if they don't know what is left, right, straight, forward?

So with fun activities and lots of laughter, I lay the foundation of the chapter down before teaching them the material. I've said that I want my students to leave my class having learned something, not just having done the work for the sake of it.

My latest favourite warning to my students is that I will start giving their groups negative points. If they accumulate 5 negatives, I will tell their homeroom teacher that they've misbehaved. It works like an absolute charm ^^*

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