The thing I love most about teaching Grade 1 is watching children learn to read. Research has shown that children aged 6 turning 7 are at the perfect learning stage to start reading. In some countries children start earlier than this but by the time they are 10 our children will be at the same level as the 5 year-old starters. Our programme is geared to the 6/7 year-old whereas other countries gear theirs to younger learners.
Six and seven year-olds seem to just catch reading like one catches a cold, only its so much better! The only thing I do is expose them to the written word, provide them with some tools to work out new words and then watch it happen all by itself. Parents too, should be exposing their children to stories and books. More important than getting your child to read to you is for you to read to her. Remember when your baby was learning to talk? You didn’t teach her. You spoke to her – constantly. Well mostly it’s the same with Reading. I cannot emphasise enough how important it is to read to your child. Then leave the rest to the teacher and follow the homework procedure vigilantly.
The girls have already started their journey into Reading. They are rapping the alphabet and the THRASS chart. They have been introduced to their first Reading words. It’s happening already!
This week we have introduced the beginnings of writing and the girls are working hard at getting their patterns right. Imagine having to hold your crayon correctly, remember to start in the right place and touch the top and bottom line. Lots of effort and concentration is required but once those neural pathways are set we will be ready to start on letter formation.
We are also working hard on our mathematical concepts. We know our shapes and are counting beautifully. Now we are working on recognising numerals and spotting how many dots make five no matter how they’re arranged! Some of us still need to count them all but soon we will get to see the number instantly. The teacher has some funny requirements too. We focus on one colour and have to do a page of things just that colour. Then we focus on a shape and have to make a picture of just that shape too! Oh well – we love her so we just do it!
Our school encourages healthy eating habits. We know this is sometimes difficult because of all the tempting treats out there and busy parents find it easy to just pop in a packet of chips or some yummy biscuits into the lunch box. Treats are great but should be just that – treats. They should not substitute nourishing food. Research has shown that children who eat healthily perform better at school. We are a brain-based school and believe that correct eating feeds the brain and reduces hyperactivity and lethargy in children. And surprisingly children like healthy food. It is not difficult to pop something nourishing into a lunch box and if you do your child will be more alert and able to focus better in class. Let’s work together to make the learning process easier in every way possible.
Funny story of the week —– Each morning we greet each other with a show of fingers 1 for very sad and want to cry, 2 for I am grumpy – 3 for I’m just fine thank you and 4 – I am excited, very happy and just fabulous. One morning a sweet little lass asks – “What’s the number for bored?” And this was Day 2 before we’d even started the day! At the end of the morning she assured me she wasn’t bored anymore!