The older children have been writing what used to be called exams. We call it Assessment Week and our learners write papers which form part of their term mark. During this week school closes an hour and a quarter earlier. The staff are then given a delicious lunch to build up their strength for marking. Everybody including the foundation phase staff and Gap students assist. At this school we believe in sharing the load. I enjoy it because it’s great to see how past learners are doing and it enriches bonds with my colleagues some of whom I do not have much contact with during the rest of the term.
Having a shorter day has forced us in the Foundation Phase, finished with our own assessments, to fit everything in before 1:00 p.m! The colder weather has certainly helped with this as the children have not complained about shortened outdoor exercise time! At this time of the year the little ones really start taking off. They now have enough Reading and Writing skills to begin to write their own creative sentences. Seeing that first tentative “all on my own” sentence on the page is one of the great thrills of teaching Grade One. We teach them to hunt for words they cannot spell. They find these words in their Reading word lists, the THRASS chart and around the classroom. When writing a story they try out their sentences on a rough sheet of paper first. When they get stuck they may ask the teacher for help and she will either write the difficult word for them or guide them to where they can find it for themselves. They also use their THRASS skills to build three letter words. They get really excited when they find how many words they can actually manage on their own.
Yes – the girls are really surprising me in every aspect of their progress – Reading Writing and Mathematics. Keep it up, girls. You’re doing so well!