Please remind your child to practice his/her Xtra Math. Many students have started using the class iPads as they can’t do it from home and this is great too. For better results, Xtra Math should be done only once per day.
Please note that Xtra Math isn’t about speed. It’s about accuracy (or “exactitude”, a new word I taught the students today). The students shouldn’t guess and should always do their best. Racing with Mr.C is not a real race as the student always wins. (I know because I’ve been playing with fake student accounts.)
Xtra Math should be done on a daily basis. Many concepts learned in school should also be reviewed regularly to deepen the learning. I read an interesting book last year that talks about brain plasticity and learning. And of course, what we do with Xtra Math makes me think of some of the readings I’ve been doing around learning. Dr. Norman Doidge’s book is also featured in a documentary for The Nature of Things. I just watched the documentary and it summarizes really well most of what was discussed in his book. Here’s the link for you.
If you’d like to read more about learning and brain plasticity, here’s another interesting excerpt from a different book I found online. It’s written for educators but some parts may interest you as well.
And of course, if you want a bit of variety when your child reviews computation skills, there is also a multitude of sites available for you. Please refer to the “Links” section of this blog for some ideas.
Have a great evening!
I just taught the students a new trick when multiplying by 9. We practiced right after and many students got it right away. Some didn’t quite get it but I told them not to panic because I plan on reviewing the trick tomorrow too.
I often compare learning with planting seeds. If we try to water our seeds too quickly and use too much water, the seeds will die. If we take more time and give our seeds proper care they will germinate.
Today in class we planted a new seed. We learned about the nine times table. Many of the seeds I planted (in my students) didn’t want to germinate. I chose not to over water these seeds but will try again tomorrow.
For your own curiosity, I’ve included what JUMP recommends. This strategy has been around before JUMP was created. I simply chose to use their description as it’s easy to understand.
If you decide to work on this at home, remember not to over water the seed. Discussing the strategy is a great way to encourage your child to practice. Ask him/her to teach you!
This is a reminder that all students should be visiting Xtra Math on a daily basis. The first steps will be to work on addition and subtraction.
It only takes 5 minutes a day, no more no less.
All log in info has been shared individually with each student on Edmodo.
Thanks for your support!
Pink Day is tomorrow! On that day, we emphasize the importance of kindness with each other. Wearing pink is optional but being kind isn’t. On this day, we say no to bullying and discrimination. We talk about what we can do in the future to make this a daily practice.
This special awareness day has led me to think a bit more about the class dynamic. There are a few things I’d like to share with you, in the hope that you can support me with it.
As you may have heard, I spend a great deal of time daily dealing with friendship issues. We often talk about how to be kind and inclusive with each other. We read books, share personal stories, try to open up our hearts. I often stop my lessons to discuss what’s going on in the students’ lives. This takes time but I feel it is important to address as the students are learning important life skills.
Even though we talk about problem solving on a regular basis, issues between some students seem to persist. When the students come to school upset, sad or hurt, they can’t learn. Working in groups also becomes extremely difficult as many of them can’t work with each other.
To help me with this, I would appreciate if, on your side, you could support your child in preparing one weekly act of kindness towards another student from the class. If you don’t know where to start, here’s a list of ideas for you.
A good way to help planning at home could also be to ask your child the following:
-Who looked sad or upset today? What did you do to help this student?
-Was everyone included in a game today, at recess and lunch? What did you do at recess and lunch to include someone different?
-Who would you like to get to know more? What can you do to get to know this student more?
-If someone hurt your feelings today, how can you address the situation next time you see them? How can you forgive that person?
We try to avoid pointing our fingers at those who exclude or who aren’t always being kind. We try to help them too.
They say people who perform acts of kindness are happier in life. What would happen after a few weeks if 24 students mastered this important skill? Only time will tell…