The Oaks are beginning the second half of the year working diligently on multiplication and division. We are moving through the processes as a group and individually, kids should be practicing the tables at home. Maybe flashcards will help or even poster board with various multiplication problems to look at once or twice before tv . . . anything to move those easy multiplication tables into their heads and into both short-term and long-term memory.  We’re going to be learning some drumbeats to go with the multiplication tables and also maybe write a few limericks to help, but the time has come for serious practice at home. If your child is finished with learning the 9 times table, then go on up to t2 just to make the next step easier. We are also returning to the old way of reviewing work through the problem of the day each morning. This past week I discovered that since November, some kids have forgotten how to re-group in subtraction, so we’ll return to that a bit every day to cement the system. There are worksheets on line.

Also, we are beginning to write in cursive. There’s a chart up in the room and we’ll begin with basic strokes slanted a bit and will move to letters along the way. Some kids are already writing their names in cursive and for some kids this will be quite challenging. Practicing cursive at home is easy–there are a zillion easy workbooks at the dollar stores and at Wal-mart for parents to buy.  To get through long, rainy-snowy-chilly weekend afternoons, the kids could do a page or two to practice.

They are each learning a poem for the end of the month, so they could practice this for a few minutes each evening before dinner. Make it a scheduling pattern to practice some cursive on the weekends, multiplication and/or division before tv, and poetry before dinner and soon it will be easy to fit into the evening.

I want to cover so much stuff with this group!  They are so smart and so ready to move ahead. They don’t like to practice things very much, but they love to know things and I keep reminding them that lots of learning takes practice. These kids are fun and they keep me busy finding ways to challenge them.                 Debbie Gathmann