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About maptime

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    Hive Mind Worker Bee

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  1. This speaks to me 🙂 Thanks for your helpful feedback, everyone. I can't say that I have a firm resolve one way or the other yet, but you all have provided lots of good food for thought. I do have a question for those of you in the use-it-or-lose-it camp who feel that cursive needs to be used across the board in order to be maintained: has this proven true with your kids in regard to printing? Put another way, have your children lost the ability to print because their school assignments are completed in cursive? I mean this with no snark. To be honest I'm still a bit dubious, but if that line of thinking does hold true, I would need to think carefully about whether I want his sole means of handwritten communication to be one that many of his peers will struggle to read.
  2. While block letters (all capitals?) is not the alternative I'd be proposing, your point about the speed of writing is one I am currently weighing. I wonder if this is a YMMV situation in which each individual has the style they find the fastest, or if cursive is objectively (measurably) faster. The latter is certainly possible. I just wish I knew by how much. This raises a point I hadn't considered. While the ability to read and write in cursive are non-negotiable to me, if clear communication is the goal, could legible print actually be the ideal default In light of the ever-growing population who find cursive writing a barrier to comprehension? Like, being understood might be more important than speed. More food for thought. ETA: I didn't mean to imply that you are incapable of reading cursive. I was just connecting your point about the inscrutability of many cursive hands with the comments above about how many people no longer know how to read it
  3. I feel like these points illustrate my dilemma. It's important to me for my child to be able to read and write in cursive for all of the above reasons, but it seems to me that all of those bases could be covered with a dedicated "cursive page a day", without insisting on it being used for all written work. I do, however, know he would never gain lighting-speed this way. I guess I'm trying to figure out if there is something inherently important about using cursive instead of print as his primary means of writing in his regular life, beyond the baseline ability to read it and form a nice signature (I'm confident we've accomplished and could maintain both of these facets). As a personal anecdote, I myself can competently read and write in cursive, but my printing is faster and neater, so I use that. It's never been a "problem", but I do wonder if I'm missing something. Faster note-taking, perhaps?
  4. I know that there are various schools of thought when it comes to cursive instruction. I decided years ago that my children should be taught to write in it, if for no other reason than I want them to have the ability to easily read it. I've done that, and my current 5th grader has acquired a beautiful cursive hand through various copybooks, etc, but is loath to transition to completing his regular school assignments in cursive. I think the primary reason for this is that at this point, cursive takes him longer than printing (which will likely continue to be the case until I enforce cursive across assignments). He also claims that it's harder for him to judge if a word is spelled incorrectly (an area in which he struggles) when he's writing in cursive, and I can confirm that seems to be the case. I'm torn. On the one hand, I keep finding reasons why forcing cursive within particular subjects isn't a good idea. Spelling? See above. Latin? Same thing. Writing? It slows him down and hinders his ability to get his thoughts down on paper during the drafting process. But on the other hand, I know he won't become faster without being forced to practice to the point that it becomes easier than printing, and there may be a short-term cost in other areas to achieve that. That leads me to the question: if a child knows *how* to read and write in cursive, how important is it for him/her to adopt it as his personal mode of writing? Do you require your student to complete his/her assignments in cursive once it is taught, or leave it up to them? I think I'm wrestling with whether this is a hill worth dying on (or at least fighting for), and hope hearing how others have thought this through will help me to either fish or cut bait 🙂
  5. So if I'm understanding you correctly, it sounds like you are using WWS1 for your own reference as a scope and sequence of sorts? That's a great idea, and one that could spare me from the temptation to run two programs at once (which over here, would likely result in two programs done poorly). Keep us posted on how this goes! I'm particularly curious how well the two approaches mesh with one another.
  6. I own it, and have taught 3 kids to read with it. It worked really well for us. My first kid balked at the length of the fluency sheets, but that may have had more to do with him than the program 🙂 I felt like it prepared all of them incredibly well. We've continued on with AAS (including my current 5th grader), and the continuity has been lovely. If you are clutter-averse and/or plan to continue on with later levels, I really recommend purchasing the letter tile app. I didn't want to spend the money at first, but I was going crazy trying to keep track of all of those little tiles. The ability to use the tiles on our iPad was a total game changer! Two years and zero lost tiles later, I still often congratulate myself on the money well spent😁
  7. Thank you for sharing this. I have kids of similar ages/levels and it’s really helpful to hear how others are planning to implement this in real time. Do you plan to continue the WWS series with your oldest along with TWR? So far my plan is to start incorporating the because/but/so exercise within content subjects for my 5th and 3rd grader, as well as a daily run-on sentence remediation exercise for the kid whose writing needs to take a breath🙂 We started the year with IEW (5th grader) and WWE (3rd), but I plan to slowly add to/modify/replace those with TWR activities as I get deeper into the book. My goal is to be officially ready to strike out on our own by next school year, though I do have WWS1 waiting in the wings if I feel we need more.
  8. It’s not a curriculum per se, but my favorite science “spine” for that age is the Let’s Read and Find Out series. My K-2 kids have generally found them engaging, and they’ve served as a great springboard for further questions/discussions/investigation. You can simply pick a book that interests your kid (there are a ton to choose from on a variety of scientific topics), and have that be the topic for the week. There are usually instructions for a simple activity at the end of the book if you want an easy hands-on component. Throw in a couple of related library books that look interesting and/or some cool YouTube videos, and you have yourself a solid (and arguably more interesting than a textbook) 1st grade science routine! We’ve dabbled in other things, but we really enjoy the whole books approach to science when they’re little. You know what will work best for your family, I just wanted to throw the idea out there lest you feel like you *have* to do a formal program with your 1st grader in order to have your bases covered🙂
  9. Just wanted to pop in and thank you for starting this thread! I have thoughts to share, but will have to wait until I have time to sit down and write them out. I’ll be listening in in the meantime🙂
  10. Yes!!!! The because/but/so exercise (or the “Because, Buttso”, as it shall forever be named in my mind- thanks for that) is the exercise I’m most excited to implement once we resume our studies after Christmas break. I love that I can just start that one small thing now, without having to wait until I’ve read and mastered the entire book. In the meantime, I find myself mentally constructing my own sentences from random sentence stems throughout the day. ”She loves chocolate cake because....” That’s normal, right?😂
  11. I totally will! I was already thinking about starting a thread once I’m finished to see if anyone else has read it and wants to talk about ideas gleaned from it. I hope you find it helpful! Yay! I love it when my library has a book I want to peruse, especially if it’s an unknown commodity. I will warn you, I originally picked up TWR from the library, and within a few days it was in my Amazon cart😂
  12. I’ve been on the hunt for the same type of thing, and recently saw The Writing Revolution by Judith Hochman recommended here. I’m only a couple of chapters in, but I am so excited about it. I love the author’s emphasis on writing across subjects, sentence-level writing exercises, and grammar instruction within the context of composition. And it is full of ideas to scaffold instruction for grades 1-8 (maybe higher). I’ve been itching to move away from a dedicated writing curriculum and into a writing-across-the-curriculum approach, but my own ability and confidence (or lack thereof) to assign and assess appropriate tasks has been the limiting factor. This book provides a framework I’m excited to implement. Its ideas are concrete enough to give me true guidance, yet flexible enough to adapt to my student and what we’re doing in other subjects. Again, I’m only a few chapters in so can’t give a full review, but what I’ve learned so far has already been worth it🙂
  13. I own both. I haven’t implemented all of it, but both the wisdom and inspiration I gleaned from her writings have made me a better teacher. Money well spent.
  14. Thank you everyone, for your insight and suggestions. I had him pick a book off of our shelves to read in lieu of MS, and he happily chose a book about how to survive if lost at sea. While at first glance it doesn’t scream “SCIENCE!”, I do believe it catalyzed at least as many questions about the world around him as a morning making a roller coaster out of pennies would have. In the end, he asked if he could extend his reading time. Thank you for the push to follow his lead in this. I think we’re on the right path.
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