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Don’t Teach Anything Already Known

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Because it is difficult for my grandson to stay focused, it is important not to waste time teaching him things he already knows.  The task became determining what he knew and what he didn’t know.  I could have given him a written test, but he usually tunes out part way through these and the results aren’t very useful.  He is able to stay focused longer if he has something to do with his hands, other than write answers on a paper.  I found these fun little trash cans with swinging tops and attached labels as shown.  I give my grandson the flash cards for a set of addition facts.  (We’re working on the “+4” set right now). He looks at a card, reads the problem out loud, and gives me an answer.  If he is correct, he puts the card in the RIGHT trash can.  If he gives an incorrect answer or has to count on his fingers, he puts the card in the TRY AGAIN trash can.  How he loves to make those tops swing!  The rest of the lesson is spent on the addition facts he doesn’t know.

Once he is fairly confident of a set of math facts, we use the flash cards to play two games for further practice.  My next posts will explain the games of War and Toll Road.

As always, your comments and suggestions are welcome.  And I hope this technique helps you teach your kids, all of whom are very special.