A solid foundation

Three-in-One Integrated Learning Programme: Grade R workbook/teachers’ guide (published by Maskew Miller Longman) R59,95 (workbook) and R189,95 (teachers’ guide)

The Three-in-One Integrated Learning Programme is a must-have for all teachers of grade R. ‘Three-in-one” refers to the three learning areas of literacy, numeracy and life skills. It also refers to the three components of the programme—a teacher’s guide, a learner’s workbook with colour insert and a classroom kit.

The classroom kit was not available for review, but the teacher’s guide and the workbook were found to be well presented.

Everything that the teacher needs to know to use the programme is fully explained.

The programme is organised by themes and an indication of the duration of the theme is provided. For example, the theme ‘I am special” lasts for one week, whereas the theme ‘My body is mine” lasts for three weeks.

Hints and tips for a display table are given, required preparation and resources are described and the assessment focus for the week is outlined.

Activities for each day are presented under the headings: Greeting; Indoor creative activities; Ring (music, discussion or dance); Small group time (often using the learner workbook) and Story.

Each activity is linked to an outcome and an assessment standard and a question for assessment (for example, after one activity, the assessment question ‘Can the child sort heavy and light objects?” is asked).

Teachers using this programme will find exciting and challenging material. The themes are varied and age appropriate.

There is a good combination of various perceptual activities and sufficient concrete evidence of most concepts. Some concepts, like halving and doubling (covered in theme 11), might need more than the one lesson for learners to master. There might be other mathematical concepts that teachers would want reinforced throughout the year and not dealt with in one lesson.

Following the programme will, however, ensure that learners are exposed to all learning areas and that all required learning outcomes and assessment standards are addressed.

The introduction to the teacher’s guide emphasises that the programme should be used as a foundation or backdrop and should be adapted where necessary.

When using the guide, teachers would still need to be encouraged to add their own ideas, activities and methods, depending on the group being taught and the resources available.

The worksheets in the learner’s book are for addressing the assessment standards and the consolidation of concepts—not just to keep children occupied.

There is little doubt that newly qualified or inexperienced teachers would benefit tremendously from this programme as it provides an excellent launch pad for effective teaching and learning in the grade R year.

Veteran teachers would find innovative ideas and would become confident in applying outcomes-based learning and assessment of the revised national curriculum statement in their classrooms.

There is no doubt that the Three-in-one Integrated Learning Programme is a welcome and valuable contribution to grade R classrooms throughout the country.

Elizabeth Walton is the head of academics at The King’s School in Robinhills, Johannesburg

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