UP TO BAT

Before I launch this blog post, I’d love to give credit to our opposition, Leah and Sushmeet. They did a fantastic job presenting the facts, and Leah raised some excellent points during our back and forth that stumped me a few times! 

PHEW! 
Debates are enjoyable, but as someone who enjoys making a competition out of everything in life, I found myself more wound up about basic skills than I thought I would be. Reflecting with my group mates and opponent after I had decided it would not matter what side of the debate I was on. I would have felt passionate about it because I like to win. That is not what these debates are about, but that is a retrospective view, not my feelings, as we were skillfully trying to persuade our classmates with our statistics and readings. 

Should basic skills be taught in schools, or is technology readily available, making it a thing of the past? In an Elon Musk world, we would have chips implanted in our brain where we can download this knowledge and not need to teach basic math computations, cursive writing, or spelling. However, in the present day, some of these basic skills still prove useful in day-to-day life.

Basic Math Computations: Kelly pointed out that basic math computations were essential to teach in schools because they are the basic foundational skills needed to advance into more significant math problems. 

There was a separate debate about how math is taught and that the need for memorization is not important anymore. I won’t even touch on my thoughts as this was not conclusive to our debate or the topic we were trying to discuss. 

Spelling: Alyssa outlined the importance of spelling as we develop young students into functioning adults. A focus in our province is reading. Spelling plays an essential role in learning to read and comprehend. There is a direct link to how spelling helps people slow down and learn the word. This makes recall of words easier when reading, and when we are proficient at those skills, it does help with comprehension of what we are reading. 

There were some excellent counterpoints surrounding spelling and the use of technology to bypass this fundamental skill. However, Alyssa pointed out that since 1988 even with the rise of technology, there was an increase in words spelled wrong throughout 100 words. Although we didn’t dive deeper into these statistics and compare reading scores, most reading programs heavily focus on spelling in conjunction. 

Cursive Writing: Lastly, cursive writing, where I spoke on behalf of. This is tricky because when I taught grades 3 and 4, the kids took pride in learning to write cursive. It was not a primary focus, but I had booklets or printouts, and during some free time, kids chose to practice and learn. As a child, I learned to write cursive. One of the big questions is, “why?”. I do not know if there is a correct answer. I enjoy writing notes and find that I write a fair bit in my day-to-day life. I am happy I have the knowledge of cursive writing because I use a hybrid of printing and writing. Along with that, I think that reading cursive writing helps me decipher some chicken scratch I see in daily life as well.

Thanks for taking time out of your busy week to read this blog. I would love to know your thoughts in the comments! 

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