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This does NOT sound petty! I was pretty shocked when my third graders (well,
many of them, not all) could not cut symmetrical Christmas tree shapes from
squares of green construction paper today! I demonstrated it first, too!
These kids were cutting on the wrong side (ending up with two half trees), or
not getting that they only needed to cut one HALF of the tree, then unfold.
Didn't they ever make Valentine hearts? Or with their other teacher? Hmmm.
So your comment about simple cutting and fine motor skill tuning is not petty
in my opinion. 8 and 9 year olds should be taught and grasp these concepts
(in my humble opinion) in the first and second grades. Keep it up!