Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Tuesday, 11/14/17

After our spelling and vocabulary tests, the class jumped right into Language Arts.  In grammar, both groups reviewed their at home review sheets.  We went over each question, making changes and having discussions as we worked our way through.  It is important to me that the class does not allow my extra review to stress them out!  I enjoy challenging them to take things a step further.  But, no learning can take place if students are overwhelmed!  I will continue to bend and flex as needed to work our way through these grammar topics. 

Both classes are doing a fantastic job of pointing out predicate nominatives and direct objects in sentences.  However, I can tell that we need a little more practice recognizing state of being verbs versus linking verbs.  We will be stepping back to review this more!  The Happy Horses group learned about Predicate Adjectives today.  The Girly Goats had an overall review before learning about conjugating irregular verbs.  Next, they reminded themselves about the four types of sentences.  Over the next couple weeks, they will be learning to diagram each of these types.

In literature class, Ms. Hilary taught the class about character development.  She explained that characters show us their thoughts, words, feelings, choices, and actions to help us get a clear idea of what the expect from them.  They talked about different characters and how the reader is able to get to know them.  In the BFG, the class discussed the way that the author helps us to understand Sophie’s personality, without simply telling us what she is like. 

During history, Ms. Hilary taught the class about the importance of spies during the Revolutionary War.  The class watched a short video about the role of spies and the different techniques that were used to help win the war.  Then, the kids each worked on creating their own hidden message using the mask technique.  These were tricky!  The kids had to write two letters and the same time…  one that everyone could see, but another that expressed their feelings about their parents being patriot spies.  They did a great job with this!

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Thursday, 11/9/17

Today began with a spelling review.  The kids worked in teams to see how many spelling words they could fit onto a board with crossword tiles.  They only counted if they were spelled correctly!  Afterward, we reviewed vocabulary list 3.  We'll wrap up this list next week.  Test on Tuesday!

In grammar, we began by reviewing the homework review.  I go beyond the book to make sure that the students actually master the material before moving on.  Right now, we need to hang out and work with action, helping, linking, and state of being verbs, as well as predicate nominatives and direct objects.  If we move on before truly comfortable, it will just cause, as I called it today, a "snowball of disaster"!  Each class worked on identifying different types of verbs and diagramming sentences of increasing complexity.  As we worked through a review lesson in the book, the kids were showing much improvement!  We'll review more at home before moving on next week.

Writing class was a doozie today!  They have been working a lot with creative writing, but today they learned how to write a different type of paragraph: the expository paragraph.  These kids have learned some great writing tips and strategies so far, and I am excited to see how they progress with this new writing genre!

The class showed off their posters and invitations today.  At home, they created invitations or posters to encourage colonists to join the Boston Tea Party.  These kids did a fantastic job with these!  They made them small enough to fit in their interactive notebooks, which is where they collect materials from all of their lessons.  Ms. Hilary taught the class about the Boston Massacre and further discussed the Boston Tea Party today.  Our hope is to actually spark interest, not just memorize facts!

In science today, the kids finished up their fossil activity from last week by breaking open the cup and cleaning away their fossils!  They turned out great!  Next, the class moved on to a study of water.  "Water, water, everywhere, and not a drop to drink."  Ms. Sally began with this quote and a discussion about why this could be the case.  The kids came up with answers like saltwater, pollution, or situations like the hurricane, where there was no clean water.  At home, the students learned all about the water cycle, soil water, groundwater, watersheds, and much more.  In class, they discussed these things, and created a terrarium with different layers of rock and soil.  The terrarium will act as a greenhouse, as well.  The ended the class with a short writing assignment in their science notebooks.  We decided that science should always be messy and fun!

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Tuesday, 11/7/17

After today's spelling test, both groups learned about linking verbs and predicate nominatives during grammar class.  This was a tricky lesson, and it required a lot of examples and review!  We have learned about state of being verbs, helping verbs, and linking verbs.  The hardest part for students is to consider the entire sentence when deciding which type of verb or verbs are used.  This is the point where we will slow down and review, review, review!  Both groups learned last week that direct objects are nouns in the predicate that receive the action from an action verb.  This week, they learned that some nouns in the predicate are renaming the subject, and are "linked" together by a linking verb.  For example, in "Mice are rodents.," the noun "rodents" is renaming the subject "mice".  There is no action verb here, so there is not a direct object.  The sentence is not saying that mice simply "are", so "are" is not a state of being verb in this sentence.  "Rodents" is the predicate nominative, connected to the subject "mice" by the linking verb.  We diagrammed a few of these in class, but tomorrow's lesson at home mostly focus on pointing out the different parts of speech.  Again, we're taking baby steps!

Ms. Nancy taught the class about aboriginal art!  They made some beautiful fall images today!

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Thursday, 11/2/17

Here's a quick list of some of the topics covered today!

  • Writing strategies to make your stories exciting
  • Spelling list review
  • Simple and Complete Subjects and Predicates
  • Vocabulary list review
  • State of Being Verbs
  • Direct and Indirect Objects
  • Handwriting Tips and Tricks
  • Fossils
  • Renewable and Nonrenewable Resources

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Thursday, 10/26/17

Today, the class spent some time doing morning farm chores and taking care of a little doe who injured her leg.  We moved the doe to a stall and kept an eye on her today.  Most likely, it is just a minor injury and she’ll be good as new soon. But, it’s best to be cautious and isolate her form the herd!

After our outdoor adventures in the cold October air, we headed in for a spelling review.  The group went through the list, discussing the spellings of difficult words and writing each one.  They will study this list at home Friday and Monday, as we will have a spelling test on Tuesday.  We are also working through vocabulary list 3 in Worldy Wise.  We’ll spend a couple weeks on this list.

In grammar class, both classes reviewed their at-home assignments.  We are not only working through our workbooks, but we are also taking it a step further.  I like to review as often as possible and push the students with some challenge problems before moving on to the next lesson.  It’s important that we master the material before moving on, and this is the best way to do so!  The Happy Horse Group learned more about direct objects today.  They added a Direct Object card to their grammar card stack, and we worked through direct object sentences together.   We also used their verb tense meters to help determine the tense of different verbs and helping verbs. 

The Girly Goats Group has been studying both direct and indirect objects.  They did a great job with this concept… until we added helping verbs, adjectives, and adverbs to the sentences.  I could tell that once the sentences became more complex, it was much more difficult to pull out the parts of speech.  We spent the day working through examples and reviewing sentences that have both a direct and an indirect object.   Both groups will be reviewing today’s lesson at home on Friday.  On Monday, both classes will attempt a worksheet of challenge sentences to diagram.

In writing class, both groups killed off the dreaded two words, “AND THEN”.  These words are often shoved between sentences, making your writing seem to drone on and on and on!  Today, Ms. Hilary taught bout transition words.  They learned many transitions, and then wrote paragraphs on their own.  All of these kids blew us away with their creativity, detail, and their use of transitions to improve their writing! 
In history class, the group learned about Colonial life.  They learned common names given to children during this time period.  They learned about the clothing they wore, the jobs they had, and the games they played.  The class took their Colonial cutouts and added them to their interactive notebooks.  They then used  the information that they learned today to create a description of their cut-out Colonial American families.  (We even noticed that some students used the transition words that they just learned in the previous class!  Yay!)

During science, Ms. Sally reviewed the types of soil.  The kids observed different types, and used adjectives to describe them in their science notebooks.  They added water to each of the three types of soil, writing down their detailed observations and sharing them with the group.  At the end of class, they constructed edible Earth layers!

Today, the class decided that they wanted to have a little Halloween party on Tuesday afternoon.  The kids can come in costume.  If you would like to bring in a treat to share, feel free!  We'll end our day with some snacks, music, and we'll have a spooky good time!