Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Tuesday, 1/16/18

Spelling-  We took our spelling test over lists 16 & 17.  We usually don't combine lists, but due to our altered schedule last Tuesday, we needed to play catch up!  Next, everyone will be on list 18, regardless of which book they are in.  Book 4 will have a week of vocabulary review, which I think will be very helpful!  They have been learning so many words, and it's good to pause and review!

Writing- In writing today, the kids worked were given a choice of characters, settings, and scenarios.  They used the skills that they have been developing all year and began writing a creative story!  The class was so excited about their tales that they bounced into grammar eager to read them to me.  I love it!  They will be working on these at home, and Ms. Hilary also has them illustrating the story for class on Thursday.

Grammar-  The Happy Horses group learned about objects of the preposition today!  They have done a great job learning about prepositions, memorizing the preposition list, and finding prepositional phrases.  Now, they can point out the objects, as well.  After our lesson, the class chose an animal either from the farm or from their imagination.  They made that animal the character of a short story. Today, they brainstormed and came up with a list of prepositional phrases for the animal's adventures.  For example, the baby goat crawled "under the fence", jumped "on the car", climbed "into the trashcan", etc.  At home, they will be using these lists to guide them as they write their short stories.  We will be doing something fun with these in class!

The Girly Goats group continued their lessons on prepositional phrases that describe subjects, direct objects, predicate nominatives, etc.  Today, they learned about prepositional phrases that describe objects of other prepositional phrases!  At first, their brains were a bit boggled by it, but it didn't take long for it to all make sense!  They diagrammed sentences of this type.  They also learned that sometimes prepositional phrases do not describe nouns at all.  They can also act like adverbs and describe the verb in the sentence!

History- In history class, the group learned about life on the frontier.  The students

Art-  I loved today's art project!  The class began creating their birch tree painting last week.  Today, they removed their tape and used parts of a ruler to create the markings on their trees' trunks.  They were able to use pieces of birch trees to help them understand the unique look of the bark.  I was so very impressed by these paintings!  After they completed their project, they began working on a weaving project that used a plastic cup as a loom.

Agriculture- I snuck math into our agriculture lesson for the day!  I talked to the class about the importance of quality hay, especially during the winter months.  I also explained that there are 16 flakes in a typical bale of hay.  I counted up how many flakes we need per day, and the class used that to calculate hay needs!  On the board, I showed how if we use a bale of hay ever 2.5 days, it would take us 5 days to use 2 bales.  We used other scenarios to practice the math involved.  Then, we went outside and dished out hay to the animals!

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Tuesday, 1/9/18

Today was an interesting day! Here are some highlights!

Our processor only offers USDA inspections on Tuesdays, so Ms. Hilary ran the show while I drove the steer all the way to Montezuma this morning. During agriculture time, we talked about humane management of livestock for meat. We talked about the high regard and respect that the Native Americans paid to the animals that they hunted and killed, and how important it is to give animals the best life, and death, that it can possibly have. Then, the class helped me move the fencing so that the lamancha goats and Delilah the donkey could enjoy the extra space!

The big Oregon Trail game was a hit! The class learned how difficult the trek was across the country! Last week, each student was given their family size, occupation, and family budget. Today, they purchased the items they would need on their journey. It was just like the computer game, only on paper!  Ms. Hilary led the class through the game using PowerPoint presentation. Did you buy a cow? If so _____. Did you buy a gun? If not __________. Step by step, they suffered different consequences and cheered when luck on the trail was on their side! In my opinion, my favorite part was that the class needed to work through math problems along the way. They each brought in calculators, and had to use them to keep up with their budget throughout the game. Many of the kids learned how to add and subtract using decimals for the first time today!

In art, Ms. Nancy began a new project with the kids.  They first placed pieces of masking tape across their paper.  Then, they used two colors, and they swirled and faded them together over the entire page.  Next, the used gold and silver acrylic paint and different items to create a few circles and shapes.  These will be left to dry, and they will get back to them next week!  Next, the class began painting Kindness Rocks.  Again, these will need to dry before they can be completed!

Thank goodness the sun was out and the weather was warmer!  It was awesome to get outside again!

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Thursday, 1/4/17

After our spelling review and math time, the kids broke into their language arts groups.
Both groups shared their poetry selection with Ms. Hilary.  They then were given a picture as inspiration.  They used this picture to brainstorm ideas for their own poem.  Ms. Hilary helped them with their poem's rhythm and rhyme.  The Girly Goats completed their poems in class and will be working on another at home.  The Happy Horses group needed a bit more guidance.  They will continue their brainstorming and writing session at home and will share on Tuesday.

In grammar, the Happy Horses reviewed their at-home assignment, which they ROCKED!  Next, we began the topic of prepositions.  We added the preposition card to their grammar card stack, and they will also be working on memorizing the preposition list.  Fear not... it is set to music!  The class will be singing the list to the tune of Yankee Doodle.  The Girly Goats did an amazing job with their at-home review assignment, and they went on to learn about prepositional phrases that modify direct and indirect objects.  They will keep working through diagramming these types, and we will add to this next week!

The class is learning about long journeys made along the Oregon Trail.  Today, they drew cards that told them a family budget, the number of family members in their party, and their occupation.  The students then made up stories about their former home, the reason for their journey West, and a description of their family members.  On Thursday, the group will play a game!  This game will be a "manual" version of the computer game Oregon Trail.  I see a super fun (and frustrating) history class in the future!

In science class, the group continued their unit on air, water, climate, and weather.  They learned about weather patterns, fronts, like our current cold front.  The kids looked up current weather maps and create their own weather map to display our country's current frosty status!  Brr!

The kids enjoyed their poetry reading so much that they decided to read Shel Silverstein poems during lunch!

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Tuesday, 1/2/17

Today flew by!  It was great to be back... even if it was freezing cold!

We began our day with a spelling review of lists 14 & 15.  In lieu of a spelling test, we used letter tiles to create crossword puzzles using the spelling words from the list.  After math time, the class broke up into their language arts groups. 

Ms. Hilary taught the classes about poetry.  They discussed different aspects of poetry, such as the stanzas, different rhyming structures, and the rhythm of the poem.  The class has been working on reading with good tone, and they will be continuing this with their poetry lesson.  Each student will be working on a poem of their choice to read aloud in class on Thursday.  They will share their poem with their peers, and Ms. Hillary will be listening for good rhythm and tone.

In grammar class, the happy horse group reviewed the ways to diagram different types of sentences.  We worked through some examples together, and they will be continuing to practice at home tomorrow.  The girly goats group has been learning about prepositions before the break.  Today, we reviewed prepositional phrases and objects of the preposition.  The class then learned about prepositional phrases that describe the subject of a sentence.  I was very impressed with their ability to grasp this concept so quickly!  They learned to diagram these prepositional phrases in class, and they will be working on these type sentences at home tomorrow.

In history class, the group talked about Westward Expansion.  The class learned that, at this time period, the United States was more like a toddler than an infant... and that toddler was expanding to new areas!  The class enjoyed learning about the gold rush, and about the difficulties faces on such long travels.

Baby, it's COLD outside!  Until it warms up out there, we will have some little visitors in our classroom!

In agriculture class today, the kids learned about different ways that medication is given to livestock.  They learned about medications and wormers that are given as pastes, drenches, and injections.  We talked about how activated charcoal is used as a drench during situations of poisoning or accidental injection of toxins.  This is used in animals as well as people!  The kids learned how the charcoal binds to the toxins, thus allowing them to pass through the animals' bodies without causing harm.  Next, the students learned about intramuscular and subcutaneous injections.  We had a little math lesson.  The class learned that injections are given in cc's or ml's, and that 1cc=1ml.  They learned that a cc is a cubic centimeter.  After discussing what that means, the kids then watched me administer a SubQ injection to one of our goats who had gotten into some moldy hay during the break, causing her to get very sick.  The class did a wonderful job watching, learning, and helping!

Wednesday, December 13, 2017


After our spelling test and math time, the classes split up for language arts groups.  The Girly Goats group worked on prepositions.  They will be memorizing the preposition song at home... and many of them have already started working on it!  The group then learned about prepositional phrases and objects of the preposition.  This is a new concept for the year, and we will be working with them a lot in the upcoming weeks!  The Happy Horses reviewed the four types of sentences.  Last week, they learned about commands, and how commands have an invisible subject: you.  We reviewed the way to diagram commands before moving to questions.  They learned that, in order to diagram a question, it is easiest to rearrange the words in the sentence to form a statement, instead.  This will keep the subject from hiding!

In addition to learning information and gaining knowledge, we are working on important skills that the students will need in any class or group learning environment.  It's close to Christmas break, so the kids were understandably excited and active!  We talked about how extremely important it is to refrain from shouting out everything that you think.

It's great to have excitement and want to share stories, but only when the time is right.  In the past, we used the example of "changing channels" to adjust your behavior.  You have a play channel, a quiet learning channel, an activity and "doing" channel, etc.  We will keep using this example to help the kids remind themselves to grab those remotes when they need to switch gears!

Another important lesson is responsibility.  Today, it was obvious that a few of the students did not remember the parts they were given in their BFG Reader's Theater activity.  The parts were given in class, but they also went through and practice reading through the script, reading their assigned parts.  There was no reason for me to have to add the parts to the homework site.  At this age, with a little bit of focus and attention, they could remember which part they read and were assigned.  More importantly, I pointed out that it is important to be responsible.  If the at-home assignment is confusing, or if there is a problem with it somehow, contacting the teacher would be a more appropriate response than just ignoring it or trying to more quickly and check it off the assignment list.  I think they now understand that, although some assignments involve reading or studying, they are still important and much actually be done.  When someone has not read through their grammar cards in weeks, it is obvious.  When someone does not practice and work on their Reader's Theater parts, it is obvious when they do their presentation.  I think today was a big day for big lessons, and I know that they will step it up for second semester!

Thursday, December 7, 2017


We have had a very busy week!  We've worked through spelling and vocabulary lists 

(tests for both will be on Tuesday), grammar lessons on prepositions and types of sentences, study of the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights, and more!

The kids have been enjoying spending time with the animals this fall, and they have even decided to help with some of the farm chores.  I love that we can spend time outdoors, even when it's a little chilly!  Today, someone left the gate open and our mini-pig, Sprinkle, escaped.  The kids worked together (with the help of a chunk of a pumpkin) to get her
back where she needed to be!

The first group made comic strip that used at least one of each of the four types of sentences.  The second group has been learning about prepositions, so they had to illustrate & describe 6 different scenarios using various prepositions.

Ornament Fun!

The water cycle!

Types of Clouds