Thursday, September 15, 2011

Grandparents' Day!

Today was Grandparents' Day at the schoolhouse!

First, we started the day off preparing our poetry and music for our Grandparents.  Next. we reviewed our spelling list by playing a game on the tennis courts.  Each student was in a corner.  In order to run to the next corner, they had to spell a spelling word correctly!  It was a great way to get outside and exercise on a beautiful morning.  We worked on our grammar cards, as well.

After Language Arts, we discussed their weekly reading assignment in "The Indian in the Cupboard".  These chapters dealt with a lot of conflict.  There were arguments, disagreements, and fights.  We used the characters' examples to discuss conflicts in our own lives... and how to resolve them!  The kids each gave examples of what makes them angry.  For each example, I blew up a balloon a little more.  By the end of the examples, the balloon was full and POPPED!  We talked about ways to let the air out slowly... or to deal with our anger in healthy ways instead of snapping, yelling, or fighting.  During the break, they are supposed to notice when they feel anger boiling up and try to use some of the healthy ways we discussed to calm down instead of POPPING!

In science, we learned all about vertebrates and invertebrates, as well as body systems in animals.  We even acted out the digestive system, passing "food" along organ to organ!

The kids had a great time displaying all that they have learned so far this year for their grandparents to see!  They read the poem that we are working on memorizing, acting out the parts.  They played the songs that they have been working on in music.  We had centers for each subject, so they could walk their grandparents through all that they have learned and created!  The students even interviewed their grandparents, learning about their childhood, their first jobs, and finding out what advice their grandparents have for them.  It was an awesome time, and a perfect way to spend our last day in class for a while!

We will have Field Trip Day tomorrow at 9:00.  Meet at the schoolhouse for a hayride down to Inman Farm Heritage Days!  See you soon!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Our Glorious Day

 We began today preparing for Grandparents' Day on Thursday. Can't wait to share all that we have learned with our grandparents!

Grammar- We went over our worksheets on action verbs. Everyone did a wonderful job! We also made matching games. Each student is going to be making cards for parts of speech and other definitions. As we learn more and more, the cards will help us review what we already know!

Spelling- We went over each word in List 6, discussing the tricks and tips for them all. We all agree that the trickiest word in this list is quotient. Make sure to focus on that one in particular! Today's spelling lesson turned into full blown math! We used pencils to illustrate a division problem. We figured out the dividend, the divisor, and the quotient, as we divided the pencils into equal groups.

Handwriting- What beautiful handwriting border sheets! We hung out sheets up for the class to see. Each week, we will add our border sheets to the wall. Great job!

Math- In addition to our conversation on division in spelling today, we learned about rounding and estimation. It was mostly a review for everyone, but I wanted to make sure we discussed it before our Teaching Textbook lesson tomorrow.

Social Studies- After a quick review, the students and Mr. Dennis learned all about Christopher Columbus! They have a packet on Christopher Columbus that they can review at home.

Art- Ms. Nancy taught us about a new element or art today: Texture! The students took turns reaching into backs, describing the textures of the items inside. It was so hard not to think about what the item actually was, but to focus on describing the texture! She taught us about tactile texture. These are textures that we feel.

Music- Today, Mrs. Beresford was so impressed by all of the practice that the students have been doing! She taught us an activity with Low, High, and Middle.... where the kids practiced moving their “low, high, middle, high” fingers (1, 5, 3, 5) on their left hands. Practice playing C, G, E, G on the left hand. Your right hand will eventually be doing something else! (This is gearing up for “Hot Cross Buns” in the book). Video to follow!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Blowin' in the wind....

Today was a gorgeous day! The kids were eager to learn, the weather was sunny but cool. We could eat lunch out on the deck without sweating up a storm. Perfect!

Next Friday, if you can participate in the field trip, plan to be here at the school house at 9:00. We will catch a hay ride down to Farm Days. Parents can take the hay ride down OR follow us and park closer to the show so you won't have to catch a shuttle back. Feel free to bring siblings, grandparents, whomever! We will hit the educational highlights as a group, but everyone can mill around with their families for as long (or as short) a time as you'd like!

No Classes 9/19-9/30. The last class in September will be on 9/16. We will resume Oct 4th!

THURSDAY 9/15 is Grandparents' Day!  Come join us from 1:00-3:00 for an afternoon together!

FRIDAY 9/16 is Field Trip Day!  We're changing the meet time to 9:00 at the school house.  Wear play shoes and your school shirts!

Grammar- We learned about action verbs today, which was a review for everyone. We will be exploring the other types of verbs (linking, helping, and state of being) later on.

Spelling- We played the hamburger game today, as we reviewed our super tough spelling words in list 5! Instead of eating our imaginary hamburgers, most of them get “saved” up for an imaginary hamburger fight at the end... “miscellaneous” and “multiplication” sure make huge hamburgers!

Reading- Today, we talked about chapters 8 & 9 in The Indian in the Cupboard. The introduction of the cowboy was really exciting to the kids! We discussed all the book's recent happenings, and then we talked about the way that Omri brings more things to life in order to give Little Bear tools and help. Using clay, sticks, and rocks, we created our own tool for Little Bear to use. I will be baking these and we are adding them to the cupboards that we made!

Math- Today, we worked on word problems. We used the part/whole model in order to figure out what information has been given, and what we need to know.  Afterward, we worked on those mental subtraction skills with another card game.  They love math games!

Poetry- We read through the poem, “The Duel”, a few times today. We focused on the first stanza, acting out the parts of the cat, dog, plate, clock, and narrator. Don't worry if it takes a while to memorize... It will!! We have months to get it down... and when we do, we can act it out and make our movie!

Today, we learned about seed plants and how they reproduce. This was a big lesson with a lot of information.... pollination, fertilization, germination... lots of big words with big concepts! We learned about how plants make seeds... and how seeds grow into new plants. Plants need for their seeds to fall far away from their shadows and root systems. But, how do seeds get from place to place? We used our imaginations and ingenuity to create our own seeds! Using only 2 pieces of paper, tape, a paper clip, and scissors, each student worked to make their own seed- dropping them from the deck railing to test their flight. After a period of test drops and restructuring our seeds, we dropped them all to see which designs fell the farthest from the “plant”.

Social Studies- What an awesome job the kids did on their “Why Explorers Explore” packets! Today, they learned about the technologies that explorers used to help them as they explored the New World.

Writing- We talked about why graphic organizers are important. When we write down our ideas and details beforehand, it speed up our writing process!  We then talked about how to add adjectives, examples, and descriptions to jazz up our writing.  To illustrate this, we played a game!  I gave one student a noun-- snowman, egg, sun, etc.  The student had to get the others to guess their word... by only using adjective cards!  He or she could put adjectives into three categories:  definitely, sort of, and not.  After someone guessed the word, they had to come up with a sentence about that word using at least two of the adjectives on the board!  FUN!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Making Joyful Noises!

When you set the stage for learning, sporadic moments of educational collaboration pop up at any time! As the kids were working quietly on their booklets for Social Studies, two of the boys were singing one of the songs from music class.  Because we don't have the book yet, my two couldn't practice "Mary Had A Little Lamb" at home very well.  My son told this to his friends, who began teaching him how to correctly play the piece.  They came over, one on each side, and showed him the fingers to use for each note.  The love of learning is a beautiful thing!

Spanish- The kids learned names for foods that they will be serving in their restaurant! It is going to take lots of preparation, but they are all ready to learn their Spanish words, make their costumes, and get ready to perform for their parents!

Spelling- On this wet day, we made sure to do lots of jumping around as we studied Spelling List 5! These words are super hard, so we went over the spellings of each word, looking for tips and tricks to get them to stick in our brains!

Poetry- We started our first poem today. We will be working for quite a while on memorizing “The Duel”, which is found on p. 37 in the Spelling and Poetry book.

Math- We reviewed addition problems where you need to carry multiple times. Even carrying three times in one problem couldn't trick these kids up!

Social Studies- Today, Mr. Dennis led a discussion of why the explorers that we are learning about decided to set sail and explore at all!  We learned many reasons for this, and we started a brand new booklet to write each one in.  The kids worked to summarize the seven reasons in their own words, illustrating as they went.  Their job is to finish these by Thursday so we can really let that information take root, and to show them off and post them on our board!

Art- In art today, we used knowledge of primary and secondary colors to create a beautiful project!  We traced overlapping leaves onto our paper, and worked with oil pastels to color them.  The leafs were primary colors, with the overlapping areas colored with the appropriate secondary color.  Beautiful!

Music- There was a passion for music in the air today!  The kids were volunteering to play Mary Had A Little Lamb, and we are working at home to learn the right and left hand parts to this.  We all need to practice 10 times on each hand every day!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Flower Power

Spanish-  We used those Spanish numbers to play bingo today!  The kids had a great time and showed off their Spanish skills!

Spelling- Continuing our very physically active spelling lessons, we played a tag-team-race-game with our spelling words today! Using our brains and our bodies at the same time is getting these kids EXCITED about learning!

Grammar- Today, we reviewed common and proper nouns, plural and singular nouns, and pronouns. We will be working to memorize the pronouns in class.

Reading- In reading today, we discussed chapters 6 and 7. We also made our own cupboards! We will be making little people and items to put in our cupboards along the way... and bring it home when we complete the book!

Math- Check out what we have been talking about this week!

Science- We were scientists on a field study today! We learned all about plants, their structures, types, and functions. Through a demonstration with sponges of different heights in a plate of water, we saw first hand why mosses (who have no roots or stems) need to stay low to the ground. Woody stems, nonwoody stems, respiration, photosynthesis... the kids have a lot to review at home this week! In order to show how plants move water up their stems and through their veins, we placed white carnations into colored water. We'll leave them right here and check them out on Tuesday! (I may even pop in and take pictures of their progress and add it to the site!)

Social Studies- What a crazy day! With the help of a Time Portal Door, which appeared miraculously on the storage room room, we had a guest visitor! Marco Polo himself came to our class to tell us about himself.

Writing- The kids did a great job with their persuasive papers! We are working more on sparking interest in writing than nit-picking with spelling, grammar, etc right now. Help the kids to “find their writing voice” at home. For next week, we are going to let the kids choose their own topic! For Tuesday, let the kids choose their topic and brainstorm ideas and supporting details. Don't even call them “supporting details”... make it “a list of things to remember that you want to include”! Jot them all down in any fashion that is helpful for them. We will talk about it briefly on Tuesday, talk it up, and get them ready to write!