Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Back to Class!

 Spelling- We went through Spelling List 14, picking each word apart and discussing their spelling. There are some tough words in this list, particularly sundae, righteous, necessary, and advantage. Study up and we will play a game with them on Thursday!

Handwriting- Everyone remembered to bring their border sheets today! Excellent job on these,and what a perfect Scripture to write! “Let everyone be sure that he is doing his very best for then he will have the personal satisfaction of work well done.” Galations 6:4

Poetry- We are beginning a new poem, “The Shadow”, which we read out loud today. I am still working on video editing on “The Duel”, and my brain is in overdrive thinking of our next creative outlet in poetry!

Reading- After our long holiday, we are back into Macbeth! We have now read to page 29, where the evil deed is done. We left Macbeth and Lady Macbeth, hands red with blood. Needless to say, the kids find Shakespeare to be anything but boring! We will review these pages at home and continue on Thursday to see who is knock, knock, knocking at the south gate!

Grammar- We have already learned the definition of a verb: A verb is a word that does an action, shows a state of being, links to words together, and helps another verb. We already know about verbs that do an action. We will talk about state of being verbs and verbs that link words together later on. For today, we discussed helping verbs. We will be memorizing the list of helping verbs, with the help of a little chant and clapping! Practice at home... it will make it easier to pick out helping verbs when you see them! In addition to learning about helping verbs, we discussed present, past, and future tenses. These were new terms for the kids, in respect to verbs. We'll be working with this more on Thursday!

Math- In correlation with our Teaching Textbooks lesson, we worked more with telling time using “past” or “after” and “till” or “to”. The students are getting better and better at knowing when to use which term!

Social Studies- Today, Mr. Dennis lead the kids through a lesson on the Dutch Colonies. They learned about the Dutch West India Company and the New Netherlands. They also learned how New York got its name! We will be working at home on a lesson that delves deeper into the Dutch Heritage of New York.

Art- What is it about buttons that is so magical? Open a box of old buttons and even adults can't help but dig in! Today, the kids learned to sew... creating their own Christmas ornaments. They attached buttons, sequins and shapes using only stitching. No glue allowed! For this project, it was amazing to witness all of the class in quiet focus. It really was something that they each enjoyed!

Music- Mrs. Beresford has invited the class to perform in the recital that she hosts for all of her students. It isn't until March, but she is already preparing our kids as they work on their pieces. She is especially working on playing with a constant rhythm, and in unison. They are doing so very well!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday was a big day!  In addition to the normal classes, we enjoyed a Thanksgiving lunch and recorded our poem recitation.   I will be doing some video editing and posting the finished video soon!

I love the fact that our class is so comfortable with each other that we could go around the table in prayer, each choosing to thank God for something special to them.  It is an amazing thing to have this positive, supportive environment for our children to grow.  What did I thank God for?  For each one of these kids and for the awesome ability to teach them in our little school twice a week.

On Friday, we headed out on a field trip to Dogwood Assisted Living.  There, we showed them our handwriting border sheets that we work on each week.  These sheets each have a Bible verse, written in their very best handwriting.  They work very hard coloring the borders.  The students gave their sheets to the residents.  Then, they took turns playing "Be Still and Know" on the piano while the others sang.  The residents really enjoyed seeing them! Afterward, we hit the playground, some lunch, and ended the day at YoTops for some frozen yogurt.  Yum!

Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving, and we'll see you on Tuesday the 29th!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Chick-Fil-A Calendar Fundraiser!

Our class is selling Chick-Fil-A calendars to help us with field trips and science supplies!  If you would like a calendar, contact a class parent or me at holly@freeebirdfarm.com. 

I'll also have a pick-up time in the Fayetteville Publix (southside) parking lot on Friday at 6:00 & Sunday at 1:00!  Just look for my van with the program logo on the side.  Stop by and grab a calendar or two!

They are $6 each, no tax.  Please help us earn all we can so that we can add great educational opportunities for the school!  

All calendars must be purchased before Tuesday, 11/29.  Thank you!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


Spelling- We discussed the spelling of each word in list 13. We noticed that a lot of the words in this list have something in common... an “e” at the end that does not make the vowel long! We decided that these were “The E's That Don't Do Anything”!

Grammar- Today was a huge review day. We went over the definitions of nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, and pronouns. We reviewed each type and drilled our diagramming skills. It's awesome to watch as things they thought would be “so hard” weeks ago are now simple! I love it when they skip ahead in the book, see something that looks very complicated, only to see that they can master it easily when they get there, learning along the way!

Handwriting- This is our last border sheet before we deliver them to Assisted Living on Friday! They are doing such a good job on these. Keep taking your time and doing your best... We will continue to come up with worthwhile destinations for our beautiful work!

We will meet at 9:45 at Dogwood Assisted Living in Fayetteville. The residents have devotional at 10:00. We will be playing and singing “Be Still and Know” for them and giving them our border sheets. I know we will be putting smiles on many faces on Friday!

Writing- The kids did a fabulous job with their creative writing stories! Sometimes, the best writing prompt is actually a picture!

Agricultural Education- For Thursday, we are going to be making Thank You cards for The Farm Bureau and Garry Farm for all of their support and help with our egg project! Let's say Thank You and also show them what we have learned through their generosity!

Math- Today, we practiced telling time. As usual, we took what we already know and bumped it up a notch! These kids really exercised those brains today as they learned when to use “till” and when to use “past” in telling time. “Half past” and “o'clock” are easy... but when to use “20 till” or “17 past” can get very tricky! I gave them a trick... when using the words “till” and “past” to tell time, you will not use a number higher than 29! Work on this at home... Practice, practice, practice!

Poetry- We have almost finished up our backdrop for our video! The chimney place is all set, the clock is complete, the plate is almost decorated, and the gingham dog and calico cat costumes are in progress! We'll have it all finished up for our grand production on Thursday.

Social Studies- Today, the kids read about Jamestown and Roanoke, and did a reading comprehension exercise. They also discussed and did a crossword puzzle using the economics terms they learned.

Art- We finished up our Paper-maché projects today! The acrylic paint totally transformed our creatures into awesome works of art! We also learned about positive and negative images. Ms. Nancy taught us about the images that are created as we cut away. It's a little tricky to get our minds around, but we did a great job!

Music- We really worked hard on playing Be Still and Know together as a group. The class learned about rhythm, and how music must follow the beat. Mrs. Beresford used a metronome beat to help illustrate the importance of synchronization. We have some bright kiddos!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Happy Hatch Day!

Spelling- We made a board game today and really drilled those spelling words from lists 10 and 11! They took turns spelling a word. If it was spelling correctly, they could roll the dice to make their way across the board. What a hit!

Grammar- Today, we learned about adverbs that tell “where”. Some examples are upstairs, away, far, sideways, backward, and so on. “Columbus traveled far.” Where did Columbus travel? He traveled “far”. Adverbs can get pretty tricky, but they are doing a great job mastering this material!

Reading- We read more about Macbeth and boy, are these kids into it! Because of the difficult language, we are reading a few lines and then stopping to discuss what is going on. In today's reading, the witches had cast their wicked spell on Macbeth. We played a game called “witches brew”, where we took turns adding ingredients to our stew. With each ingredient, the kids had to remember all of the previous ingredients, reciting them in our rhyme. It took a lot of brain power, but we ended up with a very long list of ingredients in our pot!

Math- We practiced making change today, as we took turns running make-believe shops! The kids took turns being shop owners and shoppers. They learned that, when they do not have exact change, they need to give more than the given price and get change back. They had to help each other count up the exact change. Work at home on this concept, as it was a tricky one. Sometimes, all you have is a $10, and you have to use it even if the item only costs $2.50! Also, work with them on counting back change, starting from the price of the item and counting up to the paid amount. It was a new concept, but they did great!

Agricultural Education- Today was the day!! These kiddos were ecstatic to see chicks hatching! We saw a chick that was already out, one that hatched before our eyes, one that was zipped, and one that had a pipped shell! I will keep you posted as to how many hatch out over the weekend! They should be all out of their shells by Sunday. Yay!

Science- After showing off our Biomes book and discussing interesting facts from each one, we explored food chains and webs. The students seem to have such great background knowledge in this topic, and are very excited about it. We learned that energy is produced by the plants (producers) and eaten by the herbivores or omnivores (consumers). These consumers pass the energy from the producers to other predators when they are eaten. Finally, the decomposers (bacteria, worms, fungi) return the nutrients to the ecosystem, like recyclers! The kids made their own food webs today... and what intricate webs they weave!
Social Studies-

Writing- In writing today, the kids read their revised scary stories out loud.   We all know it can be no fun rewriting our papers, but they did a fabulous job!  In social studies, they will be working on a social studies based writing assignment for next week.  They will be getting into character as they write about the life of a Native American!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Getting Close to Hatch Day!

Spelling- We had a very thorough study today of each spelling word and the special sounds within them. Some follow the “rules”, but others in this list do not! We then played a game where the kids had to make as many spelling words as they could using only the letters in a phrase written on the board. It was a great way to really focus on those words!

Grammar- We learned on Thursday about adverbs that tell “how”. Today, we learned about adverbs that tell “when”. For instance, “The sun shines today.” or "They left early". In these sentences, you can ask "when did they leave" or "when did it shine", and find the adverb. Adverbs tell us how, when, where, how often, and to what extent. We are working our way through each type!

Handwriting- Excellent job with these border sheets! As our board fills up with beautiful work, we will move on to the next step.... We will give our border sheets to the elderly at a local nursing home for Thanksgiving. These colorful pictures and meaningful Bible verses will help to brighten their day!

Math- In math today, we worked on counting out money. The kids do a wonderful job making change, but they needed to work on being able to use the fewest coins to do so. We practiced making different amounts with the fewest coins possible. I also showed them how to count out loud as they added each coin... 25, 50, 60, 65, 66.... 67. 67 cents!

Agricultural Education- We had an exciting day today! We learned all about how our little chickies are going to break out of their shells. First, they “pip”, which means they poke their beaks first into the air sac as an “internal pip” and then through the shell as an “external pip”. Then, they “zip”. “Zipping” is when the chick breaks holes in the shell in a line around the top of the egg. When they “zip” correctly, the top can be pushed open! They are using their instincts to help them hatch! On Thursday, we should definitely see some pipped shells, and hopefully some zipping and hatching out!

Today is “lock down” day. So, we will be taking the egg turner out and increasing the humidity. We candled them and the kids were able to clearly see little chicks wiggling around inside! They were able to tell me which eggs had embryos inside and which ones were unfertilized or did not develop. They are getting to be little experts!

Social Studies- Today, the students filled in their Spanish Explorers Chart with the information they have learned about Juan Ponce de Leon, Hernando de Soto, and Francisco Vasquez de Coronodo. They also were introduced to Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca and Estevanico.

Art- Today was paper mache day! Ms. Nancy brought in bamboo sticks for the kids to use in making their own decorative walking canes. They chose an animal or person and have begun constructing the head of their cane from paper mache. It took a while for them to get comfortable sticking their hands in the glue mixture (especially the boys!), but they eventually got brave enough to delve in! We will be working more on this project next week!

Music- We worked on Jingle Bells today. Mrs. Beresford put it to a beat so the kids could all play together... which they did spectacularly! Then, she taught them the left hand to the song. They are very excited about learning to put them both together!