Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Last Day of Class!

I honestly cannot believe this year has come to an end.  This has been an amazing year of growth, and of changes.  Each of these children has made huge leaps, not only with their education, but as little blossoming young people.  We have had inspiring discussions about friendship, resposibility, and respecting others.  We have laughed together, we have been sad together, and we have encouraged each other along the way.  The atmosphere that has been in this building for the last 10 months has been exactly what I envisioned it to be:  a place where children can THRIVE.  I am immensely thankful to each and every parent for blessing me with their child this year.  It has been a pleasure!

Science Posters

Winners of the Geography Bee!

The Class with Mr. Dennis


The Cast of A Midsummer Night's Dream!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Make-Up Day

Last week was a bit of a mess.  There seems to be a stomach bug going around, and instead of continuing to pass it around, we opted to reschedule classes until the germs had subsided.  Instead of working in class, the teachers posted at home assignments for those days last week.  I read the kids' writing journals today, and it seems that they didn't care much for the sick days, and wished that they had been able to come and learn together!

Today's make up day was a fun combo of the older kids and the 1st grade class!  Teachers came in and out, alternating between classrooms (or the picnic table on the deck).  It was a beautiful day! 

Ms. Jennifer is wrapping up math class with lessons on volume.  They have come so far this year, and learned so very much!  They will continue to work with volume through class tomorrow.

We took the final practice tests for both math and language arts today.  We were able to discuss the answers to the language arts section, and will continue working through the rest tomorrow.  Today's big lesson was to read the directions... always!  They also learned that, even if they do not understand a term, or it is a slightly different term than they are used to (such as expanded notation instead of expanded form), they do not NEED to use the exact words that they are familiar with in order to answer the question correctly!  I asked, "What does EXPANDED mean?"  I then explained that it didn't even matter what "notation" meant.  They are looking for an expanded version of the number.  Sometimes, kids can get so stuck on the terminology that they freeze.  I am hoping to teach them some mental flexibility and confidence with test-taking!

We read the rest of "Midsummer Night's Dream" today, and these kids enjoyed it thoroughly!  I loved hearing the laughter and seeing them get completely caught up in the story!

Ms. Gail made cupcakes for the class, to celebrate their last day of class together!  She is going to miss them through the summer, and is thrilled to be coming back to teach Oceanography next year!  After a test over Greek mythology, the students took turns sharing the myths that they wrote.  There was a tale of why chickens lay eggs, where lava came from, and a hero myth about Perseous and his Flying Puppy, Finn.  These students have excellent imaginations! 

The children also brought in their final science poster & cube project on an endangered animal.  We were able to discuss some of them today, and we will talk about the rest tomorrow!  They look great!

In social studies, Mr. Dennis began with a discussion of World War II.  They then reviewed their last test over what they had previously learned of WWII and the New Deal.  Their talks will continue tomorrow, when they come to class and share with Mr. Dennis what they learned at home about the WACs, WAVES, and SPARs.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Water, Water, Everywhere.

Shakespeare-  The kids were in stitches today, as we read on in "A Midsummer Night's Dream"!  What could be funnier than a fairy queen, under a spell, falling in love with a man who has the head of a donkey?!  We stopped each time the plot took a crazy twist, deciphering the prose and discussing it.  They were begging to read more, but they will just have to wait until next week!

Writing-  Some of the students brought in paragraphs that needed editing.  I edited and returned them, so that they can make revisions at home.  Our persuasive essays are due on May 14th.

Math-  The 4B class has been working with data collection and compilation.  They each gave out surveys to 20 people, and brought them to class today.  They will now be creating different graphs and charts to display their results.  The 3B class worked with 3D shapes today.  Ms. Jennifer used paper objects to demonstrate the different types.

Agriculture-  The final video project is almost finished!  The kids absolutely loved making this... and I cannot wait to compile all of the video and show them the final product!

Science-  Today, Ms. Gail talked to the class about the importance of water.  To show them how much of the water on Earth is saltwater versus fresh, they colored in a sheet with 100 squares, coloring each of the squares that represented saltwater.  Once they were able to see that only 3% of the Earth's water is freshwater, she had them color in 2.5 of the squares to represent frozen water.  That only leave .5% that is usable water. She took the lesson a step further, dividing that water into polluted versus clean water.  The grid did a great job of putting things into perspective!  Then, she filled a large container with clear water.  Each of the children were given a film canister, filled with different mixtures or items.  Each represented a pollutant.  As Ms. Gail read about the different pollutants in our water, the students took turns bringing up the correlating canister, dumping it into the water.  It was a great demonstration!  The class ended with the big biology test.  Only one more day of science left in the school year!  I can't believe it!

Literature-  Ms. Gail began class by allowing the students to stand up and share their mythological creations.  Unfortunately, only three of the students completed theirs.  It was disappointing, but the three that did their work did a fantastic job.  Ms. Gail reviewed the kids' at home assignments, discussing the answers as they plugged along.  Then, they read on in their Greek mythology lesson.  Myths were passed along verbally from generation to generation before they were written down.  Therefore, there are many variations to the stories.  To demonstrate this, Ms. Gail used the telephone game. 

Social Studies-  Mr. Dennis taught the class about Roosevelt and the New Deal today.  They learned about the different in Roosevelt's policies in comparison to the three previous Republican Presidents.  They discussed his famous First Hundred Days, Alphabet Agencies, and his Fireside Chats.  The class ended with a test that covered Post WWI through the New Deal.  They will be learning about WWII soon, and at least a few of them were so excited they couldn't stand it!