Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Day, Interrupted.

Our day was interrupted by the great snow storm of 2014!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

For the Birds

The class shared their whale research projects today.

Each student played the role of a heron, and had to pick up fish from the water!

At the end of the activity, they learned that the heron actually ate fish that had been poisoned from pollution.

During social studies class, the kids learned about Cold War air raid drills, where students would "duck and cover"!

A flock of birds distracted us during grammar class, so we took a 5 minute break for a surprise attack!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Creative Thinking

The students really seem to be using their independent study time wisely.  Please remember to send enough work for a full 45 minutes, as well as a book to read just in case!

Agriculture-  Today, we divided our song into parts.  There are 9 students who requested singing parts, so I explained that even though someone may have wanted more lines to sing, it is important to give each and every student an equal chance to shine!  I did my best to divide things up in an equal manner, and I think everyone seemed pleased with the breakdown.  We had a great discussion about supporting each other, and providing our friends with positive feedback.  One of the kids added that we don't need to "act like guineas!"  Love it!  I adore this group of children, and I am so very proud of their loving hearts!  We practiced singing a few times.  I am working on getting a practice cd made for each student.  In the meantime, they will have their lyric sheets.  Between songs, I gave a farm update.  We sold all of our extra roosters, and now are only buying grain for hens and roosters that we plan to keep.  Hooray!  I also explained to the children that it is not only important to gain knowledge, but to be able to come up with creative ways to solve problems.  As an example, I told the class about a recent problem I was having with our chickens.  I combined the pullets with the laying hens (pullets are young hens that are not yet laying).  Because of the "pecking order", the pullets are choosing to sleep in the nesting boxes instead of the roosts... which means poop in the laying boxes!  I talked to the class about different ideas that we had to fix the problem.  I decided to hang curtains over the openings to the boxes, using fabric I already had.  So far, they are working.  We shall see if the chickens keep up the good work!

Spanish-  The class split up into groups again today, working in Spanish "centers".  They have really opened up with the review songs and games!   Ms. Cindy also introduced the class to a new unit on Spanish words for foods.  The kids will be studying these words and phrases, and will eventually be using them in games and role playing activities!

Art-  The class continued to work on their watercolor projects.  Last week, they used watercolor techniques to create a wintery scene.  They crinkled plastic wrap to make an icy landscape, and the salt technique to make snowflakes in the sky.  Today, the class talked a little more about cool colors.  They added a polar bear to their picture today.  Each student drew their own polar bear silhouette on cardstock before cutting and painting it.  They used a dabbing technique to create the texture of fur.  "Can we add a fish in his mouth?"  "Can I make bear cubs?"  "How do they fish in the ice?"   I love the wonder and imaginations in this room! 

Social Studies- Mr. Dennis reviewed the at home assignment, and the class discussed their answers.  They have been studying the Communist revolution in China.  They moved forward, learning about the Cold War from the 1950's to the 1970's.  They read through material together, taking turns reading aloud while everyone followed along.  After each passage, Mr. Dennis explained what they had read.  Then, he introduced the next poster project.  The students drew a name from a bag.  This Cold War Leader will be the subject of his or her biography poster.  They were each given a detailed set of instructions, as well as a copy of the rubric which will be used to grade their projects.  Mr. Dennis went through each of these sheets with the class.  The poster projects will be due on February 20th.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Blubber Science!

Ms. Gail's "whale blubber" demonstration!

The kids compared ice water with a bare hand and a hand surrounded by shortening.

The shortening really made a difference!

The class did an activity where they listened to a story that gave them different points to plot on a graph.
The final image showed what the dolphin in the story was chasing!

The class also completed an ocean pollution activity using alphabet pasta!

The class worked in pairs to work through grammar problems.

They made a note of any tricky problems, which we all worked out on the white board.

See, grammar can be FUNNY!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

We're back!

After the long Christmas holiday PLUS a week off for bad weather, we're finally back in the swing of things!  I missed these guys!

Agriculture-  In agriculture class, we discussed some of the farm's current events.  We talked about our pitiful rooster to hen ratio from our last batch of chicks, the antics of our new pig, and the steps that we had to take to winterize the farmyard during this past freeze.  At home, the students had looked up information on nuisance animals.  We focused on beavers, discussing the effects that beavers can have on farmland. We talked about irrigation, the flow of water, and some animals that may fall under government protection.  This led us to our next class project!  We will be working on a music video parody!  It's going to take a lot of work, but these kids are so excited about it!

In Spanish class, Ms. Cindy split the kids into two groups.  One group played a matching game with Spanish vocabulary.  The other class read through simple Spanish children's books.  The two groups then switched.  It was a great way to focus the students on their review!

In art class, Ms. Nancy worked with the children on a water color project.  They learned different watercolor techniques, and used them to create a scene.  They applied different materials such as plastic wrap and salt to create different effects.