Tuesday, March 25, 2014

A Blustery Day!

Agriculture/Health- Today, the class began by sharing their Character Counts posters.  They have been learning about the importance of having character, as well as six core aspects of having good character: responsibility, caring, respect, fairness, trustworthiness, and citizenship.  Although the students shared their posters in class, the posters were created to be hung up in their rooms at home!  

We have a major project in this class... our music parody video!  In the upcoming weeks, we will be recording all vocals AND making the video, as well.  To get it all done will require a lot of work, patience, and maturity on the part of the students!  I have prepped them for what is in store... and I cannot wait to see what they can do!

Today was also picture day.  Due to the wind and cold (isn't it the end of MARCH!?), we were not able to take individual pictures.  I will get individual shots in over the upcoming weeks, as time allows.  These pictures will be used in the yearbook, which is always such a special reminder of the school year!

Spanish-  Ms. Cindy helped the class to review vocabulary from the last few weeks.  They also worked diligently on their Spanish restaurant skit projects, which I will video when they present to the class!

Art- In art class, Ms. Nancy helped the kids to finish up their weaving projects.  As they finished, she introduced them to the famous painting, "Starry Night".  They worked with tempura paints to recreate the piece!

In Social Studies, the class began by going over their big test on the Cold War.  Each and every child made an A on this one!  I was so very impressed!  Our next unit will be on Civil Rights.  Today, the class divided into groups, and discussed some specific examples of scenarios involving segregation, equal pay, and other civil rights issues.   Mr. Dennis explained that it is fine for the class to have disagreements regarding the scenerios, but that everyone must speak and handle themselves in a respectful manner.  The expectations of maturity and restraint were definitely met, as each student was able to make their points, defend the points of others, and express disagreements among each other.  This group of kids amazes me not only with their understanding of the material presented in this class, but by the manner in which they conduct themselves.  This is a prime example of how when we set the bar high, our children will rise to meet it!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

A Day In Pictures...

Daisy, strategically fenced in, is working on rooting up a spot for a flower bed!
Another rainy day means lots of dirty shoes!

The class finished up their weaving projects today.

There were many excellent patterns!

The final project!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

The Cay, The Cold War, & Cumberland Island

The class finished the book, "The Cay" today.

Ms. Gail continued her lesson on sea turtles.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Egg Candling Day

Ag/Health-  We had so much to talk about today!  First, I explained to the class that one of our rabbit does had her babies (kits) this past weekend!  We talked about the differences between animals such as goats, horses, cows, chickens, turkeys, etc, which have babies that can stand up and move around on the first day, and cats, dogs, rabbits, etc whose babies are born completely helpless, and with their eyes closed.  It will be 10 more days or so before these little bunnies will open their eyes and start to emerge from deep within their nest.  I explained to the class how hormones create changes in animals' bodies, including ours.  After giving examples such as the effect of growth hormone, I explained that the rabbit's hormones change in the days before her kindling (birth).  One of the changes that occurs from the change is that her hair loosens, making it easy for her to pull out.  The mother bunny pulls her fur and uses it to create a very warm nest for her young.  I can't wait for the babies to grow, so I can introduce them to the class!

After our bunny lesson, we talked about the eggs that are in the incubator.  They are at day 13 today.  We reviewed embryo development, and talked about the differences between the chicken eggs and the turkey and guinea eggs that are also incubating.  (It takes an extra week for guinea keets and turkey poults to hatch.)

The students and I discussed their decision-making worksheet, which they finished at home.  We went through many of them, discussing positive and negative consequences of each of their alternatives, or choices.  This led to some excellent discussions!  The students brought up the fact that some problems have more than two choices.  We talked about coming up with creative solutions, and compromises.  At one point, someone voiced that he didn't understand why some people make the bad choices that they do.  This was an awesome opportunity to tie in our lessons of self-esteem and goal-setting to the ability to weigh consequences and make healthy decisions.  The health teacher in me was dancing for joy!

After checking their journal work, the class was able to finally take a peek inside these eggs.  I taught them how to "candle" the eggs, which is simply using a bright flashlight in a dark space to see the shadow of the embryo inside the egg.  This candling session went extremely well!  They were able to clearly see the blood vessels, air sacs, little squirming embryos, and even a tiny foot!  The eggs should hatch next week.  Hopefully they will be on time and we can see them hatch in class!

Spanish-  In Spanish class, the students are working on restaurant skits.  Their creativity is pumping!  Each group finished up their menus, continued to work on their scripts, and made lists of props they will need.  They are very excited about this project!  I love it!

Art-  In art class, Ms. Nancy helped the students finish up their weaving project.  They worked to create different patterns, which didn't look easy! 

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Good Morning, Vietnam!

Mr. Dennis continues his lesson on the Cold War / Vietnam

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Fat Tuesday

Health/Ag-  We have been talking about decision-making skills, goal setting skills, and "hatching a plan".  Today, I further explained why agriculture topics are excellent examples of setting goals and planning ahead for things that you need to happen in the future.  The class has set eggs in the incubator, which will hatch in approximately 2 weeks.  I explained that you cannot simply set the eggs and instantly get chicks!  You must monitor the humidity, adding water when needed.  You must monitor the temperature.  You also have to make changes on the 18th day of incubation, called "lock down".  At this time, you stop turning the eggs (take out the egg turner) and increase the humidity level.  Another example of planning ahead is the planting of crops.  Today, the class began the process of planting our raised bed garden.  The Fayette County Farm Bureau Women's Committee came and helped the students plant different seeds.  They will start these seeds indoors, and then begin filling the raised beds next week!

Spanish-  Today, the class continued to work on their Spanish restaurant project.  They worked in their groups to come up with menus, skits, and a master plan for presenting their project to the class!

Art-  In art class, Ms. Nancy began with a little Fat Tuesday celebration... with beads for the class!  The students made their own cardboard looms today, and began to weave different patterns.  They have worked a lot with yarn and thread this year, and they are getting really good at it!  The weaving project will continue next week, and when they are completed, the kids can take them off of the looms!

Social Studies- In social studies class, the students gave their Cold War presentations.  Mr. Dennis and I both graded each poster on neatness, clarity, labels, grammar (including correct capitalization), and content.  It was great hearing each of them explain their Cold War leader to their peers.