Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Lessons from a Turkey Prince

Agriculture/Health - Today, the class learned about stress.  We discussed that stress can be positive or negative, and can help us to do better or cause us problems!  Sure, a test or recital can cause stress, but our body has the same reaction to those stressors (or changes around us) as it does to an upcoming birthday party or bring next in line to a huge roller coaster!  The students learned about adrenaline, and how stress causes physical reactions in our bodies: hearts race, tummies hurt, sweat pours, etc.  Finally, we discussed ways that we can deal with our stress.  Having healthy stress management techniques is very important for children and adults, alike!  After our lesson, I read the story, "The Turkey Prince" by Izzi Tooinsky.  I love this book!  The class listened intently to the story, and then broke up into groups.  Each group had to think about the lessons that were integrated into the book, which were all rooted in lessons from our health class.  There were awesome lessons mention dealing with stress, self-esteem, conflict resolution, patience, friendship, responsibility, and more.  There were even lessons that the children discovered that I had not even thought of!  This was a great way to get the kids to review what they had learned in class.

Spanish- Ms. Cindy was not able to teach today due to her child being sick.  Because I cannot speak Spanish, I improvised!  The class grabbed a snack and watched a movie they all knew, Frozen, in Spanish.  They were able to listen to the Spanish audio while reading the English subtitles.  One of our very generous students even brought churros to share with the class!  They all seemed to enjoy the class, and were excited to recognize words they knew!

In art class, the kids integrated agriculture class with art and patterns.  We talked about pastures, fences, hedgerows, and how the different crops in each field create a patchwork quilt effect from the air.  The kids first drew out their designs in pencil, then traced them in marker.  By the end of class, they had begun coloring in some of the designs.  We will be adding watercolor to the backgrounds before they are completed.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Pysanky Day!

Recording for this year's music video!

Meeting Ms. Kitty, the miniature horse!

Ms. Kitty is calm, sweet, and enjoyed all the attention!

Working on pysanky eggs.

Drawing the initial design with pencil.

Heating the kistka, which applies the melted wax.

Using the kistka to apply wax to the egg.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Bunny Hop!

We had a lot going on in Ag/Health class today!  First, we discussed conflicts and ways to prevent them.  I explained that the words and tone that we use can steer a conversation in different ways.  We briefly talked about ways to turn "you" statements into less aggressive "I" statements.  (We will work more on this in the upcoming weeks.)  The class worked on a reading comprehension activity on the subject while we took turns recording vocals for their music video project.  It will take a couple more weeks, but we should have it completed soon!

Spanish-  Today was the last day for the groups to practice their restaurant skits!  They have written, blocked out, organized, and completely put together their own Spanish skits over the last few weeks.  Because of a conflict with next week's performance, one group decided to go ahead and do theirs today!

In art class, Ms. Nancy gave a brief lesson on Holy Week, and the reason that we celebrate Easter.  The class then began constructing their own Easter hats.... using newspaper!  I absolutely loved this project!  The kids had a hard time holding in the laughter as they helped each other form and tape their main hat shape.  Then, they each worked on molding and decorating them into unique creations!  Once all of the hats were completed, Ms. Nancy cracked the kids UP by teaching them the Bunny Hop Line Dance!  It was hilarious!

In social studies, Mr. Dennis continued the Civil Rights/Human Rights unit with a study of The Petition of Right 1628. Then learned about how King Charles I broke up Parliament, deciding to rule England on his own. This is when, in response, the Petition of Right was presented by Sir Edward Coke. This document, citing the Magna Carta, reminded Charles I that it was the law gave Englishmen their rights, not the king. King Charles had violated the law by denying Englishmen due process, not protecting them from unjust seizure of property or imprisonment, ignoring the right to trial by jury, and not granting protection from unjust punishments or excessive fines. After accepting the Petition of Right, Charles I soon resumed the violations. This struggle resulted in a civil war and the beheading of Charles I.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Bunny Time!

 After independent study time, the class jumped right in to practicing for our music video!  We went through the song a few times, and it is really sounding great!  We will be recording the audio over the next two classes, and then we will spend an entire day on filming.  The kids always look forward to filming day, and this year, we will be packing a picnic lunch to eat while "on the farm"!

We then discussed our next health topic: conflict resolution.  The class did a wonderful job on their journal assignments.  I know not everyone loves to write, but I'm hoping that this will give them the opportunity to incorporate journaling into their routine.  They had an introduction to the conflict resolution material today, but will be working with online material over the week.

Our ag class has learned about the stages that a rabbit goes through prior to kindling (giving birth).  Today, the kids were able to see the fur nests that the bunnies created for their kittens (or 'kits' for short).  We talked about how the rabbit has eight teats, which she uses to feed her kits.  One of our bunnies, Honey, only had one baby.  Typically, they have more in a litter, but it is not unheard of in a first time mother, like Honey.  The class got a huge kick out of seeing the size difference between Honey's single kitten and Muffin's five.  Honey's kit does not have to compete for any of her mother's milk, and has a big belly as proof!

The class also was able to see how we are using our little piggie, Daisy, to till up our garden spot.  She did a wonderful job rooting up the weeds and roots in the flower bed, so we are using portable electric netting to move her to other spots in the yard.  A pig's gotta do what a pig's gotta do!


In Spanish class, Ms.Cindy helped the class go through their Spanish booklets, as a group.  The booklet correlates directly with a fun cd, which the class used to work through the material.  They sang, spoke, and seemed to really enjoy today's lesson!  After snack, Ms. Cindy worked with each group as they revised and practiced their skits.  Although there have been a few times when redirection was necessary, the students have done a wonderful job of staying focused, engaged, and excited about presenting their skits to the class!

In art class, Ms. Nancy helped those who were still working on their weaving projects.  They each completed them, and removed them from the looms to be displayed in class.  Some of the students were working on the "Starry Night" painting project, while others had moved on to an April Showers activity.  One of the things that always amazes me about Ms. Nancy is her ability to multitask students who are at different stages or projects.  It's truly a gift!

Speaking of gifts, Ms. Nancy's husband, Mr. Richard, once again gifted the class with goodies!  They had an impromptu pizza party today!  Mr. Richard, thank you!  You spoil us!

Thank you, Mr. Richard!!!