Chicken Group- The students checked their at home assignments at the beginning of class today. We then quickly reviewed the yellow and blue phonics charts. They seem to be doing a great job with the online videos, but they all made me promise to make my own video next time instead of finding one online! I promised to make tomorrow's video more fun and less monotonous! They also asked me very nicely if I would actually appear in the videos, which I have never done before. I may feel silly, but they were so sweet about it that I promised them I would overcome feeling goofy and show up in the next video for them! Ha!
Today's lesson was over the special sounds sl in sleep, sn in a snack, str in stream, and sw in swim. They used white boards to practice circling the special sounds and marking the vowels in different words. They also spelled some words that were not on the spelling list, but used the special sounds that they have been learning. I was very impressed with how well they did! It may have been because I bribed them with a skittle for hard work... but whatever it takes to keep interest and enthusiasm high! For spelling practice, the kids did a say/spell/say activity. As they spoke the word, they pretended to put a big hamburger bun on a plate. Each letter that they added to spell the word was another layer in the hamburger. They added a patty, ketchup, lettuce, cheese, and then when they said the word at the end, they placed the imaginary bun on top. This just gave a physical motion to help make the spelling practice more of a kinesthetic experience. At the end of each word, they chomped down on their imaginary burger. At the end of the spelling list we had an imaginary hamburger food fight!
Guinea Group- Today's class began with a spelling review game. At first, I gave each of them a few minutes to study the list. Then, they used white boards to write down words as I quizzed them. To keep interest high and everyone doing their best, I used a skittle to reward each word correct! The class broke up into pairs to work on their poem. They practiced the first three stanzas, and then tried them along with their puppets. Having the puppet in their hands cause some of them to forget their words! This was really good practice for their upcoming recitation videos. We will be working on finishing this poem in the next week, and should make the video!
Vocabulary (both groups) - The classes took each vocabulary word and made up new sentences for them. They took turns playing a game using their made-up sentences and the words in this list. At the end of class, they played their favorite game, "Think on Your Feet". Mr. Jim uses this game to help increase their comfort level with speaking in front of a group. The chosen student is given a topic. They then have to pretend that they are the expert on that topic, even though they may not know a thing about it. They have to speak for a solid minute without saying "um", which is not easy! Each of them has been doing a great job with this, and it is building some confidence and speaking skills!
History- In history, Mr. Jim explained the difference between B.C. and A.D., CE and BCE. It was a very tricky concept to grasp, but it helped to get the students on their feet, physically moving around to different parts of the room on an imaginary timeline. For some of them, it blew their minds to hear that years B.C.count down instead of up! It is important to be able to understand timelines and dates as we discuss history throughout the year. Today, each student was given a syllabus of history class. Because there are more chapters then we can cover any gear, we will be jumping around a bit. Mr. Jim wanted to give the syllabus to help parents look ahead to what we will be covering, and to understand the big picture of the course. Also, it will help parents who may want to jump ahead, read more, or dive deeper into each unit!
Grammar (Cow Group)- The cow group today added the Pronoun Grammar Card to their stack. Some of them forgot to bring their grammar cards to class, which makes things more difficult in planning a lesson! I explained to the students that it is their responsibility to be prepared for class, and hopefully my little speech on responsibility will help them to be more prepared next week! We went over the answers to the at-home worksheet from yesterday on commas in dates and addresses, which some also forgot to bring to class. (sigh) After working through some dates and addresses and their proper punctuation, the students learned how to use commas in a list. We made some really funny lists where the students could make up funny things they ate for dinner, or list things that the baby could do. These kids did a great job remembering to use the commas in the right places, even with their silly lists!
Grammar (Horses)- The horse group began by checking the work from yesterday's at home lesson. They all really seem to enjoy diagramming! I have been explaining that we always need to diagram the verb first and then look for the subject. This will hopefully get them into the habit so that more complicated sentences will be easier to diagram. The students learned about adjectives and the different things they can do. Adjectives describe nouns, but they can do so by telling what kind, which one, how many, or whose. We talked about the first three types in class today, and they will be working on adjectives that tell "whose" in the video lesson tomorrow. This class also made more grammar cards to add to their stack. I explained that although they are pretty easy now, they will be learning and parts of speech they have never even heard of before! These cards will help make studying easier!
Both grammar classes were given the same bonus assignment. Anyone who can tell me the list of pronouns without looking gets a prize! It is not a race, so each of them just need to come to me and say the list when they're ready.
At the end of the day, I gave the students a creative brain-break! They could choose an activity: making a comic strip story or creating a mandala design. I think this relaxing project was a much needed end to our day!