Thursday, October 19, 2017

Thursday, 10/19/17

Today, Farm News ended up changing my plans, and the class had some agriculture lessons this morning instead of reviewing our vocabulary list.  We always catch up on the happenings on the farm.  But, today there were so many questions, and I decided it could be a very interesting lesson all on its own!  They learned that Ms. Kitty (the mini horse) had her check-up on Tuesday afternoon.  The vet gave her and Delilah (the donkey) their shots, and it turns out that Ms. Kitty’s sore spots on her legs and nose were due to a fly bite allergy.  The class was very interested in the shots and how they were given.  We discussed the times where shots are needed, and I explained that some injections are given sub-Q and some are IM.  The students learned that the Q stands of cutaneous and that “sub” means “under”, so sub-Q means that the shots must be given under the skin.  I explained how, with goats, we can pinch up the skin to form a “tent” and inject easily under the skin.  They learned that IM stands for intramuscular, which means that the injection must be in the muscle.  This lead to a lesson in the use of cc and ml as equivalent units of measurement.  We talked about worming animals, and why it is needed.  They asked about tapeworms, so we talked about how to recognize if your pet is affected by tapeworms and what to do about it.  They were surprised to hear that fleas are a major cause of tapeworms in cats and dogs.  This is because affected tapeworms can be ingested by the animal, and the tapeworm will inhabit the new host.  It wasn’t the morning that I had in mind, but it was definitely educational!

In grammar, the Happy Horse group had a big review day today.  They reviewed adjectives and adverbs.  They diagrammed sentences with different types of adverbs, and we discussed each example.  We revisited the different ways to form plurals and practiced each.  As we continue with new concepts in grammar class, I will definitely keep reviewing past material.  This is the only way all of this information can be retained!  The kids will be working on some review exercises at home, and we will move on to new lessons next week.  The Girly Goats group also reviewed past concepts today, as we talked adjectives, adverbs, and conjugating verbs for singular and plural pronouns.  The class also revisited their lessons on first, second, and third person.  Although we didn’t move on to new material completely, we did touch on direct objects today.  They added this card to their grammar card pile, and we worked through a few examples of sentences with direct objects.  They will be practicing what we learned at home, and we will move forward next week.

In writing class, the students began by pasting their homework into their interactive notebooks.  They then created flaps in their notebook that correlate with their sentence lesson.  They have been talking about how to write descriptive and well thought out sentences.  Ms. Hilary explained to the class the importance of using descriptive words and vivid verbs.  They also learned that stories could begin in different ways.  Sometimes, you can begin your story with dialogue, with a location, with a time, or with an action.  To practice, the students wrote different story beginnings.  They are doing a fantastic job using what they are learning in writing class!

During history, Ms. Hilary helped the class learn the importance of penmanship in the 1600’s.  They were given an example of typical cursive handwriting for the Colonial time period, and they worked to see if they could duplicate it.  They also learned about the hornbook.  Because books were few and textbooks were scarce, the students during this time period often used hornbooks.  The boys were able to work on their cross stitch activity.  The class will continue their lesson on Colonial America next week!

Minerals, rocks, and sediment, oh my!  Ms. Sally had the class’s full attention today as they dove deeper into their lesson on the earth and its resources.  The kids were able to use their magnifying glasses to observe the differences between different types of rocks.  Ms. Sally taught them about sedimentary rocks, igneous rocks, and metamorphic rocks. The students felt the smoothness of river rocks and were amazed by the beauty of geodes. They looked carefully at fossils, discussing their formation.  They learned about the rock cycle and reviewed weathering and erosion.  In their science notebooks, they continued last week’s lesson on comparing and contrasting.  I absolutely adore how Ms. Sally integrates her science lesson across subjects.  For instance, she stopped during today’s reading to point out how the word “rearranging” has both a prefix AND a suffix.  She even integrated history into today’s lesson, as the students learned that the Native Americans used igneous rocks to form into arrowheads because igneous rocks are stronger and harder than other rocks.  They ended the day with a fun, jewelry-making activity!  Thursdays are awesome!


Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Tuesday, 10/17/17

We had a complete day full of grammar, vocabulary, spelling, math, history, and more.
Here are the highlights!

Learning about perspective with a fun BFG art project!

The class experienced what Colonial children entertainment!
They spent time cross-stitching and playing with simple homemade dolls.

The class had a great time making turtles from yarn and sticks!

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Thursday, 10/12/17

Our day began with a review of vocabulary list 2.  We talked about how some words (such as drift, permit, and launch) can be a noun OR a verb.  We corrected the vocabulary lesson that was completed at home, and talked through any missed problems.  There will be a test over this list on Thursday of next week!

For spelling, we began creating our own wordfinds.  First, the students chose their longest and hardest words and carefully wrote them in the boxes.  They created a crossword puzzle style puzzle.  At home, they will have the option to continue this spelling review and turn it into a word find.  We talked about how, in order to remember and study, it is important to use as many senses as possible.  We can listen to the words being spelling, say them, see them with our eyes, and write them with our hands.  If I could think of a way to taste the spelling of the words, we would do it!  Sometimes, writing the words can become tedious.  But, using things like graph-paper crosswords, letter tiles, or even dry erase boards, can make the review more fun!

In writing class, the students learned the formula for an excellent sentence!  They used descriptive words, vivid verbs, and lots of action to create the best sentences possible.  I love the way that the kids are really thinking about their word choice!  These are important skills that will definitely stick with them for life.  I tried to explain the the students today that some things we learn in class are facts, numbers, and trivia.  But, other things that we learn such as learning to write well, learning how to study, learning how to work in a group, etc, are life skills.  I love that we can be a part of their education and help them develop these skills as a group.

In grammar class, both groups have been working with adverbs.  They have tackled adverbs that tell how, when, why, and how often.  They diagrammed sentences with both adverbs and adjectives, which can get a little tricky!  Although we are following the book, I feel that it is very important to go back and review the previous material more frequently than the book does.  Today, we went back and talked about previous lessons, and I gave the students some "challenge sentences" to diagram.  This will hopefully help to strengthen their skills and help allow for a smoother year in grammar!  The older class has learned that sometimes, adverbs can describe adjectives or other adverbs by telling "to what extent".  These adverbs (such as too, so, very, really, etc) modify the adjective or adverb, and are diagrammed by adding another slanted line underneath.  We will continue to work through adverbs for the next few days.

Ms. Hilary integrated a writing concept with history today, as she taught the class about the art of persuasion today.  The students learned that you can use your words to persuade others to share the same opinion as you do.  They also learned the word "polarizing".  Some opinions that people have can be polarizing... and Ms. Hilary explained how, in England, venturing across the sea to colonize the New World was a polarizing topic.  At home, they each watched a video that briefly described the events and political atmosphere in England that prompted the exploration and colonization of the Americas.  It was a great overview to help the kids get a grasp of the "why".  The class worked on their own persuasive letters!  They wrote to a friend or loved one to persuade them to either come to the New World with them, stay in England, or to persuade them to let them leave for the journey.  They seriously knocked these out of the park!

In science class, Ms. Sally reviewed landforms, weathering, erosion, and weather concepts.  The kids were then able to create their own vortex, or storm, in a bottle!  They had such a good time trying to make the biggest, strongest tornadoes!  (My arms feel the burn!)  Afterward, the class had a short quiz over the material they have learned so far.  At the end of class, Ms. Sally taught the class a very important lesson: how to compare and contrast!  To spark their interest, the class was given a caramel and a piece of hard butterscotch candy.  They learned about Venn diagrams and other graphic organizers that help us to organize our thoughts and observations.  The students made observations about the two types of candies and documented them onto their diagrams.  This was an awesome lesson, and the kids loved it!

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Afternoon on a Hill

Tuesday, 10/10/17

Today was spelling test day!  These lists are getting harder and harder, and the kids are doing a fantastic job of studying and keeping up!  Although spell check is part of our world today, it's so very important for these students to have a strong foundation in spelling.  Not only does spell check not catch every mistake, but we definitely don't want to be dependent on technology for writing success!

After our math independent study time, the class learned all about adverbs.  Both groups have mastered adjectives that tell what kind, which one, how many, and whose.  Today, both groups learned that adverbs are words that describe verbs, adjectives, and other adverbs.  Adverbs tell us how, when, where, how often, and to what extent.  They added adverbs to their grammar card ring and will be studying these at home. Both groups learned how to diagram adverbs that describe verbs in class.  On Thursday, we will be adverb-diagramming-experts!

The class has been learning about the different reasons that settlers came to North America.  They discussed Jamestown and Plymouth and the differences between the British colonists and the pilgrims.  Today, Ms. Hilary began class with a sorting activity using index cards.  The class worked as a group to sort the cards, which helped them review the material from home.  Then, the class had a quiz over the material they have learned.  I think this was a very important day, as some of these sweet kids have never had a quiz or test of this kind before.  In my opinion, learning how to take a quiz is just as important as the material learned, if not more so!  Years from now, they will most likely not remember the dates or names that they learn here, but hopefully they will know how to study, how to discuss in a group, how to listen, how to switch from play to focus, and how to take a quiz!

In art class, Ms. Nancy helped the students work through a folding and cutting project.  Again, this was a great lesson in following directions and listening to detail.  The class used construction paper and glue to create slithery critters!  Without using any markers, crayons, or pencils, the class put together some amazing 3D creations!

During our agriculture time, we learned about the duckling hatch that was in progress!  The kids were able to see the ducklings that had hatched out of the eggs, and a few that were still in progress.  We talked about goat gestation, horse care, and how mammals' bodies know to make milk for their babies.  They learned about how the body releases hormones that control functions of the body, and we talked about the role that oxytocin plays in letting the goats' bodies (or any mammals' bodies) know to release and continue to create milk.