Wednesday, December 13, 2017


After our spelling test and math time, the classes split up for language arts groups.  The Girly Goats group worked on prepositions.  They will be memorizing the preposition song at home... and many of them have already started working on it!  The group then learned about prepositional phrases and objects of the preposition.  This is a new concept for the year, and we will be working with them a lot in the upcoming weeks!  The Happy Horses reviewed the four types of sentences.  Last week, they learned about commands, and how commands have an invisible subject: you.  We reviewed the way to diagram commands before moving to questions.  They learned that, in order to diagram a question, it is easiest to rearrange the words in the sentence to form a statement, instead.  This will keep the subject from hiding!

In addition to learning information and gaining knowledge, we are working on important skills that the students will need in any class or group learning environment.  It's close to Christmas break, so the kids were understandably excited and active!  We talked about how extremely important it is to refrain from shouting out everything that you think.

It's great to have excitement and want to share stories, but only when the time is right.  In the past, we used the example of "changing channels" to adjust your behavior.  You have a play channel, a quiet learning channel, an activity and "doing" channel, etc.  We will keep using this example to help the kids remind themselves to grab those remotes when they need to switch gears!

Another important lesson is responsibility.  Today, it was obvious that a few of the students did not remember the parts they were given in their BFG Reader's Theater activity.  The parts were given in class, but they also went through and practice reading through the script, reading their assigned parts.  There was no reason for me to have to add the parts to the homework site.  At this age, with a little bit of focus and attention, they could remember which part they read and were assigned.  More importantly, I pointed out that it is important to be responsible.  If the at-home assignment is confusing, or if there is a problem with it somehow, contacting the teacher would be a more appropriate response than just ignoring it or trying to more quickly and check it off the assignment list.  I think they now understand that, although some assignments involve reading or studying, they are still important and much actually be done.  When someone has not read through their grammar cards in weeks, it is obvious.  When someone does not practice and work on their Reader's Theater parts, it is obvious when they do their presentation.  I think today was a big day for big lessons, and I know that they will step it up for second semester!

Thursday, December 7, 2017


We have had a very busy week!  We've worked through spelling and vocabulary lists 

(tests for both will be on Tuesday), grammar lessons on prepositions and types of sentences, study of the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights, and more!

The kids have been enjoying spending time with the animals this fall, and they have even decided to help with some of the farm chores.  I love that we can spend time outdoors, even when it's a little chilly!  Today, someone left the gate open and our mini-pig, Sprinkle, escaped.  The kids worked together (with the help of a chunk of a pumpkin) to get her
back where she needed to be!

The first group made comic strip that used at least one of each of the four types of sentences.  The second group has been learning about prepositions, so they had to illustrate & describe 6 different scenarios using various prepositions.

Ornament Fun!

The water cycle!

Types of Clouds

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Thursdy, 11/16/17

We began our day with the recording of the poem, Afternoon on a Hill.  The kids worked for weeks on this one, and they did a fantastic job!  We will be stepping things up with a longer poem after Thanksgiving break.

After a spelling review, the groups both learned the definitions to the words on their new vocabulary list.  We talked about the multiple definitions that were tricky,  such as in the word "contract". (It can be a written agreement, a verb meaning to get smaller, a verb meaning to catch a disease...)  The kids will be working on list 4 for the next couple weeks.

In writing class, the kids have been learned how to write expository paragraphs using a color coded system.
In grammar, the groups both reviewed predicate nominatives, direct objects, and predicate adjectives.  While the Happy Horses mainly focused on review, the Girly Goats expanded on Tuesday's lesson on the four types of sentences.  They learned that commands, or imperative sentences, have an implied subject.  The subject of commands is an understood "you".  We diagrammed some sentences of this type today.

During history, the class compiled the information that they have been collecting and pasted them into their interactive notebooks.  The group talked about the different sides of the Revolutionary War, and turned in their expository paragraphs on famous patriots.  To wrap it up, the Patriot spies worked with partner spies to complete a mission using their secret message masks.

Today was science day with Ms. Sally!  The class talked all about pollution and conservation.  First, the used a mixture of oil and water, as well as the scientific method to come up with ways to clean up an oil spill.


Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Tuesday, 11/14/17

After our spelling and vocabulary tests, the class jumped right into Language Arts.  In grammar, both groups reviewed their at home review sheets.  We went over each question, making changes and having discussions as we worked our way through.  It is important to me that the class does not allow my extra review to stress them out!  I enjoy challenging them to take things a step further.  But, no learning can take place if students are overwhelmed!  I will continue to bend and flex as needed to work our way through these grammar topics. 

Both classes are doing a fantastic job of pointing out predicate nominatives and direct objects in sentences.  However, I can tell that we need a little more practice recognizing state of being verbs versus linking verbs.  We will be stepping back to review this more!  The Happy Horses group learned about Predicate Adjectives today.  The Girly Goats had an overall review before learning about conjugating irregular verbs.  Next, they reminded themselves about the four types of sentences.  Over the next couple weeks, they will be learning to diagram each of these types.

In literature class, Ms. Hilary taught the class about character development.  She explained that characters show us their thoughts, words, feelings, choices, and actions to help us get a clear idea of what the expect from them.  They talked about different characters and how the reader is able to get to know them.  In the BFG, the class discussed the way that the author helps us to understand Sophie’s personality, without simply telling us what she is like. 

During history, Ms. Hilary taught the class about the importance of spies during the Revolutionary War.  The class watched a short video about the role of spies and the different techniques that were used to help win the war.  Then, the kids each worked on creating their own hidden message using the mask technique.  These were tricky!  The kids had to write two letters and the same time…  one that everyone could see, but another that expressed their feelings about their parents being patriot spies.  They did a great job with this!