Today, the school room was transformed into the United Nations Conference! The students represented their countries during the conference, making trade deals, developing allies, and working out global issues. The conference, presided by the chairperson, Mr. Jim, was a complete success. Not only did the students learn about their specific countries represented, they also learned the meaning of words such as import, export, ally, delegation, treaty, and more. The class even integrated a little of our agriculture knowledge into their trade agreements! Over the last couple weeks, the students have been learning the formality of procedures in a conference setting. They put this knowledge into action today. I was very impressed with their performance. The future is bright!
After the Guinea Group completed today's spelling review, we talked about the characters in our Ivan book. Each student has been doing a wonderful job with their journal for this novel, and they really love to share their thoughts with the class. The older students have been working on diagramming select sentences from the book, and this at-home work was corrected today. We read on a little further today, and the students will be finishing this book up very soon! At home, they will be studying the new vocabulary for the upcoming pages, and we will discuss these in class on Thursday.
The Chicken Group reviewed the new spelling list. I have been trying to get the students to slow down and focus during their study time. Children so often want to hurry through and simply check things off of their to-do list, without taking the time to master and learn the material. Today, they had to slow things down, use multiple senses, and maximize the effectiveness of their study time. They looked at the words with their eyes. They spoke the spellings of the words with their mouths. They listened to each other with their ears. They also used their hands to write the words. I know it isn't the most fun lesson in the world, but I believe it is important to teach not only the skills needed for studying, but also to teach the students that flying through an assignment without learning is actually a waste of their time!
The entire class learned about points of view today. After reciting their pronoun list, we discussed the use of pronouns in stories, and how they can give us a clue as to whether the story was written in 1st person, 2nd person, or 3rd person. Once they understood this concept, each of them wrote a story about one of the animals on the farm. The stories were written in 3rd person, and each child shared their paragraph with the class. Next, they each rewrote their story in 1st person. They really did a wonderful job with this activity, and they thought it was pretty fun!
For science, the class was excited to see that their beans had sprouted! They were able to sketch the parts of the plant, clearly seeing the cotyledon, roots, and leaves. We discussed the difference between vascular plants and non-vascular plants, and the students will be moving on to animals (both invertebrates and vertebrates) tomorrow!
As a side, the class was introduced to some little friends today. The Farm Bureau has been working to educate children about the plight of the monarch butterflies. The class was upset to learn that the monarch butterfly is becoming endangered! They understood that monarch butterflies are an important pollinator, and need our protection. The class discussed reasons for their decline, including the loss of milkweed, loss of habitat for migration and breeding grounds, and the use of pesticides and herbicides. Thanks to the Fayette County Farm Bureau, our class hopes to help by releasing our butterflies when they emerge! The students planted wildflower seeds, and we should have milkweed and butterfly bushes planted shortly. Let's all work together to help the monarch butterflies!