Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Inman Farm Heritage Days!

Morning Chores

What a gorgeous day we had today!

Right off the bat, the class learned a new word: intentionally.  They learned this because I intentionally (on purpose) did not feed our animals this morning.  Instead, we went over as a class to feed them, water them, and let the chickens out of their coop.  Along the way, we learned about their needs, their need to be protected from predators, and we even learned about catalpa worms!  We have a few catalpa trees that are full of the cute little caterpillars right now.  The kids loved it!

In grammar today, the class recorded their video for the poem, "Work".  We also discussed common and proper nouns.  It is taking a lot of practice to remember which nouns need to be capitalized and which ones do not!  We used individual white boards to practice this.

We have finished up with our letter by letter study of the alphabet in handwriting class.  The kids were given a little quiz to show that they are ready to move on to the weekly lessons and border sheets!  I am trying to get each one of them to slow down and focus on letter formation in handwriting class.  When they slow down, each of them write beautifully!

In math today, the class learned how to apply the part/whole method that we have been working on for weeks to subtraction problems.  This is simply a way to look at subtraction problems that can help with mental calculation.  The students worked on word problems for subtraction, and created their own word problems.  I explained to the class that although addition problems can be set up in different ways (2 + 3 = 5 and 3 + 2 = 5), subtraction problems cannot.  In addition, the two "parts" add up to the "whole", no matter what order they are in.  In subtraction, the kids learned to always begin with the "whole", and then subtract a "part" to find the other "part".

After we discussed each spelling word and the special rules that it follows (or doesn't), we played a game of "popcorn".  Each student took turns popping up and spelling a word from the list.  We will continue to use our Wednesday class as a review and follow up to the list that was learned and studied at home throughout the week. 

The kids had a great time sharing their stories today on their favorite hiding places!  Each of them took turns sharing their stories.  Even though it has only been 7 weeks, they have come so far with their attitude towards writing!  I am going to continue to "pump them up" on this subject... in an attempt to make writing fun!  After we listened to stories, the class worked on a dragon story... and a dragon booklet to keep it in!  Crafts like these are such a big deal to 1st graders!  They really worked hard on them, and were very careful to bring them home without squishing their creations!

In science today, Ms. Caroline taught the class about mixtures.  They learned about soluble and insoluble substances, and were able to see these in action!  According to the children, some substances love each other, and some do not!  I guess solubility is all you need.

Ms. Rose worked with the class on the months of the year, days of the week, numbers, and time today.  Each of them did an amazing job studying their numbers up to 31!  When they work hard at home, it really shows in class!  They used calendars and clocks as hands on prompts for their Spanish words.  They will be working on these words at home in the upcoming week.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Bunnies and Chicks!

Our eggs hatched!  We have 8 little maran chicks who will be joining us at our agricultural exhibit this weekend! 

Spelling- In spelling today, we reviewed list 3, which the students have been working on at home.  First, we discussed the rule, "When two vowels go a walkin', the first one does the talkin'."  A lot of the words in this week's list follow this rule.  As a review, we used letter tiles to create the words. 

Reading-  Today, we read from our "Fun With Pets" book.  Each child was able to read a portion out loud, as they felt comfortable.  We discussed some of the phonics rules that we encountered along the way.

Handwriting-  We went through lesson 26 today, as a class.  I explained to the kids that handwriting lessons are NOT about getting the page finished!  It is about practicing good writing habits, and thinking as you write each and every letter.  First, I made them put their pencils down.  They listened and watched as I explained the lines on the page, and where the letter is supposed to fall on each line.  They then used "sky writing".  They used teir finger to write the letter, correctly, in the sky.  Then, they were able to pick up their pencils!  I checked the letters as they went along, choosing my favorite letter from each child's page.  Compare today's lesson to earlier lessons in their book!  They can DO IT! 

Grammar-  We had a brief review of common and proper nouns today.  We will be working on this concept a lot!  Why?  Because it is tricky, and they need to hear it over and over and over again!  We will be making our video for the poem, "Work" next Wednesday!

Writing-  The class shared their writing assignments today!  Each of them did a wonderful job writing about their favorite food!  I hope that sharing the writing as a group, and all of the positive praise, is helping them to enjoy writing at home!  For their next assignment, they will be writing about their favorite hiding place. 

History-  In history class today, Ms. Allison decided to take some time to talk about current events!  She explained to the class that this is a big year... it is an election year!  The children learned who our presidential candidates are, and they discussed presidential terms and elections.  They will be talking to parents and family about the candidates and the election process. In November, the class will be going into their own little voting booth to cast their ballots!  After our current events lesson, the children ventured back to Egypt.  Ms. Allison discussed information that they have learned about Egypt from their reading.  They then created pyramids using sugar cubes and glue!

Math-  In math today, the students took a test.  This was the first in-class test for them.  I read through the directions out loud, and we all progressed through the pages.  They all did a wonderful job, not only with the math problems, but with sitting quietly and patiently, and raising their hand when they had a question!

Spanish-  Ms. Rose and the kids sang a song from their CD which names common objects in the room.  They discussed the words, and then they played a game where they had to go around and label objects!  They learned their Spanish numbers through 31.  At home, they will be working on review and repetition!

Science-  Ms. Caroline picked up where they left off last week.  They pulled out the red cabbage indicator and tested different substances to see if they were a base or an acid.  Then, the class combined some of the acids and bases and charted the results!  Not only did they learn about acids and bases, they learned about the scientific process and the skill of documentation!

Agriculture- It was a big agriculture day today!  Our chicks hatched... and we had a little Netherland Dwarf Rabbit in the room!  This is one of the bunnies that will be raffled at Inman Farm Heritage Days this weekend.  We will be raising money for our field trip fund!  To get ready for the big event, the class worked on a display for the lessons they have learned.  Each child created an animal or a plant from construction paper, and added them to the display!  We will have it up at the table this weekend... Look for it!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Candling Day!

Language Arts- Ms. Allison was not feeling well today, so I filled in!  The students and I worked on the "ck" and "ke" rule from Lesson 21.  Words that end with "ck" have a short vowel sound, while words that end in a "ke" have a long vowel sound.  I then gave each student a pile of words.  They sorted the "ck" words into their vowel sounds.  After completing our workbook page, we reviewed our spelling list.  Each child took turns reading the word, then spelling it out loud, and then reading it again.  Finally, we read to page 65 in our "Fun With Pets" books.

Grammar-  In grammar today, the students reviewed the definition of a noun (which they have memorized beautifully), as well as common and proper nouns.  We looked at nouns that are "places" today, giving examples of common nouns for places and proper nouns for places.  The students worked on capitalizing the names of cities, states, and countries.  They also learned that you place a coma between the city and the state!

Poetry-  The class is working on their new poem, "Work".  They did such a great job with their last one!  I'm excited to make another fun video in a couple weeks!

Math-  In math class, we have been working on memorizing math addition facts up to 10.  When we use number bonds and repitition, we are working on building a foundation for mental math.  However, it is also important for children to know how to "count up", as I discovered today!  Using a number line, the class learned to add by counting on.  At first, many of them wanting to count the number that they started on.  For instance, when adding 6 +3, they would want to count "6" as the first number!  They were able to learn that you always have to jump to the next number before you can count it.  We played a number line game using a number cube.  Each student took turns rolling the cube and then adding the number on the cube to their position on the line.  The trick was.... if someone landed on your number, you had to go back to 0!  Also, they had to land exactly on 10!  It took a while, but the kids were loving it... and adding!

History-  In history class, we have been studying about Egypt and Mesopotamia.  Today, we read a story about the beginnings of Israel.  This was the story of Abrahm, Isaac, Jacob, and the 12 tribes of Israel. 

Spanish-  In Spanish today, Ms. Rose worked with the class on numbers, sayings, and colors.  They playeda game where Ms. Rose called out a color and the class had to go find that color in the room!  One of the most helpful learning experiences in Spanish class is just listening to Ms. Rose speak.  When she speaks to the children, she mainly speaks in Spanish.  She uses hand gestures and context to help the class know what she is talking about.  Hearing the spoken language gives them a great foundation for learning!

Science-  In science today, the class worked with acids and bases in a science experiment!  They used a red cabbage indicator to determine whether or not various substances were acids or bases.  They charted their findings.  It was a bit stinky, but totally successful!  

Agriculture-  We squeezed in some agriculture today, because the embryos in our chicken eggs are big enough for us to see when we candle them!  The class saw squiggly little embryos kicking around in there!  We had a review of chicken embryo development before the big event.  I explained that today is day 14 of development.. which means they should be hatching next week! 

The Butterfly

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Numbers, Nouns, and The Nile

I think it must have been the holiday on Monday, but it took a while for the kids to wake up this morning!  Although they were all tired, Ms. Allison managed to get their blood pumping!  She led the class through a lesson in long and short vowels.  They worked on marking vowels with the symbols for long or short sounds, writing a slow, controlled letter in handwriting, and practiced sounding out words using the phonics lessons learned so far. 

In math, we are continuing our lesson on number bonds and addition "sentences".  Although the students may be familiar with addition problems such as 2+5, we are working on mental math strategies to make addition problems (up to a sum of 10) quick and easy!  This will help them so much later on, as they mentally add larger numbers.  We worked through some examples with number cubes, illustrating a "whole" that is broken into "parts".  I explained that addition problems are always the same.  Part + Part = The Whole.  After working through problems where we created number bonds and addition sentences, I showed the class that the whole number "10" can be divided into many different ways.  1+9=10, 2+8=10, 3+7=10, and so on.  This "whole" may be broken up into different parts, but it always equals the same number!  We worked through this with the numbers 8 and 6, as well.  Again, this may not be a new concept for some, but it will help them to get the practice they need to look at 7+3 and automatically think 10!  We ended class with a speed matching game with addition problems with sums up to 5.  They had a good time, even though they were being drilled with math problems!  Success!

In grammar today, the class reviewed common and proper nouns.  We pointed out common and proper nouns in various sentences.  At first, it was a little tricky.  For some reason, a lot of them wanted adjectives and verbs to be nouns!  But, by the end, they were picking out those nouns with ease!

Poetry- I took up the students' poetry illustrations today.  They also recited their poems for me, which I recorded for their video project!  Each child did such an awesome job with this!  I know they are going ot be thrilled to see their artwork and their voices come to life!

Writing- The class brought in their very first writing assignments today!  The assignment was to write about the eggs that were in the incubator.... which hatched to show a big surprise!   They loved sharing their stories, which is entire point!  Most were a sentence or two long, which is perfectly fine.  They were proud of their work and loved showing them off.  I explained that I will be keeping these writing assignments so that they can compare their first assignment of the 1st grade to their last writing assignments.  They will be shocked at the improvement throughout the year!

In Spanish today, Ms. Rose worked with the class on numbers, greetings, and shapes.  They love hearing her speak Spanish!  As they learned the shapes, Ms. Rose had them cut each one out of construction paper.  They did a great job!

Science class began by each student showing off the molecule that they created at home!  They did an awesome job of getting creative with this.  We had pom-poms, jellybeans, there was even some coconut involved!  Ms. Caroline then talked to the students about acids and bases.  They examined liquids such as lemon juice, talking about the different pH of each.  It's funny how exciting something like lemon juice can be if you are 6!  Science is just always exciting.  Kids love it!  They discussed the concepts found in chapter 4.  Next Wednesday, they will be beginning a 2 week long activity with acids and bases.  They will be choosing a household acid or base to bring in and show the class, as well!

History- We continued learning about life along the Nile River today.  The class learned about the food, clothing, and housing of early Egyptians.  They made another History Pocket today, where they can keep all of the material that they work on for Egypt.  We did a craft that taught us about life along the Nile.  The class cut, colored, pasted, and tied yarn to create their Nile booklets.  As they worked, I was reminded that activities like this do not only teach children about the topic, but they teach them how to follow directions, how to wait for instructions, how to cut in a line, and how to keep many consecutive instructions in your head while you work!  As we all know, these are not skills that we are simply born with!

It was another great day at our little schoolhouse.  I particularly love how the class enjoys to read silently when they are finished with their work.  Just reading... enjoying to read... and having a classroom full of peers who agree gives them all such a positive environment for learning!