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!

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