Thursday, October 4, 2012

Playin' In The Dirt

Today was one big messy dirty day!

We began the day by taking a short trip over to the farm.  The kids have been learning about what animals need, and about the responsibility of animal ownership!  Whenever we have time, I love taking them over to take part in a few morning chores.  The kids love it, as well!

In language arts today, the class continued learning about compound words.  We took compound words apart to find their parts.  Also, we worked with the rule about "ck" coming after a short vowel sound (duck, lick, luck) and "ke" coming after a long vowel sound (cake, Luke, like).  Our spelling list for this week deals with words that follow this rule.

In grammar, the class played a game with common and proper nouns.  Afterward, we used capitalized proper nouns to write addresses.  The class learned about the purpose of zip codes, the comma between the city and the state, and state abbreviations.

In math class today, the kids learned another technique for subtraction.  We have been working on mental math strategies and fact families.  Today, I made sure that the students knew how to count back on a number line.  Many of us would take this skill for granted, but children often count the starting number when they count on and count back, which gives an answer that is 1 number short!  Over the next week, we will continue to work on subtraction skills.  It is my hope that the class will be able to commit the addition and subtraction facts up to 10 to memory.  This helps so much as math gets more complicated!

In history last week, Ms. Allison taught the class about elections.  With the upcoming Presidential election, the 1st grade class will be learning a little about the election process.  However, neither of us will be sharing any political opinions!  Instead, we are encouraging students to talk to their parents about the Presidential candidates and learning what they like and do not like about each one.  In November, we will have a mock election and let the children privately vote to see who the class would have elected!

After a talk about elections, Ms. Allison dove into the history lesson of Mohenjo-daro.  The class learned about the making of mud bricks... and the actually made one!  It was mess, but fun!  The class was amazed at the things ancient civilizations had to do by hand!

Science- Last week we talked about mixtures and mixing. This week we talked about UN-mixing. We UN-mixed mixtures. We mixed rocks and legos, then used a specific method (our fingers) to UN-mix. We mixed rocks and sand, then used three different methods to UN mix. We used chromatography to UN mix four different colors of food coloring in water. We used strips off coffee filters taped to our pencils to draw specific colors from the rainbow and water mixture. We UN mixed colors!!!!!

In Spanish class, Ms. Rose worked with the children on their Spanish numbers to 32 and months of the year.  They played a pretty difficult game.  Ms. Rose called out a Spanish number, and the class had to tell her which month it correlated with in the year!  Then, she reversed the instructions, giving them the Spanish month and having them tell her while month of the year it was, using Spanish numbers.  Afterward, the class worked on the spelling of the months.  Ms. Rose played another game with the class, similar to hangman.  She gave the class the vowels found in the Spanish month, one at a time.  The class had to guess which month it was... with all guesses in Spanish!  

Sometimes the integration of subjects can be surprising!  In agriculture class, the students were given rulers.  I taught them the difference between cm and inches, and helped them to measure lengths of paper.  They needed to know that you cannot simply measure from the end of the ruler.  You must measure from the 0 line!  They each measured and cut a length of paper to 1/2".  Using this as a visual aid, I taught the class how to plant carrot seeds.  Carrot seeds need to be planted 1/2" deep.  The kids were amazed at how tiny the seeds are!  I explained to the class that we will be planting the seeds in a shallow container, but will have to transplant and thin them into a deeper one.  Hopefully, the kids will be so excited to have carrots grow, that they will actually want to eat them!

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