Wednesday, February 27, 2013

A Hands Down Good Day

Language Arts-- Today, we began with a review of spelling list 21.  The students took turns trying to spell a word correctly.  Each correct answer moved our "firetruck" one step closer to the house in need!  They worked as a group to move the firetruck along the board... finally putting out the fire.  We discussed the need to drop the silent "e" at the end of words before adding the suffix "ing".  The class demonstrated this skill, individually.
Art-- In art class, we started a very big "Handmade Rooster" project!  We traced each child's hand onto construction paper... and then cut out over 50 copies of each!  Each child had copies of their hands, in many different colors.  We layered the green hands and formed tufts of grass.  The class cut out their own flower petals and parts, layering them, as well.  This will serve as the background for our rooster hand collages!  This is going to take us a few weeks, but I bet it will be well worth it!

History- Ms. Allison taught the class about the Great Wall of China.  They discussed how the wall was constructed, the size of the wall, and the motivation behind its creation.  The children watched a short video on modern "rammed Earth" construction techniques, which is very similar to the way that the Great Wall was constructed.  The class worked as a group to create their own little "rammed Earth" wall! Afterward, Ms. Allison taught the class about Chinese writing.  They copied some of the symbols, discussing their meanings.

Math-  In math class, we worked on adding the same digit multiple times.  The students have been working at home on adding repeating digits, such as 2 + 2 + 2.  Today, we worked with manipulatives to expand on this concept.  The kids added "3 groups of 4", "2 groups of 5", and so on.  I then explained to them that they were actually multiplying!  We wrote out multiplication problems on the board, and the kids demonstrated them with their multilink cubes.  We took it even further by learning that 3 groups of 5 is the same as 5 groups of 3.  The students did not write any of the answers or problems.  I simply focused on seeing that they understand by working with manipulatives and giving oral responses.  They will be using the lesson from today to complete their at home assignments for the next few days.

Spanish- In Spanish class, Ms. Rose brought in construction paper plates, place setting cards, and place mat replicas for the students' fruit card game!  They also made little "grocery bags" for their pretend shopping trip.  To play the game, Ms. Rose said a phrase which began with either "Me gusta" (I would like) or "Necesito Comprar" (I need to buy).  The Spanish name for a fruit (which the students have been studying in class and at home) followed.  The kids had to choose the correct fruit, and either place it onto their plate or put it in their grocery bag, showing that they understood the phrase.  Ms. Rose wrote the phrases on their pretend place cards to help them!  The kids will continue to study these words at home.  They will be adding other foods when we return!

Science-  Science class began with a review of the story, "Forest of S.T. Shrew".  The class summarized the story, discussing microhabitats.  They then drew a picture of their favorite microhabitat from the story.  Afterward, Ms. Caroline read the book, "Have You Seen The Trees" by Joanne Oppenheim.  The class had a discussion on trees types and their importance.  Then, the class each drew their own illustration of one of the trees in the book.

We recorded the students' recitation of "God Gave Me Eyes" today.  These will be compiled into a video for each child!  They did a great job with this poem.  As we recite, we are working on slowing down and speaking loudly and clearly.  Afterward, we reviewed different grammar definitions.  We focused on pronouns, reading the story of "The Three Little Kittens".  That story is chock full of pronouns!  The kids had to stand up or sit down each time they heard a pronoun.  They were up and down a lot!

The class took turns sharing this week's writing assignment on "Giving".  These were excellent!  I think that the tree graphic organizer really helped!
Happy Butterflies!

The class ended with the students compiling their booklets on the seasons.  We have been learning about the seasons and months, their abbreviations, and capitalization rules.  They were excited to bind their booklets together and add them to their writing folders!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The Giving Tree

Today was a big day! 

First we worked with alphabetical order.  The class put cards with animal names into ABC order along the floor.  Placing cards is so much more fun than writing words down!  We discussed the spelling list, talking about their syllables.  Learning how to divide words into syllables helps children to break large words into smaller, easier pieces.  The class worked with letter tiles to create "crosswords" using their spelling list!
In art class, the students learned to weave construction paper!  It was a little tricky to get the alternating pattern down, but once they did, it moved quickly.  Their weaved patterns were made into little bags... which was a huge hit with this group of girls!

In math class, we reviewed concepts on adding and subtracting one digit numbers from two digit ones.  We drew number bonds, bar models, and 10 rods and 1 cubes.  We talked about subtracting when your single digit number can come right out of your ones place (55-2=?) and what to do, mentally, when the ones place isn't large enough (52-8).  The next few days, at home, will continue to review concepts that the kids have learned so far.  Soon, we will be moving on to adding the same digit multiple times (3+3+3), which will lead us in to the concept of multiplication!

The class did an amazing job with their letters to those serving our country.  The kids wrote to thank them for their service, ask them questions, and express their love for their country.  I will be sending them out this week (and a copy will go in their writing folders).

In grammar class, we are finishing up our discussion on the seasons and months.  The class will be working on their final four pages of their "Seasons Booklet".  They have learned which months are in which season, as well as capitalization and abbreviation rules. 

Janet Gruel from the Georgia Farm Bureau came to class today to read the book, "Who Grew My Soup" by Tom Darbyshire.  The class discussed different vegetables, how they grow, and why they are so great!  The kids did a wonderful job of being polite and attentive listeners!  If we are lucky, they will go home and want to eat some nutritious foods!

In Spanish class, the kids worked on making their cards of fruits and their Spanish names.  Ms. Rose uses these cards for fun games that help the class to commit terms to memory!  They created and worked with their fruit cards in class, and will be watching a fun video at home to reinforce these words.

In science class, we have Leopard Frog eggs!   The eggs have not hatched into tadpoles just yet, but we will post any action that occurs before next week's class.  The kids talked about the life cycles of both butterflies and frogs.  Our butterflies are still safe inside their chrysalises, just "hanging out"!  The class read the story "The Forest of Shrew".  This story helped to explain habitats and micro-habitats in a fun way.  It introduced them, specifically, to tree habitats.  Ms. Caroline will be expanding on trees and their importance next week. 

For our next writing assignment, we will be using the book, "The Giving Tree" by Shel Silverstein.  I read the book to the class today, and we discussed the selfless act of giving by the tree.  We also discussed sequencing.  The kids were each given strips with different parts of the story written on them.  They placed these in order, gluing them onto construction paper.  After our sequencing activity, the students were given graphic organizers to jot down their thoughts on people who are 'giving' to them.  They wrote down the names of three people, and how each is 'giving'.  At home, they will be using these ideas that they brainstormed in class to help inspire them to write! 

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day!

Exploring and comparing shapes in architecture vs nature.
  Celebrating Abe Lincoln's (belated) birthday!

Sharing their writing assignments.
Spanish fun!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Preposition Chickens

 We began class a little differently today!  Because one of our classmates was visiting Washington D.C., we pulled out the map and globe.  The class learned about our country's 50 states.  We discussed how Washington D.C. is actually not located in a state, and why.  The discussion led to talks about the "lower 48", Alaska and Hawaii, and our bordering countries.  Looking at the globe prompted a lesson in weather at the equator vs the poles.  This little change in schedule prompted a new writing assignment, "If I could go anywhere in the world, I would go to..."  The kids will work on this at home and share them with the class next week!

Art-  In art class today, the kids continued to work on their "epic" Valentine's Day card project!  They finished the cards, and created envelopes for them.  They worked so hard on these, and it shows!

History-  Ms. Allison discussed the caste system with the class today.  At home, they had read about India, Buddha, and the Aryan migration from Asia to India.  The have learned about rice farming, as well.  Rice is a staple food in India.  Our class made rice today, eating a small bowl during snack time!  To end the class, the students made Indian rakhi, which are braided bracelets.  In India, these are given to brothers and sisters as a promise that you will always look after them.  The Indian people celebrate Raksha Bandhan, which is a day to express the bond of love between siblings.

Math-  In math class today, we practiced the mental math strategies that the kids worked on with the online videos at home.  At first, we worked with colored linking blocks.  They mentally added two digit numbers with one digit numbers, with and without regrouping.  They were able to look at 34 cubes (3 "ten rods" and 4 "ones") and then 8 single cubes and add them together by first taking 2 from the 4 ones to make the 8 a 10, and then adding in the leftover 2 ones.  By the end of the lesson, they were adding these quite well!  They worked on similar problems in their workbooks.

Ms. Rose had to be out to care for a sick child, so... The class and I went to check out the Netherland Dwarf bunny.  First, we stopped at the garden, where we picked some of the kale leaves that had begun to yellow.  Then, we delivered these kale leaves to the bunny!  She was a little nervous, so I told the class I would post a video of Honey Bunny's crazy dance moves for them!

Science-  Ms. Caroline began the class with an art activity about butterflies.  Our caterpillars are now all snug inside their chrysalises.  The class made chrysalises of their own... with a cute little butterfly inside!  The class has completed the biology material from Real Science 4 Kids.  They are now moving into Georgia Ecology!  The material for this unit will be from Project Learning Tree.  For more information, visit!  The class learned about shaped in nature.  Ms. Caroline took them on a nature walk, where they noted the triangle shape of the chickens' beaks and Copper's ears, the circular shape of a tree trunk, the oval shape of pecans, and the angular nature of some rocks. For next week, the class will be bringing in pictures from magazines of the 5 main shapes in buildings and architecture.  They will be comparing shapes in nature to shapes from man-made objects.

In Language Arts, the kids reviewed the spelling list that they have been studying at home for the week.  After a review, we played a game.  Hula hoops were placed in a line from one rug to another.  The kids all stood on one rug.  The treasure box was placed on the other rug.  In order for the treasure hunters to find the treasure, they had to hop from hoop to hoop... by spelling a word correctly!  This was a treasure hunting TEAM, which means they all had to reach the other rug in order to open the treasure box!

In grammar, we continued our lesson in the seasons and months.  They have learned that seasons are not capitalized, but that months and days of the week are.  The students each brought in the sheets that they decorated at home.  I am compiling them into their book of seasons!  We reviewed the list of pronouns.  Some of the kids already have the list memorized, but others are still working on it.  I wrote the list on the board.  First, the class had to stand up and bend their knees each time they said a word of the chant.  Then, they patted their tummies and heads.  Finally, they flapped their "wings" with each word.  In the end, we combined the knee-bend and the wing-flap for a seriously funny list of prepositions!  We briefly discussed common and proper nouns before moving on to rules on suffixes.  The kids added suffixes that began with vowels, and those that do not, to different words.  For instance, they added "er" to words like "flip" as well as "wash" and "whine".  They are doing a great job recognizing what needs to be dropped or added!