Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Putting Special Sounds to Song

Writing-  I always love listening to the kids read their writing assignments!  The class and I made a little semicircle of chairs, and attentively listened as each child read their stories.  Because of last week's field trip, we had two stories to read... and they just love sharing them aloud!
Spelling- We reviewed the two special sounds "ch" and "tch".  The students kept getting the letters of "tch" mixed up, so I made up a song to help!  The class sang it, danced it, and even made a video.  I don't think they will forget the ways to spell that sound!  We then used letter tiles to work on the words from this week's list.

History- In history class, we discussed the last chapter, and then continued reading about the evil Roman emperor, Nero.  The class was really enthralled with the story of how he partied while Rome burned.  They couldn't believe that, in order to keep the people of Roman from focusing their anger on him, he lied and told them that the Christians set the fire.  We talked about times that people do this type thing, on a smaller scale.  The class will be learning more of the persecution of Christians during this time in their at-home reading.

Agriculture- Today, the class was able to go and spend time with the new baby goats!  They played with them, cuddled them, and fed them a bottle of fresh goat's milk.  They even were able to learn the steps involved in milking goats... and each took turns milking Greta!

Math- In math today, we talked about estimation.  For a group of young children who really like to be right, this was a difficult concept to grasp!  They desperately wanted to count everything, and to be exact.  We discussed techniques that can be used to help estimate, such as counting a small section and then using that knowledge to extrapolate an answer.

Science-  In science, the class has been learning about habitats.  Today, they talked about basic needs, comparing the needs of wild animals, pets, and humans.  They were surprised to see that the needs of the three groups are essentially the same!  They zeroed in on shelter.  The class talked about different homes that animals build, including nests for birds, dens for foxes, and lodges for beavers.  They even watched a short clip where a man dove down and went inside a beaver lodge!   The kids will be talking more about basic needs next week, and will be drawing a floor plan of their home for class.  This will aid the discussion of shelters and needs!

Language Arts- The class reviewed contractions today, which is a lesson that we previously covered in class.  We talked about regular and irregular contractions, and wrote many examples on the board.  We also discussed the next type of sentence in our grammar lesson:  questions.  They are doing such a great job pointing out statements, commands, and questions!  Our lesson on the types of sentences led to an excellent discussion on manners.  I explained that, although "Get me cereal, please," uses "please", it is not the most polite way to get cereal.  Forming a question is always more polite!  We took turns changing commands into polite sentences.  This wasn't exactly part of the grammar lesson, but hopefully it will make for happier breakfasts!

Poetry-  The kids recorded "Mr. Nobody" today!  They worked on illustrations that will be compiled into their very last poetry video.  I should have them ready very soon!

We reviewed all of our lessons for today with a little treasure game.  The kids had to answer questions to jump their way to the treasure chest!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Making a Statement

Our spelling list for the week was a review of root words and suffixes.  We talked about the rule for adding suffixes that begin with a vowel to root words that end with a consonant following a vowel.  So, the class turned "hop" into "hopping" by adding an extra "p".  The, we reviewed the rule about adding suffixes that begin with vowels to words that end with "e" after a consonant by dropping the "e".  This changed "hope" into "hoping".  We worked through many examples of these.  They used letter tiles to practice spelling different words.

Art-  In art class, we continued to work on our massive rooster collage!  These are looking awesome!  Most of the day was spent tracing and cutting, as they all needed to gather enough hand cutouts to create the body and head.  We will put the body together next time we are in class!

History-  Ms. Allison discussed Julius Caesar from their at home reading.  Then, she taught them about Caesar Augustus.  This leads up to the beginnings of Christianity, which they will begin in the next lessons.  To help the class remember how popular Caesar August was, they made calendars for the month of August, which was named after him.

Math-  Before the break, the class learned how to tell time on an analogue clock.  They created their own clocks, with movable hands, to help them as they worked at home.  Today, we talked about estimating time.  Instead of telling the exact time, they were able to look at the clock and tell what time is was near.  For instance, 8:10 is about 8:00.  They also learned the concepts of "till" and "past" in telling time.

Agriculture- Spring is here!  We reviewed the incubation times and requirements for guineas.  Unfortunately, none of our turkey eggs were fertile, which was due to it being too cold last month.  However, the guinea eggs are progressing nicely, and are due to hatch on Tuesday!  The class took a stroll over to see the pregnant does and their rapidly expanding udders today.  Gretta is due on Tuesday, and June is due on the following Sunday.  We discussed characteristics of mammals, including producing milk for their babies.  The class then learned the proper technique for milking.  It's tricky to master, as just "squeezing" the teat will cause the milk to flow back up into the udder.  You must begin the "squeeze" at the top and work your way down, but without pinching!  We used a glove to demonstrate the process.  It took some practice, but they did a great job by the end of class!

Science- Schoolyard Safari that extended all the way to the zoo.  To prepare for our field trip to the zoo, the kids went on an animal hunt.  They weren't just looking for animals, but they were looking for signs of animals.  They saw a wasp nest, which meant that wasps had been there.  They saw bees, chickens, goats, bugs, cats, and even fish in the fish pond.  The class created a Schoolyard Safari Survey, documenting their findings.  Ms. Caroline had an excellent discussion with the class about each animal and the different habitats in which they are found. 

Language Arts- Before the break, we had discussed the definition of a sentence.  The class also learned about sentences and sentence fragments.  At home, the class learned about the first of four types of sentences: statements.  Today, we discussed statements, and how they simply give us information.  The kids each drew scenes, and then came up with different statement sentences that described their scene.  This was a great way to practice writing complete sentences, using capital letters, and punctuation.  The class also learned a little about fact and opinion.  We worked through a reading exercise, answering whether or not different passages from the story were facts of opinions.