Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Our First Day!

What an amazing first day!

Both classes were eager to learn, well behaved, and an absolute JOY!  We spent the first part of the day just going over the basics...
  • How this class is a safe and happy place where everyone can relax because we all respect and are kind to each other
  • An overview of our year
  • An explanation of our "ticket" reward system (Keep your tickets and pick from the prize box!  YAY!) and
  • How our online assignments will work.
This four week session is about dairy goats.  The class made and recorded their own observations of the goats.  They learned terms such as "buck", "doe" and "kid".  We talked a lot about myths (they don't eat tin cans!) and goat behavior.  I told them how playful and curious goats are, and they saw a video clip of goats playing on a trampoline!  I love seeing kids' eyes just light up when animals are involved!

The class learned something about me.  I love to go off on a tangent and tell a story... and relate it to life, learning, and a lesson.  Today, they heard about how farms are not all silos and green rolling pastures.  Sometimes, they look like repurposed items (like our truck-camper chick brooders), ponds of tilapia, or wooded areas where 'pastured pork' can root in harmony with nature.  They learned that sometimes, tough choices are made for good and loving reasons, such as disbudding goat kids to prevent them from injuring themselves or others.  I believe that most life lessons can be taught on the farm, and I plan to do my best to make that happen!

We incorporated phonics into today's lesson.  The class learned that there are different ways to make the long o sound.  We talked about the 'o' in 'goat', and learned (or reviewed) the saying, "If two vowels go a'walkin', the first one does the talkin'."  For some younger students, this was a new idea!  So, we acted it out... with one child holding the "o" and another holding "a".  They learned that "ow" makes the long o sound, and that the 'e' turned hop (short o) into hope (long o).  They have a page to work on at home that reviews this concept.  I explained to each of them that there are some in the class who are older and will be able to easily complete the page, but younger ones will just talk about it with their parents.

Any child who wanted to could share their "All About Me" page.  On the very first day of class, I did not make anyone stand and share!  I am a firm believer in gently nurturing those who are shy, and helping them to feel comfortable enough to stand up and shine out in their own time! 

The kids will be working on writing assinments at home.  For some, this will be a simple sentence.  Some will write more than one sentence, and some will be filling the page.  I foster an environment of support and positivity, and explained that each one of them will be working to do their own personal best!  We will keep all of the writing assignments in their notebooks, so they can look back at their progress over the year.

I read the book, "Gregory the Terrible Eater".  Although this cute book talks about food and healthy eating,  the class pointed out that the author is basing it on the myth that goats eat garbage, metal, and household appliances!

Our craft for the day was to make a goat beanbag out of felt.  I explained to the class that the goal of this was not just to make a goat, but to practice following directions... closely!  They each did an absolutely wonderful job!  We will finish these up next week, and add more animals during the other 'workshops'.

I hope these two groups had a great day, because Ms. Holly sure did!

1 comment:

  1. Well so much of what she told me makes sense now! She told e about friends for her goat bag, the chickens living in a camper, and the goats on the trampoline! She's also super excited about homework. Thank you for he amazing opportunity!