Wednesday, December 5, 2018


 Highlights from Today:

*South American countries test
*Took up Island of the Blue Dolphin pamphlet project (will vote on them next week)
*Discussed the new book, Hatchet and gave assignments for the week
*South America presentations, including music, art, food, handouts, and power point presentations!  Wow!
*Reading the journal entries from the perspective on an animal on the island
*Warming up a chilled silkie hen by the heater
*Vocabulary review
*Viewing and discussing the results of our petri dish experiment (and learning about yeast!)
*Finalizing our pasta ornaments and painting our next project
*Visit from a Costa Rican zebra tarantula, also known as the striped-knee tarantula
*Getting Miss Holly off topic telling crazy farm stories!

Wednesday, November 28, 2018


It was a super cold day today!  Brr!  We hung out inside during lunch and played board games, but still had a good time!

Today we began with a lessen in guinea hens.  We talked about how they originated in Africa, their purpose on the farm, and their funny personalities.  The kids compared them to turkeys, and I explained to them the hilarious differences between turkey poults and guinea keets.  They are total opposites in behavior!  The class read through their Farm Fusion stories as they had a snack, and then we proceeded to our language arts lessons.

The class is finishing up Island of the Blue Dolphins, and we had so much to talk about!  We reviewed the vocabulary words from these chapters and spent some time reading through their Reader's Journal entries about the Dark Cave.  At home, they are going to work on a final project for the book.  They will be creating trifold travel brochures for the island, pointing out the key features and getting creative with Karana's different spots on the island!  In class, they worked on a quick writing assignment where they put themselves in the place of one of the animals in the book and told about a day from their perspective.  Some kids finished in class, but others will work on them at home and bring them in next week.

We reviewed the different countries in South America.  This class is rocking it!  They broke up into groups and worked on a map labeling activity.  We will have a test over them next week, and I know it will be great!  

In science class, the class learned about hypotheses.  They will be creating their own regarding our petri dish experiment at home to add to their science notebook.  For the experiment, I explained the importance of sterile equipment and careful collection.  We swabbed the doorknob and swiped it across one dish, the faucet for another, and then we used Clorox wipes on both surfaces and reswabbed, each time with a new sterile swab.  We carefully taped up the edges to seal the dishes and placed them in a warm, dark place.  The class is very excited to see what pops up by next week!

We began a new project in art... pasta snowflakes!  They worked on creating a symmetrical design and then glued them together.  All of the extra pasta that had been handled was soaked in water and fed to the pigs, who will go to be processed next week.
I will take their projects and spray them with white and glitter before we meet again!


Wednesday, November 7, 2018


It's November... so it's turkey time!  The kids learned some turkey terms and some crazy facts!  We talked about everything from the behavior differences between turkey poults, chicks, and guinea keets to the way tryptophan makes us sleepy.  They took a few notes, asked a few questions, and began to get excited about Thanksgiving!

Next, we started our literature lessons with a vocabulary review.  The kids broke up into pairs.  They used whiteboards to jot down answers to vocabulary questions.  When you ditch the pencils and break out the dry erase markers, it keeps review fun!  Along the way, we talked about the sad, exciting, scary, and sweet moments in the last few chapters.  At home, students wrote about how Karana used things from the island to build her home, wall, and other tools and comforts.  We talked about some of the creative ways that Karana created her home.  Then, the kids were able to create blueprints of their own island homes.  It was a little tricky for some to grasp an overhead drawing, but in a short time, it all clicked!  They came up with different ways that they would create their island home, using only things found on the island in the novel.  They created keys to help others understand their plans, and we will share them next week!

I gave out the field guides today, and I had more than one student that was sad that they didn't have it during the week!  As they read the chapters in Island of the Blue Dolphins, they wanted to add so many things to their guides... so we worked on them a little bit in class.  I wrote suggestions in each one, and I will take them up again sometime before Christmas.  Some were so amazing that they deserved a trip to the prize box!

After lunch, the class shared Central America paintings, songs, foods, and poems.  This was such a fun day!  There were also a lot of awesome research projects that were shared today.  By the end, I had to limit all of the questions, comments, and exclamations... or we would have never finished!  How fun to share a project with excited and inquisitive peers!

In science, one of the kids' at-home assignment was to write horror stories that were based somehow on virus invasion of a host.  They really knocked these out of the park!  We were planning to read them in small groups, discussing them around the tables... but they begged to hear them all!  Not only were these creative (and creepy), but they illustrated their knowledge of virus replication!  They will be working on an activity in their science notebooks to review this lesson.  Then, we will dive into the wide world of bacteria!

The class learned how to paper quill today!  They are working with paper quilling tools and strips to create some Thanksgiving turkeys.  We will finish these next week!