This week, we did a lot of finishing. Finishing books, finishing science projects, giving tests, etc. That was pretty hard on the kids, but I tried to mix it up with some fun things as well.
In language arts, we finally finished all our non-fiction books. Some of the kids books turned out very well because the put a lot of thought and effort into the project. Other kids just goofed around, had to spend recess finishing their book and received poor grades. We also made long /a/ word lists. Students called out long /a/ words and we put them in categories: a_e (i.e. cake), ay (i.e. play), ai (i.e. maid), other (i.e. great). The kids were having trouble generating some -ai- words so I thought I would help them out: “How many of you have gone fishing? What do you use to catch fish?” One of my kids shouted out, “Rats!” I made a good solid effort not to burst out laughing, but then someone said, “What are you trying to catch?!” and I just fell apart. Eventually, I recovered and someone called out “bait.”
In math, we started number patterns such as counting by tens, and counting forwards and backwards using a hundreds chart. Many of the kids get it and many of the kids don’t. We’ll work on it once we get back.
In social studies, we’ve been discussing maps. Students have learned about: lakes, rivers, oceans, mountains, valleys, plains, and hills. We’ve learned that water is colored blue and land is green or brown. Students also practiced making their own maps with symbols, a key, and a compass. I drew an example map, explained what was necessary, and then released them to created their own map. One of my speediest workers (who also loves being the first to finish) came up to me two minutes later with a scribbly picture that was not colored, did not have a key or compass, and was really illegible (even to me). I was frustrated and said something that I swore I would never say to a child.
This is trash.
I still can’t believe I said it. It really was complete garbage, but there were so many other things I could have said, like “This is unacceptable. You need to do it again and follow directions.” I said both those things to him after my initial comment, but still. Wow. I should have moved down to yellow for that.
In science, we’re studying different types of soil: clay soil, top soil (or loam), and sandy soil. The kids still need a lot of practice identifying the different types and explaining the differences between them, but they’re really enjoying the lesson, which is really great for now. We’re also learning that all soil is composed of the same things: organic matter, inorganic matter, water, and air.