Welcome to our eighth newsletter of the year! April is nearing it’s end and the weather is warming up for summer. This month the class and I worked very hard to progress in many of our classes. We made some real strides in sentence construction due to our review week in our sight words classes. The weekly topics were Birds and Reptiles, Ocean Animals, Habitats, and Farm Animals. The themes this month were somewhat focused on the vast arrays of animal life around the world. We have also continued our focus on conversing with full sentences with good pronunciation, and have also continued work on proper speaking rhythm.
Our first weekly theme was birds and reptiles. The students seemed to learn a great deal during our discussion about this week’s theme. They demonstrated their knowledge about the parts of many of the different animals, and the types of different birds and reptiles, the differences between them. During role-play, we worked to build our understanding of endothermic and ectothermic animals by acting out the differences between both. It was a wonderful week.
The second week in April focused around ocean animals. The students had a great time learning the differences between the many parts of the ocean, and the way they affect the animals that live there. We also had a chance to build upon what we worked on during the previous week during our classification of the different ocean animals. The students also had a great time cleaning up after our fake oil spill during our science class. It was wonderful to see the children so focused on keeping our environment clean.
During the third week of lessons we focused on all of the nuances and differences between all of the habitats found in the world. We worked to distinguish them by climate, environment, plants, and animals. This was a very fun week for the children because we were able to use the children’s love for animals to liven up our brainstorm.. During our science lesson the children had a lot of fun creating a three dimensional habitat diorama for two of the biomes we covered in class.
The final week of lessons was about farm animals. The students did an amazing job at recalling all the material we had learned prior to this week while we did our brainstorm. They seemed to greatly enjoy learning about all of the different names for male and female animals, and about all of the products that come from them. They had a lot of fun during our science lesson when we made milk from cream and shared it with the class.
The writing samples included are from our work in our journal lessons. We usually use our journal exercises to expand upon the material we learn during the weekly introduction and make it personally relevant. The topics covered in the samples were ocean animals, and English strengths and goals. During the first sample I had the students try to write what their lives would be like as ocean animals. In the second sample I had the students try to write about their English strengths and ways that they can improve. This month they seem to have gained quite a lot of confidence in their writing, and it is great to see them take advantage of this.
John Joseph Miller