Surprisingly the first month of the calendar year is over already.  The end of January also means some of our focus was toward semester final exams.  Now that they are complete, it’s time to get ready for the lunar calendar to begin.  What better way ready to celebrate than Chinese New Year!


Grammar & Spelling

In spelling class, we spent two units learning words that ended with -ed or -ing.  These words helped us to continue expanding our vocabulary for use in both conversation and writing.  It also allowed us to work on distinguishing between some -ed words that are past tense verbs and -ed words that are adjectives.  We also learned some words that have similar sounding endings but are spelled differently using -y, -ey, and -ie.  In grammar, we continued learning about more verbs.  This time we were introduced to the helping verbs of have and has.  With these helping verbs we learned which verbs have a brand-new conjugation, such as, have gone, has written, have eaten, etc.  We then progressed into more irregular verbs that commonly used in English.  Finally, we finished out the month with understanding how to use the word not in a contraction.



For science class, we reviewed all the materials we had learned over the previous months.  We did this through many types of review games.  These games helped us prepare for the exam.  After the exam, we went back to the textbook and learned about a food chain.  We learned how to identify and label the different organisms within a food chain.  Then we learned how multiple food chains can make up a food web. Finally, we observed how a food chain changes based on the habitat the organisms are living in.


Social Studies

Social studies class was conducted in a similar manner as science class.  We reviewed all the materials we had learned over the previous months.  We played review games to prepare us for the exam too.  After the exam, we opened our textbooks back up and learned about the evolution of transportation in the 1800s of western America.  We learned that travel was very slow and you could not carry many things in one trip.  However, with the invention of the stream engine many people could now travel farther and faster and transport more stuff than ever before.  They also had a breakthrough in communication with the invention of the telegraph.  This new device allowed people to send messages over long distances much faster.


Reading & Writing

Due to our final exams and how the first semester schedule ends our journal writings have recently been shorter than previous projects.  We finished writing our fairytales.  This story structure focused on developing a tale in greater detail.  We were tasked with using more descriptive sentences to provide a visual for the reader of the setting, characters, and other points of the tale.  We truly exercised our creativity and imagination.

Then we had a playful writing activity.  We had a blank comic strip to fill in.  This assignment allowed some of us to showcase our drawing skills and work on writing dialogue.  It also followed along with the story we finished in reading class.  The story was a work of nonfiction that showed us how an illustrator prepares and completes their work for a book.

The last writing piece for the semester was to share what we would or might do to celebrate Chinese New Year.  This journal entry focused on the practice of using the future tense.  Many of our writings expressed excitement to celebrate by being with family, preparing for the big sweep, getting red envelopes, and eating great food.

We hope you are just as excited about celebrating the New Year.  See you next year!