Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Elizabeth Gaskell -- author

Click on the above link to join a blog hop on Elizabeth Gaskell, author of North and South, and Wives and Daughters.  Read about her works and life.  Also find links to various resources on the web.

Now if only I had time to spare to really delve into these links.  I should like that -- but no...I have a new SMARTboard to get to know and a visit from the independent school director early next week!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

New Books

New books in the classroom!  I brought them in, put them down, and the kids were there.  They enjoy going through them as much as I like going through the tables at the Rotary book sale in Brandon.  There was a great variety of books this year.

I liked how the two boys were so into the non-fiction book on building bird houses.  Even the girls kept coming closer for a look!  One kindergartener found a spot under the table near the books to browse and 'read'.  The book-loving readers found one they liked and drew back to a quieter place with it.

I used to go through the books and pull out the good read-alouds.  Not anymore.  They now pick and read the books themselves if they see it before I read it to them -- otherwise they will not.  So I get better mileage out of them this way!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Hi all!

Well I'm still in a back-to-school mode, and from past experiences this will be going on for a few more weeks.  I settle in when the kids do.  Once routines have been established and we have all fallen into our daily schedule, the school day becomes easier for us all.

I have 10 students again this year from k-3.  We started our year with a general theme on ladybugs.  In math, we have done math facts, odd and even numbers with them, and forward and backward counting.  Next week we will be doing doubles, doubles plus 1 and 2 and hopefully at some time also cover the subtraction strategies that go with them.

I also have an activity set with ladybugs which comes from Spectrum Math.  I got it last year and mislaid pieces of it so I couldn't use it.  That is actually what brought on my theme.  I found the missing pieces when doing the big clean up and planning began.

We now have a ladybug farm in our class which is interesting to watch, even for me.  Still, I can't wait to set the poor critters free.  Though I might be convinced to keep them and see if they actually hibernate.

This site has among other great math activities, a set themed around ladybugs.

I found this glyph activity there.

Of course there's always Eric Carle's The Grouchy Ladybug, which I used to introduce the theme.  It gives a good intro to ladybugs and aphids.  Interestingly after searching for some ladybugs for a few days, it was the students who found many on aphid infested Canada thistle.

Other then school, I have been busy gathering herbs for tea and for winter projects.  Hopefully I will still be able to gather chickweed for salves and more stinging nettle for our tea supply.

Seen from left to right, ground ivy, yarrow, anise hyssop, and field mint.  Except for the ground ivy which is taking over the grass in our backyard, these are picked in the fields.

Close up view of the anise hyssop.

Flower gardening is just about over for the year.  I pulled out the annuals yesterday.  After a few mild frosts they aren't too pretty.  Other than bulbs to dig out to over-winter and  pots to clean up, we are done with the yard for this year.  These are probably the only showy plants left;

Joe Pye weed which is always gorgeous,

and a white dahlia, new for this year and so pretty.  

Monday, September 6, 2010

On my Father's Side by the Village Singers

Disable the music at the bottom to listen to the song.