Where We Are
It is hard to put into words the great excitement I have as a teacher to see the students meeting every challenge I set before them. What is more is that the students have no idea that they are facing these challenges. They simply see the challenges as expectations that are placed upon them by the teacher and they work to fulfill them. I decided to copy the poems in full. It is very impressive to see what the students are capable of memorizing in such a short period of time.
by Alice Cary
The leaves are fading and falling, The leaves to-day are whirling,
The winds are rough and wild, The brooks are dry and dumb,
The birds have ceased their calling, But let me tell you, my darling,
But let me tell you, my child, The Spring will be sure to come.
Though day by day, as it closes, There must be rough, cold weather,
Doth darker and colder grow, And winds and rains so wild;
The roots of the bright red roses Not all good things together
Will keep alive in the snow. Come to us here, my child.
And when the Winter is over, So, when some dear joy loses
The boughs will get new leaves, Its beauteous summer glow,
The quail come back to the clover, Think how the roots of the roses
And the swallow back to the eaves. Are kept alive in the snow.
The robin will wear on his bosom
A vest that is bright and new,
And the loveliest way-side blossom
Will shine with the sun and dew.
"The Arrow and The Song"
by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
I shot an arrow into the air,
It fell to earth, I knew not where;
For, so swiftly it flew, the sight
Could not follow it in its flight.
I breathed a song into the air,
It fell to earth, I knew not where;
For who has sight so keen and strong
That it can follow the flight of song?
Long, long afterward, in an oak
I found the arrow, still unbroke;
And the song, from beginning to end,
I found again in the heart of a friend.
The students continue to excell in math. We are firmly in addition, but in essence the students are also learning the fundamentals of Algebra as well. Some examples the students answer are 6 + ___ = 8 and 7 +___ = 10. They are having fun with flash cards, so much so, that one student eagerly asked me if I would quiz him with flashcards while he waited for other students to finish a worksheet!
Students also take a one-minute drill test every math class, which serves to track their progresses in understanding math facts of addition. Whereas many students were in the range of 5 - 15 problems per minute when we began in October, they are now capable of doing 12-32 problems per minute. That is a tremendous effort and growth.
The students had encountered the civilizations of Egypt and Sumer in the first month
of school. Since then, they have studied the Israelites, the Babylonians, the Assyrians,
and the Hittites. They love discovering the uniqueness of each culture. Anytime a
geographical location or historical figure is mentioned in a reading, the students be-
come greatly excited.
Memorized Israelite patriarchs: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Dan, Naphtali, Gad, Asher Isaachar, Zebulun, Joseph, and Benjamin.
Ur, Jericho, Haran, Canaan, Dead Sea, Jordan River
Babyon/Babylonia, Hammurabi, Code of Hammurabi, 1792 B.C., stele, Gate of Ishtar, ziggarauts, Ziggaraut of Ur
Assyria, Assur, Shamshi - Adad and his cruel reign (No student wanted him as her dad)
Hittites, Hatti, Hattusas, Asia Minor, iron smelting, chariots, "people of a thousand gods" etc.
The students continue to make great strides in phonics. They are increasing their reading speeds weekly. They are spelling larger words and learning spelling rules in the process.
In under a month, students have progressed in fluency from reading 10 words per minute to 30 words per minute with some reaching 66 wpm.
5 reasons for a silent final e
Base words do not end i (usually)
Doubling of l, s, and d after a single vowel (often)
12-14 spelling words a week
The students are learning to tell the story of the Bible. We are currently in the story of the Israelites finally reaching the Promise Land. They are really attentive to the stories and the outcomes.
Verses memorized to date:
Gen. 22: 7-8
Ex. 20:3-17 (Ten Commandments)
All the books of the Bible memorized (by mid-October!)
Shorter Catechism - Q1-10
The students are almost through the 6 major biomes. They can describe where in the world these biomes are found and what the general characteristics and animals are like in those biomes.
Temperate forest, deciduous trees, deeper roots, hibernation
Taiga, confierous trees, shallow roots
Tundra, permafrost, alpine, artic
Grasslands, temperate and tropical, burrowing animals
Rainforest, temperate and tropical, soil condition etc.
Music and Art
The students greatly enjoy music and art. Each class occurs twice per week. They are learning the fundamentals of each and are enjoying it!
Treble clef: All students can sight read the notes and find them on the keyboard.
Students can recognize the four instruement families both by sight and sound
Students are able to distinguish between instruments of the same family by sound
Students can construct shapes to make a drawing
Students use depth to make form (Florentine relief, recycled products, clay, etc.)
The students are learning so much more than just the content taught in the classroom, including respecting authority, conflict resolution, appropriate sportsmanship etc. We are having a marvelous time!
by Ebenezer Cobham Brewer
Little drops of water,
Little grains of sand,
Make the mighty ocean
And the pleasant land.
Thus the little minutes,
Humble though they be,
Make the mighty ages
by Laura Richards
Once there was an elephant,
Who tried to use the telephant-
No! No! I mean an elephone
Who tried to use the telephone-(Dear me! I am not certain quite
That even now I've got it right.)
Howe'er it was, he got his trunk
Entangled in the telephunk;
The more he tried to get it free,
The louder buzzed the telephee-
(I fear I'd better drop the song
Of elephop and telephong!)
"A Pin has a Head"
by Christina G. Rossetti
A pin has a head, but has no hair;
A clock has a face but no mouth there;
Needles have eyes, but they cannot see;
A fly has a trunk without lock or key;
A timepiece may lose, but cannot win;
A cornfield dimples without a chin;
A hill has no leg, but has a foot;
A wine-glass a stem, but not a root;
A watch has hands, but no thumb or finger;
A boot has a tongue, but is no singer;
Rivers run, though they have no feet;
A saw has teeth, but it does not eat;
Ash-trees have keys, yet never a lock;
And baby crows, without being a cock.
by M. Nightingale
Apples ripe and apples red.
Grow they high above my head.
Alack-a-day! for I am small
And apple-trees are mostly tall;
Dreary-me! But what is sadder.
Nobody can find a ladder.
Call a pixy, green or brown.
And bid him throw the apples down.
Pixy, throw them down as quick
Or quicker than my hands could pick!
One, two, three and now another.
Each one bigger than the other.
Pixies green and pixies brown.
Throw the big red apples down.
"Sea-Sand and Sorrow"
by Christina G. Rossetti
What are heavy? Sea-sand and sorrow:
What are brief? Today and tomorrow:
What are frail ? Spring blossoms and youth:
What are deep ? The ocean and truth.
"Bed in Summer"
by Robert Louis Stevenson
In winter I get up at night
And dress by yellow candle-light.
In summer, quite the other way,
I have to go to bed by day.
I have to go to bed and see
The birds still hopping on the tree,
Or hear the grown-up people's feet
Still going past me in the street.
And does it not seem hard to you
When all the sky is clear and blue,
And I should like so much to play,
To have to go to bed by day?