Friday, October 4, 2019

Week of September 30, 2019

This week was another great week for all! In science this week, students completed their first STEM activity of the year. During Science, students had to solve the problem, "how can you trap the most apples?" using only paper, a little bit of tape, and a lot of engineering. Students studied various natural adaptations animals have for collecting apples and used some of those ideas as inspirations. It was amazing to witness the camaraderie and supportive environment these students provide for one another. Each student who encountered a failure or difficulty used that as a learning lesson on what to improve and make their model stronger! 

In Math, we have continued working on our understanding of numbers. Students have been reviewing how to use a number line for both addition and subtraction. We discuss how to be efficient in our methods of solving word problems. Students have been playing many math games as well during our Math Workshops. This unit will finish up within the next week or so and then we will begin our multiplication unit!

In writing, students used their Touch-A-Truck experience from last Friday as inspiration to create their first personal narratives. Together, we took notes, organized our ideas and learned how to enhance these ideas into structured sentences in sequential order. These pieces should be polished by the end of next week. Stay tuned to hear about when our first Writers' Celebration will take place!

Questions to spark conversation:
-What living things did you or your class find in the woods this week?
-What challenges did you have to overcome when building your apple trapper?
-What was your favorite Touch-A-Truck vehicle and why?
-Explain what a "Make Ten" Fact is and how would that be helpful in solving 7+5?
-What book have you been reading during your WIN time? Who is the main character and how have they changed throughout the book?

Week of September 16, 2019

We began our week with a wonderful celebration! Our students have continued to show CSR behavior across all school settings, earning our classroom over $4,000 Otter Bucks! That's remarkable for this time of year and it was time to celebrate. Everyone enjoyed a day with their favorite stuffed animals as well as getting to wear their PJs to school! We have been finishing writing our first informational piece this week as well. We have continued our science unit about plants and heredity. In math, students have been building on their understanding of addition and subtraction to work with more complex number sentences. 

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Week of September 9th, 2019

Another week has come and gone. It certainly proved to be a busy one. It was a lot of fun meeting so many families during our Open House. I hope your child was able to show you around the classroom and explain how third grade works. In writing, students focused on building writing stamina. They were introduced to a writing technique to use if they get writer's block. As the weeks continue, students will learn more and more strategies to help push them as writers. In the forest this week we discovered lots of animals, including a caterpillar we had never seen before. We collected pictures of this creature (see below) and some students were able to use our iPads to post our findings on iNaturalist. We found out from a local expert this creature is called a "Lappet Moth". It was a very cool discovery indeed. In math this week, students are learning how Math Workshop and how to use a math menu. We will continue to build math games to play within the classroom. Any family that would like, we can also send instructions to these games home as well. 

Questions to spark conversation:
-Who is Mrs. Ela and what are you learning about with her?
-Where did you find the lappet moth caterpillar?
-Where is your sit spot in the woods? Can you describe it to me?
-How do you play Loops & Groups?
-What book are you reading in Reading Groups? Who is your favorite character and why?

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Week of September 3, 2019

Week two is officially in the books! We spent the week learning more about each other and our learning styles. Students were able to experience a true afternoon in the woods on Tuesday. Every child found their own sit spot. Here they will record their surroundings each week and make observations of the world around them.

Later in the week, students were able to create math glyphs about their learning preferences. Then, we graphed our glyphs. Here we found out some similarities and differences among our group.

During Reading, we discussed the idea of our "just right" books, is like that of our "just right" shoes. Not every shoe fits every person, and you wear shoes for different reasons. For example, a slipper is worn for comfort but not all the time. Some books will be referred to as "slipper" books. These are comfortable books that we might want to read from time to time, but as readers, they will not help us grow. Our sneakers are meant for every day. They fit us right now and they are "just right". Finding a just right (sneaker) book is important to support us as readers. These books fit us right now and will support us as we grow as readers.

We also practiced what spelling work will look like during a full week of school. Students do not know this yet, but the words they did last week, we will do again this week, with more practice. From now on, you can expect a new word list each Monday and students will be tested on these words every Friday.

In Science, we began our unit the plant life cycle and heredity. This unit develops the idea that by studying how plants reproduce and pass on their traits, we human beings have figured out how to make food plants even more useful to use. We explore the process of pollination and fruiting. Then students are introduced to the process of plant domestication. 

Friday, August 30, 2019

Week of August 27, 2019

We have all survived the first week back to school. This week has been full of returning friends, making new acquaintances, learning the ropes of third grade, laughter, fun, and excitement. These third graders are truly one of the kindest, most thoughtful group of kiddos I have ever had the privilege to work with. Many times throughout the week, I witnessed students looking out for one another, including others who were new and being honest with themselves and owning their behaviors. It was beautiful. I cannot wait to watch them grow as learners and more importantly, as human begins.

Getting together as a whole school to welcome back all students on Day 1

Morning Work time

As a grade, students worked in small groups, answering questions about how they would like third grade to be. 

Look at this line! These third graders show excellent expected behavior. 

Working on our bulletin board project

Nothing but smiles for these Rock Stars!

Sneak Peak: You will see it all at Open House.