Saturday, March 16, 2019

Personal Narratives

Third grade writers have been strengthening their writing skills and demonstrating their creativity composing personal narratives during writing workshop. Each week we read a mentor text, discuss the topic and ways the author brought it to life for readers such as using descriptive language, and then write our own personal narrative about the same topic.

Our personal writing unit started by first learning what this genre is using visuals such as this anchor chart...

Students learned the main idea is the "watermelon" and the supporting details are the "seeds". We demonstrated our understanding of this by classifying statements as either a "watermelon" or "seed" idea on a graphic organizer...

One of our personal narrative topics was "A Special Place". First, we read Owl Moon by Jane Yolen. Students gave examples of descriptions she used to bring her special place to live for her readers. One of her strategies we identified was using similies to compare things. Next, we created a bubble map of special places and students chose one to write about...
 After our rough drafts were completed we participated in peer editing to revise and edit our work. Finally, we composed our final drafts and shared them with classmates...

Other personal narratives we've written and will be writing are "A Special Talent", "An Exciting Live Moment", " A Family Celebration", and "Food and Family".  Students will create a personal narratives book containing their stories at the completion of the unit.

  Happy learning!

Monday, February 4, 2019

Math and Social Studies Exploration

Learning comes alive for students when they are provided with hands-on activities to engage their interest and allow exploration. 3rd graders were provided with this opportunity during our new math and social studies units.

At the start of our math unit on area students were given unifex cubes to calculate the area of a variety of shapes in square units...

Students then learned how to find the area of irregular shapes, how to utilize the distributive property to find the area of smaller shapes within a larger shape, and multiplying to find the area of a shape.One fun way to practice the latter is rolling dice and multiplying the numbers, then counting out the answer in square units on grid paper...

At the conclusion of our area unit we reviewed for our test using an interactive Brainpop quiz on the Smartboard...

In social studies, we've been learning about our country's early history. Activities included learning about the 13 colonies via Brainpop JR

Next, we studied the Revolutionary War, Declaration of Independence, and Constitution. Students examined a replica of the Declaration of Independence and were amazed at how the founding fathers wrote using a quill and ink. Students also examined dolls wearing colonial attire and tried on colonial clothing such as bonnets and caps...

Our unit also included learning about our country's inventors such as Thomas Edison and Alexander Graham Bell, and discussing ways we can learn about a community's history, shown in the bubble map we created below.

       Happy learning!

Sunday, January 6, 2019

Ringing in 2019!

The Third Grade Learning Spot has been ringing in the new year with lots of engaging learning activities!

Our class started our new division unit in math by meeting "Division Man" who taught us the steps how to divide. Students created "Division Pizza" booklets to learn what division means, strategies to divide, and solve division  word problems.

In Writing Workshop, 3rd graders utilized their creativity when they composed snowglobe stories about waking up trapped in a snowglobe and how they got out. Then, they created paper plate snowglobes illustrating a scene from their stories and decorated them with glitter glue and foam snowflakes. Our stories and projects are decorating our hallway bulletin board.

Wishing everyone a new year filled with good health, joyous experiences, and an abundance of opportunities!

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Hands-on Learning

Lots of hands-on learning has been going on in a variety of subjects the past few weeks. Our class began our physical science unit learning about the 3 states of matter (solid, liquid, gas), physical and chemical changes, and mixtures in a variety of interactive ways including using Scholastic Study Jams to learn about physical and chemical changes...
and classifying picture cards as a physical or chemical change...

The highlight of the unit was conducting a "Magic Milk" experiment to create a chemical change. Students observed food coloring drops didn't move in a bowl of whole milk...
However, when we added a few drops of dish detergent the food coloring "ran" to the edges of the bowl and then swirled together!
Our smart scientists figured out the fat in the whole milk reacted with the dish detergent causing a chemical reaction, which we observed as the rainbow swirls in the milk.

Our language arts unit on nouns also included lots of hands-on learning activities such as "Fishing for Irregular Nouns". Each student used a toy fishing rod to catch a magnetic fish with a noun written on it. The student had to change the singular noun into its irregular plural noun form such as changing "goose" to "geese" and "woman" to "women".
 Happy learning!

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Writing Workshop Mini Lessons

Our 3rd grade writers have been hard at work learning about how to generate ideas and revise and edit before we jump into writing specific genres. Here's some of the mini lessons we've completed...

Ways we've practiced generating topic ideas and details included using bubble maps and heart maps.

Learning how to form a paragraph containing a topic sentence, details, and a concluding sentence was a breeze using the "Stoplight Paragraph" method.

We learned good writers can stretch a sentence by answering the 5 w's...who, what, when, where, and why.

Editing and revising our writing will be easy-peasy when we use the C.U.P.S strategy.

Our class has also begun learning about our first parts of speech topic nouns, in many hands-on ways such as demonstrating our understanding of where the apostrophe goes in a singular and possessive noun using picture card prompts and Expo markers on the easel and and macaroni "apostrophes" and word cards.

Happy learning!

Friday, September 7, 2018

2018-2019 First Week Fun

The 3rd grade Learning Spot's school year is off to an awesome start! Here's some of the fun learning activities we did...

After reading First Day Jitters, discussing what having the jitters means, and reading a poem called "Jitter Juice" we drank some "jitter juice" while writing about a time we had the jitters...

The class reviewed place value in a variety of hands-on ways such as rolling a jumbo dice and writing the numbers it landed in in standard and expanded form and using manipulatives to show numbers' place value on place value mats...

 We familiarized ourselves with classroom centers such as our library spot...

The highlight of the week was learning about the scientific method (question, hypothesis, experiment, conclusion) doing an experiment called "Save Fred". Small groups used teamwork to figure out how to save Fred the gummy worm when his boat (cup) capsized. Students showed ingenuity when they designed "hooks" and "tongs" using paperclips to lift Fred, stretch out his gummy ring life preserver, and get him in it.

Wishing everyone a sweet Rosh Hashanah!

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Technology Tools

Teachers often hear jokes and jibes about having 2 months off during the summer, but we know that we spend it doing professional development workshops and planning for the new school year. One of the things my teacher brain has focused on this summer is learning about technology tools that enhance lesson plans and classroom management. Here's some of my favs:

Class Dojo

Go Noodle -Get your students moving in between lessons to burn off energy!
Remind -Classroom messaging app to communicate with students, families, and staff
Online Stopwatch-Variety of fun timers to assist with time management
Live Binders -Organize your teaching resources in an online binder for f-r-e-e!
Brainpop Jr -Subject videos followed by fun quizzes and jokes. Some videos are for free if your school doesn't have an account.
ABCYA-Games for grade pre-K through 5
Scholastic Study Jams-Reinforce math and science topics with animated videos

Kahoot -Create online review games

 -Create your own quizzes or use those created by other teachers.
Bookcreator-Create, publish, and share online books
Newsela -Current events articles from sources such as The Washington Post adapted to 5 different reading levels

Have Fun Teaching (all subjects)
Math Antics
Bill Nye the Science Guy
Make Me Genius (science)
Crash Course Kids (science)

Happy learning!