Monday, September 25, 2017

Spetember Scoop

Even though it still feels like summer outside we've been busy learning in fun ways here in The 3rd Grade Learning Spot! In math, we've been reviewing how to regroup when adding and subtracting in a variety of ways including playing "Subtraction Sponge Toss"...
"Pin the Tail on the Double Digit Donkey"...
 and "Triple Digit Spinner Subtraction"...

After our addition and subtraction assessment we'll show what magnificent mathematicians we are when we begin learning MULTIPLICATION! Be on the lookout for our multiplication folders, which will have a times table chart, definitions, strategies, and the lyrics to the multiplication songs we learn in class.

In language arts, we've been learning about the 4 types of sentences (declarative, interrogative, exclamatory, imperative) in a variety of ways such as creating "Four Types of Sentences Flip Books" and playing "Spin a Sentence" to demonstrate we can create sentences for each type...
We've also been studying subjects and predicates in sentences. One of the activities we did to show we can identify phrases as the subject or predicate of a sentence was classifying sentence strip phrases on a whiteboard t-chart...

In science, we've been showing how organ-wise we are as we learn about the human body. Students created paper bag self portraits with organs glued and labeled in their correct positions. We also showed we can identify organ locations and their functions when we attached organs to a body vest and discussed their function...

We've also been studying the body systems such as the circulatory system, digestive system, and respiratory system. Students created graphic organizers to show their understanding of each system, the organs it contains, and how it helps a body function...

    Happy learning!

Friday, September 8, 2017

2017-2018 First Week Fun

Our 2017-2018 school year was off to an awesome start in The Third Grade Learning Spot! Our first group meeting was to read a welcome message on the classroom easel, followed by the read-aloud First Day Jitters.
After sharing what having the jitters means we read the poem Jitter Juice and wrote a reading response about how we felt the first day of school...while drinking our own jitter juice! Students tried to guess what the secret recipe to make jitter juice. I can't share the ingredients because it's a teacher top secret. 😉


Another back to school read-aloud we had was The Gingerbread Man is Loose in School. I'm not sure who enjoyed it the most-the students hearing about the Gingerbread Man's school antics or me listening to the students' laughter. 


A fun get to know you activity students engaged in was "Two Truths and a Fib". Students wrote 2 truths about themselves, then 1 fib. After they read their statements we tried to guess which one was the fib. Fib statements included "I have 10 brothers", "I have 6 pets", and "I pet a lion."

Our first activity in math was to review place value. The class watched a Smartboard video to review ones-thousands. Other place value activities included rolling dice to create 4 digit numbers and then identifying each number's place value; writing numbers in standard, word, and expanded form, and creating a giant place value chart on the gym floor and then using ourselves as the counters to represent 3 digit-6 digit numbers!


Our first writing activity was beginning our journals. Journal writing will build our skills in free writing, responding to specific questions using details for support, and writing mechanics such as grammar. Each day our journal helper uses Popsicle sticks with students' names on them to choose 3 readers to share their responses.
We also began our poetry unit by writing autobiography poems, which we mounted on paper plate self-portraits. They are displayed on our hallway bulletin board.


Every year the highlight of the first week is our "Save Fred" experiment and this year was no exception! First, we reviewed the steps of the scientific method...

 Next, we read about Fred the gummy worm who goes sailing, but then his boat (cup) capsizes and his life preserver (gummy ring) gets trapped underneath. Teams were challenged to save Fred by getting him into his life preserver...the catch being they can only use 4 paperclips as tools and not use their hands. Each team made a hypothesis how Fred should be saved, then tested it to see if it worked. Once all teams had found the solution they recorded the steps on a flow chart...


I'm looking forward to meeting all the families Back to School Night and sharing many exciting learning adventures with the class this school year!





Monday, June 19, 2017

2017 Last Week Learning Activities


Even though it's the last week of school we've been getting lots of fun learning activities done. Children completed their personal narratives books...

The books were added to our portfolios, which which are a visual record of all the academic growth students experienced through the school year. Another writing sample students added to their portfolios were "Letter to Myself the Last Day of School", which can be compared to the letters they wrote to themselves the first day of school...

  Students also also completed their  poetry folders and journals...
 
The children showed off their creativity when they created crayon-resist summer seascapes. We observed how the crayon wax of marine life we colored resisted watercolor paint and then added foam sea animals...

(The above seascape makes me feel like singing The Beatles' "We All Live in a Yellow Submarine" LOL)

Other activities included reading aloud the play The Crowded House and comparing it to the Yiddish folktale It Could Always Be Worse. The students enjoyed acting out the scenes in the play and learned that we should be grateful for what we have because things could get worse...

Tomorrow, we'll be reading Last Day Hooray ,creating third grade memory books, and then having a class party to celebrate our learning accomplishments this year. And surprise treat bags are all ready for the kids/😊



 Wishing everyone a relaxing, fun-filled summer!!!




Saturday, May 20, 2017

Animal Antics and More!


The 3rd Grade Learning Spot has been learning all about animals, how they grow and change, and the habitats they live in during our new science unit. We started off by learning what animal instincts are and how some animals go through metamorphosis. Learning activities have included creating a venn diagram comparing and contrasting spiders (arachnids) and insects...


examining the similarities and differences between a 3 and 4 stage insect life cycle...

and observing the lifecycles of insects, fish, and amphibians using  Smartboard videos. Next week students will be assigned "Design an Insect" , a project which will integrate science with writing. Here's an example,  the "teacher bug"...



We'll then learn about food chains in a variety of ways including watching Scholastic Study Jams Food Chains and creating food chains using an interactive Smartboard game...

 Then it will be time to explore animal habitats,such as the tundra and ocean, and well record the features and animals in each using a graphic organizer. Students will also collaborate to create an animal ecosystem that also shows the community and population within it...

In reading, our class is completing our Transcontinental Railroad unit. Using the nonfiction book, The Transcontinental Railroad, we studied the Central Pacific and Union Pacific Railroad Companies that built it, the  Golden Spike Ceremony that celebrated its completion, and the impact it had on the nation. Afterwards, we read Coolies, a fiction story about two Chinese brothers who immigrated to California to work for the Central Pacific Railroad and the discrimination they and their fellow workers faced from the railroad bosses because they were Chinese. During both stories the students used interactive lapbooks to explore topics such as "The Big Four" businessmen who ran the Central Pacific and difficulties each company faced like Native American attacks.

   
Our next reading unit will be fairytales and fables. Activities will include comparing Lon Po Po, the Chinese version of Little Red Riding Hood, to the English version. After reading the African folktale Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People's Ears, students will create story sequence strips using animal patterns and sentence strips. And we'll make predictions, discuss author's purpose, and continue to build our reading fluency when we act out both the original folktale and the Yiddish play The Crowded House

    Happy learning!

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Wild About Weather


The weather has been wild lately, one day warm and the next day cold. We've become wild about the weather in class as well during our new "Clouds and Storms" science unit. Our room is filled with the 4 different types of clouds we're studying (cumulus, cirrus, stratus, and nimbus) from the ceiling to the floor...
Some of the activities we've completed to learn about types of clouds included reading nonfiction books and watching videos about them and using cottonballs to form the types of clouds that word riddles described. We've also been studying the phases of the water cycle ( precipitation, collection, evaporation, and condensation) in a variety of ways including making precipitation using shaving cream clouds and food coloring rain...
 
creating paper plate water cycle wheels, and learning The Water Cycle Song...

April showers may bring may flowers, but our classroom is already blooming with "Spring Simile" paper plate poetry flowers. After learning that a simile is a figure of speech comparing 2 unlike things using the word "like" students created poems about spring using their five senses and similes. We first brainstormed 5 senses associations we have with the season on a pre-writing bubblemap and then moved on to compose rough drafts. After peer and self-editing the students wrote their final drafts and attached them to paper plate flowers they decorated with markers...

Our class has also become experts on adjectives. We started the unit by creating "namebows" that have adjectives describing ourselves using the letters in our names written on rainbow strips...

Students created sentences containing adjectives describing "how many" and "what kind" by playing "Spin and Adjective" using the whiteboard and a magnetic spinner. We also learned about comparative and superlative adjectives by creating a t-chart showing the comparative and superlative forms of adjectives...
Wishing everyone a happy Passover and spring season!