Friday, November 29, 2019

Thanksgiving Feast 2019


Here's a glimpse of our Molly's Pilgrim performance during the school Thanksgiving feast...




Sunday, November 24, 2019

Autumn Bounty of Learning

Reading and Social Studies were integrated during our class novel study of Molly's Pilgrim. The book is  about a third grade Jewish Russian immigrant who helps her class learn it takes all kinds of pilgrims to make a Thanksgiving. Students used "lapbooks" containing a story vocabulary matching activity, graphic organizers, story comprehension questions, a prediction pilgrim, poems, and reader responses during the unit...
In the book, Molly and her classmates are assigned a project to make Thanksgiving pilgrim and Native American dolls. Our own 3rd graders did a similar activity, creating heritage dolls with accompanying reports about their chosen country. Our "Heritage Dolls around the World" bulletin board will be displayed in December when we come back from Thanksgiving break. We've also been hard at work practicing our Molly's Pilgrim play, which we'll perform at the school Thanksgiving Feast!


Learning about pilgrims was also part of our social studies unit about Thanksgiving, the Mayflower journey to the New World, the Plymouth Colony pilgrims, and the Wampanoag who helped them. Using Scholastic videos the class took virtual field trips to the Mayflower, Plymouth Plantation, and a Wampanoag village. We recorded facts learned on a trip recording sheet and created Venn diagrams comparing our lives to the pilgrims' lives. Students had the opportunity to examine Native American jewelry, a model birch bark canoe decorated with porcupine quills, and photos from my own trip to the Mayflower and Plymouth Plantation.

Books about Thanksgiving, the Mayflower voyage, Plymouth Colony, and Native Americans were also part of shared reading and the class library center...


In science we've begun our new "Simple Machines" unit. In class we've used anchor charts, our textbook, a magnets kit, and Brainpop  and Scholastic Study Jams videos to learn about force and friction, gravity, magnetism, and simple machines. We also made "Simple Machine" flip books to define types of simple machines and list everyday examples of each...
During S.T.E.M students had simple machine race contests. Using a variety of manipulatives such as paper towel roll wheels teams raced to see which would reach the other side of the classroom first...


In math, we're continuing to learn our times tables in a variety of engaging ways. Teams competed in "The Great Eight Race". Teams solved problems containing the 8 as a factor to move their number eight "runner" along a whiteboard race course and reach the finish line. Another game we played was "Nines Grid Game". Each student lifted a Post-it to reveal a problem containing nine as a factor. The student's team had to solve the problem to earn a point...

Wishing everyone a happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 4, 2019

Nouns


We've been learning about different types of nouns in a variety of ways during language arts. Students played "Plural Noun Popcorn Sort" by identifying if singular nouns should end in "s', "es", or "ies" in their plural noun form, then placed the popcorn noun card in the correct popcorn box on the whiteboard...


The class went "Fishing for Irregular Nouns" by using a magnetic fishing rod to hook a fish with a singular noun iwritten on it. Students had to turn the singular noun into its plural form and spell it correctly in order to keep their catch. Examples included man-men, goose-geese, and scarf-scarves...
 Our noun test will be this Thursday.
Happy learning!

Friday, October 11, 2019

Glance at What We've Been Learning

We've begun our new physical science unit, "States of Matter" by creating flip books showing the three states of matter and how molecules are arranged in them...
After we learn about the states of matter and physical and chemical changes we'll begin learning about simple machines, which was introduced in Science Lab last week during STEM. Students learned what a fulcrum is and created their own in fun hands-on ways such as:
1. A challenge of how many books could be balanced when our arms didn't form, but then formed a fulcrum...
2. Working in teams to balance an assortment of items by making our own fulcrums...

3. Balancing our STEM teacher, Mr. David, on a jumbo fulcrum!


During Language Arts we've been learning about nouns in engaging ways. For example, students demonstrated their understanding of where to place an apostrophe in singular and plural possessive nouns using noun cards and elbow macaroni...


Wishing everyone a wonderful weekend and Sukkot!

Sunday, September 8, 2019

2019 First Week Fun

The Third Grade Learning Spot is off to a great start learning in hands-on, fun, engaging ways this school year! When class began we read a welcome letter describing what we would be doing for the day, which included learning what a class constitution is and reading First Day Jitters.
Students then wrote about a time they experienced the jitters while drinking a cup of "jitter juice" to calm any first day jitters they might have. (Students asked me what the ingredients were, but I explained it a secret recipe teachers are taught in college.😉)

First week activities also included reviewing math skills such as identifying place value. One way we did this was by rolling a jumbo dice programmed with numerals to form a three or four digit numeral and then writing the number in standard, expanded, and word form...



Another activity was was using place value mats and counters. Students used the counters to represent the place value amount of numerals written on the whiteboard...





The highlight of the week was meeting "Fred" during our "Save Fred" science activity that integrates learning the scientific method with using critical thinking skills. Fred is a gummy worm whose boat (plastic cup) capsized, leaving him on top of it and his life preserver (gummy ring) under it. After learning the steps of the scientific method used to conduct an experiment our 3rd grade scientists worked collaboratively in teams to solve the question "How can we save Fred?" using only 4 paperclips as tools. Each team was quick to come up with a solution and carry it out, which was written about and illustrated in a lab report...and then the scientists enjoyed a candy treat as a reward!



   Looking forward to a great year of learning and growing!