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!

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

"Bugs, Birds" and Biodiversity" Manasquan Reservoir Field Trip

Our third grade science unit, "Living Things and Their Environments", came to life when we participated in Manasquan Reservoir's "Bugs, Birds, and Biodiversity" program. The field trip began with a live animal presentation, including meeting a catfish and bass, painted turtle and box turtle, a variety of frogs and toads, and a corn snake that some students were brave enough to touch!

 (catfish and bass)

 (top-box turtle, bottom-painted turtle)

(corn snake)

Next, students completed an animal adaption lab activity by rotating through 3 hands-on stations that included re-enacting how animals gather food and matching animals to the food they eat.

We then went on a nature walk that including visiting a butterfly garden and the reservoir. Some students even spotted a gopher peeping out of its burrow! 

The unit came alive in class as well. One of the hands-on activity we did was working in small teams to create 4 link food chains that began with a producer and ended with a consumer...
   Happy learning!