Our Week – October 19

Thanks for supporting our reading museum and helping the children take note of he fact that learning continues on and on.  Thank you also for your attention to making time for homework.  Many of the kids were super excited about having that responsibility. We began our week by thinking about a series of precepts:  “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.”, “Practice makes perfect.”, “”Whether you think you can or whether you think you can’t, you’re probably right.”, and ”Practice makes progress.” We had some great conversation about what we can do to make sure learning grows.

This week everyone created a second blog post, more of the children were able to solidify and apply their understanding of the distributive property during daily problem solving and we defined the criteria we would use to create “great” pieces of informational weather writing.

Reading Grows

This week we shared books important to each of us as readers.  The class shared favorite books read when they were babies, read-alouds they loved hearing over and over and over again as toddlers and favorite chapter books shared as a family.  It was fun to tour the class’s reading museum.  Some children realized they had brought in the same book. (I discovered that Good Night Construction Siteis a must for our grandson, James.) Others were reminded of favorites from the past.  It was fun to revisit books that may not have been looked at for a while.

After the museum on Tuesday, we reflected on the reading we’d been doing in the first month and a half of school.  We thought about the books we’d been choosing to read and we considered the difference between “reading”, “skimming and scanning” and “looking through.”  All are important habits to have, but we agreed that much of the time we have in our classroom with books should be dedicated to reading.  The only way to grow as a reader is to practice.  We reflected on what we’d been reading so far and the school year, and what habits we’d been most focused on.  Are next steps will be to develop goals that will lead us forward and help us to grow.

Multiplying With Large Amounts

We’ve been learning how to use what we know about place value to help us multiply larger amounts. We’ve been trying to use the distributive property, because these steps more often help us with accuracy.  They remind use to multiply everything – not just the hundreds and tens, but also the ones.

The problems have been written to help the children practice using this skill to become more efficient. More and more of the children are feeling sure of themselves with this strategy.

Experimenting with Leads /

Establishing the Guideline We Plan to Follow for Our Weather Writing

We learned about four different types of leads: snapshot, question, dialogue and onomatopoeia.  We had a go at playing around with each of them. We’ve tried choosing words that paint a picture.  We’ve thought about the sounds we’d hear if we were to enter the setting of our piece of writing to consider if that would make an impactful start.  We’ve thought of creating characters to speak and introduce our topic or story.  And finally, we’ve wonder about the questions we hope our writing will answer.  See if your child can tell you about the lead he or she is most interested in using to introduce readers to weather.

In addition to leads we also agreed on the writing criteria we’d have for our weather writing.  We thought each piece should be at least five pages (have five subtopics), and each page should have at least five sentences. We decided that our writing should how our understanding of the topic so that readers would find it interesting. And we thought we should include one illustration.  Many of the students are continuing to research, but some of them are already at the writing phase.  Some are typing on computers, while others are choosing to handwrite their pieces. In addition to publishing them so we have a weather library in the hall for others to read, the children are excited about posting them on their blogs for all to read.

Bits and Pieces

  • We’ve posted our second blog post. This post features a personal favorite, hobby or interest. With this post we learned how to copy and paste text from one file to another.  It will take time but, with practice, this will become second nature.
  • We also learned about making quality comments.  We’re trying to begin with a specific compliment that lets the blogger know we actually read the post.  Then we’re trying to add a connection or question to get a conversation going. And finally we’re trying to remember to sign our names so the blogger knows we visited.
  • A HUGE thank you to those who have commented and shared the URL with family and friend.  Comments are motivating.
  • In Open Circle we’ve discussed positive self-talk and growth mind-set.  We are trying to be as encouraging to ourselves (and our classmates) as possible.
  • Our next field trip will be to Strawberry Banke.  It is on Monday, November 19.  Permission slips went home on Wednesday.  The cost of the trip is $5.00.  We’ll be learning all about Thanksgiving through the ages as we travel from house to house and learn how the celebration has changed.

There is an Early Release on Wednesday, October 24. 

Dismissal is at 12:00.

Our Week – October 11

For a short week, we certainly fit a lot in.  We continued our weather research.  We’re finding out a lot of interesting facts.  We began student blogging this week. The class is very excited about creating a first post.  Thanks to those families who were able to read them and leave a comment.  Please share the blog url with family and friends, near and far.   It is exciting to open the blogs and find comments from grandparents, aunts and uncles. Thank you for your time and attention with this.

As we prepared for the open house it was interesting to stop and realize how much we’ve been doing in our first thirty days of school.  Thank you for joining us last night.  I hope you found the information helpful.  Please don’t hesitate to ask any questions at they arise.  If you were unable to attend, please look for the hand-outs in your child’s Friday envelope.

Learning Properties of Multiplication

We’ve been learning how to create and read arrays.  This practice enabled all of us to understand how the Commutative Property of Multiplication works.  It doesn’t matter if you have 3 rows of 4 or 4 rows of 3.  Both equal twelve.  To show this understanding we made buildings to create Multiplication Main Street. Our buildings show how this property works.

We also learned how to break arrays up into manageable parts.  For instance when looking at an array that is 5 rows of 13, we can break the 13 into 10 and 3 and easily do the multiplication then: 5×10 and 5×3.  After working to organize our thinking with arrays, we learned how to use the Distributive Property with multiplication. We’ve still got some work to do with this property before everyone feels fully certain of what they are doing, especially when hundreds turn to thousands.

Living the Life of a Reader

 

 

 

 

 

 

As part of our goal setting process, we’ve begun talking about what it means to live the life of a reader.  We’ve been reading poems and books about books, reading stories and loving certain kinds of books as a way to discover all the different types of reading people do. The children have been asked to think back and talk to you about books that were and/or are important to them. They could be favorites from when they were younger – books they asked to have read over and over, or they may be books they spent so much time with they could recite them without even looking. They can also be books that have been read aloud to them at home or at school.  They could be books of topics they are interested in.

Hopefully each child can bring in a collection of between 3 and 5 (2 and 6 are also fine) books, maps, magazines, charts… texts that have been important to them in becoming the reader they are today. We’ll create a reading museum with these texts on Tuesday, October 16.

Bits and Pieces –

  • We’ve begun our fourth chapter read-aloud of the year, The Wild Robot. This is a fantasy, full of rich description. The setting is important in this book.  Ask your child what he or she remembers about the island where Roz has washed up.
  • On Thursday two North Hampton firefighters visited our grade, Steve and Brendan. They shared some important fire safety tips with the classes and answered many, many different questions.
  • In Open Circle this week we began discussing how people know when they feel upset and where in their body they experience that emotion. Some in the class feel that emotion in their stomach, while other feel it in the chest and still others feel it as a tightness in their shoulders.It was an interesting discussion and one that we’ll continue as we learn to recognize the many side of “upset.”
  • We have continued to work on our Multiple Intelligence (MI) pie charts. We’re having fun noticing all the ways we are “smart.”

All About Us

Today we are each trying to create a first post on our own blogs.  We practiced by writing this blog post together as a class.  We are 3E.  We are 3rd graders.  We are kind.  We try to treat others the way we’d like to be treated.  We all try to listen and have others listen to us.  We are a safe, learning and respectful class.  We are patient.  We try to be helpful.  We all like reading.  We all like to solve problems efficiently too.  We have fun.

Please leave a comment and tell us what you like to do.

Our Week – October 5

Our week seems to fly by. I guess that’s a good thing – we are exploring lots of things every day and all seem to be enjoying what we are doing. This week we finished our third chapter read-aloud for the year.  With the help of Mrs. Wyman, the students were each able to take the first step in setting up their personal learning blog.  We’ve begun our first research project and feel surer about how the commutative property of multiplication works.

S.E.L. – Developing our Multiple Intelligence Pie Chart

During our Open Circle discussions during the last few weeks we’ve been discussing feeling and emotions. We’ve sorted them, calling some uncomfortable and other comfortable.  We’ve wondered if we always know how we are feeling – we’ve discussed how breathing can help us relax.  We’ve also discovered that we can read other people’s emotions by paying attention to their body language.

We’ve spent time learning more about ourselves as learners.  Last week we took two different surveys to uncover our multiple intelligences.  We are using that information to create a pie chart of “how we are smart” to show which areas of intelligence are our strengths at this time.   While we’ve been doing that, we’ve also been exploring how we can make our brains grow and develop due to our interest, attention and willingness to practice even when it’s a challenge.  It is interesting to hear the children talk about what they are discovering about themselves and the habits we can develop that may lead us toward success.

Problem Solving – Arrays and the Commutative Property

Our goal in daily problem solving is to offer the children opportunities to practice logical thinking and to find ways to use new knowledge to become more efficient over time.  The children choose a strategy they can use to document their thinking and follow through to an accurate solution.  This is challenging.  When you and I read the problems we see that most of them can be solved with multiplication, but because it is still new to your children, it is not always their choice.

Please expect this.  There are many things happening all at once in this thinking process.  The children have to read the problem and visualize the operations that are happening in the story.  The problems generally have two-steps, sometimes more, and often more than one operation.  They have to keep them separate which is not always easy.  The problems also use amounts that are manageable, but still challenging.

At this point you’ll notice any range of strategies.  Sometime the children are drawing out the problems.  This can become cumbersome and mistakes are often made when counting.  Sometimes children are skip counting or using a doubling strategy.   Sometimes children are able to mentally manipulate amounts in their minds but are off by a bit when the value of a digit is confused. Each child is using what s/he knows to solve the problem, and with time will become more efficient. With time you’ll see changes and progress.  We’ll be keeping samples of problems in the classroom to document growth.  You may want to do that too so you can share the growth that you see when you look at problems from across the year and notice as more sophisticated strategies are being used with all four operations.

We’ve spent some time understanding the ARRAY model of multiplication.  We’ve learned about the commutative property.  We are sure that 6×7=7×6 even if we are not instantly sure of the answer.  On top of that we can create an array of that amount and find a way to solve it (We know how to 7 fives and then we just need to add one more on.  Or we could double 6 three times and add one more.)  It is interesting to discover there are many correct ways to reach a solution.

Bits and Pieces –

  • Curriculum Night is Thursday, October 11.  Ms. Coronato and I will be presenting information about the 3rdgrade curriculum in Mrs. Oliver’s music room at both the 5:00pm and 6:15pm.  We anticipate that each presentation will be about 35 minutes so you can have 10 minutes or so in the classroom to see and respond to the pieces of work or parts of the classroom that your son or daughter has chosen to point out to you.
  • When we completed I Survived the Children’s Blizzard of 1888,we celebrated that accomplishment by having each child illustrate a snowball with their favorite scene and create a snowflake to be part of our doorway blizzard.
  • After we learned about blizzards, each child chose something about weather that he or she would like to become an expert in.  This is going to be the topic for a mini-research and information writing project. We’re going to decide on the criteria and we’re going to find a way to share this information with you.

And of course, the highpoint of our week was having WMUR Meteorologist, Hayley LaPoint come to share her love of weather and meteorology with the third grade.  Here’s a collection of what the children said they learned from the presentation:

 

  • Lightening is hotter than the sun.  It’s 5 times hotter than the sun’s surface.  Lightning is 50,000 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • The words meteorology and meteorologist started out as Greek words.
  • Both hurricanes and tornadoes can go over water.
  • Cirrus clouds are made of ice.  They mean the weather is changing.
  • I learned that anything that comes from a cloud is precipitation.
  • There are meteorologists who work at Gillette Stadium and Fenway Park so they can decide whether or not to hold or postpone the games so they can give a warning to the fans.
  • Tornadoes can be dangerous and destructive.  There are usually one or two tornadoes a year in NH – they are just really small.
  • The bottom of a cumulonimbus cloud is called a blanket.
  • The biggest tornadoes can be two miles wide.
  • Hail only happens in the summer.  It can be the size of a baseball.

I’m guessing more memories will emerge as we plan our weather presentations over the next few weeks.

Becoming Weather Experts

Our first science inquiry of the year is about weather.  We’ve learned a lot already and we’re excited to learn more and more.  We’ve been learning about the difference between daily weather and climate.  We’re recording daily weather and looking for patterns.  Each morning we read the temperature and graph the weather and precipitation of the day.  Soon we’ll be exploring barometric pressure as well.  We are learning how to use these points of data to make reasonable predictions about what kind of weather might happen next.

Each student has chosen a type of weather he or she would like to explore in more depth. Some will be researching and learning more about tornadoes.  Others will be learning about snow storms, while still others, will be learning about blizzards.  Some children will research hurricanes and other are researching different aspects of weather like clouds, rainbows and the study of meteorology.

Children will be using print resources and online resources too.  Here are some online links to get us started.

Weather for Kids offers some basic information and may answer some of the questions you have. It is easy to navigate from one type of weather to another.

 

 

 

 

 

Web Weather for Kids shares more information, projects and activities that can help you discover even more about weather too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Weather Wiz Kids is a site created by a meteorologist.  She is sharing her love of weather and lots of information too.

 

 

 

 

 

The NOAA website has some interesting links.  It is sophisticated and a bit tricky to navigate – but I bet you’ll find an answer to a question there that you can’t find anywhere else.

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s a place to start as you research to become a WEATHER EXPERT!

Our Week – September 28

We are continuing to grow as a classroom of learners, thinker and doers.  This week we began to collect reflections on learning, we read more about different types of weather and created a wind experiment.  We’ve continued to learn more about multiplication and problem solving.  And of course, we read and write some every day as well. This week the class discovered the Who Will Win basket.  Many in the class have been passing these books around and talking about their surprise at which animal can defeat the other and how.  Some of the children are trying that style or writing out on their own. It’s fun to see how interest grows and spreads across the classroom from reader to reader.

The Theory of Multiple Intelligences – our SEL focus

We’ve continued to learn more about the theory of multiple intelligences.  This week we’ve completed a couple different questionnaires so the children would know more about themselves as learners.  We used the different survey questions to think about how our interests and activities mirror the ways we are smart. It can be surprising to notice how even and balanced we are.  I think the children are surprised at the balance they are noticing as well.

We also talked about how intelligence grows.  We know we can change and grow in any way we choose.  My example is that I am always embarrassed that I cannot dribble a ball and move at the same time.  The truth is, I’ve never had the opportunity to learn and I’ve never taken the time to practice.   Clearly, if that skill truly mattered to me, I’d practice until I could do it.  That is the case for them too.  They can do anything they choose to do!

They’ll be sharing this information and what they know about themselves as learners with families at the fall goal setting conference.

Models of Multiplication

We’ve begun learning more about multiplication.  We’ve learned a bit about arrays and function or ratio tables.  We’ve learned that the first factor in a multiplication equation stands for the number of groups and that the second factor stands for the amount in each group.  We know that multiplication is a way to add more quickly.

While working with some array worksheets, the class realized how learning multiplication would be a good thing.  It will help us with accuracy and allow us to complete our problem solving work more efficiently.  It is fun to see the children excited to solve math problems.  At first the problems felt hard and now they are becoming easier.  Many of the children are able to finish three and four problems in a work session.  It is great to see their focus and dedication to learning new things.

Air + Water + Temperature = Weather

We’ve continued to explore weather and extreme conditions.  The week we read more about tornadoes.  We’ve learned that they can form at the edges of hurricanes, but that they are usually separate.  We learned about their different ratings and the reason they can be so devastating. It is amazing to learn that the winds in tornadoes cannot be officially measured – they are only estimates because people can’t get close enough to be certain.

This week we worked on a design challenge.  The children built a house and a wind maker (a.k.a. – fan) and then had to figure out how to change their design so the roof and house could withstand a storm.  It was a lesson in dealing with frustration and difficulty for some.  It was challenging when some ideas worked, while others did not.  It was challenging to see those missteps as something to learn from too.  We know some of what to try again another time and what not to try as well.

Bits and Pieces –

  • We’re learning about both weather and history by reading I Survived The Children’s Blizzard of 1888.
  • We are looking forward to our visit from Hayley LaPoint, WMUR meteorologist.  She’ll be joining us on October 4 to share her passion for science, meteorology and her belief that you can do anything you set out to do.
  • We’ll be blogging next week.  We’re excited about this.
  • We’ll have a Fire Safety presentation on October 11 with the North Hampton Fire Department.
  • Curriculum Night is October 11.  There will be two 45-minute grade level presentations, one at 5:00 and another at 6:15.  We’ll be sending you more information about this next week.

Camp Lincoln – an awesome field trip

Today’s post was written by all the students in 3E:  Liam, Emma, Logan, Sophia, Ellia, Ella, Michael, Mady, Olive, Cooper, Eddie, Ryan, Charlie, Gabriel and Hayley

Here’s what we did at Camp Lincoln.  When we got there, we were excited because we were going to be there all day!

Mowgli welcomed us to Camp Lincoln at the picnic tables.  We followed him to the sports field.  He had us make a big circle with our entire grade.  We played a game about well we listen.  He also taught us a game called Knee Tag.  In Knee Tag you are safe if you put your hands on your knees.  When your hands are on your knees you can’t move.  Mowgli and Riptide also led us in the Clap, Jump, Spin and Run game.  It was lots of fun too.

After the games we went on a nature walk with Wolf. First, we visited the farm animals.  We saw chickens, ducks, goats and sheep.  Then, we found plants we could eat.  We found wintergreen and Indian cucumbers.  The wintergreen tasted and smelled like root beer!.  To find an Indian cucumber, look near water.  Be careful when looking for the Indian cucumber.  Dig around the stem and you will find a white root!  Clean it off  and taste it!  It tasted like a carrot!   After that, we made Nature Tea.  We used hot water, wintergreen leaves, and pine needles.  Some of us thought it was delicious, and some of us through it was yucky!  Finally, we reached the Point.  There were trees that had been struck by lightning.  They had stripes and broken branches.  We had lots of fun on our nature walk.  “AROOH!!!”

For the third part of our day, we began playing a game like Red Light, Green Light to steal a counselor, Riptide’s keys.  Once we got his keys we “drove” to the “zoo.”  We crossed a rickety-rockety bridge over a swamp to get there.  Once we got to the “zoo” we sorted out our animal names by size:  small, medium, and large.  We didn’t like the orders at the zoo, so we ran away.  We (the animals) had to cross over a “peanut butter pit,” but first we had to get the rope.  We made a lasso out of our sweatshirts to reach it. When we had the rope we had to swing across to escape the zookeepers.  There was only one tiny boat for all of us to fit on.  We swung across one at a time.  We huddled together like penguins on the boat so everyone was safe.  Our escape was a success.  And our adventure was lots of fun!

Camp Lincoln was fun because we got to do so many different activities and game.  It was a great day!

Our Week – September 21

What a great week full of firsts!  We had our first indoor recess and picture day.  We had our first field trip.  Going to Camp Lincoln on Thursday was wonderful.  We continued to learn more about hurricanes and other rainy weather. We did some math fact checks and began to explore multiplication. I’d say 3E is a pretty nice, learning place to be. We’re smoothing out the kinks in our schedule and finding time for learning to combine with fun, action, literacy and art.

If you haven’t yet subscribed to the class blog, please do.  On the blog you can see many of the things we’re doing in our classroom and as a class.  In a couple weeks your children will each be posting on their own blogs as well.  If you go down below, the subscribe box is at the bottom of the right-hand sidebar.

S.E.L. –Learning More About Reflection / Exploring the Theory of Multiple Intelligence

Each day the children follow an agenda for the day.  This helps them know what to expect.  We talk about it each day at Morning Meeting and discuss places where we may need to be flexible with the timing and respectful of each other’s learning styles. We all take different amounts of time to do things. At their table seats they have a more detailed copy of “Our Day” to follow.  At the end of each day or the morning of the next day, they’ve been asked to highlight some time of the day when learning stood out to them.  This practice helps us learn more about reflection and metacognition.  Metacognition, thinking about your thinking, strengthens and deepens learning.  These weekly reflections (I’m guessing it will take us a two of three weeks before we’re really benefitting from the routine) will become the foundation of our learning portfolios.  You may want to talk to your child about what he/she found most significant this week and why.  Doing this, will only add to your child’s learning and growth.  Thank you!

We learned about Howard Gardener’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences.  We discovered there are lots of ways to be “smart” – eight, in fact. We know that everyone is some of all eight of the intelligences, but interests and experiences help us strengthen some more than others. We use some of the intelligences more than others because we find them interesting or we feel good when involved with those kinds of activities.

We read several more biographies to look for signs of all the different ways people show their multiple intelligences.   We read about Jane Goodall, Margaret Hamilton (she programmed the computers that sent the Apollo rockets to the moon), and Alan Rabinowitz (called the Hero of Wild Cats.) It’s interesting to see how many ways people influence the world around them. We are learning we influence our world too.  We are beginning to complete surveys and explore a sketch-note of the eight intelligences so we’ll be able to uncover how we each approach learning in our own unique way.  We’re trying to discover our learning styles so we can our strengths to our advantage.

Climate and Weather

In science we explored the difference between climate and weather.  Through a Mystery Science video and activity we learned where different climate zone are in the world.  Our map shows tropical, polar, temperate and mild climates.  We did not add the deserts, but we know there is a fifth climate zone.

We recognized how weather is all about water and the water cycle.  We could feel the water in the air and could tell that our weather was being impacted by air masses moving up from the south.  We could feel the remains of Florence and could imagine how devastating that storm was when it came ashore.

This week we’ve read more about hurricanes and we’ve read about how thunderstorms form.  We’re learning about air pressure and all the elements of the atmosphere that meteorologists pay attention to in order make predictions about what the weather will be like in the days to come. We’re looking forward to having Hayley LaPoint, a meteorologist from WMUR, come to visit 3rdgrade in two weeks.

Learning About Multiplication

When I asked, everyone in the class thought they were not quite ready to begin learning multiplication. They thought doing multiplication would be hard.  Then we got started and learned multiplication is a faster way of adding. If we have lots of groups that are the same we can find the total with multiplication – and save ourselves counting mistakes.  We’ve discovered, t the start, multiplication isn’t all that difficult.  This week we’ve been exploring multiplication as repeated addition and looking for how groups repeat.  We’ve surprised ourselves by realizing we already know quite a bit about multiplication because we know about skip counting.

Bits and Pieces – 

  • We finished our second chapter read-aloud, Phineas L. MacGuire – Erupts.  Several of the kids said, “That’s it. It’s over?  That’s the ending.”  It is a little bit of a surprise.  It seems like the story is about winning the science fair and proving who is the best scientist, but actually it’s about friendship and learning to be confident about who you are.
  • We are starting to read I Survived the Children’s Blizzard of 1888.  We’ll learn more about weather and I hope children who’ve not found this series will.  They’re exciting and great windows into important historic events.
  • We continued on with some beginning assessments.  This week we did some math fact checks.  The end of the year goal is that children know all 70 addition and subtraction facts in 5 minutes or less.  The reason for this, is that knowing math facts instantly without counting on or back makes more difficult math that much easier.  That said, we also realize that the timed format of these check don’t work well for all children.  They know the facts, but feel anxious about the format.  Please don’t focus on the score.  If possible focus on improvement.  Play games where there is a lot of repetition – dice games are great for that.  They more they practice, the easier they’ll be.  Thank you!
  • We had so many fabulous pictures and quotes about our Camp Lincoln trip that we’ll be making a second post about the trip later on today.  We’ll all write it together and learn more about the “blogging dashboard” while doing it.

Happy Dot Day!

We began our day making Kandinsky Dots.

After Morning Meeting we explored the eight dot activities on the Dot Day menu.  We made magnet dots, printed dots, and dots in decorated swirly gold frames.  We made clay dots and button dots and a personal dot representing our favorite things.  We started making window dots (they take two days to finish because they need to be baked), and lastly we all painted a part of the SUPER dot.

We listened to The Dot song and reread The Dot to decide what we each thought was an important message we could learn from this book.

Here’s what we can learn from this story:

  • If you can make a mark, you can draw.
  • Try it.  Make a mark and see where it takes you.
  • Try to learn anything – try to learn a song.
  • Try hard.
  • The Dot was written to inspire people.
  • Be positive, you can do it with practice.
  • When you think you can’t draw, think again.  Actually you can!
  • People can draw.  Be patient and try.
  • Anyone can draw.
  • You can get better at anything.
  • If you can make a dot, you can be an artist.
  • When you can write, help another person.
  • The Dot is inspiring kids to never give up.

We are bringing many of our dots home today, but others will be  hung in our Dot Gallery outside our classroom.  We hope you’ll stop in some time and take a tour.

Celebrating Dot Day was “epic.”  We’ve made our marks – and now we’ll see where they take us!