Our Week – June 13

rainforestThank you for finding time to come into the classroom to view your child’s portfolio and take a tour of our classroom.  I would like to compliment the children on the efforts they took to create their portfolios.  Each child selected the photographs to share, added captions, wrote reflections explaining what they had accomplished and added work samples to document their growth.  Creating a portfolio means making many choices.  Describing learning is also a challenging task and the final step of presenting, and answering questions adds another level to the project.   Each one of them worked through this process and deserves to feel proud of their third grade accomplishments and of how they were able to share them.

Completing the Habitat Displays

grasslandsdeserttundraforestEach of the Habitat teams added the final touches to their habitat displays on Wednesday.  Through their displays and the information they gained from reading, the groups have been able to teach the others about their habitat and how it is important in our world.  All of the children understand how food webs develop.  All begin with sun and water.  Plants make food from that and in turn become the food for herbivores and carnivores.  Some habitats have extensive food webs while others are smaller.  It is interesting to note that there are habitats of abundance and habitats of scarcity yet all are interesting with unique features that make them exciting to explore.

Putting the Finishing Touches on Our Magazine

All of the writing was finally completed for our class magazine this week and the children began illustrating their sections.  We hope to have this finished so we can make copies for the class.  It will be fun to read each others work and learn about the interests that each other have.

Clarifying Misunderstandings

Throughout the year I’ve been told of conversations regarding the claim “this class does not get to have the same fieldtrips as the classes of other years.”  We have not gone on the same field trips this year, but the implication that field trips do not happen because of student behavior is not, in fact, the case.

Third grade has never been a grade of many field trips. Additionally, we were asked to stop teaching space last year because it was not a tested subject.  We created a new unit of study allowing us to develop student learning, meet the expectations laid out for us by the government and encourage engagement through projects.  We created the  “My Scientist” project and invited Peter Gustafson to do a special presentation about what scientist do and how they work in different fields.

Later in the year we combined social studies expectations with our continuing science explorations and we went to the S.E.E. Science Museum in Manchester.  Because of the programs and displays there, we were able to learn more about chemistry and history.  Additionally, the children had time to explore areas of interest on their own.  Many of them created a movie about their favorite parts and posted them on their individual blogs.

We did not go to the planetarium, nor attempt a star gazing night because they no longer fit with 3rd grade curriculum.  We did not go to New Castle Common for tide pooling.  We chose to deal with habitats in a different way this year.  We are sorry these changes have caused such a rumble through the community.  They were made because of curricular changes, nothing more.

Bits and Pieces

  • 3E Celebration on Monday – We are planning a celebration for Monday.  I have not pulled together the details of that day.  Rest assured we will have fun.
  • We have worked to complete all the cursive capital letters.
  • We are working to put the final touches on our blog posts.  We hope you will keep using and following our blog over the summer. The children can write on their blogs anytime they have your permission.  On Monday you will find book reviews and suggestions to encourage summer reading.  On Wednesday there will be math problems to solve to keep up math thinking.  And on Friday there will sometimes be activity suggestions.  It will be a fun way to stay in touch and in practice.