It’s Wednesday – here are some problems to solve

On the last gym class of 2016, Mrs. Yeaton offered a challenge.  Work as a team.  Select 16 items from the supplies.  Use all 16 pieces to create a snowman.



The class started at 10:15.  The snowmen were finished at 10:43.  How much time did the class use to complete the challenge?

There were five groups.  How many items were selected from the supplies altogether?

Each group had 13 minutes of building time.  How many minutes did the teams use altogether?  If you changed that amount into hours and minutes, how long would the time be then?

Maybe tomorrow there will be enough snow to build a snowman outside.  I hope so.  Enjoy the rest of your vacation!  🙂


Our Week – December 23

This post will be full of pictures.  Presently I am having difficulty getting all the pictures to upload of the “Who Am I?” presentations.  So check back again later in the day to see 3E’s awesome work.

It has been a wonderful active week that is best learned about through pictures rather than words. Enjoy!

We explored science in many ways. We finished our exploration of magnets. We shared our “Who Am I?” secret scientist projects so the class learned about many different area of science they hadn’t considered before. We went to the SEE Museum and we celebrated science learning all day yesterday with experiments and observations and creations.

Magnets and Magnetic Lines of Force

Throughout the month of December we’ve been exploring magnets and magnetism. We’ve learned about the poles. We know that opposites attract and like poles repel. We know that magnets occur naturally on Earth and that the world is one huge magnet itself. Magnetic lines of force travel through solids and liquid. They are strengthened by electric currents and are used in many ways to make our lives easier though we may not even realize that magnets are all around us.

In the classroom we’ve had fun with magnets. We’ve made them float and learned that this is exactly how monorails work. We’ve used magnets to lift things and move things. We’ve used them to pull things and push things. Magnets are fun!

SEE Museum

Thank you to Linda Dionne, Kenneth Mango and Christina McAlister for joining us on for our field trip. We learned about electricity and used the Van de Graf generator. We explored Sir Isaac Newton’s laws of motion as we observed the harmonigraph drawing. We toured the many exhibits learning about light and perception, surface tension and pressure and ways to use all of our senses to learn. We created silly putty in the Slimy Science Lab using 2 parts glue to 1 part liquid starch – and lots of heat and energy from us. We stirred and kneaded the mixture to get it to its final fun state.



Who Am I?

Each of the children did a wonderful job presenting their scientist and sharing their artifacts with the class. We learned about civil engineers and aerospace and robotic engineers. We learned about zoologists, entomologists and ichthyologists too. We know about ornithologists, herpetologists and lepidopterists. We learned about geology, seismology, and volcanology. There’s meteorology, oceanography, astronomy, botany and paleontology. Science is everywhere. It makes the world run. It is fun and exciting. It is full of reactions and interactions. And it is always growing and changing. Science is how we learn about our earth and make new things happen. We’ve had fun exploring and celebrating science. Thank you to Marianne von Jess for joining us for the Flubber-fest and bringing our treat!

Have a wonderful and restful week away. When we return we be exploring the world through mapping and discovering different cultures around the world.

It’s Wednesday – here are some problems to solve

who am I - startWe’ve had a terrific week celebrating science and scientists!  Thank you families for your incredible help and support with our “Who Am I?” project. It was clear that our class knows a lot more about science and scientists than we did before.  Science in one way for us to insure that the world remain an exciting place – full of possibility, discoveries and excitement.  What doors can we open with our questions?

There were seventeen scientists.  Each scientist shared five of the tools he or she uses to do their job.  It took each scientist 6 minutes to share that information.

How many tools were shared in all?

How many minutes did it take for all the scientists to share their information?

Samantha told us that astronomy was one of the first sciences.  Galileo was one of the first scientists known as an astronomer.  He was born in 1564.  How many years ago was that?

Tera is an ichthyologist – a scientist who studies fish.  

There are 33,100 known species (kinds) of fish.

Mackenzie is a lepidopterist – a scientist who studies butterflies and moths.  There are 162,000 species of moths and butterflies.  How many more species do lepidopterists know of than ichthyologist?  

Our world is full of ideas, questions and challenges.  Will you be a scientist who finds the answers to our many questions and wonderings?

who am I - end

Our Week – December 16

silent mazeWinter is right around the corner! Next week we’ll be changing our season strip from “otono” to “invierno” (those are our Spanish seasons), but it certainly feels like winter already. We will be going outside most days and hope that the children are prepared for cold weather. We had a very brisk recess yesterday, but we survived. We’ll see what next week and the New Year bring us.

Exploring Magnetism – another Invisible Force

floating magnetsWe’ve been having fun working with magnets. See what your child can tell you about them and how they work. We’ve been learning about the different types of magnets and what things are magnetic. We’ve been learning about poles – opposite poles attract and like poles repel. We know magnets have different strengths, but we are not sure why. We know that there are natural magnets called magnetite or loadstone and we know that magnets are all around us. In fact, we are on a giant magnet. We can’t see this force, but we use it every day.

Learning about Sentences

artist-writer's workshopWe’ve begun to learn more about sentences. We know they have two parts – the subject and the predicate. We’ve discovered they can be simple, complex or compound. They can be statements, questions or exclamations. We are learning more about how sentences are constructed and how we can craft them to make our writing artist-writer's workshopmore interesting and/or informative. We are working to become more aware of grammar and the rules used in writing conventions. Many children are not following conventional rules because they do not know where they should use them. They do not know what a sentence is beyond saying it begins with a capital and ends with a period. We’ll continue this exploration and learn how to punctuate dialogue so that conversations become clearer in writing as well.

Telling Time and Figuring out How time Passes

mathWe’ve been working to tell time and to calculate how time passes. Children have felt this challenge! When we first started exploring time and time elapse problems it was a way for us to practice telling time and to learn our 5’s multiplication table. Now we are using time as a way to explore 6’s and the power of 10. If you have a chance to pose time questions to your child please do – things like, “We’ll be going to the hockey game at 6:30. How many minute is that from now?” or “We’ll leave for the library when we’ve finished baking the cookies. It takes 12 minutes to bake each sheet of cookies and we’ve got 4 sheets to bake. When will we be going to the library?”

I know questions like that take a lot of time so make your questions fit the time you have. They do help children come to understand more about how to manage their time and pay more attention to the tasks they need to accomplish. Time can seem both short and endless. It helps to become more aware of how time can be measured and used.

Bits and Pieces

  • Going on a Field Trip to the SEE Science Center – we’ll be going on our second field trip on Tuesday, December 20. We’ll be leaving the school right at the start of the school day and returning around 2. We’ll be experimenting in a Slimy Science lab and learning more about Invisible Forces while we are there. We’ll also have time to explore all of the exhibits in small groups as well.
  • magnetsCelebrating Scientists and Science – I hope things are going well with the “Who Am I?” projects. From the comments and whispers I’ve been hearing it seems as though everyone is on track for the “reveal” on Wednesday, December 21. Thank you for helping the children with this project. If you need anything – please let me know! In Thursday, December 22 we will be celebrating together with Science as a theme, rather than the holidays. Some 8th graders will be joining us so we can spend much of day in small groups experimenting and creating Flubber, bouncy balls and more.
  • Learning the “kite string” letters – this week we began our second set of cursive letters. There are many in this set so we’ll be working on them for a couple weeks. Cursive is fun!
  • silent mazeWalking through the Silent Maze with Mr. Caron – are continuing to work on Self-and Social-Awareness, Self-Management and Decision Making. They are big challenges for many in our class and the Maze was a fun way to work in that. Children had to make mistakes in order to help the rest of the class learn the path. They also had to focus to make sure that the same mistake wasn’t made another time. And they had to manage themselves because if there was talking while a classmate was working to solve the challenge, the classmate in the maze had to leave. We also had to work on being aware of judgment and blaming. There were lots of lessons in that simple challenge. It was fun and hard. Our whole class was able to move through three different mazes in forty minutes.

readingdsc09057We are growing and becoming a stronger learning community every day. Our biggest remaining challenges are being aware of when it is the right time to be funny, and recognizing the difference between funny and immaturity. Thanks for talking to your child about his or her efforts to stay focused and in control – especially while a few around them may not be. We’ve nearly earned our first special treat for behaving well. Our jar is getting full!

silent maze

It’s Wednesday – here are some problems to solve

numbersThere were four bowls of mints in the library.  Each bowl had 213 mints in it.  How many mints were there altogether?

At the end of the day there were 306 mints left.  How many mints had been eaten that day?

In the office there were five cups full of candy canes.  Each cup had 64 candy canes in it.  How many candy canes were there altogether?

Kindergarten used 172 of them while making gingerbread houses.  How many candy canes were left?

If you solve a problem leave a comment to share you great math thinking.  Happy Math!

Our Week – December 9

bloggingThank you to families for fitting in yet another conference during this very busy season. Nearly all of our parent-teacher conferences have been scheduled. It has been nice to meet with you and hear what your learning goals are for your child. If you haven’t had a chance to schedule a meeting and would like to, please don’t hesitate to send a note or email. I am looking forward to meeting with you.

Invisible Forces

magnets in scienceWe’ve begun to explore our final invisible force, magnetism. We’ve explored the pushes and pull of gravity and the resistance that friction creates. Now we are exploring magnetism. Many of the children know that Earth is a giant magnet and suspect that life wouldn’t be the same without magnetism. Would Earth be wobbly? Would weather and ocean currents change? While we may magnets in sciencenot discover concrete proof to answer those questions we should be able to discover the properties of magnets and learn how magnetism is used in motors and with electricity to reduce friction and make them run more efficiently. For now they are fun.

We are learning what things have magnetic attractions. We are learning about the push and pull at the poles. We are exploring to see if different types of magnets are stronger than others. And we are exploring to see how far reaching a magnetic force can be?

Thinking About Narrative Writing

bloggingNow that our first informational writing piece and project is completed, the children have a much wider choice during writing. This is a challenge for some of them. They are having difficulty managing their behavior to do the hard work of developing an idea. All this week we’ve been sharing books that have been about the writing process. We’ve been asking the class to think about where they are in their composition process.

bloggingIn addition to working their writers’ notebooks, many of the children have been choosing to add posts to their blogs. They’ve been typing over some of the personal narratives they wrote in the beginning of the year. Others are writing and illustrating poems. And still others are writing stories and creating step-by-step how-tos with original illustrations that they’ll scan in to share. Writing is a creative, productive time in 3E.

Telling Time – and Using What we Know

to Learn Multiplying by 5

You’ll notice that many of the math problems this week deal with telling time, keeping track of the time that has passed and thinking about the clock as a rounded timeline. I think most of the children are feeling pretty certain of how to tell time. and to calculate how time is passing both in the classroom. There is a lot to consider when working with time and working in artist-writers workshopartist-writers workshopartist-writers workshopartist-writers workshopgroups of 60 for hours. Encourage your child to tell you the time or to tell you what time it will be when… so they can figure out real-life time elapse problems. Any opportunity you can give them to practice reading clocks/watches and telling time is greatly appreciated.

Bits and Pieces

  • We have a challenge with Mr. Caron on December 15. Children should be prepared to be outside and it can be chilly in the woods.
  • We’ve had fun learning our first set of cursive letters. See if you child can explain to you why they are called “clock climbers.”
  • We’re still enjoying School Days According to Humphrey LOTS-LOTS-LOTS.

It’s Wednesday – here are some problems to solve

numbersJayce started playing basketball at 5:30.  He played for 45 minutes.  What time was it when Jayce stopped playing?

Zack’s hockey practice was 75 minutes long.  He left the rink at 5:30.  What time did his hockey practice begin?

Liam went skateboarding at Rye Airfield.  He arrived at 12:40.  He stayed for an hour and twenty minutes.  What time was it when Liam went home?

Our Week – December 2

dsc08984Our first term is complete. Report cards are coming to you today. Please make time to read the information on the supporting document. Without that information the report card is likely to mean little. I hope that as you look at the numbers and letters on the report card, you will think about the work your child has been bringing home each week, what you’ve been reading on the blogs and what you’ve seen when you’ve visited the classroom. We have these opportunities to help you picture where your child learns and imagine how he or she functions within the social parameters of school. This term’s report card does not have a narrative (the other two will). Please find the accompanying Parent Teacher conference sign-up schedule. Hopefully this will bring more understanding to today’s document. During our conference we will also set 2 or 3 goals for your child. Please think about what is most important to you at this time. They could be social or academic goals. I will share those with your child and we’ll spend time working on them throughout the remainder of our year.

With Gratitude for Your Time

Goal Setting and Fall Portfolio Share

zoo workThank you for coming to hear your child present his or her work and share learning goals. Third graders are just beginning to understand they are responsible for what they learn. They can learn a lot or a little – it depends on their attention and focus, their effort and persistence and on their abilities to reflect and set personal learning goals. The last in the list is a skill that is just beginning to emerge and with our support will continue to grow over the next few years.

Your children have been setting physical goals for a while now. These goals are things like practicing and learning how to play a sport, perform a dance or piano piece, participate in the kata and to ride a bike. These goals are clear and concrete. Academic goals are more hidden and harder to set because the goal is unclear. In third grade some goals are also tied to the concrete. For example, “I want to read bigger, fatter books.” or “I want to solve all four math problems every day.” Through the year and into next this will change as the children learn to experiment with ideas and options.

dsc08964I thought the children did a very good job setting goals they can actually achieve and in setting goals we can track throughout the year. We will keep revisiting their goals and adjusting them as needed. It will be interesting to see how each of them chooses to document and share growth across the year.

3E’s Animal Kingdom

Thank you, also, for making time to celebrate your child’s learning at the Animal Kingdom. I hope you had time to read their thoughtful informational pieces of writing. They read and took notes. They worked hard to understand what they were reading – not an easy thing from someone whose only been on the earth for 9-ish years. They experimented with leads – questions, picture, dialogue and onomatopoeia were their options. We had many mentor texts to support their writing. Did you notice that some of the children invented characters to talk you through their information? Did you notice that some of the children tried to help you learn through comparison? Did you notice each author’s voice or how several of the children tried to engage you with humor? I am looking forward to our next research project related to mapping and global geography. I can’t wait to see how their ideas and abilities grow.

dsc08967The children also learned a great deal about habitats around the world. They learned about food webs and food chains. Many of their animals are endangered. They understand how one change – the loss of one animal is never just one – it impacts and changes entire ecosystems. At first we thought it would make no difference if one animal is lost, but now we know different.

Our Special Scientist Project

We had great kick-off to this project by having Peter Gustafson (Mrs. Gustafson’s husband), director of the S.E.E. Science Center in Manchester, to teach us about the scientific problem solving, combustion, chemical reactions and fun. With just two plan pieces of paper he helped us discover one of the most important things scientists do – they experiment with ideas. He also helped us understand how scientists collaborate and work together. They are out to improve our world and to achieve this they need to share ideas to grow new and better ones.

dsc08951dsc08953dsc08955We learned the three things needed for combustion. See if your child can remember what it took to make the turkey baster cannon fire. Combustion needs three things – can they tell you? We also learned about catalysts to chemical reactions. It was interesting to learn that science is like following a recipe – the right amount and combinations work perfectly. Talk to your child about what s/he remembers. It was fun and interesting. Be on the lookout for information about our Who Am I scientist project. It will require some of your help at home – thank you in advance for that!

Time in math – Learning our 5’s table

recessrecessThis week we’ve been exploring the connection between telling time and knowing the 5 times table. The children have been working to read analogue and digital clocks. They’ve been thinking about how many of one thing they think they can do in a minute and then checking to see how much time as elapse. We’ve also straightened out the time on a clock to show how it is a time line.

Bits and Pieces

  • dsc08980This week our challenge with Mr. Caron was one where we could practice either self-management or social responsibility. Each student chose what he or she would work on and then we problem solved our way across a “swamp.”
  • We’ve begun our 4th chapter read-aloud, School According to Humphrey  The hope is that this will be a way of opening the door to new series that are slightly more challenging and on the edge of reading independently. It’s already happening as the Humphrey books have been discovered.
  • We’ll be starting cursive next week – exciting too.

Thank you for all you do!


It’s Wednesday – here are some math problems to solve

numbersTera said she would make snowflakes for the 6 friends who asked her to make them one.  It takes her 21 minutes to make each snowflake.

How many minutes will it take Tera to make all six snowflakes?

Tera’s bedtime is 8:15.  If she starts making the snowflakes at 6:25 is she going to be able to finish everyone snowflakes before she has to go to bed?  Or is she going need a second night?  Explain how you know.

8e5ebcd42ef07d7fb13ae7662ab3f68aSamantha decided that she would make pipe cleaner monkeys for her 17 classmates.  She thought they were fun and hoped her friends would too.  She needed 5 pipe cleaners to make each monkey.  How many pipe cleaners did she need altogether?

It took her 12 minutes to make each monkey.  How much time did it take her to make all 17 monkeys?

It’s Wednesday – here are some problems to solve

numbersHappy Thanksgiving!  I hope you all have a wonderful day celebrating with gratitude and joy.

There were 4 pies on the Thanksgiving table.  Each pie was cut into 8 slices.  How many slices of pie were there altogether?

There were 12 people at the Thanksgiving feast.  Two of them had 2 pieces of pie.  The rest had 1 piece.  How many pieces of pie were left for the next day?

imagesThere are always nuts to snack on at Thanksgiving.  There were 125 walnuts in the bag and we had 3 bags.  How many walnuts were there altogether?

We we cracked them we tried to make them split in the middle so we could make ornaments from the halves.  We got 29 of the walnuts to split perfectly.  How many ornaments could we make?







unknown-2There are usually 18 feathers in a turkey’s fan tail.  There were 14 turkeys eating the acorns in my yard.  How many fan tail feathers would that be altogether?