We’ve done a great deal since the last note home. We went to the New Hampshire Farm Museum in Milford to learn lots about living in the mid-1800s. We’ve created and shared our animals and habitats at the Animal Wonderland. And we’ve shared our goals for learning during our student led conferences. Each of these special things happened while we continued on with reading, writing, math and content studies each day as well. Thank you for encouraging and supporting these efforts by talking about them at home and encouraging your child to think more about learning.
Thanksgiving Field Trip and Book Clubs
Two weeks ago we learned that Sarah Hale spent over twenty years trying to persuade the country to declare Thanksgiving a national holiday. She thought a day should be set aside for gratitude and she thought it should be a national observance that could make our country stronger. Four presidents disagreed, but the fifth, Abraham Lincoln, just after the battle of Gettysburg, agreed. He too could see that our country needed a time to reflect on good during a very sad time.
It was interesting to get a glimpse of what family life was at that time at the farm museum. It was different to be sure and while we had fun doing the work on that one cold day, we could see that it might be tough to keep it up day after day.
We’ve also learned lots of different things related to the history of Thanksgiving in our book clubs. Talk to your child about the book he or she chose to read and the information it shares about our national celebration.
3E’s Animal Wonderland
On Monday and Tuesday the children put the finishing touches on their writing, habitats and paper mache animals to create their zoo displays. They had fun painting and adding the details to bring their animals to life. It was exciting to have everyone at our museum. Thank you all for making the time for that. It was a wonderful celebration of nearly two months of research and writing and creating. The class learned a great deal through this integrated study of science, reading, writing and art.
We are looking forward to more research projects and new opportunities to share our learning with you.
Student-Led Goal Setting Conferences
I appreciate the opportunity to listen to the children share their work with you. It is one thing to talk about learning goals in the classroom and to encourage each learner to reflect on what he or she is doing in a way that helps them achieve even more. It is another thing to share and explain that makes that talk real. Thinking about thinking and learning matters. That reflection deepens understanding and third graders are just beginning stages to recognize this. Given opportunities to practice, they will become powerful thinkers. When you ask your child to tell you more about his or her thinking, you are stretching them even more. Why do you want to read a fatter book? How will reading more pages make you a stronger reader? Why do you want to solve problems quickly? How will being fast make you a more skilled mathematician? Each question helps them pause and consider how they can develop more purposeful goals and become confident, self-directed, lifelong learners.
Bits and Pieces –
- Global Geography and Mapping – We’ve begun learning about mapping. We’re learning about the features of all maps and learning to create them. We’re also going to explore each of the continents and learn about different cultures around the world.
- Family Stories – We’re going to begin collecting family stories to launch our narrative writing unit. We’ve talked about how some families tell many stories, while other families do not. Either way, all families have some. Be prepared, your children are going to be asking you to tell them about what you remember about being 8 or 9. I hope you’ll have fun exploring those memories with you children
- Eben’s begun collecting The Seven Wonders of Sassafras Springs. He’s collected three so far. Talk to your child about the stories Eben is collecting as he travels through his small hometown. We’re wondering if North Hampton has any tales like them. Are there Wonders in North Hampton?
- We are planning to create a calendar highlighting the animals from our zoo. We’d like to create a business and sell them to raise money for threatened and endangered animals. It’s exciting to help make the world a better place.