Celebrating Science

We had a wonderful day celebrating scientists and science today.  First of all, thank you for your time and support of this project.  The children love science!  They have an open, questioning mind about the subject and an understanding of how diverse it is because of this project.  The children know that “mad scientists” are fiction and, they have a strong sense of what scientists do to solve problems and to continually ask questions to lead to further discoveries.  They know that one question, leads to another, and another after that.

In between Scientist Reveals we conducted several experiments.  This allowed everyone to think through all of the step of the scientific process.  Our first experiment asked:  What happens when we put raisins in ginger ale?  Our second experiment wondered:  What will happen to food coloring when a drop of soap is added?  And our third experiment asked:  What happens when you put skittles in water?

As we conducted the experiments it was interesting to see the differences among the tables.  Each group had the exact same supplies and followed the exact same procedures – and yet, each group was different.  Why? That made us wonder…What would happen if we used popcorn kernels, almonds or Craisin instead of raisins?  Would our experiment be the same or different?  Would the colors react differently in the Tie Dye milk if we added more color… if we added more soap?  In our final experiment, what would happen if we added more Skittles?  What about blowing on the Skittles…flipping the Skittles?

The great thing about asking questions is the more you wonder, the more you wonder, and the more you discover.

We had fun using physics to create catapults and plan optical illusions.  There is so much more in science for us to explore.  3E is a fan of science.  Your children are on an exciting path of discovery!  Happy Experimenting!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Friday Quick Write Ideas

Steamy weather is on the way… these prompts are to help you remember all the things you love about summer – even when it’s HOT!

Read through the prompts, think about them for a bit and when you’re ready, find ten quiet minutes to begin…  It’s okay if you finish one idea and  begin another.  Just try to keep writing for the whole ten minutes.  It’s also okay if you don’t finish when the time is up… you decide:  stop, or keep writing.   You may want to post your quick write as a comment, or on your own blog. Have fun writing!

Where is your favorite place to go in the summer?  Tell a story about being there.  Can you include all five senses?

What is your favorite family summer tradition?

Write about poem about the first day of summer.

Write a poem about the last day of summer.

What is your favorite summer memory?

Happy Writing!

Our Week – May 2

I hope you had a wonderful spring holiday with your family.  From the stories told in the classroom, there were some ups and down, but mostly exciting ups.  I’m glad. Thank you for fitting in a visit to Wonder World.  We knew having it come right after vacation was tricky – thank you to all who were able to attend.  Spring is a super busy and active time.  I’m sure you are racing to meetings, practices and recitals in a thousand different directions.

Wonder World

The class was buzzing with excitement and pride as they prepared for the museum on Monday.  We had many parents and visitors come during the day and many families come at night.  Thank you for walking through the displays and talking to the children about what they’d learned and what they found most interesting.  The children spent a lot of time discovering new things about places around the world.  An awesome part of this project is that now, each of the students will be more keyed into their country and the countries of their classmates.  They’ll keep learning about them and will gain even more understanding about our world.

Many of the children (over half as I type this on Wednesday) have completed a blog post summarizing their global geography project.  They’d love to hear from you if you have time to read them.  It surprised me to read more and different facts on these blogs than I had read on their display boards.  How cool it that! If you have the chance to read the blog, leave a comment to let the children know what you learned from each part of the project, and what you noticed about the growing research and writing skills.

The State Parade Project

This week we read about each region in our country and looked at lots of different books about the states.  The children selected their top four states and tried to write a compelling reason as to why they should be the person to learn about their top choice.  We talked about dealing with disappointment because only one 3rdgrader can research a state.  It is going to be tricky.  Please help your child understand, that all states have amazing wonders – places, people, historic sites, festivals and exciting tourist spots. Once they begin discovering, even a fifth choice will feel exciting.

Ms. Coronato and I will meet on Friday so students know their state on Monday.  You will be receiving information about the project, as much of the building is done at home.  We’ll do the research and the writing in the classroom.  The students, with your help (thank you very much) will create floats of represent their chosen wonders.  On Monday we will look at examples of floats from past years.  I have posted some examples for you to see on a blog post announcing the project and posting the size criteria in case that gets lost in the shuffle.  You can get to those post here and here – they were posted on April 28.

The Parade of the States will be Thursday, May 23.  The children will need to arrive at 4:45.  The event is likely to last an hour to an hour and a half.  Thank you for marking the date on your calendars.

Bits and Pieces –

  • This week we welcomed Ryan Harrington to our classroom.  He has joined us from South Hampton.  We are glad to have him with us.
  • We’ve continued our work with fractions.  It seems as though most of the children understand the concept of numerator and denominator.
  • We’re in the thick of the action in our chapter read aloud, The Green Ember.  We’re trying to figure out just who Smalls is and why he is so important to Uncle Wilfred – even more important to protect than family.
  • We’ve been sharing books that help us think about friendship and friendliness.  We’re learning the steps of the Open Circle Problem Solving process to try to break from our habit of blaming first.  It’s tricky.

Announcing … The Parade of the States

This week the children will be choosing the state they will research and present at The Parade of the States. During the next week and a half, the children will be identifying the wonders from their state.  They’ll be choosing a state symbol to learn more about.  They’ll be identifying a famous person from their state, as well as choosing a man-made wonder, a natural wonder and a state festival, tradition or celebration.  Children may choose other Wonders if they would like to represent them on their floats.

These Wonders will be represented on the floats they will present in the Parade of the States.  Here are some samples of floats from past years to give you all some ideas.

The floats may be a sandwich board,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Or on a wagon, rolling suitcase, cooler, skateboard or an original base.

 

 

 

 

Suggestions of how to build each type of float along with the following criteria and more detailed instructions will be sent home on Monday, April 13.

Size Criteria:

  • Sandwich Board/Float should be no more than 36 inches long.
  • Sandwich Board/Float should be no more than 48 inches high.
  • Sandwich Board/Float should be no more than 30 inches wide.

Design Criteria:

  • The float obviously represents your state and shows its uniqueness.
  • Clearly represents your, the student’s, own ideas, work and effort
  • Shows common easily found materials were used to create the float.
  • Clearly demonstrate your, the student’s, best effort and creativity.

Content Criteria:

  • Represent and label your Wonders on the sandwich board or float clearly and accurately.
  • It is a fun project and such an exciting celebration of our country and a year of learning!  We can’t wait to see you on Thursday, May 23!

Here Are This Week’s Blog Prompts

We’ve been learning about seed parts, seeds, planting and growing.  This week be began a seed growing experiment in the classroom and began chard as part of our school-wide square foot gardening project.

About six weeks ago Sutton collected apple seeds from his lunch and planted them.  We have seven 4-inch apple tree seedlings in our classroom.  We’re going to see how they thrive in the nice warm greenhouse.  All our growing projects inspired us to share spring thought on our blogs.  Please leave a comment when you read them.  They are inspiring.

Spring

  • What is your favorite part of spring and why?
  • A fresh start at spring is a great time to…
  • If you could plant a garden of anything, what would be in it?
  • Tell your story of gardening
  • Tell the story of a magical garden
  • Write a poem about the flowers, gardens and new baby animals of spring
  • Other…

Thanks for reading.

Here Are This Week’s Blog Prompts

We’re learning more about the world, and we’d like to do all we can to make it more peaceful.  Below you can see some of the books we’ve been reading to help give us different ideas.

Today while blogging, some of us finished posts on different topics, but some of us thought and wrote about peace.

  • What does peace mean?
  • Describe peace in five words. Explain why you chose those words.
  • How can you create peace in our world?
  • Write a story about a peaceful world?
  • What are three things you can take to be more peaceful?
  • Write a poem about the world where all the people stopped fighting.

It’s Blogging Wednesday

This is the 3rd week of the Growth Mindset Read-Aloud project.  We’ve had some technology challenges in our classroom that wouldn’t allow us to connect with the video and the online conversation about After the Fall by Dan Santat.  After we read the book again – it’s one of our favorites, we realized accidents do always happen.  You can let worry about them keep you from what you love, or you can come up with a new idea and make a plan to overcome your fears.   It’s okay if that takes some time.

After we read After the Fall we each chose a picture book with a Growth Mindset message to summarize.   We read the books and wrote reviews to share what we could learned from them.  We shared how they help us learn more about the benefits of having a growth mindset.  Please read our individual blogs to find our book summaries.   We hope they inspire you to follow your dreams … even if the journey is an exhaustingly rough challenge.

 

 

Joining a Growth Mindset Project

We are excited to join a Growth Mind Set Read Aloud Project developed by a teacher at the Louis Riel School Division in Winnipeg, Manitoba.  Annick Rauch is the teacher of a 1/2 classroom in a French Immersion school.  We are looking forward to connecting with students in other places around the globe.  During the first week we read The Word Collector by Peter H Reynolds.  The class decided to answer the questions from the project by creating individual blog posts sharing their answers.

The questions are:

What thing do you like to collect?

What word could Jerome find to go into a “Growth Mindset” scrapbook?

What are good ways to use your words?

Jerome is Word Smart and he shares it with the world.  What are some of your smarts?  What talents do you share in your classroom?

How will you make the world better?

Go to each of their individual blogs to read how these questions were answered from week 1 on the four week challenge.

Fractions and Music

We’ve begun to learn about fractions in math class, but the concept becomes even clearer when we’re learning how to read and write music with Mrs. Oliver.  Here are some of our first rhythms showing which fractions are equivalent to a whole note.  Four of the groups were able to finish their rhythm and performance.  Enjoy!

Our rhythm shows that four 2/8 beats equal one whole note.

Our rhythm shows how a whole note equals 2/8+2/8+2/8+2/8.

Our rhythm shows that 1/2 note +1/2 note =1 whole note.

Our rhythm shows that a whole note is equal to four quarter notes.

Our Week – December 21

Our week has been filled with reading and writing, math and social studies.  We are completing a round of book clubs, learning more about elaboration in writing, exploring estimation and rounding, and moving into the final phases of our national holiday research project.

I hope both you and your children are feeling ready to tackle the interview and family story project. I do not mean to place stress into your vacation.  I hope this is a fun opportunity for the children to learn more about their family.  We appreciate your help and support.  We are looking forward to the stories we discover.

Our week has also been filled with cooperative group work.  We completed our “door” gecko and it is really quite beautiful – who knew a lizard could be so festive!  We’ve also begun our Grade 3 weather forecasting project to meet the SAU competency initiative.  There’s a lot going on in 3E.

Exploring Fractions

This month our calendar pattern is designed to help us discover more about fractions and equivalence. Through the pattern so far we have learned about halves, thirds, fourths, sixths and eighths.  We’ve discovered how halves, fourths, and eights AND thirds and sixths help us understand equivalence.  We’ve been reminded of what was learned last year, so we can build on that understanding.

The class has been learning a lot of about fractions in music with Mrs. Oliver too.  They’ve been creating rhythms by combining whole, half, quarter and eighth notes.  It’s not easy to do and takes a lot of concentration.  Some of the children decided to share what they’ve been learning and creating for me to video.  We will share them in the next blog post.  What will be exciting to note and notice is how this learning grows throughout the year when they play in recorder concert before Parade of the States in May.

Learning About Description in Writing

We know that the best writing creates pictures in the reader’s mind.  Authors choose their words carefully.  We’ve been trying to do this too.  We’ve realized it is not easy.  Authors take time to stop and think about word choice.

We’re learning about the parts of speech.  We’ve been learning more about how adjectives describe nouns and how adverbs describe verbs. Adverbs are tricky.  This week we challenged ourselves to include at least one adjective or adverb in each sentence.  We also tried a descriptive writing challenge.  Ten classmates kept track of each adjective or adverb they used as they were writing on Wednesday.  Sometimes the writing was better and we could visualize more of what the writer was thinking.  Sometimes the writing wasn’t better.  It was too wordy and a bit confusing.  We’ll keep practicing.  We plan to use this elaboration strategy when we turn our family stories into published books.

Bits and Pieces –

  • We finished The Wild Robot Escaped.  We are sad that Roz and Brightbill will not be part of our classroom each day, but we’re going to write to Peter Brown to see if he has any plans that could lead to a third.  We’d also like to tell him how much we enjoy his books.
  • Inspired by the NH Ladybug Book project in the library, the class decided to have monthly classroom book awards.  The children have been writing up a storm.  Each month anyone who would like to can submit a book for the contest. They’ll be read over the course of a few days and then the each child can vote for his or her top three choices. The hitch is, you cannot vote for your own book.  We held our December vote on Tuesday.
  • The Weather Forecast teams have chosen the place in the world they would like to gather data from. We’ll be forecasting from all over the world.  This week the pairs designed the Logo for their TV station.
  • We’re learning how to round numbers to the nearest 10 and the nearest 100.  We’re using what we know to make estimates.

Have a restful, happy holiday and a wonderful vacation.