Work Our Student Photographers Captured

For the last two weeks we have been exploring symmetry and design.  At  first we worked with pattern blocks and then tried to create original symmetrical designs with pasta.  We used snowflakes as our guide…  Class photographers, Joe, Gabby, Trevor, Sam, Noah and Collin captured some of the designs we created, as well as all the other photographs in this post.  Well done – you have great eyes for action and detail!

We’ve also been working on independent research projects.  We’ve been reading, synthesizing, writing and drawing to share our growing understanding and expertise.  We are looking forward to sharing with our families at a classroom museum event in January.  Please be on the lookout for details as we plan and prepare for this event.

Finally, a major portion of our writing work this week has been capturing the stories behind our 3E Wonders. We will use our stories, drawings and photographs to complete the classroom map of North Hampton.  We trust this  work will show our next steps of learning with regard to paragraph writing.  Some students worked in groups of two or three and a few children worked alone to synthesize the information they had gathered about their chosen site.  Perhaps we should publish them so you can go on a self-guided “Wonder” tour.  Would you use one if you had it?  Leave a comment and let us know.

Along with those things we have also done the usual – reading, writing, creating, playing and sharing with each other – mostly in English, but sometimes in Spanish.  You’ll find Señorita Hoy in one of these pictures – we’re talking  about animals.


Have fabulous vacation.  We hope it is happy and joyful.

Happy New Year from 3E! 

Mapping Sassafras Spring

The Seven Wonders of Sassafras SpringsWe began reading The Seven Wonders of Sassafras Springs by Betty Birney at the end of October.  Eben lives in a pretty ordinary town in the middle of Missouri.  He wants to see the world and explore wonders more than anything.  His pa says that if he can find seven Wonders in Sassafras Spring in seven days, he’ll send him on a train all the way to the snowy mountains of Colorado to visit his cousin.  Eben can’t believe his ears.  He’s also not sure what there is to find in his little town – but he decides to try and with pencil and tablet in his overalls pocket he set off down Yellow Dog Road to discover what Wonders might possibly await him.

Once we finished reading we decided that we would create our own three dimensional map of Sassafras Springs.  We knew we’d need a sign and labels.  We thought we could add a compass rose and our people and buildings would be the symbols on the map.  At the end of November we each drew out the name of the building we would build and the person we would create.  We collected our supplies and began…

We designed and built our homes, community buildings and businesses.

We created a layout of the roads, the creek and the ridge.  We decided how we would place the buildings and hoped they would fit.

We made our characters.  It’s not easy to turn a clothespin into a person even though Aunt Pretty had that as a hobby.

When most of the buildings and characters were created we checked to see if our plan would work.  When we  knew it would we added labels and created the sign that would title our map.

Lastly we added the finishing touches that make the town uniquely Sassafras Springs, Missouri.  We’ve got a bit more to complete, but we’ll be finished in a day or two.

Let us know what you think.  Better yet, stop by our room so you can see all the details.

The River Runner Challenge

Today we went out to our challenge course.  Our challenge was to cross from one side of the “river” to the other without touching the ground.  Not only did we have to cross over on swinging logs, but we also had to reach and pull ourselves around a few large trees.

That was the first part of the challenge.

The second part of the challenge was to split the class in half.  We started from both sides of the “river” and had to cross over when the two groups met.  The logs were really swinging then and we had to be very patient so that everyone was able to cross.  There were lots of good questions, kind words of encouragement and effort.


The last part of the challenge was to see if we could cross with our eyes closed.  We did!  It was a great way to see cooperation, teamwork and communication in action.  We can do great things when we work together.