Our third graders had a great 4 days of keyboard training at "Camp Almena," and we also enjoyed some special activities along the way, like our reading camp-out, winter hike and of course making s'mores and old-fashioned scout-inspired trail mix made from cereals, fruit snacks, pretzels, m&m's, goldfish crackers and more! Oh, and student were also learning to type! Most students had memorized the keyboard by the end of the second day and were able to type with the "skins" (keyboard covers) on with no problem. I saw the newly learned keyboarding skills transferring back to the classroom by the end of the week when they were working on laptops--students were typing with both hands, keeping them firmly planted on home row. I was very excited to see the progress they made from the beginning to the end of the week! Check out all the pictures from our week in the photo gallery!
Owl Pellet Investigation with the Stage Nature Center
I hope everyone had a wonderful break! We have only a few weeks left to the first semester and we will be busy, busy, busy in all areas of the curriculum. Keep checking our website for updates of all the things we have going on in Room 14! Happy New Year to all. I hope 2016 is your best year ever!
2015 Comes to an End in Style
Our last week of the school in 2015 was certainly busy! Lots of smiles abounded at the end of the week with our Holiday Party, gift giving, gift making and the annual Holiday Sing Along. Thanks so much to our room moms and all the other parents who helped make the class party a memorable experience. You'll find lots of pictures to commemorate the week's events in our photo gallery. I hope everyone has a joyous and restful holiday season with their family.
Third Grade Chocolatiers!
As a follow-up to our trip to the Morley Candy Factory, our third graders tried their hand at making their own tasty confections. They dipped long pretzel rods into melted chocolate and then sprinkled them with candy toppings of their choice. It seems the hardest part was wrapping them up to take home. They wanted to eat them on the spot! There are just a few pictures of the actual dipping below--I have to admit it was tricky helping them dip their pretzels while trying to take photos! Afterwards, many students expressed how they wanted to make these at home, so you can thank me later for that!!
We looked at the leaf structure of perhaps the most well known of the holiday plants, the poinsettia, discussing how water moves through the veins and feeds the plants. We also discussed how the "flowers"are actually groupings of leaves. The bracts, or leaves turn red after they are kept in the dark by growers for 12 hours a day for several days. The lack of light is what makes the leaves turn colors, similar to how tree leaves change color in the fall when they are not undergoing photosynthesis. The students took their knowledge of plant structure and represented it in an artful way with their poinsettia paintings.
A Visit to the Chocolate Factory!
The class had a wonderful time at our Halloween parade and parties. Thanks so much to our Room Moms and all of our parents who contributed to make this one of the nicest Halloween parties Room 14 has ever seen. See more pictures from our fun-filled afternoon in the the video below. Photo Gallery Pictures
How Much Sugar Are We Eating on Halloween?
Our class took a look at the nutritional information of several popular candies. One thing we discovered they all have in common is SUGAR, and lots of it! We compared the weight of the candies in grams to the weight of the sugar and found out that some candies are more than half processed sugar. To demonstrate how much sugar we were really eating, we measured it out in table sugar. Man students were very surprised at the results!!
STEM Challenge: Will it Sink or Float?
STEM education combines elements of science, technology, engineering and math to engage students as they work in collaborative teams to learn about scientific principles. Last week we explored density and buoyancy as we examined several candies to see if they would sink or float. Students had a chance to handle each candy to check on its weight, size and structure before they made predictions of whether it would sink or float.
Next, we tested each candy and students recorded data and made verbal and written observations. It became clear that candies that had light, fluffy insides floated because they were filled with air pockets. Candies that were solid or contained dense ingredients were filled with caramel sank. Some candies, like Twix and Milky way that combined a light ingredient with a dense ingredient still sank, but not as quickly as those that were completely dense.
After some research time on, students were challenged to conduct their own experiments to try to reverse the results! Could they make a candy that sank float? Could they make a floating candy sink? Our third graders designed their own experiments and tested them in front of a live audience! Some of the tests worked, and some didn't but overall, everyone learned quite a bit about what makes something sink or float in water.
Crafty Symmetric Skeletons
Our third graders created these skeletons by painting their name in cursive, then folding the paper in half to create their very own personalized skeleton body. They wrote fictional narratives to go with their creations.
Learning About Shadows with Human Sundials
On Wednesday we furthered our scientific study of light and shadows by becoming human sundials. Students went outside four times during the day, and with a partner traced their shadows on the blacktop. They measured their shadows and recorded the time, length of shadow and position of the sun. Next they wrote observations and made predictions of what the next trip outside would bring. Students discovered that their shadows moved in a circular, clockwise direction, and in a direct line with the sun's position. They also learned the length of the shadow was related to the sun's position in the sky. Shadows were longest early in the morning when the sun was lower in the sky. Shadows were shortest when the sun was directly overhead in the middle of the day and began to lengthen again in the afternoon as the sun began to go lower in the sky. We watched a short video clip on how sundials worked and students were amazed to discover they had become human sundials. Interactive science at it's best!
Our First Reader's Theater~September 25
Students were able to bring out their creative side with Readers Theater on Friday. Readers Theater is a way to build comprehension and fluency as students rehearse lines from short plays repeatedly, using expression and proper intonation for their characters. While it has great literacy benefits, it's also a lot of fun!! Did I mention there is a prop box they get to dive into for two minutes before their performance begins. That two minutes may just be their favorite part! Below are a few pictures showing students reading their scripts, rehearsing and performing.
The Relatives Came Read Along~Sept. 18, 2015
Thank you so much to all of our relatives who came for our surprise event. It was a rainy read-along for sure but the LGI turned out to be a great spot to enjoy a few good book and a few good treats with family and friends. The boys and girls used the Cynthia Rylant book, The Relatives Came, as mentor text for a personal narrative they wrote. If you would like to see more photos from our Read Along, please be sure to visit the photo gallery.
Get to Know You Activity--A House of Cards!
Students were given an engineering challenge to build the tallest house of cards using the collaborative efforts of teammates. The catch was you couldn't add a card to your structure until you wrote something on it that every single team member had in common. Students learned a little about each other as well as learning that a rough surface (the carpet) provided better traction than a smooth surface and that a triangle is the strongest shape you can use in building.
Our First Week Was Awesome!
Watch the video below to see a few of the things we were up to during our first week of school.
The First Day of School is Coming!
Welcome to Room 14!
If you are reading this, chances are you just found out you will be in my class this year! Hooray! I'm so excited to get the new year started. We are going to have an awesome class this year, I can tell already.
Our theme this year is Hollywood and Set the Stage for Learning. What's Your Star Power? Maybe you use kindness, or intelligence, or creativity, or determination or another star quality to succeed. If you're not sure, we'll unlock the mystery to your talents this year!
Check out the website from last year to get an idea of what last year's class did in third grade. We may not do the exact same things this coming year, but whatever we do will be great! I'm hoping I see you at the open house on Wednesday, Sept. 2, from 4-5! You can bring your school supplies that day and put them in your desk!
The New School Year is Almost Here!
Are you getting excited about going back to school? I know I am! Leonard's theme this year is Leonard Leopards Set the Stage for Learning. Setting the Stage means the students are the stars. We've readied the red carpets and all of us our looking forward to meeting this year's special group of celebrities! I just know it is going to be an amazing year!
Letter to Parents
Letter to Students
School Times this Year
9:10 a.m. to 4:04 p.m.
First day dismissal at 12:46.
HAPPY to be 3rd Graders!
Enjoy watching my 3rd graders in the Spring of 2014 as they show how Happy they are! Music by Pharrell Williams. :)