Show Time!

How Fisher Went to the Skyland

Third grade has been working with artist and puppeteer, Anna Sobel to create a puppet show. The show is a retelling of the Anishinabe tale explaining how the seasons change and why the Big Dipper changes its position in the sky. Here are some shots of the class working with Anna to write the script and create their puppets.

Today we had our dress rehearsal. It went great! We are looking forward to performing the show for the 4th and 2nd grade classes.

 

 

 

 

Creating, Adventuring, and Day 120

Mashed Potatoes!

Day 120 had 16 factors. That is a new record for the numbers we have factored so far, and the class calls record breaking number “Mashed Potatoes” since they “mash” all the other numbers.Ā  Here’s the class with their models of the number 120.

Maker Morning and Adventure Afternoon

On Friday we took the day “off” of our regular routines to celebrate all of our hard work on assessments and writing projects. In the morning students had fun creating different projects. People made stuffies, clay figures, and lots of perler bead designs. We also had some people playing games. It was a lot of fun! And I’m so impressed with the projects that they created in such a short amount of time.

Hiking to the Pond

Here are some shots from our hike to the pond. Thanks to all the parents who came with us! Our only goal was to have a good time and I think we accomplished that. Louis even found a tadpole.

 

This week-Opinions, fractions, and frogs!

Opinion Writing

Third graders are learning to write persuasive letters and essays. I am so impressed with what they have come up with so far! We started the unit by writing persuasive speeches about getting new, more comfortable seating in the library. Principal Annie came to hear what the kids had to say and before she left she was convinced! There will be new seats coming to the library before the end of the year! This success motivated the kids to write about other issues they want to be addressed in the school. Students are writing about getting new recess equipment, bringing back Wednesday desserts, organizing a spring clean-up, and more! We will work on publishing some of this writing in the coming weeks so stay tuned…

Fraction Work

This week we started investigating fractions. Today students made flipbooks to use as a reference for naming equivalent fractions. We will keep practicing naming, modeling, and adding fractions.

We Love our Frogs and Fish!

Not much more to say about that!

 

Motion!

Third-graders have been having a lot of fun investigating motion!

We started the unit by exploring magnets. Students experimented with magnets, paperclips, and other materials to better understand forces. They learned that when objects are in motion, forces are unbalanced and that when there is no motion, forces are balanced. Here are some shots of the magnet experiments…

Students are also practicing thinking and acting like scientists. They are collecting and organizing data and then analyzing their finding to make predictions about what would happen if they changed one variable in their experiments. One of our lessons focused on wheel and axle systems. Students were challenged to create a system that could roll straight down a ramp, and another system that could immediately roll off the side of the ramp and “park” underneath it. I’m so impressed with their note-taking and illustrations that explain their process and ideas.

Another lesson focused on air resistance and gravity. The students created “twirly birds” and observed how the system flies. Then they changed one thing about the standard design to compare and make predictions about how its motion would be different. I don’t know how much students actually learned during this lesson, but they sure had fun! We will follow up on this topic sometime this week.

Weather Reports, Data, and Math at the Brook

Weather Reports

Last week students worked in inquiry groups to research an extreme weather event. Each group organized notes into a short information book. Then they turned their books into scripts for weather reports. They did such a great job finding the big ideas within the topic and summarizing those ideas to create short skits. Here are some shots from the week…

Math- Organizing data and creating arrays from natural objects

The third graders are learning to gather and organize data. This week they used patterns blocks, the school lunch menu, and survey questions to create data sets. Then they organized the data into bar graphs and picture graphs. We learned that LES eats a lot of quesadillas!

On Friday we decided to take math outdoors. We walked down to the brook and used natural objects to create square arrays. We are learning strategies for memorizing math facts and one of the strategies is to get to know square facts like 3×3, 4×4 etc. It was great to be outside and to see the kids’ creativity in making arrays!

 

 

Wampanoag Wrap-Up, Math, and Extreme Weather

Wampanoag Projects

We finished up the first third-grade social studies unit on Wampanoag life and their first contact with Europeans. The students did a fantastic job creating projects that demonstrate their understanding of Wampanoag life before the arrival of Europeans. They also did a great job of thinking like historians by analyzing artifacts, interviews, and photos to make claims about historical events. Here are some photos of the final projects. They will be on display in the school library and we will share more about them with you in SeeSaw. (The students who made google slideshows will show you their work at home)

 

Math- Learning addition and subtraction the “old school” way and creating cubes

Over the last two weeks we have been practicing the US standard algorithm for multi-digit addition and subtraction, which is probably how you learned to add and subtract when you were a child. It’s been challenging and fun. You can support this at home by giving your child practice problems.

Here’s Amaru and Louis showing off their models for day 64. You can see that 64 can make a cube out of groups of 4, and is a square number. You can also see Grant in the background showing that you can count by 2’s on day 64. šŸ™ƒ

Extreme Weather

Last week we started a new unit on Extreme Weather. Students will be working in inquiry groups to research an extreme weather topic. They will create a weather report and also engineer a structure that can withstand extreme weather. Here they are in their small groups creating questions that they will research..stay tuned for more about this exciting project!

Book Character Day and more!

Book Character Day was a lot of fun! The kids participated in an all-school parade, got tricked and treated, and shared their haunted house advertisements. Here are some photos from the day.

Becoming Historians

This week we learned how historians approach their work. Students practiced analyzing photos and drawing conclusions about what was happening by using evidence from the photo, the photo credits, and other events happening at that time. Students also made 3-D maps that show the theory of how some of the first people arrived in what we now call North and South America. In the coming weeks, the big questions we are trying to answer are, “What was life like for the Wampanoag before Europeans arrived?” and “How did the land and climate affect Wampanoag life?” Here are some pictures of the young historians at work…

History and Haunted Houses!

Haunted Houses for Sale!

This week students wrote persuasive essays, trying to convince brave humans, vampires, goblins, and ghouls to buy their haunted houses. We had an extra art class with Ms. Neal so that the third graders could create visual images of their houses to accompany their real estate ads. Ms. Neal taught the class how to create a spooky night sky using chalk pastels. We will be sure to post these advertisements in SeeSaw, just in case any of you are interested in making an offer.

Massachusetts History

We started our first history unit. For the next few weeks, we will study the history and culture of the Wampanoag people (and other northeastern tribes). I will approach this topic as a “Knowledge Building” opportunity. We will read stories and non-fiction texts and analyze artifacts to try to better understand the lives of the Wampanoag. Our guiding question at this stage in the unit is, “What was life like for native people before Europeans arrived?” We will slowly build knowledge through reading, observation, and discourse, making claims and finding evidence to back up our claims. So far, I am very impressed with the depth of thought that the class brings to our discussions.

We are also working to ask ourselves, “Whose story is it?” when we read and write about history. On Thursday we watched a short video called “Unlearning ‘Indian’ Stereotypes” and discussed how indigenous peoples’ stories have been left out of American history books and that native people are sometimes misrepresented. Yesterday we read the book, Voices in the Park to help students understand the importance of considering multiple perspectives when studying historical events. I am very excited to start this learning journey with the class! We will keep you posted about what we uncover over the next few weeks.

Publication Celebration and more!

 

If your child is coming home with leaves in their hair it means they had a very fun lunch break.

Publication Celebration

Our Publication Celebration was a success! Thank you for your comments on SeeSaw. The class worked so hard on their stories and we had a great time celebrating their work. Our buddy class, The Chickadees, came to visit. The third-graders were wonderful entertainers and hosts!

Next week we will start a mini persuasive writing project called, “Haunted House For Sale”. Students will write a real estate posting to try and sell a haunted house. We’ll be sure to share that with you on SeeSaw.

Here are some pictures from our celebration.

Halloween Art!

We took a break from writing to create some Halloween art. This class is so creative and had a great time experimenting with oil pastels and water color. Check out the spooky pictures and masks!

New Math Game: “Multiplication Draw”

One of the best ways to practice math skills and memorize math facts is through playing math games. We are working to memorize multiplication facts and will start with 2’s, 5’s, and 10’s. Today we played a game where students multiply two numbers and then add up their totals. I was impressed with their strategies for adding up multiple double-digit numbers! If you are curious and would like a copy of the directions and the recording sheets for home, let me know!

Welcome Back!

Welcome to third grade at LES.Ā  We are so excited to be back in the classroom for the 2021/2o22 school year!Ā  We spent the first few weeks of school deciding on rules and routines. We have been playing games and having discussions to get to know each other better. Our days are joyful and go by so quickly! Here are some highlights from September…

Self-PortraitsĀ 

During the first week of school, we learned about why humans have different skin colors. Students thought about their own unique skin color and tried to match it by layering different shades of brown, pink, orange, and white crayon on paper. We had fun naming our skin colors. The kids came up with some very delicious and fun titles for the colors of their skin!

Students then created self-portraits inspired by the artwork of Romero Britto. I am so impressed by the third graders’ work, and even more impressed with how every student stuck with this very challenging project. The portraits hang above our classroom windows and really let visitors know who the classroom belongs to!

International Day of Peace

In art class students created pinwheels for peace. In our classroom, we memorized and rehearsed “The Democracy Song” (written by my friend, Mareba) and then performed the song for the whole school during the Peace Day celebration. Here’s the class holding their pinwheels and singing the first part of the song. They did a great job during the actual performance, but it was outdoors and hard to record the audio.

Days In School

“Days In School” is a math routine that encourages students to think deeply about number patterns, factoring, and how to have meaningful conversations about mathematics. Each day students create a model for the number of the day and figure out what “fair shares” they can make with the number. We use the acronym BRAVE to help guide our conversations: B-Build on each others ideas, R-Risk half-formed thoughts, A-Ask good questions, V-Value others’ contributions, E-Use Evidence for your claims. This is a knowledge-building activity, so each day we add a little more to our understanding of number patterns and “rules”.

Here are some pictures of models for Day 20. The kids figured out that they can count by 1, 2, 4, 5, 10, and 20. Ask your child what they decided to call numbers that have more factors than any other numbers…( :

Personal Narratives

The class has been working hard to write true stories from their own lives. They have been learning to “zoom in” on one small moment and then stretch it out by adding descriptive details, dialogue, and actions. We have been studying realistic fiction and learning writing moves from published authors. Here are some pictures of the kids during peer conferencing. They are helping each other to bring out the heart of their stories.