A teaching resource for educators, students, and their families. I began a new educational journey teaching 3rd grade and love it! My teaching philosophy is that students learn best by doing. With that in mind, I strive to create learning activities that are engaging, meaningful, creative, challenging, hands-on, and FUN.
Now that spring has arrived flowers are blooming outside and poetry is blooming inside our classroom. The first spring themed poem we composed during writing workshop was "RAINBOW" poems. First, students created "Rainbow" bubble maps to brainstorm associations we have with colors in a rainbow. Next, students composed rough drafts, which they peer edited with partners. Then, the students wrote their final drafts and used markers to decorate them with a rainbow...
Another type of spring themes poem students created were "Spring Similes". We used a "Spring" bubble map to generate ideas about spring using our five senses. Next, students wrote rough drafts, using similies to write about spring. After peer editing the students wrote their final drafts and glued them on paper plate flowers, which they colored with crayons and markers.
Our 3rd grade writers have been strengthening their writing skills and revealing their creativity composing personal narratives during writing workshop. Each week we read a mentor text, discuss the topic and ways the author brought it to life for readers such as using descriptive language, and then write our own personal narrative about the same topic.The steps of our writing process are:
Our personal writing unit started by first learning what this genre is using visuals such as this anchor chart...
Students learned the main idea is the "watermelon" and the supporting details are the "seeds". We demonstrated our understanding of this by classifying statements as either a "watermelon" or "seed" idea on a graphic organizer...
One of our personal narrative topics was "A Special Place". First, we read Owl Moon by Jane Yolen. Students gave examples of descriptions she used to bring her special place to live for her readers. One of her strategies we identified was using similies to compare things. Next, we created a bubble map of special places and students chose one to write about. After our rough drafts were completed we participated in peer editing to revise and edit our work. Finally, we composed our final drafts and shared them with classmates...
Other personal narratives we've written and will be writing are "A Special Talent", "An Exciting Live Moment", and "Food and Family". Students will create a personal narratives book containing their stories at the completion of the unit.
Learning comes alive for students when they are provided with hands-on activities to engage their interest and allow exploration. 3rd graders were provided with this type of experience during our new math and social studies units.
At the start of our math unit on area students were given unifex cubes to calculate the area of a variety of shapes in square units...
Students then learned how to find the area of irregular shapes and how to use multiplication to find the area of shapes.
In social studies, we've been learning about our country's early history. Activities included learning about the 13 colonies via Brainpop JR
Next, we studied the Revolutionary War, Declaration of Independence, and Constitution. Students examined a replica of the Declaration of Independence and were amazed at how the founding fathers wrote using a quill and ink. Students also examined dolls wearing colonial attire and tried on colonial clothing such as bonnets and caps...
Nest, we'll be learning about our country's inventors such as Thomas Edison and Alexander Graham Bell.
The Third Grade Learning Spot has been ringing in the new year with lots of engaging learning activities!
Our class started our new division unit in math by meeting "Division Man" who taught us the steps how to divide. Students created "Division Pizza" booklets to learn what division means, strategies to divide, and solve division word problems.
In Writing Workshop, 3rd graders utilized their creativity when they composed snowglobe stories about waking up trapped in a snowglobe and how they got out. Then, they created paper plate snowglobes illustrating a scene from their stories and decorated them with glitter glue and foam snowflakes. Our stories and projects are decorating our hallway bulletin board.
Wishing everyone a new year filled with good health, joyous experiences, and an abundance of opportunities!
Lots of hands-on learning has been going on in a variety of subjects the past few weeks. Our class began our physical science unit learning about the 3 states of matter (solid, liquid, gas), physical and chemical changes, and mixtures in a variety of interactive ways including using Scholastic Study Jams to learn about physical and chemical changes...
and classifying picture cards as a physical or chemical change...
The highlight of the unit was conducting a "Magic Milk" experiment to create a chemical change. Students observed food coloring drops didn't move in a bowl of whole milk...
However, when we added a few drops of dish detergent the food coloring "ran" to the edges of the bowl and then swirled together!
Our smart scientists figured out the fat in the whole milk reacted with the dish detergent causing a chemical reaction, which we observed as the rainbow swirls in the milk.
Our language arts unit on nouns also included lots of hands-on learning activities such as "Fishing for Irregular Nouns". Each student used a toy fishing rod to catch a magnetic fish with a noun written on it. The student had to change the singular noun into its irregular plural noun form such as changing "goose" to "geese" and "woman" to "women".
Our 3rd grade writers have been hard at work learning about how to generate ideas and revise and edit before we jump into writing specific genres. Here's some of the mini lessons we've completed...
Ways we've practiced generating topic ideas and details included using bubble maps and heart maps.
Learning how to form a paragraph containing a topic sentence, details, and a concluding sentence was a breeze using the "Stoplight Paragraph" method.
We learned good writers can stretch a sentence by answering the 5 w's...who, what, when, where, and why.
Editing and revising our writing will be easy-peasy when we use the C.U.P.S strategy.
Our class has also begun learning about our first parts of speech topic nouns, in many hands-on ways such as demonstrating our understanding of where the apostrophe goes in a singular and possessive noun using picture card prompts and Expo markers on the easel and and macaroni "apostrophes" and word cards.
The 3rd grade Learning Spot's school year is off to an awesome start! Here's some of the fun learning activities we did...
After reading First Day Jitters, discussing what having the jitters means, and reading a poem called "Jitter Juice" we drank some "jitter juice" while writing about a time we had the jitters...
The class reviewed place value in a variety of hands-on ways such as rolling a jumbo dice and writing the numbers it landed in in standard and expanded form and using manipulatives to show numbers' place value on place value mats...
We familiarized ourselves with classroom centers such as our library spot...
The highlight of the week was learning about the scientific method (question, hypothesis, experiment, conclusion) doing an experiment called "Save Fred". Small groups used teamwork to figure out how to save Fred the gummy worm when his boat (cup) capsized. Students showed ingenuity when they designed "hooks" and "tongs" using paperclips to lift Fred, stretch out his gummy ring life preserver, and get him in it.
Teachers often hear jokes and jibes about having 2 months off during the summer, but we know that we spend it doing professional development workshops and planning for the new school year. One of the things my teacher brain has focused on this summer is learning about technology tools that enhance lesson plans and classroom management. Here's some of my favs:
Go Noodle -Get your students moving in between lessons to burn off energy! Remind -Classroom messaging app to communicate with students, families, and staff Online Stopwatch-Variety of fun timers to assist with time management
Live Binders -Organize your teaching resources in an online binder for f-r-e-e!
GAMES/BOOKS/QUIZZES Brainpop Jr -Subject videos followed by fun quizzes and jokes. Some videos are for free if your school doesn't have an account. ABCYA-Games for grade pre-K through 5 Scholastic Study Jams-Reinforce math and science topics with animated videos
Our third grade science unit, "Living Things and Their Environments", came to life when we participated in Manasquan Reservoir's "Bugs, Birds, and Biodiversity" program. The field trip began with a live animal presentation, including meeting a catfish and bass, painted turtle and box turtle, a variety of frogs and toads, and a corn snake that some students were brave enough to touch!
(catfish and bass)
(top-box turtle, bottom-painted turtle)
Next, students completed an animal adaption lab activity by rotating through 3 hands-on stations that included re-enacting how animals gather food and matching animals to the food they eat.
We then went on a nature walk that including visiting a butterfly garden and the reservoir. Some students even spotted a gopher peeping out of its burrow!
The unit came alive in class as well. On hands-on activity we did was working in small teams to create 4 link food chains that began with a producer and ended with a consumer...