Our Big Idea this year is Adaptation. We have been talking about how we all have to adapt to being in a new grade with a new teacher. We are spending a lot of time getting to know one another and creating our school “family.”
Below students work on team building and getting to know one another...
Our Enduring Understanding is that CHANGE is inevitable, nothing ever stays the same. Some of our guiding questions are~ Why do people make changes in life, specifically, over the years in South Carolina? How do non-living things change (matter-solids, liquids, and gases)? We try to tie all of our lessons back to these questions and concepts so students come away with a deeper and more meaningful experience of learning.
In Social Studies we started off the year learning about South Carolina's six regions and four major rivers. We have also learned about the American Indians of South Carolina and how they interact with their physical environment, the Spanish and French explorers and their attempts to settle in South Carolina, the new colony of South Carolina and the Lord Proprietors and the pirates who sailed the seas off the coast of South Carolina. Ask your child who they chose to follow: Anne Bonny, Stede Bonnet, or Blackbeard? Next we will study the life in colonial South Carolina and how the colony affected the Cherokee and the conditions of slaves.
The first thing we did in Science this quarter was to look at the sun using eclipse glasses and some of us even got to watch the eclipse in the path of totally!!! What a nice way to kick off the school year!
Our first unit is on Physical Science. Students got excited about the overview of the branches of science and how science has changed our world. We watched several videos that connected our unit to the real world. We put together a science egg carton that separates the branches of science and shows students the differences. Thank you to those that sent in items to help with this experiment! Students were then introduced to atoms, elements, and molecules. We continue to expand our vocabulary by understanding scientific words such as balance, matter, prediction and texture. Students participated in an experiment called Float and Sink. We used objects from around the room that were made up of different properties. First, we filled a tub with water and students predicted if they would sink or float. Then we compared our predictions with the results. Students loved this experiment and wrote about it in their journal. We then explored Solids, Liquids, and Gases. We looked at how each can change and what causes them to change. We did a fun in class experiment to explore gas, where we carefully mixed baking soda and vinegar to make a balloon inflate. We then looked at the make up of the particles inside the different kinds of matter and what it would look like under a microscope.
ELA~Third graders have been working hard to establish their reading and writing procedures. During our reading block, students engage in small group novel studies with guidance from the teacher and with independent literacy based activities. Such activities include Read to Self where the students read good-fit books independently as they increase their reading stamina and Word Work activities where students expand their vocabulary and understanding of new words. Students also worked to improve their reading comprehension by completing reading logs and using evidence from the text to answer questions about what they have read. Reading strategies we have learned to help improve our reading accuracy and comprehension include reading good-fit books, checking for understanding (who and what the story is about), determining authors purpose, visualizing, identifying the setting of stories, and exploring internal and external character traits. We have used our first read aloud of the book titled Frindle practice these strategies. We are about to begin reading our second class novel titled The Island of the Blue Dolphin and can’t wait to be able to use our strategies to understand the characters and events taking place in the story even better! In writing, students have been working to increase their writing stamina. Our focus has been on writing personal narratives. We have been working to “hook” our readers by writing strong leads by using questions, dialogue, flashbacks, action, or sound to begin our narratives. We have just started learning how to use transitional words and phrases to sequence the events in our stories and make our writing clear and easy for our readers to visualize.
In Math, we started off the year exploring how numbers can be expressed, ordered, and compared. Students can now write multi-digit numbers, use place value to compare, order, and round numbers as well as describe number patterns. We then learned how place value can help add larger numbers. Addition properties such as (the commutative, associative, and identity) helps to add numbers more easily. We then learned to round numbers to estimate sums to check to see if our answer was reasonable. We are now solving multi digit addition problems with regrouping! Estimation and mental math strategies and are important to learn because they can be used to check your work!
Check out some of our photos below!!!
Students work on spelling...
Thanks for participating in our Read A Thon! We had 2 special mystery readers that surprised us!
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