Why do people make changes in life? How do nonliving things change?
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.”
READ-A-THON MYSTERY READERS and Dress Up As Your Favorite Storybook Character THANK YOU to all of our Volunteers!
Community Building in the Classroom!
ENGLISH AND LANGUAGE ARTS
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.
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. 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.
Our Math block starts off by having our students practice their math fluency by completing daily addition and math facts. Students then complete a problem of the day and are shown videos that explain how the math they are learning connects to their daily lives. After the whole group mini lesson is taught students work in small groups to complete individualized skills. So far we have explored ordering numbers, comparing numbers and rounding numbers. We looked at patterns of numbers and continue to work on adding and subtracting two-three digit number with and without regrouping.
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. Next week we will study the new colony of South Carolina, the Lord Proprietors and the pirates who sailed the seas off the coast of South Carolina.