Thursday, May 30, 2013

Solar System Study

My district reading curriculum is StoryTown. The 3rd grade series ends with two stories, one fiction and one nonfiction, about our solar system. It is a wonderful way to end of the school year. The students really get into learning more about space and each of the planets. Our writing for these two weeks is a research project over each planet. Students are placed in groups of two or three and assigned a planet to study.

Because it is the end of the school year and I will be moving classrooms, my bulletin boards are down. So we created a new bulletin board with the planets lined at the top and the inside of our space ship at the bottom. We filled the space with stars and comets as well.
Each planet group researched and organized their information into a poster to present (Speaking & Listening!) as well as an individual travel brochure. The brochures were written in a persuasive manner to entise people to visit each planet. The students got pretty creative with this, two of my favorite: Do you need a tan? Mercury is the planet for you! and Are thunderstorms your thing? Visit Neptune!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Painting Like Michelangelo

I am sure most of you have seen the Pinterest idea of having students paint under their desks like Michelangelo. As a grade level, we decided to try it out! This activity was a part of our Countdown to the Last Day balloons, which the students look forward to each day. If I only had a dime for every time I was asked "When are we popping the balloon?!"

Before we got started, each student received some drop cloth paper to protect the carpet in our classroom. I asked the students to lay down under their desks and think about summer. I asked them to imagine something fun they were going to do when school got out. This is what I wanted them to paint. Each student was given paper and tape to attach to the underside of their desks. Paint was handed out and they got started! I put some music on and we had a ball!! Their art turned out wonderfully!!


Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Penny Water Drop Experiment

One of our last 3rd grade experiments is the Penny Water Drop Experiment. Each student receives one penny and each group of 3 get an eye dropper and a cup of water. Before they start, each student predicts how many drops will fit on the heads side of the penny. Most of the estimates are between 2-10. Then, after a quick review of how to use an eye dropper, the students are off to experience how strong water molecules are attached to one another (water cohesion). This experiment shows water's surface tension. We have discussed the molecules of solids, liquids, and gases and this experiment really shows the students how strong those molecules are!

The groups counted the water drops together and some groups got all the way up to 50 drops! After they were finished with the heads side of the coin, the students could see if the tails side was able to hold as many water drops. Then we discussed why the numbers are different (answer: there are different pictures embossed on each side that take up room).

Monday, May 27, 2013

Pinteresting Summer

One of the perks of being a teacher is having summers off. I have been on Pinterest finding some things to try this summer. Here is what I'd like to do!

Writing: I want to have an organized writing center. I have some classroom journals for my students to write in for Daily 5-Work on Writing. I want to have many kinds of paper for them to write on and examples of types of writing they can do.

 Classroom Management
 Beginning of the School Year:

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Whippin' Up The Desks!

One of our Countdown Balloons was to whip out the shaving cream and clean off our desks. The students LOVED this! They loved getting messy and writing/drawing on their desks with their fingers. It was a wonderful way to end our school day!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Area - Shoe Lesson

The Shoe Lesson
Here's another way to get some hands on area and perimeter experience! Each student brings in a shoe of their parent, or they use their own if they happen to forget their parent's shoe. First thing, students share whose shoe it is because they love to hear what their classmates brought!

The shoe is traced on 1-inch grid paper. The students find the perimeter using either string trailed along the outline or using their pinkie finger as a centimeter measure. To find the area of the shoe, students count all the whole squares. Then comes the tricky part, students need to find part-squares to "put together" to make up a whole square.