Thursday, January 30, 2014

Sound Cups of Science

Sound isn't always very exciting. But I wanted to make sure my students were really understanding that different objects create different noises. In this experiment, there are sixteen (yogurt) cups with eight different objects. There are eight matches the students try to find as they are shaking them. They use their chart to describe the sound and then try to find the matches. They loved trying to see how good their ears were!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

100th Day of School

We celebrated the 100th Day of School with some 100 second challenges. The students estimated how many times they would be able to _______ in 100 seconds. Then they were timed to see if their estimates were close. The activities they participated in there: write your name, stand up and sit down, blink, jump up and down, say the alphabet, and count to ten. They were LOVING this celebration!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Methods of Addition

Our district adopted Math Expressions as our math curriculum. This is our first year with Math Expressions and I am in LOVE with it! It is very face-paced, but it builds upon itself very well. The students are catching on quickly and I can see so much growth in them from the beginning of the school year.

I took some pictures of my teacher manual of the three methods of addition we taught the students. They are: New Groups Above (this is most common in U.S.), New Groups Below, and Show All Totals.
My students have gravitated with New Groups Above mostly. This is the one I am most comfortable with as well. New Groups Below is almost the exact same as New Groups Above, except your put your "new group number" on the equation line instead of above the place value (see picture, it will make more sense). Show All Totals is adding in expanded form. This is helpful for students to "see" the new groups happening. We also create Proof Pictures to prove the addition happened with place value drawings.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Winter Door Decorations

Our classroom door needed a little pizazz when coming back from Winter Break. I found a resource through Pinterest from The Sharpened Pencil and couldn't wait to get it into my kiddo's hands! I asked them to write about what they most enjoy about winter.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Martin Luther King, Jr. Research & Mini-Book

As soon as we came back from Winter Break, we started our Martin Luther King, Jr. research. In the past, our students have written a mini research paper. This year, we jazzed up our activity by using Blair Turner's MLK Mini Book (freebie on TpT). The students filled out all kinds of information about MLK and decorated the books. I am holding on to these books to show off at parent-teacher conferences!

More resources:
  • Clip of MLK's speech -
  • Animated story of MLK's life -

Friday, January 17, 2014

Classroom Maps

After reviewing types of maps and the main components of maps, we created maps of our classroom! First, we had to determine the orientation of our class; basically, which way is north. Then, we discussed how to create a key/legend of the items in our class. The students did a create job of creating these maps!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Landforms & Waterways in North America/USA

At the end of last school year, the 4th grade teachers suggested that we 3rd grade teachers try to add to our social studies instruction. This week, we covered landforms and waterways in North America and the USA. The students had a map on which a find, color, and label well known landforms and waterways while the students see actual maps of these landforms/waterways.

We used this map and worksheet from Home School Creations. I created a powerpoint to go along with each landform and waterway. I would post it on TpT, but I did a lot of googling maps and photos, so it wouldn't pass the copyright test ;)

Here are some of my students' completed maps:

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Diaper Science!

You can have fun and learn at the same time! Case in point, break out a package of diapers in front of a class of 3rd graders ;)

I found this science experiment while searching the internet for a fun, one day experiment that my students would be able to the bulk of on their own. We wanted our 3rd graders to go through the scientific process with more responsibility. Many of the science experiments we have done have completed we the students observing while I (and some volunteers) do the experiment or it is too difficult to get enough materials for more than one experiment can be done at once. I was so happy to find this simple and fun experiment!

After the rolls of giggling and tears of laughter over having diapers in our classroom, we got down to business. We determined our question to be "How much liquid (in mL) can a diaper hold?". Before materials were distributed, the students made their hypothesis of how much water the diaper would hold. The students were split into groups of 3 or 4 and given a diaper, recording sheet, a graduated cylinder, and water (dyed blue so we could see it better). The students added water in 25 mL increments and tallied as the water was added.

We determined that the diapers were "full" when they were no longer dry to the touch. The amount of water held varied from group to group, with totals ranging from 225-325 mL. We discussed why diapers needed to hold so much liquid (cue more giggling and howls of laughter). This was such a fun experiment and will definitely be one we do again next year!!

Note: My students suggested we do the experiment again, but with different types of diapers. That might get a bit expensive, but a great idea!
Diapers are so much FUN!!