May 22

Don’t Move a Mussel!

Last Friday, students were treated to a special visit from a scientist named Dr. Kim Holzer from Northern Idaho. She is an Agriculture Program Specialist.

She was skyping us from her field site where she is involved in inspecting boats as they come in off the water. She and her team look for zebra mussels, in particular, which are an invasive species. Dr. Kim talked to us about why it’s important to control invasive species and ensure they do not make their way into Northern Idaho waters.

You can check out this website to learn more. Dr. Kim specializes in aquatic invasive species. She also taught us what ballast water is. It is important to inspect and test ballast water for things that can be harmful when transporting items on a big boat like a tanker.

The students loved asking questions and were excited to see a live demonstration of an inspection of a boat. They were good listeners and thought it was neat to talk to a scientist via Skype!

Thanks Dr. Kim for your time!

May 21

Freaky Leeky

I can’t help it…my ‘teacher brain’ won’t shut off…even on a weekend. I was thinking about my students as I picked wild leeks at my in-laws’ property on Sunday.

As we’ve learned about soil and plants this term, I wanted to share what I was up to. It’s so neat to find your own food, either in your home garden, or out in the wild.

Click here for fun facts about leeks.

Check out my short video about picking leeks!

I think I’ll be making potato & wild leek soup sometime soon. Perhaps this recipe is a good one?

Have you ever tried leeks before?

If you got outside this weekend, what were YOU doing with your time?

 

April 23

#plants

Last week, students were busily gathering research on a plant of their choice.

Some of the plants students were interested in learning more about included:

  • kelp
  • seaweed
  • sunflowers
  • tulips
  • pitcher plant
  • venus flytrap
  • basil
  • cactus

Students used the search engine called Kiddle to gather their information. Next, we used the app called Book Creator to design a digital poster to teach others about their plant. Below you can see some examples of their finished projects.

Students are presenting their work and will continue presentations on Tuesday.

Bravo, Grade 3s!

 

What is a plant you want to learn more about?

Tell us why in the comments.

March 24

What’s the Dirt on Soil?

As we continue to explore soil, today students truly got their hands dirty and looked more closely at what is exactly inside the soil in our own community. Some of the things we found inside our soil samples included:

  • rocks
  • roots
  • topsoil
  • sand
  • clay
  • moisture

Students smelled the soil, felt the soil, examined it, recorded what they found, and sorted their soil into piles according to the things they found. Have a look!

Have you ever explored in soil?

What sorts of things did you find?

March 6

Get the Dirt on Dirt

We’ve launched into our final units in Science which are all about soil and plants.

Soil is so important for life on earth. So, what exactly is it? Soil is a combination of water, air, dead plants and animals, and rocks. We learned soil has several layers including:

  • topsoil + humus
  • subsoil
  • bedrock

Humus is formed from decomposing or rotting things such as leaves, plants, animals.

Soil can be found on the upper layer of the earth and is sometimes known as the “skin” of the earth.  It can be a home for animals, plants, bacteria, and insects.

We’ll be learning a lot more about soil and plants in the coming weeks.

What are things you have found in soil?

November 29

Provinces & Territories of Canada

As part of our Social Studies unit, we are beginning with a solid look at the provinces and territories of our own country, Canada. We live in Ontario but there are many other provinces and territories besides Ontario.

Students are also learning the names of all our Great Lakes using the acronym H.O.M.E.S. 

H=Lake Huron

O=Lake Ontario

M= Lake Michigan

E= Lake Erie

S= Lake Superior

What is a province or territory you would like to visit and why?

November 14

Shoebox Habitats

Our culminating project for Science has concluded and the students are definitely proud of their efforts. Many hours of research and planning were involved in creating the final projects–a shoebox diorama of a specific habitat and animal. The amount of detail and thought put into the design of these dioramas is amazing! I am so impressed! I think you will be, too.

As you will see, students selected quite a variety of animals and their habitats which made for an interesting assortment of projects. Students became ‘experts’ in their chosen habitat and were keen to share their learning with others.

Take a look at the Gr.3’s hard work:

What do you think of our projects?

If you could create a shoebox diorama, which habitat would you recreate?

November 2

Quiz Quiz Trade

To prepare for our Habitats science test, students engaged in an activity called Quiz, Quiz, Trade. This is a great way to review and gets students up and out of their seats, interacting with each other.

It begins with each student holding a card with a question on it. Students start walking around with their hand up. The first person they come across they high 5 and the taller person reads their question first (answers are on the back). They can coach their peer if needed and also praise. Next, the 2nd partner reads their question and afterwards, they trade.

Finally, they begin to walk around in the same manner and continue to ask questions of each other. If needed, they are allowed to use their notebooks to assist them. Check us out in action:

 

October 22

Gobble Gobble!

Last Thursday, Mrs. Sullivan’s students learned about turkeys! Mrs. Sullivan’s husband, Turkey Jay, is considered an expert in turkeys. The students asked questions and Turkey Jay answered. Unfortunately, he was unable to join us in class or by video (he’s camera shy). But, Mrs. Sullivan got the answers and presented the information to the class.

We not only learned about turkey habitats but also a lot more! Students got to see real turkey spurs which the part of their body they use to protect themselves. It is only the males that have the spurs. They also got to see a real turkey beard! Check out the turkey beard on the picture above. Can you see it on the turkey’s chest? Typically only male birds have beards, but did you know that sometimes a female can grow a beard too? (About 10-20%).

A male turkey’s head can change colour (red, blue, white) to reflect its mood. The red flap of skin only exists over a male’s beak and is called a snood. As well only males fan their tail feathers to try to attract a female. They also puff out their other feathers to make themselves look bigger!

Did you know that there are an estimated 70 000 turkeys in Ontario? They were hunted to extinction about 100 years ago but were reintroduced to Ontario in the early 1980s. Check out the full article here to learn more.

Here are many of the questions the students wanted answers to from Turkey Jay:

  • Where do they live?
  • What do they eat?
  • Do they fly? swim?
  • What do they do all day?
  • Where do they sleep?
  • Are they like chickens?
  • Where do they keep their nests?
  • How can you tell if it’s a boy or a girl?
  • What is the red flap on a turkey’s face?
  • Why do turkeys fan their tail feathers?

Ask your child what else they learned about turkeys.

What other questions do you have for Turkey Jay?

Do you like to eat turkey at certain times of the year?

October 2

Producers, Consumers, Decomposers..oh my!

What’s a food chain? How does energy flow from one thing to the next?

A food chain shows us how each living thing gets its food.

A fun game we played together in class today showed us how a food chain works and gave us a chance to make our own food chain. Give it a try! Click on the picture to try it for yourself. (Make sure Adobe Flash is up to date).

Here is some vocabulary we’ve been exploring:

  • producers (make their own food, such as plants)
  • consumers (cannot make their own food, such as animals)
  • decomposers (break down food and eat dead plants and animals, such as bacteria, fungi)
  • herbivores (plant eaters)
  • carnivores (meat eaters)
  • omnivores (both plant and meat eaters)

What type of eater are you?

 

Here are a few short videos about food chains and food webs.