September 27

Terry Would Be Proud

Terry Fox, a true Canadian hero, would have been proud today to see our students carrying on his legacy. Laces tightened, warm-up completed, students ran or walked to support and continue Terry’s fight against cancer. The weather was cooperative and we enjoyed being outside in the afternoon. A good experience was had by all.

Way to go!

 

September 26

Digging Deep

Having a class blog is one way we can open the walls of our classroom and share our learning with others outside our own community, but Skyping an expert is another way!

It was a super special treat today to have archaeologist, Dr. Beth Pruitt, from Washington, D.C., Skype into our classroom!

Beth was so delightful to talk with. Students prepared some questions ahead of time and Beth was more than happy to answer.

Beth explained that an archaeologist is a scientist who studies human history through digging for artifacts.

While we are learning about rocks and minerals, and Beth is not a geologist, she had plenty to tell us about how she digs for artifacts, where she does her work, and what sorts of things she finds hidden in the earth.

Some of the artifacts Beth shared with us included a large piece of a chamber pot. It was beautifully decorated in blue and white details.Students also found out what a chamber pot was used for. Ha!

Beth expressed to us that while she doesn’t have any one favourite artifact, she loves all of the artifacts, because when put together, they tell a story about how humans used to live.

She told us how she was part of a team of archaeologists who uncovered a house underground and how the people who used to inhabit this house even buried items beneath the house. She enjoys discovering unusual and surprising things like this!

New technology such as 3D printing has come in handy when wanting to study artifacts without causing damage to them.

Various tools are used to excavate artifacts including a trowel, shovel, spoon, and Beth has even used a chopstick!

Trowel

Beth showed us an artifact that turned out to be a clay wig curler from the 18th century (known as a bilboquet). They used to be heated up and then the hair of the wig was wrapped around it. Neat!

clay wig curlers

Some of the questions students asked included:

  • How far do you normally dig down?
  • When you were in Gr.3 did you want to be a scientist?
  • Where do you do you digging? Is it near water?
  • What is the difference between a paleontologist and archaeologist?
  • Have you ever damaged an artifact when digging?
  • What was your favourite subject in school?
  • How old is your oldest artifact?

What will future archaeologists uncover about us?

What stories will our artifacts say about us and our culture?

September 21

A Package Has Arrived…

A special package arrived today addressed to our class. Students gathered around the package and made some inferences as to what could be inside. The box was kind of heavy and said “Book Outlet” on the outside.

It was revealed that BOOKS were inside and there seemed to be a theme with this package…soccer!

It was a little like Christmas 🙂

Have a great weekend and keep on reading!

September 19

The Birth of Rocks

We have launched into our first science unit all about rocks and minerals. What better way to launch a unit on rocks than to explore and learn about volcanoes, right?

Students have been investigating about some of these questions so far:

  • could a volcano pop up in your own backyard?
  • why do some volcanoes explode?

Students plotted volcanoes on a map (see picture below) and we noticed a pattern when we put all the maps together. This led us to hear of the Ring of Fire and how 75% of all volcanoes in the world lie on the Ring of Fire.

We learned today that there are different types of lava–thin lava that moves quickly like a syrup and thick lava that moves slowly and is kind of like toothpaste. We were investigating what kind of lava comes from a cone volcano and what  kind comes from a shield volcano.

Cone volcano

Shield volcano

Take a look at us experimenting with thin and thick lava (as you can see in the cups).

We will conclude tomorrow and discuss why some volcanoes explode and what kind of lava comes from a cone volcano and what kind comes from a shield volcano.

 

September 19

How to Choose a Just Right Book

Just right. That’s where we want to be when we have chosen a book to read. Our classroom library is full of amazing books, but how do you know when you’ve chosen a book that is just right for you? That was the focus of a recent lesson in our class.

One of the ways to know if a book may be too hard is if you can count on your fingers 5 or more words you don’t know how to read or don’t understand. We call it the “5 Finger Rule”. We should also be able to make a movie of what we’re reading in our minds. If we can read smoothly (like peanut butter) and with expression, that could mean that we’re reading a book that’s just right.

We also compared reading a lot to practicing for a soccer game. If you only show up to the game and miss all the practices, you’re going to be at a disadvantage and you won’t do as well as you could have. Reading works the same way–the more you read, the better reader you become.

Reading is a verb. It’s an action. Find that cozy spot in your home, wherever that may be, and curl up with a good book. Read with your parents once in a while! Read to your dog or cat! Recommend books to your friends….and me!

Happy reading,

Mrs. Sullivan

September 18

It’s a Whisper Phone

Have you ever used a whisper phone? Well, they have made their way into our Gr.3 classroom and into the hands of eager readers.

What is a whisper phone you ask? It’s a tool that can be used to help hear your voice very clearly just by whispering into it. It amplifies your voice. You use it like a telephone. Whisper phones allow students to hear themselves while speaking quietly into their phones. This allows them to focus on what they are saying and how they are saying it.

What are YOU reading these days?

Do you have whisper phones in your class?

September 16

The Monarch

Have you ever seen a monarch butterfly and think about how it came to be? The monarch experiences such an incredible change and my husband (aka Turkey Jay) was lucky enough to see the process for himself this weekend!

He took these pictures to show you the changes the monarch goes through. Isn’t it amazing?

Here is the process:

Did you know the monarch catarpillar (larvae) cannot survive without milkweed? That is what this caterpillar is nibbling on. This is the ONLY thing they eat.

Can you see the monarch’s wings inside the chrysalis? When you can see the wings, it’s ready to emerge! A monarch stays inside for 10-14 days. During that time, the caterpillar is going through big changes, also called metamorphosis.

And poof! The butterfly has emerged from its chrysalis and has flown away. A monarch butterfly only lives for 2-6 weeks.

 

Have you ever seen a monarch butterfly? What about a chrysalis?

September 14

Dot Day!

Excitement was in the air today as Dot Day finally arrived. Students found creative ways to show their enthusiasm for Dot Day by bringing dot-filled lunch bags, adding dots to their uniforms, wearing dots on their feet, head, and some even came to school wearing dots on their arms and faces! Amazing!

We had a jam-packed day full of fun. We started by creating our dot headbands, made dot art out of coffee filters, collaborated with others outside drawing chalk dots, used the iPads and the app Quiver to bring dots to life, and finished the day eating dots and playing Twister. Phew!

Have a look at some of the fun times we had. More pictures to come!

September 12

We Have a Class of Smarties!

One of the delicious activities our class participated was a Smarties task where each student talked about various aspects of themselves. Each colour of Smarties represented a different question they needed to answer.

On Tuesday, students went on a scavenger hunt around the classroom looking for various things such as How many apples can you find? What are the names of 3 bins in our classroom library? What date does Thanksgiving Monday fall on? There were 13 questions in all.

Congratulations to Anna for winning a special prize for the most correct answers!

September 11

Saving Fred

An important part of our classroom is TEAM work. We have learned that TEAM stands for :

To help us learn to work together, we have been given some challenges. One of the challenges students encountered was how to Save Fred. Fred is a worm who was tossed from his boat (the cup) and the boat turned upside down with his lifejacket trapped underneath. The students needed to work together using paperclips to try and put Fred’s life jacket back on. Students were not allowed to use their hands to touch the boat, Fred, or the life jacket.

With a lot of discussion, planning, debating, and experimentation, all groups successfully saved Fred.

Yippeee! Well done Grade 3s.