We made our way up the mountain and down a “primitive” road to take ourselves back in time to see how the pioneers lived. The Pioneer Camp at Old Barlow Road was a great experience. The kids were greeted by pioneers dressed in period clothes and stations set up for them to experience rope making, wool yarn making, steel and flint fire starting, and more. The kids were such respectful guests that I was told this was not only the largest group to visit, but the best group.
We have been very busy these first few days. We have two big projects we have been trying to complete in time for Open House. The first is the Dream School Project. The kids have been brainstorming ideas and getting very creative– underwater classrooms, anyone? Each child chose one idea to expand on and wrote up a proposal explaining what, why the idea would be great to have in a school and how it will look. Then, the idea has become a drawing. The final stage is presenting all of this through an iMovie. Each group will create the movie, add audio, and include an interview with an adult in the building. Phew!
Our second project is called Best Part of Me. It is a visual art/writing project. Using a book of the same name, we have decided on one part of ourselves to be deemed the best. The writing required the kids to think about all the ways that this part of them makes life easier, funnier, lovelier. The kids chose how they wanted the photo taken and added decorative borders to their writing. This is one of my favorite projects because the photos are so sweet and the writing is thoughtful. I have been so impressed with their writing stamina. They worked for over an hour and asked for my time. It’s is going to be fun to see where they go this year!
There is nothing like seeing your old students on the first day of school. Even better is when those old students are your new students. I missed these kids and today was a fabulous start to what is going to be a great year.
We have already started a couple of projects! Last year, we did some “challenges” at the beginning of the year. These challenges combine science, technology, engineering, and math- STEM. We are doing a series of STEM challenges connected to Fairy Tales. Today’s challenge had the kids designing a raft for the Billy Goats Gruff to take down the river instead of dealing with the troll at the bridge. They had to use straws and pipe cleaners to build a raft that could hold 10g (or a goat figure we named Goaty Oak) for 10 seconds. If it failed, they made modifications and tried again. Project number two: Dream School. May Street is a wonderful old building. I have many childhood memories in it. Yet, it is time for change and who better to ask what the new school should look like. We are brainstorming and being creative. Some ideas lead to good conversations of what is realistic and what is fantastical. Either way, some great ideas! We will be creating a little iMovie to share all of our ideas at Open House.
What a wonderful last day of school. Usually the end of the year brings some tears because we are all moving on. Since we are staying together it had a different feel. However, a lot of love was on display as rug buddies said good bye, thank you letters were written for people in the school, and memories from the memory jar were shared. I wish every one a happy summer and see you in 4th grade!
As our last few days of 3rd grade wind down, we have been wrapping up our research writing, having some Random Acts of Fun, and doing a little science inquiry with Flying Hoops. After a wordless demonstration of how to build the flying hoop, the kids silently focused on doing it correctly. What followed was a little lesson on constants and variables plus taking data from trials to test your hypothesis. The kids were amazing! They have tested and observed, collected data and graphed it. They are already thinking of how they will modify their hoops to fly farther.
This is a phenomenal group of kids! From the planning to the prepping to the selling, these kids have done amazing things. They had their ideas quickly and began working right away. They had marketing ideas and wrote and presented to the class about their product. We spent part of every day in class and many spent time at home working to be ready. The excitement was palpable this morning. They cheered when the first class came to purchase their goods. They were so excited about all of the money they made and how busy they were selling. All in all, just a fabulous success!
A few months ago, our Economics study had to take a break while I was out. The culminating project of our study is a classroom market. The kids design, build, and sell goods in a craft fair-like setting on Market Day. This week we FINALLY got to start the project. Kids partnered up, looked at some example goods, brainstormed and came up with a master plan! They made quick work of it and we’re off and creating by the second day.
Mystery Science is a video based science program. For each video, the kids have an activity that has them designing, creating, observing, and analyzing. We are in the middle of a Plants unit. The kids have learned about the parts of a flower and the process of pollination, and how fruit grows. The latest lesson had them discussing that a fruit is a fruit because it has seeds inside. However, some “fruits” act much more like vegetables. So to differentiate, they are calling them scientific fruits of they have seeds, but we eat them as vegetables. We had a little fun classifying some veggies and having a little snack.