Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Insect Inquiry

We have been enjoying our unit on plant and animal populations.  It has been awesome to examine the ants, fruit flies, aphids, ladybugs, daphnia, and damselfly larvae that have arrived in our classroom.   Our ants are starting to tunnel and move some ground around in our classroom ant farm.  We have also even busy keeping track of our fruit fly populations their vials.

Some of the important concepts/words we have been discussing include... 
predator & prey
carnivore, omnivore, & herbivore
food chains
life cycles

Today we enjoyed a visit from Angela, the Howard County Naturalist.  She taught us more about insects and tomorrow we will enjoy blogging about some of the things we learned from her on our KidBlog accounts.   Thank you Angela for sharing your knowledge with us.

We also welcomed Cale's pet hamsters to our classroom for a short stay.  They were just born this fall and we are hoping to make some connections to our science studies by observing them during this next week.  Thank you Cale for sharing them with us and being our hamster expert!

We will soon be starting our research project for this unit which will involve making a short video about a wild animal of our choice that teaches others about the concepts we have learned.  Life science is awesome!   

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Check out our Facebook Page!

I've had a classroom Facebook page on my "To Do" list for awhile now and I finally had to move it to the top of my list!  Our class is now officially on Facebook, so please check us out.  We will post classroom announcements, photographs, and classroom updates on the page.  You can find us at:


I'm hoping this will be another great way to connect with families near and far- including extended families.  So please share with grandparents or other relatives that would be interested.  I will also post updates on Facebook when there are new posts on this classroom blog. 

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Third Grade Bloggers!

We are excited to start posting to our KidBlog accounts.  Blogging is a great way for us to publish our writing to a real audience.  KidBlog is a wonderful place for us to develop our writing skills, practice writing safely on-line, and connect our writing with other classes.  Below is some general information about our KidBlog accounts.

We are just beginning our journey of becoming bloggers.  Our first posts will be far from perfect, but are a wonderful way for us to look back at the end of the year to see our progress as capable writers.  Growth as a writer is what we emphasize and encourage.  Throughout the year we learn and review the skills good writers use to proofread and share their message.   

This week students are in the process of posting their first two blog posts.   One is a short post talking about what area interests them in science, and the other is a Dot Day post that focuses on what make them unique individuals.  In the next few weeks we will also learn about how to write good and appropriate comments.  We will link with other classes to read their writing and practice commenting in a respectful way. 

Please take time to visit our blog page at https://kidblog.org/class/mrs-adams-class4/posts.  Feel free to leave a comment or two to help encourage our young writers!

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Using the Scientific Method to Solve a Mystery

Is it a seed or a egg?  How can we figure it out?  How about using the scientific method to ask questions, make a hypothesis, design an experiment, gather data through observations, and then draw conclusions.  Be sure to ask your third grader for the results next week!  

Reading Workshop

We use a reading workshop format during our literacy instruction.  This allows students to practice their strategies with a lot of independent reading and writing.  It also gives them some choice in their learning which definitely leads to motivation!   During workshop time you will find me leading short whole group mini-lesson on reading skills and strategies, working with small groups of students for guided reading lessons, and working with individual students.  Both learning to read and reading to learn take a tremendous amount of work, so it is vital that students build their reading and writing stamina.  These first few weeks have been filled with numerous opportunities to practice our procedures and also to train our bodies so our independent stamina can increase.  We utilize the Daily 5 framework so students get chances to "Read to Self"," "Read to Someone," "Work on Writing', "Listen to Reading," and "Work with Words."  Enjoy a few photos from our reader's workshop!  

Friday, September 4, 2015

Week 2

The days are flying by and our classroom continues to be a very busy place.  Here are a few photos from the first two weeks of school to provide you a peek into our classroom.  We worked hard on telling time to the nearest minute and looking at different ways to name numbers in math, really increased our writing stamina and wrote some great stories about people and places in our lives, and started reviewing strategies good readers use.  I also enjoyed getting a chance to listen to each student read and talk about the books they enjoy.  We are off to a great start.  Enjoy the long weekend!