Welcome back! I hope your spring break was relaxing. I know a good portion of the class was able to get away for a little bit and in many cases get some sun. We were in Arizona and it was a much needed time in the warmth of the desert!
So, as we were all well rested (maybe too rested, because Monday was a bit of a quiet start), we jumped right back into our busy school days.
As usual, Monday mornings mean PE. The kids are doing a unit on Scooter Hockey which is exactly as it sounds. Smartly, the PE teachers purchased some scooter hockey sticks which are much smaller than regular hockey sticks. Everyone had a great time playing hockey.
In math we are doing a quick unit on two-step problems. I like these because it is really the types of problems kids will run into in real life. These can be challenging to some of the kids, but we had them working in small groups to help each other. By the end of the week we could see the lightbulb going off on so many of our third graders. I encourage you to work on these types of problems at home. You can say things like “I need to buy 3 books at the bookstore. Each book cost $8. I only have $10 bills in my wallet, how many will I need to give the clerk?”, Then if you want to really challenge them, add a third step “How much change will I get?”.
As you can see below, everyone enjoyed working on these problems. Just kidding, Jackson was just messing around while I was taking pictures!
Recess was fun this week. We had a mix of chilly temperatures, sprinkles, indoor recess due to rain, and fun in the mud and puddles.
In reading class the kids have started reading new small group novels. One group started reading Freckle Juice by Judy Blume. Another group started The Owl in the Shower by Jean Craighead George. The final group will be reading The Missing Gator of Gumbo Limbo also by Ms. George. The last group hasn’t started quite yet because we needed to order a few more copies of the book. So because the book takes place in the Florida Everglades we had the kids researching what types of animals and plants exist in the everglades. They will start this coming week. But so far everyone is enjoying these books.
We have started a poetry unit in writing. So far the kids have written acrostic poems, cinquains, diamantes, and haikus. We will continue with these for the upcoming week.
One of the highlights of the week was when we turned the classroom into a pioneer school classroom. We moved the tables around so that they would be all facing the front of the room, girls were on one side, and boys on the other. We don’t have slates and chalk, so we did bring out whiteboards and markers, but we tried to make it as real as possible. Students were not allowed to talk unless called upon, then they had to stand at the side of their desk and speak. If they needed to use the bathroom they needed to raise their hands, stand up once called upon, and simply say “may I be excused?”. They read out of primers, practiced cursive writing on their “slates”, and did math problems that they would hear no more than twice. They were required to write down the entire problem on the “slate” and then solve it. Naturally because they are not used to doing this they often wrote down the wrong word. So Ms. Hahn and I would walk around and erase the wrong word and scold them for not listening. They thought this was pretty funny.
When a student spoke out of turn they had to go to the board at the front of the classroom which had a circle on it. They would then face the wall and place their nose into the circle until the teacher told them to return to their seat. Please know that we set this up in advance so the chosen students were happy to participate in this punishment!
We even had a stove in the middle of classroom to keep us warm and to keep everyones potatoes warm for lunch. OK, so it was really just a stool, but we all knew what it was. Unfortunately, another teacher stopped in to help someone and she took the stool as her chair. This caused quite a commotion as the kids were trying to tell her that she was walking around carrying a hot potbelly stove full of wood and potatoes! The kids really enjoyed this activity and had a lot of fun.
In the middle of all this fun, the kids also had to take another PARCC test. They have all had really good attitudes about taking these tests and they don’t seem to really mind them. I was working with a group of kids and we had a few minutes before we could go back into the classroom so I gave them a little break. They found these stretchy full body bags and climbed right in. They were having a blast and looking so funny. It was a great way to blow off some steam after sitting during a pretty long test!
Finally, we were able to get outside for phenology class this week. So much is changing as all the trees have buds, the grass is getting greener, and little plants are shooting out of the ground in all the gardens. Hopefully it gets a bit warmer as we head outside for the rest of the school year.
So as you can see we had a really busy week and I’m sure the next one will be the same.
Have a great week!
~ Mrs. Steinbeck