Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Presentation Practice


An important skill we practice in our classroom is public speaking. We have formal and informal presentations where students are learning the basic skills to public speaking, while also understanding how to be a great audience member.  



With informal presentations, students are expected to summarize a topic and give a 1-3 minute talk about what they have learned. Students are encouraged to take notes and memorize the information so they are not looking at their notes while speaking.




 Some of the key skills we focus on are:
- Clarity of voice
- Voice projection
- Avoiding filler words
- Presentation posture 




There is a lot of value in polishing public speaking skills. Long term, comfort in this area could serve students well in higher grades, community work, social situations, and even future job interviews. 



It's also a great time for us to review our listening skills. We talk a lot about the value of being a focused listener and how to respectfully show your attention during presentations. 

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

The Atoms Family

The Atoms Family


"In the center of Matterville, there is a place called the Nucleus Arcade, where two members of the Atoms Family like to hang out, Perky Patty Proton and Nerdy Nelda Neutron. Around the Nucleus Arcade, you will find a series of roadways that are used by another member of the Atoms Family, Enraged Elliott Electron."

Atoms are the basic building blocks of all matter and the defining structure of elements. Atoms are made up of three particles: protons, neutrons, and electrons. Protons and neutrons can be found in the nucleus of an atom. Electrons surround the nucleus in pathways called orbitals.


Students learned about Matterville and the structure of atoms in order to create an atom of an element on the periodic table.



Students learned about element structure using this diagram.

In order to create the atom, students had to calculate how many protons, neutrons, and electrons their element has. Protons and electrons are equal to the atomic number. To find neutrons, you have to subtract the atomic mass from the atomic number. 








 
Final Products!



Atoms Family Song
(to the tune of The Addam's Family theme song)


Friday, October 20, 2017

World Card Making Day

The first Saturday in October is World Card Making Day. The best way to acknowledge this fun day is to learn how to make cards. 

The grandmother of one of our students loves to make cards and teaches adults how to make them. She took on the challenge to teach card making to third graders. It went very well and students learned how to make an owl card for fall. 


The process of card making develops these skills:
~following directions
~listening
~fine motor skills like cutting and gluing
~tearing paper
~writing


The act of sending greeting cards can be dated back to the ancient Chinese, who exchanged cards to celebrate and send messages of good will for the New Year. 






Thursday, October 12, 2017

American Revolution Simulation Day

American Revolution Simulation Day
Our class simulated what it would be like to live in 1775. We were Great Britain, and the students from the class next door were the colonists. 

Simulations are important for student learning because students experience the reality of the scenario and gather meaning from it. 


Students created a class fort with individual forts on the inside using paper and tape.



Students learned about the clothing during the time period and created their own fashion.


One of the activities was calculating the cost of the fort based on the supply costs during the time period. Students also calculated the cost of food for the class to live for 30 days. 


Throughout the day there would be Breaking News! This was where the teachers introduced important events about the Revolutionary War. During this particular breaking news, the Stamp Act was passed and the colonists were taxed 22 cents for every piece of paper, so the colonists had to calculate that cost.



At the end of the day, Great Britain and the colonists competed in a "battle" to see who won. We competed in a hopping ball race, relay race, and a bean bag toss.

The colonists won!


Seeing the excitement and understanding of the day from each student was so rewarding!

Friday, October 6, 2017

Washed Ashore at Point Defiance Zoo

The Washed Ashore Exhibit at Point Defiance Zoo does not disappoint! Students saw large scale sculptures of plastic beach trash designed to encourage people to see the pollution problem that we have in our oceans. 

Angela Haseltine Pozzi is the artist and educator behind these amazing sculptures about marine pollution. Washed Ashore art is being created to "save the sea".


Students were amazed to see all of the different items that are found on our beaches such as cell phones, buckets, shoes, plastic bottles, and many more. 


One of our goals this year is plastic reduction. The intent of this goal is to draw attention to the impact of industry, society, and commerce on the environment. We are trying to look at these impacts through an unbiased lens. We want to understand things like: what is really happening, where the impact occurs, how this impact affects the various aspects of our lives.


We are well on our way to reducing our plastic by bringing our lunches in reusable containers. At the zoo, 82% of our lunches were reusable!


Students also enjoyed visiting their favorite animals at the zoo! 




How do you tell if a shark is male or female?




How do they make that noise?
Look at the oil on their skin! The water is beading up.




Check out more about the Washed Ashore exhibit here:

Washed Ashore at Point Defiance Zoo: https://www.pdza.org/washed-ashore  
Washed Ashore website: http://washedashore.org/ 


Thursday, September 28, 2017

Peer Teaching


Peer teaching is a method where one student teaches another student to gain knowledge and understanding.

Some of the benefits include:

~Students have direct interaction with their peers which promotes active learning.
~Peer teachers reinforce their own learning by teaching other students.
~Students feel more comfortable working with others.


To start our Element Superhero project, the fourth grade class taught our third graders the important pieces of the project. The fourth graders had already started this project so it was a great opportunity for them to peer teach the directions and give examples of ways the third graders could get started.






The third grade students are peer teachers on Tuesday mornings in the Pre-K classroom. We help our Pre-K friends read, discover, and explore. 

We encourage, listen, make suggestions, and teach our knowledge to foster a safe learning environment.



Playing store


Building roads


Drawing


Creating designs on the Geoboards

We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we're curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths. -Walt Disney

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Teaching with Dry Erase Boards



Using Dry Erase Boards in the classroom engages every student! They are a quick and useful tool for the teacher to know exactly who is grasping the concepts and who needs support. 

Today, we used them to review place value concepts by writing numbers in standard form, expanded form, and word form. 



Students love Dry Erase Boards because they're fun and 
allow for mistakes to be easily erased.


Pass out the Dry Erase Boards and let the learning begin!