Sunday, September 7, 2014

Welcome 3rd Graders!

Our first (short) week back to school was fun and eventful -- welcome baby Jocie Wentworth!

     Our first day, Ms. Sleeper introduced herself and our new students, Lenny and Myles, and then we were quickly off to Music class. Later, for a team-building activity, we set goals and built "Newspaper Towers" with small groups, using only a roll of masking tape and three newspapers. We planned out our strategies and created team flags with our building goals written on each; we could choose from: CREATIVE, STURDY, TALL, USEFUL, or a combination of 2 goals. We had a lot of fun, and learned about teamwork, planning, and working hard to achieve our goals. Later in the day, we discussed our classroom jobs, new and old routines, and we each posed for individual and group photos. 

     On Thursday, we greeted each other with a welcoming "Bonjour!", and the "Hickety-Pickety Bumble Bee chant, and we read our Morning Message together. Our special was Art. Later, we shared our summer artifacts, asking our writing partners,"What does that remind you of?" Ms. Sleeper introduced the monthly poem, "September", by John Updike, and she challenged us to try to memorize the lines. She was able to remember almost every line……..with a little help from us. Later, we worked on spelling and reviewed our "Classroom Pledge" from last year. We also set up a few of our folders, and had a chance to check out our classroom library of books with friends. For a read-aloud, Ms. Sleeper shared the Roald Dahl short story, The Boy Who Talked With Animals. For science, we planned our much-anticipated trip to the pond behind the athletic fields. We learned about the aquatic macro-invertebrates that live in fresh water; we also learned about metamorphosis. To end the day, we did an activity called "Fist to Five", rating the events of the day from a closed fist to an open hand with one to five fingers. For another end-of-the-day activity, we lined up at the door for dismissal once we found a classmate who had chose our matching-length string.

On Friday, we discussed important pond safety rules, read our Morning Message, and had Guidance in the classroom as our special. After snack (and lots of water), we were off the the pond! Mrs. Moore joined us. When we got there, Ms. Sleeper and Mrs. Moore had an outdoor classroom all set up for us -with pond guides and dishpans full of icky but interesting pond plants and animals. We used spoons to find the invertebrates and vertebrates (like small fish), and transferred some of our discoveries to ice-cube trays for better observation. We found many giant water bugs, water scorpions, dragonfly larva, damselfly larva, and much more! We also each got to scoop directly from the pond in small groups. Lastly, we each had an opportunity to hold a dragonfly larva as it crawled up our hand! Later in the day we made individual goals for our classroom pledge. We also had reading, decorated our writing journal, and continued our spelling work. At the end of the day, Ms. Sleeper offered students canvas book bags to take home for the weekend if students would like to bring in and share books they have loved! 

Here are a few photos from our first days as 3rd graders:

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