Each year I do an embryology unit with my 3rd grade students. They love it and it is such a great hands on learning experience about animals and life. This year my students diagrammed the inside of an egg, directions and templates to which can be found on this Ag in the Classroom Website. I also had the students candle the eggs and draw their observations. If you have never seen this before, it is amazing to see the little chicks moving inside of the egg. I’ve done this project for 5 years now and I still get excited to see that little chick moving in the egg. When the chicks hatched I had the students write down their observations–even my most apathetic writers were excited about this writing assignment. I only required 3 sentences written, but almost every student wrote an entire page full of information. It was glorious.
Scratches on Watch Face March 20, 2012
I have had my watch for a few years now and I am always banging my arm into different objects. My watch face had become fairly beat up with lots of scratches on it. I decided to try to fix it–it couldn’t look much worse, which made me feel fairly free to try anything.
I looked up some options online, but most required going to the store, which I did not want to do. I tried the toothpaste method, but apparently my watch face was not acrylic, rendering this method useless. I decided to opt for my own methods. I took some clear nail polish top coat and spread one layer on the face of the watch. I let it dry and voila instantly improved watch face (not perfect, but so much better than what it was). Look you can even see the 12 and 6, which were difficult to see before.
Encouragement March 14, 2012
My kiddos were in need of a little manners and niceness. So here is what we did. At the end of the month all the stars are put on a piece of paper and sent home with the student.
Here is the document sent home.
Animal Unit March 13, 2012
My 3rd graders make an animal notebook in which they report on one animal from each type of vertebrate. In addition they are required to cut out and label 5 animals that belong in each category of vertebrate. Should they like to be overachievers, I also let them do an invertebrate section for extra credit.
This year, I decided to help them get organized. In the past, they were required to do much of the project at home, but that ended up with too much of the parents reflected in the work and not enough student. To change that the class is doing this at school this year. The challenge was how to break this down into smaller steps and find a way for them to store their clippings without things getting lost or labels being forgotten.
Here’s what I did:
First I took 3 sheets of construction paper (shown here in 3 different colors, but you may use all one color)
I staggered them about an inch, then folded them all over until their was an inch between the highest one on the bottom and the lowest one on the top, like this:
Then I stapled the flaps down.
I then labled the 5 types of vertebrates.
I also added a pocket to the bottom for Invertebrates by cutting the construction paper in half, folding it and stapling it to the bottom of the original pocket. This was nice, because it allowed me to place the sticky notes in the back (shown below)
Now all the students have to do is find the animals in a magazine, cut them out neatly, label them, and then place them into the pockets.
After they get all their animals found, cut, and labeled they will be ready to put together their notebooks. This is an example from a previous year. Who knew an emu looked like that. (hoping the sticky notes solve this problem).
For their report we also did a foldable using information found on the National Geographic Kids’ Website. Students had to identify the type of invertebrate, draw a picture and label their animal. Then they wrote where the animal lives, what it eats, an interesting fact about the animal, and why they chose it.
Book Reports February 24, 2012
I teach 3rd grade and I just thought I would share the latest book report. It’s one of my favorites and never fails to impress me. I require that my students do a book report each month on a chapter book that they have read.
For this particular book report the students are asked to create the setting in their story using a box. They are only required to decorate the outside, but many also decorate inside or make a diorama–to each their own. Inside the box, they must include 4 of the characters. On the back of the characters they write a few sentences telling the role they play in the book. There is a more detailed outline for the student, but you get the gist.
This year, I was impressed by the detailed boxes the students created (Yes, I know parents helped a lot, but every student was so excited to show me their box and tell me the stories they read. After all, that is the whole point–get the students excited about reading. Mission accomplished).
Here are some from this year.
Office Pumpkin February 22, 2012
My husband and I love to carve pumpkins. This year, we carved one for my husband’s office. Apparently they liked it so much we ended up in their quarterly newsletter. Go us!
It looks better lit up. It’s the company and the logo.
I love the Cricut February 20, 2012
I recently purchased my mom a second-hand Cricut. Since then Dann and I have used it quite a lot, and let me tell you, it is awesome. We both serve on the missions committee at our church. Each member was commissioned to create a notebook with information about the missions groups the church supports. Dann and I, being the overachievers we are, decided to employ the help of the Cricut. I think ours might win–what? It’s not a contest? Not anymore it’s not (*wink*).